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Writing advice for small business
11 Creative Writing Techniques
Learn how to add pizzazz to any type of writing.
The articles below show you how to use creative writing tools in fiction or non-fiction. Each article features a series of examples so it becomes easier to apply the technique.
List of creative writing techniques
Click the links below to go to a specific section:
Show don’t tell
Repetition in writing
Contrast in writing
The rule of three in writing
Learn how to use metaphors and get inspired by these examples …
Learn how to use metaphors >>
Metaphor examples >>
Get inspired by over 10 simile examples by various authors …
Simile examples >>
Get inspired by these analogy examples …
Analogy examples >>
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Get inspired by these imagery examples …
Imagery examples >>
Learn how to use personification to make your writing sparkle …
Personification examples >>
6. Show don’t tell
Get inspired by these examples of “show, don’t tell” …
Show don’t tell examples >>
7. Repetition in writing
Get inspired by these examples of word repetition …
Examples of repetition in writing >>
8. Contrast in writing
Discover how to use contrast in your writing …
Examples of contrast in writing >>
9. The rule of 3 in writing
Get inspired by these examples of the rule of 3 …
The rule of 3 in writing >>
10. Parallelism in writing
Get inspired by these examples of the parallelism …
Parallelism examples >>
11. Switch the point of view (POV)
Discover how to switch the point of view …
Point of view examples >>
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- Creativity Techniques
26+ Creative Writing Tips for Young Writers
So you want to be a writer? And not just any writer, you want to be a creative writer. The road to being a legendary storyteller won’t be easy, but with our creative writing tips for kids, you’ll be on the right track! Creative writing isn’t just about writing stories. You could write poems, graphic novels, song lyrics and even movie scripts. But there is one thing you’ll need and that is good creative writing skills.
Here are over 26 tips to improve your creative writing skills :
Read a wide range of books
When it comes to creative writing, reading is essential. Reading allows you to explore the styles of other writers and gain inspiration to improve your own writing. But don’t just limit yourself to reading only popular books or your favourites. Read all sorts of books, everything from fairytales to scary stories. Take a look at comics, short stories, novels and poetry. Just fill your heads with the knowledge and wisdom of other writers and soon you’ll be just like them!
Write about real-life events
The hardest thing about creative writing is connecting emotionally with your audience. By focusing your writing on real-life events, you know that in some way or another your readers will be able to relate. And with creative writing you don’t need to use real names or details – There are certain things you can keep private while writing about the rare details. Using real-life events is also a good way to find inspiration for your stories.
Be as crazy and wild as you like with your imagination. Create your world, your own monsters , or even your own language! The more imaginative your story, the more exciting it will be to read. Remember that there are no rules on what makes a good idea in creative writing. So don’t be afraid to make stuff up!
Find your writing style
Thes best writers have a particular style about them. When you think of Roald Dahl , you know his books are going to have a sense of humour. While with Dr Seuss , you’re prepared to read some funny new words . Alternatively, when you look at R.L.Stine, you know that he is all about the horror. Think about your own writing style. Do you want to be a horror writer? Maybe someone who always writes in the first person? Will always focus your books on your culture or a particular character?
Stick to a routine
Routine is extremely important to writers. If you just write some stuff here and there, it’s likely that you’ll soon give up on writing altogether! A strict routine means that every day at a certain time you will make time to write about something, anything. Even if you’re bored or can’t think of anything, you’ll still pick up that pencil and write. Soon enough you’ll get into the habit of writing good stuff daily and this is definitely important for anyone who wants to be a professional creative writer!
Know your audience
Writing isn’t just about thinking about your own interests, it’s also about thinking about the interests of your audience. If you want to excite fellow classmates, know what they like. Do they like football , monsters or a particular video game? With that knowledge, you can create the most popular book for your target audience. A book that they can’t stop reading and will recommend to others!
To keep your creative writing skills up to scratch it is important to keep practising every day. Even if you have no inspiration. At times when your mind is blank, you should try to use tools like writing prompts , video prompts or other ways of coming up with ideas . You could even take a look at these daily writing exercises as an example. We even created a whole list of over 100 creative writing exercises to try out when you need some inspiration or ideas.
Work together with others
Everyone needs a little help now and then. We recommend joining a writing club or finding other classmates who are also interested in writing to improve your own creative writing skills. Together you can share ideas, tips and even write a story together! A good storytelling game to play in a group is the “ finish the story” game .
Without feedback, you’ll never be able to improve your writing. Feedback, whether good or bad is important to all writers. Good feedback gives you the motivation to carry on. While bad feedback just gives you areas to improve and adapt your writing, so you can be the best! After every piece of writing always try to get feedback from it, whether it is from friends, family, teachers or an online writing community .
Enter writing competitions
The best way to improve your creative writing is by entering all sorts of writing competitions . Whether it’s a poetry competition or short story competition, competitions let you compete against other writers and even help you get useful feedback on your writing. Most competitions even have rules to structure your writing, these rules can help you prepare for the real world of writing and getting your work published. And not only that you might even win some cool prizes!
Keep a notebook
Every writer’s best friend is their notebook. Wherever you go make sure you have a notebook handy to jot down any ideas you get on the go. Inspiration can come from anywhere , so the next time you get an idea instead of forgetting about it, write it down. You never know, this idea could become a best-selling novel in the future.
Research your ideas
So, you got a couple of ideas for short stories. The next step is to research these ideas deeper.
Researching your ideas could involve reading books similar to your ideas or going online to learn more about a particular topic. For example, if you wanted to write a book on dragons, you would want to know everything about them in history to come up with a good, relatable storyline for your book.
Create Writing Goals
How do you know if your writing is improving over time? Simple – Just create writing goals for yourself. Examples of writing goals might include, to write 100 words every day or to write 600 words by the end of next week. Whatever your goals make sure you can measure them easily. That way you’ll know if you met them or not. You might want to take a look at these bullet journal layouts for writers to help you track the progress of your writing.
Follow your passions
Writing can be tedious and many people even give up after writing a few words. The only way you can keep that fire burning is by writing about your true passions. Whatever it is you enjoy doing or love, you could just write about those things. These are the types of things you’ll enjoy researching and already know so much about, making writing a whole lot more fun!
Don’t Settle for the first draft
You finally wrote your first story. But the writing process isn’t complete yet! Now it’s time to read your story and make the all-important edits. Editing your story is more than just fixing spelling or grammar mistakes. It’s also about criticising your own work and looking for areas of improvement. For example, is the conflict strong enough? Is your opening line exciting? How can you improve your ending?
