Creative Writing Aptitude sample essay
Being a writer is someone who uses writing on a regular basis. You have to be a writer before you can be a good writer. It’s about being good or at least good enough. But students don’t see themselves as writers at all because they have been structurally defined as deficient. This means that a student is someone who does not write up to a certain standard of performance with academic discourse. A writer does not simply write at someone else’s command but on their own initiative.
So as a writer and a student you need an independent plan into which you fit into a certain given curriculum and writing assignments. That doesn’t mean you should be single-minded, but rhetoric and composition needs be a place where students should realize they need to take control for their educational experience. Rhetoric and composition have become a part of how we do things since we have been young. We are eventually taught in school the types of writing we will need to use in our everyday situations to help us communicate to others for a specific purpose and effectively.
This writing informs, persuades, or explains what it is we want the audience to know or come away with. R & C studies use academic essays, papers, memos, or class handouts while creative writing studies primarily create literary works. Students are not there to compare one another as writers, artists, or human beings in general. It is a way for each of us to develop our own writing style and self-expression. It builds up the individual’s ability to express his or her own thoughts and technique more clearly by engaging into writing to get our mind working.
Creative writing and compositions studies… seem to operate with a distinct sense of a constituency for its teaching, an audience for its writing, and a function it performs” (Lardner, 770). Creative writing is a way to express what you feel inside your heart or the ideas that are in your head. It gives the writers a means for expressing their views of their surroundings and their world. Individuality exists in creative writing because the work is never the same as someone else’s. It is a personal expression that comes from each individual writer at each individual moment.
However, the true test of creativity occurs when the writing can be said to give readers an experience. For that the reason the writing is called Creative because it creates an experience in the minds of its readers. Examples of some these writing forms are: poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Each form has its own concepts involved with R & C because creative writing uses your self-expression as a big part of development than formality. Let’s start off with poetry. Poetry is possibly the most comprehensive way we have of expressing ourselves.
Poetry works at a deep level of emotion. “To feel emotion is at least to feel. The crime against life, the worst of all crimes, is not to feel” (MacLeish, 66). Poetry opens up your emotions and helps you express anything through the use of metaphors, images, and feelings. “Often the poet operates by suggestion and implication” as well (Adams, 11). Poetry starts in odd phrases, an image, a tune in the head, a deeply incoherent pain. The originating emotion still congests the lines or, in striving for uniqueness, the work becomes untidy, exaggerated or confused.
So each property (meaning, association, weight, color, duration, shape, texture, etc. ) changes as words are combined into phrases, rhythms, lines, stanzas and eventually completed poems. Out of those properties the poetry is built, even if the end cannot be entirely foreseen. In responding to what has been written; feeling it, understanding it, and extending its potential with imagination, honesty and sensitivity that very fine lines, vocal use, ample sympathies, kindness of heart and a consideration for the human condition become essential.
But poetry is nothing without extended labor. In contrast to the development of a delicate tension between speaker and subject, between various parts of a poem and between the feelings warring within the speaker,” there also can be a “considerable looseness and vagueness” (Adams, 15). You can either have a clear understanding of what you think the poetry is portraying or you can be at a complete loss. Poetry trains the personality needed to be an artist, an unlimited capacity to be honest and take pains. It calls for self-criticism, which becomes essential as a writer’s talents develop.
Criticism also “hones” skills that involve the poet’s needs by close reading, clarification and evaluation. It also requires the analysis and growth out of the very development between audience response and the poet. “The poet writes to [an audience] representing artistic perfection rather than to a reader chosen at random” (Adams, 143). Poetry may be complex, requiring a good deal of sorting out, but there has to be an immediate impact of some sort that allows the reviewer to be in awe. Poets need to know what’s been done before, and how comparisons may be objectively undertaken.
The next form I will discuss is fiction. Fiction is most definitely my favorite. The first thing you need to know is the age group you are writing for. You can write for children, teenagers, young adults, adults, etc. This is perhaps a really important step before writing because you need to know what your audience wants and expects. After you have selected your age group then take the time to see what is out there in the age range that you want to write for. If the current rage is spaceships and outer space themes then writing about cowboys just won’t cut it unless the cowboy is somehow swept into outer space.
You also need to research what you will be writing about because some of the time you won’t know much about the topic you’ve chosen. “Research gives you a chance to investigate all those subjects you’ve always wanted to know about and it gives the breath of life and authenticity to your work” (Kubis, 150). Once you’ve done some research, now it is time to get started. Remember all fiction has a beginning, middle and an end. You need to start your story at the point that something happens to change it all by giving your characters a problem.
It must be a worthwhile dilemma. For example, a girl who wants to move out of her parents house and is trying to find an apartment that she really wants when her parents refuse to help her because she can do it on her own is not an interesting problem. On the other hand, a lady who has three days to move out of her parent’s house is a more intriguing problem. Give your audience a reason to support your main character. “You want to achieve a character that is so real, so human, it seems inevitable that [she] does the thing you’ve determined [she] must do” (Kubis, 49).
Your story should progress toward the middle, the climax of your story. “The hero had to solve the dilemma [herself], without having outside forces do it for [her]” (Kubis, 3). It should climax into a problem that is worth caring about, and “it should influence the outcome of the story… [but it] does not necessarily resolve the story [only] provides information that leads to the resolution” (kubis, 113). From there you need to let the readers know how it was adequately resolved with a positive result or a defeat. Then there is view point is which the story being told.
