Creative Exercise #1

"Why Write?"

Post a 500 word summary of your experience as a writer, and what you hope to gain in this course. Be sure to tell us what you like to read, your favorite authors/books/stories, and the genre you prefer.

269 thoughts on “Creative Exercise #1

  1. Aundrea Pierce

    Hello everyone.

    My name’s Aundrea, and I have been writing since I could read! My mom still has a storage bin full of papers with staples because I would write so many books as a child. When I was in 3rd grade, my mom gave me her ancient typewriter, the kind that “tinks” and prints out each letter you press. I would stay up late at night writing my own stories to read to my class, and they enjoyed them! My favorite genre growing up was horror/thriller. I remember scaring myself and turning every light on in my house when I would write in my room late at night. Some of the 80’s or 90’s kids might remember a T.V program called “Reading Rainbow,” and in first grade, I submitted my a story draft for a contest. Even though I didn’t win, they helped me bind my book. Looking back I don’t blame them for not choosing a book about a little caterpillar stuck in a cocoon for three years! During my teen years, I started to write many short stories. I enjoyed starting and finishing a piece in a short amount of time. I was still into the same fiction theme, but I began to write more about love and relationships, and I started to gain more interest in fantasy (aliens, mystical worlds, and characters). It’s amazing how our taste and interest changes throughout the years.
    I have an immense and very unique imagination, which I’m shy about because I feel I come off as too odd or weird at times. Honestly, due to my lack of knowledge in writing and my child-like imagination, I feel more comfortable writing for children and teens. I hope this class will help me to express my creativity and ideas. With that being said, I prefer fiction, but I do enjoy reading non-fiction such as biographies of famous people or real-life accounts. Most novels I have read are by Stephen King and Tudor-fiction novels by Philippa Gregory. You may have heard of her book The Other Boleyn Girl. She’s one of my favorite author’s; she’s excellent at creating detailed imagery and mixing history with fiction. At one time I was really into mystery novels, but I found myself getting too impatient with the suspense and guessing. I’m a person who also loves humor! I enjoy making people laugh, and I love when authors throw in some random, unexpected humor!
    Unfortunately, the older I got, the more I started falling out of reading and writing, even though the spark was still there. Furthermore, I hope this class will help me with my poor grammar and how to write stories in a proper format. I have everything in my head, but I’m terrible at putting it on paper! I’m sure some of you can relate to that. Many times I’ll get some good ideas or great plots together for fun, and when I hit a wall or start struggling, I will get discouraged and stop for a while. I hope the materials in this course will help me to gain more confidence for when I hit those “writer blocks.” I’m excited and eager to learn and write with all of you!

    Reply
    1. Aubri Stogsdill

      I find it rather interesting and hilarious that you frightened yourself with your own stories! I suppose that it a sign that your stories were particularly convincing! Personally, I’ve always felt that I am lacking a bit in the imagination department. I am excited to read your work through this course and have a glimpse of that creative and imaginative side of you!

      Reply
    2. T Gordon

      I think we have the opposite problem– sometimes I have trouble formulating stories too far in my head, but I find that starting to write it out really gets the creative juices flowing. Perhaps we can learn a lot from one another.

      It sounds like you have a wide range of tastes in genres and writing styles, so I am sure you will come up with some fascinating and complex stories. I look forward to reading your work.

      Reply
    3. Andrew Lange

      Aundrea, I really enjoyed your description of writing, basically, mini-novels as a child. I find this incredibly relatable as I myself used to do just that as a kid; I was winning all manner of scholastic achievement awards, even in the first grade. Most of my stories were realistic fiction- many of mine were “desert island survival” type stories.

      Reply
  2. Naimy Schommer

    Naimy Schommer : Creative Exercise 1
    I have always been obsessed with words-how they sound, how they look, what they mean, and what they have the power to invoke. This obsession was strictly limited to singular words (i.e.: the power they held individually) until I was about six. Up until that point, words were solely useful and interesting. When I was six-ish, my dad introduced me to The Grimm Brother’s Fairy Tales and the rest is history. Since then, I’ve developed a healthy exultation of the original and unique beauty found in writing.
    I wrote all through high school, focusing mainly on poetry, fiction, and screenplays in addition to writing for my school’s blog. Some of the work I did during this time won competitions and awards or was published online and in print. Recently, I’ve had the great opportunity to have my work featured in “The Onion.”
    A current project I’m working on is a collaborative effort with an artist to create a line of children’s books centered on a couple consistent characters. The publication of these books is contingent on volume, but we are projecting late 2019. This is a project I’ve been looking to work on for YEARS but just couldn’t find the right artist who was willing to take on a lengthy effort as a collaborative project. It’s been super exciting to dig out these ideas that have taken a back burner in my mind for so long and spruce them up with someone else’s input. This semester will be interesting as I try to balance this professional work with my schoolwork.
    I’m progressing towards a major in English with a minor in Journalism, and would someday like to use that knowledge as an editor or professional writer. I am an avid reader of “The New Yorker” and admire their adherence to a unique editing style that has stayed consistent since their original publications.
    I don’t often think about what genre is my favorite because I read quite a bit of most. The genres I spend the most time with are probably non-fiction and poetry, and the one I most often avoid is science fiction. In poetry, I read mostly the work of Longfellow, Eliot, Plath, and Dickinson, but have recently been shown the work of modern poet Mark Doty and am quite enjoying his collection titled “Fire to Fire.” For non-fiction, some of my favorites that I return to often are “The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons” by Sam Kean (outlines the history of neuroscience and provides an exceptional example of the ways in which human knowledge progresses), “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis (makes the most rational and logical arguments for humanity and the world around it that I have ever read), “A Modest Proposal” by Johnathan Swift (the epitome and originator of sarcasm and facilitator to good belly laugh), and assorted historical journals from the early colonization/founding of America by John Smith, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, Equiano, and the like (just because I find them interesting, adventurous and REAL).

