Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Creative Writing 101: The Idea aka The Eureka Moment

     So you want to write? I'm not here to preach, or teach in this first post, but I'm here to provide my insight. This point-venture will hopefully rally a little morale for you. get you back in your seat, pen in hand, book on desk.

     This is a first. I mean, I'm here to write about writing, but by all rights, I don't rightly know how to write...well, it's not that I don't rightly know how to write, it's that I've never truly learned to write right in the normal sense of right. Muddling, right?

     Bear with me. (I'll quit it, I swear!)

     I did study English at school. Up to the age of fifteen I was lectured in the rights and not-so-rights of writing (ok, I'll stop now, I promise!). I didn't enjoy classes on English Language or Literature. The prescribed syllabus drove me barmy (wow, that's not had a lasting effect) and I struggled to pen poems based on Shakespeare, or analyse a poem on a daffodil. I spent my days in class huddled over my workbook, scratching frantic notes in margins and on scraps of paper - not on the topic at hand, but my own stories.

     I wouldn't read until the age of eleven. Books bored me. They seemed childish, but looking back I see now that it wasn't books per say, but the type of books I was being given. At that age I preferred to play outside, watch tv or shoot things on the playstation.

     When I did start reading, I started with adult fantasy fiction. David Gemmell opened the door for me, and other authors invited themselves in. Reading the more mature works straight off the bat, I put this influence down as my 'education' rather than the classroom.

     So, you see, I've been nervous to handle a blog post like this. In my eyes, I'm an amateur. Untrained and unqualified (read: unpaid). What I do know, however, is what I looked for in a book. Hence, I am here today, rambling on about creative writing. This is drawn from my own experience, my ideals, and the current running of my projects. It's not gospel, but if you fancy joining the bandwagon you'll have to surrender all of your worldly possessions at the door and refer to me as 'Your Magnificence' from now on.

     Everyone has to start somewhere. It could be a question, it could be an answer. Either way it's an idea...and that's what I'm hear to talk about.

     Ideas ARE books. Books ARE ideas. Every thought that you have has the potential to spin a yarn. Never throw one of these away. Even if you start writing a story and get thirty pages deep only to run out of ideas...keep the story! You might pick it up again later.

     Ideas are never stupid. They're forward thinking. Even the stupid ones (didn't I just say there were no stupid ideas?) prove valuable, as they may contradict an earlier plot, develop it, or add that little twist that the reader won't suspect.

     Where do ideas come from? Everywhere. I take my ideas from everyday life, my friends, my family, history, the list goes on! But, with such an overactive factory of an imagination churning out ideas, I have to keep them somewhere! My advice to you? Get a notepad! Use your phone, scribble on a napkin in a restaurant, write on the back of your hand - I've even scratched notes onto a cig packet with a stick of charcoal before (beach BBQ).

     Just sit down for five minutes, and think. Or try not to think. Let your mind work on its own...write the first thing that comes to mind. Then the next, the one after that, and the one after that too. You'll be surprised how many ideas can come flowing out of your head. Once you've got enough...sit back and read the ideas. One day, maybe not today, maybe not today, but one day you'll have a Eureka moment. The idea for a story will spring to mind, and then it's time to let your pen go to work for real.

1 comment:

  1. Good starter post on writing, but I would like to add my two cents. The more ideas you work on writing down, the more that come to you. How's that?