NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > GENERAL DISCUSSION > Creative Writing Corner
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - How did you learn to write?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

How did you learn to write?

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1 3456>
Author
Message
Zelda View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt
Avatar

Joined: 24 Jan 2017
Location: Louisville, KY
Status: Offline
Points: 3777
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zelda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2020 at 8:55pm
These are great answers, and a huge welcome and shout-out to the newbies!! It's great to get to know you and read about your lives! 

To RichmondRoad: You got expelled from French class? Oh my! On the other hand... I can see that! Tongue Great story!

When I was in Spanish class in tenth or eleventh grade, the teacher called on me to read. I was daydreaming and had no idea where in the text we were. I gave up trying to find my place after a while, so she called on someone else. Then, not five minutes later, she called on me again. Once again, I was helpless to know where we were in the text. 

"Aurelia," she said, because Aurelia is Spanish for Zelda, "What planet are you on today?!" 

And I kid you not. I replied, "Mars?" And everyone burst into laughter. 

"See me after class!" she demanded. 

Yikes! So, after class, I walked up to her and said in perfect Spanish, "Lo siento, senora." 

She forgave me, and I fled the room. 

What on earth did you do to get expelled? Big smile Was it just that you weren't trying, or were you up to mischief? 
Back to Top
e43 View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Groupie
NYC Midnight Groupie
Avatar

Joined: 09 May 2020
Status: Offline
Points: 116
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote e43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2020 at 9:24pm
In my first year of HS in the Philippines (or, I suppose since they have K-12 now, seventh grade), a few students from the English club (or the school newspaper?) went around one day like a press gang asking people from every class if they could spare a student or four for the yearly newspaper writing competition. I wasn't exactly a writer back then, but I guess my classmates saw me as the best English student in the class, which probably happens if you read a lot. So, sure, it's an hour that I get to be excused from class, and all I have to do is write an editorial column. I do that and forget about it and move on with my life.

Fast-forward to a week later at assembly, where I'm just chilling in line and applauding some 3rd/4th-years (9th/10th grade, but equivalent to 11th/12th essentially) who took 3rd and 2nd place. Then they have the nerve to call me up to the stage because out of nowhere, I am first place. (Apparently, writing a heated, furious, critical opinion was not in fact ordinary business for seniors, who I'm guessing treated it like a languid essay instead.) So they encourage me next year to apply to the school newspaper. I do that. On paper, I edit one of the minor sections, but what they actually do is coach me to write the editorial columns. This goes on for a while until they pick me as the school rep for the national competition, top 3 go on to nationals; I got 4th but #3 backed out so I got his spot. So by 3rd year, I'm one of the senior editors, but at that point I'm writing and proofreading the whole editorial section, including rewriting the other seniors' opinion pieces.

Well, that's the formative part, at least. I immigrated to Canada a year later and found out that high schools apparently don't take school newspapers as seriously as we did, so I had to wait until university to get my creative juices their fix. Ironically enough, while I did get into a creative writing class, the ones that actually taught me the most were an intermediate English course where the instructor assigned a minimalist author, and a persuasive writing course where a prof would mark me down to hell if I didn't mean what I wrote and wrote what I meant.

But I'll credit the creative writing class because Medrie was an excellent poetry teacher.
Back to Top
craigs View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Groupie
NYC Midnight Groupie
Avatar

Joined: 18 Jan 2020
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 121
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote craigs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2020 at 11:06pm
I learned to write by reading.  I was a voracious reader as a child, and read very high above my expected level for my age.  Not because I was super smart, but reading is how you train yourself to read more.  I think the best way to learn to write is by reading.  And read everything.  Read complicated literature, read beach books, read trashy sci-fi and romances, read the news.  High-brow stuff and low-brow stuff.  Fiction and non-fiction.  Read it all.  After a while, when you want to write your own thoughts, you realize you know how.

Then, like others here have said, write a lot.  Writing is how you train yourself to write more.  And writing often is how you find your own voice.  But still keep reading.  If you only read your own writing, you start navel-gazing and stagnating.

So my tip for people who want to be better writers, is to read more and write more.  The only way to get better at anything is by practicing.

FF2020 R1-G106 | Fairy Tale | A Lemonade Stand | A Birdbath | What Felix Did ]
Back to Top
StayUpLateCreate View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie
Avatar

Joined: 05 Apr 2020
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 24
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote StayUpLateCreate Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2020 at 1:32pm
Originally posted by craigs craigs wrote:

I learned to write by reading.  I was a voracious reader as a child, and read very high above my expected level for my age.  Not because I was super smart, but reading is how you train yourself to read more.  I think the best way to learn to write is by reading.  And read everything.  Read complicated literature, read beach books, read trashy sci-fi and romances, read the news.  High-brow stuff and low-brow stuff.  Fiction and non-fiction.  Read it all.  After a while, when you want to write your own thoughts, you realize you know how.

Then, like others here have said, write a lot.  Writing is how you train yourself to write more.  And writing often is how you find your own voice.  But still keep reading.  If you only read your own writing, you start navel-gazing and stagnating.

