My Creative Writing: Prose

Below is a short story I wrote sometime in early October of last year.  I’ve written quite a bit of both poetry and creative prose, and while I enjoy writing both, I think my strong-suit is more in prose.

I was asked by one of my followers to briefly explain my inspiration behind my creative pieces, but I must warn you, much of my inspiration doesn’t come from ordinary things such as a leaf floating on the wind or the image of a little girl standing just behind a corner.  Most of my inspiration comes from emotions, my own experiences mixed with an idea or feeling, and sometimes external sources like a photo or a song.  For this particular story, it was the second kind of inspiration.  I would very much appreciate any critiques and general comments you have to offer!  And, as always, thank you for reading!

 

Memories

He startled her as he came around the bend, emerging from the small copse of trees like a wraith emerging from a deep shadow.  She stopped walking and stared at him, her heartbeat quickening in fright.

But as he stepped into the light of the street lamp that stood only a few feet behind her, she realized his face was familiar.

“Hayden?” she asked hesitantly, the incredulity and utter shock at his being there evident in her voice.

“Hey, Kisa,” he said, a slight smile turning up the corners of his mouth.  There was a familiar light in his brown eyes that warmed her heart in the remembering.  They had not been close friends; even so, seeing him filled her with a sense of relief.  Ever since leaving home, she had been lonely, having not previously known anyone here before she moved.  Her world had completely changed in the space of a few short weeks, and now she felt so alone.

In that moment, she realized she didn’t care that he hadn’t been a very close friend; she was just happy to see an old familiar face.

As if on cue, he took one step closer to her and lifted his arms, holding them out to her.  Her eyes widened.

“I heard you needed a hug.”

Her shock doubled.  “From whom?”  Her voice wasn’t much more than a whisper.

That light came into his gentle eyes again, the same boyish grin to his lips.  “I think you know.”

She could only stand there, frozen in astonishment and confusion.

He didn’t wait long for her to recover… only a few seconds, really.  He finished the remaining steps that separated them and enfolded her in his strong arms.  The embrace was warm, gentle, comforting.  It brought a strange sense of peace to her soul that, until that moment, she hadn’t consciously realized was missing.  He was a good head taller than her, so she had to turn her face and rest it against his chest in order to breathe. It felt right, the way her head nestled against his chest just below his collarbone.

He didn’t let go for a long time, and just stood there in the uncertain light of the street lamp, holding her.  Eventually she softened, relaxing her tensed muscles, and let out a little sigh of surrender.  Her arms left her sides and she hugged him back, her fists clutching at his shirt, her face buried deep in his jacket.  Later she would wonder why it was so easy to let down her guard with someone she hadn’t even known very well, but in that moment she was just immensely grateful for his presence.  She breathed deeply and smelled his familiar scent, all her senses now filled with him and the memories of her past.

A single tear shone in the corner of her left eye.

“Thank you,” she whispered into the fabric of his jacket.  “Thank you, Hayden.”

He only smiled, closed his eyes and breathed in the scent of her hair.

 

The Role of the Reader

Style: something that defines the work of any single author, regardless of content. Anyone can write about 18th century England, but only Charles Dickens can make the reader see, smell, hear and feel every detail of the setting he has chosen with such skill. Anyone can write advice to Christians living in a pagan world, but only C.S. Lewis can write with such ingenious wording that it leaves the reader in awe of how perfectly the phrasing was. Anyone can write a fantasy fiction story about weird and fantastic creatures and events, but only J.R.R. Tolkien can weave a story so complex and awe-inspiring that it leaves readers at a loss.

And the key words there? Style and reader. The connection between the two cannot be stressed enough.

Why do we write? Many would answer with responses like, “because I can be myself – I can pour myself out in a way that is beautiful and artistic.” Others would say, “because to create is to be fulfilled.” Still others say that writing is a way to speak – to communicate. And yet, whatever we might say, do we not always write with the expectation that what we create will be read? Are we not always proud of our creation? Do we want it shown to the world? Maybe the thought is as frightening as it is attractive, but the idea is eternally in our minds.

