In one of my classes recently, the writing assignment called for a scene written from the point of view of a non-human character. The idea was to push writers out of their comfort zones and force them to attempt something they might ordinarily never try.
What many of them accomplished caught me quite by surprise. Sure, I knew going into it there were some gifted writers in the room, and their output was every bit as good as I expected it to be. The serendipity phase came with the output of the writers just dipping their fingers and toes into the craft pool. Among their point of view characters were: a squirrel, a terra cotta pot, a camera, a set of golf clubs, a songbird, and a doorbell.
In truth, I enjoyed every single submission and found far better work than I expected. So, I’m considering the exercise a success, even though quite a number of students opted not to turn anything in. Who knows why? Life intervenes. I understand. But I’m still amped.
My students are all folks about my age. We’re a bit weathered; we’ve seen some things. We’ve forgotten a lot of things, too. But what I find most refreshing is what we remember, and remember with such clarity!
Writing has a way of bringing that out of people, provided they can find the time and make the effort. The joy I find in working with my students is amplified by their success.
Nice work, ladies and gentlemen! You’ve already proven 2018 is going to be an amazing year. I’m so eager to get started!