Plan before writing
Never just jump into writing your story. Always plan first! Whether this means listing down the key scenes in your story or using a storyboard template to map out these scenes. You should have an outline of your story somewhere, which you can refer to when actually writing your story. This way you won’t make basic mistakes like not having a climax in your story which builds up to your main conflict or missing crucial characters out.
It’s strange the difference it makes to read your writing out aloud compared to reading it in your head. When reading aloud you tend to notice more mistakes in your sentences or discover paragraphs which make no sense at all. You might even want to read your story aloud to your family or a group of friends to get feedback on how your story sounds.
Pace your story
Pacing is important. You don’t want to just start and then quickly jump into the main conflict because this will take all the excitement away from your conflict. And at the same time, you don’t want to give the solution away too early and this will make your conflict too easy for your characters to solve. The key is to gradually build up to your conflict by describing your characters and the many events that lead up to the main conflict. Then you might want to make the conflict more difficult for your characters by including more than one issue in your story to solve.
Think about themes
Every story has a theme or moral. Some stories are about friendship, others are about the dangers of trusting strangers. And a story can even have more than one theme. The point of a theme is to give something valuable to your readers once they have finished reading your book. In other words, to give them a life lesson, they’ll never forget!
Use dialogue carefully
Dialogue is a tricky thing to get right. Your whole story should not be made up of dialogue unless you’re writing a script. Alternatively, it can be strange to include no dialogue at all in your story. The purpose of dialogue should be to move your story forward. It should also help your readers learn more about a particular character’s personality and their relationship with other characters in your book.
One thing to avoid with dialogue is… small talk! There’s no point in writing dialogue, such as “How’s the weather?”, if your story has nothing to do with the weather. This is because it doesn’t move your story along. For more information check out this guide on how to write dialogue in a story .
Write now, edit later
Writing is a magical process. Don’t lose that magic by focusing on editing your sentences while you’re still writing your story up. Not only could this make your story sound fragmented, but you might also forget some key ideas to include in your story or take away the imagination from your writing. When it comes to creative writing, just write and come back to editing your story later.
Ask yourself questions
Always question your writing. Once done, think about any holes in your story. Is there something the reader won’t understand or needs further describing? What if your character finds another solution to solving the conflict? How about adding a new character or removing a character from your story? There are so many questions to ask and keep asking them until you feel confident about your final piece.
Create a dedicated writing space
Some kids like writing on their beds, others at the kitchen table. While this is good for beginners, going pro with your writing might require having a dedicated writing space. Some of the basics you’ll need is a desk and comfy chair, along with writing materials like pens, pencils and notebooks. But to really create an inspiring place, you could also stick some beautiful pictures, some inspiring quotes from writers and anything else that will keep you motivated and prepared.
Beware of flowery words
Vocabulary is good. It’s always exciting when you learn a new word that you have never heard before. But don’t go around plotting in complicated words into your story, unless it’s necessary to show a character’s personality. Most long words are not natural sounding, meaning your audience will have a hard time relating to your story if it’s full of complicated words from the dictionary like Xenophobia or Xylograph .
Create believable characters
Nobody’s perfect. And why should your story characters be any different? To create believable characters, you’ll need to give them some common flaws as well as some really cool strengths. Your character’s flaws can be used as a setback to why they can’t achieve their goals, while their strengths are the things that will help win over adversity. Just think about your own strengths and weaknesses and use them as inspirations for your storybook characters. You can use the Imagine Forest character creator to plan out your story characters.
Show, don’t tell
You can say that someone is nice or you can show them how that person is nice. Take the following as an example, “Katie was a nice girl.” Now compare that sentence to this, “Katie spent her weekends at the retirement home, singing to the seniors and making them laugh.”. The difference between the two sentences is huge. The first one sounds boring and you don’t really know why Katie is nice. While in the second sentence, you get the sense that Katie is nice from her actions without even using the word nice in the sentence!
Make the conflict impossible
Imagine the following scenario, you are a championship boxer who has won many medals over the year and the conflict is…Well, you got a boxing match coming up. Now that doesn’t sound so exciting! In fact, most readers won’t even care about the boxer winning the match or not!
Now imagine this scenario: You’re a poor kid from New Jersey, you barely have enough money to pay the bills. You never did any professional boxing, but you want to enter a boxing competition, so you can win and use the money to pay your bills.
The second scenario has a bigger mountain to climb. In other words, a much harder challenge to face compared to the character in the first scenario. Giving your characters an almost impossible task or conflict is essential in good story-telling.
Write powerful scenes
Scenes help build a picture in your reader’s mind without even including any actual pictures in your story. Creating powerful scenes involves more than describing the appearance of a setting, it’s also about thinking about the smell, the sounds and what your characters are feeling while they are in a particular setting. By being descriptive with your scenes, your audience can imagine themselves being right there with characters through the hard times and good times!
There’s nothing worse than an ending which leaves the reader feeling underwhelmed. You read all the way through and then it just ends in the most typical, obvious way ever! Strong endings don’t always end on a happy ending. They can end with a sad ending or a cliff-hanger. In fact, most stories actually leave the reader with more questions in their head, as they wonder what happens next. This then gives you the opportunity to create even more books to continue the story and keep your readers hooked for life (or at least for a very long time)!
Over 25 creative writing tips later and you should now be ready to master the art of creative writing! The most important tip for all you creative writers out there is to be imaginative! Without a good imagination, you’ll struggle to wow your audience with your writing skills. Do you have any more creative writing tips to share? Let us know in the comments!
Marty the wizard is the master of Imagine Forest. When he's not reading a ton of books or writing some of his own tales, he loves to be surrounded by the magical creatures that live in Imagine Forest. While living in his tree house he has devoted his time to helping children around the world with their writing skills and creativity.
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- 7 Techniques from Creative Writing You Can Use to Improve Your Essays
You wouldn’t have thought that essays have much in common with creative writing.
You should also read…
- How to Improve Your English Writing Skills
- How to Write Dazzlingly Brilliant Essays
Creative writing , by definition, involves being ‘creative’: making things up, letting your imagination run wild. Essays are about being factual and objective, communicating ideas and arguments in the clearest way possible and attempting to enhance the reader’s knowledge, rather than their imagination. But while the literary devices and colourful tales we associate with creative writing are indeed out of place in an essay, these two very different kinds of writing actually have a few similarities. Above all, they’re both meant to be read by other people, and that means that they need to sustain the reader’s interest. So, are there any writing techniques you can borrow from creative writing to help make your essays more interesting and original? Yes there are, and in this article, we’re going to show you how.
