Creativity from Constraints: The Psychology of Breakthrough

By Patricia D. Stokes | Go to book overview
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Working With Constraints I:
Learning to Write in a
Different Voice 1

What can we learn from writing in someone
else's style? My students improvise on three [first
choruses, * experiment with a triad of literary
voices. The form is memoir. They learn to
identify and use constraints that generate more
expressive, evocative snapshots of their own lives
.


FIRST DRAFT: WRITING IN YOUR OWN VOICE
Students write a short (one page) memoir on one of the following themes:
Write about the first time you did something—went to school, went to camp, rode a bike, gave a speech. Where were you? What were you wearing? Whom were you with? How did you feel?
Write about a repeated pattern in your life. The pattern can involve how you act (arrange rooms, solve problems, choose friends) or how you feel.

Identifying Other Voices

Three authors discussed in chapter 3 have served as [first choruses] for a seminar I teach at Barnard. The three are A. S. Byatt, Italo Calvino, and

1 instructions given to students are bulleted.

-147-

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