CREATIVE WRITING: An art worth learning
A desire to express forms a portrait of words,
We call it creative writing.
Writing is an art that is used for communicating ideas and thoughts, and more so, creative writing is like a sketch of a person’s feelings portrayed in words. It’s nothing less than a portrait of a person or a scene or one’s abstract thoughts but in a readable form. For creative writing, a flow of emotions is a must that would be converted into thoughts and then words.
History of Writing:
At first, the writing came into existence with cave drawings to communicate, later it became the inspiration to develop human speech. The earliest writing was performed on clay tablets known as cuneiforms. It was started first in Egypt and Mesopotamia, around six thousand years ago and is continued experiencing a lot of changes. The sole purpose of writing was communication that is now a sense of expression.
Let’s discuss a few points that an aspiring writer should practice:
- First of all, read a lot and with discrimination in order to write.
- Let your experience develop.
- Choose your own path. Don’t try to follow anyone, but be yourself.
- Journalize your experiences and thoughts.
- Structure your thoughts.
- Imagine the course of your work; and
- Aim for clarity, directness and precise writing.
- Be your own critic as well as, share your work with your friends and seek other’s opinion.
Types of writing and their purpose:
- NON-CREATIVE OR NONFICTIONAL WRITING:
Non-creative writing is mostly informative. It works with facts and figures an analytical approach with lucid and methodological arguments are a must for this type of writing. For example- Text books, editorials etc.
- CREATIVE OR FICTIONAL WRITING:
It is a piece of abstract thoughts in words. It is also considered as a spiritual activity. This type of writing includes the writer’s feelings and way of thinking. It is the opposite of non-creative writing. An individual vision can be sensed in the writings. For example- novels, plays, poems etc.
Aspects of Writing:
The essence of content is the experience. Experience is what one acquires from the life around, through one’s senses, by observing things that go on. No author can possibly write in a vacuity. He would have seen life around him in its various situations, happy and sad, harsh and poignant, and he would have made mental notes of everything. When, suddenly, it occurs to him to write a story about a certain issue as its substance, with a particular lot of eccentrics, the right elements, which he had once gathered in his mind and which have in the meanwhile undergone strange transformations within him, will begin tumbling out of their own accord and take a new life on paper. Even when one formulates a narrative, its elements would somewhere resemble the real. Differently, the writing will lack credibility and legitimacy. A well-written work should always yield the reader the notion that it is substantial; it should never make him pronounce, ‘Oh, how could this ever happen!’ Hence, it is necessary for a writer to keep his eyes and ears clear and closely watch the life around so as to be able to carry those images for use in future.
‘Form’ has two meanings. Firstly, literary form and secondly, structural form. As for literary form, the content itself generally decides what shape it should call for. Whether a particular insight should come out as a narrative or a novel, or its nature and quality are such that nothing, but a poem shows it full is not generally decided consciously. It comes on its own with the idea of writing itself. On occasion, the writer may be in a dilemma and has to decide, considering all elements into consideration, which form to opt.
As for its structural sense, the guiding principle should be an easy communication for easy inclusion. In order to achieve a good structure, the writer should first of all order his material, that is, decide- (a) how much of what should be in the work, and (b) in what order. Logic, common sense and experience, drawn from one’s wide reading, will avail here. Just as a 500-page novel cannot be handled with only two characters, an eight-page story cannot hold two dozen characters, unless the author is a very smart. One cannot go on describing the locale of the story for seven pages, reserving all the action and its denouement to the last page. As for the order, the Aristotelian ‘beginning-middle-and-end’ is a time-tested sequence. But a gifted writer can always make variations. Literary tradition has provided us with several acceptable models, but if the writer is innovative he can create newer models. It is significant to have in mind, nonetheless, that ultimately structure is merely a means to an end, and one should choose only that in which the content comes through more skilful.
In its totality, a piece of writing is like a work of architecture, where every stone is well-cut and fits into the other as if the two are one piece. Nothing in it should stick out. The entire structure should form an aesthetically satisfying whole. The stone metaphor above applies to every single element of writing-first the word, then the sentence, the paragraph, the chapter and finally the book itself. Each word in a sentence should act like the right musical tone, and each sentence like a bar and the book as a whole like a symphony, harmonious in its full orchestration.
Then comes style. It is potential that two works were written on the same theme, or with the same stem, should both be structurally satisfying, yet stylistically one may be more beneficial than the other. The style is a manner of expressing one’s thoughts and feelings in words. It is the effect of long-cultivated awareness of words and sentences, of the way a writer connects one sentence with another. For one writer, ‘succour’ may be satisfactory, while ‘help’ may be more appropriate. ‘Procrastination’ is a tongue-twisting, while ‘delay’ is more expressive. For many, more than two adjectives at a time may be bad writing, but for a poet like Walt Whitman, a chain of them was normal. Style is a very personal thing; it identifies the writer.