Wot I learnt about creative writing.


Not all pieces will have a finish like this. (c) wikipaintings.org

I only did that to catch your attention, honest. I actually can spell wot correctly. Anyway, I’ve just finished a second creative writing course in my local library (thank you Peace III funding) with a wonderful group of people, led by the very talented writer, Deirdre Cartmill.

Wot I learnt, or should I say, what I learned was that creative writing, is, in essence, no different to plastering a wall (I also learned about the usefulness of metaphors, imagery and analogies to convey a message).

A stud wall frames the piece. Defines the area it is to cover.

The plaster boards are the body of the work. No matter how carefully you measure, you learn, there’s not a straight line in an old house. But you figure it out, eventually cutting and slotting beautiful words and sentences together. They sit snug on the frame, nailed in place. But you can see the joins where the boards meet up, so it doesn’t flow quite right yet. So you carefully tape the joins. Like a fifth draft, the finished piece is in sight, but not quite, there yet.

You need to plaster those joins, seamlessly smoothing the piece, working towards a final magnolia draft (personally I prefer a bit of Tuscan red or Paris blue).

Ta-dah! (I’m claiming that back off the Boots ad) the finished piece. There for the whole world to see, in theory. Ready for an audience of thumb-tacks, critics and obscure ikea shelf fixings.

Do you think if I put my name down for a DIY course, I’d end up with a poem?

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