posted about how she flunked Creative Writing twice, once in high school and once in college. And papersky
mentioned that she also did badly in her Creative Writing classes.
I think they ought to track down their Creative Writing teachers, wave their collective awards and book contracts at he teachers, and gloat shamelessly, but they both have too much class for that. Well, papersky
has too much class for that, anyway.
Anyway, I was thinking about MY creative writing classes in high school, and how badly they let me down. See, my classes were good
. And I did well in them. And they taught me useful things.
Clearly, that's why I'm not a professional writer.
I'm really embarrassed that I can't remember my creative writing teacher's name right now -- I remember her face and her personality perfectly well, and her name will come to me some time after I hit post. Hell, I remember her lessons. And use them. She was really, really good, and loved what she did. I do remember my other favorite English teacher's name: Arthur Foisy, who, I just discovered upon going to my high school's website, is now a house dean.
The Creative Writing class was offered to seniors, and was split fifty-fifty between students who were honors-track and looking for an interesting elective-type class, and seniors who had flunked English at least once and needed to pass an extra English class to graduate. You needed to pass four years of English to get your diploma. Most folks did this by taking the normal four years of English, but, if you flunked one, or, for that matter, wanted to graduate in three years instead of four, you needed to double up. Your two main choices for doubling up were Creative Writing and Journalism.
This split helped both the CW and the Journalism classes immensely. Frankly, there weren't that many classes where honors/AP students and folks who flunked English WOULD learn together, and the dichotomy helped.
If I write essays competently, it's her fault. Hers and Mr. Foisy's, really.
Lucile Burt -- that's her name.
They both love literature and poetry -- reading it and creating it -- although Mr. Foisy preferred reading and criticism, and Ms. Burt preferred creating it.
But, see, they believed that EVERYONE could write and create, and probably should. And you didn't have to write and create for publication
. I mean, you COULD publish, and that was fantastic if you did. But even if you never had any intention to publish anything, you'd still benefit from learning how to put a story, an essay, and a poem together, and from learning how to take them apart again.
I never had any intention to publish anything. Still don't.
Lis, for that matter, majored
in Creative Writing in college, and did well at it. And earned an "A" in her high school class.
And, after college, she didn't write a word of fiction for ten years. Now she's started writing fanfic, but, again, she has no intention of going pro.
So, clearly -- if you want to be a successful professional author, you have to flunk Creative Writing.