Learn to write from your subconscious to create the structures, characters, and symbolism that will take your stories from the everyday to the strange and surreal.
Your Instructor: Sarah Rose Etter - Author of "The Book of X" (Two Dollar Radio)
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: June 2, 2020 - June 30, 2020
While traditional writing classes focus on three-act structures, character development, and hitting the perfect ending, there is another way. The subconscious mind of the writer is full of ideas, symbolism, and emotion that can become the engine of incredible storytelling that tackles current issues like gender, race, and sexuality in the vein of Leonora Carrington, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Carmen Maria Machado, and Amelia Gray.
In this class, we’ll approach writing the way an artist approaches the canvas, creating space for play, exploration, and the freedom to create first drafts written from the depths. Then we'll learn to refine them with editing that will take the stories from abstraction to satisfyingly surreal. Here, we will explore and reject the early tenets of Surrealism in favor of a closer look at contemporary Surrealism that is modern, inclusive, and vibrant.
In this four-week class, we’ll write and share our work regularly, while reading pieces that reinforce the major goal of the class: To create work that is inherently your own, with a voice and subject matter that can’t be mistaken for any other writer.
Our focus will be on creating new work each week, alongside reading assignments that will broaden our view of literature — and your approach to your own writing. Each week, we’ll write a 1,000-2,000 word assignment based on a prompt, then you’ll receive feedback on one of your selected pieces during the final week.
BONUS: We'll join for weekly optional video calls to discuss the readings and work in progress each Sunday evening!
What This Class Covers
Week One: Writing From The Depths
The subconscious mind contains our deepest thoughts and emotions. But it’s a hard place to access once we’ve been trained to become writers and editors.
In Week One, we’ll begin a daily writing practice that helps quiet your inner editor to unlock the richest ideas in your mind. This week’s readings and assignments will explore techniques and excerpts that will give you the freedom to explore the depths.
Week Two: Writing From Juxtaposition
Surrealism, at its core, is an exercise in juxtaposition: The pairing of two seemingly unrelated entities to create an uncanny union that is rife with symbolism and emotion.
In Week Two, we’ll focus on actionable techniques for creating new worlds through juxtaposition, including unlocking word pairings, and finding the emotional anchor within your imagination. This week’s readings and assignments will show effective techniques for achieving uncanny, effective juxtaposition in your own work.
Week Three: Writing In Response to Art & Life
The link between visual art and writing is one which deserves exploration — and the influence of other art forms on writing can serve as a catalyst for your own work.
In Week Three, we’ll use visual art as a springboard to creating drafts that resonate and create new worlds. In our assignments and reading, we’ll look at the ways in which writing responds to art — and do the same for your work.
Week Four: Refining Your World & Sharing
Our work cannot exist in our heads and hands alone. This week, our focus will be on effective workshopping and editing, as well as an examination of the structures you can use to support your experimental work during the editing phase.
In Week Four, we’ll focus on the editing techniques that will bring your work from the subconscious into the most effective form possible. This week’s writing and group editing exercises will help us socialize and refine your work.
Goals Of This Class
- Learn to quiet your inner editor, access the subconscious, and create drafts from the depths
- Refine those drafts using tenets of contemporary surrealism
- Learn techniques for creating new worlds through juxtaposition
- Create work that is inherently your own, with a voice and subject matter that can’t be mistaken for any other writer
- Support your experimental work with the appropriate structure
LitReactor offers a unique approach to a writing education: You study what you want, when you want, at your own pace. We bring in veteran authors and industry professionals to host classes covering a wide range of topics in an online environment that’s interactive and flexible. You get detailed feedback on your work and take part in discussions in a judgement-free zone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, our workshops are about working together to achieve your writing goals.
Where do classes take place?
Entirely online. So, anywhere you have Internet access.
Are there certain times when the whole class needs to "meet" online?
Nope. Our students come from all over the globe. Everything is posted online and accessible 24/7. (We do occasionally schedule phone chats, but try to reach a consensus on timing.)
What does a typical class consist of?
It varies, but nearly all our classes include weekly lectures, homework assignments, peer reviews, critiques from instructors, and discussion forums.
How much experience do you need to take a class?
Beginner or pro, everyone is welcome. We encourage all skill levels.
Got more questions? Click here for an extended FAQ.
And click here to explore a sample class that shows our layout and features.