Writing is one of the craziest things to do — it’s hard, and often what gets written surprises the writer. ~ Richard P. Gabriel
I do like the quote above and creative writing is hard in a sense, yet it is surprisingly simple at the same time. It sure is crazy! Creative Writing covers everything that can be written using imagination and some flair – fiction, poetry, prose and anything in between. It is important that the seeds of creative writing are sowed while the soil is tender, that is, in the student phase of a child.
Let’s dive into the art of creative writing.
Before doing that, let’s answer the question – can anyone write? Well, anyone who has a fair knowledge of language and grammar and can put together a comprehensible sentence can write but to be able to express oneself beautifully and capture the readers takes practice and hard work, among other things.
I believe there is at least one story or one poem or one book in everyone.
The first thing to remember is that writing is a skill and as is the case with every skill, one has to keep honing it. The best way to do that is to encourage the children to read a lot, especially the kind of work they’d like to write.
In the first of the series on Creative Writing, I would like you to address a question at the very core of it. It may sound a little absurd but do ask the children – why they want to write. Let them ponder over it. Let them come up with any answers. Ask them to be as honest as they can. Ask them to write and share their answers. You can never be surprised enough with children!
There is a whole lot of difference between writing for self and writing for others, let’s be clear on that. It is always gratifying if others appreciate one’s work but true creativity cannot emerge if the writer keeps thinking what the reader would like.
So creative writing, in essence, is writing from the self and for the self.
Fact: J. R. R. Tolkien spent years writing a history of an imaginary country, inventing languages and mythology and timelines and maps, purely for himself.
It is understandable that we cannot afford the luxury of that kind of timespan in a limited term of a class, but you get the point, right?
Creative writing starts with the writer – with their imagination, personality and interests.
Exercise 1 for the students:
Dig deep into yourself and your imagination and find what you really want to write about.
In a system where creativity is killed at the very onset by giving expected answers to be mugged up to score a prrfect ten creative writing becomes quite a challenge. First and the foremost thing for creative writing is the ability to think. As a prelude to writing we need to make our children think freely without any inhibitions. Then the writing skills can be honed which may include syntax, grammar, language etc.