What is Creative content writing

what is creative writing competition and how creativity can be enhanced and what is creative writing skills
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CCE - 01 Vardhaman Mahaveer Open University, Kota General Principles of Creative Writing Block Introduction It's fair enough to debate the value of creative writing courses. However, my belief is that our students on our creative writing are talented and focused. Our courses shall equip students with all the aspects of writing chiselled writing. Quite apart from the commercial aspect, creative writing students are being encouraged to write their creativity in channelized form that matter to them, sometimes stories/poem , they have long wanted to tell – and that means no one is wasting their time. Are you a scribbler, a secret diarist or a would-be journalist? Do you write professionally or as a hobby? Looking for fellow enthusiasts to share your ideas with and get feedback on your own work? Then look no further. Our Creative Writing course offers the opportunity to meet like-minded people and learn a variety of techniques to improve your writing process and enhance creativity. The Beginning: Creative writing takes its first breath when the writer asks, "What can I create out of a particular feeling, image, experience, or memory?"The Purpose: It carries out a writer's compelling desire to imagine, invent, explore, or share. Writing satisfies the creative soul. It often takes on a life of its own; the writer merely follows along. The Form: Any form using a writer's imagination is suitable for creative development of some element of fiction. Some of the most common types of creative writing are poetry, essays, character- sketches, short-fiction, anecdotes, play-scripts, songs, parodies, reminiscences, historical fiction etc. The Audience: A specific audience may not be known in the beginning, and each situation is different. However, if the finished piece has a universal meaning, the story will speak to a wide range of readers and may have varied meaning for various people. The Style: A writer's style comes from an array of choices that result in the sole ownership of the finished product. The key to attaining a unique style is focused control. The writer lays out a viewpoint and if it appeals to the readers, it influences them. A good write up has the ability to rejuvenate a reader mentally and emotionally. Sometimes a good write- up evokes realisation of the abstract. As a result, the reader will see, hear, smell, taste, and feel specific things. Let it flow. A story or book has little to do with the intellect or language when we first begin. Best ideas usually emerge as a spark or image. Like dreams, they will make little sense. Follow them without questions, they will hold the key to the creative unconscious. Nurture your creativity. It is as delicate as a budding flower. Let your creative thoughts dance to the tune of imagination. This book shall really help you to know how a creative writer should proceed in writing and what different areas of creative writings are there. Unit - 1 Creative Writing and its Significance Structure 1.0 Objectives 1.1 Introduction 1.2 What is Creative Writing? 1.3 Scope and Area of Creative writing 1.4 Analysing a Creative Composition 1.5 Things that must be avoided by a Writer 1.6 Gradation of Creative Writing from Pulp to Great Writers 1.7 Origin of Thought and Birth of an Idea 1.8 Let Us Sum Up 1.9 Review Questions 1.0 Objectives In this unit we shall introduce you to the concept and significance of creative writing in English. Besides you will also be able to understand what constitutes creative writing and what distinguishes pulp from great writers. Lastly we shall inform you about the stages through which an idea culminates into a creative work. 1.1 Introduction Creative writing is any writing that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature, typically identified by an emphasis on narrative craft, character development, and the use of figures of speech. Both fictional and non- fictional works fall into this category, including such forms as novels, biographies, short stories, and poems. In the academic setting, creative writing is typically separated into fiction and poetry classes, with a focus on writing in an original style, as opposed to imitating pre-existing genres such as crime or horror. Writing for the screen and stage—screenwriting and playwriting—are often taught separately, but fit under the creative writing category as well. 1.2 What is Creative Writing? Creative writing is anything where the purpose is to express thoughts, feelings and emotions rather than to simply convey information. It is writing that expresses the writer’s thoughts and feelings in an imaginative, often unique, and poetic way. Writing of any sort is hard, but rewarding work – you’ll gain a huge amount of satisfaction from a finished piece. Being creative can also be difficult and challenging at times, but immensely fun. Besides giving satisfaction and joy to the human soul, the creative process has always given a new meaning to life in every era or period of human development. The creative spark within an individual, leading to creative endeavours stems from a basic, yet strong, feeling of dissatisfaction 1 with the usual process and activities. Some may not feel dissatisfied at all with the way things are. And, those who do feel discontented may react or respond in one of the following ways: ∗ Simply complaining or feeling frustrated without doing anything about the existing state of things. ∗ Trying to change the state of affairs by creating something new in a new way or even attempting to mould the public opinion or attitude by writing about the state of affairs in an original style with a skillful use of words and expressions. Let's take an example from the realm of sports this time. When Captains and bowlers from all over the cricketing world thought of curbing the flow of runs from opposition batsmen by bowling a negative leg-stump-line with fielders on the on-side, the first batsman who thought of countering such a play by means of the reverse-sweeps shot was nothing short of being creative. The above requisites of the ‘creative processes’ may by safely applied to the various domains of writing as well. Man is unique…….to master. Man is unique in his ability to make metaphors. Creativity is the act of living metaphorically. Besides giving satisfaction to the soul, it gives a new experience to life on different stages of human development. A boy drawing strange figures on the beautiful walls of his house is really creative. It is a spark which gives individuals to recreate certain common things in our daily life in a genuine way. Any writing of original composition can be considered as Creative Writing. It is the process of inventing or rather presenting our thoughts in an artistic way. Art is considered as an imitation or representation of the world and human life. The major criterion applied to a work of art is the truth of the subject matter it represents. The creative