In fact I will be so unblushing that I will here quote a comment made in the class at the end of the session by one of the 13 students in the course which has been running since September:
'I think this is the best writing we have all done in class this whole year.'
What a fine compliment. 11 of the 13 read out, and all were good, with a handful so rich and smooth they were publishable; the others were excellent starts just needing to be finished. Sometimes magic does happen.
I think I will make you wait for details on what I did (and what they did) til next time. Instead: the other class, which was a workshopping class. Well, good thing I did bring a 'just in case', as I said last week, because, as opposed to the team leader's assumption, the 2 hour class was not in the habit of workshopping for the entire 2 hours.
So, after the one scheduled writer's slot (that was fun; as well as two stanza'd poems, she'd done a page of 8 haiku, as happenstance has it one of my special areas of knowledge), I provided a stimulus for writing. Introduced thus,
'I suppose you've done lots of excercises with postcards in this class.'
This met with mystifcation -- no! Strange, I'm not sure how you can inspire writing without postcards somewhere pretty soon along the line. I'd chosen some of my weirder ones, assuming they'd have done character and senses work using postcards previously.
The task was to use the picture to write a character's dream. I had been going to do the Postcard Ambush (from my book -- you drop a second card on them as they are mid-flow, to additionally weave into or shift the dream, as dreams do...). But as this was all new to these students, it would have completely thrown them, so they had a one-picture dream.
Of course a dream can take you anywhere -- and so these did, from a fast-running river to a dentist's chair, from a castle garden to a 5-door'd hallway...