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Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)

November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

Creative Writing: A New Trend Perceived by English Language Department’

Students in the Faculty of Science and Arts- Sharourah

Shazia Zaheer

( Faculty of Science and Arts- Sharourah )

(Najran University Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

Abstract

This study investigates the point of view of the students, of the English Department

at the Faculty of Science and Arts, towards creative writing as a new trend in

teaching writing and the use of language. Simple random sampling, cluster and

systematic sampling techniques were used to select the students. Students of levels

five, six and seven in English department were used in the study and the sample

comprised 30 students (on an equal distribution of the three levels. The research

instrument was a creative writing task.

The form students were required to perform a task which involved writing

responding to different motivating tools, to reveal the impact of those motivating

tools on student’s thought, imagination and use of language. The study reveals that

students usually respond to the motivating tools, yet, they face difficulties in

applying this due to the rigid topics usually given and the mistakes committed in

spelling, grammar and form. In light of the above findings, the researcher generally
Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

recommends that students should be provided with remedial teaching to improve

their performance in writing so that they can be lifted the level of creative writers

as well as to establish a unit or a club in the department to monitor the progress

students among other recommendations.

Introduction

Research Questions:

The study attempted to find answers to the following questions:

a) Are the students of English Department in the Faculty of Science and Arts in

Sharourah aware of the meaning of creative writing?

b) Are there any special features and characteristics needed to be creative in

writing?

c) Are there any means that a lecturer can use to motivate students to write

creatively?

d) Are students capable of mastering the grammatical structures, the suitable

vocabulary and the right punctuation marks while writing?

Research Hypotheses:

a) The students of the English Department in the Faculty of Science and Arts are

not totally aware of the meaning of creative writing.

b) There are some needed characteristics that a creative writer should possess to be

called so.
Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

c) There are different ways that a lecturer can use to motivate his students to have

their own creative written pieces.

d) The students have a good knowledge and application of the grammar, spelling

and punctuation rules when they write.

Methodology:

Study Area:

The study was conducted in English Department of the Faculty of Science and Arts

in Sharourah .

The study comprised 30 students from the fifth, sixth and seventh levels of English

department. The researchers employed simple random sampling to answer a given

questionnaire.

Research Instrument:

The research instrument for this study was a creative writing task. The respondents

were asked to write a composition which was rated analytically. The research

instrument was constructed and developed by the researchers after consulting

subject specialist in the Faculty of Science and Arts in Sharourah.

Study Population:

The study utilized students who were of level five, six and seven in English

daprtment at the faculty of Science and Arts in Sharourah.


Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

Data Results:

A questionnaire has been designed and applied at (30) students of fifth, sixth and

seventh levels to help in defining creative writing, their attitudes towards it, their

writing process and the motivating aids that would help in achieving the goal of

writing creatively.

The questionnaire has been divided into three scales with (24) components.

The content reliability and the faithful semantics have been calculated using

Kronbakh Alpha as worth (0 .988)

A thorough reading and analysis of the scopes of the questionnaire shows that the

first scope has shown reliability mean of (0.97) while the second scope has shown

(0 .981) and the third one has shown (0.959).

attitudes towards writing :


Mean Standard deviation
Do you enjoy writing?
3.4000 1.22051
In general do you trust yourself as
a person who can find good words 3.4333 1.30472
and ideas and perceptions?
Can you distinguish creative
3.6000 1.37966
writing?

For the first scope, as a whole, the mean is (3.4778) which indicates that usually

Students show an interest in writing process and they usually trust their abilities as

writers, moreover, they can judge a piece of writing as outstanding and “out of the
Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

box” or not. This would pave the road for lecturers in moving from the safe side of

ordinary written pieces into the stunning side of figurative writing.

The second scope has (18) components that represent what is needed all along the

writing process as grammar, sentence structure, word richness, the relevancy of

thoughts and most importantly is student’s interest in topics which most of

lecturers and assigned books and references ignore.

