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Archive for category Creative Writing

To Study or Not To Study?

Goals setting for year resolution and new project

A Masters degree in creative writing.

Advice on whether to study this is mixed at best. The verdict is that people simply don’t know whether you need some formal study to become a writer or better writer.

A nice piece I found on the Guardian.com describes what a lot of writers think about writing courses, that

A. That is cannot be taught

AND

B. That a course can only enhance what talent the writer naturally has, to begin with.

This might be so but there are other merits I believe to studying a writing course, whether it be taken in a University or otherwise. Firstly a formal course will expose you to other forms of writing and teach you how to work with a variation of the craft. By this, I mean writing poetry or script writing or non-fiction. Using the course I plan on taking with the Open University in Ireland as an example, I have the option to choose two different styles of writing. The choices are fiction, script, poetry, and non-fiction. Having the choice to tackle two styles teaches new techniques and perspectives on the craft itself. Pushing one’s skills into another area may change their writing, in general, for the better.

Another benefit to studying a course is the access you gain to not only a community of like minded people but experts in the area too, in the form of lecturers and tutors. Using the resources at hand on a writing course can only help when it comes to shaping the craft of writing and pushing it to the next level. Critical analysis and critique of your work can be tough to take. It can be even harder to find people to do it sometimes. Having assignments and people paid to read and work through them in depth can only help a writer become an even better writer.

There are other benefits to studying regardless of the subject. It can be liberating to feel you are gaining knowledge about a particular subject and bettering yourself in the process. I, myself am a life long learner and would happily study anything but, from now and for the next two years it’ll be the Masters of Creative Writing (o;

Two preparatory books I’ve been working through are recommended for the course I’m about to start. The first is Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings and the second is Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings . I’ve found both books to be very comprehensive and the readings in each are excellent pieces to teach with. I’d recommend them to anyone who writes or is thinking about writing.

So, that’s it on the Masters in Creative Writing. I’ll update on how it is going but as always let me know what you think about writing courses below.

Until next time (o:

 

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Merry Christmas

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MERRY CHRISTMAS…. HOPE YOU’RE RELAXING AND HAVING A GREAT DAY WHEREVER YOU ARE IN THE WORLD (o;

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Wow… haven’t written in 5 months!!

Blank notepad over laptop and coffee cup on office wooden table

So… while checking through my writing after a very long time I realised that it’s been a very long 5 months since I’ve written anything on WriterBabble. The very short synopsis of why is this… life got in the way, laziness ensued and things got pretty crappy but I think the other side of it all is in plain sight.

Anyway, back to writing on here again. I’ve decided to write about my current writing projects specifically and the trial and tribulations that crop up. I’ve learned a lot writing my first book and am finding that there have been changes and new challenges with my writing as a result. This blog is going to be a platform for writing about and discussing those aspects of writing.

Let me know if there is anything that has changed for you and that you’d like to discuss on here. I’d like my posts to highlight topics and spark conversations around those.

So, it’s on again. Version 2.0 minus the lazy with a fresh dose of renewed enthusiasm for writing.

See you in a couple of days (o;

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New Website!!!!

There were tears, sweat… no blood, although there is plenty on the website graphics, but in the end I built a website all on my little lonesome.

Not having a clue what to do I muddled my way through.

So, after two days work this is the fruit of my labor…

www.davidjdelaney.net

I’ll post up on there when I get the blog up and running. I’ll let people know what I used and how I went about it but in the mean time take a look and let me know what you think.

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New Year Resolutions, Woohoo!!

calvin-hobbes-new-years-resolutions

I hope Christmas was nice, relaxing and overall fun for everyone out there and although the holiday season isn’t quite over yet, I thought it wise to think about those resolutions.

I know there are nigh on useless as they are most likely to fail but this year I’m keeping mine simple.

