Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Same Old, Same Old

The dictionary definition of boring is 'dull; repetitious; uninteresting'. The prevalence of this sort of introduction is now so great that it is just about becoming as clich├ęd as waking up to find the whole piece of creative writing was all just a dream. Let's blame the restrictive nature of the curriculum for now.

I find there is also an over-abundance of rhetorical questions. Are they really necessary for creating a stimulating article? Our English teachers may have all told us that using them is a good tool in 'provoking thought and discussion' but, in any sort of opinion piece, questioning your own argument cannot be anything other than counterproductive. If the writer is not fully convincing, then the reader will never be fully convinced.

To me, leaving the reader to think for themselves all the time is essentially opting out of thinking for yourself. Furthermore, when the same device punctuates the piece at a rate of every other line, it becomes, well, a little bit irritating. After all, too many question marks spoil the broth, and adding too much flavour is just a recipe for disaster.

Now, I am not claiming innocence in all of this - if you scroll further down this blog you can find some examples for yourself (a fun, festive challenge perhaps) - but, apparent hypocrisy aside, I do not think that creative writing is ever formulaic. Some things can be taught in this way, like how to structure essays, solve quadratic equations and calculate the velocity of a moving object, but not this.

Practice makes perfect, and while perfection is, of course, subjective, we are not all gifted enough to spontaneously produce work that emulates Shakespeare and his fellow literature peers.

5 comments:

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  2. I couldn't agree more! I hate the way that creative writing is reduced to a tick-box formula, or rather, the way that being exam-marked has CREATED this sort of tick box in the first place. Grrrrrrrrrrrr!

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