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Creative Writing: Getting in the Zone

How meditation can clear the mind and allow beautiful writing.

Rose Mascaro

on 16 May 2013

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Transcript of Creative Writing: Getting in the Zone

CREATIVE WRITING Meditate. Some kids are fidgety, physical and hate writing.
But they ARE often visual.

So give them no choice. Get them in the zone.

Invest a little time and love into this. The offset will be worth it! Writing is exciting and beautiful.

To write beautifully, the simplest way to begin is to use metaphors and similes - in other words, develop vivid IMAGERY.

Use the five senses. Make a habit of focussing on SETTING. Everything else comes from here. Forget the rules. If you force the rules, students forget how to write beautifully with expression and feeling.

Without a real sense that they are there in the moment, there is no point getting started, because their writing won't be genuine.

It's a little bit like a parent who tells their child they MUST DO THIS or DON'T DO THAT. Of course they will rebel. They won't feel passionate.
So there is only one thing to do. SETTING: The Heart and Soul of the story Some people think that setting is the least important part. However, setting can solidify everything we know about the characters. The reason for this - setting is inherently linked to SYMBOLISM.
-Symbolism in the background, in the character's belongings, in the foreground, in the sky, in the atmosphere, in the weather. Symbolism is everywhere. Metaphors and Similes: Incorporating Imagery The best way to meaningfully develop higher level writing skills, is not in use of adjectives. It is actually in focussing on using a moderate variety of similes and metaphors.

THE FIVE SENSES: Describe what you can see, hear, smell, touch and taste. Find ways to describe them

"The grass was a lime carpet beneath my curled toes." Avoid the AND THEN, AND THEN storyline. Ughh. Every teacher's nightmare.

Plot can be tricky to manage. That's why I very rarely allow my students outside of these parameters:


Here they are forced to write beautifully on the few moments they have. A small moment in time can deliver some magical results. Practise beautiful writing INCORPORATING BEAUTIFUL 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. I’d love to live in a world of circus lights and fairy tales; adventures of cities far and wide. My heart to draw nearer, lanterns aflame, pockets of life amongst soaring carriages in the sky. A bright half-moon. A shadow, a smile, a knowing look that only you can design. “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. WRITING EMOTIONS.... The problem with mixed metaphors... It's really easy to get kids confused here. You tell them to include lots of metaphors, and then 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.

Don't force it. Allow them to do what they like while they get used to using metaphors.

Then, when it comes to the task, teach them about mixed metaphors. Creative writing is a slow process of absorption. If you bombard them with rules, they'll never take it on board positively. Rules in creative writing:
Forget the rules.


If they want to write in free verse, let them. If they want to write short snippets, let them. Free association? Cool. But the one thing they should remember is:
Description/metaphors. Everything in moderation. Stephen King at work Publish on the web. Get kids on the web. It's the way! Make students feel professional and accomplished. Tumblr, Blogspot and Wordpress Encourage regular writing/posting The key is to share work with others. Music
Stretching Getting in the zone... Most teenagers' brains are full of 'stuff'.

In order to achieve their best writing, and most expressive creativity, we need to help them clear some of their 'stuff'.

This can be the most enjoyable part of
your lesson, and can be used to
help centre students in any
class. Picstitch Just keep writing... 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 “Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”

— Oscar Wilde (The Critic as Artist) calm.com use interesting visuals... and find something to relate to. edublogs 1. Meditate and clear the mind.

2. Forget the rules.

3. Practise beautiful writing.

4. Write what you know.

5. Publish on the web. http://prezi.com/4qq5plggamaz/creative-writing-getting-in-the-zone/

mascaro.rose@cathednet.wa.edu.au cultie.com
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