    Reply
  3. cikramer

    Cassidy Kramer
    Creative Exercise #1
    My experience as a writer is minimal. The summer of 2017 is when I first discovered my love for writing. It was in the course English 111 in a program that UAF hosts called RAHI. I finally realized that putting down my own ideas and experiences on paper in my own tone and structure was enjoyable. Before the course, I spent my high school English classes staring out the window at weightless snowflakes quietly falling, or at tractors moving what seemed like tons of packed snow.
    My high school’s English classes teach us very little about the beauty of writing and more of the grammar, vocabulary, and the basic structure of how writing is “supposed to look”. Granted, these basics are very important to learn, but I personally feel that they are more for our middle school and underclassmen years of high school. Throughout high school, I have written about five essays. Five essays throughout four years is not nearly enough practice for college-level writing, and that may be why the kids that don’t have enough dedication or drive, have a hard time in their college writing classes. What I am trying to say is that I wish the curriculum is improved one day, not only for preparation for college, but also for the kids that claim they “hate” writing, (as I once did) can realize that it is so much more than just an assignment.
    Analyzing, learning the different kinds of writing, and writing itself I think are very important for preparation for a postsecondary school, and self-discovery. What I mean by self-discovery is when I did go through English 111, I read essays about minorities in America being proud of who they are and where they came from. I grew up thinking that “Native” was used in a negative tone. I don’t know why I did, or what made me believe that, but that is what I thought. Once I read the essays from the course, and learned about more cultures around the world, I realized that every culture is beautiful and that each person has their own story of the realization that they are too.
    Other than self-discovery stories, I love the stories that make me feel like I’m there and when all my senses come alive, even if I am just lying in my bed reading at 2am. I also like reading what another mind can come up with creatively in a fiction sense, especially throughout a series of books. The simplicity of poems also interests me. A poem can be simple with a complex meaning, or complex with a simple meaning. It can mean and be whatever it wants to be, and that’s what I like about poetry. With that said, it’s hard for me to pick just one topic as my favorite. What I hope to get out of this course is learning what genre I like, and how to write in the different genres so that I can develop more as a writer.

    Reply
    1. Aundrea Pierce

      Naimy,

      I can relate and agree with you on your entire post! You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned high school focusing less on the beauty of writing and more on the structure. Perhaps that is why my joy for writing started to plummet after 6th grade. Young kids have unique imaginations and a love for expressing themselves through writing, and high school English can put a damper on their spark by focusing too much on correctness. Both aspects are vital and just as important, so I would like to see a happy medium one day. Thanks for the insightful and honest post. I like the smooth flow and humble tone you provided!

      Aundrea

      Reply
  4. Aubri Stogsdill

    Hey everyone,
    My name is Aubri and I hate writing. Well, I suppose that is a bit of an over exaggeration. Perhaps I can explain. All through elementary school and high school I genuinely believed that I was some sort of writing prodigy. This mindset was instilled by my genuine but biased mother who spent upwards of thirteen years educating me. I came to believe that I may end up being some sort of well-known author. As a junior in high school, I took an English class at a local high school here in Fairbanks and it was at that point that I realized I was a small fish in a large pond. After the reality of my “averageness” hit me square in the face, my love for writing and interest in it began to plummet. Though I generally have not enjoyed the writing I’ve had to do for high school and college I absolutely love journaling. While I am not disciplined enough to write every single day, I make a point to have multiple entries in my journal every week. My journal is not only a place where I recount interesting or impactful events from my life, but it is also where I do a lot of my processing with God. Writing helps me to think through issues and be brutally honest with myself and with God about where my heart is at. One thing that is particularly special about journals is being able to look back at what you’ve written. Personally, through reading my old journals I am reminded of all the incredible faithfulness of my God, I’m able to see the person I was when I wrote particular entries, and I am encouraged as I see how far I have come. When you are writing in a personal journal it is easy to be raw and real, and that is something that I value deeply.
    Honestly, I don’t do a lot of reading. In the past I have enjoyed reading fiction, you know the generic John Green books and such. I do particularly enjoy C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, but these days most of my reading consists of books that most would deem “spiritual” such as the Bible, “The Glory Within” by Cory Russel, as well as “Driven by Eternity” and “Under Cover” by John Bevere. I like stories that are relatable and realistic. There is nothing more rewarding than walking away from something feeling that you have grown as an individual as a result of the time you spent, and I feel that if that doesn’t happen for me with my reading or writing then it is somewhat of a waste. That being said, I do enjoy wild and creative stories when there is a clear principle that can be taken away from them. Personally, I am particularly interested in documentary films, so nonfiction stories are my favorite. I am hopeful that this class will help me to develop a greater love for both reading a writing.

    Reply
    1. Naimy Schommer

      There is something to be said for writing just for you. I also think its really awesome to look back on old journals and laugh at the cringe-y-ness but also realize how much I’ve changed as a human over the years. Journaling is also where I do a lot of critical thinking and daydreaming. Keep at it! Everyday logs aren’t realistic for me personally, but I have to remind myself to write about something that’s not for school or on a deadline. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Andrew Lange

        Naimy, it’s funny you should mention journaling! I miss having it as a required thing in school every morning, so I’m actually enjoying writing for various creative prompts again in this class.

        Reply
    2. cikramer

      I love what you have to say about journaling! I have tried multiple times to start journaling about the scriptures I read, what God has shown me that day, and where I am on my walk with God along with other things. I always forget to do it, and even sometimes lose the journal I am working in, so I barely have anything to look back on. I am hoping one day that I am able to become more loyal with it.

      Reply
    3. Aundrea Pierce

      Aubrey,

      “A small fish in a large pond,” that was my realization too! I’m unfortunately very discouraged and intimated by all the big fish that surrounds me! That’s why I’m gritting my teeth and taking this course even though I know I’m going to get beat up. However, I think we should keep swimming with the big fish because I have faith we will come out stronger even though we may never become bigger. I have a desire to reach my fullest potential one day and be happy with it. I love how you incorporate God so much in your writings, and you have your journals to confirm your faith and trust. That must be very comforting. Do you find yourself writing in your journal more during times of distress? I find it easier for me to write when I’m feeling very emotional.

      Aundrea

      Reply
    4. Leah Rego

      Aubrey,
      Journaling is such a wonderful thing, Ive always wished I could do it, but nothing bores me more than me. I am a big fiction fan but only of particular generes, no romance or drama or general fiction. I love documentary films, well educational ones at least, I like to learn about the world and universe and peoples theories about it.

      Reply
  5. Ben Knapp

    Ben Knapp
    ENGL 270-2
    Christie Hinrichs
    01/18/18

    Why I Write

    There are many things I enjoy about writing. I enjoy creating my own worlds, with laws and customs designed by me. I enjoy creating the characters that live in my worlds, their personalities and what motivates them. Most of all, I enjoy telling the story of the people and the worlds.
    My favorite genres to write in are science fiction and fantasy. I enjoy writing science fiction because the possibilities of the worlds I create are endless. There is no limit to the strange and wonderful things I can create. Fantasy also offers a large range of potential. With fantasy, I can delve more into the realm of the supernatural, as well as providing a medieval setting for the characters to live in.
    Another thing that plays a part in my writing is art. I enjoy drawing strange creatures, and inventing stories about them. Sometimes a simple sketch will give me the idea for an entire world, or a character and his story. When I have an idea for something, I will usually draw it, and see if I can accurately recreate what I have in my head. Drawing a creature or place also aids me in describing it.
    When it comes to poetry, I enjoy writing humorous poems, usually in rhyming couplets. I like to find ways of rhyming long and amusing words, to form interesting combinations in a poem. I also enjoy poems of a more serious or “poetic” style, but I still prefer my poetry to rhyme. I feel that rhyming a poem adds to the beauty of the piece, rather than detracting from it.
    In this class, I hope to learn how to better create believable characters and worlds, as well as how to better tell my stories. Sometimes, when I am writing, I realize the stories I am writing seem contrived, or difficult to believe. That is something I hope to rectify by taking this class. My goal is to learn how to make my stories connect with people, without directly addressing problems that we see today.
    I enjoy reading in the same genres as I like to write in. Fantasy and science fiction allow me to explore new worlds invented by the writer, and experience the wonder of the characters as they carry out their adventures. My favorite authors include Tolkien, Orson Scott Card, and J.K. Rowling. These writers inspire me with their intense and convincing worlds and the characters that live in them. I hope to learn how to reproduce their style of generating stories.
    Overall, I enjoy believable and convincing stories and poems, ones that the readers can really connect with. I like fantasy and science fiction for their versatility, and I enjoy poems that make me happy. I hope that this class will help me to write in the style that I most enjoy reading.

