Creative Writing

Reading! Writing! Thinking
critically! That’s why we’re here–to explore different ways to read and write
creatively. This course will cover both fiction and nonfiction writing, with a
focus on the boundaries of/intersections between different genres. We will
study elements of fiction–plot, character, setting, point of view, description,
etc.–and develop a working vocabulary with which to discuss various works
(including student works produced during the course). As we explore different
authors, we will look at how their stories are constructed, and will begin to
address the issue of style. We will also read a variety of autobiographical and
nonfiction works, deconstruct them, and compare their narrative elements to
earlier pieces. In this way, using close textual analysis as our jumping-off
point, we will discuss how “best” to tell a story.

Students will write several shorter
papers, including freewrites, reaction papers, story proposals, and
assigned-topic exercises; there will also be a midterm and a final, each in two
parts (in-class exam and take-home paper). We will spend some time addressing
the dreaded–and oft-overused excuse of–“writer’s block.” Class discussion
will be crucial, and students will be expected to provide critical analyses. The
writing process will be strenuously reinforced: read, write, revise, revise,
revise some more–and learn when to let go.