There is no doubt that if you take my class, you will become a better writer.
If you have perused this blog, it probably didn’t take you long to find my ten rules for writing under the Houle’s Rules tab above. If you read rule #1: Writing cannot be taught, it can only be learned, you’re probably wondering why I seem to be sending a double message.
On one hand, I’m teaching several workshops in the Vancouver area, currently, Creating Complex Characters and Dynamic Description for Deeper Fiction. The class will be held every Monday night, beginning April 18th. On the other, I seem to be saying that no one can teach you what you need to know.
So, why take my class, right?
I’m not a big sports guy, but I’ll use a sports analogy. Let’s look at the Coach-Player relationship. Except in the very beginning, when we are still children, players come to the game with knowledge of the game, basic skills, and a desire to improve. Coaches at the semi-pro and Pro level are usually (from my observation) less skilled than their players. With me so far?
So why do top athletes such as Michael Jordan, Randy Johnson, Dan Marino (when they played), and thousands of others have coaches? What’s more, many of these top athletes have several coaches, not just one. Even top performing actors have coaches (vocal coaches, professionals in dance, fighting, and other techniques) These acting coaches and directors aren’t on screen in the final cut.
No matter how high one’s aspirations, it seems no one that strives for greatness in a field does so alone. (Think of Hugh Laurie’s character on the hit TV show, HOUSE. Even the CHARACTER NEEDS to bounce ideas off colleagues.)
Some coaches are actually more accomplished than their charges. Most simply offer a particular specialty that is needed by the actor/player/professional. It is unlikely that Tom Cruise would hire a Martial Arts Master to help him train for a romantic comedy.
Writers at every level that aspire to do better tomorrow than they did today are the true professionals of the craft. Writers aren’t just writers, they are word artists. Like a sculptor, only with the added benefit of being able to add as well as subtract. For a sculptor, the art must reside within the stone, but for the writer, there is no depth or width, shadow or light that cannot be explored. There just is no end to what you can do with a short story or novel. (And if it isn’t published, then it isn’t finished.)
So, what does this have to do with taking my class?
My job is to illustrate techniques that YOU will apply to your own writing. You are the professional, the one practicing your craft to achieve greater and higher levels of proficiency. Only you can work, rehearse, and rewrite your craft into the art you see behind the blank page.
All I can do is coach you in the craft. My specialty right now is complex characters and deeper descriptions. In my class you will learn techniques that will enhance your native storytelling ability. So, see: I can’t teach you to write, I can only help you learn more.
And only YOU can take the next step in your artistic evolution.