Thursday, 24 May 2012

How to Get Started With Creative Writing

vivatramp book blog creative prompts for creative writing photography

As an aspiring creative writer and an English undergraduate, I often find myself sat bleary eyed willing for a creative miracle to happen, either that or for the ground to spontaneously swallow me up. To combat this writer's block, as well as browsing Youtube for videos of cute sloths, I often undertake extremely simple steps to inspire myself and to improve the quality of my writing. These following 5 tips are simple ways to help you get started with your creative writing and/or future assignments. As ever, these are compiled from my own experience and should therefore be taken with a pinch of salt, what works for me may not work for you! I'd also just like to add that I am in no way saying that I am the world's best creative writer. If you'd like me to do some more posts on creative writing or whatever, please let me know the topics you'd like to read about in the comments section below! Lets get your creative juices flowing...(feel a little sick now, if I'm honest):

1. Create a list of observations 
Ever the avid people watcher, I find that a lot of my inspiration comes from people that I've seen and surroundings that I've observed first hand. Write down specific actions that capture your eye, think about colours, consider facial expressions and take inspiration from each individual that you see around you. It is always a good idea to consult your senses for intricate descriptions: What can you see? What can you smell? What the hell did that 6 year old just say?! etc. Sensory details help to create a much more three dimensional reading experience, after all. Keep these observations in a journal, kept specifically for your writing, and consult it when your brain has turned to mush. It doesn't have to be anything poetic. You want them to be short punchy statements that evoke a sense of excitement or a basis for a location. For example: one of my observation pages, taken from a day at the Barbican, just has the following simple statements written in it, 'spray of seafoam', 'pastel coloured high rise building', 'bare skin' COLLECT YOUR INSPIRATION!

2. Extend your vocabulary and embrace words
Like the collation of observations, I find it is also good to keep a library of words that particularly reach out to you and inspire you. I often find myself picking out words from novels that I'm reading or journals that I'm working on that I think could enhance a piece of my work in the future. This is also a great place to store imagery and sensory descriptions; this will make a huge difference to your piece of creative writing! Obviously, I'm not saying 'nick someone's words and pass them all off as your own!', so make sure you're merely taking a little inspiration and not a huge chunk! If in doubt, consult a thesaurus ...you'll find words that may not necessarily be in your everyday vocabulary, but for god's sake...make sure you know what each word means!

3. Set yourself daily improvised writing tasks/prompts
Collate a range of first sentences, they could either be your own work or the first lines of books that you like, and try to write a paragraph from them. Don't worry about things like diction or spelling, etc, the aim of the task is to simply get things on the page. Allow yourself to write things that aren't quite up to scratch, one of my seminar leaders forever advised us to 'write a shitty first draft' in order to produce a better piece of work in the long term. 

4. Abide by 'creative' hours
When you're in the midst of writing something, it can be unbelievably tempting to spend your whole time immersed in it. It can also be quite tempting to indulge ten minutes of your time in it before quickly loading up Twitter and forgetting every damned idea that you had in the first place! Writing creatively can taint every aspect of your life; for example, you may find yourself spending half an hour longer in the shower because you've blanked out and thought about word choices. In my opinion, it is best to regulate the hours that you choose to work on something - work out what hours work for you, when you're most engaged and when you're most likely to not spend a few hours clearing your YT subscriptions box! By abiding by these hours, you're making space for reality as well as fiction, limiting your chances of turning into a crazed elderly bookworm! 

5. Be Nostalgic
It's often the most interesting, or the most specific, things that we remember from our childhood or from recent days gone by. This can be a great starting point because they're things you're familiar with and won't leave you feeling alienated by your own writing. For instance, when writing my piece on a typical autumnal day, the setting was a park that my grandparents used to take me as a child, leaving me with plenty of description and a clear idea of the emotions and imagery that I wanted to convey to my readers. Look through old photographs or memory books and note down a few anecdotes that really stick out and are personable. You never know what you may find out ;) 


Most importantly, remember to have a bit of fun with it all! Those were just some quick and easy tips to get you all thinking about writing creatively; I hope they proved to be useful and interesting in equal measure!

If you'd like to scroll through all of my advice posts then you can do so.




 TWITTER INSTAGRAM | TUMBLR
VIVATRAMP@GMAIL.COM
Share:

12 comments

  1. Such a inspirational post! Love!

    Amanda xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  2. I cannot thank you enough for this post, so inspiring! It's made my day finding this tucked in amongst the lists of OOTD blogs I intended to read, as wonderful as they are it's brilliant to find something as lovely as this :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for this! I'm doing a science degree so my creative writing's got a bit neglected over the last few years :( I love your writing style!

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thankyou for this post. I'm the sort of person who spends most of her time editing the bejesus out of the few paragraphs she's written and in the end gets so stressed with it she ends up in a rut. your advice about the 'shitty first draft' has really inspired me to stop being so pretentious about wording etc. and to just get my ideas out and to fiddle about with it later. xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is SO GOOD, Bee. Despite studying English I'm having problems with writing my own stuff down because I'm a perfectionist and just cringe at myself, but this has encouraged me to stop taking myself so seriously and just get over myself ;) I've found dream journaling a great creative exercise recently (though very odd!) xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is so helpful! I'm going to uni in September to study Creative Writing and Drama so this was brilliant! Would love more posts about your writing :) xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love these tips (: I'm an English student too so this is all very helpful with assignments and the various dreaded essays I have to write. I'm a great believer in write a rubbish first draft, create a better second one. I just scribble all my ideas on the page to begin then completely re-jig the whole thing normally, but hey, it's worked the past two years okay, so as long as it keeps working for final year then I figure something must be going right (: xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. If only this post had been around before when I was writing my A Level English coursework! I've always found it so hard to do creative writing, and by the time I've come up with a half decent idea it's usually 3am the night before it's being sent off to the exam board (that actually happened).

    It's lovely to see a post like this intertwined with all the usual fashion and beauty posts on my dashboard.

    Charlotte x

    ReplyDelete
  9. Loved this! I used to love writing but recently I just haven't been as inspired. I'm going to try some of these things!
    xxx
    www.xbonjourbelle.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love your blog! This was so helpful as i love creative writing and English literature, i'm debating whether i should be doing an English degree in university, how did you know that it was what you really wanted to do? xxx

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love this, I used to love writing when I was younger but now I can never find inspiration. I miss it so much.

    Hannah
    x
    www.daintyandivory.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your style is inspires a visitor to read out the content. So nice piece of work shared here.
    Honestly this is one of the most beautiful piece of info blended with style ;)

    Mia

    Creative writing exercises

    ReplyDelete

© VIVATRAMP | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig