1. mail3diplo
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    mail3diplo Member

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    Creative Writing at School

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by mail3diplo, Feb 23, 2013.

    I was just curious if anyone has any experience with creative writing classes in high school. I wasn't expecting much from it, because the teacher who runs it isn't the greatest English teacher in the world (I had her for english class). However, I thought it would give me the chance to do something I enjoy, so I still signed up for it.

    So, anyone have any experience with creative writing classes at school? I'm sure it would depend largely on the teacher and school, but I'm just curious what you guys have to say about it.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I took one in college, so my experience is going to be a bit different from yours. The teacher certainly is important, but I would say that it depends a lot more on the other students because a lot of time is spent critiquing other students' work and getting critiqued in return. If I remember correctly, I got 9 critiques of my work from 9 different people. Out of the 9, I felt that only 2 students knew what they were talking about when it came to giving critiques. A lot of people take these kinds of classes because they think it's an easy grade, so keep that in mind.

    The school only matters for MFA programs. I haven't come across any prestigious undergraduate or high school programs in creative writing (nor do I expect to). You may be better off looking into local critique groups.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I took one in college, Writing and Experience, with Peter Elbow as an instructor. Despite his reputation, the class was very loosely run. There was no real push for the students to develop their writing or critique skills, or to even participate actively. No guidance was given in either area, no real challenges offered. My fellow students were, like me, in it mostly to fulfill an easy Humanities requirement. It was a pass/fail freshman course at a well-known engineering school.

    It was worse than useless. Any interest I had in writing at the time was comatose for years to follow.
     
  4. midnight candle
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    midnight candle Member

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    i've done two creative writing courses at uni level (UK) and found them very helpful. it does depend on your tutor to a degree and also the other students who are critiquiing your work. you get out of it what you put into it. but i have also learned just as much from online writing forums as well.
     
  5. BitPoet
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    BitPoet Member

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    I haven't done a true creative writing course, but the literature semester I took at uni ended as one after we had all criticised the two mandatory texts and the prof found that we still were unusually interested (that's how he put it) for an elective. I didn't learn much new there in regards to writing, but I met a few like-minded people, and that alone made taking the class worth it. There's probably no easier way to get to know other writers-to-be in the area.
     
  6. Miranda Louise
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    I took a creative writing course through Simon Fraser University. I really enjoyed it, but that was the only thing I got out of it...unfortunately. I felt that the course was rushed, and although it touched on different types of poetry and short stories it never went into depth. There were assignments to complete in a given time, and people in the class critiqued each other, but the only thing I actually got out of it was the enjoyment of reading and interacting with people that enjoy writing as much as I do. I could achieve that same enjoyment on this forum and not be under pressure to fulfill an assignment. Although if it is a credit you need, then I would say it is a good way to do it. Just don't go in expecting too much, and you will have fun and not be disappointed. That is unless you have a better instructor than I did. Good luck in whatever you decide to do ...but above all just keep writing...
    :)
     
  7. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I took one in school and hated it. It likely had something to do with the teacher rather than the course itself: she encouraged purple prose; believed all character names should match their personality; and didn't encourage the critiquing others have mentioned. I learned more about writing from literature and language classes.

    In college, my literature teacher told me she was not teaching a creative writing module as part of the course (even though it was an option) because she doesn't think it is possible to teach creativity. I completely agree with her.
     
  8. midnight candle
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    midnight candle Member

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    i understand what you're saying about teaching creativity, but somehow it seems wrong. be creative and write your story, poem, etc., but without the technical side it will be creative but not much good. what creative writing courses should teach (as mine did) is the analytical side, which is the most time spent after the creative phase is finished. creativity can also be taught in learning different ways of writing or in different genres. courses should open up new avenues and new ways of doing things so that it unlocks creativity. so while i agree that creativity may be present in each person, it's full potential may only be kick-started by writing courses. just my thoughts.
     
  9. BitPoet
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    BitPoet Member

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    That is one believe I totally disagree with. While creativity itself is an inherent trait, the way we talk about it we mean the application of creativity. And that can be taught. We develop it differently depending on our upbringing and circumstances in life, but just like we learn to apply new solutions to new fields that come up in our jobs, we can also learn to develop different thinking patterns when it comes to making up things for stories. It happens every day at work, and and being able to help others to be creative and come up with new, brilliant solutions is a major part of making work a satisfying thing for me.
     
  10. midnight candle
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    midnight candle Member

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    totally agree bitpoet
     

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