How To Get Into Creative Writing

How To Get Into Creative Writing-49
If you're into any kind of creative writing – whether it be poetry, novels, short stories, screenplays, or creative nonfiction that you write – it can be hard to begin again after a hiatus of not writing anything. My last piece of creative writing was a short story written in 2013.So, needless to say, I was a little nervous coming into this semester when I remembered that I chose to take a Creative Writing: Fiction class.

If you're into any kind of creative writing – whether it be poetry, novels, short stories, screenplays, or creative nonfiction that you write – it can be hard to begin again after a hiatus of not writing anything. My last piece of creative writing was a short story written in 2013.So, needless to say, I was a little nervous coming into this semester when I remembered that I chose to take a Creative Writing: Fiction class.

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It was an engaging, liberating exercise as I was relieved of the burden of worrying how each character might fit into the plot; how they might fit didn’t matter at that point.“I work my way backward from the end of the novel,” he says, “which is the first thing I know, to what the first chapter should be. “I write what I call ‘buttons.’ If I’m writing a story, rather than going beginning to end, I just write scenes and don’t worry about what connects them. If I’m in a funk and tired about this book, I’ll write about someone who’s tired. Once you have a character doing something, this might lead to that character doing something else…By the time I actually write the first sentence, I have a virtual road map of the whole novel — either in notes or in my head.” I’ve never tried this, as I just don’t work that way, and Irving himself says he sincerely doubts his method would work for anyone else. Novelist Sandra Cisneros (House on Mango Street, Carmelo, and many other books) takes another approach. I just use it as a place to go off from, then write it and rework it until it’s beautiful, and then I have this little button. And then the next day I work on another button, and then I put them together and start to see patterns.” If you have an idea for a story or novel, perhaps buried somewhere in those sheaves of notes, especially if you’re a compulsive researcher like me, and you use research to put off doing what you need to do, which is to start, try writing about a character who might or might not end up being in that story; this is exploration, after all, path-finding, but not starting out on a particular path, a little like Sandra’s buttons. Better yet, start with two characters doing something. If you have two characters, then they can interact and talk to one another.Action and dialogue are ways to get into a character’s head, and, indeed your own head, and thus into finding the story.You might end up tossing what you’ve written, but if it gets you going, so what? Another teacher suggested having a conversation with your characters as a way of finding out who they are and what they want, as a way of finding your story.I was working on a novel at the time and it wasn’t going anywhere and I was losing steam.I didn’t need to start, but I certainly needed a kick in the ass. I asked each character how he or she ended up in this situation and what each wanted, and I got answers.Music will help you clear your mind and open up some space for creativity.Some writers draw when they need some inspiration, but if you're not so talented in the drawing department like me – try some quick doodling.This is to get yourself used to making yourself write. Put on your headphones and find a playlist that fits the mood you're in.You can do it while you free-write or journal, while you're thinking of ideas, or while you're doing anything but those things.

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