writer takes a different angle to view the world which is appealing to the readers. Since each creation is targeted at the reader, a work of art is considered as something which is created to achieve certain effects on the audience/readers. The value of the work of Art is judged according to its success in achieving that aim. The function of a work of art is to please –it pleases both the writers and the readers. According to Aristotle, a work of art (literature) is the imitation of life. He believes that there is a natural pleasure in imitation, which is an inherent quality of man It is this pleasure in imitation that enables the child to imitate the speech and conduct of the people around him. They are imitated by him because there is a pleasure in doing so. A creative writer is just a grown –up child imitating others for the pleasure it affords. This statement may induce a ray of suspicion in the mind of students that where is creativity in imitation? Aristotle clarifies this point in his discussion on poets “they reveal truth of a permanent or universal kind.” To prove this Aristotle gives a comparison between poetry and history.-”It is not the function of the poet to relate what has happened” But his duty is to describe “What may happen.” The poet and the historian differ not by writing in verse or in prose –the true difference is that one relates what has happened and the other what may happen. History records particular persons, places or things. Poetry infuses a universal appeal into them by stressing what they have in common with all persons, all places or all things in the same set of circumstances. A picture created in a poem or in any work of art is not a mere reproduction of facts it describe but it has got a universal applicability, that it can be applied to all places and times. This is the meaning Aristotle gives to imitation. Creative writing requires the writer to dig deep into the imagination, often connecting fictional characters in an alternative reality. Hudson warns us against the fallacy that fiction has nothing to do with fact. The writer has to choose those aspects of life with which he is familiar that the writer must be authentic and must show absolute fidelity to the fact and knowledge of life. This knowledge of life may spring from direct personal experience or through books and conversation 2 with other people who have felt and touched life which the writer has not. A creative writer, by using the kaleidoscope of his imagination, which comes from some where deep inside, from a part of mind and soul, recreates another world like the Wonderland of Alice. One key aspect of creative writing is to let your creativity lead you. You may be a great story teller but not all great story-tellers are great writers and combining the two is a task that takes time and patience to master. 1.3 Scope and Area of Creative Writing Writers are in demand across a number of fields. The publishing and screen industries, advertising agencies, magazines and newspapers, websites public services and large corporations all require specialist writers with flair of language. Students who deal with creative writing and literary studies are encouraged to experiment with a variety of forms and genres including novels and short stories, creative non-fiction, media writing and poetry. The serious students may consider the following as the key points in writing creatively. When the writer thinks on what can be produced at an impulse of a particular feeling, image, experience or memory, he selects the comfortable medium for him to written. Writing satisfies a creative soul, when it works out, a new life (fictional) is created and that gives strength to that poem or novel. Any form is suitable for the readers to enjoy and record the creative faculty of the writer. Some of the common genres of creative writing are poetry, novel, short story, drama, travelogue etc. Writing satisfies a creative soul; it often works out and creates an alternative life of its own. The role of the writer is merely to arrange it as per the respective genre. Any form is suitable for recording his creative inspirations. Whatever may be the medium used, the finished product should have a universal appeal and it will speak to a wide range of people .Different people take it differently according to their social constructions. Good writing has the ability to rejuvenate a reader mentally and emotionally. Some times a good writer evokes a realization of the abstract things which the readers enjoy much and they celebrate the writer as gifted. 1.4 Analysing a Creative Composition Creative writing is the process of inventing or rather presenting your thoughts in an appealing way. The writer thinks critically and reshapes something known into something that is different and original. Each piece of writing has a purpose and is targeted at an audience. It is organized cohesively with a clear beginning, middle and an end. Attention is paid to choice of apt vocabulary, figurative use of language and style. The following can be taken as key points for understanding of writing creatively: The Beginning: Creative writing takes its first breath when the writer asks, "What can I create out of a particular feeling, image, experience, or memory?" The Purpose: It carries out a writer's compelling desire to imagine, invent, explore, or share. Writing satisfies the creative soul. It often takes on a life of its own; the writer merely follows along. The Form: Any form using a writer's imagination is suitable for creative development of some element of fiction. Some of the most common types of creative writing are poetry, essays, character- sketches, short-fiction, anecdotes, play-scripts, songs, parodies, reminiscences, historical fiction etc. The Audience: A specific audience may not be known in the beginning, and each situation is different. However, if the finished piece has a universal meaning, the story will speak to a wide range of readers and may have varied meaning for various people. The Style: A writer's style comes from an array of choices that result in the sole ownership of the finished product. The key to attaining a unique style is focused control. The writer lays out a viewpoint and if it appeals to the readers, it influences them. A good write up has the ability to 3 rejuvenate a reader mentally and emotionally. Sometimes a good write-up evokes realisation of the abstract. As a result, the reader will see, hear, smell, taste, and feel specific things. 1.5 Things that must be avoided by a writer Verbosity: Using more words than are necessary to express an idea. Repetition: Repeating an idea in different words. Pedantry: using high sounding, difficult and obscure words instead of simple short ones. Periphrasis Or : Using a roundabout way of saying a simple thing. Circumlocution Archaic Words: Use of outdated words and phrases. Colloquialism: Words or expressions used in familiar conversation such as 'tis, bike, phone. Slang: Specific colloquialisms invented for humour and vividness in expressions such as cool dude, damn. Indianisms: Translating the idioms and expressions of Indian languages literally. Mixed Metaphors: Comparing a thing to two or more things. Words which do not convey a precise meaning such as good, awfully. 