Creative writing is one of those things which you either have or you don’t. I don’t really think that you can work on being a good imaginative writer.
Most people tend to try and write too much (which is what I think has given rise to the teen trilogy, but that’s another blog post). They try to write someone’s whole life, everything that happens in a single day, year or lifetime. And it ends up sounding like a recount. This happened and then that and then this other thing. There is no time for description, for getting to know things and characters.
In a good novel things happen, but not at the expense of the reader’s understanding, or their entertainment.
It is better to have one idea.
But then things can go the other way.
Where something is so concentrated, so detailed, that it becomes boring. Like the Tom Bombadil bit in The Fellowship of the Ring.
At school I chose the English that let you be creative (that is, I studied all the English that I possibly could, that the curriculum would allow). And so part of that was writing an extended piece and I chose short story. I feel now that I may have been better off choosing essay, but hey, I was young and naïve and thought I could write. What I realise now is that I could not. Half way through the course I had finished my first draft and the feedback I got was that it was too complicated. People didn’t understand what I was trying to say. So in the end I pretty much had to rewrite it. And it didn’t turn out much better but it was at least a little more entertaining and straightforward.
Let’s just say I wrote an epic fantasy story about good and evil.
Really, what was I thinking?
And when I read things that other people wrote for the same course, my husband for example, I wonder why I even bothered.
At university people were also subjected to my attempts at creative writing. But this time it was creative non-fiction. It sounds like an oxymoron but I think it is my favourite form of writing. I wrote my favourite thing ever for that course.
Luckily, I have rambled so much today about creative writing that I won’t actually be doing any in this post.
And after yesterday’s post this article in the Sydney Morning Herald Queen of Shock Fiction Brought to Book. Which I clicked on because it sounded suitably salacious on a Wednesday afternoon after work, but within which I found my niche genre.
autofiction – a form of fictionalised autobiography –
I feel like all writers must do this in some form or another. Though perhaps it is best if you only use yourself and your own stories.
Coming up on my next blog: I try and use ABC iview.