Where did weeks 3 and 4 go? Time is accelerating at an alarming rate and I have no idea where it is going. I’m already dreading leaving, I’ll miss being with everyone so much (I hate it when I start missing people before they’re gone, it’s a bad habit of mine, but the end of the six weeks is rushing ever closer so I can’t help it).

Week 3 – Ian MacLeod was great. The poor man was both sick and jetlagged when we met him on Sunday, but he perked up as the week went on. He reinforced for me an idea that Paul had talked about–bringing in hints of the world outside the story. I have a tendancy to focus in on just the details that are relevant, which makes the world seem too simplistic. In my one-on-one conference, we went through my story line-by-line and he suggested places where tendrils of the outside world (relationships with other characters, world/society-building, etc.) could be worked in subtly, which was extremely helpful.

Week 4 – I absolutely adored Nalo Hopkinson. She taught us a wonderful story-mapping technique where you list all your plot elements and characters and then draw the connections between them. Then you can try to make new connections to tie the story together, or you can see things that aren’t connected and cut them from the story. Her reading last Tuesday was amazing, her voice is so nice to listen to.

Week 5 is still just starting, but so far Ellen is wonderful. As an editor, she has a very different perspective on stories, and also lots of insights on the business end of things.

Well, almost time for class…this is probably the last post until I emerge from the sorority house at the end of the workshop with my shiny secret-decoder ring.


  1. Thanks so much for this post. I love hearing about Clarion (I’m actually in the Write-a-Thon this year; I’m a CW’04 alum & friend of ). I know that you probably don’t have time right now, but just on the off-chance, I was wondering if you might be able to tell me more about Nalo’s story-mapping technique? It sounds like a great tool. (If you don’t have time, feel free to ignore this.) Thanks, either way!

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