Category Archives: Graduate Writing Programs

Chapter 5 – Sentence Power

In my Sentence Power class, I experienced a lot of negative feelings. Isn’t that a cold way to put it! They made me feel like shit, okay? There were only a few fiction writers in the class and the rest … Continue reading

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Writing is Hell?

Paris Review has tweeted this interview with Styron – take a look. What draws me to this link today is that he talks about how he doesn’t really value writing classes. Guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder. … Continue reading

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Chapter 4 – Keeping My Ego Intact

So how did I keep my ego intact? It didn’t seem like it was that hard at the time. I was pretty humbled by realizing how well I could write if I worked enough on my craft. Seeing my own … Continue reading

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Chapter 4 -7 Don’t You Love My Writing?

My ego was feeling rather puny at this point, which I expected and didn’t expect all at the same time. I knew there were an infinite number of things I didn’t know about writing when I applied to the program. … Continue reading

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Chapter 4-6 Breaking the Rules

My basic writing skills needed some tweaking here and there; my teacher’s comments made me work on issues such as varying sentence length, rounding out paragraphs, and when to use commas. An amazing number of people in my writing courses … Continue reading

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Chapter 4-5 Letting Go

My Fiction Techniques teacher liked to give us a beginning line to start our speed writing exercises instead of starting with a character. My favorite one was “The light turned red.”  I wrote a fair amount of scenarios starting with … Continue reading

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Chapter 4-4 – Creating Characters

Most people that I know start their stories with a character. The other students in my class were no different but from what they said in our class discussions, many of them based their characters on people they knew. I … Continue reading

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Chapter 4 -3 What If?

.I hadn’t started out using my class notebooks as journals. When we were discussing a particular technique in class, I often realized that I could use that particular technique to solve a problem I’d been having in my writing. Or … Continue reading

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Chapter 4-2 Writing on Demand

The kind of exercises my teacher used in class required us to write something, anything, based on a word, phrase, or idea that she’d given us. We also wrote short assignments outside of class that focused on specific literary techniques … Continue reading

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Chapter 4 – Fiction Techniques

My other core class, Fiction Techniques, was designed to get everyone thinking about how they could use imagery, metaphor, description, point-of-view, and the like, in their stories. Our teacher was a photocopy fiend. She had endless examples of extraordinary feats … Continue reading

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