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So, you want to be a writer? There’s something fascinating about creative writing… As Alisha Weir said in the newly released Matilda the Musical (originally written by Roald Dahl); reading a book is like a story that is happening inside your head.
The opportunity for expressionism and creative freedom has been instrumental in the rise of creative writing in universities, with a shift in the teaching and conceptualisation of English studies, according to a study by the National Association of Writers in Education. This means there’s never been a better time to begin working on the start of your story, and a BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing degree can help you do just that, whilst also helping you to turn your passion into a fun and rewarding career.
In this blog, we will explore some things that will help finesse your writing, and how our supportive learning environment can help you towards a creative happy ever after.
Create a Storyboard
If you want to tell a compelling story, you need to have an idea of where you want the story to go. This is where the planning comes in, don’t underestimate the importance of this element of the process. A storyboard allows you to always keep your creative ideas in front of you, and it’s simple to create… When you get an inspiring idea, write it down; keeping everything in one place so you can be organised. Now, to make a storyboard, you need to know what to put in it…
- Characters – Who are they and what do they look like? How many characters do you plan to have in your story? Whether you are taking photos from the Internet or using visuals of people you know, or celebrities you find inspiring, put this in your storyboard
- Setting – Where will your story be set? Take photos and include short descriptions. Tell yourself how your characters are going to dress and speak
- Dialogue – This will help you keep track of what you want your writers to say at each point in the story, and the tone of which you want them to say it
Avoid using Unnecessary Adjectives and Adverbs
When writing a blog or a story, it can be easy to fall into the trap of over-complicating the language or using unnecessary filler words for the sake of trying to be creative. A lot of this comes down to writers using adjectives or adverbs when they are not needed or using them in the wrong places.
An example of where this happens a lot is when writers use speech tags. Often, authors will write a quote, such as, “How are you doing?” and follow it up with “Elise said happily” to insert emotion into the story in terms of how they want the tone of voice to be perceived. However, the issue with this is that you are telling the writer how the character is feeling rather than showing them. Something you can do by simply altering the same quote to something along the lines of, “Are you having a fantastic day?” Making the tone of voice more specific and emotional in the reader’s perception.
The Power of Editing and Proofreading
For some great writers, editing their writing might seem unnecessary. However, it is actually a vital element of quality control. Editing your writing allows you to concentrate on examining how your ideas connect in terms of organisation, development, and focus. A great idea is to take a break when you finish writing and re-visit with fresh eyes later on. That way you’re more likely to pick up on things you might have missed if you did it when you finished writing.
When this is done, it’s time to proofread. The process that gives writers the chance to amend any errors that could cloud your intended meaning from a reader’s perspective. Editing and proofreading are probably one of the most important elements of creative writing, as any mistakes that slip through your quality control check before your work goes to publish, causing a negative effect on your brand.
How we can help you become the next Roald Dahl!
Studying for a creative writing degree is a great option for not only those with ideas in their head that are screaming to get out but also those who love writing to express their emotions.
At Bolton University, our BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing degree gives students the opportunity to develop and nurture their own approaches to expressionism and communication. With modules including writing stories and narratives, poetry, drama, and fiction and non-fiction articles, our creative lecturers aim to broaden our student’s intellectual understanding of literature.
So far so good? Let’s explore some more course highlights you can expect:
- The course has been voted 1st for Teaching Quality*
- Students gain publishing experience as we encourage them to submit their work to our literary magazine, The Bolton Review
- Our lecturers have industry experience in professional writing with work that has been either published or produced on-stage screen, or radio
- Students get the chance to benefit from our strong industry links to external creative companies, including the Octagon Theatre in Bolton; where they can gain behind-the-scenes access and workshop experience
If the University of Bolton sounds like the right place to help you learn how to become an engaging ‘wordsmith’, then take a look at our course details and find out how to apply for our September 2023 intake.
Speak to our passionate lecturers, or students, and take a tour around our excellent, industry-spec facilities; just register for an upcoming Open Day.
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01204 903807.
Come and enjoy #UniAsItShouldBe; a friendly and inclusive campus that puts our students and their needs first.
*The Times and Sunday Times, Good University Guide – Teaching Quality – Northwest - 2022