Who is telling the story or through whose eyes is the story being related? Is it a narrator, the main character, a secondary character? Once you start with a viewpoint stick with it. Do not switch from character to character. Also stay away from over used phrases. Over done phrases are a definite no. Describing something ‘as black as night’ is too boring. Look for a different way of saying the same thing. You could say ‘black ink dark’ or ‘all encompassing black’. Make a list of all the overdone phrases you can think of and then practice saying them a different way.
Nothing is ever said in your story that doesn’t lead you somewhere. Know how to correspond properly. It will make all the difference to a readers understanding of what you are trying to say. Never throw in information that does not lead your story forward. Try to find a fresh way of telling a story by saying it again but differently. If everyone is writing about pirates it can get pretty boring after awhile if you use a similar plot line like everyone else. Find a fresh way of telling the same story, maybe from a captive’s point of view or how someone became an unwilling pirate.
Use the phrase what if. Ask what if such and such happens what would be the result and if this happened what would be the outcome. This is the time to use your imagination. Get creative and see where it leads you. The last form I will talk about is creative nonfiction. Not a lot of people know what it is and it can take on different styles: a narrative, personal essays, memoir, travel writing, food writing, biography, literary journalism, short stories, etc. It’s where you research a topic just as a journalist does but the writer must write in scenes.
They don’t think of facts as the basic building blocks of their stories; they think scenes instead. A scene in creative nonfiction occurs in a specific place (where); usually the narrator and one or more others are there (who); at a particular time (when); something happens (what); people converse (dialog or captured conversation); and sometimes someone thinks about something. We like to see scenes in front of us since life does seem to occur as a series of scenes. To get a story from a particular subject you may have to be pokey by uncovering innermost thoughts and feelings of those interviewed.
There’s highly involved research effort required that the writer should be willing and financially able to stick with a story for weeks, months, or even years. The creative nonfiction writer can’t work out of his or her memory and imagination alone, he or she must conduct research out in the real world, the raucous world, the dirty world. You should go around collecting facts from dusty records at City Hall, interviewing experts, and talking with the people involved.
Also talk with the people immediately involved in the tory to flush out, and add fresh ideas, ideas you might never have come up with on your own, provide different angles, views, perspectives, and insights on the person or the topic under study. This requirement to work away from the studio or the study turns some writers away from this form of writing. Others love that side of the profession, it’s what draws them in. An important consideration before you begin to write in scenes is choosing the structure of your writing in the first place. “Structure is the arrangement of parts and all the techniques you use to hold the parts together and make it do what it is intended to do” (Gerard, 156).
Most creative nonfiction writers may have a structure well in mind before writing at all because the material is promoted in the subconscious. Having the security of structure, or even just some structure, enables the writer to relax and play with any number of creative possibilities to perk up each scene. Since creative nonfiction is typically written scene by scene and is usually joined or separated by passages from a running account of what is happening at the moment, you need to study and perfect the structure.
Some of these potential scenes will be embedded in the narrative synopsis, but it’s important to first identify the scenes that make up a story. The writer needs to select only those events that seem to have the greatest potential and then organize them into what seems will be the best sequence, which is not always chronological. “The hardest part of writing creative nonfiction is that you’re stuck with what really happened – you can’t make it up” (Gerard, 5). The goal is to communicate information, just as a reporter does, but in the way you construct a story.
The relationship between the one who tells the story and the story itself may help determine if the story should be told in the first or third person point of view. Some say the third person point of view is the most difficult but the most rewarding since the author has to stay more out the way. In writing in first person narrative you need to learn how to get out of the way by being subjective but maintain objectivity. Just remember that you are the first person or narrator. It’s a balancing act but it has to do with finding a voice.
Once the voice is found, the writer can posture, say things not meant, imply things not said, and have fun. Once you find the right voice for a piece of writing, it allows warmth, concern, compassion, flattery, and shared imperfections. You can also show something about a person by letting the reader hear him or her speak when people appear, particularly when they begin to converse, to help the story come to life. We have to learn to watch people unusually close, especially for anything unusual or distinct. Include in your report poses, posturing, habitual gestures, mannerisms, appearances, and glances.
Writers frequently describe a group’s entertainment as a way to understand the group frequently looks at the way people dress. Writing about the typical daily life of a person helps illuminate a book and brings in the focus. The creative nonfiction writer can and should occasionally vividly describe the day-to-day life of one person. You should capture conversations and also show the reader how things look to your character in the world, leaving the reader to interpret what it all means. Although usually done sparingly, you might introduce your thoughts on the situation or the people.
This emotional content enables you to create dramatic, vivid, accurate scenes. Creative nonfiction is the ability to capture the personal and the private by making it mean something significant to a larger audience. It also provides intellectual substance that will affect readers perhaps even provoke them to action or to change. The relationships of Creative Writing and R & C to one another deserve attention in a number of ways. When we put words onto a paper, it’s our own individual way of expressing what we want to say.
As I stated earlier, poetry is possibly the most comprehensive way we have of expressing ourselves. Poetry works at a deep level of emotion. The fact that poetry and prose have coincided in a long line in rhetorical study is, of course, a rewarding area of study. In fact, there’s much to be learned about audience and rhetorical situation by positioning oneself as the writer of poems. Even though rhetoricians might cringe at the idea of having students write styles of poetry, this area of study would be of great benefit to those examining the practice of rhetoric.
It might also help rhetoric’s become better communicators to examine their own language to become more fluid, more colorful, and more imaginative. Also it would benefit all audiences to think of writing as a beautiful relationship of language and author. That’s if only because the process has such potential to benefit from the voices and views of others on their own journeys and might allow a fuller recognition of ways composition studies and creative writing coincide.