On Creative Writing

typewriter4Can creative writing be taught?  Can creative writing be learned? 

Hanif Kureshi says  “The writing courses, particularly when they have the word ‘creative’ in them, are the new mental hospitals. But the people are very nice”. He said that he was impelled to start teaching writing by the example of his children, who have tennis lessons, piano lessons and the like. He became convinced that teaching a skill was an honourable calling: “I felt if I knew something, I should pass it on.”

David Morley (Ass Prof Warwick Uni)says “I think creative writing can be taught most effectively when its students have some talent and vocation for it. If a teacher can shape the talent and steer that vocation, and the students enjoy the shaping and steering, then I think creative writing should be taught as a craft. The whole point of teaching creative writing, however, is that students must learn to make and guide themselves, for writing is mostly a solitary pursuit,even when written collaboratively using electronic media”

Another novelist David Lodge wrote “Even the most sophisticated literary criticism only scratches the surface of the mysterious process of creativity; and so, by the same token, does even the best course in creative writing”

 Henry James in the essay The Art of  Fiction writes “The painter is able to teach the rudiments of this practice and it is possible, from the study of good work (granted the aptitude), both to learn how to paint and how to write. Yet it remains true…that the literary artist would be obliged to say to his pupil much more than any other, ‘Ah well, you must do it as you can’ If there are exact sciences, there are also exact arts, and the grammar of painting is much more definite that it makes a difference” So you must do it as you can. Writing is not painting, neither is it as systematised knowledge. It is not empirical science; teaching and learning writing is not like teaching and learning medicine.

Fay Weldon “There are lots of readers out there and they need lots of books to be written, she said. If you can teach some of the writers that “the fewer adjectives and the fewer adverbs the better, you’re just doing the world a favour.”


And here you are with the following  list of books  in a descenting order of interest. Some of them I found quite interesting and helpful as reference books in my bookcase.

‘The Cambridge Introduction to Creative Writing’  by David Morley

‘The Writer’s idea book’ by Jack Heffron

Your writing coach by Jurgen Wolff

The writer’s voice by Al Alvarez

13 ways of looking at the novel by Jane Smiley 

Authors writing about their own experience as writers :

‘What I talk about when I talk about running’ by Murakami

And ‘On writing’ by Stephen King wich I haven’t read  because I’m not a fan of Stephen King


9 thoughts on “On Creative Writing

  1. “There are lots of readers out there and they need lots of books to be written, she said. If you can teach some of the writers that “the fewer adjectives and the fewer adverbs the better, you’re just doing the world a favour.” α μπραβο και λιγωτερα σημεια στιξεως, και λιγωτερες “βαρυγδουπιἐς”(καινουργια λεξη!) ΧΧΧ

  2. πολύ ενδιαφέροντα όλα αυτά… εδώ ακόμη υπάρχει μεγάλη καχυποψία όταν πρόκειται για τέτοιου είδους σεμινάρια, και αρκετή σύγχυση για το τι ακριβώς κερδίζει κανείς από τη διαδικασία… είναι αλήθεια ότι η πραγματικότητα είναι μοναχική και όχι ομαδική, από την άλλη ίσως τα πάντα τελικά να διδάσκονται

  3. Mariza καχυποψία είναι το δεύτερο όνομα του Ελληνα 😉 Τι κερδίζει κανείς νομίζω κάπως βρίσκει να χαράξει ένα αυλάκι στις σκέψεις του και να βάλει σε μία τάξη όλο το χάος μέσα του και να το παρουσιάσει στο χαρτί . Από δική μου εμπειρία τα βιβλία που ανέφερα παραπάνω με βοήθησαν κατά ένα τρόπο να βάλω σε μία τάξη την δική μου ιστορία και να μου δείξει άλλους τρόπους σκέψης ειδικά το πρώτο και δεύτερο βιβλίο. Πολύ συγγραφείς έχουν κάνει κάποια course κλπ. και ο δικός μας ο Καρνέζης επίσης. Ισως τα πάντα διδάσκονται αλλά το ποιο δύσκολο πρώτα είναι to be a published writer και δεύτερο να υπάρξουν αναγνώστες του βιβλίο σου

  4. θεωρώ ότι η καχυποψία πάει τον έλληνα πίσω, και η ανοιχτομυαλιά θα έπρεπε φορές φορές να γίνεται… με νυστέρι.
    μια χαρά κάνεις, και εγώ μακάρι να ακολουθήσω… (μου το εύχομαι!)

  5. καλέ τί λετε εσείς εδώ; Ναι, κι αυτό διδάσκεται και οποιος δεν θελει να ζυμώσει δεκα μερες κοσκινίζει, ελεγαν οι παλιότεροι..
    Μήπως γυρίσατε κυρια μου ;

  6. Ο Ντινος μποι σε περιμένει, αλλά εσύ, χαμένη στο διάστημα .Μπουμ, μπουμ, μπουμ…

  7. Ριτς καλε δεν πήγα πουθενά ετσι υπέγραψα όπως εξήγησα για βαρύτητα της γνώμη , αλλά όλοι οι ‘Κλουζώ’ το δέσανε ψιλό κορδόνι 😉 Θα έρθω να δώ

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