Creative Writing for Readers

For this week’s Dream English Course, we’re looking at a potential Creative Writing course. For this one, I decided to make it very broad, but in the future I may create more specific sub-categories. Creative Writing the Novel? Creative Writing the Play? The possibilities are endless.

Creative Writing for Readers

Unit I: Fiction (4 weeks)

Texts: The Stranger by Albert Camus, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Assignment: Write a short essay which chooses a literary tool that either Camus, Morrison, or Ishiguro uses and analyzes what effect that tool has on the novel.

Unit II: Fictiony Nonfiction and Nonfictiony Fiction (5 weeks)

Texts: The Glass Castle  by Jeanette Walls, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Lost in Translation by Eva Hoffman

Assignment: Write a longer piece of either fiction, nonfiction, or something in between, using at least three of the tools from any author we’ve read so far. Also write a companion essay explaining which tools you used, why, and what effect you hope to achieve with them.

Unit III: So Poetic (2 weeks)

Texts: A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan, The Collected Poems by Langston Hughes

Assignment: Write a short essay tracking one literary device throughout all four authors, discussing how they use it and what effect it has.

Unit IV: Short Stories (3 weeks)

Texts: Dubliners by James Joyce, Selected Stories by O Henry, The Complete Tales of Edgar Allen Poe by Edgar Allen Poe, The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker

Assignment: Write longer collection of short stories and/or poems. For at least one of them, analyze which techniques you used and why.

Unit V: So Dramatic (4 weeks)

Texts: A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, Endgame by Samuel Beckett, The Odd Couple by Neil Simon, The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman

Assignment: Write one act of a play, plus a short explanation of your process and some of the craft decisions you made.

Questions for every text: What literary tools is the author using, and what is their effect? What is the text’s structure? How does the author’s style differ from the other authors? How do different authors utilize the same tools differently? What is the theme, and is the author successful in conveying it?

Additional Assignment: For every unit, there has to be a daily writing journal which explores the current topic in some way or another.




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