Creative Writing 2
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CLASS GOAL: To write for a reader, to read like a writer

W Aug 16: Take the writing survey and share your responses. Write down your fall birthday (if applicable) on the calendar. Share your hopes and wants for this class. We will read on Wednesdays in this class. Have a book by then. Also, we will read Stephen King's book On Writing this semester, so get a copy.

R Aug 17: Go over the syllabus, which can be found on the Downloads page. Receive the syllabus agreement page. Get it signed and bring it back by Tuesday. Watch the Meet Mr. Stephenson PowerPoint and take notes on what you share in common with him.

F Aug 18: Go over the eclipse waiver for Monday. Read Etgar Karet's short story "Glittery Eyes" and pick out some writing moves to use in your own piece of writing on Monday.

M Aug 21 / Solar Eclipse Day: Choose at least one of the following elements from "Glittery Eyes" to write a piece: unnamed character, bratty character, young character, lots of dialogue, simple style, & symbol. Write for 7 minutes. Quickly read Tracy K. Smith's poem "Ash" and solve its riddle, taking note of how its rhymes are sometimes hidden. Watch the eclipse. Go over the student handbook slideshow.

T Aug 22: Turn in your student handbook agreement page. Last day to order On Writing through Mr. Stephenson. Play the Slash OTP card game. Find your favorite couple to write some slash fiction about on Thursday.

W Aug 23: Novel Day!

R Aug 24: Write some slash fiction about one of the couples from Tuesday. Go for 20 minutes.

F Aug 25: Write in response to the class goal (at top of page) for 4 minutes. Read and discuss the poem "What Do Women Want?" and write in response.

M Aug 28: Write in response to Simon Rich's short story "Unprotected." You could write from the perspective of an inanimate object. You could forgo articles and linking verbs. You could use dry / droll comedy. You could use dramatic and/or situational irony.

T Aug 29: Write in response to Anne Lamott's "Crappy First Drafts" essay. Opine about something. Rant about something. Share the inside scoop on a topic you know a lot about.

W Aug 30: Novel Day. Good writers are also good readers. Also, notebook check on your first four entries of the year.

R Aug 31: Write a story for the First Line contest that continues this story: "I'm tired of trying to see the good in people."

F Sept 1: Start work on the First Amendment essay contest.

M Sept 4: Labor Day!

T Sept 5: Finish your draft of an essay from Friday.

W Sept 6: Novel Day. During the last 5 minutes, reflect on what you read. What was your favorite part? The best sentence? Something you want to imitate? Write it down in your notebook along with your book title and author.

R Sept 7: Start a new packet of mentor texts. Read the three short pieces by Sherman Alexis, annotating and discussing each one. Decide what you will borrow and try in your own writing: flash memoir, conjunctions at start of sentences, mirror poem, prose sonnet, or titles: Sonnet with ______, After ________, OR Tattoo.

F Sept 8: Finish up your Alexie imitation. Read "Ropes" by Mary Oliver, noting its use of happy memoir topic, childlike tone, conjunctions at start of sentences, shift to different POV in last sentence, and an explicitly stated moral. Decide what you will borrow and try out in your writing.

M Sept 11: Write in response to "Ropes" from Friday. Begin the read-aloud of Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Read the three forewords and 1-8 of the C.V.

T Sept 12: Read "A Small Needful Fact" by Ross Gay and the Atlantic article about Eric Garner. Then read the NPR story about Tamir Rice and write an elegy for him.

W Sept 13: Revise and edit your elegy from yesterday. Read Clint Smith's "Playground Elegy." Novel Day.

R Sept 14: Read "Slide to Unlock" by Ed Park, noting its use of rambling thoughts, a tragic ending, an unclear / unfinished ending, second person point of view, and its heavy reliance on fragments. Respond with fiction, poetry, or memoir.

F Sept 15: Watch the video about 48 Names for Things You Didn't Know Had Names and choose a word to use as a title for a poem, story, or memoir piece or to feature in one.

M Sept 18: Read 9-17 of the C.V. from Stephen King's On Writing. Discuss your TV consumption and if it affects your writing. Read the Raymond Carver poem "Fear" and decide how you will respond tomorrow.

