My Course Description
Even though this course was listed as a short fiction writing class, it was actually a nonfiction writing class. Still a lot of the same things from the official description transfer over. For instance, we spent a lot of time developing elements of craft, most of which are the same or similar to those mentioned in the official description. By the end of the semester, we wrote three works of nonfiction in various styles including narrative, braided, flash, and hybrid essays. Some specific things that I learned from this class were how to make the best word choices to match the tone, how to collaborate effectively during workshop groups, and how to integrate weird and specific details that make a real story feel more real. My biggest takeaway though was learning to feel comfortable opening up about my life through my writing, which is something that greatly improved my writing skills overall.
Official Course Description
“This course provides students the opportunity to practice writing literary short fiction. Through attention to the elements of craft in this creative form and a range of prompts, students learn to develop their appreciation for the short story genre and explore new possibilities for expression. Short fiction assignments will follow prompts to create shorter and longer works that will focus on elements of craft including, dialogue, character development, plot, and flashbacking. Attention to word choice, avoiding cliché, and developing strong characters will be practiced within the genre of short literary fiction. Students work toward creating and revising two original short stories that, together, reveal an emergent creative voice. This course is a program elective for the English major and minor, the Writing minor, and the Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities major. This course also meets the Creative Arts Experience requirement in the Core Curriculum.”
These three documents show my progression as a creative nonfiction writer and also demonstrates my ability to weave three different narrative strands together. The main strand is my experience with anxiety, supported by a strand which tells of a dream I had about an ethereal orca and another that imagines the thoughts and emotions of a captured orca. This was the most difficult writing assignment for this class in terms of formatting. In fact, in my first draft, I color coded each strand so I’d have a clearer picture of how they connected. When I revised it the first time, I removed that coloring and opted for italics, indentation, and asterisks to separate each story. By my final draft, I had fully set that formatting and was only left with polishing the writing itself.