Monday, November 11, 2013

In Defense of Bobby Pin Ballads

By Lilly McGee

Do you ever feel like your creative writing is a little too creative?

Like, maybe you shouldn’t submit a short story about a serial killer toddler to your workshop class? Or maybe the local lit mag won’t be eager to publish a comic about the life and times of a bobby pin? Okay, maybe no one out there is actually penning a graphic novel about the most mundane of all hair supplies, but you know what I mean. Sometimes it feels like writing is only supposed to be creative within certain boundaries.

It’s okay to write realistic short stories -- tales about jaded twenty-somethings wondering what they’re supposed to do with their lives, elderly protagonists reminiscing about their youth, or failed romances -- but as soon as you step into fantasy, science fiction, or the realm of the downright silly, you’re done for. No way are fancy lit people going to respect a poem about alien encounters or a story about a girl who screams uncontrollably every time she hears the word “potato.”

The fantastic and the silly are often looked down upon, as though they’re somehow less respectable. They’re firmly stuck in the category of “genre literature,” when they’re considered literature at all. At the Writing Center, however, we take a different approach.

The consultants? We love “genre fiction.” So much so that we want to marry it. We respect how writers of horror, fantasy, humor, etc. aren’t afraid to get creative. Like, really creative. Captain Underpants and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry creative.

And that’s why we love talking to creative writers about their work. Many if not most of us have experienced multiple creative writing workshops (several of our consultants are MFA students) and would be honored to read the creative work of grads and undergrads alike. Yeah, we’ll look at the nitty gritty things like structure and run-on sentences, but we’ll also talk about your narrative arc, use of metaphors, and alliteration. And we’ll get downright enthusiastic about your writing, whether it’s realistic, 200% genre, or something in between.

I encourage all of you to submit those zombie haikus to your poetry workshops. Submit modern day fairy tales to your local lit mag. And most importantly, bring these stories and poems to the writing center so we can help refine your fantastic work!

At the Writing Center, we encourage you to embrace the silly, the weird, and the fantastic. That’s what makes you a truly creative writer.

1 comment:

  1. story about a serial killer toddler is narrated with a good psychological touch. Really a great work. For related writing work please
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