So my tip for people who want to be better writers, is to read more and write more.  The only way to get better at anything is by practicing.


I unfortunately mostly read chemical and environmental engineering journal articles for my graduate school work. I prep myself for writing competitions by reading many short stories to get in the groove. When I get an assignment, I read several examples of short stories within the genre. I don't seem to have time to read novels these days. Maybe that's why my attempts at writing them have been disastrous. I agree, though. Reading is so helpful. 


Edited by StayUpLateCreate - 16 May 2020 at 1:35pm
Cass
Back to Top
StayUpLateCreate View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie
Avatar

Joined: 05 Apr 2020
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 24
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote StayUpLateCreate Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2020 at 1:37pm
Originally posted by e43 e43 wrote:

Well, that's the formative part, at least. I immigrated to Canada a year later and found out that high schools apparently don't take school newspapers as seriously as we did, so I had to wait until university to get my creative juices their fix. 

Hahah! I enjoyed reading this personal narrative. 
Cass
Back to Top
Draiglas View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Groupie
NYC Midnight Groupie
Avatar

Joined: 09 May 2020
Location: UK
Status: Offline
Points: 117
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Draiglas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2020 at 2:49pm
Honestly? Fanfic. I mean, I had English lessons in school and learned stuff from that, but my school was the sort where half the lesson was spent trying to take the register, and we went through so many teachers at GCSE that my dad (one of the governors of my school) said he was seriously considering proposing that anyone who taught my class at GCSE for longer than two weeks be given a medal.

But I got into fanfiction when I was a teenager, after watching some cartoon episode with a rather sad ending, and I found myself wondering about how the characters felt. So I wrote it and found I had a new hobby. Reading reviews taught me a lot about what people like in writing, and what mistakes to avoid. Writing fanfics taught me about properly planning stories, editing them, writer's block etc. And reading fanfics and writing reviews made me think critically about writing and about what I do and don't like. I mostly write my own stuff now, but I still keep my accounts going and do, occasionally, dip my toes back in...



Edited by Draiglas - 16 May 2020 at 2:50pm
Read my 1st Round story for 2020 microfiction contest Her Protector
Back to Top
aniaheasley View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Newbie
NYC Midnight Newbie
Avatar

Joined: 26 Jan 2020
Location: London
Status: Offline
Points: 26
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aniaheasley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2020 at 6:29am
What do you want to do ?
New mail< id="mailtoEmail">Copy< id="mailtoClipboardTo">
I always wrote, as long as I can remember. What is amusing is that I always thought I was good at it despite pretty hard evidence against that assumption. I still have my handwritten diaries from when I was a clueless 12 year old schoolgirl, and by God what a pretentious affected self-centred cringing style they are written in. I am not sure how much my writing has changed since, but at least I have managed to cut down on the number of exclamation marks. Now I have published a book, have another one queuing up for my time to KDP it, I write two blogs, one about my professional life, one about everything else. Friends and family always praise my writing, with a few strangers complimenting me on Amazon, and those few tokens of appreciation are enough to keep me going. 
I am 'honing my craft' by lots of re-writes, listening to the rhythm of each sentence and paragraph that I produce, reading a lot of similar types of books and articles that I write myself to see how the 'competition' are doing. 
What I have never done and not planning to do any time this side of never is sign up to a 'Creative Writing' course. I did sign up to daily updates from one online school of writing, which will remain nameless because I am feeling kind. The advice they dish out as a taster is so cliche-ridden and so obvious to anybody who ever wrote anything as demanding as 'the role of three witches in Macbeth' school essay that I believe these courses are a waste of time and money. You either got it, and then work on it, practise, perfect and polish your craft; or you don't.   
Ania Heasley
Back to Top
jenspenden View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt
Avatar

Joined: 25 Sep 2013
Location: Denver, CO
Status: Offline
Points: 4730
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jenspenden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2020 at 3:15pm
Osmosis (reading a lot).

Yep, that's about it. Tongue

Oh, this forum and my writing group have helped a ton, too. Constructive criticism goes a long way if you actually listen and work hard to improve based on feedback. 


Edited by jenspenden - 18 May 2020 at 3:18pm
Back to Top
RichmondRoad View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict
Avatar

Joined: 26 Jan 2018
Location: Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 513
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote RichmondRoad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2020 at 7:56pm
Zelda. Haven’t you figured it out yet? It was because I was stupid.
Still am.


Edited by RichmondRoad - 22 May 2020 at 8:00pm
Back to Top
Zelda View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt
Avatar

Joined: 24 Jan 2017
Location: Louisville, KY
Status: Offline
Points: 3777
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zelda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2020 at 7:57pm
Originally posted by RichmondRoad RichmondRoad wrote:

Zelda. Haven’t you figured it out yet? It was because I was stupid.
Still am.

Shocked  Oh, come on, I don't believe that! As if!! 
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1 3456>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.03
Copyright ©2001-2019 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.172 seconds.