Can I Be Creative Now?

In the past, I discussed a creative writing class I took in high school where we were only allowed to write essays and creativity was, in fact, discouraged.  Fortunately, I had a very different experience when I tried my hand at creative writing once more in college.  Because this time, we were actually allowed to be creative with our work and spent every class writing fictional works rather than stuffy essays.  Oh, and our teacher was great.  I’ll be sure to recount his funniest story later.

As I said, this class was focused on exactly what one would expect from a course titled “Creative Writing”.  During this semester, we were actually taught how to write realistic characters and interesting plots, and certain days would be dedicated to critiquing our work, pointing out plot inconsistencies or unrealistic character motivations, etc, to help ourselves to get that much better.

One of our very first assignments was to pick a random student in class and write about them in a cliché fashion.  For my random classmate of choice, I wrote about her describing her own face in the mirror, including her hazel “orbs”.  Describing eyes as “orbs” seems to be quite the cliché in the fan fiction I’ve read over the years….

One of our last assignments was a really fun competition (groups were based on the people we had sat with all semester) where we would try to come up with the most creative sentences possible based on the topic.  One such topic was, “He was a bad person”, with the most memorable version being, “He was a politician”.  (Due to its simplicity, however, this team did not receive any points for this.)  Another topic revolved around an interesting opening to a story about a bank robbery.  My contribution was, “I saw the gun’s reflection in the glass before the teller even had a chance to raise her hands”.

Our creative writing teacher was pretty funny, as well, and would sometimes tell us amusing stories.  I am going to recount one such story, which was apparently a true thing that happened to him once.  Once, our teacher lived in a rather strange neighborhood.  He would often encounter a man who went simply by “The Colonel”.  The Colonel was undoubtedly an odd fellow who liked to complain about everyone’s yards and give suggestions on how they could be improved.  One day, the teacher was taking a walk when he saw none other than the Colonel, wearing overalls and, if I recall correctly, not much else.  After correcting the teacher on how he should be handling his yard, he reached into his overalls (not the pockets, mind you) and pulled out a half-eaten cheeseburger wrapped in plastic wrap.  As if just now remembering that another person was present, the cheeseburger was returned to whence it came.

Well, my teacher insisted that this was indeed a true story, even if it’s certainly an…awkward tale, to say the least.  In short, my second creative writing class could not have been more different from the first.  It was good for improving my writing, and it was good for a lot of laughs.  My biggest complaint is that I simply can’t, for the life of me, rid myself of the mental image of the Colonel and his cheeseburger.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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