1. Think about your reader
With creative writing, as with any kind of writing, your reader is your most important consideration. You need to know and understand whom you’re writing for if you’re to do a good job of keeping them interested. Let’s think for a moment about the kind of person you’re writing for when you’re writing an essay and what you need to do to write specifically for them:
- Teachers or university lecturers – they’re going to be marking your essay, so it needs to answer the question effectively.
- They’ve set the question and they probably have a pretty good idea of how you’re going to answer it – so be original and unpredictable; catch them by surprise with an unusual approach or structure.
- They’re going to be reading many other responses to the same question – so they may well be bored by the time they get to yours. Keep them interested!
- They’re probably going to be pressed for time – so they won’t have time to reread badly written passages to try to understand what you’re getting at. Keep your writing easy to read, succinct and to the point.
What all these points boil down to is the importance of keeping your reader interested in what you have to say. Since creative writing is all about holding the reader’s interest, there must be some lessons to be learned from it and techniques that can be applied within the more limited style constraints of the academic essay. We’ll now turn to what these are.
2. Three-act structure
The three-act structure is a writing device used extensively in modern writing, including for film and television dramas. These ‘acts’ aren’t as distinct as acts in a play, as one follows seamlessly on from another and the audience wouldn’t consciously realise that one act had ended and another began. The structure refers to a plotline that looks something like this:
- Set-up – establishes the characters, how they relate to each other, and the world they inhabit. Within this first ‘act’, a dramatic occurrence called an ‘inciting incident’ takes place (typically around 19 minutes into a film) involving the principal character. They try to deal with it, but this results in another dramatic occurrence called a ‘turning point’. This sets the scene for the rest of the story.
- Confrontation – the turning point in the previous ‘act’ becomes the central problem, which the main character attempts to resolve – usually with plenty of adversity thrown their way that hampers their efforts. In a murder mystery, for example, this act would involve the detective trying to solve the murder. The central character – with the help of supporting characters – undergoes a journey and develops their knowledge, skills or character to a sufficient degree to be able to overcome the problem.
- Resolution – the climax of the story, in which the drama reaches a peak, the problem is overcome, and loose ends are tied up.
This structure sounds all very well for made-up stories, but what has it got to do with essay-writing? The key similarities here are:
- The central argument of your essay is the equivalent of the main character.
- The essay equivalent of the set-up and resolution are the introduction and conclusion.
- The inciting incident in an essay encourages you to get to the point early on in the essay.
- The equivalent of character development in the second act is developing your argument.
- The equivalent of the supporting characters is the evidence you refer to in your essay.
So, applying the three-act structure to an essay gives you something like this:
- Set-up – the introduction. This establishes what you’re talking about, setting the scene. The ‘inciting incident’ could be the introduction of evidence that contradicts a common theory, or the highlighting of a central disagreement in how something is interpreted.
- Confrontation – you discuss the different problems surrounding the topic you’re writing about. You develop the argument using various bits of evidence, moving towards an overall conclusion.
- Resolution – the conclusion. You summarise and resolve the argument with your own opinion, by coming down on one side or the other, having weighed up the evidence you’ve discussed. You could perhaps tie up loose ends by offering an alternative explanation for evidence that doesn’t sit with your conclusion.
Using this structure keeps you focused on the central point, and stops you from waffling, because everything you write is working towards resolving your argument. The use of the inciting incident in the first ‘act’ encourages you to get to the point early on in your essay, thereby keeping the reader interested. The principles of good plot-writing are centred around the connection between different events that show cause and effect, and this central tenet of the three-act structure has obvious parallels with the way in which essays work through presenting evidence in support of arguments.
3. An attention-grabbing opening
An oft-spouted piece of advice in creative writing is to use an attention-grabbing opening. One way of doing this is to start with a ‘flashback’, which could disrupt the chronology of events by transporting the reader directly back to the midst of the action, so that the story begins with maximum excitement. In a murder mystery, for instance, the writer might skip a slow build-up and instead use the murder itself to form the opening of the novel, with the rest of the story charting the efforts of the detective to uncover the perpetrator and perhaps telling the events prior to the murder in a series of flashbacks. The same principle can be applied to essays, though it’s easier to use in some subjects than others. To take an example, let’s say you were writing about how the First World War started. Rather than building up slowly with the various factors, an attention-grabbing opening could (briefly) describe the drama of the Battle of the Somme, perhaps citing some statistics about the number of men involved and killed, and quoting some war poetry about the horrors faced by the soldiers on the Front Line. Then, to introduce the purpose of the essay and launch into your argument about what started the war, a phrase such as, “It seems hard to imagine that all this began with…”. Alternatively, a rhetorical question: “But how did these tens of thousands of soldiers end up in the mud and horror of trench warfare? The story begins several years earlier, with…” It may not be the standard way of writing an essay, but you’ll certainly score points for originality and perhaps ruffle a few feathers.
4. Extended metaphors
Creative writing often makes use of extended metaphors. For example, when Shakespeare wrote the passage in Romeo and Juliet referring to “It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!” he was using an extended metaphor. With this in mind, it’s time to revisit a point we made in a previous article about writing more original essays , in which we argued that, rather than battling on with trying to explain a complex concept in a straightforward way, it might be easier to use an analogy to convey the meaning by drawing comparisons, which people find easier to understand. A metaphor is a kind of analogy, so the similarities with creative writing are strong here. In our previous article we used the example of radioactive decay. An analogy for this is the pressure with which water escapes from a hole in a bucket. It does so exponentially, just as radioactive substances decay exponentially. In both instances, the rate of a consumptive process depends on how much there is left of whatever is being depleted, which results in an exponential rate of decay. This concept is so much easier to explain using the analogy of water flowing from a hole in a bucket, as you give your reader something familiar to visualise in order to explain a concept with which they are unfamiliar.
