There are two kinds of creative writing: good and bad, effective and ineffective. Bad, ineffective creative writing cannot make any impression on the reader. It won’t achieve its purpose.
So whether you’re a novelist, a poet, a short-story writer, an essayist, a biographer or an aspiring beginner, you want to improve your craft. The question is: how?
I often ponder on this. Where do my ideas come from? How creative can I get when it’s related to creative writing. When I’m inspired to write great fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, I realize amazing things can happen. There’s a sense of joy and fulfillment when readers can’t put it down and thirst for more.
What if the work I write becomes a bestseller. It then becomes famous. Amazing! But in order for that to happen, I have to reach to that level… first.
I found that the best way to increase one’s proficiency in creative writing is to write, write compulsively, but it doesn’t mean write whatever you want. There are certain things you should know first and it sure helps to start with the right foot.
Are you an aspiring novelist? Will your novel see the light of day? Any writer or novelist will ask themselves these questions over and over again. But I found that for that to happen, I will need to make the first chapter of my story as compelling as possible. Otherwise, readers won’t even pick up my novel.
That chapter can be the make-or-break point that decides whether my novel is published or not. It’s because good editors know how I write from the first three pages, or sometimes even from the opening lines.
There is a common belief that because 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 novel. 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 novels didn’t mean I could write one, any more than I could make a chair because I had sat on enough of them. –Nigel Watts-
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 Watts’ metaphor, you may find that these early attempts have wonky legs and an unsteady seat. There are lots of great books aimed at new fiction writers.
I’d also 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 your pen and staring at a sheet of paper, or gazing at a blank screen for hours, try kickstarting your writing with a short exercise. Don’t stop to think too much about it … just get going, without worrying about the quality of the work you produce.
At least that is what I tell myself.