10 Things I Know About Creative Writing That I Didn’t Know 6 Weeks Ago

Hiatus is over!  I got super busy at work, and the thought of having to blog just added to my stress level.  So had to make sure to tell my 10 readers (love you guys!) that I wouldn’t be blogging that week.  However, I actually enjoy writing about this process, so I’m not giving up just yet!!

So…back to business.  Last week was the last day of my writing class.  It was actually very anti-climatic.  We more or less did the same thing as we do every week, with a little bit of discussion about publishing.  But, in honor of the class I thought I would list the tidbits about creative writing that I learned while reading and discussing other people’s work.  I’ll save the analysis of my own stories for a later blog post (probably when I sit down to actually revise the stories them).  Anyway, what I learned below…

10 Things I Learned In My Creative Writing Class:

  1. Verbs strengthen fiction, adjectives weaken it.  Try turning an adjective into a verb (e.g., the bracelet “snaked” around her wrist).
  2. Length of sentences is a good way to play with the voice of a story/character
  3. Be careful of dialogue, ask yourself: what is it accomplishing? Does it move the story forward? Does it reveal the character?
  4. Story v. plot: a story is a series of events, a transition, while a plot is about causality—what happened and why.
  5. On endings: they should probably provide closure, epiphany, change of character or reader’s perception, some growth or some death
  6. Ask yourself, who does the audience care about? Who does the character care about?
  7. Flawed characters are the best characters
  8. Preachy = bad. Tests of faith = good.
  9. Slow down important scenes (i.e., describe them in greater detail)
  10. Stick to a single point of view in short stories.

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