Friday, January 8, 2010

Creative Writing 101

There is too much pepper on these eggrolls.  Nope, sorry there is just enough pepper on these eggrolls.  Off topic for a sec.  Never put a greasy plate on your bed.  You'll have to wash your sheets.  You don't want to do anything which disrupts the writing process.  Never fall in love with someone unless you want to write.  Period. 

Never fall in love with someone unless you can not explain why you are in love with this person.  That also makes for poor writing.  Never listen to Radiohead at night for the same reason.  Radiohead will compel you to write when you know you shouldn't.  Maybe you should make your readers uncomfortable.  That seems to be the goal of most contemporary artists.  [Don't forget how to type.]  Typing is a crucial still needed to be a writer.  [I am not a writer]  Sorry, you are.  What are you doing right now?  [Eating an eggroll.]   Always use punctuation and good grammar when writing creatively.  These elements are necessary to your reader.  They will not read your work unless they are convinced you have been classically trained.
ed. note:  I found this to be true for artists as well.  I found that while in art school the faculty would not take my art seriously unless they were sure I posessed a strong foundation in drawing and painting "realistically".  
Never admit you are totally lost.  This may seem devious of you as a writer, but you never want to admit (as much as it may be true) that you have no idea what you are doing or why you are doing it to your reader.  They will never understand.

Never become an alcoholic.  This one seems to be self-evident but you never know.  Becoming an alcoholic never seems to help in writing.  You may say things you'd never admit otherwise, but your reader will always know [probably from spelling errors and a sense of haste] so it is never worth the effort or money involved. 

Damn, now these eggrolls seem too salty.  Forget the pepper, never over-salt your eggrolls students.  Always stop to appreciate high notes sung by Thom Yorke.  Forget the rule about not listening to Radiohead because I'm obviously a bad teacher.  He may inspire you to over share which is what good writers do to win over audiences. 

Here is a paper that was handed in today which we will discuss in class tomorrow: 

Walking by what seemed to be you
Where is this wine that I drink if not by your desk?  The swivel chair that beckons me to enter.  The room which is painted in my color.  What mistakes have I made to have you unavailable?
Advice I got today:  there is an equal out there for you.  Life is lonely.  What is the point of looking when all I find is people who need my help?  I know of the one who is right.  Fuck this.  I guess I'll wait for the possibility.

Ok, as you are grading this interesting paper listen to a favorite record so your mind is at ease.  Try to be objective.  The writer is obviously in an agitated state.  Never, and I repeat NEVER listen to You Are All I Need while grading this paper.  It's a terrible idea because then you will get sucked into the students mood and that is never a good idea.  Objective.  Even if you really are in the middle of the picture lying in the reeds.  I swear, don't do it.  Ok.  There is some existential problem occurring with the writer.  'Find an equal' seems to mean that whoever the writer is finding is not up to snuff.  This could be a narcissism problem but we cannot be definitive about that.  Let's keep an open mind.  The writer seems to be stuck on someone who they feel is correct for them to live a life with.  And then the last line seems to indicate that this person realizes that it's only the possibility which keeps them stuck.  While this is a reasonable assumption, because a possibility of finding the right person indicates more of a truism than anything else, we have a contradiction in the poem. 

There is hostility, 'fuck this.'  We also have desperation.  Not usually a good sign, but creative writing is a free form of expression.  Never judge the writer students.  It's not your place. 

Never get depressed.  Never set your sights too high.  Never get stuck on one person or you'll end up like the writer who's paper we referenced above for educational purposes. 

1 comment:

William Keckler said...

This is creative writing.

And it's funny.

I am still waiting for writers to overshare.

I feel Anne Sexton was "holding something back."

A suicide is a lousy form of punctuation mark.