Irvine Valley College

Online Creative Writing Workshop

Writing 10 - Introduction to Creative Writing

Spring 2012 - Ticket # 64580

Marjorie Coverley Luesebrink, Instructor


Week 3:  Which Live In and Out of Time -

Which Live In and Out of Time


Whether you are writing poetry or fiction, the moment of epiphany is always set in Time.  This week we are going to experiment with time markers to punctuate your work!  

1.  Online Lecture for Week 3

2.  Assigned Reading:  Opening paragraphs of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

Your assigned reading for this week is the beginning of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness [You will need to scroll down a little bit to see the displayed pages.  You can't the whole novel from this Google site, but if you have Never read this novel, I do recommend it!]  It's also helpful to remind ourselves of the main things to look for when we are reading poetry and fiction.  

This book is one of the most innovative modern novels in terms of the Time Structures - and Time is our theme for the week.  What I want you to look for here is the way that the narrator sets himself up in relationship both to the story and the time frame.  I will be using this novel as my example throughout the lecture...


3.  Weekly Writing Exercise

The assignment this week is a little trickier and takes a bit more planning.  It involves setting up a time frame for your story or poem.  In the Exercises for Week 2, you will see that I wrote a kind of character memoir.  The subject is the narrator's father, but the reader is told that he has been dead for ten years.  More, I set the "real time of the action" somewhere in a much more distant past, when the narrator was a Girl Scout - maybe age 9 or 10.  Here, you can see that there are different time frames operating (see lecture).  One time frame is the "real action" time of the rope board, another time frame is the "narrative frame" which spans all the time between childhood and the father's death.  And then there is the "point of view" frame - an artificial persona, somewhere in middle age, who is recalling all of this.  

In the Model for Week 3, I have elaborated the time frames a bit - but the elements of "backstory" and "current time frame" are operating in Augusta's narrative, as well.  See if you can narrate an event from the past, telling it from an unspecified, but delayed, "current time frame."

4.  Be thinking about your Formal Workshop piece!


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Marjorie Coverley Luesebrink, your Instructor, is a Professor of English in the School of Humanities and Languages

Irvine Valley College, Irvine, California