A Guide to Creative Writing and the Imagination  book cover
1st Edition

A Guide to Creative Writing and the Imagination

ISBN 9780367691738
Published March 31, 2022 by Routledge
284 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $42.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Teaching creative writing for the multicultural, global, and digital generation, this volume offers a fresh approach for enhancing core writing skills in the major forms of Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Drama. A Guide to Creative Writing and the Imagination aims to provide students with organic, active learning through imitation and examples which not only emphasize writing and reading but look to other art forms for inspiration. This volume’s key features include:

• Strengthening key underlying capabilities of what we mean by imagination: physical and mental alertness, clarity of perception, listening skills, attention to detail, sustained concentration, lateral thinking, and enhanced memory.  

• Taking direction from other art forms such as African American musical improvisation, Brancusi’s sculptural idea of “finding form,” key ideas from drawing such as foreground, background, and negative space—and some of the great lessons learned from National Geographic photography.  

• Incorporating techniques drawn from unusual sources such as advertising, military intelligence, ESL, working with the blind, stage magic, and oral traditions of remote indigenous cultures in Oceania and Africa.

The work is intended for a global English market as a core or supplementary text at the undergraduate level and as a supporting frame at the M.F.A. level.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Going Wokabout

-Purpose and Plan

-Fevering Forward

-A Multimedia Artist Reflects

-What to Pack

-Three Spiral Paths


-New Ways for New Days

-Reflections on Publishing from an Agent’s Point of View

-Key Takeout Points

-Learning by Imitation

Part 2: Gaining Perspective

-Introductory Parable

-Live the Map

-Present Tense, Future Tenser?

-Of a Fire in the Mind

-The Basic Writing Point of View

-The Unfortunate Perspective of Regret

-A Critical Point of View

-Found in Translation

-People, Place, and Language

-Race, Language, and Culture

-Public Health, Private Healing

-In Conversation with Leland Cheuk

Part 3: Aerial View

-Introductory Parable

-An Underlying Unity

-The Subject is Always…

-Why Should YOU Write?

-What to Write About


-Subjects / Themes / Premises / Concepts





-Voice / Style

-Narrative Perspective


-Suspense / Surprise




-Accuracy & Ethos (Authorial Authority / Credibility)


-Well Made Things (Holistic Care)

-Important General Concepts

-What Makes Coherence?

Part 4: Tactical Resources

Quick Think Exercises

Memory Arcade (The Listening Memory Method)

Word Arcade

Part 5: The Writing Program



Drama (Writing for Performance)


Part 6: Spiral Mind (Not Yet Arrived)

-Introductory Parable

-Imagination in Context

-Alertness (Alive & Now)

-The Mystery of Memory

-Exercising Memory

-A Welcome Ambush: Join the Surprise Part!

-The General Method

-Some Case Studies: Imagination Performed


-From Revision to Evolution

-Seven Essential Points for Writers

-Write About What You Know and Be Confined…

-Truth, Memory, and the Right to Your Own Life

-The Discipline

-Recommended World Reading

View More



Kris Saknussemm received a B.A. with Distinction from Dartmouth College, double majoring in English and Native American Studies. He holds an M.A. from the University of Washington where he was the Robertson Fellow. His first novel Zanesville was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award and has gone on to be a cult favorite in translation in Russia and Poland. His novel Private Midnight achieved bestseller status in France and Italy. His work The Memory Wound won First Prize in the Missouri Review Audio Play competition, and the film of his published play The Humble Assessment (which was the featured work at the Las Vegas Fringe Festival and has also been staged in Australia and Sweden) has been screened at 17 international festivals, including two of the world’s most prestigious LGBTQ events. His short fiction has won First Prize in the Boston Review Short Story Contest and First Prize in the River Styx Short Short Fiction Contest. In poetry, he has won Australia’s Newcastle Poetry Prize and the Mary Gilmore Award. His journalism has appeared in over 300 newspapers and magazines worldwide. His professional photography has appeared in many publications. Two fine arts books of his paintings and visual art have been published in France.