Spotlight: Creative Writing and Screen Writing

Classes are officially in full swing! Students have been hard at work learning, exploring and creating within their perspective disciplines. It is exciting to see them light up when they talk about what they are doing in their classes. It is clear that they are passionate about what they are learning.  

 Aida, Photography Student 

Aida, Photography Student 

Today, visual arts students enjoyed the beautiful weather and scenery and took class outside. As they were working, two Italian children came up to Kayli, visual arts student, and asked if they could draw in her sketchbook. Kayli allowed the two girls to draw and it was a beautiful way for them to get to know each other. Since Kayli doesn't speak Italian and the children do not speak English, they communicated through drawing. Kayli learned that the little girls have chickens that live in a chicken coop and a pool at their house. Kayli shared with the girls that she is an American student who loves art. 

 Kayli, Visual Arts Student

Kayli, Visual Arts Student

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John Warren, Screen Writing Faculty:

"Story, story, story...   Structure, structure, structure...  Why does Mr. Warren keep repeating himself?   What’s his problem?   Doesn’t he know it’s more fun, you know, just to kind of make stories up as you go along?  Also, frankly, does he really know what he’s talking about with all this ‘building the story, one protagonist, one objective’ stuff?  I’m not so sure.  Besides, this is starting to feel like work or, as Warren says, craft.  

Nevertheless, he might be right.  It kind of makes sense.  I mean, we are watching films.  That’s fun/interesting.  These films do have a protagonist with a flaw, an objective and all that other story stuff - believe it or not.  And we are going to write scripts for short films.  That could be good.  

This afternoon we pitch stories for the movies we want to write.  I dread that.  But, maybe, it might be fun.  I hope Mr. Warren’s not too big a pain about, you know, story, story, story, structure, structure, structure.  But he might be.  We’ll see!"

 Students in Screen Writing Class 

Students in Screen Writing Class 

 John Warren, Screen Writing Teacher 

John Warren, Screen Writing Teacher 

AJ Fitzgerald, Creative Writing Faculty: 

In the last two days we’ve started from very fundamental principles of language and storytelling. We read essays on the difference between representation and the thing being represented, on the nature of words, symbols and icons, and how these acquire meaning.

This morning we spoke about the realm of experience vs. the realm of storytelling: how some events and objects bring baggage with them when transferred into the world of fiction, while others leave a piece of their significance and meaning behind when stripped of their real-world contexts.

So far we’ve worked to illustrate these points with essays by Scott McCloud and Charles Baxter, stories by Aimee Bender and Tim O’Brien, as well as writing exercises both in and outside the classroom.

Starting Thursday we’ll dive more specifically into elements of fiction-writing: characterization, setting, time and story clocks, narration and framing. All the while students will be thinking toward their two main projects: a new original short story of their own, and a major revision of a previous work.

 Creative Writing Students Working Outside 

Creative Writing Students Working Outside 

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