Creative Writing Elective

Creative Writing Elective
Course goal for students:
to explore writing techniques in four genres of writing: poetry, fiction, and
creative nonfiction
Individual goals for students:
 to become risk takers
 to discover a writing voice and to experiment with a variety of tools to
express that voice
 to permit oneself to fail in thoughtful ways so that s/he can achieve honesty
in his/her writing
Structure of the Course
First section of the course:
 Unleashing the beast of creativity
 Overview of creative nonfiction
 Overview of fiction
 Overview of poetry
Please Note:
We will spend approximately four weeks on an overview of
each genre, during which you will experiment, explore, discover, critique, and take
risks in your writing.
Second section of the course:
You will choose one genre in which you will “major.” For example, you could
choose to spend the second section of this course (the final project) majoring in
poetry. During this time (roughly 3 weeks), you will write, revise, critique, revise,
write some more, revise, read professional examples, write, discuss, revise and
eventually publish your work.
A Creative Writer….
 is open and responsive to feedback/critique
 effectively utilizes literary elements (e.g.
imagery, similes, metaphors, symbols, sound
devices, etc.) in his/her writing
 demonstrates growth (This may include a growth in
your willingness to share work, accept feedback,
 writes every day, or nearly every day (This may
include maintaining your daily journal.)
 pursues revision avidly*
 takes risks**
*Pursues revision avidly
Growth as a writer evolves from the process of
Yes, you must write, rewrite, start over, write,
rewrite, starts over again, and so on, ad nauseam.
Revision is at the heart of becoming an accomplished
writer—accomplished writers will tell you this.
You may work and rework the same piece of short fiction
or poetry for weeks. That’s okay. I’m looking for
your growth as a writer, not the number of pieces you
produce. In other words, I want you to demonstrate
that you have truly thought about and played with the
words and ideas in each piece of writing.
**Takes risks
What does it mean to take risks?
I’m not going to ask you to take physical risks.
I’m not going to ask you to bare your soul in front of
a full class of your peers.
I am, however, going to challenge you to seek the
writing self who is buried underneath the selfconsciousness created by societal expectations,
personal prejudices, peer pressure, and all of the
other debris that blocks our creativity.
You may fail from taking risks. That, too, is okay.
In most cases, true success ultimately springs from
failure. So when you take the risk and fail, fail
flagrantly! Your eventual success will feel that much
more gratifying.