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8 People You Will Meet In a Creative Writing Class

You’ve made the decision to enroll in some Creative Writing modules, it’s first year and you only need 40% to pass so why not? You like watching TV shows and you enjoyed ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and ‘Lord of the Flies’ during your GCSEs – how hard can it be?

Away from the inevitable scepticism – “how exactly can you ‘teach’ Creative Writing?” – and the dormant fear of having to actually read something out loud, you will also encounter a range of personalities.

Creative Writing courses draw a certain type of crowd, chances are you will meet all of these guys.

1. The Romantic Poet

This student holds a fragile and tortured heart. They pine for the days of absinthe and the freedom to walk through willows without being disturbed by Dub-Step from a nearby student block. Beads in their hair and holes in their clothes, you want to offer them a hug and just let them know: “nature never did betray the heart that loved it”.

What to expect: Rhetorical questions about romance, nature and how poetry is a divine gift.

Literature of choice: Oscar Wilde, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and John Keats.

2. The Stoner

You’ve seen them smoking outside the library and you’ve seen him or her outside of the student union at 2am, kebab laden and aviators on, screaming about ‘The System’. They will dream of driving across America and pine for the legalization of drugs.

What to expect: long, monotone readings about how the government is corrupt and we just all need to relax.

Literature of choice: Hunter S. Thompson, William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac.

3. The Militant Activist

Whatever their cause, this certain type of poetic anarchist will force all other students to squirm and shake. You will be the reason they were late to class that day and you will be the cause of the hot water going off in their house.

What to expect: Constant talk of revolution and heated arguments about the relevance of the Monarchy.

Literature of choice: Gertrude Stein, George Orwell and Karl Marx.

4. The Asian Literature Fan

Smart and enthusiastic, the The Asian Literature Fan will contribute a lot to the class but will always fall back to what they are interested in. The class can be talking about the price of a pint in the union or what year did Jack Nicholson play the Joker and The Asian Literature Fan will bring it back round to the time they climbed Mount Fuji in their gap year.

What to expect: Magical realism and lots of talk about cats and Asian cuisine.

Literature of choice: Salman Rushdie, Haruki Murakami and Kazuo Ishiguro.

5. The Rapper

Very soon into the semester it will be become clear that this student didn’t read the memo. Although talented, they will have a reluctance to read the texts and will be bored by talk of form or metaphors. Very political and a penchant for swearing, this student will be aiming for the pass.

What to expect: Long verses of rhyme and social commentary with the occasional “bitch” thrown in.

Literature of Choice: Tupac and Eminem.

6. The Great American Novelist

Arriving with an oxford collared shirt and an antiquated vocabulary, this student will tut, sigh and roll their eyes throughout the class. No literature will compare to the books back on their homemade shelf at home. They will seldom speak, but when they do it is usually about the hollowness of adverbs or the sad decline of the novel.

What to expect: Terse short stories about fishing or animals or cowboys.

Literature of choice: Ernest Hemingway, Cormac McCarthy and Herman Melville.

7. The Precocious One

Every class has one student who makes everyone else diminish with inferiority. Chances are they grew up with a healthy diet of Modernism for breakfast and Victorian literature for dinner. You will sit and listen to them speak and not understand a word they say but will know you should probably take notes. You will never know anything about them, but that’s ok because you can read their debut novel years later.

What to expect: Detailed, descriptive scenes about old England and a vocabulary to match.

Literature of Choice: Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens and Jane Austen.

8. Mr. or Mrs. Dystopia

The funniest person in the room, you will be both laughing and inspired by Mr. or Mrs. Dystopia and their peculiar, twisted and graphic ideas. You will spend half your time wondering where ideas like that come from and the other half doing bad impressions of it in your own time.

What to expect: Images of machines and computers paired with huge, human emotion.

Literature of Choice: Kurt Vonnegut, George Saunders and Thomas Pynchon.

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