A Writer’s World

“Why do writers create worlds?” is a question I’ve been asked regularly during my time at school. I had no definite answer because, why do we create worlds that are completely different from our own, and what do we gain from it?

It’s a universal question that has many different answers from various writers. It’s incredibly hard to pinpoint, hence why I’m only going to give my opinion on what a writer’s world is like and why I create my own.

The most popular novels, written for both adults and children, have featured a fictional world with magic, idealism and the ‘perfection’ of a society. Harry Potter, A Song of Ice and Fire and Lord of the Rings are all excellent examples.

I’m a massive fan of Harry Potter. Anyone who knows me, will tell you that. As a child, I longed to be in Harry’s world. It was something entirely magical and different to me that I just fell in love with it. Hogwarts, riding broomsticks and casting spells left me awestruck and I kept wondering to myself,

“Why am I in such a boring world? Why can’t I be a wizard?” 

As a writer, I create my own worlds to escape from this dark and gloomy one. It feels good to be the “God” of your own world; created entirely from your mind. There are no limitations to it; it’s yours and yours only. No one can take the magic away from you when you’re the one who created it in the first place.

Also, I use it to make a point about the world we’re living in today. I use this technique to deliver my views on our world to readers through ambiguous story-telling, and nevertheless, it works all the time. Readers react to it, opening their minds about the problems we face regarding society and the environment today. It’s much easier than writing a memoir or diary entry, ranting about it in such a mediocre way, it becomes whiny.

Why not use your imagination to express your views? It’s more enjoyable, I’m sure.

It’s increasingly popular for writers because it’s seen as a challenge and it’s something we can all escape to, reader or writer. It doesn’t matter. World-creating is a great way to open the mind further beyond your boundaries and it gives a unique, personal touch to a piece of writing, whether it be a poem or a novel.

Have a go at it and tell me how you feel about being the creator of your very own world. It’s a liberating feeling for writers and I’m sure no one can deny it’s fun and a legendary means of getting a story across to the reader.

 

 

Advertisements

Battle for Creativity – Saving the Creative Writing A-Level

A qualification in creative writing is something a lot of teenagers would’ve killed for. Young writers who were preparing for their A-Levels before or during 2012 never received this option, until a year later when the subject was introduced into the curriculum for A-Levels. The course proved to be a success as more students going into sixth form/college were encouraged to take it as a ‘creative alternative’ to English Language and Literature.

However, a ‘reform’ that’s been decided by the government under the Conservative Party has deemed the qualification as being unfit for resubmission into schools and colleges, therefore scrapping the subject from the A-Level curriculum across the country from summer 2018.

Personally, I don’t agree with this decision.

I suspect this change hasn’t been made for academic purposes. In my opinion, the British government decided to scrap MOST creative subjects because they are skills-based and not knowledge-based, and therefore, cannot be fit for examination. Isn’t this an unjust reason to remove such an enjoyable and popular qualification?

Creative Writing is a subject that many young people feel lies behind the boundaries of being just a hobby, and it’s a great thing that children want to explore their own creative routes through education. So, why are we taking away that opportunity for young adults to become more open-minded about the world we live in?

I’m currently studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative and Professional Writing at university, and I know many school leavers are choosing the exact same route as I have – wanting to develop their writing skills to ensure they make a living from it. The whole purpose of the course is to understand how our writing can shape the world, and spark a reaction from the general public with just one document full of words. It also helps us to take criticism and apply the opinion of others’ to our own work to improve it, therefore allowing the individual to be able to communicate well within a team and working with others. Key skills that we’ve been told are ‘essential’ in life and employment.

These are the reasons why I disapprove of this idea, and what it’ll mean for aspiring young writers:

  • It improves an individual’s English skills, such as spelling, punctuation and grammar. Although spelling, punctuation and grammar (also known as SPAG) is taught throughout secondary school, it can also improve one’s range of vocabulary, and expanding their knowledge of language and communication – no matter whether it’s written or verbal.
  • It allows young people to embrace creativity and imagination, as well as teaching them about the world and why we use fiction to address issues in today’ society. One of the most important aspects of a teenager’s life is having the ability to create. It can also mean learning more about life through the eyes of characters from different age ranges and personal experiences.
  • It’s unique. Need I say more?
  • It’s more subjective than English Language and Literature. In English lessons, you have to analyse and write 4-page essays on what a piece of literature means. However, in Creative Writing, you are only required to let your imagination run wild through the voices of people from all backgrounds, although this could be a difficult decision for a writer to make due to avoiding stereotypes and clichés in their work.
  • Most importantly, it’s enjoyable and can relieve the stress of academic subjects such as Maths and Science. ‘Logical’ subjects such as Maths and Science can overwhelm a student, and cause them to feel stressed about passing their exams and making sure they’ve got their facts right. With Creative Writing, this is not the case. All you need to worry about is making your writing clear and sophisticated.