5. Interesting details about setting and location
Another way of keeping your reader interested is to bring your essay to life with details about setting and location, just as creative writers do. Essays can become quite dry if you focus solely on the academic problems, but you can make them more interesting by peppering them with details. This may not work quite so well for a scientific essay, but it’s certainly relevant for some humanities subjects, in particular English literature, history and archaeology. For example, an essay about the Roman emperor Augustus could mention that he lived a famously modest lifestyle, quoting details from Roman writers and archaeological evidence that support this: Suetonius mentions his “low bed” (interesting because of what it says about accepted standards of Roman beds!) and coarse bread and cheese diet, and the relatively small and non-lavish remains of his house on the Palatine Hill in Rome back up the idea of his having lived a modest life. Incidental details like these can actually prove to be more significant than you initially realise, and you can use them to build your argument; in the case of Augustus, for example, his modest lifestyle is particularly important when seen in the context of Rome’s troubled history with kings. As he gradually acquired more power and became Rome’s first emperor, he had to avoid coming across as being too ‘regal’, and the little details we know about his way of life are significant in light of this. So, not only have you brought your essay to life, but you’ve raised an interesting point, too.
Few writers get it right first time . Once you’ve written a first draft, read through it and think about whether the order of your points is optimal and whether what you’ve written actually makes sense. It’s easy in the age of computers to chop and change – you can simply copy and paste part of your essay into another part where it might fit better, and then make minor changes to your wording so that it flows. After you’ve finished editing, have a final read through and check that you’re happy with the wording. Don’t forget to proofread to ensure that your spelling and grammar is impeccable!
7. And finally… record your ideas
Creative writers swear by having a notebook with them at all times, ready to jot down any ideas that suddenly spring to mind. You can adopt the same principle for your essay-writing, because you never know when the inspiration might strike. Have a think about your essay topic when you’re out and about; you’d be surprised what occurs to you when you’re away from your normal place of study. As you can see, there are more similarities between two apparently unrelated kinds of writing than you might have realised. It is, of course, possible to go too far with the creative writing idea when you’re essay-writing: literary devices aren’t always appropriate, and your essay still needs to retain objectivity and conform to the more formal conventions of academic writing. But there are certainly techniques to be borrowed from creative writing that will help your essays stand out from the crowd and give your teacher or lecturer a welcome break from the monotony of essay-marking.
See also our fabulous guide explaining more about ” What is Creative Writing ”.
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Creative writing techniques that really work
Creative writing techniques are hard to pin down, as writers are all so different. But which are useful to the beginner? Here are 5 practical techniques that my creative writing students have found most helpful.
1. Beginning, middle, end
This is a well-worn writing mantra, but what does it really mean? Every piece of writing begins and ends, after all. So just having a ‘beginning, middle and end’ itself isn’t enough. It’s the quality of each that counts.
The beginning has one job to do, and that’s to pull the reader in. It’s a bit like inviting someone to dance, old-style. You need to attract their attention, take them by the hand, and lead them onto the floor.
Once you’ve got their attention and persuaded them to stay with you, the middle begins. Stories are essentially a character’s journey from A to B, with obstacles in the way. So the middle, too, has an underlying shape that pulls the reader through. As long as you create that sense of narrative traction, the reader will stay with you.
Endings are the feeling the reader goes away with. They have an impact way out of proportion to their length. Imagine a theatre audience going out into the night, and the feelings they carry with them on the way home. The chat and discussion they’ll have with each other. The thoughts that mill in your head. That’s the job of the ending.
Thinking about “beginning, middle and end” in an experiential way like this is a useful technique for helping you to focus on the reader.
You’re building a relationship, not just transmitting information. Try thinking of seduction, sustain and farewell , rather than beginning, middle and end .
Read on for more about each element.
2. Writing a strong start
Creative writing techniques often mention story hooks . It’s true – you do need to attract the reader’s attention. But a hook doesn’t need to be a big, flashy event. It just needs to intrigue the reader into reading on. That’s its main job.
So, does your first paragraph intrigue the reader? Does it create tension, ask a question or arouse curiosity in some way? Does it have a visual element that starts to build the world for the reader?
The commonest problem I see is story openings with far too much information. For example, the writer has introduced three or four characters in the first paragraph. Or, they’ve written a page in one character viewpoint or location, then hopped quickly to another.
It’s as though the writer is so excited and full of ideas that everything spills out at once.
But too much information at once can overwhelm the reader. It takes time for readers to settle into a story, tune into it properly, and to get to know characters.
Writers need tight control of how information unfolds. Think of leading the reader on a journey, rather than bombarding them in a scattergun way.
It’s often helpful for writers to concentrate on just “three things”, to give their opening a tight focus. A character, a place, an object .
And then a direction of travel or transformation – from x to x .
This clarity will give you the foundation for writing a scene. The narrow focus will help the reader to get to know the character more easily. A single compelling character in the opening paragraph is more engaging than three or four glanced over.
3. Write a mighty middle
Creative writing techniques for the middle of stories are hard to pin down. However, a lack tension is by far the commonest problem. This happens even in stories with loads of action. In fact, high-action stories without character change can be the most boring and lifeless of all.
The middle of a story needs character change, pivot or transformation. If this doesn’t happen, the story is linear – in a straight line. Even if there’s plenty of action, and an escalating plot, it’s still linear.
Structurally, this kind of story is more like a report or anecdote .
In a well-shaped story, the story has a major hinge or turning-point where the character undergoes a significant transformation.
They do this by confronting challenges, and emerging changed from the encounter. If they don’t evolve in this way, it’s hard to connect deeply with them as readers. And it’s hard to care. A story without a character change doesn’t have a point. It’s just a list of events.
A feeling of connection comes from identifying with the character at some level, and experiencing some of their inner conflict and change by proxy .
To create a mighty middle with this kind of change, it can be useful to think of stories as having a ‘beginning, muddle, end’.
If you make the middle messy for your character, giving them inner as well as outer conflict, they can grow and show what they’re made of.
To do this, put them under pressure. Give them a tough decision to make. And make sure the stakes are high .
Choices determine character. Give your character difficult choices, and the middle will have the knotty quality it needs for a strong story shape.
For example, your heroine wants to leave their hometown to pursue their dream. But to do this, they need to leave their loved one behind. What do they decide? This kind of dilemma is at the heart of the movie It’s a Wonderful Life .
4. Write a resonant ending
The ending is the impression your readers are left with. It leaves a disproportionate effect on how they feel about your book. So it needs really careful thought.
Note – the end of a narrative isn’t the same as the climax.
The climax is the high point of the action – say, when the hero says goodbye to his lover, or the evil antagonist dies.
After this high point, the reader needs “comedown” time. Time to process events. If the story ends too abruptly, the reader won’t feel satisfied.
If the high point is the climax, think of the ending as the afterglow.
This doesn’t mean tying all the plot strands off neatly. It just means giving a sense of closure, to ease the reader out of the story world.
Think about how you want your audience to feel when they finish reading. Thoughtful? Happy? Devastated? Bereft?