T Sept 19: Respond to Carver's "Fear." Read and discuss Elmore Leonard's rules for fiction. Decide which ones you agree and disagree with. Plan a piece of fiction in which you break or keep all of his rules.

W Sept 20: Novel day.

R Sept 21: Break (or follow) Elmore Leonard's rules for fiction in a fiction piece of your own. Read and annotate Aaron Bleyart's "How to Lose Weight in Four Simple Steps."

F Sept 22: Write in response to Bleyart's piece from yesterday, borrowing one of his elements like its deceptive structure, second person point of view, an unnamed character, reoccurring images, and a happy ending.

M Sept 25: Read 18-22 of Stephen King's On Writing, pausing to discuss along the way.

T Sept 26: Read "Cello" by Andrew Porter. [See Downloads page.]

W Sept 27: Novel Day.

R Sept 28: Write in response to "Cello."

F Sept 29: Write in response to Mary Oliver's "Wild Geese." Flip through your notebook and find which pieces you want to bring to final draft status.

M Oct 2: Read 23-30 of On Writing.

T Oct 3: Read Amy Krause Rosenthal's "You May Want to Marry my Husband" and discuss how you will respond. Begin typing some pieces into final drafts on the laptops.

W Oct 4: Time to type your pieces.

R Oct 5: Respond to AKR's "YMWtMmH" by using a collection of memories, a future-self letter, a final moment, a future wedding, etc. Have your 4 typed drafts printed off and bring them to class on Monday.

F Oct 6: Read "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and discuss its writing moves.

M Oct 9: Meet with your writing group to get feedback on your rough drafts.

T Oct 10: Finish up with your writing group.

W Oct 11: Listen to Mr. Stephenson's short story "The Apple of Her Eye." Read and discuss "Please Don't Get Murdered at School Today."

R Oct 12: Novel Day.

F Oct 13: Read aloud from Stephen King's On Writing.

M Oct 16: Begin Author's Chair.

T Oct 17: Continue Author's Chair.

W Oct 18: Continue Author's Chair.

Fall Break!

T Oct 24: Continue Author's Chair.

W Oct 25: Continue Author's Chair.

R Oct 26: Write a piece in response to a recipe. 

F Oct 27: Write a piece of satire. Somehow discuss cultural appropriation.

M Oct 30: Read from Stephen King's On Writing, Toolbox 1-3. Discuss vocabulary, grammar, and writing pet peeves.

T Oct 31 / Halloween: Listen to a read-aloud of Roald Dahl's "Lamb to the Slaughter" and write an ending for it after finishing page 3 of 4. Then listen to the rest of the story.

W Nov 1: Novel Day.

R Nov 2: Read Etgar Karet's short story "Creative Writing," noting its use of metafiction, casual surprises, and a hinted conflict. Respond by using one of those elements or by expanding / revising one of the four stories included in the story.

F Nov 3: Respond to "Creative Writing" from yesterday. Go for 15 minutes.

M Nov 6: Read and discuss Lorrie Moore's short story "Referential," noting its use of a double twist, unnamed characters, allusion, ambiguous ending, and pathetic fallacy.

T Nov 7: Write in response to "Referential." Read, discuss, and write in response to "Sticks" by George Saunders, noting its use of unnamed characters, flash fiction, character-driven, an objective yet sad ending, and a plot-filled final sentence.On Writing by Stephen King.

W Nov 8: Novel Day...because good writers are also good readers.

R Nov 9: Read On Writing by Stephen King.

F Nov 10: Write a pantoum.

M Nov 13: Read the Top 100 Movie Quotes. Choose one as an epigraph for a short story, poem, or memoir piece.

T Nov 14: Learn about different kinds of rhyme through the poem "Dothead." Write a poem in response with perfect and/or slant rhyme.

W Nov 15: Novel Day...because good writers are also good readers.

R Nov 16: Using Sherman Alexie's "Requiem for a Pay Phone" as inspiration, write a poem that plays with syllable count.

F Nov 17: Notebook Check. Developing a realistic character: (1) Describe him or her visually. (2) Describe him or her with all five senses. (3) Describe him or her performing a physical action in a unique way. (4) Write a scene where he or she faces one of his or her fears.