    Reply
    1. Corbin Knapp

      Hi Ben,
      I think it’s really cool that you draw your ideas before writing things about them! I knew that you enjoyed drawing cool stuff, but I didn’t know that’s how you came up with the interesting ideas that way. I always have struggled about putting and idea down on paper before I forget it, so maybe I will try out your technique!

      Reply
  6. Corbin Knapp

    Corbin Knapp
    ENGL 270 – 2
    Christie Hinrichs
    1/18/2018

    Why I Write

    The reason I write is because I enjoy jotting down ideas and then making back stories for them. I have enjoyed writing short stories for a long time, and I hope during this class I will be able to learn how to improve my technique and my style of writing. Currently I am writing a short story and I am looking forward to learning how to improve what I have written so far. I would like to enhance my writing skills and make the passages flow easily as I learn different writing techniques over the course of this class.

    My favorite genre of books is fantasy. Encompassing all fantasy from books like the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien to beloved classics like Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. I also enjoy science fiction books like I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. I have always enjoyed these genres and some of the first chapter books I read were fantasy books, I would like to write books like these at some point in my life. In my opinion, the best fantasy books have amazing worlds to explore, intriguing characters that you can relate to, and a plot that makes you want to keep reading a book.

    In my opinion, the best way to go about writing is to think about something I can get excited about. I like to write for the pleasure of making a story. Many times when I a writing something formal, I have a hard time coming up with things to write. When I write informally for fiction, I do not have to make a scholarly article and can instead have some fun with it. Making the characters engage with each other, and creating the scenes where they interact, adding a plot twist here and there, all while still trying to keep the reader engaged. In short, I think of writing as a challenge to be beaten. It is more of a fun hobby than a chore for me.

    I hope to fix some of the flaws in my writing as I do this class as well. In my stories, I have trouble adding in dialogue to my characters’ interactions. I spend too much time describing the surroundings and not enough time on what the characters are doing at that moment. I also have trouble making the scenes I write about flow together smoothly. If I could make the scenes flow together easier, it would be a better story to continue reading. I hope that I will be able to make a short story flow smoothly at the end of this semester.

    So that is why I write; to make stories that people might enjoy reading, as a way to express the ideas that might strike me in the day, and as a creative outlet. I hope through the reviews of my work by my peers this semester and through some good old fashion criticism to improve my work. I am looking forward to the rest of this semester, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the class comes up with.

    Reply
    1. Michelle Cordova

      Hi Corbin! I am honestly jealous that you find creative writing to be so easy! For me, formal writing comes much easier than using my imagination to create something out of this world. I will definitely take your advice, and the advice of George Orwell, and focus on finding things that excite and interest me and take it from there. Like you, and I’m sure the rest of this class, there are flaws in my writing, no matter the type, and I hope we can all learn from each other as well as Mrs. Hinrichs! Good luck this semester!

      Reply
  7. Michelle Cordova

    Hi everyone! My name is Michelle Cordova, and to be honest, I have never been much of a writer. I have taken many college writing classes, and of course, have written my fair share of essays, but as far as composing my own stories, I’ve just never had the knack for it. For some reason, I have always found writing to be intimidating, especially when there are so many others out there who can truly unlock a whole new world and make it come alive right before your eyes, which is something I have always struggled with. Perhaps that is something I can work on this semester, but up to this point, I have only ever journaled in my free time, mostly writing weekly or when big things happen. I recently started a one-line a day journal that I am really excited about as well, and I enjoy making up quirky little poems for my family, mostly on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries!

    I also enjoy reading, anything from history and mystery to romance and drama. The last book I read for fun was “Killing the Rising Sun” by Bill O’Reilly, and before that was “Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup. I do find myself struggling to muster up the motivation to read rather than watch a movie on occasion, but I always set a yearly reading goal and do my best to stay on track. I also have 3 school-aged children who are 5, 6, and 8, so I do a ton of reading with them, from short Dr. Seuss stories, a family favorite, to longer, age appropriate novels that they choose. I also enjoyed, like most, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and am a sucker for any of Nicholas Sparks’ novels!

    Over the course of this semester I just really hope to open up and find a passion for writing, not just because I have to, but because I believe there is so much good that can come from it. Sadly, I have always found creative writing to be a nuisance, but I am optimistic that this class will help point me in a direction that will change my negative mindset. I’d like to work on my story telling abilities in general, but I would love to be able to write more vividly and with good flow so that my stories feel real and goal oriented. I would eventually like to create something that I can be proud of and not mind sharing with others. Overall, I would like for this class to open my shell and bring out my creative side that I know is in there as well as give me the constructive criticism I need to improve my writing capabilities.

