We studied writing fiction, poetry, and drama, and had to write assignments for all three. Being forced to do all three presented a challenge for everyone since very few, if any, actually practiced all three on their own before taking the class. I'm walking away with a new appreciation for poetry, although I'll probably write very little of it. All writing projects were peer reviewed in groups of 4 that the teacher assigned each week - that alone was great. The small groups forced a lot of feedback that may not have been generated if it were in front of the whole class. Obviously the students were a lot more at ease reading their works in the smaller groups. But the assigned groups each week kept it fresh. Every now and then there would be some overlapping, but it was usually new people every time.
-Write a story about an event from your childhood then write the story again from another person's perspective. This was fun to do. The second perspective was usually the more entertaining to hear.
-Write a story where the main character has to deal with something shocking. The assignment wasn't as good to write as it was fun to hear other classmates' idea of "something shocking."
There's the assignment I wrote about on the previous page that I absolutely loved...
-Take a previously written story and revise/rewrite it using each of the following techniques - Change the ending, Add a character, and Change the genre. That was an absolute blast. I enjoyed all three rewrites, but the genre change was a ton of fun.
-Write a scene where two characters argue about something without ever directly mentioning the topic of argument. Enjoyed this but there were a lot of duds.
-Write a scene with a positive-negative-positive beat structure. Interesting to see how extreme people would get with the positive-negative shifts.
-Choose an image from one of your short stories and extend it, moving in closer with your camera, and slowing time down, so that you expand this single moment into twenty lines of poetry. (yeah, I actually copied those instructions word for word there) Enjoyed this because it forced me to find details that I hadn't initially thought or written about, but put them in when I revised it (after writing this poem).
-Write poems using the following forms - Pantoum, Ghazal, Sestina, & Villanelle. This is what gave me the appreciation for poetry. These were hard as hell for me. Such specificity... every word literally counts. It was also fun hearing who struggled with what forms in our groups.
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