How creative writers write : interviews with successful publishing writers

MacRobert, Marguerite (2010-12)

Thesis (MA (English))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis describes a qualitative investigation of the creative writing processes of successful publishing authors in the South African context. Four successful South African authors of fiction were interviewed with the intention of garnering current, local insights into the creative writing process in order to nuance this field of knowledge and to challenge reductive, undynamic ways of thinking about it. What these creative writers say about their writing processes is discussed in the context of previous empirical research on the writing process and the creative process in the related fields of composition studies and psychology. The resulting theoretical paradigm for the study was a flexible, recursive cognitive process model of the writing process within the context of a particular domain and field, in opposition to a stage model of writing or models of writing that are devoid of social and affective context. Interviews with Margie Orford, Imraan Coovadia, Lesley Beake and John van de Ruit investigated how expert creative writers work in the South African context and explored contributing factors to the writing process, from initial inspiration or origination of ideas through to submission of completed manuscripts for publication. The creative writers in question are experienced authors who have published more than once as the intention was to discover what successful or established authors of literary fiction do, with an eye to making a contribution to current international attempts at theorising the field of creative writing. The results of this research indicated clear support for most of the combined underlying theories and hypotheses discussed in the literature study, with an indication of some areas that required further refining and research, such as the impact of situational variables on the writing process. Finally some suggestions are made as to how the theoretical models might be improved through combination and comparison with one another and with more extensive empirical research, and some of the implications of this research for creative writing pedagogy and the development of novice writers are explored.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis beskryf ’n kwalitatiewe ondersoek van die kreatiewe skryfprosesse van suksesvolle gepubliseerde outeurs in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks. Onderhoude is met vier suksesvolle fiksieskrywers gevoer met die doel om hedendaagse, plaaslike insig in die kreatiewe skryfproses te verkry ten einde hierdie kennisgebied te nuanseer en reduserende, ondinamiese denke daaroor aan te veg. Hierdie kreatiewe skrywers se beskrywing van hul skryfproses word bespreek teen die agtergrond van vorige empiriese navorsing oor die skryfproses en die kreatiewe proses in die verwante gebiede van stylstudies en sielkunde. Die teoretiese paradigma vir die studie wat hieruit gespruit het, was ’n buigsame, rekursiewe kognitiewe prosesmodel van die skryfproses in die konteks van ’n spesifieke domein en gebied, in teenstelling met ’n faseskryfmodel of skryfmodelle sonder enige maatskaplike en affektiewe konteks. Deur middel van onderhoude met Margie Orford, Imraan Coovadia, Lesley Beake en John van de Ruit is ondersoek hoe ervare kreatiewe skrywers in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks werk, en faktore wat tot die skryfproses bydra, is ondersoek. Sodanige proses strek van aanvanklike inspirasie of die oorsprong van idees tot die inlewering van voltooide manuskripte vir publikasie. Die betrokke kreatiewe skrywers is bedrewe outeurs wat reeds meer as een keer gepubliseer het, aangesien die voorneme was om uit te vind hoe suksesvolle of gevestigde outeurs te werk gaan met die oog daarop om ’n bydrae te maak tot huidige internasionale pogings om die gebied van kreatiewe skryfwerk te teoretiseer. Die resultate van hierdie studie toon duidelike ondersteuning vir die meeste van die gekombineerde onderliggende teorieë en hipoteses wat in die literatuurstudie bespreek is, alhoewel daar ’n aanduiding is dat sommige gebiede verdere verfyning en navorsing verg, byvoorbeeld die impak van situasionele veranderlikes op die skryfproses. Laastens word enkele aanbevelings gemaak oor hoe die teoretiese modelle verbeter kan word deur kombinasie en vergelyking met ander modelle en deur meer omvattende empiriese navorsing, en die implikasies van hierdie navorsing vir die pedagogie van kreatiewe skryfwerk en die ontwikkeling van amateurskrywers word ook ondersoek.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/5224
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