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FAST CLASS: Writing Your Story

Lesson 10 of 17

The Paragraph

 

FAST CLASS: Writing Your Story

Lesson 10 of 17

The Paragraph

 

Lesson Info

The Paragraph

now I've already said how I believe in economy of words and really think hard before you add another word to your piece of writing. But an indentation is free. It costs you nothing. And it it shouldn't be random and arbitrary. It's not one of those things where you've written six sentences. It's about time. You in Dent indent means something. And what it means is you're moving forward in your story. Um, old bad fuddy duddy English teachers used to talk about the topic sentence of the paragraph and they'd say things like, You know, first, say what your paragraph is going to be about, then say it. Then say what you've just said. Forget all that those English teachers air dead now, and I'm not missing them. But But the paragraph is a realtor tool. The indentation is a real tool that tells me that the story is progressing. I always think I'm gonna act this one out. I always think of a story that I tell her an essay that I write as a road trip and because I started out my life and was for m...

any years living on the East Coast, and now I live in California. I picture starting out in Maine on this road trip and ending up in California, and I will actually say toe a student of mine or just to myself writing. Okay, now I'm in Maine now. I'm in about Vermont, and now I'm in New York, and now I'm in Ohio and now I'm probably right around the Rocky Mountains. That's kind of like the conflict, you know, tension, part of my story. And then my landing place is California. Every one of those indents is like a stop on your road trip. Look at that. Does that inspire you to read this paragraph? No. We need a little help here. Especially now, especially in these days when our attention spans have all been diminished by the Internet and so much else going on in the world. We need to break it down. And incidentally, something that will help you a lot in your own writing is a little test name. Give names to your paragraphs. I don't mean that. Ultimately, for your reader, you show your reader these names, but name them for yourself. And if you're doing a good job with your storytelling, if you've created a nice road trip with a steady forward motion. Just reading the list of the names will sound like a story. And maybe you get. Maybe you stay for about three paragraphs on one in one state where you kind of linger there a lot of diners with good pie there or whatever, but but still, we will feel there are distinct subjects for each of those paragraphs.

Class Description

FAST CLASS:

Try a Fast Class – now available to all Creator Pass subscribers! Fast Classes are shortened “highlight” versions of our most popular classes that let you consume 10+ hours in about 60 minutes. We’ve edited straight to the most popular moments, actionable techniques, and profound insights into bite-sized chunks– so you can easily find and focus on what matters most to you. (And of course, you can always go back to the full class for a deep dive into your favorite parts.)

Full-length class: Writing Your Story with Joyce Maynard

SUBSCRIBE TO CREATOR PASS and cue up this class and other FAST CLASS classes anytime.

Everyone’s got a story to tell. Some are funny. Some are inspiring. Others are tragic. But no matter how compelling your story might seem, it won’t resonate with readers unless you’re able to effectively translate your concept onto the page.

Celebrated journalist, novelist, and memoirist Joyce Maynard will give you the tools you need to transform your brilliant idea into an absorbing memoir that readers won’t be able to put down.

Maynard will begin by walking you through the process of identifying your story and how best to tell it. She’ll then help you develop your story through language, story structure, dramatic tension, dialogue, description, and editing. Finally, she’ll address the challenges of the writing life, such as how to create a productive practice, design a comfortable writing space, deal with rejection, and find an audience.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Understand the difference between telling what happened and exploring your journey.
  • Figure out what to include in your story and what to cut out.
  • Decide on a point of view, a point of entry, and a structure.
  • Get over your fears of revealing embarrassing truths about yourself.
  • Stop worrying about being judged.
  • Deal with loneliness and find your tribe.
  • Develop the arc of a sentence, a paragraph, and a story.
  • Listen to the sound and rhythm of your sentences.

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