Creative writing - Mike Sanders 2014

Creative writing - Mike Sanders 2014


You, the writer

Reading and writing

All writing is autobiographical

All writing is invented

Reading educates writers

“Doing” writing

The importance of journals

Making journal writing a habit

Compelling craft

Using the five senses

The power of abstractions

The function of generalizations

The importance of judgment

Dynamic details

A concrete core

Making it significant

Crucial judgments

Making it seem real

Speech, voice, and point of view

Energetic figures of speech

Making replacements with metonymy

Synecdoche substitutions

Giving life with personification

Comparing with metaphors

Comparing with similes

Convincing character voice

Employing mimicry

Finding similarities and differences with contrast

Understanding irony

Creating and using conflict

Influential point of view

I am the first person

You are the second person

We are the third person

Understanding and establishing distance

Character, setting, and types of stories

Magnetic characterization

Employing direct dialogue

Employing indirect dialogue

Understanding authorial interpretation

Writing stock characters

Potent setting

Constructing your story’s world

Through a camera’s lens

Establishing atmosphere

Writing setting as action

Identifying types of setting

Plot/story, struggle, and connections

The all-important journey

Protagonist versus antagonist

Connections between characters

Writing disconnections

Short-form genres

The masterful essay

Expository essays

Descriptive essays

Persuasive essays

The “New journalism”

The lifelike short story

Story versus plot

Scene and summary

Backstory and flashback

Patterning with prosody

Short and sweet flash fiction

Creating flash fiction

Choosing your topic

Reading other flash fiction writers

Getting your flash fiction published

The arresting poem

Free verse and formal verse

Imagery and metaphor

Density and intensity

Prosody, rhythm, and rhyme

The believable one-act play

Setting the set

The importance of action

Essential verbal sound

Equally essential nonverbal sound

Long-form genres

The realities of nonfiction and memoir

Emotion and event

The importance of research

Writing truth and fact

Making use of memory

What about authorial intrusion?

The longer story: The novel

Understanding novel story and plot

Knowing when to write scene versus summary

Employing backstory and flashback

Implementing prosodic features

The play and screenplay people want to watch

Establishing setting

Writing action

Writing dialogue for the stage

Creating nonverbal communication

Tips for screenwriters

The seamless book of poetry

Culling your existing poems

Identifying commonalities in verse

Identifying common images and metaphors

Tracing density and intensity

Commonalities in prosody, rhythm, and rhyme

The collective book of essays/stories

Commonalities in plot

Similarities in scenes and summaries

Common use of backstory and flashback

Commonalities in prosody

Drafting, researching, and editing

Drafting and structuring

Getting unstuck

Mining your journal

Letting go: Freewriting

Outlining your work

Assembling the pieces with quilting

Empowering research

Reading period material

The importance of taking notes

Pack your bags

Making the most of interviews

Revising and editing

Using your misgivings

Reading aloud or not at all

Word choice and language

Document length

Developing the underdeveloped

Getting published

Finding agents and publishers

Do your research

Making the most of query letters

Drafting a good synopsis

Dealing with rejection and staying persistent

Publishing your work

Submitting to publishers

More research

More cover letters

More rejection

Staying at it



Prose examples