Read the endings of your favourite stories and analyse them.
How do they make you feel? How has the writer achieved that effect?
Of course, the final moment needs to be “earned” through the story as a whole.
But the very last sentence and paragraph have a disproportionate effect on how readers feel on leaving the story.
So consider the emotional tone you want to leave in the air.
Even the very last word can transform the reader’s experience. I once heard a radio play about a curmudgeonly old judge who seemed to have a difficult relationship with his wife. But his very last word to her was “darling”. In a single word, he redeemed himself. The author left us with a feeling of hope about the characters. It was a tremendously powerful choice.
It’s often effective to write an ending which has a sense of opening out or possibility. That way, the story can stir questions in the reader, and resonate on in their minds.
For example, a departure is the start of a new journey. Closing a shop opens up a new phase of life. See if you can find a way to introduce a note of “onwards” to extend the life of your story in your readers’ minds.
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5. Use objects to dramatise story action
One of the most powerful creative writing techniques I teach is how to use objects in your fiction. Objects big and small are a great way to bring a story to life, and dramatise the action and conflict between characters. Whether big objects such as houses, cars, sofas or trees, or small objects such as rings, books, feathers or eggs, they can have great power.
Why objects are powerful in storytelling? Because they’re external to the characters. When you put the characters on opposite sides of the object, you’ve instantly created a dynamic relationship.
For example: both characters want the ring with equal passion. Or, one character wants to protect the egg, the other to break it and eat it. One character can read the secrets in the book. The other can’t, but wants to.
Right away, you’ve created conflict between the characters.
Try starting a story just with an object and two characters. Choose an object and brainstorm verbs that characters can use to interact with it (eg throw, lose, break, discover…).
Try pairing the verbs with actions of opposite force (throw/catch; break/mend; lose/find; discover/conceal). Maybe these actions can bookend the story?
Using objects with verbs like this is a way of dramatizing internal conflict. Think of the movie The Piano and the way the piano is used in different ways, broken apart, floating, and even played as an instrument!
Objects can also be used in rituals. Rings and birthday cakes are classic examples. So are gifts, crowns, and many kinds of clothing.
Familiar rituals are useful because they can act as a handy shorthand for the status quo .
We all know what a typical birthday or archetypal wedding is meant to be like. That’s why a “disruption at the wedding” scene creates strong tension in movies.
Look at the objects associated with familiar rituals and see whether you can disrupt their use in a new way.
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When You Write
Essential Creative Writing Tips and Techniques
Creative writing has no written formula and no immutable laws, you just need a good imagination and good writing skills.
And you’re good to go!
Creative writing presents us with fewer tethers than other forms of writing. This means that we have more liberty when we want to express our imagination artistically.
With all this freedom, defining and serving creative writing techniques is a bit hard, and some tips are frowned upon as they seem to infringe upon the liberties of some creative writers.
Still, some writers need guidance.
So, I have taken it upon myself to be this guide and dish out much-needed tips and discuss some creative writing techniques.
If you’ve been looking for guidance and insight, here’s a no-frills article full of practical tips on creative writing for you.
What Is Creative Writing?
Creative writing is writing that uses imagination , creativity, and mastery of the art of writing to evoke emotion in a reader.
It could be a fictional story, a nonfiction piece, or movie script, a play, a poem, et cetera. Creative writing oftentimes springs up from experimentation and good, imaginative use of knowledge and ideas.
One of the things that make creative writing different from other forms of writing is the underlying message or theme. Unlike other forms of writing, creative writing sometimes hides a message under the entertaining, saddening, or horrifying part of the written content.
Other archetypal elements of creative writing include creating an emotional connection with the reader (and sometimes evoking a response), having a deliberate point of view, using a narrative structure, and use of imaginative and descriptive language.
What Isn’t Creative Writing?
Whatever lacks the elements I just listed isn’t creative writing. Written pieces such as company reports, statements, and other professional communications aren’t regarded as creative writing.
Similarly, personal documents and communications such as emails, social media content, and personal communications all fit in the non-creative writing category.
In addition to that, research papers and pieces that are in the “Academic Writing” category do not qualify as creative writing.
Most often the type of content that I have listed is devoid of deliberate themes. Often, these types of pieces have goals similar to those prevalent in creative writing, but they’re presented differently.
But—as a reminder to myself or you, the reader—I would like to say that they’re blurred boundaries in some forms of content. For example, we can’t outrightly classify content such as blog posts as creative writing non-creative. Blog content belongs to a broader category that is as flexible as creative writing itself.
Therefore, you would have to analyze the elements of each blog post to see if they fit a particular category.
Forms of Creative Writing
Given the freedom that creative writing gets, it is just right that it takes many forms.
Here are some of the forms of creative writing:
This is one of the most popular forms of creative writing. Novels are also the first thing people think about when it comes to books (apart from academicians who are religiously into textbooks).
Novels are extended fictional works in prose that usually (or always?) come in the form of a story.
Most of them are in the range of 50,000 to 150,000 words, but some are told in less than 50,000 and others extend beyond 150,000.
Pieces that are too short to qualify as novels and too long to qualify as short stories automatically qualify as novellas and novelettes.
Novellas often fall in the range of 10,000-40,000 words, while novelettes generally have a word count of 7,500-19,000 words.
Word count boundaries are usually varied—and they are oftentimes at the discretion of the publisher or competition organizers.
Short stories as the name suggests are on the other end (the shorter word count end) of the fiction word count spectrum.
Short stories generally fall between 2,500 and 7,500 words but sometimes extend to 10,000 words.
Unlike novels, short stories tell stories with fewer characters, details, and backstories, among other deficiencies.
Then there are other forms of short fiction told in 1,000 words, and they’re called flash fiction and micro-fiction.
The unrestricted and spontaneous nature of poetry embodies the artistic multifariousness of creative writing.
Poetry is as emotional as it is rebellious—and word counts and rhyming rarely matter for poems, i.e., those in the free verse category.
There are different types of poems such as sonnets, haikus, sestinas, limericks, and free verses.
The spontaneous nature of poetry does connote lawlessness. The thing is, the different types of poetry originated from different cultures around the world and many come with rules.
However, for most of these types of poetry, the rules are adaptable. A few types such as haikus have specific rules on the number of lines or structure.
Plus, just because there aren’t many rules governing the structure, content, and length of poetry it doesn’t mean that you can brush aside the use of perfect grammar, the importance of POV, the need for a theme, and the need to evoke the reader’s emotions.
