I just finished teaching an interim class at my alma mater, Trinity Christian College. The class was called "Writing the Great American Novel." In a class of fourteen students (ten of them are pictured with me here), I shared thoughts on the writing life, fiction, and publishing.
One of the crazy ideas I had at the start of the class was for us to collectively write a novel. We all agreed on a genre, a premise, and a character. From there, each student wrote a different chapter. We didn't have many guidelines or boundaries, yet the story ended up working out surprisingly well. There were fun coincidences and interesting plot developments. On the last day of our class, we all sat around and read the 80-plus page story. My point in doing this exercise was not to have some magnificent work of fiction to submit to the publishers in New York. It was show everyone the process of writing a story from start to finish--to show how it takes strange and interesting turns.
I enjoyed meeting the students and sharing thoughts on writing. It was fun being back at Trinity and also fun encouraging writers in their craft. While I doubt I'll ever be called Professor Thrasher, I hope to continue to share experiences and insight in writing with students and aspiring writers.