1.6 Gradation of Creative Writing from Pulp to Great Writers The fantastic, escapist fiction published in the first half of twentieth century is normally known as Pulp Fiction. The etymology of the expression, pulp fiction is that these stories were printed on cheap ‘pulp’ paper and it attracted a mass of readers. The pulp fiction era gave a breeding ground for creative talent which would influence all forms of entertainment for the following years. The later detective and science fiction genres were created by the freedom provided by pulp fiction magazines. Pulp fiction is a term used to describe a huge amount of creative writing available to the American public in the early nineteen hundreds. What they generated was the real driving force for their huge readability. They attracted people to the world of reading and creativity. Once they are acquainted to the world of creativity, the next task is to improve the quality of their product. By choosing a wide range of books and reading them closely one can widen the area of his literary and creative world. The world of books is a wonderful world which gives you thousands of unperceived experiences. One thing is mandatory that you should open your eyes and sharpen your ears. Creative writing is described as communication through revelations. It is a type of escape from the self. Each production gives him an aesthetic pleasure. He is intensely and emotionally connected to what he makes. The writer is genetically connected to his work and the readers identify it based on his style. So it is the duty of the writer to develop a unique style-some thing like a person’s finger print. It takes years to develop a writer’s style and voice, but through hard work and dedication he can bring his unique self (his identity/his style) on the page. Whether one writes fiction, poetry, or non-fiction, he can always seek ways to improve his skills. To a certain extent, one’s writing style, the manner in which he expresses himself –evolves naturally over time, with a combination of his personality, his reading choices and the decisions he makes consciously while writing. To develop one’s own writing style, his reading should be wide 4 and elaborate- read classics-Great literature is the best teacher. Experts in this field remark that young or beginning writers must be urged to read widely, ceaselessly, both classics and contemporaries, for without an immersion in the history of craft, one is doomed to remain an amateur. As practice, read as much as you can. Even though you read a book which you feel dull or boring, try to find out, why it didn’t attract you? What were the handicaps of the language used? Is there too much digressions or whether the characters and incidents are loosely designed? A poorly executed piece gives you more opportunities to learn. Take note of how your favourite writers set their scenes and characters. Look at the poets to see how they use metre, rhythm and imageries. Find out time to write daily. The more you write, better be the result. There is no substitute for simply writing as much as you can. In the beginning don’t be worried at the prospect of publishing; that may follow automatically. Attempt different genres. Nonfiction and poetry in particular have something to teach its readers. In the beginning there may be the influence of other writers, but it is not a great sin Your product may not be significant, but it should not be a matter of tension. Love writing and try to create a style gradually. Use only those words that come to you naturally. Of course you may try to improve your diction, then there is a high risk of using misfit words. Choose words from the real life, words with a smell of life-experiences. You can recollect moments from your childhood. Watch and try to digest your surroundings keenly. Since the world is a great stage and we can meet with any type of characters over there. Since the work is for reading, be clear in expression. The sentences are advised to be simple, otherwise, the readers come out from the fictional dream which the writer tried hard to create. Avoid clichés in your work. They make things stereotypical. Remove them completely or at least put a twist on them to make the work stand out. For example, Mark Twain’s twist on the cliché-to count to a particular number when you are angry, to avoid to speak harshly. Twain writes: “When angry count four; when very angry swear.” But it is very difficult to attain a distinctive style in writing. Good writers develop their own style. You can identify a particular writer just by listening to what he says. The rhythm of his sentences, peculiarity of his vocabulary, casualness of his tone are distinctive like your fingerprint or DNA. The style comes to you if you lay your foundation aptly. Talking on style, let it happen. Don’t think about writing with a style but about clarity and conciseness. Avoid thinking about what your reader might expect or like. Write the way you like which is the quickest way to begin a personal style. Allow the quickness of your thinking to work and the distinctness of your personality to appear in your writing. Clear detailed writing will make the prose come to life. Try to find out the right words for description. There is a great pleasure to know the names of things and using them. Here is an example: “The grey-haired woman sat by the window tatting a doily” is more descriptive and clear than “the old woman sat in the corner, working on something.” Precision is not a matter of filling a sentence with modifiers however it is the question of choosing the best nouns and verbs. As a writer one should craft original sentences where you can use the metaphors and the figurative language. In the creative process, don’t write about unfamiliar things. If you write on political drama, for instance, without having involved in political affair, there is a chance of making in factual descriptions. Writers who handle complex, detailed worlds they are not familiar with, tend to familiarize themselves with what they are writing. It will clearly appear in your writing Likewise if you don’t feel comfortable with a particular technique, avoid it. Once you start finding joy in writing you can travel in the unraveled world of imagination, you can hear the music you made. Your involvement in writing will fetch you your style. 1.7 Origin of Thought and Birth of an Idea There are four stages for the culmination of an idea into a creative work. 5 1. Inspiration: You may be inspired by an event, an experience, a person or a scene. An idea can come from any where. The great English poet, John Keats heard the song of a nightingale while he was sitting in a park. That was the inspiration behind the great poem, Ode to a Nightingale. A writer’s mind is highly charged with imagination, a single spark is needed to ignite it. 2. Incubation: This stage is all about birth of an idea. Some ideas may be more like an elephant and take couple of years to born. Some ideas born very fast, depending upon the gravity of the idea and the writer. 