A short lesson of creative writing

June 1, 2015

A recent research, published on the Independent UK, revealed that there is over the 75% of writers in the world and that only the one percent likes cats. The comparison is more than aimed because if everybody writes and no-one likes cats or does other things, I fear something is going wrong for this our loved and hated planet. This article, however, is not dedicated to this research, but takes an insight from the same research to launch our new topic: a short lesson of creative writing.

Let’s focus on the topic: everybody works as writers, everyone, hence, writes articles and books, and when one person writes over and over again, I guess he/she has something important to tell. And now, here is I arrive at the core of the topic: when a writer or an author writes, it is because he wants to say something to us or to the entire world. But in the field of creative writing, you don’t write to tell but to show instead of tell.

This is the main and maybe the only fundamental rule of creative writing. In a book, an author does never tell his/her story like a normal person would do in his/her normal life or daily life. An author uses hidden meaning, metaphors and idioms and leads readers to understand or deepen a particular side of life or of the book characters. Writing his/her book, the author must follow the rule to show instead of tell.

Showing means being capable to use the right words and sentences that, in turn, make the story easy to be understood and stored in the heart or in the head of readers. A common, trivial sentence like this: my mother died of a heart attack, would not capable to create that emotional strain that alone makes readers go crazy for a book. If the author uses this sentence instead: my mother’s heart stopped forever that night, or my mother’s life faded that night for a hearth suffering,

he is building a good plot and structure for his book and is following the rule to show instead of tell. Today the successful books are rarer and rarer because many writers don’t follow this rule. They write very well, it could not be otherwise, especially when they are mother tongue writers, but when the rule I said above is forgotten, a book loses all its wonderful meaning.

As I said in other articles, a book must be written like a poetic text, words have to be used like sounds and verses, not like simply and sometimes needless words. When you feel ready to write a book, don’t waste too many words, rather, keep many inside yourself and use them like if you were pouring some water into a glass: little by little. Focus on idioms and a few well aimed words. Practise this rule every day and you’ll find out how could be amazing write a book by following the rule to show instead of tell.

Read also: Advice for unpublished and aspiring writers.

One Comment

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