In this post, I share some of the ways I learned creative writing, and how it became an obsession.
I am not sure where to start. I was an academic scholar for years, on and off. Near the end of my degree, I had to pick up some electives. I chose Creative Writing and English. Nice combination eh? That isn’t enough though. It started with poetry classes. It improved my prose. Some people think, if you can write poetry, you can write just about anything…so I kept writing. I have two published poems. Writing poetry tightens your prose.
I have always been an avid reader. After university, I completed a creative writing diploma at Stratford Quebec. This was a self-paced program. It started right from the beginning. Most of the books came from Writer’s Digest. They have a great website too. You can order some of these books. I also read “On Writing Well,” by W. Zinsser.
More books include Strunk&White’s The Elements Of Style. This book is a must for any writer. I have read many books about writing. It’s useful to study how other authors write, how they use imagery or present their characters. Take notes too.
I also take notes of the things I don’t like, and vow never to put them into my own writing. I see a lot of cliches, even in best sellers.
I try to keep a journal of the things I hear and see that might be written into a story someday. I even take notes of the people and conversations around me.
There are formulas for writing. Once you have them, you can put your ideas into them, and let the magic flow. Don’t forget to let your voice develop naturally. Once you start writing a lot, people will be able to identify you as the writer. Voice and style become consistent.
I have been told that writing every day is good practice. I have to do more of that.