Much like creative non-fiction, writing fiction has been a transformative, crystallizing experience that served to draw together my scattered experiences in out-of-class writing into a recognizable enjoyment of making stuff up. So, in other words, It showed me that I like to make up stories. The chance to just let loose and see what happened was both terrifying and fascinating (and fun). I like how a fiction work can just go its own way in every dimension, unlike creative non-fiction which must maintain its integrity as a representational work. As I’m sure others have said, and will always say, such leeway is both energizing and paralyzing, especially given my personal tendency to feel overwhelmed by any number of choices or options. However, once I imposed a structure (especially in class writing games, or at least the first one when we did the café scene) and was given a shock (in the form of a prompt etc…) my ideas were able to charge ahead fearlessly into the unknown (sort of). Then, of course, I hit another wall upon realizing that the thing had to become a whole coherent story and the block came back. Also, I had lots of trouble trying to get excited about the story, and care enough about the characters to find out who they are etc… But persistence, and emphasis on interactive, verbal planning, as well as just generally self-confidence boosting meetings with BG helped me get over the last hump, to get things out of a jumble and more into the narrative as it wants to be shown. So, I really love the creative, free side of fiction–without this essential ingredient I wouldn’t have enjoyed creative non-fiction nearly as much. But at the same time it can easily be overwhelming, though by writing many “chunks” and then stitching them together the monumental task is made much more manageable, provided the chunks can actually be successfully integrated (see the refuse).
Oh, and I really enjoyed flash fiction. Being able to just zoom alllllll the way in can be really fun, and can make the story take on a cool surreal quality that I really like. (The bit in my short story about the earring getting hot in his ear, or the final scene are both mini-encapsulated flash fictions).