My take on Creative Writing – Max Arnold

As some of you might remember, a few months ago an article was written about me. I am now writing my article to follow up on one of the points mentioned: my taste for creative writing. As of this moment I have reached almost 100,000 words in my story, of an estimated 300,000, a number that is subject to much potential growth. Here I will be sharing some of my thoughts and experiences about writing and some potential tips for those struggling with their English Language paper 2!  

A question I often get asked is why on earth I would choose to write something, for fun and of my own free accord. I am sure that many of you out there in years 9 – 11 dread the 40 marks worth of creative writing asked of you in your English Language exam, which is very understandable considering that creative writing can be hard sometimes. Being asked to sit down for a little over an hour and write a completely original piece on one of several topics you have only just been given is a lot to ask from anyone; even many professional writers might struggle with it, so don’t feel bad if it makes you nervous.  

The reason I decided to write this book is quite personal, as all writing should be. The storyline and characters I have created came from a lot of input from a lot of people close to me. While it was I who decided to write about it, my storyline has almost a hundred different ideas from others floating around in one shape or form. This is something important that I often think about. There is no chance that I would have reached my current word count on my own thoughts and ideas. My brain is currently struggling with 3 A-Levels and is simply too crowded and not focused enough to achieve such a task. Now, this is not me saying that the answer to creative writing is to simply rewrite another person’s essay to fit the question, or to plagiarize another book, but instead to lean off your and others’ life experiences for inspiration and ideas. The brain will find it very hard to generate completely original ideas, so look outwards to find other topics on which to base your writing.   

Inspiration through your work is also a very important technique to acknowledge. When you start your creative writing essay (as I’m sure all your teachers will have told you), the first thing after reading the question is to start drafting a plan. This is as prevalent as it is for your 1000-word essay as it is for my much larger one. Plans structure your thoughts as well as your essay and are critical when writing. I have a 5-page document that contains my planning alone, all 50 chapters documented and thought out. However, rigidly sticking to a plan can be detrimental whilst writing. After your plan is made and you have begun to put pen to paper, think about what you are writing as you do it. Let your mind float into the story and be there, at that moment. This can lead to ideas coming to you constantly and if channelled correctly can lead to some really good ideas. Whenever I write, my mind is immediately transported to the story. I hear the characters speak and I see the scene vividly in front of me. My original plan was to write around 45 chapters, 5000 words apiece, coming to a conclusion of around 200,000 words. However, during writing, my brain latches on to ideas, plotlines and just funny little scenes that overall, drastically improve my story. That’s why my original prediction for chapter and word count is so different to my current numbers. Allowing your brain to immerse itself into your writing will trigger new thoughts and ideas, which can add some cool additions to your story.  

If you are still reading at this point, first of all, well done! And second of all, you may want to know more about the mysterious book I keep referring to. For those who do I am pleased to announce that I will be writing a follow-up article, hopefully in the next edition that acts as a fully comprehensive overview of my story, where you can learn much more about it if you are interested.  

Thanks for reading 🙂

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