Write: Basic Creative Writing Skills for Beginners 9: Writing Sessions | Brian Jackson | Skillshare

Write: Basic Creative Writing Skills for Beginners 9: Writing Sessions

Brian Jackson, Author/Publisher/Educator

Write: Basic Creative Writing Skills for Beginners 9: Writing Sessions

Brian Jackson, Author/Publisher/Educator

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2 Lessons (16m)
    • 1. Writing Session: Third Person, Subjective, Past Tense, Thriller

    • 2. Writing Session: First Person, Character, Past Tense, Thriller

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About This Class

Write: Basic Creative Writing Skills for Beginners 9: Writing Sessions

During these two writing sessions I'll demonstrate many of the concepts discussed in this class series while demonstrating how I write (the best I can while others are watching).  Join me and let's write together,


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Brian Jackson



Born in Los Angeles in the middle of the last century, I have always wanted to be a writer. After twenty-five some odd years spent working in the computer industry in the heart of the Silicon Valley, first for Lockheed as a Systems Programmer and later for Cisco Systems as a test tool developer, I managed to retire early and begin my next career as a self-published author.

Along with writing and publishing my own novels I also publish the works of my wife, Melanie Jackson. During the past four years I've published well over 100 books in paperback and eBook formats. Oddly enough this includes eBooks on how to self-publish books and how to create professional looking book covers using the GIMP. I've also recorded and distributed a pair of audiobooks available for purchase on Amazon... See full profile

