Sun 13 Nov, 2011 12:30 am
where can i learn how to write creatively
Take a creative writing course at your local college.
Find a writing group in your area. Of course, some will be closed because the size of the group will, out of necessity, be limited to fewer than 10 people.
Not all groups are equal: a lot depends on the leadership, as well as the personalities within the group.
I took two creative writing classes while in grad school in Detroit. One was fine, taught by the chair of the section, but, the other was taught by a psycho-bitch and was peopled with her long time acolytes who dominated the class, reading old pieces.
I've been in a total of three writing groups. One was through Concord, MA's environmental and arts group. I liked the women enormously and the discussions we had but we didn't do much writing. The second met in Amherst, MA. The organizer was well-intentioned but the group lacked a permanent home and a permanent membership. It also lacked a regular meeting time!
I am now a member of the best group of the three. It meets at a regular time in a studio sublet from another writer and is led by a published author. While having a published author lead the group is not necessary, stability and organization are. The group meets for three hours at a time. I think we could meet for a fourth hour but I am not certain everyone could meet for the extended time or even wants to meet longer than we do.
Including the facilitator, who is paid by a weekly fee of $25 - $30 from each participant, there are 8 members in total. I have yet to belong for one year but I have been so stimulated by the group that I largely gave up writing here -- my excuse was that writing here forced me to write. I am in the middle of writing a novel (nearly 100 pages at this point) which has surprised me. As the tee-shirt reads, "This **** writes itself."
We have changed formats a bit since I joined the group. We now begin each meeting with five minutes of stretching, yoga, meditation or free-writing. The facilitator then gives us a poem or excerpt from a larger work, such as a biography or essay. She does not often present passages from novels. In fact, I don't remember any. We write for 15 minutes based on the passage or on anything else we might want to write. we then read outloud and participants may give a sentence or two commentary.
Then our leader presents another passage and we write for 25 minutes, after which we take a bread. We return to read and to comment more fully.
Currently, we hold two revision workshops each month, a time when half the group brings a document each member has been working on. The document is up to 8 pages long. We share printed copies as well as read aloud from our work. Commentary is extensive.
The other two weeks, each member brings in a short piece, up to two pages. I have been using both periods to present parts of my novel.