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Creative Writing Q & A

Writing Prompts

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September 2009
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A few Answers to Your Questions

Q: What is creative writing?

A: It is writing that expresses your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It is writing about the human condition and human experience. It is writing that is original or authentic. It is writing that is meant to entertain. It is poetry, fiction, nonfiction, screen play, drama, book reviews, movie reviews, and much more.


Q: Who should become a creative writer?

A: Anyone who loves to write. Anyone who is interested in writing poetry, fiction, personal essay, memoir, articles, or screen writing. Anyone who wants to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions, or aspires to write about the human condition or human experience.


Q:What skills and knowledge do I need to become a creative writing?

A:First, you must be able to write well. By this, I mean that you need to know the rules of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style. If you don’t, you ought to purchase a grammar book and read The Elements of Style, a classic, by Strunk and White.

Secondly, you need to be able to write creatively, using imagery, simile, metaphor, and other literary devices. If you don’t know how, learn the elements of poetry and figures of speech, like simile, metaphor, hyperbole, irony, and so forth.

Thirdly, you should know how to analyze and write a poem, analyze and write fiction, design and write an article, person essay, and memoir.

 Fourthly, you should read the Western Canon, great literary novels by Shakespeare, Dickens, Milton, and others. You should also read the popular novels of the twentieth century.

Lastly, you should read creative nonfiction. A good place to start is by reading “The New Yorker” magazine.

If you do nothing else, read widely and deeply, and write each day.


 Q: How do I get educated in this field?

A: You can take workshops, courses, or attend conferences. You can also get a degree with a major in creative writing. Or you can get a Masters Degree in creative writing. If you don’t want to attend a course or get a degree, there is self-study. At the very least, read widely and deeply, write each day in a personal journal, and learn how to write poetry, fiction, essays, personal essays, and articles.


 Q: Where can I find resources on creative writing?

A: The easiest way is to browse through the writing section of your local bookstore. Another way is to search for creative writing books on Amazon. Two popular books you should have are “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser and “The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White.

 You should also buy yourself a good dictionary, such as “Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.” As well, you should purchase a book of quotations. A good one is “The Yale Book of Quotations.” And finally, you need a thesaurus. One of the best ones available is “The Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus.”

 Publications that you should read each month are “Poets and Writers ” magazine ( ), “The Writer Magazine” ( ), “Writers Digest” ( ), and “The New Yorker” ( )

If you have any questions, please contact me at .


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