Archives for creative process

Applying the rules of art to writing: not every graduate becomes an artist

“Not every art school graduate becomes a successful artist. But the training one receives in art school opens avenues to the whole world. Art school teaches one to observe carefully, describe precisely, find solutions to problems through experimentation, keep an open mind to all possibilities, and to accept withering critique in the pursuit of the not yet realized. These are the skills of adventurers, visionaries and builders of a future we cannot yet fathom.” Excerpt from ‘101 Things to Learn in Art School’ by Kit White That sounds like a writing class! Can creative writing be taught? Yes, the tools can be taught. Plot, structure, characterization, point of view, imagery. A teacher can encourage experimentation so a student explores the different forms, a teacher can emphasize that the best way for a student to learn to write is to read good writers. Amazingly, many don’t read and a large percentage don’t finish the novel they started. It seems that what can’t be taught is the persistence, the perseverance, the sheer doggedness you need to get to the end of a draft, and the second and the third. My creative writing teacher, Shelley Weiner [above] has just published Writing your First
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Categories: On Writing.

The angel statue, again

There’s a scene in Ignoring Gravity where Rose has an important letter to open. Prevaricating, she sits on a bench beside a memorial to contemplating life. The memorial, a statue of an angel, is based on a real statue near Sadler’s Wells opera house in Islington, London [above], in a small garden called Spa Green. Rose sits and watches the pigeons. I revisited Spa Green recently, and it hasn’t changed. The pigeons are still there, the statue, and the primary school next door, children running around the tarmac. The buildings do look rather different, the road is gentrified and the beaten-up shops I remember are now replaced by a trendy wine bar.  To read what book bloggers are saying about Ignoring Gravity, click here and read a sample chapter.   ‘Ignoring Gravity’ by Sandra Danby [UK: Beulah Press] Buy now And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: Inspired by real life: the angel statue in IGNORING GRAVITY #writing http://wp.me/p5gEM4-17X via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love, My Novel: 'Ignoring Gravity', On Researching and On Writing.

Researching the graveyard scene

There is a scene in Ignoring Gravity that I kept putting off writing: the one where Rose searches a graveyard for her birth parents. I simply didn’t know where to start. Rose doesn’t know what she’s looking for, perhaps that was why I struggled with how to write it. So I did what I always do when I’m at a loss, I go researching.One grey day in March I went to a local church and wandered around with my camera, soaking up the atmosphere. It was a quiet, still day and I was totally alone. These are the photographs I took. In the end they helped me with the mood of the piece, rather than giving me concrete descriptions. But the visit served as the trigger which helped me write the scene. It taught me that when I’m intimidated by a particular scene, it helps to find a location and soak up the atmosphere. Please use these photographs to inspire your own writing, they worked for me. If you are searching for relatives, read these articles about searching the Deceased Online database, and identifying headstones. Read what other readers are saying about Ignoring Gravity and watch the book trailer.   ‘Ignoring
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Categories: Book Love, My Novel: 'Ignoring Gravity', On Researching and On Writing.