    Reply
    1. Ben Knapp

      Hi Michelle! I too have sometimes struggled with finding inspiration. In fact, I had trouble thinking of what to write for this comment! Whenever I have trouble, I usually look at other peoples work, and think of how I would do it differently. Once you get a taste of your own creativity, you wont want to stop writing!

      Reply
  8. Katherine Whelchel

    Hi!
    My name is Katherine Whelchel, but you all can call me Kassie. I have lived here in Fairbanks for my entire life; I have been homeschooled all my life as well. Along with going to UAF full time, I teach dance to 3-12 year olds, and I am a student leader in my church.  I am currently pursuing a major in business administration with a concentration in marketing in the hopes of using it to help others design and create their own merchandise. I am also interested in using my degree for social media purposes.
    My experience as a writer has not been that extensive; I took the required writing classes in high school and have taken two other writing classes here in college. The main way that I write is through journaling. I enjoy jotting down my thoughts or what happened throughout the day. I also write down my notes from church or from reading my Bible. Through journaling, I am able to look back on different seasons of my life and see how God worked in and through them. Though I do not desire to be a writer, I am looking forward to learning how to express my story and experiences through the “non-fiction” portion of class. I believe that this is an important skill to have in every area of life.
    I mainly enjoy reading real life testimonials, or allegories. They hold the most power in my eyes, because the truth and redemption of someone’s life story has an incredible ability to change others’ lives. Christ will use someone’s life experiences to touch the people who hears their story. In a similar way, allegories hold a special power by letting the reader personally come to the conclusion of the truth or motivation behind it. A technique that many counselors use to effectively express concepts and truths to their patients. I have recently finished “Driven by Eternity” by John Bevere, which is a mix of testimony and allegory. It is a book about the reality of eternity and how we all need to be aware and prepared.
    As authors go, I am a HUGE fan of C. S. Lewis. He is an incredible writer, with an obvious anointing. His ability to communicate the revelations God has given him is amazing. Through the use of personal testimony and elaborate allegories, he convinces his audience of the Light of the World better than anyone I have ever read. I hope to become even half as eloquent as him with my writing. Another book that I absolutely love is called “A Severe Mercy” by Sheldon Vanauken. It is about Sheldon’s life and his experiences rejecting and coming back to Christ. He was a good friend of C.S. Lewis, and some of their letters to each other are included within the book as well.
    I know that this class will be not only educational, but fun as well. I look forward to getting to know everyone and reading their creations! Good luck!

    Reply
  9. Monica Gallagher

    Monica Gallagher
    Mgalla16@alaska.edu
    ENGL 270-2
    1/20/18
    “Why Write?”

    I write to escape and describe all the complexities of life. I feel like it’s an exploration tool to sort of dissect the everyday inter-workings of life. I have always done a lot of freewriting that sometimes turns into journaling or poetry. It serves as a window to what’s going on with me or around me when I haven’t even had the opportunity to process it and/or don’t want to talk about it. For the longest time I never shared any of the writings that I did, even now, there’s only maybe three people that I’ve shown anything to. In this class I’m really hoping to spread my wings and become more open in sharing my work. I’d like to also step outside of myself a little bit and write about other things other than my own stuff. I would love to have a similar intensity of passion and free flow with other subjects so that I can explore other concepts and make it more relatable to other people possibly.

    I tend to read non-fiction books, autobiographies and inspirational, personal growth type books are what I’m drawn to. I like to feel like I’m learning something when I’m reading, whether it’s about other people or subjects. I also really appreciate humor in books. Right now, I’m reading ‘The Magnolia Story’, by Chip and Joanna Gaines. It’s a great book, has a good mix of autobiography, relationship skills/humor and faith based inspiration, which is all the things that I love. I do also read fiction at times, thought it’s sometimes in the past has been harder for me to find authors that I really like, but when I do I will read them front to back. The most recent fiction book that I read was ‘The Slade House’, by David Mitchell. His writing style is wild, I would be interested to read his other books, especially since I had found out that all his books are intertwined together.

    My favorite genre in fiction would probably be faith/spirituality/after life based with a mystery/thriller twist. Sprinkle that base with some dry humor and witty writing style and you have my interest. A book that comes to mind in this description is ‘The Shack’, by William P. Young, this one made me cry. Which reminds me, I know a really good book by when it stirs my emotions enough to make me cry. I’m such a girl with that stuff, I love for things to pull at my heart strings, whether it be movies, writings or books. For non-fiction my genre there would be inspirational autobiography, faith/spirituality/after life, anything health related, more so natural/alternative healing type subjects.

    I love to be inspired! I love to be creative! I love all avenues that create an outlet for inspiration for others! I feel like we need a lot more of that out in the world today and always, not only to create a bridge to where we can all relate to one another, but also just to uplift and inspire others to create more good.