TV scripts, stage play scripts, and screenplays
This category comprises stage plays and scripts for films, television programs, and other types of video content.
A majority of content in this category has a lot in common with novels and short stories. Although different scripts have different formatting requirements, they carry a message or central theme and try to appeal to their audience’s emotions.
In a way, these scripts depart from the highly descriptive nature of novels and short stories. There’s much more dialogue in scripts with a bit of stage or scene directions in stage plays screenplays.
Creative writing doesn’t always have to be works of fiction, some nonfiction also qualifies as creative writing.
Here are some of the works that can be called creative nonfiction:
- Lyric essays
- Humor Writing
- Literary Journalism
Tips and Techniques for Creative Writing
1. read widely and learn from other writers.
You can improve by focusing on looking at your writing only. If you want to be a good creative writer, you have to read.
When you read other people’s work, you discover other writing styles and get inspired in the process.
There are lots of reading resources on creative writing out there. You can find books, essays, blog articles, and video content covering different aspects of creative writing.
Some works will comprise fiction and nonfiction pieces (novels, short stories, poetry, lyrical essays. Et cetera) while others seek to cover interviews and personal essays that talk about the authors’ creative processes.
2. Benefit from Your Imagination
A wild imagination represents superiority for creative writers, especially fiction writers.
This is the only time you’re allowed to play god!
By using a crazy imagination you can conceive an exciting story, build a unique world, and come up with convincing, never-imagined-before characters.
Heck! You can even create your own language!
Be as imaginative as you can be, even going into a trance, and create a creative piece using your own rules!
3. Focus on Understanding and Improving Yourself as a Writer
You cannot improve something you don’t fully understand; therefore, you have to understand your strengths and weaknesses as a writer to become a better writer.
I wrote an article on this, explaining some general strengths and weaknesses that writers have. As a creative writer, you have to identify problem areas such as bad sense of rhythm, dodgy flow, lack of creativity, et cetera.
As a creative writer, there are things you must have in your armory, such as a rich and relevant vocabulary, organized writing, and a unique writing style (which also happens to be the next tip on the list).
4. Develop or Discover a Unique Writing Style
Creative writers are better off seeking inspiration from other creative writers while trying to follow their path.
In short: study other writers, but develop your writing style. Take a look at all the best, and you’ll discover that most of them developed a unique style.
So, have your writing style. And, it should fit the niche you want to specialize in—if it’s horror, a befitting style. You could also focus on developing vibrant writing full of eccentric characters.
Likewise, you could become a writer who always writes in a specific POV.
5. Create Space for Creative Writing and Stick to a routine
Writing routinely and total focus are tremendously important for creative writers. If you’re a spontaneous writer who scarcely writes and only writes whenever they feel like it, you’re bound to fail as a writer!
You need to have a schedule and some working space. The ideas might come spontaneously and anywhere, but it’s hard to write without proper planning and a distraction-free setting.
It’s unproductive trying to squeeze writing into your day.
When you start writing routinely, in a ‘comfortable’ place, creative writing becomes natural. Even when you’re out of ideas experiencing writer’s block, you have to practice the habit of writing stuff daily—just write some fluff if you’re bored.
6. Know your audience
“Why do you write?”
The most popular answer to the question is, “because I love it!”
But if the question was rephrased and we asked “why do you publish your works?” the previous answer would be ‘half true.’
You write because it’s the love of your life and you publish for your audience. So, creative writing isn’t always about you, but your fans too.
You have to know what your readers are like. Even when you haven’t published a single piece, it’s easy to research readers’ interests using web-based analytics resources.
Armed with this knowledge, you can craft a piece that strikes a chord with your target audience, with a high potential of becoming a bestseller.
7. Always Start and End Strong
Our English teacher constantly reminded us that when she was going through our essays, she started with the introduction and summary before moving to the body.
“They’re the most important parts of your essay.” She’d always say.
Later, I found out that this applied to almost every form of writing.
Your readers want your piece to either start with a bang or catch their attention. Once the reader feels underwhelmed, they won’t read all the way through.
Strong endings are just as important, but it doesn’t mean that you always have to end on a happy note. You can close on a sad note or give them a cliffhanger.
As long as you effectively use your imagination and the end doesn’t turn out to be a clichéd one.
The Best Books on Creative Writing
- 1. Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot that Grips Readers from Start to Finish by James Scott Bell
- 2. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
- 3. The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
- 4. On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser
Writing—whatever form it takes—isn’t a simple chore, but as hard as it is, it is also fun!
The goal is always to become a better writer and learn different techniques that will make our content impactful.
Every writer should fear stagnation and continue learning. Utilize today’s easy access to resources, read, ask for help, and let your wild imagination run loose.
While there’s no fixed formula in creative writing, tips from experienced writers will help you improve in some areas.
So, always be inquisitive and reach out to other writers.
Crafting an original work of fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction takes time, practice, and persistence.
Crafting compelling game stories: a guide to video game writing, how to write a murder mystery: figuring out whodunit, good story starters for your next bestseller, 100 fluff prompts that will inspire creativity.
Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.
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© 2023 When You Write
Top 13 Creative Writing Techniques for Beginners
Creative writing is a type of writing that makes things up, rather than academic or technical writing. it connects the hearts of the writer to that of the reader. there are multiple forms of creative writing. therefore, creative writing is a vast field and it is very hard to summarize it. there are numerous creative writing techniques. however, the basic creative writing techniques are a fundamental set of rules which one needs to follow while crafting a piece of creative masterpiece, be it poetry, story, or novel..
- What is creative writing?
- Types of Creative Writing
- Creative writing Techniques
What is Creative Writing?
Creative writing is a kind of craft – the art of making things up. You may have heard it called other things, but it is typically referred to as literature. It’s about writing that isn’t academic or technical yet nevertheless appeals to a broad audience.
Though the term is a little ambiguous, creative writing is often defined as any writing that is unique and self-expressive. A news article, for example, is not creative writing because its primary objective is to report facts rather than to express the writer’s feelings.
So while a news item might be amusing, its primary goal is to provide information. Technically, creative writing can be defined as any work of original composition; in this manner, it is a more mainstream and process-oriented name for what has traditionally been referred to as literature, including its different genres.
The goal of creative writing is to entertain as well as relate human feelings such as love and sadness. Writers use poetics and storytelling to try to reach the truth about humanity.
Types of Creative Writing Include
Creative writing is a broad spectrum of articles, stories, incidents, memoirs, essays. The soul of creative writing is the creative writing techniques one follows. It’s no wonder that creative writing takes a number of different forms, given that it’s often innovative, personalized, experimental, and original in nature.