3. Implementation: This can be considered as a research stage that the writing project will require. When one writer approaches a complex subject, he has to undergo a serious study on that topic. For example, if you are writing a novel on the aboriginals of Australia, You should study the history of the island and the problems faced by the aboriginals in particular. Lack of homework may affect the coherence of the novel. It is very important that you should keep the fictional reality. 4. Interpretation: This is the final stage in which we turn the research into a final written product or literary art. In this final stage of the creative process we interpret the findings of the research and recreate them into words. With the editing work it is ready to share with the world. 1.6 Let Us Sum Up In this unit we have introduced you to the concept and significance of creative writing in English. Besides now you understand what constitutes creative writing and what distinguishes pulp from great writers. Lastly you have also been informed about the stages through which an idea culminates into a creative work. 1.7 Review Question 1. How is an ordinary writing different from creative writing? 2. What do you understand by the style of a writer? How will you demonstrate your style? 3. How will you go about developing, pruning and nourishing your own individual style of writing? 4. Discuss the four stages for the culmination of an idea into a creative work. 6 Unit - 2 Types of Creative Writing- I Structure 2.0 Objectives 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Distinguishing Features of Poetry 2.3 Elements of Poetry 2.4 Free Verse 2.5 Prosaic Poems 2.6 Poetic Prose 2.7 Types of Prose 2.8 Let as Sum Up 2.9 Review Question 2.0 Objectives In this unit we intend to give you an overview of types of creative writing: poetry, prosaic poems and poetic prose so that on the basis of the subject matter you have in your mind you can choose the genre. With the information about poetic prose, we wish to show you that it is not unusual that a highly imaginative writer can produce a non creative work in a creative manner. And such a work uplifts even as it informs. For instance, Maurice Maeterlinck wrote The Life of the Bee almost like a creative work, its language touching the fringes of poetry. Conversely, with the information about prosaic poem, we wish to show you how in the hands of an ordinary writer, even a poem can make very dull reading, duller than any non creative work. 2.1 Introduction Creative writing covers a wide array of writing types. Everything from poetic works to work of nonfiction can be found in the genre, creative writing. The style of creative writing focuses on aesthetic writing rather than just giving information. Any writing that expresses emotions or free thinking falls into the category of creative writing. Since a metrical composition can easily carry emotions, the genre poetry comes first in creative writing. The other genres like short story, novel, drama, travelogue, essays, biographies, memoirs, screenplay etc. are widely discussed in the next unit. In this unit we discuss the distinguishing features of poetry and poetic prose. Both of them have their own positive and negative aspects. 2.2 Distinguishing Features of Poetry The development of human speech marks the beginning of civilization. Among the various manifestations of human speech, poetry has a special place. The fullest exploitation of language is made in literature and especially in poetry. Language is not merely the external covering of a thought; it is also its internal framework. Ezra Pound has defined literature as ‘language charged with meaning’ and great literature as ‘simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible 7 degree’. Christopher Caudwell defined poetry as ‘a heightened form of ordinary speech.’ It fully utilizes all the varied resources of language. Poetry is one of the most ancient forms of art; it is one of the most universal and is a unique product of human imagination. A poetic view of the world is distinct from the scientific and practical view of the world. Poetic view is concerned with the verbal universe fabricated by the poet’s imagination, the imagination playing up on his sensory, intellectual and emotional experience of life. ”All good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings”, Wordsworth observes. According to Carlyle, “Poetry is a musical thought”. The world of science is the world of fact, where the physical activity is objectively considered. The scientist is interested in things as they are in themselves. Science aims to give a systematic explanation of things in terms of cause, effect and physical law. In our day to day life, we are not interested in things as they are in themselves. We are concerned with that aspect of things which appeal to our emotional nature. We are impressed by the mystery and beauty of things. Poetry gives us the emotional and spiritual side of things. Poetry thus expresses and interprets their appeal to us and our responses to them. Thus poetry is at once the antithesis and the compliment of science. The imaginative view of the world that poetry embodies is distinguished by several attitudes and elements peculiar to it. First of all, poetry is an emotional embodiment of experience and we respond to it emotionally, sincerely and intellectually. As T.S. Eliot has pointed out, there is a perfect fusion of thought and feeling, of the intellect and the emotions, in other words, a unification of sensibility in the greatest kinds of poetry. Great poets have the ‘essential quality of transmitting ideas and sensations, of transforming an observation into a state of mind’. Poetry uses language that is intense and highly charged with meaning. It makes a formal and intensely structural use of language. It communicates its special world view through a variety of features such as rhythm, rhyme, alliteration, assonance and the like. The emotional colouration of poetry is very often conveyed through poetic modes such as image, metaphor and symbol and through the connotative significance of words. Formally, verse is distinguished from prose by the use of metrical language. Thus poetry establishes a unique verbal artifact. A poem should not be equated with any statement that is purposefully made. In the ultimate analysis, the poem is the meaning. Consequently, it is not readily vulnerable to translations. Neither can a translation convey all the emotional overtones that the poem has in the original. According to Octavia Paz: “Each word of a poem is unique. There are no synonyms. Unique and irremovable, it is impossible to wound one word; impossible to change a comma without upsetting the whole edifice. The poem is a living whole, made of irreplaceable elements. Thus the true translation can only be a recreation.” (P.35) One may feel the view of Octavia Paz as extreme, but it is a fact that successful translations such as Alexander Pope’s Iliad and Fitz Gerald’s Rubaiyat are virtually recreations. A paraphrase of a poem is also a feeble shadow of the original. 