Sentence shares the same etymological roots as sentiment, as sentient, as sensual. From the Latin sentire—to “perceive, feel, know.” Physically and emotionally. A teacher told me that as a writer you have a choice to write a sentence that describes a drowning, or to write a sentence that feels like drowning. How do you get your writing to cling to readers’ nervous systems? Can you make a reader feel like they want to vomit by using these phonemes repeatedly: /g/ /k/ /t/? We’ll cover the basics of a few strategies that will help our sentences feel like what they’re describing by looking at movement, texture, and sound.
Our in-depth discussion of sentences will lead into our discussion of film techniques.
Film uses space and lighting to evoke certain emotions. We will look at ways to make sentences and paragraphs function like how cameras zoom, pan, tilt, etc. We’ll consider what is in the visual frame — the composition of a scene. We’ll discuss high-key and low-key lighting and what effects those produce. We’ll also view a short video that summarizes camera angles, as well as read and examine passages with a filmic quality. Think of some of your favorite films and we’ll also discuss some of the techniques and try to transfer them to writing.
Bring some sentences and paragraphs of your own, and we’ll do live editing on the sentence level, and also apply what we learn from film techniques.
As an added bonus, this class includes the Colorado premier of The Usual Route, a film adaptation of Steven Dunn's award winning book, Potted Meat.