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Even though both you and your reader know it’s a work of fiction, as a writer your goal is to make it believable. So, says Margaret Atwood. With 50 plus years of writing experience, this Internationally acclaimed writer has penned 19 novels, 17 books of poetry, 10 non-fiction books, 8 children’s books, and a graphic novel. If this body of work was not enough to keep her busy, her editions of fiction and poetry, and films made from her stories round out her resume. Her MasterClass lessons run between 10 to 20 minutes over a 4 hour period. The companion PDF work book is full of exercises and even more reading material. For writers who stare at a blank page Atwood’s advice is to get in touch with whatever fear you may have that blocks you from moving forward.
To prove her point, in one lesson, Atwood references fable, Little Red Riding Hood. She starts by telling the story in the traditional way we all know. Then moves to the perspective of the Grandmother, who in Atwood’s dark view of things, is living in the stomach of the wolf. She then builds from that scenario a number of different ways to tell the same story. Her mischievous side shows in this lesson. She also believes, prolific readers, make good writers. Looking through her resume, Margaret Atwood must read an awful lot.
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Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee.