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


Here’s something that I wrote for a timed exercise in the Creative Writing: Finding Your Voice class that I’m taking this term. My wife liked it so much she thought I should post it on my site. So here it is.

Do you remember the first time that I asked you? To be mine? To be my one and only, my valentine? It wasn’t actually on Valentines Day, but sometime later in 2008. When our eyes met and my heart couldn’t escape. Nothing has changed in all the days since, other than that I love you more than I thought I could, I’m convinced. The days and nights flew by, filled with tenderness and passion, in ways that I had always hoped for, yet could have never imagined. Everything was new and felt like an adventure. Even places I had been to a thousand times offered new treasures. The colors were so vivid and ever so bright, even in the darkness there seemed to be light. Food never tasted so delicious or so scrumptious, were these just the responses of endorphins on our systems or something more auspicious? I had no idea of what was to come, that soon, before long our lives would become one. I am so happy and forever grateful that you are my love, companion and friend, all of which I hope will never end. You have brought so much to my life and I am so proud to call you my wife. Thank you, Valentine.