Intro to Creative Writing

Poetry is just the evidence of life.  If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.         
~Leonard Cohen

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.
~Mark Strand, “Eating Poetry,” Reasons for Moving, 1968

Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.
~ Mark Twain

Fiction was invented the day Jonas arrived home and told his wife that he was three days late because he had been swallowed by a whale.
~ Gabrielle Garcia Marquez

Imagination and fiction make up more than three quarters of our real life.  
~ Simone Weil

Course Description

This course is designed to give you an opportunity to explore and improve your creative writing skills and help you develop a deeper understanding of the role that creative writing plays in understanding ourselves and the world around us. As we move into a culture that places more and more emphasis on the mass of data available at our fingertips, it is more important than ever that we learn to critically assess and translate that stream of information  into the rich language of knowledge. The creative writing process is one of our best resources for such a critical analysis.

Course Goals

This course is designed to help you discover, uncover, respond to and evaluate your abilities as a writer. We will study many forms of the creative writing process, including: invention, using images, metaphor and simile, developing voice, character, setting and more. The course is designed to give you the hands-on practical experience and preparation for moving into your genre of expertise.

  • To think critically about the various creative writing genres
  • To develop the basic elements and skills in multiple genre areas
  • To develop a working understanding of creative writing in a variety of genres (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction)
  • To develop a working portfolio of polished work for initial submission for publication

Course Outcomes

  • To sharpen creative writing skills in three genres (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction)
  • To enhance awareness of the importance of purpose, audience, and tone in writing
  • To become acquainted with the various levels of print and online professional resources
  • To refine editing/writing skills through varied sentence construction and appropriate word choice
  • To gain self-confidence in various creative writing modes
  • To develop an understanding of the value of the computer as an aid in composing, particularly the use of word processor, spell check and electronic thesaurus
  • To introduce basic research and documentation skills