2.3 Elements of Poetry Nevertheless, we should first analyse the various elements that contribute to the life of the poem and define and discuss each category. Since poetry is a highly compressed and intense form of communication, the diction of poetry assumes great significance. Regarding the use of words, two aspects may usefully be distinguished: denotative and connotative meanings. The meaning of a word in isolation – its dictionary definition – is implied by denotation. But, words over a period of time 8 accumulate a cluster of emotional overtones, traditions, and allusions which is suggested by the word, connotation. Dante called words ‘buttered and shaggy’ because of different noises they make. The poetic use of language is characterised by ambiguity. William Empson defines ambiguity as ‘any verbal nuance, however slight, which gives room for alternative reactions to the same piece of language’. In scientific prose ambiguity is intolerable, but the poet very often relies on it to enrich or convey the complexity of his view of life. Ambiguity has got many variants – an obvious kind is pun, where a word carries more than one possible meaning. In Romeo and Juliet, the wounded Mercutio’s words to Romeo is a good example for pun: ‘.... ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a graveman’ (III, i, 101) where the word ‘grave’ can be read in different ways. The most fundamental feature of the poetic use of language and the most distinctive trait of poetic process is metaphoric transformation. Though image, metaphor and symbol are distinct forms, they are divergent manifestations of the metaphoric process and therefore may be discussed together. An image is an equation for our emotion. As Ezra Pound says: ‘Poetry is a sort of inspired mathematics which gives us equations not for abstract figures... but equations for the human emotions’. We experience the world around us through the stimulation of our sensory organs. An image is a similar sensory experience induced by mind and verbally realised in poetry. Imagery is mental picture expressed through language. There are different types of images – auditory image (corresponding to the sense of hearing), tactile image (the sense of touch), olfactory (the sense of smell) and gustatory (connected to taste) images. Poets sometimes deliberately mix them up. Imagery which involves a perception of one sense modality in terms of another is called synaesthesia. When Dylan Thomas speaks of the ‘light of sound’ and the ‘sound of light’ he applies synaesthetic imagery. Metaphor is the soul of poetic language. The greatest thing for a poet is to have good command of metaphor. Basically, in metaphor, a word or expression which in literal usage denotes one kind of thing or action is applied to a distinctly different kind of thing or action, without asserting a comparison. If Burns had said “O my love is a red, red rose”, he would have uttered a metaphor. The components of metaphor are its tenor and vehicle. Tenor is the underlying idea that the metaphor expresses or the subject of the comparison. The basic analogy that is used to embody the tenor is vehicle. When Macbeth says that ‘Life is but a walking shadow’, ‘life’ is the tenor and ‘walking shadow’ is the vehicle. Though metaphor is employed as a generic term synonymous with figurative language collectively, Simile asserts the similarity between two objects or states of mind. Simile is also a metaphor where the comparison is indicated by ‘like’, or ‘as’. The best example for Simile is Robert Burn’s expression, ‘O my love is like a red, red rose. Metonymy and synecdoche are other prominent figures of speech in poetry. In metonymy an attribute of an object or something related to the object is used to represent the object. Synecdoche is very similar and implies the use of the part for the whole or whole for the part. (eg: England beat Australia in cricket). Both these figures are closely related that the distinction between the two has vanished and the term metonymy is used to cover both. Other devices widely used in poetry are paradox, hyperbole, understatement and irony. By paradox, we mean a statement that is apparently contradictory or different from our normal experience. The special value of paradox is that it shocks us into the realisation of the seemingly impossible but valid truths. According to Cleath Brooks, ‘Paradox is an integral and indispensable feature of all good poetry’. T.S. Eliot, in East Coker states, ‘Our only health is the disease..... 9 And that is to be restored, our sickness must grow worse’ He is resorting to paradox to communicate a truth about the metaphysical nature of man. Oxymoron is really a kind of paradox in which opposite terms are brought together in a single statement. Yeats’ memorable phrase ‘a terrible beauty’ is an oxymoron. Hyperbole is an exaggerated statement. Andrew Maxwell in ‘To His Coy Mistress’ uses a series of ‘it’ My vegetable love should grow Vaster than empires, and more slow An hundred years should go to praise, Thine eyes, and on they forehead gaze: Two hundred to adore each breast: But thirty thousand to the rest; An age at least to every part, And the last age should show your heart. One of the distinctive appeals of the poetic form is to musical values. The music of poetry is dependent on several devices such as rhyme, rhythm, meter, alliteration, assonance etc. The scientific study of the formal patterns of sound such as meter and rhyme is called prosody. When the vowel sounds of the final accented syllables at the end of lines of verse are identical, the lines are said to rhyme. It is possible to discriminate between masculine rhymes and feminine rhymes. In English poetry, masculine rhymes are commoner than feminine rhymes and are said to occur when the accented vowels are found in the terminal syllables; eg; rose – grows; love – glove. Feminine rhymes occur when the accented syllable is followed by one unaccented syllable or more. eg: standing – landing; nation – station. Rhyme depends on the correspondence between two words in their sound, and not in their spelling. When the correspondence is only in spelling, we call it sight rhyme or eye rhyme. Closely related to rhyme is alliteration. When the consonant sound is repeated in the initial position of various words within the same line, it is called alliteration. eg: In a somer seson, whan soft was the sonne... Assonance is the repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds especially in the stressed syllables in a sequence of nearby words. eg: If aught of oaten stop or pastoral song, May hope, chaste eve, to soothe thy pensive ear... Rhythm is the integral part of the music of verse, it is not confined to verse alone but is basic to all forms of nature, both animate and inanimate. The change of seasons, the ebb and flow of tides, the heart beats are all various forms of rhythm and follow a regular pattern of recurrence. Rhythm is the fundamental feature of language and consists in the regular recurrence of stress. But unlike the mechanical, regular and repetitive rhymes of the pendulum of a clock, the rhythm of poetry is a vehicle for the transmission of the poem’s meaning. In ‘Coriolan’ by T.S. Eliot, the rhythm stimulates bodily movement and we hear the rise and fall of feet keeping time to the beat of a martial drum. Stone, bronze, stone, steel, stone, oak leaves, horses’ heels... 