Not Really the Thing I Was Thinking About This Morning, But It’s the Thing I’m Thinking About Now

I got nothing today. Well, actually, that’s not true, I got plenty of things on my mind, but a shortage of things that are suitable for sharing with the internet as a whole.

So instead, I’m sitting here thinking about the course that I’m writing for work at the moment, which is unlike most courses that I write in that I don’t get to just stand there and talk from bullet points, but actually have to write everything out word-for-word.

And how frustrating it is to be doing this, thinking through ideas in painstaking detail, working my way through examples, because it’s basically me figuring out a bunch of things I know about writing, but do not actually know about writing, simply because I do not internalise things properly until I have to explain them to someone else.

All I really want to do is sit down and talk about the thing. Dialogue, rather than monologue (which is weird, ’cause man, I monologue like a motherfucker when I’m teaching, but it’s different. It’s a monologue where you can read the room).

Anyway. I spent yesterday talking through the internal beats of a scene, looking at the micro-structure of narrative in a way I rarely do. It’s the first thing in years that actually made me miss teaching at universities, because working through the examples largely went straight to the thing used to love doing: taking a work, pulling it apart, examining the technique so you can appreciate it in a new way.

It was incredibly satisfying to do that. I may be doing more of it, once I get back on deck with the blog in a month or so. You know, after this course is done. And the weekend workshop I’m teaching. And the Business of Books sessions are done with.

There is good deal of teaching and thinking about writing in the coming month and a half. For now, the course that I’m writing remains my favourite.

It will be a good course, I think, once it’s completed. Hard to write, but hard in the way that comes of doing something challenging rather than retreading old ground.

A photo posted by Peter M Ball (@petermball) on


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