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  10. Jessica Honebein

    Jessica Honebein- Creative Exercise #1

    The most experience I have as a writer has stemmed from my daily writings and schooling. I am by no means a excellent writer, but I love learning more and more about writing everyday. I am more of a writer that just likes to spew words onto the paper. This helps me figure out everything that I want to say and then I like to go back and reread, adding in anything that I feel I missed. I think this style of writing stemmed from my journal when I was younger, I wrote to help with my anxiety. I was able to say whatever I wanted or whatever I felt needed to be said about the day and reflect. In my reflection I found that I really did love to write and it helped me breathe and think about everything that is going on. I find it crazy how much writing can help you get through certain aspects in your life. I think that I have a lot I need to work on when it comes to writing, so I have a lot of room to improve.

    The things that I am hoping to improve on is confidence for writing, word choice, and writing style. I think that I am hoping to gain more confidence in my writing so I can feel good about what message I am trying to provide to whoever the reader is. Word choice is going to help me with my confidence because it will make sure that I am using the correct words for the message, but I also want work on amping up my word choice. Lastly, I think that in general my writing style is all over the boards so it would be nice to narrow that down and be able to choose what kind of writing style I connect more with and want to write with. I think that this class will definitely influence my writing, and my writing will continue to grow through experience.

    I think that my favorite book is Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks, I honestly am a sucker for a romantic novel. I think I just like how a story can solely be written around the means of love. I think that Romantic novel comes first on my go to genre, however I also like reading different kinds of fiction and mysteries. Fiction helps me escape reality and be transplanted in someone else’s world. I like learning about all the different characters in the books and how they develop throughout the story. Lastly, mysteries are in the top running for my favorite gene. I love that mysteries ideally contain both the characters and atmosphere of fiction, but with a twist of figuring out the plot’s secret. I like that it makes you decipher clues as you read and in the end you get to find out if your guess was correct or not. I do have a couple other books that I have read and loved, Safe Haven is still my favorite though. A couple other books I loved reading are My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent, Riders by Veronica Rossi, and of course any Nicholas Sparks book.

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  11. Sierra Russell-McCollum

    Hello everyone my name is Sierra and I am currently a freshman. I never really knew when I wanted to become a writer but I have dreamed of becoming one for as long as I can remember. I have always been fascinated by people who can create entire worlds with just words, it’s truly amazing to me. I never thought I would be here taking this type of class considering that when I was younger I always struggled with reading and spelling. Currently I am just playing around with my writing and figuring out what type of genre I would like to write, because my ultimate goal is to write a book in the near future. I have written some fun short stories here and there but none of them really spark my interest to keep writing them. My goal for this class is to help me figure out what type of genre to write, since that has be my biggest struggle. Another goal is to think more outside of the box and go with the flow. I tend to be scared to write about new things because I’m scared it won’t work for me. But I know the only way I will know if it will work is if I try it. I need a push to get started and I feel like this class will help me with that. I would also like to gain a way to create better transitions when I am writing paper. I sometimes really struggle with them and I would love to have them come more easily to me. Since the beginning of me writing papers, transitions have always been my weak point but I am always looking for ways to better myself in that department.
    Like I said before I really struggled with reading and I actually didn’t start loving it, as much as I do now, until I was in the 7th grade What really got me into reading was a book series called Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. I don’t know why, but I fell in love with novels after that series. A few of my current favorite authors is Cassandra Clare, Scott Westerfeld, Sarah J. Maas, Lucy Christopher, Victoria Aveyard, and so many others. My favorite genre would have to be science fiction, adventure/action and once in a while contemporary. I am a person who loves action while reading and feeling the suspense. If there is a lot of adventure and action then I am all for it. I have a harder time reading contemporary novels, I find them hard to follow along because they can be slow. There is a few novels that I have fallen in love with but I tend to struggle with finishing them.But when it comes to fantasy and action/adventure I can read the books quickly because I consume myself in the pages.
    I am very excited to better my writing by taking this class. I feel that this is a great environment to try new things out and get honest feedback on my work.

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    I started enjoying writing when my language arts teachers in seventh and eighth grade encouraged me for the poems and short stories that I submitted for assignments. I read many books like On Writing by Stephen King, On Writing Well by William Zinsser and Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark.
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    My favorite genres are comedy, horror, fantasy and science fiction. I find it fascinating that a writer can craft a world so unlike our own that the very laws of physics and biology are completely alien. Despite the differences, we as readers still empathize with the characters and become engrossed in the world. I think this is why I like these genres so much.
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    I would like to gain more experience writing creative pieces. I would like to discuss writing more. Eventually I would like to write that novel and I hope that this class will help me on my way toward that goal. I would also like to use more storytelling techniques in my science writing.
    A major problem today with society is scientific literacy among the public and elitism among scientists. Good storytelling is an effective way to teach science.

