Rachel Lichtenstein will be our Creative Practise teacher. She is very well-known as a contemporary non-fiction British writer, artist and lecturer. I read one of her books, Rodinsky’s Room, and I found it truly fascinating. My previous Creative Writing teacher used to tell us that setting must be as vivid and alive as a character, and I think that Lichtenstein’s book has very much about it.
It seems like this class will have a great focus on visiting places in London in order to make us immerse in the setting. If we want to write about London, we need to know London. And if you want to write about any other place, you have to know that place.
pic by Michael Ash
At the first class, Rachel Lichtenstein asked us was to think about the techniques and methodologies that we use when we write. This is what I wrote.
This is a very interesting and difficult question. I guess the most important part of my writing process consists in finding details. I have always thought that details make stories believable, and, in a certain sense, they make them alive. So I always look for specific details when I try to describe a person, a place or a situation. I try to focus on these details, think about the best way to present them in the story and I often repeat them, because I want them to assume a meaningful and important role in the story.
I write these sort of details (they could be songs, colours, images) in a notebook. Then, when I think that a certain story must be told, I write it – and, of course, the amount of time I spend on it can vary a lot, depending on my “everyday timetable”, my involvement in the story and so on. When ideas that I find interesting come up to my mind, I like jotting stuff down by hand, but I always write on my old dear PC.
pic by John-Mark Kuznietsov
Everyone had something interesting to add to the discussion.
Keep a notebook. Write everything.
Remember about the physical self in writing. Go for a walk. Have a swim.
Visit places. There is a true limitation in reading information through the screen of a computer. Drill down, dig down. All the time.