Written by Suzanne Graham

Two of the most important skills a person can have - reading and writing- are skills people have grown to dislike (along with math). As someone who is in love with language, I can also respect the struggles because I was not the best in my English classes. Based on patterns I have noticed, it seems as though people don’t enjoy reading or writing in their free time because of how bland and constrictive it all seems. Our teachers have led us to believe there is only one way to construct papers and the author had a purpose for everything, making us analyze a work down to the tiniest of details.

Only, that’s not how language works. What these classes try to teach when we read are critical thinking skills. I remember seeing something on social media saying that we cannot assume the author had any ulterior motive when they wrote their work. However, symbolism is something we consume unconsciously to help create a mood. So, analyzing the symbols within a text will increase our inner perspective of what we’re imagining. Analyzing a work helps us interact more with the story rather than the author.

Notice how I stated, “we cannot assume the author had any ulterior motive.” When people write, they think about how a story flows. They have this whole scenario in their head that they just had to get down on paper. The characters begin to float off the page, leaving the author the narrator for their tale. This is the process of creative writing and most of the rules we learned in our high school English class go out the window.

When people write creatively, punctuation and connotation play important roles. Punctuation tells us how to break or how to think. Depending on how punctuation is used within a sentence, it could give off a totally different perspective because punctuation does not live by set rules. The same goes for connotation. A word may have a dictionary meaning, but it also gives off an instinctive reaction. Perhaps, that is why the English language contains many words that can mean the same thing. But suddenly, language can become a boundless creative tool.

Personally, I am a huge novel reader. I can read most fiction and I like to brag that I read Frankenstein in a day. Actually, with Frankenstein, I was most upset that the monster was only trying to be accepted by someone, but even Dr. Frankenstein couldn’t bring himself to accept his own creation. This could be a metaphor for something, but I am pretty sure Shelly just wanted to write something unique. I could go into more interesting facts about her, but I shall spare you for now.

Novels are a great way to explore the lives of others through a space of empathy and desire. Through this space, only words are needed to create mental images, which still blows my mind! Yet, novels still feel too rigid in composition sometimes. For authors to get published, they have to have this level of formality, which allows an author’s technique to rise, but holds them within a cell. This is where fan fiction comes in.

There are people out there that do not count fan fiction as real writing, but I want to disagree. Since writers produce works for fun and for free, there is a lot of creative space to explore. Language is thriving especially in this area of interest. And we cannot deny that people tend to read fan fiction nowadays more than with published writing. There are a lot of great writers in this realm who know how to create 'fluff' and 'angst' like artisans, manipulating their readers with every newly released chapter. They also know how to create new wording formats to add visual creativity to their words. Through these visuals on the page, the reader is allowed a brand new journey that they would not be allowed to experience in books.

At this point, I feel like I am just rambling without a point in sight, but I guarantee that it's there. In school, we are forced to believe there is only one way to write or think about something. I am here to tell you that there isn’t. Language does not exist in a vacuum. There is no right or wrong way to do anything. However, I think it’s still important to remember that there are guidelines that we learn to follow and how to break appropriately. English does not have a rulebook so we should not live like there is one.

Therefore, if you want to write, write. If you find something interesting to read, read for pleasure! Alive Vibe offers the opportunity for everyone to submit posts for the blog and all of them are accepted. Are you still unsure about your writing skills? Contact Alive Vibe and you’ll be able to work with someone to guide you in the process. We’ll be excited to work with you!

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