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Mar 08

What Do You Think Of It So Far?

What Do You Think Of It So Far?

(A brief summary of the first ten sessions)

If you have been following the group sessions on this site, as exercises for yourself or with others in a group, there is some value in stopping now and then, to review what has been covered.

You may choose to dip into the site as the mood takes you, just looking for an idea for a writing practice, or a particular topic, but if you are working with others you are sure to find that the discussion and sharing of your work has enormous benefits. The comments of other members of the group, the opportunity to observe how differently people tackle the same tasks, which threads are followed by all, or most of the group, how perspectives vary from one member to another, perhaps influenced by sex, age, background, even the weather but often just by mood, are all food for thought.

If for example, you find that your output varies a lot, in quality or style, it has implications for longer pieces of work and you need to develop techniques to take you back into your work after a break.
If on the other hand, you tend to have one style and only to write within your familiar ‘comfort zone’ then maybe it is good, from time to time to stretch yourself with a completely different style, genre or set of criteria. In story writing you have a choice of style but there are conventions for some types of work such as journalistic articles, reports, reviews and poetry.

It is easier to write once you have something to say but writing is a dynamic process – once you have a starting point and begin, you may find that the writing develops as it goes along. It is common for someone to say, ‘I started this but found that I ended up writing something different to what I thought….’ Sometimes the words play their part almost independently if you give them space. In the exercises and whilst you are developing your skills and style it is good to let this happen; let yourself go off at a tangent and see what happens.
There is always more than one way of seeing things. Change the perspective and you change the story. Be aware of bias, prepared to challenge stereotypes and willing to see more than one viewpoint.

You can write about just about anything, even chairs or condiments!You never need to be stuck for ideas if you are observant. Keep a notebook or diary and use all your senses in exploring the world around you. Evoke memory, imagination and empathy, and engage the reader by including a variety if sense impressions in your work.
There is no end to the list of possible resources. We must be prepared to do some research when necessary, to let the work develop, to be willing to discard extraneous material and anything that does not work. Having spent time and energy finding out is not sufficient reason to include anything. Learning to use what you have learned is as important as learning how to learn it.
Dialogue is important. Make sure at all times that it is clear who is speaking and set the dialogue correctly in time and place, although human situations and behaviour do not change as much as you think.

Good characterisation is vital and the author must know their character inside out to ensure he stays ‘in character’ and that the reader can empathise and anticipate his reactions to certain situations. Personality, character traits, general philosophy and relationships with others are more important than physical descriptions. ´Get them in’ and your reader will see them clearly.

A wide vocabulary is an essential tool and it is particularly important to catch the reader´s attention with a well structured opening. Do not be afraid to play with words however, and experiment. Sometimes we intuit meaning instinctively, we recognise linguistic connections from the roots of our language.

Some writers need structure, a particular environment and a schedule to discipline their work. Others work better in an instinctive way, in a variety of situations and with greater flexibility. There is never only one way to do anything.
Trust your instincts and enjoy your creativity.

(Category: Advice and Information) Blog 20
Tags: Creative Writing,Writing,Vocabulary,Language,Imagination,Sources,Practice

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