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The Mastery Path for Writers: a new way to learn the skills you need

Lesson 14: The Power of Observation 2

You can do the basic practice of observation any time as you move through your life; you don’t have to write down what you notice. But after a while you will probably find yourself noticing things that you want to write down. Now you can engage in observation practice not just to strengthen your powers of observation but also to collect material for pieces of writing. The collecting you did in earlier lessons was what I call internal collecting —you collected material from inside yourself. When you collect material through observation, you are engaging in external collecting—collecting material from outside yourself. (You can do external collecting in other ways as well; you can find more details in How To Be a Writer.Read More 

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Lesson 13: The Power of Observation

The imagination is the mental faculty that enables us to make pictures of things that aren’t present to our senses. But in order to make those pictures, we need to have already filled our imaginations with raw material. How do we do that? By making use of another essential writer’s faculty: our power of observation. The imagination is completely dependent upon observation; so, if we want to be able to use our imagination in our writing, we need first to develop our ability to observe.  Read More 

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Lesson 12: Imaginative Writing

We typically refer to poems and stories, novels and plays—even, these days, some kinds of nonfiction—as “creative writing.” Each one of these kinds of writing, or genres, works differently, and if you want to produce pieces of writing in a given genre, you need to know how that genre works. In these lessons I do not discuss the specific things you need to know to write a poem or a novel or a play; there are hundreds of books available which will teach you these things. Instead, here (and in my book, How To Be a Writer,) I provide you with the opportunity to learn some basic creative writing skills you can then apply to work in whichever genre interests you. I do this because my experience as a teacher has shown me that many people don’t realize that creative writing requires the use of different mental faculties than other kinds of writing.  Read More 

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Lesson 11: Kinds of Material

It’s impossible to create a piece of writing—in any genre—without content. Naturally, skilled writers also need a command of language; but words are not the most important aspect of a piece of writing. Words are only the medium through which a writer’s content is communicated. If a piece of writing has nothing to say, has no content, then no one will want to read it. Read More 

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