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ETAS-SIG Day 2008 Franz Andres Morrissey Uni Bern
ETAS SIG-Day 2008 © FAM Why Creative Writing? It taps into/brings out your creativity. It allows you to (re-)learn to play with language. It is a highly flexible activity, timewise. It allows “slow language practice”. It reintroduces a somewhat neglected skill in an intriguing and potentially exciting way.
ETAS SIG-Day 2008 © FAM Whacky Similes for the Bits Box shows the playful element in creative writing explores the nature of similes and, in the wider sense, of imagery creates unexpected sense and nonsense may give you a starting point for a text 1.Handing the slips of paper around in a circle, fill in all the elements needed on the left 2.Fold the paper over and similarly fill in the right-hand side 3.Be very specific in how you complete the second column; it makes for more interesting texts 4.Unfold and enjoy…
ETAS SIG-Day 2008 © FAM As ________________ (Adj. e.g. cold) as ________________ (Adj.) enough to a ________________ (Noun person e.g. woman) is like To ________________ (Vb, e.g. run) as if (Vb) ______________ing like a a scream in a spiral staircase make you smile with glee a cold hand on a warm back gentle harsh teacher How to do the Whacky Simile
ETAS SIG-Day 2008 © FAM Formal Writing A: Cinquain explore syllabic poem forms work either from an input or towards a final line 1.On a small piece of paper write down a concept or a person in two syllables. 2.Collect all the pieces of paper and pick one; not your own, of course. 3.Use the word you have picked either as the first or the last line of the cinquain. 4.Try to make the last line echo the first line. Overleaf there is a framework that can form the backbone of a cinquain.
ETAS SIG-Day 2008 © FAM Example for a Cinquain Poor guy line 5 (2 syllables) subject in a new light (echo) Burnt out but, in the end, still proud line 4 (8 syllables) feeling of/towards the subject Always running around line 3 (6 syllables) purpose/action of the subject So humourous line 2 (4 syllables) how the subject appears Teacher line 1 (2 syllables) subject of the cinquain
ETAS SIG-Day 2008 © FAM Formal Writing B: Haikus working given elements into a text reduce an idea to the bare minimum explore language, testing the expendability of syntactic elements or vocabulary 1.On one card write an expression that contains a reference to time; on the second card write an expression connected with a plant an animal or an insect. 2.Shuffle the collected cards and pick one each. 3.Write a haiku which contains the two words. A haiku is a three-line Japanese poem with 5 syllables in the first, 7 syllables in the second and 5 syllables in the third line.
ETAS SIG-Day 2008 © FAM Formal Writing C: Pantoum explore a topic about obsession structure a text to make it effective possibly explore different ways of using the same ideas 1.Find a topic that people are obsessive about. 2.Brainstorm full sentences or phrases about it and write them on strips of paper. 3.Copy each strip once. 4.Use the strips to write a pantoum. Remark:It pays to have a really strong 1st line as it is also the last
ETAS SIG-Day 2008 © FAM The Pantoum structure A Z C Y H JF GHD IEFD GBC EB A …
ETAS SIG-Day 2008 © FAM Value Added Dialogue basically doable for almost any level from post-elementary onward a fun time-filler pairwork exercise 1.On the top of a piece of paper write a single word. 2. Pass the paper to your partner. 3.Write a conversational response in two words to the word on your sheet and pass it back to your partner. Pass it back. 4.Write a three-word response to your partner’s response 5.Pass the two papers back and forth until you reach seven words. 6.Extension, continue in the same way until you’re back to one word
ETAS SIG-Day 2008 © FAM Remembering Aunt Julia I helps to make that person “accessible” to someone else by using “sensuous” writing provides an approach to writing “memoir” 1.Think of a person in your past that has had an impact on your life, but who is out of reach now. 2.Make a list of elements and aspects that make this person unique on a separate piece of paper. 3.Make a second list about sensuous experiences associated with this person: smell, sight, touch, taste, hearing.
ETAS SIG-Day 2008 © FAM Remembering Aunt Julia II 4.Now do the same with habits and/or appearances that are somehow “larger than life” in your memory. 5.Order the elements. (You can group them thematically, i.e. combining elements that are related “logically”, or temporally.) Use this structure to write a poem about that person. 6.Compare your text to Norman MacCaig’s “Aunt Julia” Jackie Kay’s “My Grandmother”, Theodore Roethke’s “Papa’s Waltz”.
ETAS SIG-Day 2008 © FAM Alien Views look at an everyday situation in a new light and to use the images this creates avoid the obvious 1.Take an everyday occurrence, something that a lot of people do frequently. 2.Imagine that you are entirely unfamiliar with what goes on. 3.Now brainstorm ways of describing this occurrence 4.Write about the occurrence either as an Alien lecturer or as a travelogue of an Indigenous observer. 5. Extension: The other participants can try to guess what the situation is.
ETAS SIG-Day 2008 © FAM Example situations for Alien Views (business) conference going on holidaywedding ceremony fast food restaurantskiing (holiday)a sports event kid(s) playing computer games techno party / discogoing out on a date walking the dogbar or strip clubcocktail party commuter train station an evening with a video/DVD washing the car
ETAS SIG-Day 2008 © FAM The Sound and the Fury provides a playful approach to language structure encourages playing with the sound of the language avoids the pitfalls of having to steep a poem in meaning 1.Assign word classes to words in the list which appeal to you. (the real word class is not important!) 2.Imagine what type of a poem this will be. (curse/incantation, heroic ballad, modern poem, etc.) 3.Write the poem using only the words from the list as content words (nouns, adjectives, verbs). Pay attention to the morphology!
ETAS SIG-Day 2008 © FAM For more material to use in class you can download the BBC/British Council teaching pack Creative Ways from www.creative-writing.ch/creativeways.html Other sites are www.morrissey.unibe.ch/swch www.creative-writing.ch
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