If different people were asked to define the term literature, they would probably define the term differently. This is not surprising because the term literature has been and will be defined differently depending on the epoch and context.
From a scientific point of view, however, most definitions take into account three essential features that characterize literature, namely the fixation, the fictionality and the use of language in artistic form. Fixation means that literature is recorded, either in writing or memorization. By fictionality is meant that the contents are wholly or at least proportionately invented.
For many, the question is surely whether it is possible to learn to write literature. This question can be answered with a clear and unequivocal yes, because writing is ultimately nothing more than a craft and as such, anyone can learn to write literature. An important keyword in this context is the so-called creative writing.
Originally, the creative writing originated in the USA, where at the end of the 19th century there were already seminars at universities that taught the students the art of writing and how to write literature. The creative writing did not reach Germany until about 100 years later. The reason for this lies in the long-standing and widespread idea that the writing of literary works is reserved for great poets and thinkers, who are endowed with talent and appropriate abilities.
In the meantime, creative writing is important in three very different contexts.
On the one hand, creative writing is equated with literary writing and thus describes training in the literary field. That is, when an author learns creative writing in the sense of education, he deals with the artistic aspects of writing literature in order to get the tools that are essential to his work.
On the other hand there is the creative writing in connection with amateur authors. Less emphasis is placed on education in the classical sense and artistic aspects, but above all on the joy and fun of writing. Here, too, it is conveyed how an author can write literature, improve his ability to express himself, or make meaningful revisions to his texts. However, these are primarily tips and tricks and less about rigid and strict rules.
The third context in which creative writing plays a role is writing therapy. With the help of writing games and exercises, texts are written under the guidance that deal with one’s own ego, the past or experiences and feelings. In the foreground, however, are therapeutic purposes and the intention to work up certain contents. It’s not about writing literature, because writing is just a tool.
The basis for a literary work
Regardless of why someone wants to write literature, however, he should first say goodbye to two widespread myths. Many hobby authors believe that special instructions are needed and that there are secret tips and tricks that automatically lead to successful literary works. Both are so wrong.
While guidance can be a guide and guide you through the basic process, each author ultimately writes and works differently. In addition, a guide is not the basis for a literary work, but an idea.
Regarding the tips and tricks, there are undoubtedly tools that make writing easier, for example, to get the suspense of a thriller. At first, however, a text is nothing more than a series of words.
The art of writing, and at the same time the task of the author, consists in choosing such words and arranging them so that the text achieves the desired effect.