Generating : writing process


Mean Standard
Deviation
Do you think that reading widely and
4.6667 .47946
frequently help in writing?
Do you think that imitating other
3.9667 1.15917
author would help in writing?
Do you think that grammar, spelling
and vocabulary are important in 3.6333 1.67091
writing process?
If you are given a topic that is of your
interest, can you come up and
4.1000 1.47040
generate new thoughts, ideas and
words to help you out?
Again on a topic of interest to you,
can you come up with ideas or 4.2667 1.38796
insights you'd not thought of before?
If the given topic is an assigned one
and doesn’t interest you, can you 3.0333 1.15917
generate new words and thoughts?
On a topic not of interest, can you
come up with ideas or insights you'd 2.8000 1.18613
not thought of before?
Can you get into a relevant
conclusion if you start your topic not
2.6000 .81368
decided what to write about?
Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

On a topic where you start out with


your mind made up, can you write or
4.4667 1.22428
think your way into
actually changing your mind?
Can you rethink and change your
mind about major things you have 3.9667 1.51960
said?
Can you find a main point in a mess
3.6667 1.53877
of your disorganized writing?
Can you find a new shape in a piece
of your writing which you had 3.5667 1.04000
previously organized?
Can you make your sentences clear? 3.9000 .75886
Can you get your sentences lively and
3.5667 1.59056
moving?
Can you get rid of most mistakes in
grammar, spelling, punctuation, and
so on? Can you clean your writing up 3.7000 1.08755
enough so most readers would not be
put off?
Can you get rid of virtually all such
3.0667 1.57422
mistakes?
Can you guess how most readers will
3.0667 1.48401
react to something you've written?
Can you adjust something you've
written to fit the needs of particular 3.3333 1.49328
readers?

The third scope has a calculated a whole mean of (4.1222). It is dedicated to trace

what motivates writers to write creatively.

Motivation
Mean Standard Deviation
Do you think that
music helps in 4.3667 1.12903
generating ideas
Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

Do you think that


images would help in 4.1333 1.47936
crating thoughts?
Is parody – imitating a
well known writer 3.8667 1.45586
helpful in writing?

These given means show that usually students are driven and taken by images and

music in writing their own pieces. It also indicates that usually students are

affected by the style of a known-author that inspires them to create an outstanding

piece of written art.

Creative Writing: A New Trend Perceived by English Language Department’

Students in the Faculty of Science and Arts- Sharourah

1. What is creative writing?


Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

Creative writing has been defined by different writers. Sil.org has seen it as”

writing that expresses the writer’s thoughts and feelings in an imaginative, often

unique, and poetic way,” while Julia Cameron has defined it as “anything where

the purpose is to express thoughts, feelings and emotions rather than to simply

convey information.” I see creative writing as going beyond the ordinary use of

language as a means of communication to expose the internal feelings of the

writer. It could take many forms as novels, poetry and short stories.

2. Why is writing important?

Writing is a reflection of one’s own mental, psychological and ideological

state. It is a universal need to link the writer to the outer and real world, though, it

is sometimes an escape. In her book The Right to Write, Julia Cameron has

clarified that need in

We should write because it is human nature to write. Writing

claims our world. It makes it directly and specifically our own.

We should write because humans are spiritual beings and writing

is a powerful form of prayer and meditation, connecting us both

to our own insights and to a higher and deeper level of inner

guidance. We should write because writing brings clarity and

passion to the act of living. Writing is sensual, experiential,

grounding. We should write because writing is good for the soul.


Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

We should write because writing yields us a body of work, a felt path

through the world we live in. (19)

3. How can writers be provoked to write?

Many questions were raised in this issue. The key answer to all these

questions could be best reflected in knowing what is needed to master writing. The

first need is “talent”; a person should be talented, which is simply to have a passion

for writing” [talent] is at the heart of creativity. That, and surprise,” commented

Cameron. The second need is persistence and patience; as without determination

and considering every defeat as a new chance you will not succeed. Patience is

known to be the key of success as well. The ability to accept criticism and,

actually, to seek criticism is the third need. Imagination and thinking outside the

box will definitely make a creative writer. Additionally, you should be obsessed

with reading; “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others:

read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of,

no shortcut.”(King, 25)

Lastly, a writer could not make his way towards creativity without “thinking

outside the box”; Imagination should be accompanied all along the way with

knowledge of language' literary aspects (figures of speech, tone, inspiration

….).Below you can find some provocative methods that would make your path

towards creativity.
Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

3.1Images and pictures:

Images summon many situations, which are correlated to many feelings, to our

memory.

Let your students have a look at some images and let them write in points all what

they have recalled in seeing these images. Then, open the door widely for their

creativity. Remind them that sincerity and summoning all their true emotions are

essential to have a well-developed piece of writing.


Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

3.1.1

This image can be interpreted according to the way your emotions move. Here are

samples of the different reacts towards it. Alia al-Kurbi, one of English

LanguagDepartment at Najran University, wrote

“Don’t be a prisoner for ignorance.

Rebel! rebel against the restrictions of tradition.

Chirp outside the flock.

Be where free thinking is fertile.

Be where deep fiction is.

Let your passion for knowledge leads you to the road of success and glamour.

All what can be a stumbling block in your way towards progress in yourself, make

it some motivation to continue.

Break all the restrictions and allow freedom of thought fly in the sky of

knowledge.”

While Eman ba-Maqbara, a student at the same department in the same university,

wrote:

“ It's amazing how we find ourselves when everything lays in an empty place,

the motivation we have is within our sorrow reality that made us believe ,even
Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

though sometimes clouds overshadow the sun, but they're nothing but mounds of

gray floss that make the sky cry but hey! It can't rain forever! and as I notice how

people hunt birds and have them in cages for entertainment reminds me of a free

circus...they took the freedom of a soul that could've reached the rainbow we all

dream to slide ...

I'll keep discovering this planet that has much more to give and show.

I can watch the world revolve around even though I realize I'm all alone inside but

who knows, this life is balanced and I do believe everything in this world is paired

and I'm not an exception.

The pictures that you took with your blinks, the memory you saved in your mind,

makes no sense. But making no sense is the answer to all what's confusing. It's not

about you, it's about them.”

As a reader would notice, the first thought that crossed the first writer is ignorance.

While, the second writer thought about freedom.

3.1.2
Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

I hate to see the sun when I can’t feel its warmness

I hate to see the light when I am in the darkness

I hate to see what you don’t see

I hate to feel what you've never felt or will feel

Freedom is never able to stop or retreat in me

- Note the underlined word which was used instead of the regular noun “warmth”

is to be considered as an escape from regularity and restrains of “the known”

which is the core of the image.

3.2 The utterance of some words, scattered words:

“Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs

quicken and begin to breathe.” (King, 32)


Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

Utter some words in front of your students let them choose three of them and

then make a connection between them. Let your choices be hap hazardous and

don't give them all what they expect.

3.2.1 “child , darkness, sun, sensation …”

Inside each one of us a child…..

He comes out between now and then

Appears bright as the sun.

Like hope when it erases the darkness of sadness

Like when it comes out, it trivializes the burden of the world.

Beautiful sensations are those which we feel when we go crazy

And it restores childhood laughter and the memories again

What a wonderful child…

He knew when he should appear…

3.2.2 “ creativity , master, boldness,…”

Lunatics are the masters of earth

They are kings by their dreams

They don’t care

They move forward to where unusual is

With tender, love to what is strange.

Boldness that hugs the clouds of sky.


Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

Insanity is the wisdom of the mind while rebelling against the impossible.

It is the farfetched self to those who is blinded to see the creativity.

3.3 Parody

Parody, which is an imitation of a well-know author either in his style or his

thought, arises from intensive and thorough reading.

3.3.1

“I wandered lonely as a cloud”,

For years and years with no crowd

Wandering and wondering when

My journey would have a resting place.

