Creative Writink

Creative Writink

Creative Writink

I so want to copyright this phrase!

Creative Writink 2

I think that it’s just incredible that there are only three hits on the whole world wide internet for ‘Creative Writ Ink’.

Creative Writink 3

I just loves the idea of Creativity Writ in Ink.

Creative Writink 4

Playing with this gives me joy.

Creative Writink 5

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… and Then What Happened?

Some of you may recall the announcement of a Creative Writing session here in York for the month of May. If not, then you can read all about it here: Creative Writing Workshop.

You’ll be pleased to know that there is now a theme for this session, which crystallises around the phrase ‘… and then what happened?

To explain – it’s going to be about how our stream of consciousness – the thoughts that pass through our mind on a moment by moment basis, affect our mental, and ultimately, our emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.

One method of investigating the ways and means of how our thoughts flow is Creative Writing. This approach can show us not just how the stream flows, but how it can be diverted to different and more productive ends.

The session will focus on what actually happens within the mind when we remind ourselves to be conscious of our thought processes. It will do this by means of writing exercises that proceed by means of asking the question ‘… and then what happened?

This gentle enquiry has the effect of nudging oneself out of the largely automatic processes that govern our patterns of thinking. By moving away from habits of thought, many of which are negative at best and destructive at worst, we can learn how to move towards more positive and helpful ways of thinking in order to bring health to our mind, body and society.

I hope this explains clearly enough for you to want to come and visit the lovely city of York just as Spring is about to turn to Summer.

Date and venue to be confirmed later, but it looks like it’s going to be between 11.30am and 1.30pm on the last Saturday in May (26th) at Briar House, which is at 14 Merchants Place, Merchantgate, York YO1 9TU.


And yeah, you’re right – I just made all that up. The session is real, but the whole entirety of the methodology came to me last night as I was falling asleep. Still, I’m pretty sure I can make it work. And if not – it’ll be fun trying.

You and Me

Strikes me (mine) that much of what I (mine) write is just (just?) my (mine) opinion and so I (mine) thought that I (mine) should try to go beyond my (mine) subjective impressions and delve into something that would be real if I (mine) didn’t exist.

There are probably whole pages on Wikipedia devoted to this, but instead of co-opting Google I (mine) am going to try to think this out by myself (mine).

As you (yours) can tell, from my (mine) bracketed comments, it’s a bit of a minefield (haha) but nonetheless, I (mine) have to try – if only to pander to the call of my (mine) ego.

So – how about the grass outside the window – would that exist without me (mine)? Well, I (mine) guess. It might be a little longer if I (mine) wasn’t there to mow it, but it’d still be growing out there on the lawn. Which leads me (mine) to wonder why I (mine) have such a problem writing about things other than me (mine). I (mine) mean, there are loads of things out there that share the same sort of independent nature that grass has. There’s the trees and the sky and birds and space and infinity and the wall at the end of the universe that would send you (yours) mad if you (yours) peeked over it and all the other random stuff in-between those things,

So why do I (mine) feel that I (mine) have to insert myself (mine) into every darn thing I (mine) write! Surely it can’t just be my (mine) ego – the rabid need to feel important despite all evidence to the contrary, that makes me (mine) concentrate so much on my (mine) opinions and impressions and perceptions and extrapolations and stuff.

Oh, sure – this is my (mine) blog and the fingers forming these words belong to me (mine) and without my (mine) intellectual and physical input, this combination of letters and words that you (yours) are reading wouldn’t have come into existence, but still …

Just had a realisation: what If the focus on this blog were to shift onto you (yours) – how would you (yours) feel about that? If every single word were addressed to you (yours), the reader, then how would this affect things? Let’s face it, you (yours) are the most important part of what’s being written here. Without an audience, any piece of prose is merely mental (or digital – but let’s not go there) masturbation.

What if every word in this post and on this blog from now on were to acknowledge the overwhelming importance of the connection between things and people by focusing on you (yours) – the other end of this link. Obviously, the writer is still here, but when you (yours) are added to the equation then this kinda automatically embraces everything in-between, right?

