I thought hard about where to begin in this Writers’ Guide and after much rumination I settled for Creative Writing as a starting point. I chose this simple and broad term because that is the awning under which the kind of writing I do and which most of us do fall under. It is, at least, the umbrella term for the kind of writing we will be focusing on in our Writers’ Guide.
And so to begin, let us first define the term Creative Writing:
Wikipedia defines Creative Writing as any type of writing that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic or technical forms of literature, typically identified by an emphasis on narrative craft, character development and the use of literary tropes or with various kinds of poetry and poetics.
A simpler definition would be… Creative Writing is the writing that expresses ideas and thoughts in an imaginative way. It is the art of making things up. It is called creative writing because the its main goal is to express the feelings, thoughts and emotions of the writer and not to present facts.
Types of Creative Writing:
Types of Creative Writing would include —
* Fiction — novels, novellas and short stories
* Movie and television scripts
* Non-Fiction — Memoirs, Personal essays Etc.
Techniques employed in Creative Writing:
A few of the techniques used in Creative writing are —
* Character developement
* Plot development
* Point of view
* Imaginative language
* Emotional appeal
* Figures of speech Etc.
I daresay that overtime we will expatiate on these techniques. Having understood at some level what Creative writing does involve, I’d like us to take a glance at How to become a Creative Writer.
Now, why the most basic tool of becoming a writer, in my opinion, is possessing an innate, God-given talent for writing, Creative Writing can also be learned. And I will add here that even when the talent is innate, learning is still a process to chisel and shape up that skill. And so, part of the learning process of a Creative writer include, but are not limited to, the following —
* Reading. I consider reading a chief tool of becoming a writer. Not only does it help you to acquaint yourself with new words, it above all exposes you to what creative writing is about. It is the first place where your passion for writing will be established.
I decided that I could write, one day out-of-the-blue, after having read a good number of Mills and Boon Romance novels and caught my sister reading one too. I just had this conviction that I could write exactly what they were writing, lol.
So, in my opionion, Reading is a writer’s beginner’s first step.
* Format Choice. Deciding for a format of writing to do is the next step – Fiction or non-fiction? If Fiction, is it Poetry, short stories, novels, novellas and so on.
Once again, reading will help you decide for a suitable format. But I do believe that overtime, practice also helps you make a clearer and more defined choice.
* Genre Choice. This is quite tedious for most writer-wannabes though. Some of us never even know about genre until we make the conscious effort to find out about it. While I definitely knew I was writing Romance, I did not know my kind of writing was listed under the sub-genre Contemporary Romance.
But choosing a genre is most important if you are not to end up a misunderstood writer.
Fiction Genres are quite broad – Crime, Horror, Fantasy, Thriller, Romance, Drama Etc. And most are broken down into sub-genres which in turn might have sub-sub-genre. Like I said, it is a tedious process when you first hear of it. But I consider it an important tool or step for a creative writer as that not only helps define your writing, it helps to build it.
* Use of Imagination. Format and genre choice made, you need a storyline. And the only way to get a storyline or a plot is by using your imagination. Think up an idea. This is particularly important is Fiction writing, imagination is key.
As you think of your storyline, broaden it. Give it detail – where, when, how, what, who?
* Write. You have your idea or storyline now, well, don’t just stare at it, write it. Bring it to life with your words. Write. Re-write and keep re-writing until it makes sense.
* Get an Opinion. Now just because it makes sense to you doesn’t always mean it is meaningful. You have finally written something, great! now, get someone, others to read it. Make sure they are not biased or afraid to hurt your feelings, and then ask what they think. Where possible — and in fact make it possible — seek the opinion of established writers and be sure that you actually have what it takes to be called one, a writer.
Now people, don’t panic, this is just an overview. Like the techniques of creative writing, the steps of becoming a writer/fiction writer would be discussed more and expatiated on one after the other. This is just a layout process, where we get the feel of things. It’s just our first baby-step, so chilax, lol.
I do hope I did a bit of justice to our first lesson… I’m no professor, so pardon any errors, lol. From next week though, I think we will focus more on Fiction writing and all it entails and keep at it.
I’d sincerely appreciate your opinions, remarks, thoughts, even questions, so please comment them down, lol. Have a great week, cheers.
**Many thanks to — en-wikipedia.org; grammar.yourdictionnary.com; education-portal.com and wikihow.com**