Let's Help Each Other Out!

This is a place for creative writing teachers to share idea to be come better teachers.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sitting in a Bar, Sharing Stories

I sometimes tell my  students that creative writing class is like sitting in a writer's bar swapping stories.

I tell them they can be the most interesting person at a party if they can tell good stories. I paraphrase Muriel Ruykerser that the world is not made of atoms. It is made of stories.

I tell them, during our class writer's bar story telling, that the story belongs to the teller, but you can ask them if they plan to use it, and if they don't, you can ask them if you can use it.

Swapping oral stories, getting ready to write stories on paper--there are lots of exercises for that, and of course they need to know that a good oral story may not make a good written story.

But oh how lovely for the class to discover each other's souls, to touch each other's humanity, and not get wrapped up, say, in debates about immigration.

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