Doing Creative Writing

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Are you beginning a creative writing course? Or thinking about taking one?

Doing Creative Writing is the ideal guide to what you should expect, what will be expected of you and how you can get the most from your course.

It clearly and concisely outlines:

  • the contexts for creative writing courses, explaining where the subject has come from and why that matters
  • the content, structure and delivery of the courses, helping you to understand how your course will be shaped, what you will be asked to do and why
  • the skills you will develop, from self-discipline and time management through to the organization of ideas, 'reading as a writer' and editing
  • possibilities beyond the course, showing how you continue to benefit from what you've learned.

Drawing on years of teaching and writing experience, as well as interviews with a wide range of students, Steve May provides all the background, advice and encouragement you need to embark on a creative writing course with complete confidence and to get maximum benefit from every writing session.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415402385
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/24/2007
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve May is Head of the Department of Creative Studies at Bath Spa University. He has won awards for fiction, drama, and poetry. Radio credits include FACING THE MIRROR, CHESS WARS and ARTHUR, all broadcast in 2004. His latest novel, One Chance, was also published in that year.

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Table of Contents

Foreword   Stephanie Vanderslice     xi
Acknowledgements     xiii
General introduction     1
Who is this book for?     1
How will you benefit from it?     2
What's in this book     3
The context
Creative writing: can it be taught?     7
Practice makes perfect - or does it?     8
Pressing the brake to go faster     10
Craft and mystery     15
Summary     17
Creative writing: why take a university course?     19
A course is a course, isn't it? What makes a degree course different     20
Process and product: authors, dead or alive     22
Writer, reader and reality     25
Summary     30
Creative writing now     31
Creative writing - where to find it     31
The history of creative writing - what's it to you?     33
Creative writing within other subjects     35
The growth of creative writing - how it affects your course     36
Who's teaching creative writing, and why?     38
Who's doing creative writing, and why?     44
Summary     46
Studying creative writing
How courses are organised and how you will learn     49
Choices, units and contact time     49
How are creative writing courses taught?     50
Lectures, tutorials and virtual learning environments     51
Seminars and workshops     53
Get-to-know-you and guidelines     54
Training and the real event     54
Games and exercises within the workshop     55
Something you prepared earlier     57
Dealing with feedback     59
Giving good feedback     61
How much do I have to tell them?     64
Progression     66
Summary     66
Assessment     69
It's subjective, isn't it?     69
Assessment in the writing industries     70
Assessment criteria     71
Non-creative assessment items     76
Other assessment methods     80
Assessment, feedback and monitoring     81
Attendance     82
Final word     84
Summary     84
Writers' habits, writers' skills
Developing your own working habits     87
Tough to do at home...     87
Where to write     88
When to write     89
Word counts: the false gods      91
Writing isn't just writing     92
Reading as a writer     94
Exemplary books on a similar topic     95
Factual books     95
Books with a style or a voice     96
Books as market research     96
A note on plagiarism     98
Organising yourself     99
Summary     101
Writing and editing     103
How do you write?     103
The necessity of editing     104
Levels of editing: how to edit, and when     105
Too Much for Normous     107
The naming of files     109
Task avoidance     110
Word counts again     112
Presentation and layout: make your work a pleasure to read     113
Summary     115
Conclusion: beyond the course     117
Had enough?     117
The academic route: further study     118
Writing     120
Journalism     120
Books     122
Scriptwriting     123
Poetry     123
Writing-related careers     124
And finally...     124
Case studies: James Joyce and other writers      125
Further reading     137
Index     151
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