WRITING – A LABOR OF LOVE

Elements of of Writing
by Pat Decker Nipper, Volunteer Staff

Labor Day is a good day to reinforce your labor of love — that is, your love of writing. Since you’re reading this article, you’re already working in that labor of love, but as you get more experience, you might consider writing to be more love than labor.

METHOD #1: The elements of writing leads to the love of words. The novelist Joseph Conrad was fluent in three languages—his native language, Polish, French (which he spoke without an accent), and English. He wrote in English because he loved the nuances of English words. When you consider the various definitions of a single word, you can understand what he meant.

Take for example the word “joy.” In Roget’s Thesaurus, 19 different words extend the same meaning. In the online version, over 40 synonyms are given. Some of them are: delight, happiness, gladness, exultation…and so forth. The Thesaurus is a valuable tool, but be careful when you use it. Be sure the meaning and interpretation fits your needs.

METHOD #2: Another element of writing is ideas. Everything written comes from one or more ideas. Great fiction revolves around the ideas of possibility. When you get stuck, ask yourself “what if…?” and your mind will plunge into a story.

For example:
* What if General Custer had won the battle at the Little Bighorn?
* What if Custer had become President of the Unite States?
* What if he were the one to assassinate President Lincoln, instead of John Wilkes Booth? How many ways would that change history?

“What if” will give birth to a lot of ideas.

METHOD #3: Clustering is another great element. Start with one word and associate from it. For instance, start with the word water and you might list:

* Boat
* Life preservers
* Paddles
* Canoe
* Accident
* Swimming
* Sharks
* Panic

Clustering is a great way to snare an idea. And yet another method of creation can be triggered by something you’ve read, or experienced.

METHOD #4: Another writing element is to put yourself in someone else’s adventure. For example, if you want to travel in space, imagine yourself as one of the astronauts, or manufacture your own flight to the moon. Colonize the moon. Build a city on Mars. The sky (or space) is literally the limit.

What Lies Ahead?

New poetry courses will debut at Creative Writing Institute this fall. The first will come out within a few weeks and a second one is in the brew, along with two more courses, Advanced Wordsmithing and Journaling.

We’re always open to new ideas. Writing elements are what writers thrive on. What subject would you like to see discussed? Red herrings? Inference? Arcing? Warts? Send your suggestion to deborahowen@cwinst.com.

Drop by http://www.CreativeWritingInstitute.com for a visit. Don’t forget to *like us before you leave! You can post a comment quickly and easily. See you next time!

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