East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Writing a writing course

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That’s what I will do during the two weeks of vacations that start today – I will write a writing course.

The idea started after a long chat with a friend, about how there is people out there – mostly kids – spending hundreds of euros on writing courses in which individuals with very dubious qualifications but very aggressive propaganda teach them poorly the very basics, usually in such a soulless, dogmatic way that the poor kids emerge completely crippled.

Now, how to defuse such a state of affairs?

Of course, if you are fluent in English, you can follow Brandon Sanderson’s lessons for free on Youtube, and for about 150 bucks per year you can get the Masterclass writing courses, if that’s your cup of tea, and learn all you can from the likes of Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, David Mamet or Margaret Atwood.
But here’s the rub – a lot of Italian teenagers are not that hot with English, and so they end up shelling out their hard-earned savings to get some commonplace writing guidelines (“show don’t tell”, “write what you know”) from individuals that would not manage to write their way out of a paper bag.

So, why not put together a very basic writing course, one covering all the basics, a course that’s easy to read and fun, and then give it away for free?
Say, applying to it a Creative Commons license?

And that’s what I am doing – I have currently about 2500 words of it.
It will be in both Italian and English, and I will try and distribute it through a variety of channels, starting with my Patreon pages and then my blogs and socials.
The idea is too provide the basic writer’s toolbox to all that are interested, and also to nurture a mindset that will make it harder for self-styled gurus to push their half-assed belief systems on the unwary … because they will not be unwary any longer.

And for starters… it’s a lot harder going than I thought it would be.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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