THE teacher was explaining the lines in the beginning of Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. It was a description of the battle and the lines were:
Like Valour’s minion, carved out his passage,
Till he faced the slave;
With ne’er shook hands, nor baded farewell to him.
Till he unseam’d him from the nave to the chaps,…
The teacher asked the students what the word ‘unseamed’ meant. It was difficult. The teacher prodded them on. “What does ‘seam’ mean? Haven’t you ever come across the word?” One of the students blurted out “Cricket ball”.
This is an example of how each of us reacts to words according to what our own experience has been. When we write about factual information, all of us write almost similarly. But when we write for pleasure each of us may write about the same event in different ways.
One very important element in creative writing is imagination. This is reflected in our view or perspective
- choice of words
- the comparisons we make
- the images we use
- the tone we adopt
- novelty of ideas.
Let us study the paragraph below.
A town is like an animal. A town has a nervous system and a head and shoulders and feet. A town is a thing separate from all other towns, so that there are no towns alike. And a town has a whole emotion. How news travels through a town is a mystery not easily to be solved. News seems to move faster than small boys can scramble and dart to tell it, faster than women can call it over the fences. (from an adapted version of Steinbeck’s The Pearl)
The topic: A
Town Analogy or comparison: to an animal Word choice: “has a whole emotion.” Comparisons: “faster than small boys can scramble and dart, faster than women….”
We find the first element of imagination operating in the way the writer visualises the town. Then he extends the primary analogy. The tone he adopts is light humour, a little sarcastic. When we begin to write a story or poem we let our imagination free.We try to say things in a new way. This novelty is what makes our writing pleasurable to the reader. Sometimes sentence structures are also different from factual writing. Consider the following:
They waited in their chairs until the pearls came in, and then they cackled and fought and shouted and threatened until they reached the lowest price the fisherman would stand. (from The Pearl). In a normal construction we will not use so many ‘ands’. But the action of the story is best reflected through this kind of chaining of actions through ‘ands’. It is appropriate to the movement of the action described.
Let us look at another example:
She dragged me after her into Miss Rachel’s sitting-room, which opened to her bedroom. At her bedroom door stood Miss Rachel, her face almost white as the white dressinggown she wore. The author has used a simile: “white as the white dressinggown she wore.” In fact, the whiteness of a human face is because of a strong emotion — fear or shock. But here comparing the whiteness to the dressing-gown she wore serves to exaggerate and intensify the emotion.
Please refer to attached file for NCERT Class 11 English Creative Writing