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ENGL 2070 Beginning Creative Writing

Writer using typewriter

Catalog Description

A beginning creative writing course that introduces students to techniques of imaginative writing in fiction, poetry, and drama in a constructive workshop setting that includes analysis of published literary works. GE C1

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • identify basic terms and concepts of creative writing and apply that knowledge through reading and writing practice
  • understand the creative process
  • evaluate their own writing and that of others
  • work well as a member of a group, both giving and receiving constructive feedback
  • edit and revise their writing effectively by incorporating suggestions into successive drafts
  • demonstrate the above abilities in tests, quizzes and informal and formal writing assignments
  • cultivate a life-long enjoyment of writing and the creative process

Course Outline

  1. Getting Started: Journals, Freewriting, Brainstorming. Why Write? What Makes a Story/What Makes a Poem? (Taking the Plunge: beginnings)
  2. Nostalgia, Place, Desire, Memory (continued from above). Where stories and poems come from: Emotions and emotional intensity.
  3. Conflict and tension. Writing a "scene" in fiction or poetry.
  4. Who Was that Masked Man? Characters flat and round; stereotypes, creating unique and believable characters.
  5. Characters that make the story or poem. Reliable and unreliable; naive or jaded. Using characters in poetry.
  6. Who Said That?/or Speaking in Tongues. Point of view, Persona, Speaker, Voice. Writing convincing dialogue.
  7. This Doesn't Look Like Kansas to Me: Using setting, place, and description effectively.
  8. The Power of the Word: Figurative language (metaphor, simile, imagery). Denotation and connotation.
  9. Active, vivid language. Playing with words. Word etymology.
  10. The Writer's Eye and Ear/Eavesdropping. "The Habit of Seeing/the Habit of Hearing" Sentence variety, the sound of words and lines.
  11. "And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:" form, verse forms, stanzas, structure, prosody.
  12. The Building Blocks, a Review/Overview; Character. Setting, Point of View, Structure, Figurative Language, Plot, Theme. Rhyme and Meter, Symbol, Voice
  13. How's That Again? Pulling it All Together: vision, revision, editing.
  14. How do I know when my work is done?

About the Banner: John Heard plays Jack Keroauc famously composing On the Road on a continuous scroll of paper in the 1980 film Heart Beat. (Image from Madly Juicy (