Does Everyone Have A Book In Them?

not according to my brother Tod, the literary novelist who teaches creative writing at UCLA Extension, among other places.

It’s hard for me to say that I teach creative writing because I firmly believe
that talent cannot be taught. Either you can string two words together or you
can’t, and what I am able to do is either provide direction or try to foster
talent in a particular way. There are tools, certainly, that a writer needs, but
I don’t prescribe to the idea that everyone has a novel inside them, just like I
don’t believe everyone has a brain surgeon or a plumber or a lawyer inside

He also talks about some of his experiences as a teacher.

There are three things I try to suss out the first night:

1. Who is the crazy person (there’s always, always one).

2. Who is the person who will disagree with everything I say.

3. Who is the person who will be offended by my constant use of the word
"fuck" as a place holder for my thoughts, as in, "It’s hard to say whether or
not a first present tense story about a woman with an imaginary friend who
commits murders while the main character is asleep, but only kills the people
the main character dreams of, will sell. I mean, it’s like, fuck.  You know?"

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