1. Think twice, speak once.
AND
2. R W R (Read, Write, Run)…. In that order. Read a lot more, write more and run.

Read a book a week, keep to my 500 words a day and finish 2 marathons this year…. there we go, resolutions done and three letters to remind me throughout the year… R W R.

How is everyone else going with making or breaking resolutions?

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Perfection in Writing. Does it exist?

perfection

We all have our favorite writers. We read their work and gloss over the odd clunky sentence or weird use of the English language. When the story or style engages us, readers tend to be very forgiving.

Listening to the recent episode of the Horror Writers Podcast, Stephen King’s pet sematary was discussed and one thing that struck me was how the book wasn’t perfectly written. I agreed wholly with this and felt are better books by King out there but Pet Sematary is a fantastic book regardless of it’s short comings. King is an idol of mine and others but for all his unique and vast talent he’s still human. He’s fallible. He’s not perfect. Reflecting on other books by King and other authors I love to read like Straub, Koontz or Barker, I can recall times when I’ve been underwhelmed by them but for some reason I seem to forget these passing moments.

I’m certainly not saying that I’ll suddenly become a critic and critique every price of prose to within and inch of it’s life but I do want to think of these authors and their works in a more humble light. I want to see the mistakes, learn from them or try to understand how they fit in the grander scheme of the work. Maybe they were meant to be there or maybe they add an element I haven’t managed to comprehend. Either way I want to see the work as fallible.

So as a writer should the aim be perfection of prose or getting a damn good story down in words?

Do you consider any writing to be a work of perfection or close to it?

 

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Burning in NanoWriMo… Still a Happy Writer though

nanowrimo, failure, writing

One more day of NanoWriMo left… only 33k to go and I’m pretty sure I won’t do it. (o;

I decided to throw away the 1667 word count in favor of a 500 word a day goal. I was stressing at the beginning of November, wondering how will I fit in Nano while trying to ensure I still live the rest of my life. So as most of us do in today’s modern world, I turned to Google. So far it’s had all of the life answers I’ve needed and through some clicking and scanning I found one more. What I found was this site ‘http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com’.On here I found a blog post entitled ‘Smashing the fiction bottleneck’ and it really helped. I would recommend reading through it because there are other points in there to ponder but the one I want to talk about here is what the author Randy Ingermanson calls ‘The 500 Club’.

It’s pretty simple… write 500 words a day at a very minimum. It can be done within 30 minutes and is a solid number that will give you 182,500 words a year to polish and play around with. That is two or three novels. It’s a ton of short stories or novellas. Now I take this as 500 words of fiction writing so blog posts and the like are extra on top of that but it’s still a nice easy number to aim for. Like a lot of writer out there I work full time. I have another life not lived vicariously through words written and read. Writing is a big part of my life but not the only part and this is what Nano taught me, that until I make writing a full time career I can’t sustain 1667 a day, even for a month. Turning the dial down from 1600 to 500 has not only given me reason to relax a bit but I have found I have enjoyed writing so much more. I’ve even found that I’ve written more on some days, not hitting 1667 but 800 – 1000 words. Again, these are achievable numbers taking 30 to 60 minutes to write. It doesn’t feel like pressure and that makse a massive difference in both how I write and the quality of the words I produce.

I’m sorry if this sounds like Nano bashing because it is and it isn’t. Some people thrive on Nano, creating a whopping amount of words and love the process. I managed 60+k for camp Nano, but I wasn’t working full time that month so it was achievable. For others like me, I’d recommend joining The 500 club.

Eventually, given luck and a massive amount of hard work you can join the The 2000 club just like Stephen King writes about in ‘On writing’… the writers Bible as far as I’m concerned (o;

Now, some awesome resources I’ve been using over the last few weeks…

Horror Writers Podcast
Rocking Self Publishing Podcast
Copyblogger blog

This is not writing but he’s an awesome Australian Comedian named Wil Anderson. He runs a Podcast called TOFOP, funny as hell so once you’ve smashed 500 words take a listen… ‘http://www.tofop.com/

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