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Old 18th Aug 2005, 11:06   #1
Stewart
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Default Creative Writing Classes

Yes, that's right: Creative Writing and not Creative Wrighting.

Has anyone done at any point in their shady past a creative writing clas/course? If so, was it worth it?
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Old 18th Aug 2005, 12:19   #2
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I have never done one, but my untutored opinion is that:

o they cannot teach brilliance, which is what we desire in authors
o they may teach competence, which is useful, for avoiding Wrightesque blunders etc
o it's possible that they also encourage people with no aspiration to tap into their own talent.

My daughter gives Creative Writing courses in Bristol. Some are for people who want to write, but I gather that many courses she gives are therapeutic in nature, for hospital patients and prisoners.
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Old 18th Aug 2005, 12:21   #3
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It's just that I got the Adult Education brochure through from Glasgow University yesterday and, while I was considering doing another language, I thought that a creative writing course instead would benefit me more since it's not very often I'm going to head off to Spain or Russia.
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Old 18th Aug 2005, 12:25   #4
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I think that they can be useful if you are a good writer in the first place, and want to improve your writing methods - stuff like organisation and structure. It's hard for those who don't know any other writers to know how to go about things, so if you think there is worth in your writing, then go for it. But you have to have that love for books and language in the first place.
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Old 18th Aug 2005, 20:28   #5
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I did a creative writing course as a module in my undergrad course. I found it really helpful in terms of having some structure to help you spot pitfalls and get into the discipline of writing etc. I didn't always agree with my tutor but overall I thought it was a good thing to do and can really iron out those areas that sound good when you write but not when you read back. I think it's well worth doing. You don't have to adhere to everything you're taught but it's good to be shown how a subject can be described coherently and what things add pace and atmosphere to your writing.
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Old 19th Aug 2005, 1:52   #6
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Agreed. They can only help, if that's the way you want to go. I imagine they're a 'hints and tips' thing rather than a 'you will write a masterpiece' thing.

The Mrs, who is currently doing an OU course, has found out that they've just introduced a creative writing section into the Literature degree. She's taking it; firstly because she's always fancied that sort of thing, secondly, because it's surely to be a bit of a doss:-

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Summary

This course takes a student-centred approach to creative writing, offering a range of strategies to help you develop as a writer, and encouraging you to value your own resources of memory, observation and voice. The emphasis is highly practical, with exercises and activities designed to ignite and sustain the writing impulse. The course has a five-block structure. An introduction, The creative process, shows ways of harnessing the unconscious and building a daily discipline. This is followed by demonstration and practice of the three most popular forms – Writing fiction, Writing poetry, and Life writing, including biography and autobiography. The concluding block, Going public, aims to demystify the world of agents and publishers, teaching you how to revise and present your work to a professional standard.

Course content

This course is suitable for new writers as well as for those with some experience who would like to develop their skills. It will help you to identify your strengths and interests as a writer by giving you the opportunity to write in a wide range of genres: fiction, poetry, biography, autobiography and travel writing. The emphasis is on finding your own directions and styles through experiment, practice and constructive feedback. The course is suitable not only for aspiring writers, but for any students with a strong enquiring interest in reading and writing, who would like to deepen their understanding of writing techniques and the creative process.

The course is structured around five blocks. The introductory block, The Creative Process, focuses on how to become a writer by developing good writerly habits. It examines a range of strategies including clustering, morning pages and keeping a writer’s notebook, as well as statements from writers about their own approaches and practices. Block 2, Writing Fiction, introduces the main aspects of narrative including story structure and genre, showing and telling, character, point of view, and place and time. In Block 3, Writing Poetry, the role and function of poetry are discussed, demystifying the image of poets as romantic geniuses or as wilfully obscure. The main formal strategies and poetic devices are introduced, including lines, line breaks, enjambment, rhyme and half-rhyme, varieties of metre, stanzas and forms. Block 4, Life Writing, looks at biography, autobiography, travel writing and autobiographical fiction. Some of the central issues raised by life writing are discussed, including the nature of memory and forgetting, the performance of the self, and the representation of others. There are suggestions for finding subject matter, with an emphasis on the importance of childhood, early memory and symbols. The final block, Going Public, outlines the requirement for professional presentation of manuscripts. You will be encouraged to build up an understanding of audience and market.

At the core of the course is a workbook that takes you week-by-week through the five blocks. The emphasis is very much on practice through guided activities, supported by supplementary articles and literary examples including poems, prose extracts and complete stories to illustrate particular methods or strategies. Four audio-CDs contain interviews and discussions with writers talking about their own inspirations and methods, and with representatives of the publishing industry. Online tutor-group conferences enable discussion of your own work both by tutors and other students, in the manner of a writers’ workshop, and the electronic tuition is supported by two face-to-face day schools.
I wouldn't mind taking a look at it myself by the sounds of it.
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Old 19th Aug 2005, 11:06   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youjustmightlikeit
The Mrs
What, yjmli! Have you gone and got married without posting details of your proposal intentions and a picture of the ring on Palimpsest before your good lady wife got to see it??
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Old 19th Aug 2005, 13:22   #8
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lol

Well i'm sure i've made some allusions to it along the line. My recent return from Rome/Florence for example, which was my honeymoon, the flower girls on my Flickr site, the Rome pics on Flickr were from my visit earlier this year to check out some potential venues (we decided on London in the end).

The upshot of all that is that i'm currently wearing a very swish, new, platinum band, even though it is slightly big.
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Old 19th Aug 2005, 13:28   #9
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Well congratulations!

I won't tell your Palimp harem if you don't...
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Old 19th Aug 2005, 13:41   #10
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Yep, congratulatons. I went to Florence for one of my honeymoons, too!
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