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Creative Writing: Getting in the Zone
Transcript of Creative Writing: Getting in the Zone
2.Forget the rules.
Postmodern authors often played with language in strange ways to push the boundaries of creativity. Think of this type of writing like an abstract painting.
This relates closely with Sigmund Freud's theories on psychology and the "unconscious mind"
Small children are often the most creative human beings of all, and they don't stick to any rules. We need to find a way to tap into our "small child"...
Stream of consciousness exercise:
SETTING: More powerful than you think.
It can set up the atmosphere, symbolism and mood to assist your characters and plot.
Metaphors and Similes: Incorporating Imagery
To develop higher level writing skills, focus on using a moderate variety of similes and metaphors.
OUTDOOR WRITING ACTIVITY
THE FIVE SENSES:
Describe what you can see, hear, smell, touch and taste. Find ways to describe them.
4. Write what you know.
INCORPORATING EFFECTIVE IMAGERY
IMAGERY: Sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste.
The hot July sun beat relentlessly down, casting an orange glare over the farm buildings, the fields, the pond. Even the usually cool green willows bordering the pond hung wilted and dry. Our sun-baked backs ached for relief. We quickly pulled off our sweaty clothes and plunged into the pond, but the tepid water only stifled us and we soon climbed onto the brown, dusty bank. Our parched throats longed for something cool - a strawberry ice, a tall frosted glass of lemonade. We pulled on our clothes, avoiding the crackling underbrush, the sharp briars pulling at our damp jeans, until we reached the watermelon patch. As we began to cut open the nearest melon, we could smell the pungent skin mingling with the dusty odor of the dry earth. Suddenly, the melon gave way with a crack, revealing the deep, pink sweetness inside.
“Life is a question of nerves, and fibres, and slowly built-up cells in which thought hides itself and passion has its dreams. You may fancy yourself safe and think yourself strong. But a chance tone of colour in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play… I tell you, that it is on things like these that our lives depend.”
— Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
The service commences, and in the dreary eyes of friends, I slowly, with each beat of my chest breaking, constricted by pale skin, scuttle to the front of the room. I swallow hard – sour and bitter. Horrid in my mouth. You watch me tear my heart out before their gaunt looking faces, and in the same dire way, you too break down in tears.
Like a dying flower he withers in the darkness, which outweighs his grief to sorrow. And like that flower, his colour drowns with each day that passes. His eyes bleed with red that engrosses the entire life in his face. And I couldn’t say a word, nothing, a feeling of hopeless pity. The pit that beckons him to restrain against the words he hears, also chains me, and entices my tears like envy to love. And with the same words that haunt him, “She was always my best friend”, too sends a resonate chill throughout my body.
The problem with mixed metaphors...
Suddenly their 'sailing ship' becomes a 'path of war' and without realising it, the writer makes a mess of the very image they were creating. This becomes ineffective writing.
Creative writing is all about balance.
If you get your imagery right, chances are you have succeeded in grabbing the attention of your reader.
Now let's play with metaphors!
ACTIVITY: Write a paragraph about how a boat represents love.
Everything in moderation.
Stephen King at work
Publish on the web.
This will make you feel like a real writer, and give you accountability.
Tumblr, Blogspot and Wordpress
Be appropriate and professional
The key is to share work with others.
Write what you know
There's always someone who wants to write about zombie apocalypse. Or alien adventure. Or male childbirth.
The most effective writing is always what you know. So live it. Read it. Learn it.
“Every now and then I’ll run into really good writers who have nothing to say. And at that point you want to say, ‘Well, okay. Stop writing and go and get a job somewhere. Go around the world. Go do stuff. Go and get your heart broken and then come back and write some more.'” — Neil Gaiman, Advice for Aspiring Writers
use interesting visuals... and find something to relate to.
1. Learn the rules.
2. Forget the rules.
3. Clear the mind and meditate.
4. Write what you know.
5. Publish on the web.
Write down the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the word
Now write anything that comes to mind after that... and after that.... and after that.... in no logical format, sentence structure or cohesive voice.
Write from your subconscious.
Blue. That car my brother used to own, you know that old horrible bomb. It was yellow and rusted. Bomb? Any bombs going off lately in the world? I dunno. Haven't heard - but that plebiscite thing is totally going off... I heard this woman saying the other day...
POINT OF VIEW
The Scarlatti Tilt
"It's very hard to live in a studio apartment with a man who's learning to play the violin."
That's what she told the police when she handed them the empty revolver.
"The grass was a lime carpet beneath my curled toes."
1. Learn the rules.
Forgetting the rules...
Stream of consciousness was used by many modernist and postmodernist writers over the last century to promote the urgency or authenticity of a character or narrator's voice.
It is a technique that breaks many rules.
More importantly, for you as a beginning writer, it is a really fun way for you to find your own voice, and experiment with different styles until you feel comfortable.
This is a practice of "letting go" so that you can tap into your creative self.
Now to really start writing....
Clear your mind.
Male Year 11 student, 2012