Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

First Advisor

Michael Castro

Second Advisor

Charlene Engleking

Third Advisor

Beth Mead


One of the most influential writers I studied in the Advanced Creative Writing cluster was Amiri Baraka. His style of writing distinguishes him from his peers. but the journey he took to get the caliber of writing he's at now excites me as a writer. From the Beat Period (1957-1962). The Transitional Period ( 1963-1965). The Black Nationalist Period (1965-1974). to the Third World Marxist Period (1974- ) (Beat Reader) Each period signified growth in his writing. but his way of thinking changed. He grew as a person. His transitions as a writer forced me to examine my own. My writing has grown from this journalistic style which included hard news and feature to leisurely writing poetry to short fiction. Although a short journey. it is a journey nonetheless. From my foundation as a fact finding, inverted pyramid structured style to more creative imaginative pieces. From a writing standpoint. it's quite a change.

"My Sister's Tears," the novella presented as my culminating project, is a short fiction piece. My goal was to create a fiction piece that presented characters and scenarios that were realistic. It was important to me that the react ions of the characters were sincere. The plot contains situations that tie characters together with background information on how those relationships were formed. Chloe and Toni are primary characters in this story. The dynamic between them is that of two sisters. one who has a successful career but a failed relationship. The other has a failed career bur a fulfilling relationship. Both want what the other has, but only one is willing to sabotage a friendship to get it.

The story is told mainly through two characters. One of which is Toni, but the most important characters is the voice of the grandmother. She is the voice of reason for

Toni. She was an advisor in life and her lessons prove true in her death. Her lessons are always timely from her appearance in Toni's dreams to childhood lessons of wounds healing over time that can be applied lo adult situations. The grandmother was an intricate part of pushing the story forward in time. The use of the grandmother helped to create scenes for the reader. Her voice also aided in ending the story which was one of the most difficult portions of the story to complete.

Completing this piece was one of my greatest challenges. I hope that readers feel satisfied once they've completed it. I hope they feel that each character's scenario has closure. but I hope readers are surprised at the outcome. I didn't want the story to be predictable. I wanted there to be surprises that the reader had no idea were coming.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License