Sunday, February 17, 2008

Learn to Write Creatively

I saw a question online about how to start creative writing. It's a very good question, but even many writers fail to take it seriously. I think this is because most non-writers fail to accept the short answer - writers must write. Usually they must write a lot. So when someone comes up and asks how to start creative writing, many writers lack the patience to really explain where to begin.

The best way to start creative writing is to find a piece of paper or a napkin and start jotting down whatever comes to mind. If you have a specific story you want to write, start writing down what it's about. If you hear a snippet of dialogue in your mind, or you see something special about your main character, definitely write that. Anything you think of can become a valuable part of your story.

Next, start writing your story. If you're on a roll, just keep going on the same piece of paper. Write for as long as you can - if you only have five minutes at lunch, that's enough to get started. As long as you come back - even if only for a few minutes each day - you can keep building the story. Making a daily habit of writing will stimulate your imagination and help you take your story in new directions. Don't wait for inspiration - often, inspiration strikes when you least expect it, and the best way to find more is to put pencil to paper and to keep going until you get there.

Later, when you've finished your story, I recommend finding someone to share your story with. A parent, a friend, someone to give supportive advice. When you feel like you want to get more specific feedback on your stories, find a local writers' group or sign up for an online workshop. Fellow writers can provide helpful advice for how to improve your writing while also encouraging you to keep going.

The most important thing, though, is to keep writing. Even on days when you don't like what you've written or someone else doesn't like it, write some more. Every day is a new chance to develop your creative voice.


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About Ryan Edel

6 comments:

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Nonoy said...

I definitely agree on what you said here.

Creative writing is something that a writer has to engage seriously. A neophyte writer has to have courage and discipline in order for him/her to start writing creatively.

I always remember a line from the movie Finding Forrester which stars Sean Connery, "The first key to writing is not to think but to write; write your first draft with your heart and rewrite with your head." This is one of the basic tips for writers that I always ponder.

Just let chaos run the pages with your creative words; the disorderliness will then subside when you begin rewriting your composition.

Ryan Edel said...

Nonoy, I definitely agree - when the chaos runs rampant, the story tends to take care of itself.

Actually, you might be interested in a new experiment I'm trying with National Novel Writing Month. I'll be writing a novel with input from readers for each new chapter. If you'd like, take a look at http://dragons.12writing.com

Nonoy said...

@Ryan Edel: Okay Ryan I'll check that link. Thanks a lot for your reply. I'll keep in touch.:-)

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