“When all at once” I ran into you

In the midst of darkness and cold

You came, as a shining star

You came, as you’ve never been far

Only then, that smiling crowd

Of golden daffodils leapt with a smile

Merry waves of ecstatic joy

Found their way into my heart."


Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

This is a parody of William Wordsworth’s famous poem “I wandered Lonely as a

Cloud”.

3.4 If you were given the chance,

In this technique, you are given the chances to choose a time to settle in a place

and to be any character you would like to present. This technique broadens your

imagination and charges your motivations.

Suggested situations are multiple such as “If you were to live in another era, which

one would you choose?” or “If you were given the chance to live some one’s life,

whom would you be?”

This technique is functional at schools or with earlier levels at universities to

measure students’ vocabulary, imaginary mental activities and knowledge.

3.5 Music

It is known in psychology that humans react differently to the musical stanzas they

hear. What we are sure of is that though we react differently, we are all driven by

music. “Skilled musicians and writers must regularly consider their audience and

message during their writing. Changes related to this idea almost always involve

more meaning than content” (Bennett, 3).


Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

Let the students hear one of the musical stanzas and ask them to write down their

feelings and all what occur to their minds. Having finished writing, ask your

students to re-read what they have written silently and to make adjusting.

3.5.1 Wandering alone in the streets looking for a safe place where J can find

sincere and caring heart. It never occurs to my thought that she will be a fake

dream, how could I be fooled by her "innocent" smile and rosy words? Could she

be Satan in disguise?

3.5.2

The dark clouds came to rain

The winds whistles like it's saying time to gain

Its way too dark , people hearts are even darker

I can smell the fear spreading inside me

The fog makes me wish to see

Cols freezes my bone

Yeah I'm here all alone

But now I can clearly hear some soft tone

That leads me to somewhere

I kept walking in the dark

Until I arrived to a land that it's empty & bare

There was too many roads to go right there


Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
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I couldn't know what to pick

I became so confused than I ever been before

But did you know what that light was?

It was the only one that makes your life shine

It is your mother

She is the one who always makes you cross the tough line

It is your mother

The one who gives you the hope sign

It is your mother

She must be that light ...

MOTHERS ARE OUR LIFE LIGHT !

3.6 Inter-active Writing

Through this technique, you start writing your own literary piece and open the door

widely to the reader to write a suitable ending. This technique emphasizes the

importance of reader.

Zina Bennett, in her book Unleashing the Power of Your Creativity, has

highlighted this point directly saying


Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)
November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

In school we learn grammar and structure and getting the facts

right. But what gets left out of these early lessons in writing is the most

essential of all--that language is a partnership between writer and reader.

Learn that lesson and your writing will become electric. One of my author

friends once told me, "You have to fall in love with your readers. You have

to realize that without their intellectual capacities, as well as their capacities

to feel all the feelings you feel, you've got nothing to work with."

Writing is always a partnership between author and reader, then, and if

you somehow miss that, your work is probably not going to be successful.

This is not to say that you give readers what they want or expect. When you

do that, you're no longer writer, you're a hack. (42)

3.6.1

a) Shadows are laying on the ground

Loaming traces of harmony

Precious silence you cannot even hear a sound

Extensive … but it is the last ceremony

*********************

b) Eyes are rendering the wall

Dreams are shattering to crack darkness

Blood spreading… they couldn’t make a call


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November Vol 3 Issue 3, Year 2017

- (a) represents a start composed by one student, whereas (b) represents the close

up which is composed by another student.

References

Bennett, Hal Zina. Unleashing the Power of Your Creativity. Novato: New World

Library, 2000.

Cameron, Julia. The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing

Life. Los Angeles: Tarcher, 2002.

_ _ _ . The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. New York:

Penguin, 1992.

King, Steven. On Writing. New York, Pocket Pox, 2000.

Zinsser, William. On Writing Well. New York: HarperCollins, 2006.

Creative Writing. Daily writing tips.2010.web. 20 October 2013.