How To Get an A- In a University-Grade Creative Writing Course

  1. Make Sure the Narrator is an Outside Observer that Really Sees the World, Not Like that Jerk, Travis

Most people go through their lives sleeping, but it is your narrator that is fucking awake. To get an A- in a University-Grade course, your narrator needs to use that keen intuition to objectively appraise the world in an objective way that only she can see.

Bad Writing:

“My father wore a suit to work.”

Good Writing:

“Every morning, while all the other kids in school were out smoking with Travis, I’d watch my father put on a suit. After a while, I realized: the suit was putting on my father.”

  1. Use the First-Person Singular

Everything is about you, even the things that aren’t. Your professor won’t be interested in your work unless you find a way to explain to them in great detail how it ties back into your life. You may make use of the allegory as long as it’s sufficiently clear to the reader that you’re talking about yourself.

Bad Writing:

“Stacy’s mom has it going on.”

Good Writing:

“My mom has it going on. And that makes me feel strange. Since I was a young girl I’ve had a lot of . . .”

  1. Make Sure That Your Writing Frames The Narrator in a Congratulatory Way

The only difference between writing and masturbating is a lack of chafing. Writing, at least good writing, needs to splooge across the page in a way that convinces the reader that the author has a lot of skills that the reader doesn’t. Have any interesting knowledge? Fun facts? Here is wear you throw them in. Really impress us.

Bad Writing:

“Steve asked me about the rocks. I didn’t know.”

Good Writing:

“Fuck you Steve, I said, I know everything about rocks. Did you know that granite has a high rate of hydroplasticity? Bet you didn’t you little bitch. Also I can pick any lock. And I have a three foot vert.”


  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Paragraphs Longer than 3 Pages

Students often come to me asking for advice on structuring their essays. Generally, it is said there should be an introduction (complete with a thesis statement) followed by 3-4 body paragraphs and a conclusion that restates the thesis. Fine? BORING. A good introduction, even in creative writing, begins with an incredible generalization:

“For billions of years, people have struggled against the truth of Jesus Christ”

Before continuing on for five or six pages, detailing to the reader the minutiae of your personal life that brought you to this knowledge. After that, your paragraphs should alternate between being only one word (for emphasis) and ten pages (of exposition)


  1. Your Story Should Never Contain a Climax

Traditional writers, aka suits, have often advocated a five act structure: establishment, rising action, climax, falling, and conclusion. Those rich fucks don’t know shit. At know point should your story reach a point of understanding and change. The reader should be introduced to your perfect narrator, and your story should be an examination of their exquisite perfection—any change would be for the worse, and that just can’t happen. Let’s examine four structures:

  1. Romeo and Juliet: a tenuous situation descends into chaos before climaxing in a double suicide which subsequently establishes a more harmonious existence.
  2. Ulysses: a tenuous situation descends into chaos before climaxing in an open brawl which subsequently establishes a more harmonious existence.
  3. Entourage: Vince has sex with beautiful women over and over.
  4. The Great Gatsby: a tenuous situation descends into chaos before climaxing in a hit-and-run betrayal which subsequently establishes a more harmonious existence.

See what I’m saying? All these suits (except in C.) in their ivory towers think they’ve unlocked the secret to the perfect narrative when, in reality, all they’ve done is written the same story three times. It’s only when we look to Entourage that we see pure, brilliant experimentation with the narrative form, and it’s for that reason that it’s easily the most compelling of all.

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