Ah, creative writing

So this week, I’m beginning seriously planning my WR 224 class for winter term. The fiction practicum last spring was quite helpful, but now I need to collate my papers and my thoughts and make a clear plan. There are so many ways I could teach this class.

For example, I could have conferences before they workshop their piece or I could have conferences afterwards; I could organize the students into two groups and have a different one bring an analysis to each class on a rotating schedule (group A on Tuesdays, group B on Thursdays) or I could have them all do analyses each time; I could just teach from the Burroway (Writing Fiction) or also add the Norton Seagull Reader: Stories; I could organize the different elements of fiction in a variety of ways (“Showing & Telling” before “Characterization” or vice versa) or just follow the chapter order in the Burroway.

What I need to do is read all of the stories that I think I’ll use and all the chapters in the Burroway. I used an earlier edition of the book in my undergrad fiction classes, so I’m familiar with what she has to say, but obviously, when teaching it, I will read it differently.

I’m glad I have winter break to finalize all of this. I know it will all be okay. I just have to dive in and believe that I’ll teach all the stories well. That’s the great fear, that I won’t know what to say about setting in Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” or characterization in an excerpt from Didion’s Democracy. It will all come together. I know more about teaching creative writing than I think I do, I think.

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One Comment

  1. Some comments: Do you get to make free copies? If so, I’d skip the non-Burroway book and just hand out individual stories. That’s what I did, and then they can read some regional stuff, which they love because they feel like that means maybe they can be famous and published, too.
    Also, re: Burroway: save a lot of time for plot. They don’t get it. Still.
    Another thing: make them answer directed questions about each story they read. This helps discussion in ridiculous ways. I didn’t start doing that until about 3/4 through the semester. I regret that.
    I miss your face.
    p.s. What are you writing these days?

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