Writing 101: Creative Writing Techniques
Here are effective creative writing techniques to improve your writing
We all have countless stories inside us just waiting to be written and shared with others. With the help of our imagination and the might of the pen, we have the power to craft complex new worlds with just simple words, with black ink against white paper, and ultimately culminating in the reader’s mind.
While it is exciting to be a reader (imagine traveling to foreign places, meeting unique characters, and having fresh experiences!), there is something mightier to behold when you become a writer. In a way, you become a master, a creator, a god. You wield the power to create lives and destroy planets. And everything starts with a pen.
However, questions may still linger In your mind. How do you write creatively? Are there any creative writing tips and techniques out there? Well, these are about to be answered.
First, let us differentiate creative writing from all other writing. Know that it is not like any other writing. Broadly defined as a mean to pursue artistic ends through the written word, creative writing is any piece of writing that is apart from academic, journalistic, and technical writing. Works that typically fall under this category are novels, short stories, poems, and novels. However, when it comes to your own, do not limit yourself with just these forms. There are so many more for you to try and discover. Find out which ones you like writing best.
Here are a few effective creative writing techniques you can keep in mind.
- Show, don’t tell. This is the most beaten-up writing tip out there because almost every, if not all, writer has heard this. But how does one show and not tell? Showing entails creating strong mental images in the reader’s mind. So, instead of
“Thank you,” Joy said happily.
Write like this instead:
“Thank you.” Joy’s mouth pulled at the corners into a wide smile as she took the soft serve into her hands. Her gait had a light bounce as she walked away from the ice cream stall.
In comparison, telling is just a mere narration of events. It is passive, which makes the readers less involved in the story. So, to pull your readers deeper into your story, try showing more and telling less.
- Brush up on your grammar. This is one of the most important things when it comes to writing. You do not want to distract your reader from the story with terrible grammar that will have them groaning with every passing second. Once done with your draft, leave it alone for a few days. Take a break—celebrate, even, because you managed to finish something! When you are ready to look at it again, you will notice errors with fresh eyes. Of course, hire an editor. Every writer needs one.
- Know your audience. Though writing stems from the desire of self-expression, at some point, you may want to expand your horizon by sharing your work. When you do, ask yourself these important questions: For whom are you writing? Where do you see your writing appear? This is important because if you want to make a living out of your writing, your writing style must fit your target audience and market.
- Make time to write. Life will always get in the way, no matter what. Even so, set some time in your day and dedicate this solely for writing. Even thirty or even ten minutes a day can help build a habit that will ultimately be beneficial for you (and your writing).
Don’t wait to get inspired. If this is how you think, then you might as well never begin.
Share some creative writing techniques you learned from your experiences in the comments section below. Grab a copy of my book, Quasar, if you like contemporary adult science fiction humor. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Oxford Dictionaries. “5 Creative Writing Tips.” Accessed October 10, 2017. http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2015/07/improve-creative-writing-tips/.
Patel, Idress. n.d. “1 Year Later: How I Improved My Writing.” Writers’ Treasure. Accessed October 10, 2017. http://www.writerstreasure.com/how-i-improved-my-writing/.
The University of Vermont website. “Creative Writing.” n.d. Accessed October 10, 2017. https://www.uvm.edu/wid/writingcenter/tutortips/WritingCreativePage.pdf.
Jump, Shirley. n.d. “Show Not Tell: What the Heck is That Anyway?” Foremost Press. Accessed October 18, 2017. http://www.foremostpress.com/authors/articles/show_not_tell.html.