Wednesday, November 10, 2010

About the December Workshop

Those of you who've been hanging around here for a while know that sentences are kind of my thing. Some of us love paragraphs or scenes or vocabulary. But for me, it's all about sentences.

So it made sense that I would do a workshop on sentences. Obsessions are for sharing, right? And this is my opportunity to share this obsession with you in a purposeful, methodical manner.

"Purposeful" and "methodical" might not be adjectives that set your hearts a-beating, but experience has taught me that this is the best way to tackle this subject. We'll start small with the fundamental building blocks of a sentence, and then we'll build in other structural pieces, and finally, we'll end with an examination of some rhetorical devices. We'll look at tricks for fixing repetitive sentence structures along the way. And by the end of the workshop, even if you still can't tell a gerund from a jukebox, you will still be able to eyeball a sentence and switch it up a bit. And you won't even need a gin and tonic to recover from the exertion, though you might have one in celebration instead.

There's a lot of grammar in this workshop, but don't let that intimidate you. It's not the grammar you might be used to. It's fictive grammar, which means that every grammatical principle is approached with a single underlying question in mind: Do we care about this? Because, let's face it, academic grammar -- what most of us learned in school -- doesn't transfer neatly to fiction. And so why should we care about it? It won't hurt us to learn it, of course, but it's even better to understand when, where, and how to abandon it.

I warned people before the structure workshop about the intensive nature of that one, and I think right about day five, they started to understand what I meant by that. This one is also intensive, but in a very different way. Instead of trying to grasp big concepts one after another in rapid succession, we'll be focusing very closely on smaller details. So, you know, be aware. :)

If you sign up for this workshop, you can prepare for it by rounding up some of your wild sentences. At the end of the class, you'll be able to post these rascals, and together we'll tackle possible fixes. Am I the only wordgeek who thinks that sounds like a wicked good time? Can I get an amen?



green_knight said...

This sounds like a fantastic workshop, but it's bad timing for me - I hope you'll repeat it at a later date!

Robin Lemke said...

Can you tell me if this is an online workshop? Is it done via a bulletin board or an email group? I'm a little in love with sentences, too. :)


Edittorrent said...

The workshop will be run over a yahoo email list. It's easiest that way, even if it isn't the most technologically advanced.

GK, I hope we'll give this workshop more than once. Depends on demand. I know we'll do a repeat of the structure workshop because people have been asking for it, so we might do this one again, too, if it goes the same way.


Coolkayaker1 said...

Theresa: I'm in! Paid by Paypal, looking forward to it!