Creative Writing – Hard Work Pays Off

Creative Writing Tuition

by Annette Young

Annette YoungI’ve always expressed the opinion that if someone really wishes to learn the techniques of creative writing and, to write professionally, they can. They just need to  develop the right mind-set. This means they have to  overcome any  creative obstacles that block their way to success i.e. time, patience, family or work demands. It’s not rocket science to think that if they can find a little bit of time each day, this will keep the creative brain cells well-oiled and improvement will follow.

Going back some (many years) now, I used to tell my creative writing students in my college classes that they needed to write little and often. Many took this advice and there was no doubting that their work and their understanding of the techniques began to improve each week. But then, it was a case of seeing them just once a week and leaving them to their own creative pursuits in between sessions.

Nowadays, I provide a lot of online coaching and this works really well. Sometimes, it involves a Skype session and at other times, students wish to work just via email. Just recently, I have been coaching someone after I had provided a professional critique of his book. It was not a bad read, but, the writing lacked depth and it needed some work.

As he wanted to publish it soon, he had a choice.  Hire a professional editor like myself who could work on the structure of the book and bring it to life, or learn the techniques himself and make the edits.  I was delighted that he actually wanted to learn the techniques and, boy, 3 to 4 sessions a week via email  made a huge difference. His writing abilities have accelerated through the roof. Continue reading “Creative Writing – Hard Work Pays Off”

Creative Writing Exercises to Get Your Writing Flowing Again

By Trevor Johnson

Creative writing can be a wonderful hobby as well as a lucrative career; however, everyone can experience writing block from time to time. Creative writing exercises can not only help you to break through writer’s block but also help you to hone your writing skills as well.

There are many different creative writing exercises in which you can engage to achieve benefit; however, there are a few tips that should be kept in mind in order to benefit the most.

First, when engaging in creative writing exercises try not to plan or think about what you are doing too much. The goal is to keep writing. Therefore, avoid the temptation to stop and edit as you write. At this point, you should not worry about grammar or spelling. If necessary, you can always come back later and take care of that. Finally, make sure you retain your writing from your exercises.

Many people find that writing in groups is an excellent way to enjoy creative writing exercises. If you find that you are not motivated on your own, a group setting can be a great way to cure that problem. You are not only accountable to yourself but also to others. In addition, you can benefit from the inspiration of others.

When it comes to specific creative writing exercises, there are many. Random stimulation is an excellent way to get started. This type of exercise works by taking two or three random words, any random words, and then putting them together will inspire your brain to put things together and form patterns that often would not be possible under other circumstances. You might begin with random word combinations. These combinations may not even have anything that would seem to be in common at first glance. Try to use these words in your writing in some way. If you are having trouble coming up with word combinations, consider creating words lists such as a list of different verbs, adjectives, places, professions, etc. Choose a word from two or three different lists and get writing!

You might also consider using starting phrases to get the inspiration going. These creative writing exercises work by starting with specific phrases and seeing where they lead you. Consider such examples as I would like to or I remember. There are, of course, innumerable phrases which you could use.

Creative writing often involves the development of characters so it is also a good idea to use some creative writing exercises that focus on character development.

Begin with some type of starting idea. For example, you might think of a profession or a problem. You might think about developing a character who has a specific profession or even a specific problem. Begin adding ideas. For example, if you began with the idea of a character who is a chef you might add other details such as “food connoisseur” and “works late hours.” These types of creative writing exercises will usually provide you with numerous other ideas you can explore as you begin to develop your character.

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