7 thoughts on “Guest post: Creative Writing, yes or no? by crime novelist Quentin Bates

  1. Jane Risdon says:

    Quintin, many thanks for an interesting and thoughtful post. I have never been on a course, and it may well show in my work, I have no idea. However, I do believe that you cannot teach talent – you have it or you do not. You can hone it, guide it and nurture it and smooth off the rough edges possibly but I guess I always come back to something I have always believed, having worked with singers and songwriters – Morgen is probably giving a deep sigh now as I go off on one of my usual comparisons with the Music Industry. The singers and songwriters I have worked with had talent and it was there, a gift if you like. The moment it was taken in hand and ‘taught,’ all the feel, originality and excitement went. Those musicians who were ‘trained,’ in classical music were brilliant musicians and could follow an instruction and were good ‘team players,’ but, they didn’t often possess one creative bone in their bodies….no feel or passion or the ability to improvise. Give me a raw singer, writer or musician, show them the basics if necessary but never teach them how to be who they are. I think the same about writers and so the thought of a writing course fills me with horror in many ways. Lots of clones stepping out with lots of writing written the way they’ve been taught to write and not how it comes from the soul. Just my opinion. Time will tell – ask me in a few years and if I’m still doing the same thing then, those who advocate courses may well be proven right. Enjoyed this so much and I shall now go and look for your book. Good luck. Sorry Morgen…..I’ve gone off on one again!


    • morgenbailey says:

      Not at all, Jane. I often compare writing to music, to playing the piano specifically (and painting) – no one would sit us in front of a piano / canvas and expect us to play a concerto / paint a masterpiece with no practice. Life is practice and if we enjoy it then we will actually want to practice.


  2. Quentin says:

    Thanks, Laurie, much appreciated.
    Jane, I agree with you entirely. Writing courses can certainly have their uses, as long as you go in with eyes wide open and preferably start a few arguments along the way.


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