Thursday, January 19, 2012

How to become a creative writer

  How to become a writer? What does a writer need to become a writer? What qualities or traits an aspiring writer should have? 

  Here learn all the secrets of becoming a writer… a successful writer… indeed a writer of eminence.

  Given a chance, everybody with a little bit of creativity wishes to become a writer but doesn't know where to start or how to start. Yet, some people somehow manage and end up as a two-piece writer and become a self-styled freelancer.

  From then on they struggle to attain the heights of fame. But only people with perseverance reach the summits of literary success – all through the journey learning and experiencing the hard way suffering frustrations, dejections, and rejections, notwithstanding the small mercies of appreciations and acceptances from the editor- publisher foregoing monetary benefits sometimes of course!

  It is said that British Writer John Creasey, author of 564 published books, made his first sale after receiving 774 rejection slips. That’s the spirit of fighting and strength of perseverance one ought to envy.

  Indeed, writing is not something, which 'teach yourself books' and the likes can teach. No one can teach another how to become a writer. The one who wishes to become a writer should have the instinct in him first. But mere instinct will take him nowhere unless he should have an itching to read.

  "If people do not read as much as they used to, they do not write as much or even converse as much… a mind dulled by lack of reading and talking can hardly be expected to indulge in an art such as writing." This is the editorial comment in a leading newspaper, The Hindu, dt Thursday, July 14, 1994.   

  Thus all aspiring writers must possess the basic qualification of being a good reader… a critical reader with better instinctive judgment. One can learn a lot from reading critically the best in all literature, asking questions oneself at every step as to why the writer has devised his plot in a particular manner or has made the characters act the way they do and so on.

  Long years of close reading in this manner surely build up the writer’s equipment. "Thoughts and language are to the artist instruments of art and vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art." Said Oscar Wilde. [Oscar Wilde was charged at the trial that only a depraved monster could have written it… no not these words, but a book called 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' which was largely responsible for his imprisonment and ruin.]

  The next important trait for a writer is, he should always keep his eyes and ears open and closely read the life around him with a keen sense of observance grasping the various forms of emotions and moods - happy, sad, harsh, cheerful poignant, excitement and ecstatic; because every feeling leaves its mark on the mind in varying degrees.

  He should then allow these feelings to simmer and gestate, and the ones with the higher degree of its mark will keep bouncing back on to his itching nerves thereby stimulating him to write. But do not put these feelings as it is on paper for it becomes a mere matter-of-fact piece of journalism.

  Add a few ideas here and reject a few there to give it a form… a dramatic touch that's always found in ones favorite authors' fiction or a novel or a piece of essay.

  Further, in order to make a good copy or a good book one has to be harsh on oneself and contain his words to be as racy as he can. Of course, some novelists write a long and detailed description of scenes from the entertainment point of view, whereas a line may also give the reader a more vivid picture than a page.

  It’s all in the genre and how you express your ideas. Too much explanation also mars the readers’ interests. A good writer always leaves something for his readers' imagination.

  As for the subject, remember life does not have a same theme to offer everyone everything everyday. It might be same love, same anger, same hatred, same death and same hunger and pain.

  Yet, it differs on the plane of emotions each according to his mind, its susceptibility, the times, and the circumstances because no two persons think alike, act alike for each ones imagination is different. Hence every writer differs in style and genre.

  To catch such emotions and imaginations on paper, a writer ought to flex his mind and present it to the readers in the best possible form. For it is indeed a natural desire on the part of a writer that he be read by as wide a circle of readers as possible.

  But then, it doesn't mean he can churn out anything and throw it on the readers face. In such a case, there is every possibility of a writer running the risk of their wrath.

  Never underestimate the reader nor take them granted that they will receive any stuff thrown at them. Just like two writers, no two readers think alike.

  You may win some and loose some. Therefore to win all, a writer should concentrate on his style of presentation, lest he may ruin a good subject by his bad presentation.

  On the contrary, even a dull subject finds a better place in the readers' hearts if the presentation is good. Thus, it is better to cultivate ones own style – distinct from others – in a manner that every piece of writing should resemble a work of architecture, where every individual piece aesthetically fits into the other as a whole.

  This has been the hallmark of every famous writer down the ages and right down to present day writers, for instance, R.K. Narayan. [One never forgets to mention him.]

  An aspiring writer before taking up his pen should remember that readers do not exist for the sake of literature to give him name and fame. On the contrary, literature exists for the sake of the people – the readers - to hearten the downcast; to console the sad and condemned; to refresh the weary and listless; to further increase their interest in the world around them; to increase the joy of living; and finally ennoble their lives.

  Only such convictions lay the strong foundation for aspiring writers to produce the best in literature, which in turn bring him name and fame.

  Now to decide what is best and what is not in literature one has to question ones own self, because this itself is a big subject, just like creativity, one can write any number of volumes on it.

  But nevertheless in his quest for creating the best in literature, a writer is very much influenced by fashion and romanticism notwithstanding the live issues involved in social conflicts, like sex education, women's rights, corruption and other things that torment human life.

  But every aspiring writer should be aware that a piece of writing aimed at live issues could be as explosive as a nuke. For it may either edifice or arouse; inflame or influence; excite or instigate the people one way or the other for better or for worse.

  So, therefore, it is in the writers' own interest to make sure of his convictions and wield his pen in that direction where the interests of the people and readers lay; for the peoples service is noble, vital, complex and permanent of human life.

  "So far as the reader is concerned it is a work that purports to offer him intelligent entertainment", Said William Somerset Maugham. Keeping this in mind one can produce any number of good works.

  It is by good works alone that a writer justifies his right to a place under the sun.

  But first check yourself whether you have these qualities. An aspiring writer needs a bit of creativity, a keen sense of observation – observing the body language of people, observing situations, analytical skills to assess the situation, a sensitive heart to other peoples’ feelings and concerns, irresistible urge to read and read, and above all the constant itching to write and write and write… Just keep writing.

  In spite of this, you will only succeed if you have tenacity, perseverance and patience.


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