Creativity in the morning- join the club!


Brigham Larson

Creative writing club meets on Friday mornings.

Brigham Larson, Reporter

A group of students trek in the daylight hours of the morning. They strain to keep their eyes open as the open road sprawls out in front of them. Without warning, their destination comes into sight. They hike through a maze of hallways, until they are finally exactly where they need to be (or directly outside of it, due to the locked door on the room). But wherever they meet, or whatever they’re doing at this particular moment, the creative writing club is bursting with inventiveness and a desire to release the story trapped in their heads.

A typical meeting will involve the members of the club reading aloud whatever they may be working on at the time. Chapters of novels, bite-sized short stories, intensely personal poems and comedy scripts have all come up at these readings, giving one an idea of the varying styles of each writer in the club. Jokes about things like writer’s block abound. Insightful discussions of Stephen King’s methods of writing are immediately followed by surprisingly intense debates over the best fictional colleges.

The creative writing club is for anyone yearning to pen the latest teen fantasy series, a gripping thriller that would be right at home in an airport bookstore, a collection of poems, or anything falling under the umbrella of creative writing. Writers meet up at (roughly) 6:30 at Ms. Phillips’s room to swap stories and writing tips with each other. It’s a format that’s incredibly simple, but has led to great success in improving the writing and process of the club’s members.

The club welcomes writing in all genres and stages of completion. Dallen Johnston (12) has a complete fantasy novel he frequently reads fragments of during club meetings, gathering feedback from his fellow writers to perfect his work. At the same time, both unfinished novels and short works of fiction have been recited and revised with help from the club’s members, as well as songs, scripts, poetry, and even basic ideas that have yet to be shared outside of the room or even written down.

In addition to reading their work and receiving comments on whatever they may be working on, members of the club are encouraged to read the work of their peers, allowing them to go more in-depth on feedback than they normally would during a typical feedback session. Most recently, this has involved drawing the names of their fellow members out of a hat for randomized criticism on a story they may not be too familiar with.

But writing is not all that the members of this club do. Some of the fondest memories made in the club have little to do with the practice or development of their craft. For example, when they went to ridiculous extremes to make their club photo for the yearbook as absurd and hilarious as possible, the many debates they’ve gotten into the most random things, and playing snippets of classical music during a discussion about favorite radio stations.

Despite all of these various non-creative writing-related escapades, the club still remains committed to the original mission: refining the practice of their passion, and helping others to do the same. No matter how flawed, plot hole-riddled, or even unreadable a person may think their work is, every bit of witty commentary and feedback gives a way to improve it, so that every time it is brought back into the hands of the club, it is in a better state. That is one of the main goals of the club as well: encouragement. The members can see the good in any story, no matter how incomplete it may seem, and suggesting ways to build upon the positive aspects leads to a better story, and hopefully, another visit to the club.

If you wish to join the club, the good news is that not only is there no sign-up process, but it’s never too late to join! All one has to do to find themselves in a room full of those with the common goal of crafting the perfect story is show up on Friday at roughly 6:30 at Ms. Phillips’s room. Be sure to bring along your story, preferably on a Google Doc, and most importantly, a willingness to craft the best writing or whatever it is you may be working on, possible. With luck, after attending, you too may find yourself with a masterpiece (or with a silly hat standing in front of a camera for a club photo. That is also a definite possibility).