Updated: Nov 20, 2020
By Jennifer L. Davidson
Creative writing goes beyond exploring what's hidden in the deep dark depths of our imagination. (Sure, a lot of us like to hang out there, getting to know the locals, maybe avoiding a little of that reality everyone talks so excessively about.) It teaches us to be persistent with our thoughts. A sentence can be written many ways, but there's usually only one way that conveys our message just right. Only one way that expresses our voice, our story.
It takes a lot of practice to write that perfect sentence. Besides voice, you must also consider sentence structure, tense, pace, and grammar. Then there's the "showing vs telling" genie who is always hovering over your head eager to correct you along the way. So, yeah, a lot goes into writing a sentence, paragraph, chapter, and book. But when you get it right...WOW! It's beautiful and magical and everything in between.
There have been a handful of times that I've heard a student's voice while reading their writing at the end of teaching a class. It stops me in my tracks. I'm proud and envious all at the same time. I want to tell them to send me a copy of their first novel, because I know they'll find success through their writing somewhere along the way.
At our Young Writers Workshops, we look for those voices and perfect sentences. And then after a little praise, we look for an aspect of the student's writing that could use more work. I mean, no one's perfect! The best opportunity to offer writing assistance is while sitting down one-on-one with them during our "YOU and a Local Author" session. Local authors have read their writing and are prepared with suggestions on how they can make it better. What could be better?!?