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How Creative is Creative Writing?

I have said before that I am back in school as an adult. There are good and bad things that go along with this. Good things? I am more organized and have a better attention span than my younger classmates. The bad? I’m normally not that much younger than my professors (ugh!) and well…isn’t that bad enough?
I am taking my first official creative writing class. Unfortunately, I feel very stunted and very uninspired in this class. Take the first short story that I turned in yesterday. I turned in a good story, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t the story I wanted. The story I wanted I wasn’t allowed to turn in because the backdrop of the story was Greek Mythology. It had to be realistic fiction. I found this out on Tuesday. Annoying. I am quite aggravated, and I don’t know if this is just growing pains of the writing process (i.e. is it unrealistic to think that I can’t write what I want to, or should I be taking from this the lesson that at some point  someone may be paying me to write what they want instead of what I want?)
I don’t know. It’s difficult right now to figure out that balance between my craft and my job.
Any of you writers out there – thoughts? I would love your feedback.


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2 thoughts on “How Creative is Creative Writing?

  1. I plan on taking a creative writing course next semester. I’ve never taken a writing class before, I mostly just read and learn styles from the internet. Then when I’m brave, I throw it out there on Fiction Press.

    I have a job, and I don’t write nearly enough. But this year I really want to win at NaNoWriMo. My problem isn’t so much writing, but having to many ideas and not enough time to write. I generally end writing about four to ten page stories and then not having the motivation to make it into more chapters. Alas.

    Realistic fiction? If the Greek Pantheon is your back drop go for it. It’s just the back drop after all. And those Gods, those lives that inhabit myths, were very real to someone once. If someone asks to write realistic fiction, ask them what’s real. Or start your story with a sentence like: “It could have been a dream with the way things worked out, but if you had been there like {character’s name} had, you would have sworn it was all too horrifyingly real.”

    Your paying for class. Beat them at their own game!!! While it’s true that at some point you’ll be asked something you don’t like, you can still make it work. I have certainly fulfilled requests that I would never have done normally before. They still came out okay. It is what is. You just got to start somewhere.

    Write on!


  2. Short story? Hmmm… When I think about realistic fiction, Amy Tan’s “Two Tickets” or Ernest Hemingway’s “The Hills Are Like White Elephants” come to mind. I found both of these stories inspirational and challenging in many ways – very different topics but the use of setting (and the play on words in the title) to communicate important life changing events was very well done.

    Sometimes you will be forced to work in a box which is pretty uncomfortable, but you will get your opportunity to work within your favorite genre at some point – whether it is mythical or gothic or fantasy. I hope you’ll be able to find the “fun” in all writing opportunities!


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