Last week, on the first Wednesday of August, I went to the penultimate class of the short story course that I have been attending. I feel quite sad that I only have one more class left to go to. Out of the six classes, I missed only one class due to it being my husband’s birthday. If you miss a class though, you do get all the notes and homework from that class so it was ok. This time, the two-hour session was on characterisation and the pace of your short story.
In the past, most books and courses that I have come across seem to focus on this the most and even start off on this. For this reason alone I have loved the way this course has been structured.
Waiting in the corridor
With it being the school holidays and not really having to run around after the kids, I managed to leave home to get to the course a little earlier than normal. As usual, I didn’t trust myself to find the room where the lesson takes place and found someone on reception to show me the way. It was lucky I did as there was a sewing class still on, to which the receptionist said she would find out whether it had been double booked.
The rest of the class was waiting down the corridor on some seats outside a very loud dance studio. We could see right into the dance studio as it was just windows for a wall and the door was wide open. Whenever the music came on, there was nothing else to do but watch – talking and listening was next to impossible. They looked like professional ballet dancers dancing to some musicals and I felt like I had obtained a secret backstage pass to some show they must have been rehearsing for.
Back to class
Five minutes later, I had to peel myself away from the show as the classroom we were waiting for emptied out and we were allowed in. Once we started though, the lesson went so quickly and the two hours disappeared in a flash. The lessons are always so interactive and interesting. Before the class, you have a few short stories to read which are then analysed in the lesson. We also have a few writing exercises to do based on what we are learning.
This week, in one of the exercises, we had to describe a character based on the situation Rebecca, our teacher, read out to us. Listening to the different ideas everyone has is so good and obviously, everyone else is so much better than me. The imagination and creativity of some people in the room are amazing. Hopefully, we will get to read some of them soon, after the final lesson.
Over the five weeks of the course, we’ve all done a minimum of three stories which have all come back to us with feedback. I hope to edit and update all of them, which in my head I have done, but I now need to remember and actually write it out. After that, we need to choose one to submit as our final assignment to be published.
Read my other posts about this course here: