Introduction to Creative Writing
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updated 3-23-05
Mon., 3-21
Discuss Hemingway, "Hills Like White Elephants"; Paley, "A Conversation with My Father"
Writing for next time:  Dialogue (one page)
Wed., 3-23 Discuss Ch. 10 (pp. 213-221), along with Sagstetter's "The Thing with Willie" (pp. 253-261)  and Joyce's "The Boarding House" (pp. 262-267);  in-class writing of first paragraphs:  sample first sentences here.
Writing due Friday noon:  2 opening paragraphs (about 200 words each): one in summary, the other scene.

Mon., 3-28 Workshop on dialogues/opening paragraphs.   Discuss:  O'Brien, "The Things They Carried" (in 40 Short Stories)
Wed., 3-30 Workshop on opening paragraphs.  Discuss : Joyce's "Araby" (in 40 Short Stories) and Mansfield's, "The Lady's Maid"
Due Friday noon:  Using Katherine Mansfield's "The Lady's Maid" for your model, write a dramatic monologue in which the speaker tries to justify something he or she has done that is dishonest or shameful. Remember, in a dramatic monologue, you do not record the listener's speech, but you should convey a sense of who that listener might be. (about 500 words)

Mon., 4-4 Workshop on monologues.  Discuss: Baldwin, "Sonny's Blues" (in 40 Short Stories)
Wed., 4-6 Workshop (continued).  Discuss:  Carver, "Cathedral"  (in 40 Short Stories)

Due Friday noon:  Short Story (1000 words):   A first-person narrative in the manner of "Sonny's Blues" (or "A & P," "Araby," "Cathedral").  Your first-person narrator should be different from you in some significant way (age, gender, or background, for example).  The story should involve an epiphany. Action should be subtle (no overt violence, no characters killed off). 

Mon., 4-11 Story workshop.  Discussion leaders: click here.  For guidelines for leading discussion, click here.
Wed., 4-13 Story workshop.  

Mon., 4-18 Workshop concluded (if necessary).  Discuss Chapter 11, "Creative Nonfiction" and Jones, " The First Day";  Earley, "Just Married"
Wed., 4-20 Discuss:  Tham, "Chinese Medicine" (pp. 275-281) and Ellison, "Battle Royal" (in 40 Short Stories)
Due:  Exercise on family history, p. 250

Mon., 4-25 Workshop on family history
Discussion leaders:  click here.
Wed., 4-27 Open Workshop

Mon., 5-2 Summing up

Friday, May 6:  Hand in portfolios in my office by 5:00.  Portfolios will include:
     1) A substantially rewritten version of your story or creative nonfiction exercise (2000 words, in either case) or a collection of poems that exhibit control of the techniques we studied in class (they may include revisions).
     2) All writing assignments done for the class, arranged in chronological order, earliest on top.  If you've done revisions, attach them to the original copies.
     3)  Your journal entries, arranged chronologically, earliest on top.  Note:  the final entry should be a reflection on what you've learned about writing in the course.
     4)  A self-addressed 10 X 13 envelope so that I can return your portfolio to you.  Include adequate postage if you want the portfolio mailed to your home address.