Let’s Look at Some of the Most Common Examples of This Type of Writing:
- Movie and television scripts
- Fiction (novels, novellas, and short stories)
- Personal essays
In its broadest meaning, creative writing entails novel approaches to the development of ideas that can aid in the creation of content. The goal is to consistently lower barriers to writing and so make it easier to create inventive compositions.
Creative writing is also utilized in psychology as a form of therapy that increases self-awareness, allows for self-expression, and generates literary work. However, creative writing can be very personalized, unique, and experimental, there are certain creative writing techniques, one needs to follow to streamline the writing.
Creative Writing Techniques
Creative writing techniques are the most fundamental tools that a writer must learn to instill in his or her personality as a writer. It will be much more difficult to succeed as a creative writer if you lack these skills. So, what are these fundamental abilities that distinguish a creative writer?
Because creative writing is essentially about conveying stories about the human experience, you’ll want to make your story one that people can relate to. Here are the most practical creative writing techniques that can be helpful if you are a beginner in the field.
1. Knowing Your Niche: Be Zealous
Every writer is born associated with a particular amount and type of talent. What makes all the difference is what we do with that talent! Passion for one’s art or craft is the definition of talent. We all have innate talent as well as acquired talent. If you possess a strong desire to write, you have a passion, and that is a great start.
Passion, on the other hand, does not ensure success. To improve your writing , you must put in a lot of effort. Continue to write a regular, disciplined writing schedule. Perfect practice makes a creative writer a perfectionist.
However, you can’t write about everything or anything perfectly, and you must have a particular niche. Niche is the field in which you can write flawlessly (with practice or talent). If you feel you have a flair for creative writing, you must genuinely find out your expertise or niche.
2. Knowing Your Audience and Understanding Their Emotions
For a creative writer, it is essential to know about the audience to whom they are planning to serve the delectable piece. Knowing and understanding human emotions and utilizing them wisely is an important creative writing technique a writer must possess or master.
Also Read: Scope of Creative Writing
3. Decide a Plot: Make a Playground
Once you found your niche and learned about your audience, you need to outline the plot for the piece you are planning to write. For example, if you are planning to write a poem (niche) for children (audience), you need to outline what tone the poem should follow.
If you are writing a story, an essay, or a poem, the background is an essential plot to weave the story, novel, or poem around it. Once you have chosen a background, you can have an easy flow of brainstorming, and things will come easily. However, while writing a story base, it can sometimes be difficult to come up with a character’s backstory.
In such scenarios, consider persons you know well who have told you some real-life incident or you have witnessed some personal stories about their lives. You can easily relate to the events once you have focused on those events or stories.
Character backstories drawn from your own life and people you know and reading about the origins of prominent public personalities will assist you in creating characters with a credible sense of history.
5. Beginning, Middle, End: Make a Sumptuous Three-course Meal
So, any piece of creative writing possesses a beginning, middle, and an end or climax. So simply having a three-course meal with ‘beginning, middle, and end’ is insufficient until it is flavorsome. What matters is the quality of each. The beginning or introduction should have a stronghold, and it should be able to engage the reader to continue reading.
It should be engaging, interesting, and encouraging. So, the sole purpose of the beginning is to entice the reader to continue reading, for example, offering your guests a flavorsome hot soup that can keep them engaged till the next course of the meal.
You must draw the reader’s attention, take them to your plot and submerge them with the piece. The middle begins once you’ve gotten their attention and encouraged them to stay with you. Stories are essentially a character’s journey from point A to point B, complete with difficulties.
As a result, the midsection has an underlying shape that draws the reader in. A reader’s sentiments after finishing a book are known as endings. It depends on what end you want to put to your story, but make sure you leave some mark. Consider the audience coming out of a movie theatre and the feelings they take with them on the way home.
The story you told or the poem you said should have an impactful ending, generating some brainstorming in the audience. The ideas that pass through your head while playing with the ending climax can shape up a happy, sad, or mysterious ending. The ending has to do just that.
This type of experiential thinking about “beginning, middle, and end” is a good strategy for helping you focus on the reader. Not only are you sending information, but you’re also developing a relationship. So instead of the beginning, middle, and end, consider seduction, maintenance, and farewell. You can do so by employing some of the following tactics and literary devices.
Here are the best Content Writing Tools
6. Dialogue: Let Them Talk Themselves and Depict the Story
If you’re writing a narrative, a novel, or a screenplay, including character conversations can help them come to life. It engages and connects with the reader while also propelling the plot forward without relying only on the narrator. Ernest Hemingway used this strategy frequently.
He made his characters do most of the talking, which helped to make them more accessible and realistic. In addition, he was known for his straightforward, clear manner. A good conversation might seem authentic, but it should also serve a function for the tale to flow naturally.
7. Metaphors and Similes Work Wonders
As a creative writer, you might adopt this creative step to use imaginative language in your prose, providing vivid descriptions to elicit emotion in the reader. This is a common technique in many types of creative writing, and it is frequently accomplished using some literary devices such as similes and metaphors .
For example, Emily Dickinson writes:
- Hope is the thing with feathers
- That perches in the soul,
- And sings the tune,
- And never stops at all
So, in this poem, Emily Dickinson uses the bird as a metaphor, and how beautifully she captures the essence of life “hope” using this metaphor. Rather than utilizing plain adjectives, Similes use comparisons to generate images for the reader. Red as roses, pink as lotus, cool as a cucumber, or cold as ice, just simple similes, and the reader can already resonate with the zest of the piece or sentence.
While similes might help us visualize a scenario more vividly, they can also be subjective. Because similes rely on association, one word may have multiple connotations for different readers, depending on the author’s intent. Similarly, the identical similes might sometimes paint a different picture for the reader.
Because metaphors can explain something complex in more universal yet straightforward words, they can be a shortcut to understanding a text. As a result, metaphors can enhance the depth of your story.
Recommended: Creative Writing Courses in India
8. Make a Point
Choosing a valid point of view from which to tell your tale is crucial since it will establish the story’s tone. Also when you have a point to make, you can easily decide the flow of writing as you know how to correlate human emotions with the tale.
Anecdotes serve as mini-stories within a larger narrative. They let readers learn more about a character without having to directly say it when they are used in creative writing. This type of creative writing style can be used to evoke empathy, entertain, teach a lesson, or simply disclose more about a character’s personality.