Writing to you (yours) doesn’t come easy, but with practice, for sure it’ll get easier. There’s going to be a lot of passive voice going on, but who’s to say that this won’t be a good thing? Any attention to taming the ego has got to be good, right? The more attention that’s given to whose voice is used, the quicker it can be rooted out.

In conclusion, love to you (yours). Enjoy your (yours) day and please drop a quick comment if you (yours) have time to express how you (yours) feel.

Random Writing Tip

If you’re going to write about something then it’s best not to plan it out in ridiculous detail before you start.

The urge to write about a subject comes partly from a desire to learn more about it and to explore the depths of it for yourself. If you do this whilst in the planning stage then you remove the enthusiasm to know more. You then run the risk of turning out text that is insipid and uninspired.

Better to harness the raw energy and use the motive power of wanting-to-know-more whilst you are actually writing the story. In this way, it will be fresh for you and infinitely more delightful for your reader.

Cardboard Cut-out Characters

I read a lot of books and one thing I’ve noticed is that some of them have characters that all seem to be modelled on one person: the author. Whether the character is male, female, young and old alike – they all seem to share the same voice.

I was wondering what I could do to avoid this pitfall when writing my own characters. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Make use of regional accents and dialects. By this I don’t mean that you should go the whole hog and write impenetrable prose like: ‘eee bai yeck lass, that best bi sharp abaat’it if tha’ wants …’ etc. I was thinking of something more subtle like stick an on odd innit at the end of the London lad’s verbiage and make the Yorkshire bloke call everyone ‘love’ or ‘duck’.
  • Listen to how people speak. For example, when people are drunk, they say things in a very different way compared to when they are sober; there’s more laughter, volume and self-disclosure in a drunk person’s voice and this should come out in what you have them say on the page. Similarly, listening to young people talking amongst themselves is a real education. Accent-wise they don’t sound like they are speaking English and they, at times, say things that would cause their grandparents to catch fire. All this is grist for the writer’s quill.
  • Check how fast people speak. Some people talk so ponderously it is as if they are thinking about what they are going to say, whereas others seem to have no cover on their mouth whatsoever. This might be difficult to bring out on paper, but it’s worth experimenting.
  • Listen for clues as to the motivations and predispositions behind what people say. Some people have agendas that sit in their voice and words very clearly. Whether someone likes you or not will change what they say to you and how they say it. This might be subtle, but it will certainly make a difference.
  • Some people are just bonkers. They will say things that make little sense. Make the most of these people because even if they aren’t integral to the plot, they can at least provide comic relief.

The most important thing to remember about characters is that they need to have their own, independent life. They are not all aspects and extensions of your self. Get out there in the world and listen to people. Note how different they are to you. Get under their skin, into their tongue and celebrate their differences in your writing.

When you do this your characters cease to be cardboard cut-outs and start to sing and dance to their own music. This will make readers like me very happy.

I thank you in advance.

Creative Writing Workshop

I’ll be running a Creative Writing Workshop in York this coming May and the difficult part is this: I don’t have a name for the session.

Thing is, I usually start off with a working title, wiggle some words around and then, according to how the wiggling turned out, give it a proper title. This works really well for blog posts but not so well, I imagine, for workshops.

I mean, it’s not as if I can publicise it using posters like this:

PROVISIONAL TITLE

I’m running a workshop on Creative Writing in May 2018. Not sure what I’m going to cover and so I’m a little hazy on what to call it.

Hey, I know – we can make some stuff up together and then, when we’re done, give it a name.

Up for it? Then drop yourself in. Details below the gratuitous cleavage.

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The address is here, the date is here. the time is here, the contact details are here.

What do you reckon? Would you come to such an event?

I think I would.

How I Cured My Writer’s Constipation

A selection of words I considered starting this post with:

I decided that not one of them was good enough. They all seem to try to pluck at strings that I’ve already broken through misuse and ‘miliarity.

And I guess that’s what writer’s constipation is all about – the feeling that whatever I’m going to write will be the same as what I’ve already written and therefore won’t be good enough.

You know what I’m going to do next? Just to prove that I … something or other, I’m going to take those rejected lines as prompts for the next six posts. And I’m going to finish them all within an hour. Just you watch.

Edit: took me six hours, but I got there. The proof is in the links above. My … system has been cleansed.