Our Philosophy on Teaching and Learning

Philosophy on Teaching

In this course, it is not my place to evaluate your story. You may be wondering whether or not your ideas are "any good." But we all have way too little information. This is a brainstorming class, after all.

I can judge a story once it's written, and do so all the time. But ideas judged too soon may never flower into a manuscript. I do give constructive feedback and ask questions to help you dig a little deeper or include information left out.

My goal is to help each of you actually do the assignment. If I notice holes, ways in which people skipped over a point in the exercise, I point them out.

The exercises are designed to help you think through the story before you write it.

Philosophy on Learning

This course, and all courses here at Barany School of Fiction are designed for adults or teens who are taking (or could take) college classes.

Some assumptions we make because of that:

  • You know how to ask for help
  • You are responsible for your own education.
  • You're learning at a lot of places, of which this course and school is one of them.
  • You know how to manage your time, or can learn how.
  • You know how best you learn (either through reading, writing, listening, watching, or doing, or a combination of these), or you can discover your best (or favorite) learning style(s).

On Judgement

There is absolutely a place for judging your creative work, but if you do so too soon, especially at the beginning stages (and especially if you're a beginner), you're not being fair to your muse or your work. The story needs time to flower and mature into what it really is.

Let your judgement take a hike, a vacation, or give it something else to do.

Your job is to show up for the work. And that means putting pen to page or fingers to keyboard. Anything else is not the work. If you're having a hard time getting started, set a timer -- my favorite get-writing tool and one I (an experienced writer) use often.

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