Learn how to identify and remove cliches from your work and develop your unique voice in this three-week workshop with acclaimed author Elle Nash.
Your Instructor: Elle Nash, author of 'Animals Eat Each Other'
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here
Enrollment: 16 students
How do you elevate your prose from cliche to clever?
Metaphors serve an important purpose—they pull forth an image to render a specific emotional feeling to a reader. But sometimes, those metaphors become overused and can create a text that is dull and cliche, which then fails to express the type of emotional response you want.
Your goal as a writer is to “bring the reader to their knees”—that is, to wrap a reader so fully into the emotional and spiritual content of the work that they feel moved by it (or as Lidia Yuknavitch says, art doing its verb thing).
In this class we will learn how to identify cliche text and then twist, turn and unpack these phrases to 1) create a more unique voice, one that is yours and yours alone and 2) create more sensory detail in the story. And your guide will be Elle Nash, author of the acclaimed Animals Eat Each Other, which was hailed in a starred review in Publishers Weekly as "a complex, impressive exploration of obsession and desire."
Elle is also a founding editor of Witch Craft Magazine and a fiction editor at Hobart Pulp, and her work has been featured in places like Volume 1 Brooklyn, The Fanzine, Cosmopolitan, Elle, The Offing, and Enclave.
What This Class Covers
WEEK 1: Metaphors, Similes, and Why We Use Them
You will explore a brief history of metaphor use in the contemporary novel, why writers have come to use them (and overuse them), and the psychological/emotional effects of metaphors in the work. You will discuss how to identify a cliche.
WEEK 2: Unpacking the Cliche
This week you will discuss how to use the five senses to unpack overused or bad metaphors to get at the emotional root underneath the cliche.
WEEK 3: Minimalism, or When To Hold Back
This week you'll discuss why some writers choose not to use any metaphors or similes at all, and discuss tools for deciding when to use metaphors or similes to enhance the work.
*Each week will include writing assignments, that will be critiqued by Elle and your classmates, as well as reading assignments selected by Elle, and discussion opportunities.
Goals Of This Class
- To identify what makes a good metaphor or simile and how they can work to enhance our stories
- When and when not to use metaphors and similes
- Learn to tools to unpack and evolve cliche metaphors/similes into ones that highlight your unique voice
- Learn tools to better self-edit with an objective eye
LitReactor offers a unique approach to a writing education: You study what you want, when you want, at your own pace. We bring in veteran authors and industry professionals to host classes covering a wide range of topics in an online environment that’s interactive and flexible. You get detailed feedback on your work and take part in discussions in a judgement-free zone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, our workshops are about working together to achieve your writing goals.
Where do classes take place?
Entirely online. So, anywhere you have Internet access.
Are there certain times when the whole class needs to "meet" online?
Nope. Our students come from all over the globe. Everything is posted online and accessible 24/7. (We do occasionally schedule phone chats, but try to reach a consensus on timing.)
What does a typical class consist of?
It varies, but nearly all our classes include weekly lectures, homework assignments, peer reviews, critiques from instructors, and discussion forums.
How much experience do you need to take a class?
Beginner or pro, everyone is welcome. We encourage all skill levels.
Got more questions? Click here for an extended FAQ.
And click here to explore a sample class that shows our layout and features.