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  13. Mekayla Ruiz

    My first experiences with writing are memories that I can barely even recall, and frankly, I am not super certain that they even count. During my early childhood, I started practicing what would be one of my biggest hobbies growing up: song writing. I hardly knew what I was doing at the time, let alone had the ability to actually write them down. I do remember sitting for hours at time though, just singing about what I saw. I was improvising a sort of lyrical and detailed description of the things around me. These songs were definitely not good, I don’t think they were meant to be. They did serve as an outlet, though, even at a young age, of expressing the way I saw the world.
    As I got older, writing songs was just something that I did. I wrote songs about things, people I knew, experiences that I had, and even fictional scenarios that I’d created. The more I got into writing lyrics, the more I appreciated writing and reading poetry. I wish I had read more poetry around this time, but I did read the lyrics of nearly every song I listened to, and I feel like the two are pretty similar in composition anyways. I started writing really basic poems when I was in middle school, and did this on and off throughout high school. I just recently got back into poetry and songwriting after taking a few year break, though i lack the amount vigor and excitement for writing that I had when I was younger
    Around this time was when I also got into writing short stories as a hobby. I had a routine of finding really interesting, but vague looking pictures, and studying them until I had a story to describe exactly what was in the photograph and why. I started a few of these projects, and I don’t think I finished even half of them.
    In highschool was when I started getting into classic literature after reading “Brave New World,” by Aldous Huxley in my Sophomore English class. This discovery of a whole new genre of Socially challenging literature led to years of devouring the works of similar authors (Vonnegut, Heller, Bradburry, etc.) These authors inspired me to a new way of thinking. I think that this was the point in my life when I traded writing and creating for reading and taking in as much information as I could.
    Present day, I am getting more into poetry, which is something that I would like to work on. I do still read, though not as much as I would like. I continue to look for new ideas to explore, as well as improve at expressing my own. In this class, I would really like to exercise the part of myself that does thoroughly enjoy writing. Along with this, I would like to learn and to gain new skills to further my ability to express myself in my writing. Every class that I’ve taken has really bettered me as a writer and as a student, but I’m excited to approach writing in a way that is different from anything I’ve experienced so far in my career as a University student.

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  14. Caitlyn Williams

    Hello, Hello!
    I am Caitlyn Williams, and I’m a Teacher’s Aide at Akiak School. Our school is a K-12 school, and I work primarily with elementary students. While working, I am putting in some credits thanks to the UAF e-Learning program. I am currently only enrolled in two classes, and this is one of them! Writing has always been my favorite subject now that I think about it. I’ve made books in primary school, and I loved researching different topics to share with the class. I knew I liked the subject, but I didn’t know the extent of my interest until high school.
    I first discovered my interest for writing and literature my junior year of high school. I took British Literature and Monster Literature and fell in love with them. Both were different, and I really enjoyed my monster literature class. The instructor for this class integrated psychology into it, and that increased my interest in psychology. I liked them both because they were focused; rather than teaching the foundations for writing, we were looking into different types of writing styles and learning about them in more depth. Creative Writing will open new doors for me and I am excited to learn more about Creative Writing and the different genres we’ll be covering this semester.
    Over the course of this semester, I hope to progress my writing skills and learn more about poetry. I am looking forward to diving into the world of creative literature and all of the different aspects that go along with it. I also hope to learn more about different word usage and different ways of using descriptive words. I love playing on words, but I’ve never done it well. I am looking forward to expanding my vocabulary, and exploring and expressing my beliefs and emotions. I’ve always loved writing and literature, and I’m excited to be apart of this class this semester!
    I am also interested in the different books that were required in this class. I’ve started reading Bird by Bird, and I can tell it’s going to be a good read. The voice of this book already is distinctive. It’s fairly descriptive, and I like it so far. As for my favorite authors or writers, I really like Roald Dahl, Matthew Quick, Rupi Kaur, and others too many to name. I love poetry, and it’s the main literature I buy for pleasure. I also used to love the Junie B. Jones series back in elementary and middle school.
    I have a good feeling about this course, and I am looking forward to this semester! I am excited to learn more about the aspects of fiction writing, and creative writing in general. This class is going to benefit me and increase my writing skills and I’m ready! I love expressing myself, and writing is one of the best outlets for creative thoughts. I am also excited to explore the different genres of literature. I am especially looking forward to learning more about poetry. I’ve always been drawn to poetry and the emotion put into different kinds of poetry. I fancy black-out poetry, and it’s a kind of poetry where the poet makes a poem by blacking out sentences and words from other literary works. It is very interesting and I enjoy it.