We have come all this way as a nation to provide our students with a wide range of subjects to choose from, whether it is creative or logical, it doesn’t matter. There is only so much you could do if you take English, but with Creative Writing, the possibilities are endless. Are we really going to take that away from future generations and leave them having to take subjects where memory is prioritised more than imagination itself?

Remember, writing has the ability to change the way a person thinks. It’s everywhere; newspapers, novels, blog entries, diaries etc., writing is all around us, yet we fail to acknowledge it. Science is a factual subject. Creative Writing is an art.

How To Better Yourself As A Writer

It takes time to perfect your writing, but if I’m honest, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ writer. As with every other form of art, writing is subjective, and how it’s judged completely depends on who is reading your work. It might be a ‘masterpiece’ or a ‘piece of trash’, but there is always room for improvement.

So, I’ve come up with some handy tips that you could apply to ‘better’ yourself as a writer. Feel free to use them as they’ve personally helped me develop as a writer when I was in doubt!

  1. Read and write as much as you can. Okay, I’m stating the obvious here…but there is nothing that’ll help more than reading and writing as much as you can. Even reading the local newspaper can prove to be a lifesaver!
  2. Expand your vocabulary. I’m not saying read a dictionary or thesaurus from back to front, but soak in as many words and synonyms as possible! Replace dull words such as ‘cold’ with interesting synonyms such as ‘wintry.’ Not only does it make your work more detailed, but it also helps your audience to engage with what’s going on too!
  3. Write to your heart’s content. If sketching out a rough first draft, don’t worry about what people will think until its completion. Nothing makes your work feel more unique than your own personal touch with your real feelings. A piece of writing only comes alive when it’s given colour.
  4. Always revise your work. Revise and edit your work until you’re satisfied with it. Check for spelling and grammar errors, add and cut sentences, and just make your piece the best thing you’ve ever written.
  5. Prevent procrastinating. Procrastination and ‘Writer’s Block’ are a writer’s #1 enemies; nothing is more dangerous than losing an idea because of the latest TV show that’s been added to Netflix. Don’t try to get into the habit of procrastinating to the point where you get nothing done. Believe me, I have personal experience in this far too much!
  6. Keep a notebook or a writing journal on you at all times. If you have a poor memory like me, you’ll find your ideas for your next or current project will disappear. So, it’s important to keep a notebook or a writing journal on you everywhere you go so your ideas can be recorded.
  7.  If need be, listen to music to get inspiration. Sometimes, I find listening to music really helps when generating ideas, even if it’s just the audio in the song. If struggling, try listening to music and I guarantee you’ll find endless scenarios in your head!
  8. Show, don’t tell. This is one of the most generic and obvious rules in writing, but it’s so important to show what’s happening in your story rather than tell your readers, otherwise they will switch off and lose interest in your writing.
  9. Ask a person you trust to read your work and provide feedback. If there’s one thing that’s helped develop my writing skills, it’s asking people to read through your piece and give you honest but constructive feedback. It helps you know where you went wrong in your writing and if anything should be changed/improved.
  10. Always know your genre and your audience. Imagine you’re writing a horror novel for young adults. You go through the writing process only to find out you have no knowledge of the genre or audience you’re writing for. It’s a pain, isn’t it? This is why it’s important to research your specific genre and know what your audience want.  
  11. WRITE, WRITE, AND WRITE. As Dory in Finding Nemo says, “Just keep swimming.” Instead of swimming, replace it with ‘writing’ and your motivation to do what you’re supposed to be doing is right there in front of you. Write until your hands bleed with the essence of imagination, and let the story you’re telling unfold.

I hope these tips will help you in your development as a writer. If you consider any of these, please let me know! Nothing will make me happy more than knowing my words have helped someone. Everyone has the ability to become a writer, but it takes hard work to become a great writer.

I wish you the best of luck!

How I Got Into Writing

Hi, everyone.

I deleted my previous blog (sixdegreesofwriting) due to not being fond of it anymore, so I decided to create a new one which will solely consist of my pieces of writing and miscellaneous stuff.

As my first post, I want to tell the story of how I got into writing. It’s one of my greatest passions and I’m currently studying a degree in writing at university.

When I was twelve years old, I got into the habit of writing in a journal. It became an excessive habit of mine and I loved putting my feelings on to paper. Subjects included my days at school and what I thought of the news at the time etc., and I loved it. This activity carried on for about a year, and this habit soon turned into a passion that still resonates within me today.

I’ve always read books since I was young, but I never thought I’d want to write my own story. This all changed after, for I started to write my own short pieces of fiction. I concentrated when learning about descriptive writing in English, and I started to achieve high grades on all pieces I wrote. Shortly, I decided I want to make a living from writing, and I made the choice of becoming a writer as my future career prospects.

I have written pieces of prose and poetry for years, but unfortunately, none have ever been completed. I aim to write fantasy and horror fiction and I’ve recently taken up the practice of songwriting (although I can’t play the guitar yet, that’s a current work of progress!)

So, there’s my story on how I got into writing. Although I haven’t completed any projects/pieces to be able to publish on this blog yet, I certainly will in the future! Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading my work when I finally get around to publishing it!