Creative Writing: Finding Your Voice

This class was a bit more challenging than I thought it would be at the outset. There were lots of exercises to do (often there was something due every day of the week) and the instructor could be a bit demanding and particular in what he thought should be happening in the assignments. Which I thought was odd given that this was such a subjective topic, creative writing.

All in all, it was a very good course and the instructor, while particular and a bit strict, was always super prompt with feedback and responses to any questions I had, and was willing to hear my point of view. Overall I think he just wanted to provide value and insight to everyone in the class.

Here’s what we went over during the twelve weeks.

Week 1 – “Sense-Bound Writing—’What’ Writing”, Jun 27 – Jul 1
Introduction, Meet and Greet, Getting Close to Your Senses, Exercise 1.1: Staying Close to Your Senses, Exercise 1.2: Electric Fence, Exercise 1.3: 8-Ball, Exercise 1.4: Using All of Your Senses, Exercise 1.5: Corner Store, Exercise 1.06: Subway, Exercise 1.7: Sharpening the Way You See the World, Exercise 1.8: Jack Knife, Exercise 1.9: High Heels, Exercise 1.10: Keeping Your Writing Eyes Open, Exercise 1.11: Valentine, Exercise 1.12: Cowboy Hat, Discussion 1.1: Writing from the Senses, Assignment 1: Sense-Bound Writing, Recap

Week 2 – “Writing from Person—’Who’ Writing”, Jul 2nd – Jul 8th
Introduction, Point of View, Third-Person Narrative, First-Person Narrative, First-Person Narrative Example, Direct Address, Direct Address Example, Second-Person Narrative, Second-Person Narrative Example, Third-Person Pronouns, Choosing Point of View, Giving Feedback, Exercise 2.1: Who. Writing from the Outside: Third-Person Narrative, Exercise 2.2: Parish Priest, Exercise 2.3: Rock Climber, Exercise 2.4: Who. Writing from the Inside: First-Person Narrative, Exercise 2.5: Parish Priest, Exercise 2.6: Rock Climber, Exercise 2.7. Who. Writing from the Outside: Second-Person Narrative, Exercise 2.8: Grandmother Tending Her Garden, Exercise 2.9: Eight-Year-Old Boy at the Playground, Exercise 2.10: Writing from the Inside: Direct Address, Exercise 2.11: Taxi Driver, Exercise 2.12: Hotel Operator, Discussion 2.1: Writing from Person, Assignment 2: Writing from Person, Recap

Week 3 – “Writing from Time—’When’ Writing”, Jul 9th – Jul 15th
Introduction, Writing from Time, Creating a Context, Examples, Giving Feedback, Exercise 3.1: Writing in Past Tense, Exercise 3.2: Last of Winter, Exercise 3.3: Summer Vacation, Exercise 3.4: Writing Past Tense to Present Tense, Exercise 3.5: First Day of School, Exercise 3.6: 6 a.m., Exercise 3.7: Writing Present Tense to Future Tense, Exercise 3.8: Retirement, Exercise 3.9: Morning Coffee, Exercise 3.10: Writing in All Three Tenses, Exercise 3.11: Spring Break, Exercise 3.12: Midnight, Discussion 3.1: Writing from Time, Assignment 3: Writing from Time, Recap

Week 4 – “Writing from Place—’Where’ Writing”, Jul 16th – Jul 22nd
Introduction, “Where” Writing, Locating Characters in Space and Time, Sentence Types, Giving Feedback, Exercise 4.1: Combining Point of View, Sense, and Place, Exercise 4.2: Swimming Hole, Exercise 4.3: Fourth-Floor Walk-Up, Exercise 4.4: Combining Third-Person Narrative, Moving from Past to Present Tense, and Place, Exercise 4.5: High-School Gym, Exercise 4.6: Grocery Aisle, Exercise 4.7: Combining Second-Person Narrative, Moving from Present to Future Tense, Senses, and Place, Exercise 4.8: Back Seat, Exercise 4.9: Candy Shop, Exercise 4.10: Combining Direct Address, Moving through Tenses, Senses, and Place, Exercise 4.11: Airport, Exercise 4.12: Dress Shop, Discussion 4.1: Writing from Place, Assignment 4: Writing from Place, Recap

