Are you a natural-born storyteller, writer and novelist or can you be taught the craft? Being able to sit around a campfire and spin a yarn doesn’t make you able to write a complete novel does it? What about plot? Pacing? Character development? Story arc? Inciting incident? denouement?
How many times has someone said to you that they could write a novel if they had the time? Yes of course it takes a huge amount of time, but do they understand what a lot of that time involves? It’s not just writing the words of the novel down on the page. Do they really understand the depth and crisscrossing of wires that occurs in a writers brain for that story to emerge. And then they need external help to get it into better shape with an editor.
So you’re really serious about this writing lark, you’ve decided you have the ability to carve some time out of your day on a daily basis and you want to write that novel. What do you do, start writing or look for classes? Can you be taught to be novelist or is it a gift?
There are so many classes about for creative writing. University level courses and below. There are thousands of books on the subject all with the aim of helping you hone your craft. But is it a craft you can hone or is it a gift? Are the courses pandering to a heavy demand because now everyone wants to be a novelist?
This is a serious question and I’m asking for your thoughts. I’ve finished one novel and I’m part way through the second, yet I’ve just signed up for a free six-week course, Start Writing Fiction, with Future Learn by the Open University. Yes I’ve already started, but I could glean just a snippet of information that could be really useful and it’s only six weeks long so I thought I’d sign up and see what I could learn. Maybe I will learn an awful lot. Maybe I will have to adjust everything I already thought I knew. Maybe just one nugget of gold will make it all worthwhile.
What are your thoughts on creative writing courses?