Creative writing can be challenging and, like any other skill, it’s useful to gain an overview of the main topics.
How to improve your written English for fun, profit and enjoyment
This short course has been designed to give you an effective starting point with your creative writing. The course is fast moving, colourful and deliberately designed to encourage you to appreciate how to become an effective creative writer. I’ve used lots pictures - after all they paint a 1000 words - we just need to get those words out on paper!
You might be someone who enjoys the challenge of creative writing … perhaps you’d like to start a blog, contribute to a newsletter, write a book or … just write because you want to. Whatever your motivation, this course is an ideal opportunity to get some of the fundamental principles of creative writing - each lecture is complete, there’s plenty of practice and I’ll always feedback if you post a discussion.
There are many benefits to being a creative writer. A precise message is an excellent asset, particularly when there is so many internet, work and family distractions for the reader. Although it could be argued that communication has evolved and that using 'creative writing’ is no longer required in our fast moving 24 x 7, instant access lifestyles.
But I’d argue the complete opposite. Reading a well written creative writing piece can be an excellent escape and allow your mind to wander to a whole new world. From ‘The Hobbit’ to ‘Black Beauty,’ creative writers have opened doors and allowed us to be involved in soaring adventures.
Contents and overview
This course contains over 18 lectures and one hour of content.
However, much more than that, it’s a community of like minded individuals. As we develop and encourage each other you’ll get invaluable, and specific, feedback from your fellow students.
By the end of this course you’ll have valuable skills that will help you quickly focus on the main components of creative writing. You’ll hear what others think of your work and I’ll always try to respond - perhaps a comment, maybe a new lecture.
What are the requirements?
An open mind, willingness to learn, plenty of practice!
What am I going to get from this course?
Who are the target audience?
Welcome to the first lecture! This is an introduction to the four main areas we’re going to be working through:
There’s plenty of exercises and please do post your work to the discussion boards - I’ll definitely be pleased to read.
This lecture is all about ‘just starting’ and I use a number of examples to encourage you to listen to speech in a slightly different way. Rather than acknowledging what the other person says, try to imagine your version. It’s a little like repeating a conversation… but then adding description. The example of the question ‘How you doin’ everything OK?’ shows how to expand by writing about the character and room. ’
In the next lecture we'll be looking at pre-made openers and I'll look forward to seeing you then.
This .pdf is the outline of the beginning of a scary story.’ It could be developed by applying some of the ideas from lectures 1 & 2 - there’s excellent scope to add character, location description and more dialogue. One of the thoughts about this course is that I don’t want to put my words in your mind. It needs to be your creative writing ... this story development is your opportunity!
‘Just starting’ can be a little difficult, so, in this video we talk through some ‘pre-made openers.’ The idea is that you develop a bank of scenes that can be updated and altered to suit your story. The lecture uses examples of a man swaying, a small boy and a possible inflammatory statement.
In the next video we'll be looking at writing one sentence.. and then writing three more. I'll look forward to seeing you soon.
Here’s a good challenge to hone your persuasive skills. Your council wants to introduce a curfew for under 18’s … what’s your view? Are you in favour, or against? What are the issues?
Just starting is perhaps the most difficult when learning to write creatively.
This is perhaps the most useful lecture as it will help you to stop and see the text in the mind of the reader. With some (younger) students there is a tendency to ‘run on’ - get the story finished.
This lecture will encourage you to ‘paws’ (you need to watch the video to appreciate the joke!). I’ve given a number of examples of how descriptive writing can be added, without moving the story on too quickly
Here’s a great picture.
What do you know about this man? What’s his story? How did he get here? Where is he going?A picture paints a 1000 words. In this exercise you’ll get the opportunity to flex your creative muscles!
This section will really help to improve your creative writing. Take the quiz to work through some of the main points.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci
Writing simply is perhaps the most powerful form of writing. In this lecture we explore how to have clarity and precision in your texts. A politician, news reader, journalist and subject specialist all have simplicity at the very heart of their message - we’ll talk through some of the key points.
Writing simply is certainly important, particularly when there are so many distractions and it’s easy for the reader to click on the next link story
Talking about organising your thoughts. In the next lecture we'll be working through sequencing your work.
Here’s a list of simple sentences that form the outline of a story. They need to be developed using all the techniques we’ve talked through.
In this lecture we talk through a creative device that will make your writing much more … creative. The use of flashbacks is a great way to add detail to a story, that would be difficult to add in the ‘here and now.’ Widely used in many Hollywood films, a good backstory adds interest and allows the reader to become much more immersed in the character. The motivation and reasons can be explained to create understanding and sympathy with the characters present situation.
Putting these random sentences into a sequence is a great exercise in focusing on the main story elements. Can you craft a story from a series of random events?
In this lecture I've used the planning grid to outline a story about a 'nearly retired' bank manager. The conflict arises as two characters emerge - one eagerly looking forward to a peaceful retirement; the other outwardly calm, but inwardly seething with resentment.
Hi – I've been involved in math and English for quite some time as I qualified as an Engineering Officer in the Merchant Navy. It was a great experience and I was lucky to get the opportunity to see different cultures around the world – from New Zealand to the Middle East. However, during the past few years, I have enjoyed running after school study centres.
I'm always interested in “practical math" and have developed a number of projects to encourage students including Maths Wrap, a YouTube channel (nearly 2 million views!) and creating the world's biggest number – here in Leeds.Tutoring Experience:
Fully qualified math and English Instructor with over fourteen years experience. Tutoring to GCSE level including exam technique guidance, reasoning skills and interview coaching. I have worked with a number of adults and take pleasure in helping to achieve career goals.