1. DNC
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    DNC Member

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    Hi - I hope I'm welcome here!

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by DNC, May 8, 2008.

    Hi,

    I'm not a writer but a PhD student. Trouble is that as part of my work I have to submit a piece of fictional literary prose. (The idea behind this is that it gives one a new insight into the creative process.) My usual field is literary criticism (yes - I'm one of the hated critics!) and I'm really struggling with the required creative part of my project.

    I don't know how you guys make a start on the whole creative writing thing and I was wondering if you have any tips on how I can find an idea. The subject/theme is totally open for me but it is a stipulation that I have to write something literary, so no pulp fiction basically.

    I really need this PhD. Any advice would be more than welcome.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Hello DNC, Welcome to the Writing Forums.

    What do you like to read? Or watch on TV? Do any of the stories make you sit back and think, "But what if..." That's where a lot of my ideas arise. You can also look at some of the Short Story Competition challenges in our contest archives for ideas.

    If you haven't explored the site yet, you should probably do so soon. Newcomers often gravitate to the Lounge, the Word Games, or the Review Room, but there is much more to be discovered if you poke in the corners. Remember to check out our FAQ as well, and be sure to read through the forum rules, too, to avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings. Respect for one another is our principal mandate.

    As for the Review Room, new joiners often wonder why we do things a bit differently on this site than on other writing sites. We emphasize reviewing as a critical writing skill. Training your eye by reviewing other people's work helps you improve your own writing even before you present it for others to see. Therefore, we ask members to review other people's writing before posting work of their own. The Review Room forums on this site, therefore, are true workshops, not just a bulletin board for displaying your work (and on that note, please only post each item for review in one Review Room forum). See this post, Why Write Reviews Before Posting My Work? for more information.

    Enjoy your stay here, and have fun!
     
  3. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    Hi and welcome to the forums.
     
  4. DNC
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    DNC Member

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    Thanks for the welcome.

    Reviewing shouldn't be a problem for me as that's what I'm trained for. However, I'm very nervous about doing any writing myself. I've been reading professionally for some years now and I know how rare really good writing is and how difficult it is to achieve.
     
  5. ChimmyBear
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    ChimmyBear Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hello and Welcome to you!!!
     
  6. Oasis Writer
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    Oasis Writer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Welcome :D
     
  7. Hulk
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    Hulk Banned

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    Hey there :) Welcome to WF.org.
     
  8. MJB66
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    MJB66 Member

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    Hi DNC

    I'm stating the obvious, but yeah, writing can be difficult if you lack inspiration - and you even more so if you have to write!

    Not sure if this is much help, but for poetry (unless I'm externally inspired) I tend to use a kind of 'stream of consciousness' approach. This could be anything from word association, to just day-dreaming (only good if you have some spare time to just sit and do it, though!).

    For story writing, I tend to use the 'what if' approach as mentioned by Cogito - e.g. what if someone told you you're not who you believe you are and that all your life is a lie? What would that be like? How would you feel, what would you believe - would you go insane? And so on. I play ideas in my head as a 'movie' first, and then just describe the 'scene' that's in my mind.

    I guess it's different for all writers, but perhaps you should think about what you feel passionate about, and then write something about that...I think the best stories come from passion...

    It's a cliche, but you could try writing what you would like to read...

    Anyway, I hope that's of some use to you... :)
     
  9. DNC
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    DNC Member

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    Thanks MJB66,

    I'll bear that in mind - although I'm never quite sure what I would like to read until I've read it. I have to write a piece of prose rather than poetry, so I think I'll try and work out a few ideas about possible protagonists before I actually start. In prose, I do believe that the best narratives come from character, so that's where I'll begin. It's terribly daunting though - and I can't wait to get it over with and put my nice comfortable literary critic hat back on!

    Best of luck with your own writing.
     
  10. MJB66
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    MJB66 Member

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    Thanks, you too. :)
     
  11. Kit
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    Kit Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hey there, welcome to the forums :)
     

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