NOTES ON CREATIVE WRITING: STARTING OUT WITH THE IMAGINATIVE MODE

Students of VCE English may have to write a piece in the imaginative mode for the Context study. It is most probable that the form of creative writing will require writing good prose (unless poetry is chosen).

What is good prose?

Good prose is writing which compels the reader to read on.

It generates mind pictures, atmosphere and mood.  It establishes characters and it arouses curiosity about them and their circumstances, relationships and motivations. It constructs captivating dilemmas, responses and consequences. It elicits emotional responses. It stimulates thought. It satisfies the aesthetic sense through form, language and storytelling. It feeds the ethical and philosophical sense: it can prick the conscience or offer a mirror to reflect on one’s humanity and the condition of Mankind.

How does an author or writer develop satisfying pieces of writing?

  • Authority, authenticity and finding the heart of the story
  • Imagery, sensory detail and providing a fresh ‘vision’
  • Conciseness, flair and making every word matter
  • Rhythm, euphony and creating  pitch, pace and pause
  • Poise, elegance and shaping a unique narrative

What can you do to find inspiration and develop writing skills

Just do it!

Other things you can practise:

  • Observation of people and surroundings.Image
  • Listening closely to the stories people tell each other.
  • Awareness of all the senses and how they inform our perception of the world
  • Exercise curiosity about what you hear, see and read. Ask yourself questions like: Why might this have happened? What is likely to happen as a consequence? What other possible explanations are there? Who else may have been affected or involved? What may have motivated certain actions? What would the situation have been like? How might the people involved have felt? How would I feel? What would I have done? Etc.
  • Recording your observations as above and your memories of experiences or stories — carry a notebook and pen or use digital notepad.
  • Reading widely and closely — explore a range of text types.
  • Writing a little every day — set aside 5-10 minutes to do writing exercises.
  • Researching specifics of subject matter, place, era, objects etc.
  • Having the courage to step out of your comfort zone and give it a go.
  • Having the persistence to keep at it, to chip away at it, to craft it.                                                    Just do it!