10 In any English polysyllabic word, one of the syllables receives a greater stress than the others. It is possible to distinguish between several degrees of stress or accent, but from a practical perspective, it is sufficient to take note of a primary stress and secondary stress. Conventionally, the metrical line is divided into feet, each foot consisting of one stressed syllable and one or more unstressed syllables. The iamb or iambic foot which consists of one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (....) is the most common meter of English verse. eg: The cur/few tolls/the knell/of part/ing day – (Gray Elegy written in a county churchyard. Unrhymed iambic pentameter is blank verse. It is close to the rhythm of English speech. Blank verse is the standard meter for Elizabethan plays, Milton’s Paradise Lost, Wordsworth’s Prelude etc. In a trochaic foot a stressed syllable is followed by an unstressed one When two unstressed syllables are followed by a stressed syllable is known is anapest. Dactyle is one stressed syllable followed two unstressed syllables. Iambs and anapests constitute a rising meter, since the stressed syllable is at the end, while trochees and dactyls, strongly stressed at the beginning, constitute a falling meter. When a number of lines are bound together by a rhyme scheme, a stanza is produced. A pair of metrical lines constitutes a couplet. A triplet is group of three successive lines. A four-line stanza is known as quatrain. A quatrain rhyming ab ab is referred to as the hymnal stanza or the common measure. Many ballads are written in common measure. The rhyme scheme usually being ab cd instead of regular ab ab. The Terza Rima consists of a series of tercets each linked to the next one by rhyme. Dante’s Devine Comedy is the best example for it. One of the most complex stanza forms is the villanelle. It is the poem of nineteen lines divided into five three-line stanzas and a concluding quatrain. The entire poem is built on two rhymes and the first line of the poem is repeated in the final line of the second and fourth stanzas. William Empson and Dylan Thomas composed poems in villanelles. 2.4 Free Verse A good deal of twentieth century poetry is in free verse. Much of the prose of King James Bible and the poems of Whitman are in free verse in the sense that they are not based on the regular measurable recurrence of stress. Free verse became the most characteristic form of first half of the present century and is closely associated with the modernist movement. Among the distinguished modern practitioners are T.S.Eliot, G. Appollinaire, Saint John Perse, W.C. Williams etc. Eliot remarks that the absence of rhyme and metrical regularity does not make it easier to compose in free th verse. In the early part of 20 century free verse developed into a bonafide movement with an underlying philosophy and with spokesmen such as Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams. But both these poets kept the elements of poetry, even if they didn’t have rhyme or meter. Here is a famous free verse of Archibald MacLeish. Ars Poetica A poem should be palpable and mute As a globed fruit. Dumb, 11 As old medallions to the thumb, Silent as the sleeve-worn stone Of casement ledges when the moss has grown. A poem should be wordless As the flight of birds. A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs, Leaving, as the moon releases Twig by twig the night entangled trees Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves Memory by memory the mind – A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs. A poem should be equal to: Not true: For all history of grief An empty doorway and a maple leaf For love The leaning grasses and two light above the sea A poem should not mean But be. This may be one of the beautiful free verse poem ever written. But what is interesting is how close it comes to metered poetry. The first section can be broken into lines of ten syllables (with the exception of the final two words). These new lines contain five feet each, and they make excellent iambic pentameter with anapests and trochees are variants: A poem should be palpable and mute As a globed fruit. Dumb, as old medallions To the thumb; silent as the sleeve-worn stone Of casement ledges where the moss has grown 12 A poem should be wordless as the flight Of birds. This is not to suggest that every free verse should be re-writable into metered form. Any free verse can be written with many poetic elements. It needn’t be prosaic – and the early free-verses tended to write that way. In ‘Ars Poetica’, MacLeish used most of the poetic elements: rhythm, alliteration, assonance, rhyme line breaks chosen for maximum effect, and a strong use of metaphor. The poem has been written in three sections of our couplets each. 2.5 Prosaic Poems Prosaic Poems Prose is a form of language which applies ordinary grammatical structure and natural flow of speech rather than rhythmic structure (as in traditional poetry). It is mainly used in spoken dialogue, factual discourse as well as in topical and fictional writing. eg: in literature, newspaper, magazines, encyclopedias, history, philosophy etc. The reason for the popularity of the prosaic poem is that anyone can write it. It is the method of which people without poetic talent, or without the true love of the sound of poetry, can express their private feelings in a public manner. Short stories and novels are too long for their purposes, and writing letters apparently isn’t public enough. But the prosaic style misses the point of poetry altogether, which is to create beauty with words. Such poetry can only be read for its meaning, not for its beauty. When we remove form and meter from poetry, all the remaining elements become expendable. As long as poets take the word ‘free’ to mean ‘without’ (without rhythm, without rhyme, without alliteration etc.) then free verse will disintegrate into prose. Poets like Frost, Auden, Roethke, Eliot showed us that metered poetry can be informal and accessible. Meter is what gives the poem its structure and momentum, it carries the reader forward to the poem’s conclusion. Here is an example for prosaic style: I Finally Managed to Speak to Her She was sitting across from me On the bus. I said, “The trees look so much greener in this part of the country. In New York city everything looks so drab.” She said, “It looks the same to me. Show me a tree that is different.” “That one, I said. ”Which one?” She said. “It’s too late,” I said. ”We already passed it, when you find another one”, she said.” ”Let me know.” And then 13 she went back to reading her book. - Hal Sirowitz. This poem contains only one poetic element: Line break. It is prosaic in every respect, with dull and uninteresting language. It doesn’t convey a mood effectively or evoke an emotion from the reader. 