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Creative Writing (ENG/LIT 3305) Print Page
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Suggested Books (NOT Required for Class)

Cover Art
The Elements of Style - Strunk and White
ISBN: 020530902X
"Buy it, study it, enjoy it. It's as timeless as a book can be in our age of volubility."
— The New York Times

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The Art of Fiction - John Gardner
ISBN: 0679734031
Publication Date: 1991-06-04
John Gardner was almost as famous as a teacher of creative writing as he was for his own works. In this practical, instructive handbook, based on the courses and seminars that he gave, he explains, simply and cogently, the principles and techniques of good writing. Gardner’s lessons, exemplified with detailed excerpts from classic works of literature, sweep across a complete range of topics—from the nature of aesthetics to the shape of a refined sentence.

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The Lie That Tells a Truth - John Dufresne
ISBN: 0393325814
Publication Date: 2004-08-17
Drawing upon the wisdom of literature's great craftsmen, Dufresne's lucid essays and diverse exercises initiate the reader into the tools, processes, and techniques of writing: inventing compelling characters, developing a voice, creating a sense of place, editing your own words. Where do great ideas come from? How do we recognize them? How can language capture them?

Cover Art
The 3 A. M. Epiphany - Brian Kiteley
ISBN: 1582973512
Publication Date: 2005-08-05
If you write, you know what it's like. Insight and creativity - the desire to push the boundaries of your writing - strike when you least expect it. And you're often in no position to act: in the shower, driving the kids to school...in the middle of the night.

The 3 A.M. Epiphany offers more than 200 intriguing writing exercises designed to help you think, write, and revise like never before - without having to wait for creative inspiration. Brian Kiteley, noted author and director of the University of Denver's creative writing program, has crafted and refined these exercises through 15 years of teaching experience.

“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” - Toni Morrison

 

Elizabeth's Favorite Rules

1. Rip off your heroes. Until you're fairly well-read and already writing capable fiction, it's absurd (and ego-maniacal, anti-intellectual, and doomed, if also entirely understandable) to worry about "developing your own voice" or, worse, "being original." All great jazz musicians went through a derivative stage; until you do that (as a writer, that is), you may luck out and be an idiot savant, but you have no hope of becoming a distinct talent.

2. Read every good book that's ever been written. Learn the tradition; respect the tradition. Eventually, overthrow the tradition. Remake the tradition. Emend the tradition. By God, become the tradition.

3. "Try again. Fail again. Fail better." — Samuel Beckett

4. Kill no characters, at least until you've written five finished stories.

5. Avoid freshman-comp topics (abortion, euthanasia, suicide, etc.) or disease-based movie-of-the-week ideas, at least until you've written five finished stories.

6.Stories that begin with a character waking up are likely to suck.

7. Avoid "flashbacks;" be wary of breaches in chronology. The reader needs exponentially less background info than you think. Strive to provide that info not via flashback but in the present of your story.

8.In any great story, everybody's right. At minimum, no one's one-dimensionally wrong.

9.Make your stories news. Fiction is only about trouble, the jagged line segment within what might be an otherwise straight line.

10. Learn to read like a writer.

 

Subject Guide

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Tiffany Reitz
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(352) 638-9707
treitz@beaconcollege.edu
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Opening Tips

Click on the document below to get some tips on the opening paragraphs of your story.

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