Are you bored of the mundane reality of writing purely for academic or professional purposes? Perhaps creative writing is in your future! And these tips on creative writing will help you get started.
Writing creatively is the simple answer to getting out of this slump. In this article, we will answer the question of ‘what is creative writing?’ the types you can try, and helpful tips on creative writing. So, if you’ve ever considered trying your hand at this fun activity, either as a passionate interest in your free time or even if you want to pursue it as a career, read on to find out how.
So, what is Creative Writing?
Before we dive into tips on creative writing, you should know exactly what it is! Creative writing is the art of putting your imagination and conveying it onto a piece of paper or computer. Like an artist would express their thoughts and feelings in a painting, creative writing turns those thoughts into words. It is nowhere near as restrictive as other writing.
The purpose of creative writing is to write stories, which can range from books, films, nonfiction, or even video games! It is a distinct act of communication, and everyone has a different style towards writing. For instance, there may be something on your mind that you want to tell people about. What should you do? Write. It. Down.
Why do Creative Writing?
Creative writing, like any other skill, is not something you learn overnight; it takes a lot of years of practice and reading. You may have even begun to write creatively when you were in school and did not realise it. Fortunately, there are ways to adapt this, especially if you are interested in pursuing it at college or as a degree. However, it does work differently compared to journalistic or academic writing, mainly because you have the power and control to create a unique piece of work, so long as you have a plan and therefore, a particular path of writing you wish to follow.
Types of creative writing you could pursue:
This is perhaps the quickest and easiest route you could take, as it can be done online, either on forums or by creating your own website and write blogs on there. You can voice your opinions or opportunities that you wish to offer to the world, and it can even be a place for you to practice your writing techniques. Websites such as Wix and SquareSpace are great places to get started, so be sure to make your site as inventive and bombastic as possible.
Stories are everywhere! Although you must be tempted to go all out and write a full-length novel, short stories are a better alternative for practicing your writing style. Short stories are an ideal way to learn how to create a short, concise storyline where you can keep track of the characters and plot points you want to write on. Additionally, there are always short story competitions on the radio or online, so it is worth checking those out too.
As well as blogs, there are freelancing websites that can aid you towards doing creative writing as a career prospect. These will help you to get funded for your research or suggest ideas on what to write about. Such websites include Fiverr and Upwork. Freelancers will always be on hand to help. Remember, they will have people like yourself rushing to them for help too. Make sure your response stands out, and reply consistently. They will not waste time chasing you if the potential is not there.
These are the most accessible option to take, as there are always classes available online. However, if you want to take it to an academic level, you can check UCAS for potential university choices to study as a degree. You should also consider Creative Writing diplomas that you can get involved with online.
How to start a creative writing career
Your biggest worry whilst reading this article may be that there are not many career opportunities in the field of creative writing, and that anyone who does it ends up going into teaching. But never fear, because if education is not what you are interested in, then there are many other areas you could pursue that might have slipped under your radar.
Companies are always looking for people to write articles or create content suitable for their business flyers. Unfortunately, creativity is a difficult technique to come across now, but if you have a keen eye for detail, companies will greatly appreciate you having that skill alone, but of course, you can only back this up with evidence.
In your spare time, you should consider crafting a portfolio of your creative pieces. Alternatively, you should run to social media and create content on TikTok or Instagram, for example, as this will prove to your potential employers that you are willing to craft something in your spare time to pursue your interests. There are no limits![iii]
Tips on Creative Writing
As previously mentioned, there are several techniques you should undertake in order to develop your writing skills further. However, it would be best if you do not rush with this, as you will overwhelm yourself with wanting to create the best story you can think of!
Instead, these tips on creative writing will help you to decide what route to take when writing creatively, and give you more of an idea where you should go next:
No matter what type of writing you decide to undertake, the plot is your bread and butter because, without it, there is no story. A journalist, for example, will have a plot of the events they are writing on. Of course, having a description is all good, but readers need a reason why they should read your story! Therefore, you should ask yourself when writing your story:
- What is the point of the story?
- Who is your target audience?
- Why are you writing it?
- And above all, how is it unique?
Once you underline these basics, you can begin crafting your story. Think of it like a mountain, where at the start is your beginning, and you build your way up towards a big event that will change the course of the story, and as you work your way down you will have your climax, and finally, your resolution.
As you begin your story, you will need characters the reader can relate to. They need to be believable and have understandable motives as to why they are involved in the plot. However, deciding what point of view your character will be seen from could take longer to master, depending on your preference. This could be in first (“I”, “Me,”), second (“you”) or third person (“we, “us”, “he/she”, “they”).
Everyone has their own style, and you will gradually craft yours with time. After all, the language is part of the appeal for the audience, so you will need to be very emotive, and you will want to control how people will feel whilst reading your piece, whether it’s happy, sad or even confused. Furthermore, dialogue will be essential in your writing, and needs to be realistic. After all, show, don’t tell.[i]
Most importantly, do not try to alter every little mistake you make on the first draft. That is the point in proofreading your work, and never beat yourself down when you send it off and get given negative feedback. Anyone can be a critic, but ultimately you are in charge of your story, so do not fear taking risks, if they pay off by the end of it and you are ready to publish, so try to avoid controversial subjects in your writing. Although writing controversially can be compelling, it can also attract the wrong audience, and will leave you more vulnerable to harsh criticism, and such topics include:
- Political views
Time to Get Started!
We hope we have answered all your burning questions and provided some good tips on creative writing so you are ready to go!
However, we can only give you the top tips on creative writing from general experience. In the end, you are the only one who can decide the best route to take with your writing. Getting involved with a course is also a helpful place to start, as you will be able to meet other like-minded writers who are still a novice, like yourself, in creative writing. These will help to better your writing skills, and to give feedback to others in writing workshops, but overall, it is a matter of finding what’s best for you. Nonetheless, the best of luck to whatever writing technique you wish to pursue, and although some days you will not feel like writing, give it a go anyway, and above all, be creative, and read, read, read!