Week 5 – “Metaphor—Adjectives and Nouns”, Jul 23rd – Jul 29th
Introduction, Making Metaphors, Ideas, Types of Metaphor: Expressed Identity, Qualifying Metaphor and Verbal Metaphor, Giving Feedback, Day 2: Adjective/Noun Collisions, Exercise 5.1: Adjective/Noun Collisions, Exercise 5.2: Adjective/Noun Collisions, Exercise 5.3: Working from Adjectives to Nouns, Exercise 5.4: Working from Nouns to Adjective, Discussion 5.1: Metaphor—Adjectives and Nouns, Assignment 5: Metaphor—Adjectives and Nouns, Recap

Week 6 – “Metaphor—Nouns and Verbs”, Jul 30th – Aug 5th
Introduction, Working with Nouns and Verbs, Giving Feedback, Day 2: Noun/Verb Collisions, Exercise 6.1: Noun/Verb Collisions, Exercise 6.2: Noun/Verb Collisions, Exercise 6.3: Working from Nouns to Verbs, Exercise 6.4: Working from Verbs to Nouns, Discussion 6.1: Metaphor—Nouns and Verbs, Assignment 6: Metaphor—Nouns and Verbs, Recap

Week 7 – “Metaphor—Expressed Identity”, Aug 6th – Aug 12th
Introduction, Working with Nouns, Working with Expressed Identity, Giving Feedback, Exercise 7.1: Noun/Noun Collisions, Exercise 7.2: Noun/Noun Collisions, Exercise 7.3: Creating Noun/Noun Collisions, Exercise 7.4: Creating Noun/Noun Exercises, Discussion 7.1: Metaphor—Expressed Identity, Assignment 7: Metaphor—Expressed Identity, Recap

Week 8 – “Metaphor—Linking Qualities”, Aug 13th – Aug 19th
Introduction, Words in Families and Keys, The Relationships Between Ideas, and Target Ideas, Giving Feedback, Exercise 8.1: Linking Qualities and Target Ideas, Exercise 8.2: Linking Qualities and Target Ideas, Exercise 8.3: Linking Qualities and Target Ideas, Exercise 8.4: Linking Qualities and Target Ideas, Discussion 8.1: Metaphor—Linking Qualities, Assignment 8: Metaphor—Linking Qualities, Recap

Week 9 – “Finding Linking Qualities”, Aug 20th – Aug 26th
Introduction, Determining Essential and Linking Qualities, Giving Feedback, Exercise 9.1: Finding Linking Qualities and Target Ideas, Exercise 9.2: Linking Qualities and Target Ideas, Exercise 9.3: Linking Qualities and Target Ideas, Exercise 9.4: Linking Qualities and Target Ideas, Discussion 9.1: Finding Linking Qualities, Assignment 9: Finding Linking Qualities, Recap

Week 10 – “Working Both Directions”, Aug 27th – Sep 2nd
Introduction, Reversing Metaphor Direction, Exploring Through the Lens of the Target Idea, Another Sample Prompt, Giving Feedback, Exercise 10.1: Working Both Directions with a Target Idea, Exercise 10.2: Working Both Directions, Exercise 10.3: Exploring Through the Lens of the Target Idea, Exercise 10.4: Working Both Directions on a Target Idea, Discussion 10.1: Working Both Directions, Assignment 10: Working Both Directions, Recap

Week 11 – “Continuing to Work Both Directions”, Sep 3rd – Sep 9th
Introduction, Reversing Direction through Linking Qualities, Giving Feedback, Exercise 11.1: Exploring a Prompt Through the Lens of Your Target Idea and Vice Versa, Exercise 11.2: Exploring a Prompt Through the Lens of Your Target Idea and Vice Versa, Exercise 11.3: Exploring a Prompt Through the Lens of Your Target Idea and Vice Versa, Exercise 11.4: Exploring a Prompt Through the Lens of Your Target Idea and Vice Versa, Discussion 11.1: Continuing to Work Both Directions, Assignment 11: Continuing to Work Both Directions, Recap

Week 12 – “The Grand Finale”, Sep 10th – Sep 16th
Introduction, Preparing for your Final Project, Discussion 12.1: Final Project, Final Project: Sharing Your Voice, Recap

Here is what I put together for my final project. We had the option to write an essay or a song based on the prompt of “Earthquake”. I opted to write a song. Photo by Shefali Lincoln on Unsplash