October 2, 2016

Five Things I've Learned as a Young Author

For those of you who don't know, I studied Creative Writing at DePaul University. A large part of starting this blog is so it can be a melting pot for all of my tips and notes that I have accumulated throughout my education. I have a few posts about plot, characters, and the logistics of writing, but these are five things that I have learned as a young author based solely off of experience.

Write As You Feel It
The best writing comes from emotion in the moment. There have been so many times where I have wanted to write in the moment and I haven't and I have SO MANY REGRETS because the intensity of feelings are read just as raw and pure as you've intended them. Don't be afraid to carry around a notebook, or write as a memo in your phone, but writing in the moment is so important. Especially dreams. I've found dreams taking the premise for several short stories I've written. Inspiration is everywhere.

Edit, Edit, Edit
Throughout my junior high / high school career, I have never edited a paper. I submitted the first draft and I never looked back. Throughout college, I've realized exactly how important the revision process is. This is where you find out the parts that make sense in your head, but not necessarily on paper. One tip I have for editing is to let a peer read it. To you, things make sense and you know what you're trying to convey, but a pair of fresh eyes can tell you what doesn't add up.

Step Outside the Prompts
One of my prompts this year had out stories revolve around a triangular relationship. One girl revealed hers around divorced parents and a child, but some of the best ones that I've read involved a character being the weather, or a substance. A prompt can be interpreted in so many different ways and thinking outside of the box creates the best stories.

Don't Be Afraid of Your Professor's Preference
In my editing class, my professors announced his distaste for Sci-Fi. I don't care for Sci-Fi, nor have I written any, but there were a few students who choose to write that. Regardless of your professor's preference, you can't write to please their personal taste. This is your education and you're there to enhance your writing style, not to be a people pleaser.

Poetry is Important
After drowning in collegiate essays and short stories, it's refreshing and inspiring to take a step away from larger poems and write poetry. Poetry can be obscure, where we don't need to focus on characters and setting, but it can help get emotions out and spark inspiration for a larger project. It also gives a feeling of satisfaction when you start and finish a small piece of poetry, especially when experiencing writer's block on a larger project.

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