Thursday, July 22, 2010

Can Creative Writing Be Taught?

A writing student recently emailed me asking *how* and *if* he can learn to write more creatively.

I do believe that creative writing can be taught. Humans are naturally creative and can access the vocabulary and grammar to share their ideas with others.

Practice and careful attention to detail will help you to become a stronger creative writer. Creative writing exercises, like the prompts given here, offer you some space to experiment with language. Readings will give you different ideas regarding how you can present your thoughts. Various texts, like the ones listed in my Amazon store, offer the tools you'll need to move ahead. Even if you don't become a professional author, these skills will help you throughout any career and your personal communications with others.

To improve your skills, your goal should be to read, write and edit as much as possible. Read as a writer and notice how the sentences are put together. If you really like something, look back and figure out what you like and why. This will make it easier for you to start by mimicking that style. Then, write and edit. The more you write and stretch your creative muscles, the easier it will be to continue writing and eventually create something new.

You are welcome to take chances in my writing classes and work to craft something new. You can start by using your five senses to describe something. Connect your description of one very precise thing with something larger and universal. For example, if I describe figs that I ate from a neighbor's yard, you might be bored because you don't have a neighbor who offers you summer figs. If, however, I connect them to general fruit you could eat elsewhere, and how you could cook with them, then you might be a more interested reader.

What do you think? Can creative writing be taught? Share your thoughts below.

No comments: