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Creative writing Guide: Writing a speech.

By Elyse Popplewell in Study
24th of May 2017
Speech

Writing a speech for the HSC Creative Writing has benefits. The overwhelming majority of creative pieces brought into the Paper One exam are short stories. For the last 12 years, the exam paper has never specified what medium they want you to use. Simply, the exam question has only specified of the medium that it needs to be “an imaginative piece” or a “creative piece.” Here are some pretty convincing benefits of writing a speech…

  1. No struggle for poetic wording.
    If you’re someone who struggles to write ~creatively~ and are constantly flicking to the online thesaurus to give you words, then fear no longer. You have the option to abandon the scene-setting of wind that blows like a mother cooling a child’s hot soup. There’s no need for that poetry when your speech is essentially just dialogue. Of course you still need to think carefully about wording, but this is a get-out-of-fail-free card for those who loathe the delicate scene setting prose.
  2. Only one voice to create.
    Assuming that you only are creating one speech instead of several short speeches, you are just going to create a single character and a single voice. Arranging the dynamic between multiple characters in a text to ensure a tangible relationship is one of the key factors between bands. But hey, if you’re writing a speech, you can invest all of your time into perfecting the tone of just one persona.
  3. Your voice can come through in this.
    So, you struggle to write about imaginary personas. You’re not the only one! Find a topic you’re passionate about, and deliver that passion through a persona on a page. Of course you can address your passions in a short story as well, but the route to expressing that passion is likely to be more direct in a speech.
  4. No need to dance around discovery.
    You can be so much more direct about the response to discoveries in a speech than a short story. You can actually make a speech entirely about the ramifications of discovery. Of course you need to be artful about your approach, but the implicit discovery we usually aim for in short stories doesn’t necessarily translate into speeches.
  5. It’s refreshing.
    If you’re writing a short story and it’s at the end of the creative road and still not ticking into the top mark you want, maybe it’s time to convert to a speech. Taking your main character, a section of the plot, or even just the subject matter into a speech could be what you need to break out of the creative rut. Also, imagine that a HSC marker is flicking through numerous creatives that are taking a while to get to the point, and your speech comes in with an authentic, strong voice and a completely different structure. Refreshing.

 

Things to remember when writing a creative piece:

-Identify the setting clearly so that there is an understanding of the audience. It might be as simple as titling and dating the speech, or it might be about your persona demanding that everyone recognise “it’s 2017,” in the style of Justin Trudeau.

-You must have a clear purpose. Speeches are written to entertain, to persuade, and to inform. What’s your purpose?

-The techniques of speeches. You’re still a composer, and composers manipulate language in a way that meets their purpose. Consider the use of a motif, a mantra, a rhetorical question, and modality.

-Presenting it yourself. When you’ve written your draft, stand up, and pretend to be your persona in the confines of your bedroom. You essentially created this persona: so read out their words and see if they flow as you imagine them doing if this were orally presented in context.

Prompts for writing a speech:

  • A eulogy for a famous scientist.
  • A speech presented by someone under 18 to the UN.
  • A shocking resignation speech delivered by the President of the United States.
  • A speech in the military declaring the official ending of a war.
  • A eulogy for a writer.
  • A persuasive speech about the rights of a minority group.
  • A comedic speech about the brevity of life.

 

Here’s an example of a creative speech used in the HSC that scored a Band 6!

If you need help with all things creative writing, we have the perfect place for you!

COMMENTS (1)

  • avatar_comment

    amna.mirza17

    14/09/2017

    the band 6 speech is out of the worlllllddd. i never knew you could end a hsc creative writing peice in such a sarcastic manner that can burn the soulsss of the deadddddd. i wish i could be on this level of writting it has inspired me to write a speech maybe with the same structure, thankyouuuu soooo much for uploading this amazing peice, you have literallly changed my view on creative writting.

COMMENTS (1)

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