The importance of a writer’s audience, then, is plain. And style? Style is the way a writer actually communicates with his or her readers. It’s the unspoken words and the underlying message. It’s the story behind the words and the emotion behind the description. It’s the attitude beneath the phrasing, and the passion in the ink. Style, I say, is the medium with which we put pen to paper – it is the filter that stands between the creative waterfall originating from our hearts and minds, and the pool of words and ink that etch themselves into the paper.

Whatever idea may occur to us (inspiration, emotion, plot-line, character personality…), it is always tempered by what we perceive our audience will think of our writing. Is it realistic? you ask yourself. Is it believable? Or, if that’s not applicable to your genre of writing, does this make sense? you might ask. Is this understandable? Editing is a task that ensures clarity and correct attention to detail – why bother if we don’t are about the audience? In fact, why even draft the stuff if not for the pleasure of presenting it?

Audience, I believe, plays a part in every act of writing, no matter the content, style, author, genre, or even inspiration. Author and audience – writer and reader – are bound by bonds invisible but undisputable.

Posts and Preferences

Hello readers!

Since I’m going to be updating this blog bi-weekly, I decided that I should probably lay out what you can begin to expect from me, as far as posts go. One post will probably always be one of three things: a post that features a famous quote by an author I love, followed by me discussing that quote and author; a post in which I present one of my many pieces of creative writing; or a post where I just write about random events/ideas/anecdotes that come up in my life and would make a good blog post. The first two will probably happen more often, but I’d actually really like to know what you would be interested in seeing for that second option. I won’t do that every week, but when I do, would you rather see prose or poetry?

The other weekly post will be dedicated to the prompt my Writing 200 Professor gives us to write about every week, and  – just so y’all know – I’ll try to keep class assignments and discussions limited to that post. I realize that not all of my readers will be my classmates and Professor, so for those of you that aren’t, please bear with me on those posts:) Thanks!

I’d love to get feedback about what you’d prefer to see from me (about the poetry vs. prose thing), so until next time, thanks for reading!

When it all began…

Oddly enough, I don’t get asked this question very often, which I consider odd because I’ve frequently been asked, “so what is your plan for college?” and I’ve answered with, “oh I want to major in English and creative writing” ever since I knew it myself – which was between two-and-a-half and three years ago.  I remember always being fascinated with words and writing – I was an avid reader, and I think I started writing at least more than 7 or 8 novels before I was old enough to really put the work into making it a serious, mature project.

Truthfully, though, up until almost three years ago, I wanted to be a veterinarian, not a writer.  But, to put it in a nutshell, God whacked me on the head and told me a thing or two about what His plan for me is.  Now, I’m not saying that my writing is “inspired,” exactly, but I do believe it’s what I’m to be doing with my life – creative writing, especially.

Ever since that time a few years ago, I’ve begun to truly pursue improvement, and now I’m an obsessive learner.  I try every way I can to get better – getting critique, joining literature communities, and getting read!  Including this blog, I post my writing on four other websites – and all of them have helped me improve tremendously. More about my creative writing will be in future posts, as I may post some of it here:)

Well I think that’s it for now, but until next time, thank you for reading!

Hello and Welcome!

Hello all, and welcome to my blog!

As an undergraduate at George Fox University, I intend to major in English with a focus in Creative Writing so that I can eventually make a career in creative writing on my own. You’ll get to know me through my posts, but one of the first things you should know about my writing is that my goal and purpose is to communicate my ideas and values to my readers in the most creative, enjoyable and meaningful way possible. People don’t read as much as they used to in the past, even though, in my opinion, reading is one of the most effective and wonderful ways to learn. Stories teach us about true beauty, morality, virtue, and the right ways to think. Of course there are other entertaining ways to learn, but I think reading can fulfill those purposes in a very personal and enjoyable way that cannot be compared to any other activity. I love writing because I feel I can communicate truth as I found it and can best tell it, especially if what I have to say is unique and can only be discovered through personal experience. I live for the moments when I learn or experience something worth writing about, and it brings me immense joy to express it in story and poetry.

So welcome to my blog, and thank you for reading!