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1. Writing Session: Third Person, Subjective, Past Tense, Thriller: Hi. And welcome back in this lecture, I thought we'd give a shot at writing together. Maybe the problem with you writing right now is that you're just not quite sure how to do it. You're not quite sure what the process looks like? Never really experienced it. Full bore. Now I can't show it to you for full board, because I'm gonna be talking as I write. But I thought we had right together. You could look over my shoulder and you could see some of the thoughts and decisions that I make now. I thought we try writing in 1/3 person and the tents would be past tense. And we'd be, Ah, what is it? Subjective So that we wouldn't be looking at any of the internal thoughts of people. And maybe the genre would be something like a thriller. Maybe an encounter between two characters. Ah, and a ah uncomfortable encounter. Now the first thing we have to do is start the whole story. And sometimes when it comes to starting, what I like to dio is I like to start in the middle, started the most exciting part of your story. So something like the pistol hammer was cocked and the barrel of the gun placed against man Wells Temple. Now, right away, we've established some things here that are interested. We've we've begun with the most exciting part of our story where, ah, this is obviously going to be an unpleasant confrontation. The gun cocked in the barrel placed against the head is a very threatening thing, and we've also established the character's name is being something of the Hispanic origin here. And we've done that all just with a simple sentence. Now let's say that we want to include some dialogue. Ah, let's say I have a threatening line. Um, well, open with a quote and ah, something like make a move and you're what a dead man, the stranger said. Now here, once again, we have established Manuel does not know who he's talking with because we're talking about a stranger here and we've got Mawr threatening things going on. Notice how the dialogue is written right? We have the line of dialogue with a comma at the end, inside the double quote, and then we identify who it is speaking. Now. Maybe we'll have a response from Manuel so he would say No problem, amigo. Once again, we go with the Spanish word for friend to establish that he's of Spanish descent and we ah , let's just let's not identify. It's pretty obvious who's speaking here. It's Manuel. Okay, we tied it in with the Spanish speaking and it's the only other person here. Um, now, let's see. Say, what else have we got to work with? We've got the characters. We've done a little bit of character development. We've done a little bit with the plot. Um, this encounter is happening. What about the place? Um let's talk a little bit about that. What we can also do now is we've begun at the beginning of the story. We can start moving forward in this story and backward in the story to fill in what happened before to make this happen and toe add a little bit about to advance the story. So a let's say, a ah review elit of sweat ran down Man wells, um, having to use temple again. This is one of the other things you want to dio is when you have uncommon words like temple . You don't want to repeat them in a short period within a page, so I'm gonna have to find a different word for Temple. But for right now, put it in. It's a place holder. A regulated sweat ran down Man Wells Temple and parted to either side to run around the guns. Muzzle now notice. Once again, I don't say the barrel of the gun because I've already said that. I say the gun's muzzle instead. On what else can we say about this? What about the atmosphere? The ah air in the tiny room was stifling what stifling, barely disturbed by the languid. That means slow and leisurely turning of the fan in the center of the ceiling. Now notice what we've done here. We're beginning to establish what the atmosphere is. This is a tiny room. This is stifling. It's hot in here. The fan barely works, so we're establishing that. It's kind of a dive that we're in, and that's this Makes sense. It's the kind of place that encounters such as this would happen. Um, now, let's begin a new What about? Manuel shifted nervously in his seat, slowly turning to turning to bring the strangers face into view. He didn't recognize the man standing before him. Or let's say now, standing before him, that might be better. So he's turned and he's faced. He doesn't recognize this person. So we've got an encounter here with a stranger who showed up in his room with a gun. This is a stressful situation. Now what about if we add some back story? He was sure that the man was okay that the man had appeared at his apartment as a result of his earlier visit to the What did he visit? Let's see. To the, um, to the boss man. Okay, so he went and visited the boss man, and as a result, he's getting this visit from the stranger here. We're beginning to write this story. Now, at this point, at some point, what what I have is I have enough thoughts together. I've I've put them together and, um, written enough of the story that what I do is, I go through this illiterate of waterfall of editing. I might go back and read what I've got so far. So the pistol hammer was cocked. Now I could go and say cocked. I don't, uh, not an exciting word was drawn back or something like that. Um ah, Cocked. It's probably actually the best word to describe. What? What happened in the hammer? The barrel of the gun placed against Manuel Stempel. Make a move and you're dead, man. So I go back and I'd look for this. I'd look for any repeating words that I might run a replace. I'd look for a sick slicker, Um, instead of ran down Man Wells. How about coursed? There's another way to say that it, uh, parting to either side parting to either side when? Let's say into two. Okay, that's fine. To run round, Let's make around instead of around And the air in the room. Tiny room stifling, Barely distributor. So this is all really good. So, you know, I go back and I do an edit, and I'm in pretty good shape. So this first draft is going to be fine. Now, let's have some more dialogue going on here. Um, wares the loot Hidden Manuel. Okay, now that we've established the stranger knows this man, um, the stranger asked, Let's say, prodded, prompting him to do this. And so on. Now notice. Another problem that we have here is that we don't have any indentations or so on. For all of this, it's easy enough to fix this. All of this is normal. So to do this, we go toe home and we go to the style for normal. Here we right click, we modify it and we say for format paragraph that we want this left justified but a special here on the first line we wanted in Dent of I like 0.33 inches. And when we do that and apply it now, everything will be indented that appropriate way. And we also have actually lines between paragraphs. I don't like having lines between paragraphs. Sorry, I'm getting off a little bit and formatting here. I should have formatted this before I started. So the way that you do that if you go back right click on the style normal, it's under the home menu in word right Click on it. We modify and we go to the paragraph settings for this style again. And we get rid of the space after So instead of eight, it will be zero. There we go. That will pack them together. So this is the way that I like to right Here we go. So that's our first writing session. We have, Ah, a bit of a story going here. You just keep on going. You keep telling your story in this way, and this is the way that it's done. I hope this helps to give you an idea, and we'll be back with other writing sessions longer than this one in the future. 2. Writing Session: First Person, Character, Past Tense, Thriller: I welcome back. I thought in this session we might try writing the same thing we wrote in our last session . Third person, but right at first person instead. So first person past tense, a thriller seen. Now, Before we move on, I have the text that we wrote the last time I blew up the font size. You don't have to squint quite so much to see it. I wanted to point out that the last session was about 10 minutes long, 11 minutes long, and I wrote 125 words, so you can see that I was just about on my pace. That's all it takes to write 500 pages per hour, and if you write a couple hours per day, then that means that you're going to make it to your with 1000 words per day and you move on. So get it out of the way quickly. Arrange a two hour period that you can write and you're on your way to what were we talking about? Six novels a year? Short novels, of course. So let me go ahead and delete this. Oh, by the way to selection. If you put something the cursor at the beginning of what you want to select. Scroll down and hit this. Hold the shift key and click at the end. It selects everything in between. So this is a quick way to select the contents of a chapter and now noticed down in our word count that we have 125 125. We've selected everything. Okay, let's delete that. And we're down to zero words and let's begin writing this time in first person. And who are we going to write? Whose perspective are we gonna right from? That's one of those decisions we have to make. Well, I'm gonna make it now. I felt the barrel of a gun pressed against my temple. Notice how switching from third person to first person makes things much more intimate and much more real and and and adds a great deal of attention to the scene. Let's add the dialogue. I believe it was something to the effect of make a move and you're a dead man, a dis jointed voice said from behind. Okay, and once again we're doing the dialogue in the same way we're quoting it in double quotes and putting the comma at the end because we're continuing it. We're attributing it to somebody, a disjointed voice in this case. Okay, let's do something to the effect of I turned slowly in my seat to see who was addressing me . Now, this time we know what people are feeling so we can get into feelings to of this person. So it's much more intimate. In first person, I I felt well, you could say felt shock. Or you could say in another way, I felt my insides loosen. It's a polite way of saying scared the out of me. I felt my insides loosen when I recognized the face, and you continue to write in this way, The thing that I wanted to point out in this session is how much more intimate first person is, how much more strong things are. Sometimes you want to write in 1/3 person, your you want to cover a lot of different perspectives. You want to see a lot of things. Maybe you want to be on nish int and and go all over the place and see everything to tell your story. Sometimes your stories air a little more personal, and first person is the tents or is the view that will best support your story. So choose a person that a match is your story to A T, and you'll be off to the right start see in the next writing session.