- August 29, 2022
- Posted by: IGBAJI U.C.
- Category: Academic Writing Guide
Creative Writing -What you must know to be successful
Some are latched on built-in talents and some are acquired, there are several authors who had to waste whole notebooks trying to scribe something down but ended up wasting the day as well, most time you get that manuscript of yours rejected on the count that it doesn’t meet the demands. In essence, it simply means it wasn’t creative enough, it was simply just a cliché.
Take Herman Melville for example, the esteemed author of Moby dick was turned down for reasons of his less creative whale story, peter. P. Bentley of Bentley & Son voiced in recompense to Hemans aggrieved rejection saying
“First, we must ask, does it have to be a whale? While this is rather delightful, if somewhat esoteric, plot device, we recommend an antagonist with a more popular visage among the young readers. For instance, could not the Captain be struggling with a depravity towards young, perhaps voluptuous, maidens?”
For most amateur writers that’s the final nail in the coffin that buries their potential and career as a writer but that shouldn’t necessarily be a deterrent, creative writing is something that begins, is something that can be achieved, is something that can be groomed by mere comprehension of the sobriquet and craft in general, most times when you find that you aren’t perfuming excellently or as expected in your field of operation as a writer it simply means you still aren’t abreast by what creativeness requires and as such can’t utilize your creativity while writing.
Is there really a difference between Maya Angelo’s phenomenal woman and James Clear’s Productivity hack?
With that, we’d abridge the sting of ignorance and start-up small, with a simple definition.
What is creative writing?
Creative writing is any form of writing style that breaks the boundaries of the academic profession, preordained style and compulsive constrained (the likes of persuasive or expository) order, exceeding such and completely relying on imaginations.
Creative writing is adding a new format, a new approach to an existing concept This transcends the ordinary journalistic tone of writing that perpetuates all seriousness, dryness and coldness, this is plain old writing down your imagination on a piece of paper
What is expected when the phrase “creative writing” is paraphrased is You are to connect to your readers in such a way that breeds up existing emotions in them, communicating the theme of your write-up or piece whether it is a short story, a poem, a graphic novel, fictive or non-fictive till it bruises the emotions of readers and passes the intended message.
A relatively close reference to the above intended can be seen in Chimamanda Adichie’s Half a yellow sun, it’s not a historic write-up as opposed to Tsutomu Yamaguchi’s atomic bomb memoir, you’d find out that both directly adopt in totality all incidents that occurred in previous years but Adichie’s stands out on the grounds of the creativity embedded in it
Being an alternate historic write up the book captures events but no data holds records of the names portrayed in the book being present. It’s not that she faltered or wasn’t accurate but in order to distinguish what she’s putting down from being a historic write-up, she adopts pseudonyms and portrays the character with distinctive features using such to pass on messages and breed relevance to the various major themes in the book while communicating to readers.
Note: For the sake of clarity do not perceive the above as a comparison between Chimamanda Adichie and Tsutomu Yamaguchi.
Another example comes in form of the allegory scribed down by John Bunyan “the pilgrim progress” the concept of a man surviving all odds and thriving to attain what his conviction suggests is especially portrayed using ideologies and character traits, with the main protagonist being Christian and a subordinate other by name faithful, having a central theme as cost of salvation and minor themes like forensics encompassing grace and work, the importance of suffering, perseverance, etc.
Bunyan could have simply written the story of Christ while turning a blind eye to plagiarism or just written a story about a man that lived a good life died and went to heaven or rather the opposite died and plunged to the vilest bowels of hell, but that’s just ordinary and seemingly sharing similarities with Joyce Meyer’s “battle of the mind”.
But instead of doing that and making a cliché of the book of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and the revelation he goes ahead and transcends journalistic reports and writes a book revealing character traits playing the roles of Christian humans while depicting their lives and everyday experience and showing the expected approach they should take when facing counter emotions and antagonism towards their Christian goals.
The theme isn’t the only qualifier and what in general defines creative writing, there are other factors that determine creative writing you should know about they are:
- Point of view- from whose eyes is the whole incident being perceived, if it’s from yours then the use of personal pronouns should become prevalent, it is all about talking and discussing your life experiences, personalized opinions, etc. e.g. “while growing up, I was always bullied and fagged, emotional molested, debased, and pried, this led to the development of OCD, my zeal to be in everybody’s good book upon falsely depicted led to me being a perfectionist”. Other than that the use of “you” “yours” should be employed for a second person while “he/her” “they” “them” for third, etc.
Note: the use of a 2nd person narrative is mostly for articles “reading on further you’ll find what you’re looking for”
- The connection- linking with readers’ emotion
- Organizing the narrative structure and proper yet effective use of tenses
- Using imaginative or/and descriptive language and tone.
What to put to mind about creative writing:
Creative writing requires an exhaustive and elaborate use of literary devices, techniques, principles, and figures of speech. e.g. metaphors, adopting farce, allegory, first, second and third-person narrative, cliffhangers, etc. however put to mind that creative writings aren’t only restricted to fiction alone, some true stories, humour pieces, coming of age stories, etc. can also be creatively written, but not analytical essays, research or term paper, emails, company statement, formal letters, social media posts, blog posts, except if written in first-person narrative.
