Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Creative Writulating

I had a bit of a 'sode at work and volunteered to set up a creative writing group for staff at the council, where I work. Amusingly, it was made very clear to me that I am not qualified to teach anyone creative writing. I have no letters after my name. So I have a bunch of people who I can't actually teach, only sort of encourage a bit. Does anyone have any idea what I should actually do, apart from arrange a room, plus tea and biscuits? I'd be genuinely interested in people's views.

I've been kicking a few ideas around. I could ask people if they think there are only a few basic types of story, and what they are. After we've compiled a list I could suggest people write a story that doesn't fall into one of those categories.
I could ask them to write about what they did on their holidays.
I could do the old trick of saying 'tell a familiar story from a different perspective, i.e. Snow White from the Wicked Queen's viewpoint'.
These ideas seem a bit lame, to be honest. Can anyone help?


editor galaxy said...

In all of my creative writing courses, I do extensive imitations. We read work and then write as closely as we can in that style. This is easiest to do with poetry, but no less valuable with fiction. You can vary how strict you are about how closely the work is imitated. Ideally, this forces writers to read very closely, and examine choices a writer made. I usually tell students that this is how painters learn--copying the masters.

What's also good about this is that you can claim you're not teaching--the author being imitated is teaching.

valdemar squelch said...

Now that's what I call using the old noddle! Thanks, I will definitely give that a try. 'Imitate the action of a writer', as the Bard may have said.