Learning About Creative Writing and Creative Nonfiction in the Writing Class

Last Updated: 22 Mar 2023
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So far, in this class, I have learned a lot about creative writing, especially with what I consider to be one of my least favorite things ever, poetry. Starting from the very beginning of the semester, we went over the elements of poetry: imagery and description; rhythm and musicality; figurative language; lines & stanzas; and voice, style, and tone. I already knew what all of these things were separate from one another, but the connection as poetry elements has never been relevant in my life and so it was a connection that was not made.

As most of the elements are self-explanatory, we only went into depth with figurative language by pointing out its three major functions. The first is to heighten and deepen the meaning of a piece through associations and it focuses on connotation versus denotation. Second, there is the purpose of creating a mood or atmosphere for the piece; this would be the overall tone of the poem. Finally, figurative language is meant to allow the poet to present the ordinary in an extraordinary way and vice versa. An important thing to remember when using figurative language is to avoid clichés. If something is too cliché, it is losing all of its meaning.

Now we can move on to Creative Nonfiction. This is a genre that I was more familiar with in comparison to poetry, but I still learned a lot. The elements of craft were very similar to that of poetry, the only changes being the addition of authority/ethos, scene, research, and commentary and the structure change from lines & stanzas. One thing that really stands out for all of the umbrella genres is that a lot of the elements cross over and can be applied in different ways. CNF is defined as writing that seeks to tell a true story in a compelling way, using the techniques of a fiction writer and/or poet. In this unit, we worked on writing outside of ourselves, writing about place and family, and writing a lyrical essay. We also learned about the different forms that CNF can take through the concept of borrowed forms.

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Now, we have moved onto fiction and I am the most experienced with this genre, so I anticipate enjoying it quite a bit. So far, we have gone over the elements of fiction. There are a lot more elements to fiction than poetry and CNF: conflict, a narrative arc, dialogue, verisimilitude, setting, descriptions, and characters. The narrative arc is a very important element that ensures that you piece is interest and not just a static, boring scenario. We have also discussed what separates literary fiction from genre fiction. Literary fiction has a narrative arc, more realism, and ambiguity with its endings. Unlike genre fiction, literary fiction values innovation with conflict, character building, etc. over genre tropes.

Based on the work that I have done so far, I would say that my strengths in both poetry and CNF lies in my ability to write a concise piece where all of the elements fit together as a whole. Also, in a piece that requires research, I am quite thorough with said research and overall, my images and description are great. A major weakness of mine in poetry is that I don't really like poetry and I also don't find myself “emotional” enough to write it or care about writing it. I wouldn't really say that I need to improve in that because there is nothing that says that I have to write poetry ever again in my life; I'm planning to leave it behind once I graduate.

With CNF, a big weakness of mine is the way I order things. I tend to write things in a very chronological order and then just leave it at that. I could definitely improve my going through the piece a couple of times and reordering things to see how they work. That way, my pieces won't seem so stiff. I am also not a very nostalgic or materialistic person, so I don't really have many experiences to write about when writing about things that pertain to me. I'm not sure how I could fix that though because that's just who I am.

When writing fiction, I definitely think that all of my strengths will transfer over and I'm going to work at making sure the weaknesses don't. I do think that writing fiction will be easier for me though because with fiction, I don't have to worry about things being totally true or realistic and I don't have to put any of my own emotions and experiences into it. Fiction allows for a lot of freedom and I look forward to writing it.

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Learning About Creative Writing and Creative Nonfiction in the Writing Class. (2023, Mar 22). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/learning-about-creative-writing-and-creative-nonfiction-in-the-writing-class/

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