2.6 Poetic Prose Poetic Prose or Prose poetry is poetry written in prose instead of using verse but preserving poetic qualities such as heightened imagery and emotional effects. Prose poetry should be considered as neither primarily poetry nor prose but is essentially a hybrid or fusion of the two, and accounted a separate genre altogether. The argument for prose poetry belonging to the genre of poetry emphasizes its heightened attention to language and prominent use of metaphor. On the other hand, prose poetry can be identified primarily as prose for its reliance on prose's association with narrative and on the expectation of an objective presentation of truth. Though the name of the form may appear to be a contradiction, the prose poem essentially appears as prose, but reads like poetry. While it lacks the line breaks associated with poetry, the prose poem maintains a poetic quality, often utilizing techniques common to poetry, such as fragmentation, compression, repetition, and rhyme. The prose poem can range in length from a few lines to several pages long, and it may explore a limitless array of styles and subjects. Though examples of prose passages in poetic texts can be found in early Bible translations and the Lyrical Ballads of William Wordsworth, the form is most often traced to nineteenth-century French symbolists writers. The advent of the form in the work of Aloysius Bertrand and Charles Baudelaire marked a significant departure from the strict separation between the genres of prose and poetry at the time. A fine example of the form is Baudelaire's "Be Drunk," which concludes: And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again, drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking. . .ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: "It is time to be drunk So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish." The form quickly spread to innovative literary circles in other countries: Rainer Maria Rilke and Franz Kafka in Germany; Jorge Luis Borges, Pablo Neruda, and Octavio Paz in Latin America; and William Carlos Williams and Gertrude Stein in the United States. Each group of writers adapted the form and developed their own rules and restrictions, ultimately expanding the definitions of the prose poem. Among contemporary American writers, the form is widely popular and can be found in work by poets from a diverse range of movements and styles, including James Wright, Russell Edson, and Charles Simic. Campbell McGrath’s winding and descriptive "The Prose Poem" is a recent example of the form; it begins: On the map it is precise and rectilinear as a chessboard, though driving past you would hardly notice it, this boundary line or ragged margin, a shallow swale that cups a simple trickle of water, less rill than rivulet, more gully than dell, a tangled ditch grown up throughout with a fearsome assortment of wildflowers and bracken. There is no fence, though here and there a weathered post asserts a former claim, strands of fallen wire taken by the dust. To the left a cornfield carries into the 14 distance, dips and rises to the blue sky, a rolling plain of green and healthy plants aligned in close order, row upon row upon row. There are several anthologies devoted to the prose poem, including Traffic: New and Selected Prose Poems and Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present, as well as the study of the form in The American Prose Poem: Poetic Form and the Boundaries of Genre. 2.7 Types of Prose Unlike poetry, prose does not fall into neatly defined forms such as sonnets, blank verse, etc. We must therefore look at the 'type' of prose and consider its function or objective — i.e. to inform, to describe, to change, etc. Assessing the type of prose serves a limited, yet useful purpose; limited because many passages will combine different 'types' of prose writing simultaneously, yet useful in providing a starting-point that will direct the more detailed analysis to follow. The different types of prose fall into the following broad categories. 2.7.1 NARRATIVE This is the most common type of prose found in novels and stories. Basically it relates to any sort of writing that tells a story, or develops a plot. If a given extract deals with events or situations, they are likely to be those of a particularly telling or significant nature (for the characters or the author); if it deals with a character, it will illuminate something important about that character in action. In narrative prose, the writer is concerned with two basic objectives: 1. to give the reader all the necessary and relevant information so that characters and events in his narrative are explained, or make sense; 2. to promote and sustain the reader's interest and curiosity, offering the interesting, the unusual, or the intriguing in character and situation. The second aspect will be in particular evidence at the beginning of a work, while in the same way a sense of drama or suspense often accompanies passages that close a chapter or section. Narrative prose will be either first or third person narrative. The first person, or 'I' narrative generally produces a more personal, intimate form of communication. The reader is drawn in to share the writer's experience and a sense of sympathy or understanding is frequently developed, even when the narrator is seen to transgress moral or legal norms. The third person narrative is more 'detached', yet its scope is wider. The writer (and the reader following him) assumes a 'godlike' perspective above the action, showing us all things at all times and leading us into the minds and hearts and motives of all his main characters. There is also a type of narrative prose known as 'stream of consciousness'. This is a modern development that seeks to take the first person narrative even deeper. The aim is to reproduce the random flow of frequently unassociated ideas that race through the human mind at any given moment. The objective, external world is diminished and everything is seen exclusively through the perceptions of one mind, which is analysed in all its ramifications, with the trivial and the significant side by side. It is an attempt to be more accurate and honest in the portrayal of human psychology. In the hands of a Joyce or a Woolf, it has proved an extremely effective form of narration. Narrative prose is what a writer utilizes when he or she is describing a specific scene such as a landscape or perhaps a battle. Characteristics of prose narratives include language that is lush with adjectives. Careful concern is essential on the writer's standpoint to not over describe a scene to the sense of boredom. 