I’m at the ‘slowing up for the Christmas break part’ of my summer uni course, a time when everyone is able to relax, having handed in their assignments, and we have the enjoyment of reading left to do. The unit, titled ‘Vision & Revisionism: Short Stories Now,’ has introduced me to short story writers such as Ceridwen Dovey, Ryan O’ Neill, Lydia Davis and Margaret Atwood (one of my favorite writers) and I’m enjoying discovering new writers each week.
Studying the Master’s degree has, if anything, left me discovering the truth of fiction writing – that it is very challenging! This may seem a naive way of thinking about the art of writing and the physical act of putting pen to paper (or fingers on keyboards) to create something new, but reading/studying/critically analyzing other texts have given me ‘food for thought.’ More than anything I’ve been challenged in my own perceptions of myself and my work, which is something all writers need for growth and survival. One important lesson I’ve learned is this – that originality in writing is a myth – that we are all influenced by our own backgrounds and our social/cultural/psychological attitudes to the world. These perceptions include influential works of every genre, as well as popular fiction, non-fiction and bios, but also in the visual arts, music, TV shows (yes, them too!) and media.
The following quote, from academic Lee Tanggaard, sums up succinctly what I’m trying to say! –
“Creativity is fundamentally relational – even if the immediate experience may be that the good ideas ‘pop’ into our heads” – Tanggaard
With this in mind, I’d like to share a few creative writing tips by none other than Anton Chekov himself (with my spin on his wise words) and his 6 Principles of a Good Short Story:
- Try and avoid lengthy verbs of a political-social nature
- Be as objective as you can
- Always have truthful descriptions of a person/object
- Have extreme brevity
- Be audacious & original
- Have compassion in your work
Have a good creative week – be influenced by your world and the words will flow!
Tanggaard, L 2013, ‘The sociomateriality of creativity in everyday life,’ Culture & Psychology, retrieved 10th November 2018 Sage Journals, https://journals-sagepub-com.ezproxy-b.deakin.edu.au
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