Saturday, March 03, 2007

Re: Creative Writing Courses

Dana's comment on "Living under the Open Sky" about how Author didn't know anything about the drugs he/she was writing about reminded me of this.

Here at Michigan, there are three creative writing classes that contain fiction writing: 223 (intro, also has poetry), 323, and 423. It's probably worth noting that both 323 and 423 require portfolio submissions, and usually around 25 people apply for 15 spots. English 325 (essay writing) is a class that requires students to write nonfiction essays, often about themselves. What I'm about to say applies to all of these courses.

It's been my experience that the bulk of works that come out of creative writing courses fall into these categories:

1) Stories about sex (it's EDGY!!!)
2) Stories about drugs or other dark things (EDGY!!!)
3) Stories that are just retellings of events that happened to the author in real life. Common subject: unrequited love.
4) A story about something that happened to the student while studying abroad. Often combines some or all of 1-3 above.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what kind of creative writing stories come out of those classes because I have stayed away from the English department, but I have noticed on here that in general there is a lot written about making the transition to college. It always makes me think that I would hate being a prof having to read the same thing over and over again.

9:52 AM  
Blogger AHFB said...

^also true^

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Allie said...

Don't forget the self-promoting Mary Sue. Nothing is better for inducing nausea!

11:50 AM  
Blogger Frogstar said...

I think you're forgetting the RC creative writing classes... But then again, maybe I'm remembering the RC wrong.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous dana khan said...

I swear, when I'm scouting for you, 40% of the papers I read involve death in the family. Often terrible but hard to make fun of.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*the papers are often terrible, but hard to make fun of

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget that throwing "fuck" and other swear words into your paper also makes it "edgy."

6:28 PM  

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