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Can Writing be taught?

 
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Scarlet Assassin

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:40 pm    Post subject: Can Writing be taught? Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The question is simple: can one be taught to write literature? I've never enjoyed a creative writing class that I've taken and yet my only love in life is constantly pounding away at a keyboard and creating. I've had my work called "inspirational" and "Groundbreaking" by professors and peers alike, and yet I've never gained any further proficiency from a creative writing course or any instruction I've received on the subject. Is this a common issue or am I alone here? Do you think that a human being can be taught to achieve creative prowess in the field of writing or is it an inborn talent? Maybe it's a combination of the two, that some are born with it but it must be coaxed out in certain cases and exists as a natural showpiece for others. What do you all think?
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Yvl

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

THere are some things I've gotten from creative writing classes, enough to write a mildly interesting story, but I believe that it's primarily talent. I'm an excellent poet, and I've never taken any kind of course on that, while I've tried writing regularly dozens of times but just can't get the hang of it.

I've yet to hear of it actually being taught sucessfully to create Grade - A writers, but it can help people at least get on their feet in that regard.

In other words, it can help, but not much.
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Luceit

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm pretty sure it can be taught; talented writers just happen to be more observant.

Actually, what you'd call a writer's talent is partly observation of common human themes, partly skill with words and partly knowledge of essentials such as grammar. If you're lacking in one of these three, then you'd need improvement.
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Ikano

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I've never taken a creative writing class but all my friends who've seen my writing say I'm really good o_O
....perhaps how talented one is at creative writing is somewhat directly related to how one likes to think at/look at things in life....I mean like...in an imaginative sense...

I am sure that a creative writing class can teach how to write creatively as much as a Business writing class can teach/prepare you to write resumes and other such documents for a business career. However there is only so much that one can learn from such classes and the rest must come from your own talent...your own will to write
Not everyone is born as a prize-winning novelist

At least that's what I think.
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blueflame

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Writing, painting, composing, etc. are skills that you can't say one is good at. I bet even the greatest authors can write the suckiest stories. Its more of like luck because it really depends on the opinion of the person.

In art, if you draw gibberish, it can be called a masterpiece. Its really weird. I think every kind of work is good because one way or the other someone out there loves you work. The writing classes are there to teach you the basics and some examples. In the end, you have to pick your own style of drawing, writing, painting, etc.

For example, I saw a thread here about Britney Spears. I was really shocked because I don't like Britney Spears and the people here actually like her music? Its really shocking. For me, shes one of the suckiest pop artists out there. It makes me wonder how she could get such fame but like I said beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

So scarlet, everyone out here has that talent. Its just a matter of luck and the right people to see through your work.
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AA

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Creative writing classes are more about helping people look at the structure of their work or learning ho to plan, the actual content of the writing cannot be taught, but i think that the classes can help some people to get what is in their head onto the page using certain structural patterns etc that will make their writing easier to read and to understand.

Although most creative writing classes are mainly just about practice for most people.
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Vextor




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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yep, what AA said. When I was in college, I literally begged a professor so I can enter an advanced creative writing class because I lacked the knowledge of technique, structure, and planning. Stuff like that helped me a lot, along with critique by peers. Basically, there was never any discussion on "what you write about," but the focus was on "how." It was a good experience, and as a result I was able to get published in an academic journal that rejected me the year before. People were like, "you're work has improved so much!" and I was very happy.
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Ujitsuna

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It doesn't teach imagination, but it does teach technique, which helps portray the imagination, which kind of becomes a marriage to it.
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Cedric

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Vextor and Hayashi's posts summed it up perfectly.

The class will only teach you how to refine technique. Stuff like word usage, vocabulary, and cohesiveness. It's then read by your peers and through their corrections, you start to realize what is the proper way to write. We're not talking about substance here but more like structure. You learn to utilize skills which are necessary to draw the reader into your story and mold their minds so they're reading your stuff with the correct mindset.

As for the inspiration, you're going to have to find that elsewhere. I don't think simply being in a class will teach you to come up with writing subjects (sometimes it happens indirectly, but it won't be on purpose). Personally, I get my inspiration from books, video games, television, life experiences, and other things like that. Regardless of what I'm writing (usually for something in this board) I use stuff from everything around me and incorporate in into the writing.

Thinking about it this way, there is no class or online lesson that teaches you on what kinds of things you should post about in a forum. But there are numerous lessons and people that show you "how to post" or "what not to post." It's basically the same thing.

In summary, if someone wants to be very serious about writing, then they will take the class and use inspiration from their life to make a good story.
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kuwaizair

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Luceit wrote:
I'm pretty sure it can be taught; talented writers just happen to be more observant.

Actually, what you'd call a writer's talent is partly observation of common human themes, partly skill with words and partly knowledge of essentials such as grammar. If you're lacking in one of these three, then you'd need improvement.


but what if the story teller is doing it oraly? writing in mechanics is one thing, but telling a tale is another. "the khat ran oop uh teree" and "the cat ran up a tree" are differnt, even if its done well it is still void of everything.
I was in a mandatory class for (english?) and the teacher liked what he saw, sure my grammer was a bit fracutred and spelling off, but it contained better phrases than "meat come from dirty animal that lie in mud".

if you want to know about making good writing, look for good fiction, and some badfic, people who think they are writing fan fiction but lack everything.
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