15 2.7.2 DESCRIPTIVE Here the main function, obviously, is to describe, to give as accurately, or intriguingly, or powerfully as possible a deep impression of a character, place, or situation. The reader should 'feel' the scene and be able to see it or hear it as vividly as possible. Such prose is usually strong on atmosphere and the atmosphere of the description will say much about how the writer, or the characters involved, feel about what is being described. Such writing is usually the sort of prose that assumes a 'poetic' quality and will employ images and figurative language to colour the descriptions and involve the reader's emotions. Novels and stories will generally combine narrative and descriptive prose in the flow of the writing, even within short extracts. An event may be narrated, followed by a description of the mood or feeling it produces in the characters. The effective use of detail is crucial to good descriptive writing. A writer cannot include everything about a person or an event, so he will seek the most telling and significant details, those that give us the very essence of the person, place, or event as he sees them. The type of detail chosen and the sort of associations aroused will say much about how the writer feels towards his subject; we always, for instance, know exactly how Dickens feels (and wants the reader to feel) about all his characters from his initial descriptions. The student should consider the use of detail carefully. Does the writer have a real 'eye' for telling detail? Do the details combine to produce a uniform atmosphere? Are they surprising, unexpected, memorable? Do the details come alive for the reader and allow him to visualize or understand more vividly? Or are the details perhaps contrived or stale or insignificant? 2.7.3 DISCURSIVE Discursive writing offers the writer's thoughts on a particular topic such as 'the delights of living in the country', or 'the tribulations of urban life', providing general observations from his own and perhaps humorous or unusual, perspective. There is usually a sense of a mind enjoying its own intellectual activity and creative expression. The basic intention will vary somewhat, as the word 'discourse' can mean a lecture or sermon, whereas 'discursive' has connotations of random observations and light conversation. A novelist may well employ discursive sections to reveal the thoughts and values of his characters — a more subtle means of 'characterization' than simply telling us how characters think and feel, as the reader shares the actual thoughts. 2.7.4 DIDACTIC/DIRECTIVE Such writing attempts to influence the reader's thinking or behaviour in a specific manner, as the writer seeks to persuade, or cajole, or coerce the reader into thinking in a certain way. Generally, such writing deals with moral or political issues and is most commonly found in the sermon, treatise, journalism, or, at its lowest form, propaganda. The writer is usually passionately involved with his subject, seeing wrongs and evils that must be corrected. At its best, such writing can be powerful, moving and persuasive. At its worst, it usually reeks of fanaticism and, though its social consequences may be dangerous, it is usually poor writing. A differentiation may be made between 'didactic' and 'directive'. At a simple level, it lies in the difference between the impassioned prose of a sermon and the detached prose of instruction (which 'directs' the reader as to what to do). Didactic is, in fact, best reserved for purely moral issues, while directive adequately covers the rest. 16 2.7.5 SATIRIC Like certain other literary terms — i.e. 'pathetic' — the modern usage of this word does not fully indicate the original meaning. Nowadays, we tend to use the word 'satiric' for anything that ridicules the excesses or pretensions of certain types of people (politicians being an ever-popular target, especially for cartoonists). Traditionally, however, a 'satire' was more seriously intended and conceived. It highlighted folly, immorality or excess by exaggeration thereby deflating it and making it appear ludicrous and ridiculous. Yet such satires had the genuinely didactic purpose of correcting such weaknesses, or at least preventing those possessed of them from gaining power and influence. The hope was that the reader would note the ludicrous, despicable and contemptible nature of such behaviour and avoid it himself — if only for fear of appearing equally ridiculous. The elements of satire tend to be exaggeration, disproportion, ridicule and sarcasm. The reader must catch the right tone to avoid a reading that is too literal and taken at face value — the type of reading that might dismiss Animal Farm as a harmless fantasy of 'talking' animals. Modern satire has tended to be less moral than traditional satire, highlighting folly, etc. in an anarchic or destructive manner without offering or implying an alternative — as in the 'Absurd' dramatists. 2.8 Let Us Sum Up In this unit we have given you an overview of types of creative writing: poetry, prosaic poems, poetic prose and the types of prose. 2.9 Review Question 1. Mention some of the distinguishing features of poetry. 2. Discuss the elements that go into making poetry a heightened form of ordinary speech. 3. Is it easier to compose in free verse? Discuss with examples. 4. What do you understand by poetic prose? 5. What are the various types of prose? Give examples. 17 Unit - 3 Types of Creative Writing - II Structure 3.0 Objectives 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Drama 3.3 Theatre 3.4 Epic 3.5 Fiction Narratives 3.6 Let Us Sum Up 3.7 Review Questions 3.8 Bibliography 3.0 Objectives In this unit we shall enumerate and discuss various distinguishing features between drama and epic and fiction narratives. Besides we shall also comprehend the notion of theatre and epic. 3.1 Introduction To classify literature in watertight categories is very difficult as creative writing involves a lot of experimentation with forms and this gives rise to the fluidity of forms. Still for the sake of proper understanding, conventionally creative writing is categorized into certain major and minor genres. We have already notices the distinguishing features between prose and poetry, in this unit we see the defining features of the most ancient forms of creative writing-drama and epic and their modern counterpart…fiction narratives. 3.2 Drama 3.2.1 Definition and Origin The word drama comes from the Greek verb “dran” which means ‘to act’ or to perform. As a literary form, drama is designed for the theatre because characters are assigned roles and they act out their roles as the action is enacted on stage. In other words, Drama is an adaptation, recreation and reflection of reality on stage. Many literary theorists have tried to define drama from time to time. It is very difficult to take any one definition to be full and final. Martin Esslin in Anatomy of Drama has given the following definitions of drama: 1. Drama can be seen as a manifestation of the play instinct as in children who are playing mother and father. 2. Drama is something one goes to see, which is organized as something to be seen. 3. It is an enacted fiction- an art form based on mimetic action. 4. In arts, drama is the most elegant expression of thought nearest to the truth (reality). 18