Creative Writing I

OSH 399 / Non Credit
Course taught in: English
Locations: TBD
Instructor: Jeannie DeQuine

Course Description

The class covers fiction and non-fiction. The basic classroom format will be two parts: for the first half, we will discuss writing, and students will write to prompts that I give. A goal is to create a safe atmosphere for the students to critique others' work in a helpful, constructive manner. The second half of the class will be a workshop in which a few student pieces are critiqued each week. Articles on writing, as well as exemplary pieces, will be emailed for students. Short handouts will be emailed to writers before class.

Week 1 Introduction -Why Write? Discussion about the process of writing - general aspects of capturing the written word. We will write to short prompts from your instructor and learn how to critique our own and others' work in last hour of the class.
Week 2 The Workshop Process - How to Do It and Why. How to break through writer's block. The nature of creativity re the writing process. How to edit your work. How to critique a piece of work by a published author or fellow writer. Last half of class includes discussion of previously emailed work by two to three students.
Week 3 Character - Who Is This Person, Anyway? How to describe a character or person from your life or imagination. Using a list, students will construct people to use in their pieces, assisted by writing prompts. Writing workshop of students' pieces.
Week 4 Plot - The Heart of the Story. Whether fiction or memoir narrative, stories must have an arc, or direction. We discuss the origin of plot using Joseph Campbell's Jungian idea of myth and story arcs. Not sure what all that means? You can learn simple formulas with writing prompts. Pieces will be "workshopped."
Week 5 Setting, Tone and Dialog "Here's Looking at You, Kid!" Writers will be prompted to develop settings, using the five senses. How to write natural dialog (it's not as easy as it sounds!). Story critiques last half of class.
Week 6 Editing and Publishing - Where and How Can I Sell My Opus? Tone and other aspects of writing that interest the class will be discussed. Writing prompts will be used. Critique process for last hour of class.

Ms. Jeannie DeQuine has taught English as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, as well as other colleges and universities. She has over 25 years of experience as a journalist for Time, Newsweek and People magazines. She has two graduate degrees in writing from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and Florida International University.

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