Monthly Archives: October 2016
In my creative writing class the teacher has been giving out multiple writing prompts per class. Usually the writing prompts are meant to illustrate the point of the lesson; like writing from a character sketch while talking about creating characters. But many of them, especially at the beginning of the year, were just to get us writing. I know that this is a first year English course and that many of my classmates are not used to writing. However, I do not need any writing prompts, I already have plenty of random bits sitting around my study. Some of it is sentences that came to my head, but all I have is the one sentence. Other pieces are full paragraphs, It was a scene in my head and so I wrote it out, but at this point in my life there is nothing more in my head to write down. On top of all that I usually have a novel that I am working on.
With all the bits I have sitting around I could probably put together a book of writing prompts. I’ve thought about it, but it isn’t high on my list of projects and thus not likely to happen in any time soon.
According to many people’s thinking all writing is the same, so if you are a writer than writing essays must be easy. Except that there is a vast difference between writing fiction and writing essays. Fiction writing I find much easier than essay writing. With fiction writing, I am making everything up as I go. A few things require research and when the story does the subject it usually something I am interested in. Essays are an argument written down with the evidence provided. This requires serious analysis and thought. And research. Usually the research is a lot of boring reading. Also as an assigned piece of writing so the subject is one I am not as interested in, which makes the whole thing harder.
There are different kinds of writing and they all take different sorts of energy and thought processes. A poem comes from a more emotional place. Stories come from escapism. Essays come from research and deep thought. Technical writing is logic based. Each uses parts of the brain that other do not. So, as I fiction writer I write essays only when necessary and usually in the stressed, adrenaline fueled last hours before it is due.
Sometimes a piece of writing requires a soundtrack. Music which inspire and helps move the story along. The reader may never connect the music to the finished product unless the writer provides that information. I tend to use music in two ways. The first is to keep up the inspiration for a story. I will find music that reminds me of things that have to do with the piece I am writing. So, I will find songs of the sea if I am working on a pirate story, or I will find older country music to help me write on a western. This is where I make a play list and just let to play as I write.
The second way I use music is as inspiration itself. A specific song will give me an idea for a story. This has happened a couple times this year and the result has been a couple short stories. The song Somewhere on a Beach by Dierks Bentley gave me the idea for the story What Happened. The song The Hanging Tree from the movie The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 inspired me to write the short story Innocence Hung. The right song can sometimes be just what a piece needs.
This September I went back to school with the goal of receiving a diploma at the end of two years. Aside from the moments when I am so stressed I can’t concentrate, I enjoy going to classes and learning new things. Though I’m not so good at English courses as non-literal meanings of works tend to escape me. And I’ve never been good at getting homework done since teachers started assigning it back in elementary school.
It has been a few years since I sat in classes and listened to lectures. I forgot how much writing I get done while going to school. During that time at the start of class when everyone else is talking, I will be writing. I know those five minutes don’t seem like enough time to get anything done, but for me that is half a page of handwritten material I wouldn’t have written otherwise. Those half pages add up of the course of a week.
The other time I write is between classes as going home for the hour is useless because I barely get home before I have turn around and come back. And it wastes gas. So, I just find a place to sit and I continue that half page from earlier. Overall going back to school has helped me increase the amount of writing I have been getting done and I am enjoying being a student again.