“Creative writing is any writing that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature, typically identified by an emphasis on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes or with various traditions of poetry and poetics.” – Google Definition
How do write gooder? Haha Well I don’t think creative writing is about being a better writer, but it certainly can help you become one. But here are some questions I had when regarding the google definition of “creative writing”.
If it’s supposed to be outside of your academic and professional obligations then how can it be considered creative? If it’s for a class and you’re given a prompt then it is kind of monitored, isn’t it? Well yes and no. Creative writing can be expressed in an academic environment, just not an academic filter. What I mean by that is, I can take some time before my English class starts or ends to scribble down some prose. It’s expressed within an academic environment because I am in school, but it is no influenced by an academic filter. The filter would be when a teacher assigns you a paper with a specific formula to follow. You must “creatively” explain the formula and the topic assigned, but that isn’t going to help you build a career or passion for writing.
Even within the most passionate group of creative writers, there are rules. There are rules for everything, including what to do with your creative spark once you find it. There have been articles here and there about keeping your creative spark lit. From suggesting early morning 10 minute free write rituals to writing 50 words a day. No matter what I try though, it seems that I cannot force myself to do any creative writing. No amount of rules or creative inspirational posters can help me write. Which means that by not even writing anything mediocre, I won’t get the chance to write anything great. Think about James Patterson, writing all the time, and has a ton of best sellers. He is also responsible for one of my favorite young adult series’: Maximum Ride. Sometimes I wonder if he sold his soul or something for the talent he has. (Kidding!) But he is very good at what he does. How does he come up with all those ideas? The characters and their problems? The solutions at the end of such an organized list of events? It seems too simple, but then why can’t I do it as well?
So what can we say about creative writing? In its origin is boundless as long as our minds are boundless. But does creative writing become easier when we assign rules to it? I find it easier to write a paper if I have some guidelines to go by. There are basic rules for science and math and of course the English language, but do those same rules always have to apply to creative writing? If you look up creative writing laws, pictures like the one below come up.
When you look at these rules though, they’re more for English and correct English rather than general creative writing. So what can we say as far as creative writing are concerned. Laws are meant to apply to everyone and be pretty general and easy to follow. They can’t be incredibly specific if they are going to take out some of the creativity though.
So what rules can we apply to creative writing for the general public that won’t harm the creative part of the art?
Rule 1. Be honest about what you want to write. Your genre is important
Rule 2. Write down everything no matter how useless or silly it seems
Rule 3. Always write. Never stop writing when you know you love it
Rule 4. Take criticism of your work, just don’t take it to heart.
Rule 5. If you’re stuck at what to do on a project, start a new one until you find your place again
Rule 6. Get inspired by other work, but don’t be a copycat
Any of these rules can be changed or mixed, but they are just some basic obvious traditions every writer knows about writing. What is important is how you use your talent and your passion for writing to develop something. Whether its a novel, a collection of poems, a play, or a rap album, make sure it is something you love. What are your rules when it comes to writing? Do you have any? Or do you toss them all put the window? Are you a traditionalist or a new age writer? Why don’t you start writing, and find out. Don’t think about writing, just do it.