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  15. T Gordon

    Before you become a writer, you must be a reader. As a child, I did not have other obvious talents other than reading quickly and voraciously. Reading was the best way for me to learn about other ways to live and the wonderful diversity of the world. With this love for stories, I hoped that I could have a future as a writer. Even though I was not certain that I would ever have a work published, I figured that I could least write the story kind of story that I would want to read.
    While I have indeed been writing throughout my life, it has thus far not turned out to be the kind of writing that I pictured myself doing as a young child. I began my college career as an English major at a different college. There is no surprise that as an English major, I spent a lot of time writing; most of this writing was expository essays, however. I never actually took a creative writing class–until now!
    While I enjoyed my classes as an English major, I decided I needed a change mid-way through my college career. In 2013, I moved to Fairbanks more or less on a whim to begin studying geology. At this time I wasn’t clear about where to go with this coursework, but I always liked the thought of being a park ranger! Having pursued two very different majors, I have done much academic writing in both social science and science fields, which has been good practice for writing pieces with clarity and logical structure.
    I finished my Geoscience B.S. in the summer of 2016, and now I work in the Atmospheric Science department at UAF. Now, instead of essays and much of anything creative, I am writing more technical documents, research proposals, and tons of business appropriate email.
    I hope that through this class, I can begin writing creatively again, even if just for my own enjoyment. I also look forward to receiving honest feedback from my classmates in order to start thinking differently about some ideas I have, as well as to get advice on structuring my stories. It is easy to read our own heavily-edited work and think that we are ready to share it with the world; it’s an entirely different thing to actually do so!
    I don’t have a preference for reading nonfiction or fiction–it really depends upon my mood. For the past few years, I have been in the mindset of becoming a ‘full-on’ scientist, and ended up mostly reading books about inspiring scientists, or subject matter in which I have no academic background or skill, such as space physics or chemistry. While I don’t have those same PhD ambitions any longer, I still have a love for reading about science.
    The non-fiction science books I have most enjoyed reading have been the most accessible to all audiences. I recently read Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, which gives a great overview of the development of science as we know it today, and the comical or terrifying mistakes that have happened along the way. Mary Roach is another science writer that has authored books on subjects as diverse as the logistics of humans living on Mars, cadavers, the military, the alimentary canal, and ghosts– all with a great sense of humor. If you are curious about any of these topics, and like a good laugh, I really recommend reading her books!
    I look forward to learning from you all.

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  16. Thor Burt

    Greetings,

    My first experience with writing was, like most, during elementary school when my imagination roamed free from conventions and grammatical limitations. It was mostly what would now be known as bad fan-fiction, but to me, it was all original. As time passed I began writing less and less. My hobbies changed and when presented with the opportunity to write in high school I often found myself staring at a half-full page for hours on end. That page would remain half-full right up until a day or two before the assignment was due and I would have to turn in a pathetic narrative —or worse yet–share a pathetic narrative. Day and night, I would put intensive thought into my story, never to be written down on the page. The same problem has plagued me to this day. Although I feel that with this realization I am close to overcoming it. Other writing experience I have has been a lot of world building and lore generation for Roleplaying Games like Dungeons and Dragons. And I list that tentatively because it’s often more pondering facts and logical thoughts, rather than uncovering character through action.

    I failed an ENGL 270 course last spring. It was entirely my fault. But knowing in retrospect what I did wrong and why it didn’t work has given me extremely high hopes for this class. I have always yearned to be able to write complex narratives that I could be proud of and share them amongst my friends, but alas my near zero experience with pleasure reading has left me handicapped in the methodology of the medium. No joke, the last two books I read for “pleasure” were Syd Field’s Screenplay and Robert Mckee’s Story; both of which pertain to story structure and mostly in the context of cinema. I believe that at a minimum this class will give me an incentive to write, which I’d be happy with. But I hope that through instruction and harsh criticism I can learn about what defines my specific style of writing and how to effectively convey action through text.

    In all honesty, I don’t read for pleasure. And I don’t have any favorite authors or books. Nothing against the writers or the people that read them. The medium has just never been for me. I am more of a film and television sort of person. But genre, that certainly transcends mediums. My preferred genres are drama and fantasy, mixed or not. And my favorite stories, just to name a few are: Babylon 5, The Empire Strikes Back, Game of Thrones, and La La Land (although I am not usually a fan of musicals).

    I am looking forward to working with everyone.

    -Thor

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  17. Leah Rego

    I have always enjoyed a good story, throughout my childhood my mother read books out loud and would make up stories for my sister and I. I was reading chapter books by the time I was seven, and would spend endless hours with my nose in the pages. When I was in third grade a student teacher introduced our class to writing poetry, I had never experienced words written so beautifully and began to write my own poetry. My attempts were simple , and not particularly good, but I enjoyed the process a great deal. This love of poetry has led me to a lifetime adoration of Shakespeare, Longfellow, Wadsworth, Rossetti, and Poe.
    My early reading was influenced by my mom’s preferences, strongly leaning to detective mysteries and westerns, especially Louis L’Amour and Zane Gray. The stories were always an engaging escape, the heroes were always unequivocally good, the villains just as rotten. It was a black an white world that appealed to me. When I began to experiment with writing prose it was in those genres. I have always had a deep well of wonder at the world, and my creativity and imagination mixed with it and my love of the written word to inspire me to write.
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