How to practice creative writing

When practicing creative writing, forget the somewhat illusionary idea, that writing or other creative expressions consist of waiting for a divine inspiration. Instead, you will need to find a way to balance creativity and discipline, two different polarities within yourself. It is easy to romanticize the more creative flow of inspiration during those late hours, where only you and the moonlight are present. The fact is, you will need discipline and you will need to reframe your relationship with it. You probably hate being disciplined, because you associate it with the more boring aspects of life, but it is a writer’s best friend.

shutterstock_220261183Do it every day

The key is to write everyday. Dedicate a predetermined time frame to your writing project. You could spend the first hour of every day writing, you could write before you go to bed or any other option, which works best for you. Most importantly, make sure to write. Every day. You will soon start noticing, that your inner writer in reality works full time, with creative ideas hitting you when you least expect. This happens, because you are consistently focusing on your writing. If you like writing on a daily basis, you might consider a bachelor in journalism, which you turn into a career.

Don’t write and edit at the same time

Your inner editor and your inner writer are two separate beings, which shouldn´t be in the same room, at the same time. Never edit your texts while writing. Do the editing on a different occasion, to make sure you don’t stop the flow of creativity. This is a key to creativity and a way to bypass your inner critic. You don’t need to go full chaotic free flow with it, but make sure your inner editor stays out of the conversation. There is a time for everything. Your left brain can join in later. Find a workflow, that involves these two characters in a harmonious way.

What does creative writing mean?

Creative writing is best defined as the art of making things up. This differs from Academic writing or technical writing, where the objective is to describe something that exists. A pretty loose definition indeed, and is most often used to describe writing that is original and self-expressive. A news article would be a good example since its main goal is to present facts and not to express the feelings of the writer. While a news article can be entertaining, its main objective is to present the facts. Common areas of creative writing are poetry, songs, plays, movie scripts, speeches, etc.

shutterstock_86123695Being a journalist is still a creative choice

If you choose a bachelor in journalism, you will work with your words as your most important tools, to describe important events and concepts to the public. Your words become the intermedium that carries important knowledge, and your creative prowess will be most useful. Many people also combine different styles of writing, and can easily shift between a more academic style,and a more creative style of storytelling. A lot of the best authors are journalists, and getting a broad understanding of how to use words will benefit you also in all your creative writing projects.

What does the future look like?

No one knows where the future will take us, but one thing is certain: It will involve a lot of written text, and communication through other media, like videos and information, streamed online. Being able to craft a good story will definitely be important in a future overloaded with communication and information. But the media will most likely continue to go through changes. Newspapers in their paper form are more or less dying and are being replaced by an online version. Streaming media will most likely be the next step. Having a broad understanding of storytelling and creative expression will be needed to reach through the noise.

 

The Most Popular Books in 2016

I am sure a lot of us can not think of anything better than spending the day reading a book and escaping from the real world for a few hours. There are so many amazing authors out there today, that it may seem overwhelming to figure out what to read next. Goodreads and Amazon give us ideas of what we may like, based on books we have already read. But what if you want to try and read something completely different? The Bestseller List is always a good way to find something new and exciting to read.

shutterstock_249204604What books are on the bestseller list?

According to Amazon’s Bestseller List, which is updated every hour, the most popular book right now is The Midnight Gang, by David Walliams. The book is a funny story about five kids on a hospital ward and the adventures they get up to. The Guinness Book of Records of 2017 is also very high on their list and provides interesting facts about all the World Records. The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins, is also a highly recommended read. If you love reading and writing then why not consider studying for a Bachelor in Journalism? Who knows, your name might be on that list one day too!

More favourite books to choose from.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by J.K Rowling, has to be on your reading list too, of course. If you are stuck for recipe ideas, then Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook may be able to help out. Whatever you enjoy reading, the Bestselling book lists are a great way to keep up to date. They are perfect for finding the very latest issues and popular older books that we would love to read again. They provide inspiration on new subjects and ideas on what to give as a gift for a book lover. Reading has so many benefits, so why not choose a new book today?

