Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Beginning Writer's Workshop

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.
-- Pablo Picasso

The workshop is held at a Toronto branch library. The instructor discusses the four key elements of a story: setting, conflict, climax, and resolution. Half jokingly, he says out loud,"That’s almost an acronym: sucker." He continues to draw our attention to all sorts of incisive acronyms derived from his words of wisdom on writing, and concludes the class with a warning: beware of clichés.

Many of us are impressed by his humorous teaching style, his straight-to-the-point communication skills, and most importantly, his passion for helping us to build successful writing careers. Over the sound of many hands clapping, a loud voice comes from the back of the room: "The writer is a cliché-sucker who spills out a string of little gems." All of a sudden, a silence descends over the room as if bats has just flown out of a cave in a big, snaking cloud.

two roads diverge
in the gathering dusk
I stop and wait ...
his final words
echoing in my heart

Contemporary Haibun Online, 13:3, October 2017