If you’re interested in learning about creative writing, this is the place for you.
What is creative writing, you may ask? Creative writing is, put simply, writing a story. Creative writing is every book (if it’s fiction) you’ve ever read. (Creative writing can also be poetry, but I am not a poet, so this series is going to be more focused on fiction writing.)
For stories, there are four main elements which I will be taking you through over the next few months.
February–In this month we will talk about the first element: the story world, which can also be called the setting. This is where your story will take place, whether it be present time California, the future in space, or the past in medieval times.
The setting includes the different types of beings–human, plant, or animal, the history of that world, and what types of food, drinks, and medicines there are.
There are stories that have very complex settings, and others that let the reader imagine the world for his or her self. In both cases though, the writer must know the setting inside and out.
March–Next we will be discussing my favorite part of creative writing: the characters! You don’t have a story without characters; they are the very reason the story has begun. Every story starts when your character wants something to change in their life. When something drives your character to do something out of the ordinary, something that creates conflict, (whether it be with themselves, another character, or with the setting elements) that is where your story begins–on the edge of a change.
April–Then comes the plot. The plot is the series of actions your characters do to move the story forward. Your main character sometimes is the one to move the story forward, but some of your other characters can do things that change your story too.
This also includes the type of writer you are: a seat-of-the-pants writer (here and out known as a “panster”) who just sits down and writes with only the barest idea of where they want the story to go. These writers let their story surprise them as much as it surprises their characters, and let the story carve its own path.
There are also the “planner” writers, who like to outline their story and know exactly where their story is going to go. Each type of writing style has its drawbacks, but remember, there really is no wrong way to write a story (unless you have misspelled words, sloppy grammar, and badly structured paragraphs; but I mean there’s no bad idea).
May–Last is the theme. This is what the base of your story is–the thing that goes beyond your bare story. It is the deep meaning from which your story sprouts.
It’s okay if you don’t know your theme when you start writing; it comes to you over time. To give you an understanding of what a theme is, just imagine what you want your readers to get from your story. What underlying truth defines your story?
Say your theme is “the power of negativity.” In the beginning that’s okay, because you would still be working on it; but you need to have a clearer theme by the time you finish your story. If you are planning on making a series, then naming that theme for all three books would be ideal, but then also have a more defined theme for each novel.
I know some of you must be wondering, “How does she know about creative writing? I thought she was a photographer, not a writer.” It is true that I don’t have any creative written stories posted anywhere on my blog, or anywhere on the internet for that matter. But I have been into creative writing ever since I was young.
I have always liked making up stories, and I have written many un-finished books. But I have also finished (the first draft, mind you) one book. That book is now in the re-writing stage, where I fix up any plot holes, story lags, and typos/grammar mistakes it may have. I also read many, many books on this topic, and let me tell you, that helps a lot. So that gives me a reason to share what I know with others, and maybe inspire a few people to get out their inner writer.
So now you know what is in store for the next four months, and I hope you find it beneficial.