The Practice of Creative Writing is for the introductory mixed-genre creative writing classroom. I've read student creative writing for almost 20 years, and written a great heap of it myself. This is what I've noticed: We learn all these rules. Then someone brings something to class and it ignores all the rules and its amazing. How? Why? My teacher, Jerry Stern, used to say it was good if it was interesting. I wanted to find a way to teach my students how to avoid being boring on the page.
Simple techniques (but I've never seen them talked about anywhere else) -- Tension, Energy, Layering -- are practiced by writing cartoons, scripting short screenplay scenes, playing with poetry. The book comes with an instructor's manual on the web. And it's chock full of exercises and practical advice, and quotes on creating from everybody -- Plutarch to Gloria Steinem to Timothy Leary.
"It is a long haul hauling the abstract scratchings of ink on paper into the light of the concrete visible visceral world of telling writing, but Heather Sellers has the strength of 10 Strunks. This is a busy box of book studded with an artful array of effervescent empirical imperatives." ~ Michael Martone
"I'm really enjoying reading Practice and think my students will too. The Instructor's Guide is great as well -- I'm sure the creative writing inventory will be a staple in my future classes... I'm so intrigued by the concepts you've chosen that I've dropped my concepts for the semester and am just following yours in the text." ~ Stephanie Vanderslice
Resource: Bibliography for writers and teachers
Thank you from the author: I am grateful to all of my students, particularly Audrey Young, Lauren Ericks, Bethany Katerberg, Chantelle Kramer, Matt Baker, Anne Hoekstra, Sarah Wright, Anna West, Anna Davis, Tom Arendshorst, Lindsey Manthei, Daniel DeMarse, Jordan Wolfson, Dana Vanderlugt, Andy Bates, Andrew Eitelbach, and Laura Woltag for helping me develop and refine the ideas and exercises in this book.