So You Want to Be a Creative Writer?
by Undra E. Biggs
When people find out that I am a published author, one of the first questions they ask is...how do I begin to write? A lot of times they will tell me about the stories that they have harbored inside of their hearts and minds. Then almost in the same breath they will give me a hundred excuses to why they haven’t begun to write. The following is my advice to all of you aspiring creative writers. I hope that it will be helpful to you as you start on your writing journey!
The first and MOST important step to make is to JUST WRITE, now!
Don’t wait for the perfect time. You don’t have to put any structured time requirements on yourself to produce writing. Like setting 3 hours per day to the side to dedicate to writing for example, or believing that you need a fancy word processor, a writing haven, and a vast knowledge of techniques. These are the things that breed procrastination.
ALL you DO need to begin creative writing is a fertile imagination, a pen or pencil and notebook paper. The cheaper the better because there will be many revisions, and changes of direction before you will need the GOOD STUFF!
Don’t worry about structure right at first. That will only HINDER your creativity! When you begin writing, write with the idea that it is personal and for your eyes ONLY. This way you won’t have to worry about misspelled words or incorrect grammar or run on sentences, etc. You will be free to transport the stories in your head to the paper. NEVER edit and create at the same time. They are two TOTALLY different steps.
Get yourself a special bag (book bag, shopping bag, garbage bag...it doesn’t matter which one) and designate it as your WRITING BAG. Inside, keep your paper, pens and pencils and your folder with the written parts of your story. The bag serves two purposes: one -- to keep everything together conveniently in one place and two -- so you can carry it everywhere with you. This way if you’re at the salon, or barbershop and you have thirty minutes to a couple of hours of WAITING time, instead of looking through magazines or making small talk, you can write.
Get creative in finding time to write. You will be surprised at how STOLEN moments really add up!
After you have a COMPLETE first draft THEN visit the library and book stores for the "how to write fiction books." The reason I say after the first complete draft, is sometimes some people get so caught up on getting it RIGHT that the entire writing process becomes intimidating, instead of free-flowing. By the time you have finished a complete draft, HOPEFULLY you will be BONDED to your characters and story line...And to the point where procrastination has been TOTALLY CONSUMED by PASSION and a strong desire to do what ever it takes to bring out the best in the new world you have created.
In saying all of that...once you begin to read the "how to" books you may see things in your story that you may want to re-do, get rid of, add to, or simply love. This is called EDITING.
Two books that I read and loved are, "How To Write A Damn Good Novel" by James N. Frey; and "Writing Great Screenplays for Film and TV" by Dona Cooper. "Writing Great Screenplays..." Don’t let the title fool you. This book is a must have for EVERY CREATIVE WRITER! There is another book that I must confess I have not read cover-to-cover, "The Art of Dramatic Writing" by Lajos Egri. I’ve heard -- Lajos Egri is the master; so do check his book out.
The last tier is writer’s classes and organizations. I have also taken numerous non-credit courses at my local community college.
For additional information about my writing visit www.undraebiggs.com.
PLEASE don't waste another SECOND...start writing NOW!
Undra E. Biggs
Copyright © Undra E. Briggs
Undra is a native of Trenton, New Jersey. She is the author of two novels, "When You Look At Me" published in 2000, and "Backfield In Motion" published in 2002.