I have a good feeling about this class. I’m going to like them. Liking a class is more practically useful than it sounds. In a likable class, discussions are freer, more open. When the students like one another, they take everyone’s work more seriously. In another class I taught, after a woman read a section of her novel aloud, another woman asked, “May I be your friend?” The first woman answered, “You already are.” The students will also feel safe with one another and will trust the group with personal information they use in their writing.
In my novel-writing workshop, a student wrote about a woman who was taking care of her husband, whose mind was deteriorating. She too was deteriorating from the effort. She told her story as a novel, but the students understood it was her own. They respect such disclosures. They unite with one another like a noisy brood of brothers and sisters. And they can always unite against me.