Fundamentals of Creative Writing, by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

Start from the beginning
                                    

"Butterscotch Marble" is part of Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America (Anvil 1997); it also appeared in, AA Literary Realm, diS Orient Journalism, and New to North America; it is part of the author's collection, Acapulco at Sunset (Anvil, 1995);

"Flip Gothic" first appeared in Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America (Anvil 1997); it is part of the author's collection Vigan and Other Stories (Anvil 2011);

"Romeo" first appeared in A La Carte Food & Fiction (Anvil 2007); it is part of the author's collection Vigan and Other Stories (Anvil 2011);

"Talking About the Woman in Cholon" is a chapter in the author's novel, Magdalena (Plain View Press, 2002);

"The Black Man in the Forest" first appeared in Amerasia Journal Vol, No.1, 1985-86; it is part of the collection, Woman With Horns and Other Stories (New Day 1998);

"The Dirty-Kitchen" first appeared in Fast Food Fiction (Anvil 2003); it is part of the author's collection Vigan and Other Stories (Anvil 2011);

"The Last Moon-Game of Summer" first appeared in Growing Up Filipino: Stories for Young Adults (PALH, 2003; Anvil 2004); it is part of the author's collection Vigan and Other Stories (Anvil 2011);

"Vigan" first appeared in Going Home to a Landscape: Writings by Filipinas (Calyx Books, 2003); it is part of the author's collection Vigan and Other Stories (Anvil 2011);

"Waiting for Papa's Return" first appeared in Woman With Horns and Other Stories (New Day, 1998); it also appeared in Making Waves: An Anthology of Writings by and about Asian American Women (Beacon Press 1989); it also appeared in Asian American Literature (Glencoe McGraw-Hill, 2000)


PREFACE

I started teaching Creative Writing at the Writers Program at UCLA Extension after the Director, Linda Venis, saw me performing at a PEN Literary Reading. She asked me to teach Fundaments of Creative Writing, a three hour class that met once a week for nine weeks. That was in 1994. Fifteen years later, I continue to teach creative writing classes at the Writers Program.

When I started teaching creative writing, I had to intellectualize what I had been doing instinctively. I had to think about characters, how to create them, how to develop them; I had to think about plot, conflict, dialogue, point of view. Something that seemed simple like voice and style had to be thought through, given words so my students would comprehend the various elements that are involved in writing creatively, whether it be the writing of poetry or memoirs or short stories or novels.

In this book I am sharing these fundamentals of creative writing which I have learned and which I have been teaching for fifteen years. I have seen my students blossom in six or nine weeks. The best students were the once that came to my class admitting they knew very little. They were more receptive than the ones who came in with two novels in their filing cabinet and who had the attitude of knowing everything — I often wondered why they would take a beginning writing class if they knew everything. From knowing nothing or very little, my students would learn a concept or two each week and try their hand at creating a character for instance or dialogue, and next week they would learn some new concepts. In this way they would build on top of what they had already learned. By the end of the six or nine week quarter, many of them were writing stories or personal essays.

I know therefore that it can be done. One can improve one's writing skills. This book will share some fundamentals in creative writing, building blocks if you will, to guide the readers to better writing.

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