Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On Creative Writing

Creative Writing

When I hear about creative writing, I feel as though lighting had struck and stones would turn into toads or diamonds, just like the fairy tale I read when I was young.

Creative writing is sort of happy-ending fairy tales and sad fiction stories that trigger blood out of flesh and broken bones.

Of course, the mechanics of writing can be taught, but creating something is another story. You cannot teach someone how to be an artist. But you can always help someone write better.

What is Creative Writing?

From an ordinary writer’s point of view - creative writing is the art of writing embodied in various genres of literature: poems, fiction, and nonfiction among others.

It deals with writing, and more than just writing, because it is creating something beautiful. It is more than just words, but using correct metaphors, nurturing a style; and maybe… the urge of a writing vocation that carries hard labor. Money? Never.

Many writers aspire to be creative writers, and we don’t know if we are one. Time would judge. And maybe, some mark in the core of the writer’s being and an endowment.

“An odd feeling,” other writers say. You cannot boast “Hey, I’m a creative writer!” Other writers will surely laugh at you because the term itself connotes pride. If others will say “He/She is a creative writer,” then be thankful. But try not to say, “I am a creative writer.” However, you may say “I’m into creative writing.” This can be an attempt and can give some confidence.

Try to ask a poet how he/she writes.

Ask a fiction story writer how he creates his characters.

Ask a dramatist.

Ask a feature writer (creative nonfiction with a sense of style, etc.).

Or read the scribble of someone who did not study writing, but can express words in paper; beautifully; after a series of attempts.

Paul Horgan says in his book Approaches to Writing, “Some masterpieces are born of observations; others of intuition. The first will ordinarily tell about the author; the second, about everyone else.”

Creative Writing is a task of life, more than just writing. It must embody learning logs and give the readers value for their reading time, at least some kind of pleasure, meekness or motivation.

Paul Horgan adds “We begin to “create” when we see everyone else in ourselves.”

“In writing, there are two levels of professionalism: one the lower – is based on ambition driven by competitiveness; the other is based solely on fulfilling a vision in word and overall design, without regard to what anyone else is writing or publishing.”

Rose Flores – Martinez

Monday, July 12, 2010

Would You Like to Write A SHort Story?

Would You Like To Write a Short Story?

Would you like to write a short story? Would you like to write fiction?

The short story is a fiction story.

Normally the short story is between 1000-5000 words. A selling length is 3000 words. It is concerned with a single episode only. There must be brevity of time, characters, description, characterization, dialogue, incident, yet its content must be vivid with life.

The short story differs from the “short kiddie story.” Its treatment must be intense and characterization should be sharp.

According to Guy De Maupassant, “The serious writer’s goal is not only to entertain but to move us, to make us understand the deep and hidden meaning of events.”

Here are the elements of a short story:

1. Plot The plot is a sequence of events.

It begins with an exposition, then rising action (dramatization of events), climax (breaks off dramatically at this point), then falling action proceeding to resolution, and then the conclusion.

Plot shows: Then what happened? Story must involve a conflict of opposing forces.

2.Characters Characters are the people that make something happen. It is based on real people. However, fictional characters make different demand on the reader.

3.Setting The setting is the place and time of the story, the world in which the story takes place; a world of feeling.

4.Point of View This will be the authors choice of narration.

first person narration I
second person narration You
third person narration (narrator in not a participant in the story) It is like the omniscient author seeing into the minds of all the characters.

6.Style and Voice The voice is an essential element to all good fiction. It is how the author uses language to create fiction (rhetoric)

7.Symbolism and allegory Symbols are not always interpreted the same way by different readers.

The story becomes an allegory when all characters, places, things, and events represent symbolic qualities. Their interactions are meant to reveal a moral truth.

8. Theme It is the main idea of anything. The generalization about the meaning of a story.

Good fiction examines the truth.

Leo Tolstoy tells a friend:

“The most important thing in the work of art is that it should have a kind of focus, there should be some place where all the rays meet of form which they issue. And this focus must not be able to be explained in world. This indeed is one of the significant fact about true word of art – that its content in it entirety can be expressed only by itself.”

Check out for my short story “Net Chat” by Rose Flores Martinez in “

Rose Flores – Martinez

I Wrote Fiction: The Color of Life

Fiction stories are those stories that add color to life. These are the stories you have wanted to happen, an episode in your life you didn’t like, or something you could have wished on this planet or yonder paradise. The expressed and mute chanting of your heart becomes real in fiction.

I wrote fiction. I have wanted to make a small world of my own imaginations (dull and exciting), cravings, and abhorrence. Fiction stories create in me a goddess, of which I am not. Fiction creates in me life, of which I can bring back the dead to life. Fiction stories, I believe are God’s gift to human creations to fill the gaps of yesterday and today, of the life now and heaven, a link of time and space to immortality.

Let us run through five-fiction story exerpts and their authors:

1. The Dead James Joyce (1882- 1941)

Born in a suburb of Dublin during a turbulent era of political change in Ireland

“O, I am thinking about that song, The Lass of Aughrim.

So she had had that romance in her life: A man had died for her sake. It hardly pained him now to think him, a part he, her husband , had played in her life…”

2. The Blue Jar Isak Denisen

Pseudonym Isak - meaning “the one who laughs” in the spirit of saying GOD loves a joke.”

Isak isthe name under which baroness Karen Blixen of Denmark (1885-1962) published her writings

“…Now I can die. And when I am dead you will cut out my heart and lay it in a blue jar. For then everything will be as it was then. All shall be blue around me, and in the midst of the blue world of my heart will be innocent and free, and will gently, like a wake that sings, like drops that fall from and oar blade.”

3. Hills Like White Elephant Earnest Hemingway (1898-1961)

Born in Oak Park, Illinois

“Anis del Toro. It’s a drink.”

“Could we try it?”

The man called “Listen” through the curtain. The woman came out from the bar.

“Four reales.”

“We want two Anis del Toro.”

4. The House on Mango Street Sandra Cisneros

Cisneros collections represent the writer’s attempt to achieve both the intensity of the short story and the discursive light of the novel within a single volume

Unlike the chapters of most works, each story in the collection could stand on its own.

“You live there?” a nun from her school had marked when seeing Esperanza playing in front of the flat on Loomis. “There I had to look where she pointed the third floor, the painted reeling…. wooden bars Papa had nailed on the windows so we wouldn’t fall out. You live there?” The way she said it made me feel like nothing…

5. Scent of Apples Bienvenido Santos (1911-1996)

“His stories capture with warmth and deep humility the pain of exile and the cost of progress…” Washington Post

Filipino-American fictionist. He lived in the United States for many years where he is credited as a pioneering Asian-American writer. In 1946, he returned to the Philippines to become a teacher and university administrator.

“ Bievenido Santos Creative Writing Center,” De La Salle University, Manila Philippines

6. The Execution Charlson Ong This story won several prizes for short fiction (Woman of Am-Kaw and Other Stories)

It was raining the morning of execution. I remember how brackish and crimson was the sky. God has sliced open the sun, spilling its innards, carving out its heart…”

Rose Flores - Martinez

Hansel and Gretel9