I think you beat it into people's heads by saying "Have a short story finished by class next week. The first half of the class is going to be a workshop, groups of four, reading and critiquing each other's stuff. If you don't have your thing done, you're going to sit around doing nothing for those 30-45 minutes."
Do it every class. 30-45 minutes of workshop, 15 or so minutes of discussion on ideas that came up in the workshop, then teaching for the remainder, introducing new ideas that apply to the next assignment. Twice a week.
Possibly include a few assignments that are longer and require more planning, to get them to pace things out & make it difficult to just sit down & punch out a big piece the day before.
If they walk away with some discipline, good. If not, then that's on them. But the class is a framework & structure that can get a student started on that path. Quite frankly, I'd be a bit of an asshole about it and give them a heavy workload. The big idea is that you've got to write to be a writer.
Also I would be very interested in further Applied Language & Discourse info after you are done with your Pact writing time.
I mentioned the triangle.
Author at one point, text at another, audience at a third.
The 'text' isn't necessarily a story, for the record. These ideas persist in any communication, from talking to novels to webcomics to graffiti to stop signs to rambling comments on Webfictionguide. A big part of ALDS (Applied language & discourse studies) is about the different mediums & the blueprints (genres) they fit into.
What is an 'text', what makes it unique? What are the explicit & implicit rules? Starting every text message with Dear [friend's name] and ending with Sincerely, Wildbow... it's going to be odd. But there are also conventions about how often you send texts or the accepted length. Sending 300 texts before you get a reply gets you labeled psychotic. Apparently. Once you know what those rules are, you can toy with them, though. That's the value in this to a creative person. A one-sentence update to your web serial, for example. Throws the audience off, and allows for a certain impact.
In any case, author, audience & text. Each of those three points has a relationship to the others. Studying English (and many creative writing classes), you generally focus on the text-audience relationship. What is the story saying to you. What can you read into it? If you've taken an English class, you generally know what's involved in this.
But the author also has a relationship to the text. A big part of this is the process of writing the work. For a long time, the focus was always on the product. Most schools now still focus on it. You take a spelling test, and you get graded on the end result. Were you right or were you wrong? Writing was taught as basically, "You sit down and punch out an essay in one try. You get graded on how few mistakes you make."
This later transitioned to a process approach. What's the writer thinking? What are they doing? What habits are they establishing, why are they struggling? Writing drafts gained ground and then became a bigger part of what it means to write and be a writer.
And after that, extending their attention outward another step, they started considering what the contextual & environmental factors were. Where are you writing? What's the writer's background? How does that influence the end product?
So it's something like:
Product: The students write & submit essays. They get a grade from A to F with errors marked & noted.
Process: The students write & submit, get feedback on submissions, repeat until they submit the end result. Grade.
Socio-contextual: Focus on classroom, learning environment, previous experiences, teaching style.
Each of these areas are important, and it's very easy to slip into the product approach mindset when teaching writing (or language, etc), because it's reinforced so much in our early education. Again and again, I see writers struggling because they're focused on that end product and not paying attention to why their stuff is turning out kind of shitty. My own experience was along those lines. It was only after the ALDS classes on these very subjects that I started analyzing my writing process & started paying attention to the points where I was getting tripped up. I realized I was getting bogged down in editing the early stuff & not building forward momentum, and I started looking for a way to fix that. In the end, I started a serial because the scheduled updates would give me that momentum. I changed the context I was writing in, I fixed the inherent flaw in my writing process, I learned a hell of a lot of other lessons, and here I am, just about at the point where I can write for a living.
The third relationship on the triangle is a more abstract one. The writer's relationship to the audience. You ever have that moment where you talk into an answering machine & you stumble over your words and sound like a lamebrain? It's because one-sided communication is brutal. We're not wired for it. Writing when you don't have a construct of your intended audience in mind is hard for the same reason. You're talking into a void. As a result, even when we're writing, we tend to engage in a constant unconscious communication with the audience. Said audience may not exist yet, but be an imaginary 'what if I had an audience, what would they like?' sort of question. What are they interested in? What's going to appeal? What do they want to know? What do they already know? Can I create dissonance between any of those points to create tension? On a bigger scale, you have stuff like tropes and genre & expectations that are going to shape the work.
When we talk to someone, we're constantly reading and giving cues. We signify a level of interest, we change up what we're putting out there based on whether they look like they want to say something or not. In *writing*, we do the same thing. Typos aren't a part of the text-audience relationship so much as the author-audience relationship, and the attitude towards them is going to differ from circumstance to circumstance. How much is the author writing? How reliably? The author is talking about issue X, and he's mentioned a, b, c, d, f, and g subtopics, but he's left out 'e' and 'h'. Why? These absences are called textual silences, and may indicate a weakness in an argument or certain priorities on the author's part.
I really like web serials because they involve the audience along the way, and you can manage that author-audience relationship more. I learned a lot and I learned faster because I had the benefit of this.
I've made writing a big thing for me, and I think about all of these things constantly. A lot of it has become second nature, but it's all stuff worth keeping in mind. I basically just covered the essential topics, but do ask if there's something that interests you in the midst of that, and I can expand on the thought.
Tying back to the main topic. Throwing ideas out there, based on what I said above:
* Product exercise (stream of consciousness?)
* Process exercise(doing multiple drafts with critiques & feedback; major assignment?)
* Socio-cultural exercise (not sure? Writing outside your comfort zone? Collaborative writing?)
* Talking about audience. Target audience, author-audience cues.
* Talking about failure. About traps & pitfalls in the writing process. Over-worldbuilding, over-editing, aborted stories.
* Talking about writing approaches. Architect vs. Gardener styles.