Creative Writing 11/29

The following students need to enter their Walgreens projects by clicking this link

A1 Students (who turned in a parent consent form)

  • Jaila Thomas
  • Tony Jarrett
  • Olivia Turner
  • Nick Bates
  • Tyson Johnson
  • Sydney Hollins-Lewis
  • Heather Williford
  • Christian Scarber
  • Lauryn Jason
  • Isobel Ramsey
  • Dontae Madison
  • Tatyana Murphy
  • Bobbi Sanders
  • Evie Boyer-Heagle
  • Nailah Imani
  • Jordan Siemens
  • Crystal Woods
  • Vanessa Leone
  • Khari LeeSlater

A7 Students (who turned in a parent consent form)

  • Matthew Shabazz
  • Alex Hopson
  • Shaniah Fitts
  • Domenyque Clay
  • Molly Kerry
  • Micah Mosley
  • Indiya Monroe

To submit to the contest…

  1. Check your e-mail and download the PDF version of your project and the PDF version of your parent consent form
  2. Login at this link and enter your e-mail and password –> Click “Forgot Password” if you don’t remember what you set your password
  3. Upload your files and complete the application

Then take notes for 50 Class Work Points on “insight” in writing:

  • We’re focusing on the principle of insight because whether you’re writing from your life or fiction, you want to key in on insights into the human condition in your one-act play
  • You don’t need to write everything word-for word but you need to capture all the information in your own words

Ways to Be Wise #1: Images


  • Go back to the basic strategy: images.
  • In art, wisdom is always anchored in the sensory world.
  • The most powerful way to cue the sensory world in your reader is to provide “moving pictures” that will play out in the reader’s mind.

Ways to Be Wise #2: Questions


  • When writers pretend to have all the answers, readers often keep the work at arm’s length.
  • Practice letting your work pose small pointed questions, so the reader remains engaged, active, and alive right along with you.

Ways to Be Wise #2: Questions

  • Instead of recording your feelings in your journal, get in the habit of keeping a writer’s notebook in which you ask questions:
  • What is it like when you realize you have been operating under limiting stereotypes?
  • Why do we drive too fast, drink too much?
  • Why do we keep dating the same wrong person?
  • Why is doing the wrong thing sometimes pleasurable?

Ways to Be Wise #2: Questions

  • Good questions are usually not the first ones you think of.
  • Use listing as your technique – before, during, and after writing – in order to generate insight bearing questions.
  • Wise questions often come in clusters.

Ways to Be Wise #2: Questions

  • Creative writers achieve wisdom by…wondering about the things everyone else glides right past:
  • Why do people talk too softly?
  • Why do people talk too closely?
  • Why do people have all these little quirks and habits?

Ways to Be Wise #2: Questions

  • Take 3 minutes and make a list of as many tiny questions as you can think of.

Ways to Be Wise #3: Lists


  • Lists of questions, lists of wants, lists of fears, lists of tiny details, lists of gestures, dialogue, images – anything that forces you to stay focused on a single subject for longer is going to build wisdom muscle.

Ways to Be Wise #3: Lists

  • Pick a topic and spend 3 minutes making a list:
  • List of wants
  • List of fears
  • List of tiny details about your day
  • List of gestures
  • Lists of things people say today

Ways to Be Wise #4: Reversals


  • Weak writing is predictable. Weak thinking is thinking that is stuck, familiar, cliché. A terrific strategy for adding a shot of wisdom to your writing is to be purposefully and boldly counterintuitive. Try this: Reverse yourself. Take what you wrote, and say the opposite.

Ways to Be Wise #4: Reversals

I struggle to say
How I feel each morning
When you awake next to me


I don’t struggle to say
What I didn’t feel last night
When I slept away from myself

Ways to Be Wise #4: Reversals

  • Write three to five lines of poetry about your day today.
  • Then reverse it – saying the opposite — and see how it changes.

Ways to Be Wise #4: Reversals

  • Choose five lines of dialogue from your autobiographical one act and rewrite them.
  • Then reverse the dialogue – saying the opposite – and see how it changes.

Applying these principles of insight, work on your 10 minute play for the rest of the class period. 


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