This article you are reading, is it part of creative writing? Does It Evoke emotions? No, no it isn’t part of creative writing articles or posts that are informative hardly fall under the calibre of creative write-ups with that point proven we’d brush on;
Types of Creative Writing
As unbelievable as it is, it is very difficult to land on a clear definition of what poetry is but stringing words in consecutive order and in accordance with encyclopedia references, poetry is a form of literature that evokes a concentrated imagination of experience or a specific emotional response through language chosen and arranged for its meaning, sound, and rhythm. There are different types of poetry; sonnets, Haiku, ballads, odes, limericks, blank verses, etc. each with its defined structure, etc.
A novel is a conceived piece of narrative of a considerable length and a certain complexity that transacts creatively with human experience, typically through a linked arrangement of events including a group of persons in a specific setting. Inside its wide outline, the genre of the novel has covered a wide range from types to styles: picaresque, epistolary, Gothic, romantic, realist, and historical—to name a few important ones.
Picaresque; adventures of huckleberry Finn by mark twain, the Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens.
Epistolary; Pamela: virtue rewarded by Samuel Richardson, Dracula by storm stocker.
Gothic: the castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly.
Romantic: outlander, pride and prejudice b Jane Austen
Realist: thirteen reasons why by Jan Asher, Looking for Alaska by John Green
Historic: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Novels are mostly divided into fiction and non-fiction with a word count of 60,000-100,000 words while stories that are quite short to be considered as a novel and a tad too long to be called a short story is classified as novellas they range from between 10,000 words to 40,000 words. And then there is novelette which refers to stories with word counts ranging from 7,500- 19,000.
Plays are carried out on stages, e.g. hamlet by William Shakespeare
Screenplays are done on TV, for this manuscripts are being written and created while scripts are made for TV programs. They’re all quite common in novels. They narrate a story to tell a point and evoke emotions to express a theme. But they still differ because they are to be performed not read and as such, they are dependent on dialogue and body expression, and stage direction(exclusively for plays and scripts) as descriptions aren’t lengthy.
These are fictional by nature ranging from 5,000-10,000 words, at times they can be lower than 1,000 words and even exist as two sentences but when it is like that, they become flash fiction.
“The last man on earth sat down in front of the door and heaved
Then he heard a knock”
Some may not necessarily be clear but rest assured they are complete stories, they involve characters some a single others a couple, and they contain conflict and at least a theme or two. Examples of such, the thing around your neck by Chimamanda Adichie, Lamb to be slaughtered by Roald Dahl etc.
Other forms of creative writing
There are creative non-fiction that covers all forms of writing examples;
Composition: otherwise seen as personal essays. They are factual stories told through a narrative context. It often consists of the recollection of events intermingled with intuitions about those events and your individual understanding and feelings about them. E.g. me in 10 years, the place I want to visit, the mistakes I have done in my life.
Humour writing: this incite laughter and delight through the use of overly exaggerated incident or utter ridicule of an entity they come in forms such as stand-up comedy, Humorous essays, and Political cartoon.
Lyrical essays: this kind of say the writer narrows predictable grammar and stylistic rules when writing about a place, episode, idea, or mood. These essays are easily poems but of the same length as plain essays. The reason for their name is because of the more direct approach they make towards a subject matter, unlike poems. E.g. don’t let me be alone by Claudia Rankine.
Literary Journalism: this is like plain old journalism but improved by creative writing techniques, you see this kind of story published in the new york times, the new Yorker and salon, etc. they deal with factual events but present it as though a personal essay.
How to write creatively
It goes without saying that creativity cannot be taught due to how the environment and influential factors are being perceived, but creativity is something that can be acquired and attained and upon acquisition, it can be groomed and built till it manifests fully in the grand scheme on paper. Some tips can help sharpen your blunt mind till it starts birthing creative ideas.
Go on a journey to self-discovery.
Get to understand yourself as a writer, the more you write pay attention to where your flaws lie and where your greatest strength is at, are you unable to graft a comprehensive plot? An interesting plot? An eye-catching plot? Do you find it difficult to build life into characters? What scenes and languages are you excellent at those or implausibly horrible? Understanding the kind of writer you become a determinant of the kind of project you’d pursue, are you horrible at dialogue but great at narration and description? Then become a short story writer or a poet where much dialogue isn’t required.
Wrestle your disabilities
Challenge yourself, once you’ve consented to touch every genre like Stephen king even if not, pinpoint all your flaws and make it a date to develop in those areas till you see improvement, maybe you can’t create suspense or twist in a thriller or horror story, adopt the oldest trick and keep murdering important characters or exposing them to constant peril till they die, then grow a rather subordinate character to fit into every previous scene and pronounce him/her the protagonist.
Who would have suspected that Tokyo would perish in the money heist series? Exactly.
Liken most points to normal human experience and misappropriate it with something not expected
“in the mirror was the reflection of two characters, one her initial reflection the other the projection of another unknown entity, and for her own safety she turned around to put certainty in check, and in the mirror became one character, a reflection that wasn’t hers”
of course towards the end, you expected a different outcome, but what you expected wasn’t seamed to life, right? Exactly! Keep doing that till you own it
Learn from others
Do not restrict yourself to big-name writers only, read, read, read and read, from all pieces and works written by authors and writers of different classes and walks of life, whether they’re developing or already world-class, read across cultures and continents, equip yourself with information written down from others, and understand their style of writing.
Read on the processes most famous writers employed while they were still self-grooming and adhere to their two cents on self-development as a writer.
Write at your own convenience
Some study details that the human brain activities become highest late at night when everywhere is serene and quiet and thinking becomes loud and early in the morning when the brain and body system are well-rested. This period is most promising to produce fruitful results not that I am advising you to write at either of the two periods but rather write when you feel you’re well-rested and free to think loudly without interruption or stress.