Creative writing for "lunch and learn" @ work

Creative Writing This post is going to be in English as it will be the notes to a "Lunch and Learn" presentation I'm holding at work. I work in a company that you wouldn't normally associate with creative writing, so although this is made as a work presentation, the subject will be basic and revolve around creating a short story. Course material will be pens and blank pieces of paper together with two helpful objects; namely the red piece of yarn and a yellow ball my kids use to play with. About writing The creative process (prelude) I like to think of writing as a bit of an opposite to meditating. You don't clear your head of thoughts, instead you fill it. Then, select the train of thought that comes to you and pursue it. What could you write? Even if you aren't usually a creative writer, doesn't mean you can't pick it up. But if you wouldn't know where to start, here's a tip for you. Do you like to read? If you do, I bet you have a literary preferences. I've previously written a blog post about the Yes- and No-list. The general idea is that you will have more fun and be better at writing what you know and like. So try thinking about what you like and try for something in that general direction. The short story How is a short story build? Well, it needs this: And if you are writing a short story, you might want to strive for having a "red thread" throughout Your story, binding it together. Trying for a short story in the beginning is probably a good idea. In larger works, like the novel, or a series of books, there will most likely be several storylines that somehow braids into each other. But in a short story there is generally only a few characters and one storyline. It can be very good practice to master the art of the one red thread first. Beginning What is going on? Where are we? Who is it happening to? Those are the basic questions I want an answer to as a reader. Who? This/these are your characters. They might be few or even just one in a short story. Try giving them something special, their own signature to define them. Where? This is the setting. It could be described short, long, action filled or literary, this is to your taste. What? What is going on in your story is the plot. I often like to start my stories with a bit of action to introduce the Reader quickly into the plot. This is called "in medias res" and means "in the middle of things". Middle If you chose an action filled start, you might want to take a step back and further introduce or embroider your setting. The middle part , or body, of your short story is where you build up the conflict and the "plot thickens". The conflict is the main driver of the short story. It can be between two persons or even within the main character. It could also be an outside conflict, like a for instance a war escalating the plot. A tip for making the conflict come to live is to show what it is causing instead of just telling. "Margretes flickering eyes scanned the room. No one was paying any attention. She rubbed her sweaty palms and stretched out tentatively against the ball" vs. "Margrete thought about stealing the ball" The Climax is the turning point of the story. This is generally where it’s most exiting. There's often some sort of twist involved. End The action happens and the thrill will be resolved. You don't have to explain all of what happens, some things can be left to the readers judgement. But the reader can't be left unfulfilled. Something has to land. The end of a story is a good time to check your red thread agin. Is it all there, or has it split into several threads? The creative process You can always be creative within your own mind. However, I am a master of distractions in the middle of my own writing time. The distractions can be e-mails, Facebook and even cleaning. I think I early learned about the illusion that you have to be within a creative flow to be able to do good quality creative work. I no longer believe in a magical muse that has to come to me to make me write. I now think of writing as a skill you can learn, train and be better at the more you practice. Moreover, I do believe that if you train a lot, inspiration will come. Tools for getting started But if you struggle with the distractions, here's a tool for you to use: The ball of association What do you associate with this ball? Think for a while and then use 15 minutes to write about what has entered your mind. ... It might be a beginning to something great. Or big and yellow. Who am I to decide? Happy writing!