TUESDAYS, APRIL 17 —MAY 1 | No matter how compelling the characters, dialogue, or action, great scenes need a sense of place that all too often gets short shrift. And when your subject is a place itself, the task is only more demanding. It’s easy to fall back on list-making when writing about place, and that’s a tool that can be used to great effect, but there are so many more approaches to be explored. We’ll dive into some great writing about place, and will look at specific techniques great writers use to capture the world around them, focusing on writing about the real world, but looking at fiction as well. The class will emphasize writing that takes a specific place as its primary subject, but will also look at writing that uses place as a way to set a scene in which some other element is of primary importance. We’ll examine how writers like Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Annie Proulx, Lauret Savoy, Iain Sinclair, and William Least Heat-Moon (among others) use place in their writing, and we’ll engage in brief writing exercises in each session.
A freelance writer in San Francisco, Mark Wallace has reported from all over the world, writing for publications from The New York Times Magazine to The New Yorker, Wired, Salon, Fast Company and many others. A selection of his work is available at http://www.boyreporter.com
Number of sessions: 3
Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Dates: Tuesdays, April 17, 24; May 1
Course fee: $175