This is the second assignment of my Creative Writing Class

Creative writing can take various forms: from fact to fiction, from poetry to documentary, from brief to epic, from simple to complex.  When it comes to creative writing the sky seems to be the limit.  Even something as potentially dull and straightforward as a user manual or a cook book can be written creatively.  However, the forms of creative writing that probably come to mind for most people right off the bat are poetry, fiction and plays (or screenplays).

Poetry, to me, is the epitome of creativity: to describe an idea with such beauty and thoughtfulness that you reach the reader in their heart, not just in their mind.  It is the heart poured out on paper, and can be extremely personal and yet speak to an idea or an audience so much larger than oneself.

Fiction is an escape from the daily grind.  It comes in many forms, but the underlying idea is that it is a story created in the author’s imagination, and not real.  What I love about fiction is that it stretches my imagination and broadens my perspective without the pain of going through all the experiences described in the story.  It is also the form of creative writing I most fear to try for myself because I don’t think I’ve got what it takes to write an interesting plot.

Plays are another form of fiction acted out on a stage or on a film set for an audience.  They tell a story, using sight and sound to transport the audience into a different world. With a play, the experience is a shared one, different from the usually solitary and individual experience of reading a novel.  Even if a movie is viewed by oneself, the visual and auditory stimuli are the same for all viewers.

To be honest, I’d never thought about work like newspaper articles, history textbooks and documentaries as creative writing.  But of course all of these tell stories too, they just tend to be true stories – as true as a story can get when told from the perspective of the writer.  As they say, history is written by the victor; the loser might consider the victor’s version of the story to be fiction.

The form of creative writing I am most comfortable with is the personal essay.  I enjoy writing for my blog because I’m not constrained by much.  I can write what I want without having to do much research or fact-checking, because I’m writing about my own experience and ideas. I can reach my audience in creative ways, but it doesn’t feel as daunting as coming up with an interesting story line or a deep poetic idea.

On the Kindle:Losing Clementine by Ashley Ream

Our most recent Book Club choice was written by the close friend of one of our club members.  She’s even mentioned in the Thank You page. The story is one of a depressed artist who is making plans for her own death, wanting her suicide to be as clean and tidy as possible for those who will have to deal with the aftermath.  While this might sound like a morbid theme for a novel, it is written with great humour and sensitivity. Clementine’s character development is fascinating, as is the exploration of her relationships.  Clementine is irreverent and considerate, creative and yet barely capable of taking care of herself, impulsive and methodical, solitary and loved by more people than she realizes.

I highly recommend this book, and I look forward to reading more from Ashley Ream.

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