Creative Writing : Four Genres in Brief

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-12-17
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
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How can students with widely varied levels of literary experience learn to write poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama over the course of only one semester? InCreative Writing: Four Genres in Brief, David Starkey offers some solutions to the challenges of teaching the introductory creative writing course: (1) concise, accessible instruction in literary basics; (2)shortmodels of literature to analyze, admire and emulate; (3) inventive and imaginative assignments that inspire and motivate.

Author Biography

David Starkey is Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Santa Barbara City College.  He is the editor of two collections of creative writing pedagogy, Teaching Writing Creatively (1998) and Genre by Example: Writing What We Teach (2001), and he has been active in all four genres.  His poetry collections include Adventures of the Minor Poet (2007), Ways of Being Dead: New and Selected Poems (2006), and Fear of Everything (2000).  His fiction has appeared in American Literary Review, Rio Grande Review, Sou’wester and in the anthology Blue Cathedral: Contemporary Fiction for the New Millennium.  His creative nonfiction has been published in Cimarron Review, Gulf Stream Magazine, Tampa Review, and in the book Living Blue in the Red States (2007), which he edited.  His plays have been produced in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis, Toronto, and elsewhere.

Table of Contents

Preface: A few words to instructorsp. vii
A few things you should know about creative writingp. 1
Writing Poetryp. 9
A few things you should know about poetryp. 9
The elements of poetryp. 15
The short poem: three modelsp. 16
My Personal Recollections of Not Being Asked to the Promp. 17
Winterp. 18
9/11p. 19
Lines and stanzasp. 20
Meter and rhythmp. 27
The music of poetryp. 34
Images, symbols, and figurative languagep. 38
Diction, syntax, and the language of poetryp. 46
Poetic formsp. 50
Sonnetp. 50
Villanellep. 51
Rondeaup. 54
Sestinap. 55
Cinquainp. 58
Pantoump. 59
Ghazalp. 60
Prose poemp. 61
Getting started writing poetryp. 63
Kick-Starts: Beginning your poemsp. 64
An Anthology of Short Poemsp. 67
Postcards to Columbusp. 67
Zen Americanap. 68
Bellsp. 68
Frequently Unasked Questionsp. 69
The Ballad of Rudolph Reedp. 70
Poem for the Young White Man Who Asked Me How I, an Intelligent, Well-Read Person, Could Believe in the War between Racesp. 72
Brute Strengthp. 74
Nostalgiap. 74
A Quiet Poemp. 76
Praise the Tortilla, Praise the Menudo, Praise the Chorizop. 77
Noisetonep. 78
Santa Fep. 78
On Being Told I Don't Speak like a Black Personp. 79
That Silent Eveningp. 81
Boy Sleepingp. 82
Lunch in Nablus City Parkp. 83
I Went into the Maverick Barp. 85
What Is Your Major?p. 86
The English Canonp. 87
The Ways of Guiltp. 87
Teaching the Ape to Write Poemsp. 89
My Mother Dreams Another Countryp. 89
The Assassination of John Lennon as Depicted by the Madame Tussaud Wax Museum, Niagara Falls, Ontario, 1987p. 90
Writing the Short-Short Storyp. 92
A few things you should know about the short-short storyp. 92
The elements of fictionp. 94
The short-short story: three modelsp. 95
Crossing the River Zbruczp. 97
The Babyp. 99
Marzipanp. 101
Structure and designp. 102
Creating charactersp. 110
Writing dialoguep. 118
Setting the scenep. 123
Deciding on point of view, developing tone and stylep. 127
First-person point of viewp. 128
Second-person point of viewp. 129
Third-person limited point of viewp. 130
Third-person omniscient point of viewp. 131
Tensep. 132
Tone and stylep. 132
Getting started writing the short-short storyp. 135
Kick-Starts: Beginning your storyp. 136
An Anthology of Short-Short Storiesp. 139
The Hit Manp. 139
A Kind of Flyingp. 142
Popular Mechanicsp. 145
Reunionp. 146
Bottle Capsp. 148
Near Michaelmasp. 149
Church Cancels Cowp. 151
Girlp. 152
Wolf's Head Lakep. 153
The Old Badger Gamep. 155
Dominate and Recessid Jeansp. 157
Writing Short Creative Nonfictionp. 160
A few things you should know about short creative nonfictionp. 160
The elements of creative nonfictionp. 164
Short creative nonfiction: three modelsp. 165
News of the Wildp. 166
Joyas Voladorasp. 169
Liferowerp. 172
Organizing creative nonfictionp. 175
Telling the truthp. 180
Creative nonfiction as narrativep. 185
Characterp. 185
Dialoguep. 187
Scene-settingp. 187
The poetry of creative nonfictionp. 190
Imagery and figurative languagep. 190
Dictionp. 191
Sound and rhythmp. 192
Writing yourself into creative nonfictionp. 194
Ethics and edictsp. 197
Getting started writing short creative nonfictionp. 201
Kick-Starts: Beginning your creative nonfictionp. 202
An Anthology of Short Creative Nonfictionp. 206
The Mute Sensep. 206
Walkawaysp. 207
Westbury Courtp. 209
How to Tell One Bird from the Nextp. 212
El Toro Rojop. 214
Two Ways to Belong in Americap. 215
The Witching Hourp. 218
Late July, 4:40 a.m.p. 220
Elegy for an Optimistp. 222
Morning Glory Harleyp. 224
Writing the Ten-Minute Playp. 228
A few things you should know about the ten-minute playp. 228
The elements of playwritingp. 233
The ten-minute play: three modelsp. 234
Sure Thingp. 235
Trying to Find Chinatownp. 243
The Divine Fallacyp. 250
Structuring the ten-minute playp. 256
Creating believable charactersp. 261
Writing convincing dialoguep. 266
Crafting a themep. 274
Onstage: The elements of productionp. 279
Stagep. 279
Setsp. 281
Props, constumes, and effectsp. 282
Lightsp. 284
Soundsp. 285
Actorsp. 285
Directorsp. 287
Producersp. 288
Audiencep. 289
Getting started writing the ten-minute playp. 291
Kick-Starts: Beginning your playp. 291
Playscript Format: A Modelp. 293
An Anthology of Ten-Minute Playsp. 300
Trash Anthemp. 300
Now We're Really Getting Somewherep. 305
Tango Deltap. 311
If Susan Smith Could Talkp. 318
A few words of farewellp. 325
Glossaryp. 327
Indexp. 337
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