Creative Writing

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Creative Writing

  • Host University

    Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

  • Location

    Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, Chile

  • Area of Study

    Creative Writing

  • Language Level


    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course description
    Introductory course to creative writing in Spanish, aimed at foreign students with no previous experience required in the creative field. The course looks to motivate and refine creative production in short stories (fiction), travel writing (non-fiction), and poetry, with an emphasis, but not exclusively, to reading and writing assignments focused on the space of Valparaíso and the experience of a foreign culture. Through collective and individual exercises developed in class as well as more extensive assignments, the students will perfect their writing in terms of theme and developed ideas, as well as the essential elements of fiction and literary writing, which will allow enriching their experience in the context of a different culture.

    Main objective
    The main objective of this course is to bring the students closer to creative writing in Spanish as a second language, in order to expand their expression under other semantic fields, have a deep access to other cultural experiences, and reflect with a broader understanding about their own culture and language.

    Specific objectives

    • Think, imagine and create new points of view about reality through writing in a second language.
    • Develop the narrative and poetic talent through an artistic learning process based on the practice of specialized writing exercises.
    • Reflect on the encounter of cultures from their worldview and discover their own expressive resources.
    • Experiment with the ability to reflect on and develop a system of thought that allows facing the representation of reality with new meanings and ideas.
    • Carry out specialized writing exercises and discussion sessions to strengthen and develop the understanding and usage of elements commonly used in narrative fiction, travel stories, and poetry.
    • Study the more specific components of each genre, in order to produce texts with a variety of approaches, so that the student becomes a better writer.


    1. Origins and sources of writing.
    - The work: the artistic view or perception: unravel reality, discover it and explain it.
    - The literary imaginary: the act of imagining and expressing: fantasy, imagination and reverie.
    - The state of otherness: (?I is another?).
    - Writing proposal of each student.
    - First exercises: Perception: point of view and subjectivity. The experience.

    2. Comprehension of basic elements of creative writing, based on the revision of the students? exercises.
    - The semantic field: denotation and connotation. Associative ability.
    - Anaphoric and figurative language.
    - Literary resources: simile, metaphor, hyperbole, antithesis, repetition.
    - Ekphrastic writing. Minimalist writing. Fragmentary writing.
    - Automatic writing: manifestations of the unconscious and its imaginaries.

    3. Introduction to short narrative. Revision of concepts and practice of procedures in selected texts and in the students? writing assignments
    - State transformations and creation of conflicts (plot, intrigue, verisimilitude).
    - Construction of characters, time (story-time and discourse-time); space: places and territories. Mood (distance and perspective; focalization); voice (types of narrator). Showing and telling. Description. The art of suggestion. A story within a story.
    - Personal themes and obsessions. Exploring other discourses. Observation and memory (anamnesis).

    4. Specific types of travel writing through practical exercises.
    - The journal of the travel writer.
    - Anonymous writing. More writer than traveler.
    - Intuitions of the newcomer. Fragmentation of vision. The questions of the traveler.

    - Reflexive curiosity.
    - Looking at the world from a space of liberty. Traveling in proximity.
    - First person and the point of view of the traveler. Travel themes.
    - Other voices in the travel story: experts, locals, travelers.
    - The inner voyage.


    5. Poetry writing: reflection through reading and writing of poems.

    - The poetic text: lexical and symbolic fields. Plursiemy of the linguistic sign.

    - Expression of language, ideas, and emotions in poetry.
    - Condensation and the involvement of the self, in the poetic expression.
    - Different logics. Lateral thinking and the inversion method.
    - Ludic and oneiric processes in the construction of the poem.
    - Basic technical resources (adjectivation, images and metaphors, rhythm and musicality?)
    - The poetic image. Images as creative guides.
    - Cryptic writing: the poetic code of words. Secret associations.
    - Spanish regular meter poem, free verse; prose poem, visual poetry.

    This course, for its workshop characteristics, in eminently practical. However, through reading exercises of model texts (?reverse engineering?) and the practice of writing the students will learn useful techniques for written production.

    1. Small group work. Reading and writing proposal in each session.

    2. Active participation of the members of the group on the proposals given in the workshop.

    3. Work proposals from a ludic-descriptive point of view.

    4. Development of assignment on critical reading and writing at home.

    5. Reading the exercises written by the students of the course, exposition and debate (peer review). The students must upload their homework to the university?s virtual platform one day in advance, so that all the participants can read them.

    6. Writing and text production in class, directed by the teacher.

    7. Teacher?s appreciations in relation to the objective set at the initial proposal, in order to show the achievement or possible improvement to the student.


    Participation: 35%. An attendance of 85% of the sessions is required as well as active participation in class, showing their work and commenting the work of other classmates with a critical basis (peer revision)
    Assignments and exercises: 35%. Compliance to assigned work, handed on the appropriate date and incorporated upon revision to the portfolio that must be presented at the end of the semester.
    Presentation of a poem or micro-story./performance 30%
    Oral presentation in class (on the date indicated by the teacher) combining the reading of one of the student?s texts with another form of art (music, video, photography, collage, etc.)
    Grade: all the activities are rated from 1 to 7.

    Attendance: 85%

    All texts will be uploaded to the university?s virtual platform. Printing them is recommended. Spanish versions must be read even if they are translations.


Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.


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