Angela Kelsey

Tell the Story


Filed in Stories, Writing :: January 30, 2012

Lately I’ve been choosing a monthly theme for my writing classes.

December was “home.”

January has been “using fictional techniques to improve your memoir or creative nonfiction.”

I asked my faithful, week-in, week-out students last week if there was anything in particular that they wanted to work on in February.

They said,

  • the basics of first person vs second person vs third person
  • writing in multiple voices
  • what is the next step for all these fragments we create?
  • how do you build a scene?
  • what is narrative arc?
  • how do you build a framework for a piece?
In other slightly metaphorically stretched words, How do you make a word quilt?

February will be “Quilt.”

Jeanne confirmed that a quilt is made of a top layer, the batting (which I called the stuffing), and the backing.

Every week we will create the top layer of written fragments, beautiful scenes to be stitched together into a more beautiful whole.

We will start with the backing, or the framework, the narrative arc (Week 1)

The stuffing is next: persons (Week 2) and voices (Week 3).

Finally we’ll put it all together (Week 4).

A quilt: another way to tell, my word for 2012.

Sometimes it all fits together.


Filed in Stories, Writing