TITLE: THE CRAFT AND CREATITY OF WRITING(thought I’d share with you this article I wrote for Novel Rocket
THE CRAFT OF WRITING
Can be learned.
Material about the CRAFT of writing is all over the internet, at conferences, in books, English classes, Literature classes, writing courses, critique groups, internet loops where we ask and receive questions and answers. All those are great. It’s our education. We read others’ writings and discover how they did it. We experience rejection (returns!) which can teach us whether we’re truly committed to writing, why we write anyway, and encourage us to learn more.
No matter how much we learn about a subject, a profession, it means nothing unless and until we put that knowledge and experience into action. Craft enhances creativity.
THE CREATIVITY OF WRITING
Must be developed.
At my writers conferences, many beginning writers have bemoaned the fact that God called them into writing, they’ve been writing for two years or more and still get rejections. I tell them they are to start in the stock room, not as president of the company. Some may never become the president, but we can become a valuable employee in the organization of writers.
This is an example often used because it’s so apt. When a child is discovered to have talent in playing the piano, does he quit taking lessons and apply to be a concert pianist? No. That’s when extra lessons and extra practices begin. That’s when more is required. The same with writing. If we have a talent, then it’s time to being studying the craft and practicing the creativity, and continue.
Most writers long for the time to write. I hear this over and over – I have family, I have a husband, I have a job. My reply is that this busy time is our training center. We’re learning to be everything so that we have something to write about. So often, the difficulties and challenges in our lives that we don’t want, but go through, are what enrich our lives, our faith, and our writing.
We spend a lot to time learning the craft of writing, and we should. We likely can never know enough. Too, we should spend considerable time taking a subject that is not new, that is not original, and make it exciting, beneficial, new to the reader because we say it, experience it, learn from it, in a way no one else can.
Moms could be given the assignment to write about how they discipline their children. Each might have the same method of standing them in a corner. However, the results would be different with each child, or their reaction would be different, or the moms’ reactions would be different, or each would have her own unique way of telling (showing!) the story.
Twenty-one of us published writers wanted to show other writers that we could use the rules (craft) of writing, write about the same subject, even use the same elements in a short story and each would be different. The five elements to used in each story are:
The first line: The wind was picking up.
Pursuit at a noted landmark
Unusual form of transportation
The last line: So that’s exactly what she did.
The book of short stories is titled What the Wind Picked Up (iUniverse). We showed that a story can be told many times, include the same elements, and yet be different because each writer has his own unique style and voice.
Sometimes we hear, “That’s already been done.” Critics might say that about the Titanic and I suppose everyone watched the movie. Yes, the sinking of the ship has been done. However, the stories of my passengers, my characters, had not been done until I wrote about them in my novel Hearts that Survive – A Novel of the Titanic.
This 50th book of mine is a composite of what I’ve learned about life, craft, and creativity in my thirty years of writing. I could not have tackled a Titanic story with confidence had I not experienced the years of learning, studying, teaching the craft, practicing, writing, re-writing, failing, being rejected, and being accepted.
Those who succeed are those who don’t give up, but continue to study the craft, practice the creativity, work through the challenges, because it leads to the joy of publication and having our words mean something to another person, as the Lord created us to do.
Here’s a picture of my twelve-year-old grandson, Simon inGeorgiawhere he was participating in a tennis tournament. They spied my Titanic book in Barnes & Noble.
I’m having a three-day book signing at the Titanic Display in Pigeon Forge April 27, 28, and 20. If you live near there, I’d love for you to drop in for a visit.