If you are interested in exploring a creative writing project, consider working on a draft of a story for young adults or some other creative project. To get your creative juices flowing you will be ask to engage in a regular practice of “morning pages” (see below.) In addition, we recommend exploring a couple of these exercises that others have found helpful in developing creative writing projects:
- The Plagiarizing Exercise. Choose a story from our life to tell. Then take a piece of writing from an author with a very different writing style from yours and/or one you are inspired by, and use its grammatical, rhetorical and other characteristics as a model for your story. With time, telling the same short story using different authors’ excerpts to model can be very informative of the story your technique itself tells and ultimately help to develop our own style.
- Sherlock Holmes Exercise: Look in your own (or, after asking for permission, in a friend’s) bag/purse/big pockets and list everything your find. Then as if Sherlock imagine coming across this list and writing a character based solely upon the items. This can assist you in developing a story line or imagine the inner life of a character.
- Collaborative Exercise: Two people help each other explore possible stories together or work on creating and fleshing out a story together. First, one person drafts a plot line. The other person sketches out a character/ a few characters, describing their personality habits, possessions etc in detail. Having done these completely apart, the two authors then work on connecting plot and characters. This helps with examining the difference between plot and character driven stories and the game of balancing these. Additionally it allows each to be taken by surprise by their own story (by virtue of writing a characters reactions to an external plot, and visa versa) and so illustrates the idea of a character driven story where the characters themselves help the author direct the course of the plot.
You can find many additional interesting creative writing exercises online. One website worthwhile exploring is athttp://www.oneofus.co.uk/index.php/writing_tips/writing_exercises/. This page has also information about other aspects of writing such as viewpoint, tome and style, genres, as well as recommendations for editing and publishing.
We expect you to spend at least 1 ¾ hours per week on this experiential project beginning the week of March 18. You will spend three 15-minute sessions per week writing “morning pages” (as described by Cameron in the reading cited below.) The remaining hour will be spend directly on drafting your creative writing project.
- Develop a regular writing practice of writing “morning pages” (see Cameron’s Basic Tools) at least three times a week for 15 minutes. In each installment of the morning pages note ideas for your creative writing project. Note: the morning pages are for you alone.
- In your synthesizing blog on March 25 & April 8, include a paragraph reflecting on experience with the morning pages and your progress on your creative writing project. What parts of the process put you in touch with things that are meaningful to you? What does this tell you about your personal values and ultimate concerns?
Creative Writing Project
- Read description of the Creative Writing Experiential Project (see below.)
- On April 1, in your synthesizing blog, post a rough draft of your creative writing project and end your post with specific questions inviting your team mates to provide feedback.
- By April 17, complete your most polished draft.
- By April 17, post your most polished draft and a one page reflection on your experience with the writing process.
Aside from making progress on a creative writing project, the point of this project is to help sharpen your awareness of self and others and your reflective writing skills. You will be graded based on those criteria. We will not be evaluating you on the worth of your “product” e.g level of skill in your creative writing project. Instead, we will look for sincere engagement and honest effort as well as quality of reflective writing about your experience. In evaluating your experiential project we will look for evidence and quality of engagement w/ assignment:
- Regular practice of morning pages (3 per wk. 15 min per session)
- Weekly synthesizing post include reflection on experience and on progress on project
- Specific feedback to teammates’ synthesizing posts including probing, engaging questions
- Evidence of incorporating feedback from teammates
- Quality 1-page reflective essay – we are looking for depth and specificity of reflection and quality of writing.