Have a way with words? Three reasons you should consider a journalism degree

1. Secure job market

Compared to alternatives, like screenwriter, poet or novelist, a journalism degree actually comes with a pretty secured job market. Many great writers are or were journalists. This is an education and a craft, that provides you with a broad understanding of the written word. There are many styles of writing, from academical to more creative and journalism touches most of them, in one way or another, giving you a great writing platform for the future. It will give you the secure platform you need, if you decide to make writing your career path.

 shutterstock_4651243642. Important function in society

Journalists have always had an important part in society, being the storytellers who describe important events and concepts for the public. This is why, non-democratic countries try to control the press and media. Since the invention of the written word, journalists have had a substantial function in society, a fact which is not likely to change in the future. A bachelor in journalism provides you with an educational foundation, whatever happens in the future. While the paper version of the newspaper is more or less dying, the written word is more important than ever in a World flooded with information.

A broad field

As a journalist, you can focus on very different areas, both in terms of what subjects you are covering and also in terms of what media you are working with. You can work at a newspaper, a radio station, with television, or with some of the other media platforms that are rising in the new era. If you are into sports, you can pursue a career as a sports writer. If you are into arts and music, you might end up covering events in that field. It is hard to find any other education with such a broad implementation.

7 universities worth considering for their writing courses

If you’re studying journalism, you’ll want to know how to write superbly to enhance your career. A writers course, which will be tutored by professional writer’s, will help you write and get your work published. Today you can search many universities for writing courses, and nearly all of them offer free online courses, although you need to beware because not all of them award college credit. Boston’s Emerson College will teach you the genres of creative writing, how to write in different professional forms and write pieces appropriate to the media you are studying. Other excellent universities for writing are Boston University, University of California and University of Notre Dame.

shutterstock_291663701A New Hobby or New Career

If you want to find the best universities to study writing, swanwickwritersschool.co.uk helps writers looking to find excellent writing courses because it provides information on what these classes contain. You can search 1000’s of universities by category, so anyone can find exactly what they want. You’ll learn different types of writing you can specialise in and how a writing course can be so beneficial as to make your readers mesmerised by your written word. Taking a writing class at the Birbeck, University of London and Aberystwyth University might well be the start of a new hobby for you or even a new career.

Stimulating Short Courses

The beauty of finding a good university for writing is that they permit people regardless of the stage of life they are in to learn how to write. This means that you don’t have to be a young student to take this course – it is for older people too. The University of Amsterdam offers lots of short courses in academic writing, and you might want to consider a part-time master’s degree course at Oxford University where you can develop your skills in the craft of writing, and at the same time build a portfolio of work.

How to Develop your Writing Skills and Technique

How to Develop your Writing Skills and TechniqueWhether you are writing an essay, thesis or paper, there will come a time when you realize the importance of its quality and start thinking about ways you can improve it. Here are some ways you can develop your writing skills and technique:

Understand your Readers and their Needs

No matter what subject you are covering, it is imperative that you understand the needs and requirements of your readers. It is important to write in a clear and precise format that will help the readers understand everything, reducing the chances of misunderstanding.

Your ideas should be presented clearly and in a concise form so as to remove any chances of ambiguity and redundancy. Here are some basic rules that can be followed:

  • Try and avoid unnecessary and long sentences
  • Try to write in a simple language and avoid difficult to understand words
  • Always take special care when using punctuation as they can very easily change the entire meaning of the sentence
  • Avoid lengthy paragraphs

In order to help readers understand what the thesis is all about and help them navigate through various parts and sections of the same, here are some simple rules:

  • Always include a Table of Contents that is detailed and easy to understand
  • Abstract should be well written
  • Every thesis or paper should have an opening or introductory paragraph explaining the readers what to expect
  • Headings and sub-headings should use a consistent and systematic approach

Developing your Writing Style

As a writer, it is important to develop your own writing style instead of simply copying some other well-known writer’s style. This will help develop your confidence and help readers connect with not only your unique writing style, but also connect with you as a fan. Your conclusion should be arrived at by presenting your own arguments and counter-arguments rather than copying someone else’s evidence and research.

What’s Your Genre?

What's Your GenreWhen it comes to writing fiction, there are lots of different genres to choose from and each genre comes with its own style and characteristics that makes it instantly recognizable to the readers. Most readers have one main genre that they prefer above all others and will tend to seek out books in that specific genre first. When writing a novel, it is important for writers to identify the genre or genres that it will fall into to guide them on which style to choose. Here is an overview of the main genres in fiction.

