Gotham : 20 weeks of...
I'm all but finished my second enrolment (subject, tranche?) with Gotham, each one taking 10 weeks. Now after almost 20 weeks of focusing on reading, assessing, writing and critiquing I think I need to consolidate some of the things about effective writing that I've gained, and shed those things I don't want to retain. From the outset I felt that the cultural differences between Australia and the U.S. were going to have quite an impact on the way my writing was received, and I wasn't wrong. My colleagues were quite confronted by complex sentences and ideas, almost none of them aspired to more than a kind of Cormac McCarthy style of writing, and many of them were aiming at the thriller and crime market only. Those things are fine but they're not what I want to achieve with my own style and stories. I was very lucky as my first 'Instructor' (T), a woman with a highly intuitive approach to our writing, had many insightful things to say about all of our work. She also, and unusually in such a North American context, was very open to satire and what I suppose we call here the Australian Gothic approach to story telling. But I think I've been quite unlucky with my second 'Instructor' (R ) who has lacked the imaginative and intuitive qualities that T had so abundantly. He also seems ignorant in a way I regard as an obvious outcome of the narcissistic focus of U.S. broadcasting and education. And for a writer and writing instructor his vocabulary was surprisingly ill-stocked, and not extending much beyond the narrow language pool of popular culture. So that was a disappointment as I like words in all of their subtleties and peculiarities. I felt I had to discount most of the things he's had to say about my work and instead have just focused on our weekly lecture, most of which deals with the techniques for achieving particular effects. Over all Gotham has been intense and I've learned a lot, but I'm glad it's almost over and I can go back to using words that are my own vernacular without having to background a kind of explanation into each of them; that has been tiresome, although instructive. Ciao ciao – we're thinking of getting together again soon.. dejeuner a West End .. any takers? Barbara
Posted by Writers Blog at 11:54