Creative writing is my passion. My earliest memory of writing a book was when I was about nine. I was really into Enid Blyton’s boarding school stories and inspired by this, I recall writing a whole (exercise) book on a similar subject. I no longer have that book, but I did keep the one I wrote at seventeen. It was inspired by a mix of S.E. Hinton’s Outsiders and Virginia Andrews. It told the story of five friends living on a council estate and was partly based on fact, and partly on fictional events.
I returned to writing about ten years ago (which coincides with the purchase of my first computer) and found there was much more to writing than just I first thought. I took some writing classes, read some books, but most of all I wrote and rewrote until I’d grasped the basics and moved forward from there. I embarked on an English Literature degree during all of this, after changing my pathway from Early Years Education to Youth Education, and then from Youth Education to an Open degree, before finally deciding to overcome my fear of exams and enrolling on the English Literature pathway. (The creative writing modules saved my overall classification. Six years of Open University confirmed that I am *not* an academic).
The moral of this story is that I have been where every new writer has: I’ve head-hopped, told (rather than shown). I’ve had flat (and dare I say, boring) characters, pacing issues, repetition, infodumps… I even started one story with a dark, stormy night, which is a major no-no to new writers of fantasy, apparently.
Fast forward to today and I am a developmental editor of three years (and counting). I also have a (mostly neglected) blog in need of content, and for that reason, I have decided to enter the A-Z Blogging Challenge (please ignore the fact it’s already day three and I’m only just writing the first post). For the remainder of this month, I will be writing a blog post a day on my favourite subject – the elements of creative writing – and will include subjects such as narrative voice, structure, show don’t tell, backstory, and characterisation. I may also recommend some books I’ve read and found to be of value or refer you to websites of interest.
Today’s (Sunday’s) post, however, is to introduce myself to those who don’t know me and to inform anyone who might read this that although I am a developmental editor now, I have spent several years learning and practicing the elements of creative writing. I understand how frustrating novel writing can be, or how difficult it is to grasp ‘show don’t tell’ or ‘deep pov’, and especially the need to describe more (my current weakness). I also understand the compulsion to write, and the sheer joy of creating new worlds and characters (as annoying as it is when they insist on making their presence known while writing another story).
I hope my posts can go a little way into helping others hone their craft. Feel free to comment and discuss any points I may (or may not) raise.