  • Action/Adventure – novels in this genre are usually fast paced and often focus around a particular goal or quest that the main characters go on to reach their objective.
  • Fantasy – this genre usually takes place in a fictional world or land that is created by the writer. Fantasy writing tends to involve an element of magic as well as a very colorful cast of characters with exotic names.
  • Science Fiction – this genre often takes place in Outer Space or in the future, although they are not strict requirements. The main requirement is that a strong element of science is introduced in the form of some type of technology, and the writer needs to have a good knowledge of science to convincingly carry out their adventures and continue with the storyline.
  • Romance – the classic story of boy meets girl, boy loses girl and then ultimately gets her back in the end can be given a large number of different twists to make it feel original to people who have a love for this genre.
  • Horror – this genre features plenty of blood and gore and often monsters of some form.
  • Crime – solving a classic murder mystery can be a lot of fun for readers, especially if the detective and suspects have been well developed and there is plenty of suspense.

Editing is Essential

Editing is EssentialMost writers simply want to get caught up in the art of perfectly expressing themselves on paper and crafting their words to form long lasting images in the minds of their readers. However, this is only part of the task of good writing and another important element is editing. There are lots of different editing processes that need to be gone through before a writer is ready to publish their work. Read on to find out more.

Editing for Spelling and Grammar

Although this can be rather boring, it is a very important part of the writing process for people who are trying to get their work published. Before sending a manuscript or even a short news article to an editor, writers need to take the time to read it through to make sure that the spelling, punctuation, and grammar is correct. A piece of writing that is full of errors is likely to be rejected by an editor, no matter how good the story may be.

Cutting Out the Dead Wood

Many writers tend to work hard on their first draft to get all of their ideas down before they are forgotten. This is a great way to increase productivity, but it may also lead to a lot of extra pages that do not need to be there. Cutting out words, sentences, and even paragraphs from certain scenes can aid to the flow of the text and make it more readable.

Be Ruthless

Many writers hate cutting things out of their work, but it may be necessary to help pick up the pace or increase the suspense. When editing your own work it is important to try to be detached and read it as though you are seeing it for the first time so that you can be truly objective and cut it down to size.

Advanced English Writing

Persuasive writing

Advanced English WritingOne of the main problems that are encountered when writing a text meant for a certain type of audience is, more often than not, finding the right pace. This particular post will make an attempt at enumerating, describing and summarizing the main differences in most typical styles of writing.

Another fundamental objective of this post will be to help the reader and eventually the writer to avoid all the obstacles they may come across when producing written material as far as register, pace and style are concerned. For this task, a very clear example of journalism text published by Odyssey Language will be discussed. It can easily be found in a library, on the internet, or through this very web site.

This text is a clear example of public critical writing and raises valid questions revolving around the subject of “homelessness” by pleading for social awareness. What can be rightly said about this written text is that its main objective is, by far, to persuade the readers to take a stance and, as individuals who are a part of a society, address the main issues to which poverty and homelessness can be attributed. The interesting thing about the style in which this article was written is the way in which it seeks to stir feelings and appeal to personal emotions.

This way, the writer, in a rather dramatic way and by means of persuasion and metaphorical writing (let us here adopt a rather touching tone merely as a means of exemplification, worthy of the style that reigns in the article) intends to “recruit more people to enlist in the troops that will carry the leading torch in the fight against homelessness”. To better precisely narrow down the features that characterize this article, one could assert that the author makes use of a literary language (typically used in literature or fiction). This allows the writer to freely utilize language resources in a more creative way, unbound from the conventional, strict rules that characterize the academic writing.

Types of Writing

WritingOne of the great things about taking a writing course is that it introduces students to different types and styles of writing. Each type of writing generally uses a set style and it is important to identify the style that should be used, and how to go about creating work that is specifically created for this style. Here is an outline of some of the main types of writing that may be covered in a writing course.

  • Media writing – this mainly covers writing for newspapers. The style that is required for media writing will vary depending on the style of the newspaper but generally speaking, it is punchy, concise and to the put.
  • Novels – crafting a novel takes a lot of time and patience as a good novel can often take many months or even years to complete. In addition to creating a strong plot, students will also need to learn how to create characters, themes, plot twists and other different but necessary elements.
  • Short stories – while these works of fiction are much shorter than novels, they can be just as complex. One of the main issues that writers of short stories face is trying to keep their story short while still complete with its plot, characters and themes into just a few pages.
  • Script writing – people who write for television, radio or the stage usually produce scripts rather than full novels. These scripts are pared down versions of novels that mainly contain the action, dialogue and stage directions.
  • Travel writing – good travel writing involves much more than simply visiting a destination and writing about the experience. A successful travel writer needs to learn how to make readers see the destination through their eyes, and capture the essence of the destination in just a few paragraphs in order to inspire readers to visit the destination themselves.