The Art of Creative Writing:
(By Sajjad Amin Bangash)
Generally, we learn from experiences, writing and sharing stories of personal experiences that we may encounter each passing day, have to be reflected in our words thus enhance our knowledge horizon to a larger extend. As I walk down the streets, I see unlimited characters that build up the nature. For example, the people, the trees, birds, roads, buildings and surroundings all do compose perfect stories of real life happenings. I don’t force my brain to throw words for writing rather any general idea, fact, event or any expression that spurs the eyes, mind and heart, spontaneously induces me to compose a decent story.
I often come across with the people asking me as to ” How to Write”, my mind instantly starts conflicting with the answers, that learning any language or skill is not that difficult art, but the hard work and devotion for knowledge, kills the very impossible part of it. In today’s fast developed time, as Internet has made our life easiest than ever before, every information that we may desire, can come alive to our finger tips within no time and little effort. There are several online dictionaries, websites, video clips teaching creative writing skills from scratch with simplest combined ways. With just one click in Google, we may see the flood of websites will pop up the screen, all you need to do is to click on any one of it and after a little stretch we may enter into a paradise of knowledge.
Early Attempts of Story Writing:
Normally, writing a story needs a little effort to get acquainted with general guidelines, again with little effort and practical application of few guidelines, we can start writing interesting and catchy stories. Essentially, every story is based on a plot and it carries characters, the exposition, the very first part of it, the beginning where any happenings may take place or where the start begins and where it is taking place. By effectively defining the characters, we may lead the story into a rising action, where we further enhance the suspense of a story. There can be one or several rising actions that we can culminate the story into a climax or peak. Once we are at the peak, the point where the whole suspense seems to be balanced in all aspects. The characters are actively playing the forcing roles while the reader feels addicted into it and excited about.
Going along the road, there appears the falling action where the story tends to gradually falls, where the characters seem to be getting silent or few of it have already performed except few which will culminate the story till it’s bottom or resolution. The reader now ready to accept the declining mode of the story. The final part of a story that comprises of the resolution or suggesting a solution to a problem or where it may lead the characters to solve the immediate problem or the characters may have a firm control to solve the problems ending up in a moral of a story.
Now, having equipped yourself with the basic guidelines of a story, we can now write our own stories or essays. What my general practice is, initially, whatever I can see anything that attracts or catches my interest while in real life. I immediately make my mind ready for it, start defining characters and the plot. As most often I don’t really bother myself with characters because in most situations they are already defined.
For example, while writing a story of a little dog the “Pluto”, I didn’t brush my mind for something new to get out of it, rather the dog, I, the mother, and few maids were already composing the story.
Whatever I experienced with the dog during my three months of time with a family, I succinctly described it in my words, but differentially I had recoiled my memories for it.
There is another general practice I often find easier to describe in few possible sentences, talking to general public, whatever they talk, they are the perfect characters or stories to describe. I am a keen observer of the situations and surroundings, whatever I talk to any individual, my mind collects all the relevant information and stockpile it in my brain to be retrieved for future references and I do come back home, I start phrasing that particular dialogue. This practice has largely enhanced my knowledge and engrossed my writing to an advanced level.
Describing the Nature:
Describing nature is another excellent expression of this very peculiar skill. Narrating the landscape, plateaus, waterfalls, zigzag mountains full of chirping, twittering birds hanging on the branches of trees, blossoming flowers, the beautiful green wide fields what’s makes you a profound reader of a nature while at the same time, you enjoy the unlimited fresh air one always wishes to have makes you young forever. Life is beautiful and every moment we live in, is a gift Allah has bestowed upon us, it never comes back once it leaves you away.
I am a great fond of mountaineering, in Pakistan we are luckiest to have such beautiful landscapes to enjoy. For instance, the northern areas are called “Paradise on Earth”, when I find an opportunity to runaway of my home, I travel to any part of it including my own village encapsulated by a series of mountains, that infuses the cool air at the same time gives you the sense how beautiful the world is, Allah has created one can’t deny. I have developed this astute habit of writing while I eagerly see a place of cool, calm and refreshing air, where I sit and enjoy the nature. The very moment I start admiring Allah’s beautiful art, my pen doesn’t stop me for a single moment to write on.
Over the course of few years, I have been regularly watching international media, reading newspapers, websites, try to figure out their styles of writing, by this way, I continuously improve my writing styles of writing wherever it is applied. Particularly, the British and American styles of English writing. The way they compose their writings and express their opinions, ideas or any particular matter of interests that are patterned for the readers, may have benefits with. Which randomly identify the patterns, transitional techniques and describing something in various methods they may apply?
So what is creative writing then?
Creative writing is anything where the purpose is to express thoughts, feelings and emotions rather than to simply convey information.
“Creative writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see all around us. In the end, writers will write not be outlaw heroes of some under culture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals.”
Writing of any sort is hard, but rewarding work – you’ll gain a huge amount of satisfaction from a finished piece. Being creative can also be a difficult and challenging at times, but immensely fun.
How to get started?
Many people think that just because they’ve read a lot of stories (or even if they haven’t) they should be able to write one.
There is a common belief that most of us are literate and fluent, there is no need to serve an apprenticeship if we want to become a successful wordsmith… that’s what I thought until I tried to write my first piece of writing. I soon learnt that a novel, like a piece of furniture, has its own set of requirements, laws of construction that have to be learnt. Just because I had read plenty of passages didn’t mean I could write one, any more than that I could make a chair because I had sat on enough of them.
Teach yourself: writing by your own.
By all means, if you’re keen, jump straight in and have a go; but don’t be too disappointed if your first efforts aren’t as good as you’d hoped. To extend, you may find that these early attempts have wonky legs and an unsteady seat.
I’d recommend starting small rather than beginning with an epic fantasy trilogy, a family saga spanning five generations, or an entire adventure series….have a go at a short story or a poem.
And if you end up chewing you pen and staring at a sheet of paper or gazing at blank screen for hours, try kick starting your writing with a short exercise. Don’t stop think too much about it…just get going, without worrying about the quality of the work you produce.
Tips and tricks for beginners:
Do some short exercises to stretch your writing muscles- if you’re short of ideas, read the daily writing tips over the Internet. Many new creative writers find that doing the washing up or weeding the garden suddenly looks appealing, compared to the effort of sitting down and putting words onto the page. Force yourself to get through these early doubts, and it really will get easier. Try to get into the habit of writing every day, even if it’s just for ten minutes.
If you’re stuck of ideas, carry a notebook everywhere and write down your observations. You’ll get some great lines of dialogue by keeping your ears open on the bus or in cafes, and an unusual phrase may be prompted by something you see or smell.
Work out the time of day when you’re at your most creative. For many writers, this is first thing in the morning- before all the demands of the day jostle for attention. Others write well late at night, after the rest of the families have gone to bed. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Don’t agonize over getting it right. All writers have to revise and edit their work – it’s rare that a story, scene or even a sentence comes out perfect the first time. Once you’ve completed the initial draft, leave the piece for a few days – then come back to it fresh, with a red pen in hand. If you know there are problems with your story but can’t pinpoint them, asks a fellow writer to read through it and give feedback.
Sometimes, we writers can end up feeling that our writing is chore, something that “must” be done, or something to procrastinate over for as long as possible. If your plot seems wildly far-stretched, your characters bore you to tears and you’re convinced that a five-year old with a crayon could write better prose…take a break. Start a completely new project, something which is purely for fun. Write a poem or a 60-word “mini-saga”. Just completing a small finished piece can help if you’re bogged down in a longer story.