I just completed lesson 10 and 11 of Judy Blume's Master Class. This class was about creating characters that you never want to leave behind when the story ends. I really love Blume's energy and find myself more motivated and excited about writing. Her lectures are wonderful. I read once that that Judy Blume said "I'm an optimistic person, so I like to leave my readers with a sense of hopefulness." I think that is why I come away from her lectures thinking "It's going to be alright, Everything will be all right." There is a peaceful calmness about her presence. I can't speak for others but for me I come away from her lecture with a sense of peacefulness.
In these lectures, she talked about needing to write her characters in order know them. What I take from that is that she has to live with them, follow them, and let them speak to her before she can tell a part of their life story. I understand that because some characters I have written about stay in my mind as if they are waiting for me to free them. Honestly, I have a character that I left sitting on a hollowed out ledge over looking the sea. She keeps prodding me to do something. Now this has been going on for years and I can still see her sitting there as if she is waiting, ever so patiently. She has never left my mind. I can't figure out what to do with her....I can't see where she's going. E.L. Doctorow said, "Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." Lately, that character seems to be saying that I should begin where she is and how she got there, perched on that ledge, is just my way of knowing her.
The assignment for these lessons was in three parts. I probably won't follow through on all but will on the part of the assignment that is about writing a letter to us from one of our characters. I do believe this is a good opportunity to let that young woman tell me how she feels sitting there all these years with the salty sea breeze in her face. It could prove to be a very interesting writing exercise.
Master Class "Hub" has been revised, reordered. The "Hub" is the place for assignments and posts and it's now open to all of the Master Class community. It is pretty confusing. It is a mishmash. I looked for where to catch up on writing assignments posted and I find posts about Oscars, on screenwriting, producing and not my particular class assignments. It is just all mixed up and appears totally random. It would be so much better if every class was isolated with a link to the entire masterclass community. And, perhaps a way to open your post or completed assignment to the entire community or if you choose not. Perhaps some participants are hoping their play or talent will be discovered but I really don't have time to read through everything to find out where my class assignments should be posted. I would love to read the post from other classes but I don't have time. This should not discourage anyone from taking this class and you might like it and have the time to explore. Judy Blume's lectures are totally worth it. And, I imagine that the other classes are just as remarkable. I just don't have the time. I really want to write and am looking for ways to keep myself motivated and my focus on writing. As Ray Bradbury said, "You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you."
I am off to do my 2 Mile Walk with Leslie Sansone. Yesterday, I did a 3 Mile Walk. You can find her on Youtube. And, later a walk with the dog. Beautiful warm day here in the mountains and the sap is flowing, trees are being tapped, sugar shacks are filled with steamy sweet bubbling syrup--going to be a good year for maple syrup and just in time, I'm down to my last drop.
Check out Master Class here
You can read Judy Blume's Bio here
Inside Creative Writing
Professor Robert Olen Butler teaches creative writing at Florida State University. He has a video series which follow his creative process of short story writing from inspiration to completion. He is an awesome teacher of creative writing and this is truly worth your time if you love to write. These episodes are recorded in real time.
Disclaimer: I do not receive any payment for blogging about MasterClass, Judy Blume, Leslie Sansone, or Inside Creative Writing.