Using the proper technique can help writers improve their work, but it’s especially important in creative writing if you want to create a well-developed tale that resonates with readers without sounding forced.
10. Sometimes Try Freewriting
The technique of writing without any prescribed structure, such as outlines, flashcards, notes, or editorial policy, whatever we have discussed, is known as this freewriting creative writing technique. The writer follows their own mental impulses during freewriting, allowing ideas and inspiration to come to them on their own time.
You need to let your stream of consciousness inspire the words on the page. When you initially try freewriting, you may end up with mostly useless content. You can, however, use your freewriting practice to develop your skills and, eventually, unlock your creativity through writing practice.
So, sometimes it’s better and simple to just go with the flow, and a masterpiece will undoubtedly emerge at the end of the rainbow.mOne might wonder what one can do with this information now that we’ve covered what creative writing is and the techniques needed to create it. Well, you can utilize these and begin your creative writing journey.
You might not succeed overnight, but you can soon master the art with consistency and discipline. You might even discover a few of your own creative writing techniques on the way. Creative writing isn’t just for some language expert or talented writer. You can even master it.
We all have several tales to share with the world, and practicing creative writing may benefit almost anybody and everyone, even if you never expose your work to anyone. Sometimes, even if you don’t want to share the tales, write them to let your emotions out. It is just like meditation and a stress buster.
Recommended Read: Technical Writing Courses in India
11. Let Thinking Travel Outside the Box
Sometimes, it is better to stimulate the parts of your brain responsible for creativity, you may train your brain to travel and think “outside the box” to come up with fresh, creative ideas.
12. Organize Your Thoughts
Plot development necessitates the capacity to think logically since you’ll need to make the underlying argument obvious. Of course, this kind of thinking may be beneficial in the business and in many other areas of your life. Develop your self-assurance.
It takes courage to put your views on writing. However, self-confidence can be boosted by expressing oneself through writing and seeing your ideas put into words. If you enhance your writing skills, you’ll be able to communicate more effectively in conversation and on paper as well.
13. Meditate and Unwind
Writers need to unwind often as reading and brainstorming sometimes make writing a little difficult. It is the best creative writing technique to allow your thoughts to unwind. Like reading, cooking, or painting, creative writing is a terrific way to unwind.
Relax and enjoy the magnificent things your mind can produce when you let it go since you have complete power over everything that happens. There are several methods to get started if you’re new to creative writing.
It is always good to keep a journal or diary to record your thoughts and ideas can be quite beneficial. Alternatively, use one of our many terrific writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing.
Frequently Asked Questions- FAQs
1. what are the three essences of an engaging piece of creative writing masterpiece.
Ans: The three basic essences of creative writing are to have a strong beginning, a compelling middle, and an insightful ending.
2. How can one find a niche for creative writing?
Ans: You can find your niche by discovering your passion. Whatever form of creative writing, you feel comfortable with is your niche.
3. What are metaphors?
Ans: A metaphor is a figure of speech that helps convey an idea or establish a comparison by describing an object or activity in a way that isn’t literally true.
4. What are elements you can utilize for your creative writing piece?
Ans: You can use metaphors, similes, anecdotes, freewriting, a defined plot, a personalized tale as an effective element for your masterpiece.
The message underlying the creative writing technique is that creative writing is a science, though it seems simple from a distance. However, it needs to be mastered unless you are a born talent. Absolutely anyone who wants to write can become a good writer once they have learned and followed these creative writing tips. As creative writing is all about the imaginative use of language and overcoming writer’s block, creative writing techniques are skills required to put those imaginations into the right choice of words.
There are several creative writing techniques to use, but the essential principle of creative writing remains the playful manipulation of language. Creative writing techniques can also be used to generate story ideas, which can then be polished for content. Once, you develop a passion for writing, you need to practice and follow certain tips to keep a tab on your powerful and impactful piece.
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16 Writing Techniques to Make Your Articles Shine
In this article
Are you struggling to bring your writing to life?
It can be frustrating when you can’t find the right words to express yourself. It all sounds great in your head until you try to put it on paper. But did you know you can learn how to write better if you use the right techniques?
The writers in our very own content marketing agency use it on a daily basis.
Here are some of the best writing techniques you can use when you feel stuck – and how to apply them.
But before we start, let’s dig into the topic a bit.
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What are Writing Techniques?
Writing techniques refer to different styles and literary devices a writer can use to communicate a message to the reader. Creative writing techniques are particularly important to follow if you plan on having anybody enjoy your writing.
In your career, you’ll need to write various types of writing meant for different target readers. Knowing how to apply the best writing techniques can help you adjust your style to the audience you’re writing for and reach your goal.
Most of these writing techniques are also covered in MasterClass where you can learn from famous writers such as Neil Gaiman to name a few.
#1: Use metaphors
A metaphor is a literary device where you refer to an object by describing something else similar (especially when readers are more familiar with that something else). Using metaphors isn’t desirable when you need to write directly, but there are topics that allow more creativity.
This technique can make your article more interesting and lively. Keep in mind that the metaphor is an effective literary device that can bring your creative writing to a whole new level.
Compared to a metaphor, a simile directly compares two things and can be used much more frequently, albeit often lacking the desired narrative effect that a good metaphor can bring to a story. Metaphors also shine in a poem or a memoir, where similes might fail in that regard for being too unimaginative.
It’s one of the most popular writing techniques in marketing. Storytelling allows you to use narration, description, and create the whole event in the mind of your reader. It’s particularly useful in persuasive writing, like when you’re telling a client’s story to gain the trust of a prospective one. Posts on social media by established brands often use this strategy to convey their brands personality to their audience.
A solid narrative writing technique is critical to master if you plan on telling a story that people will actually want to listen to. It might sound odd, but the fact is that this is even more important for writing something like a short story, when you want to convey a full story in just a few pages.
Fiction writers often have a much harder time with storytelling as it’s all made up out of thin air, and not based on real life. Having good grammar is crucial because you could be a great storyteller but your story would have less of an impact if the reader notices little errors every now and then.
#3: Use euphemisms
A milder expression used to avoid offending someone or sounding too negative is called a euphemism. If you think your article sounds too pessimistic, you can use euphemisms to make it sound more cheerful. For example, instead of saying that something is annoying, you can use “not very pleasant.”
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#4: Use empathy
Using emotive language and showing empathy for your readers means you describe their feelings and showing them you understand. This technique makes your writing more relatable and establishes a good relationship between you and your audience.
Empathy is a great literary device to use in expository writing, when you want people to listen to the truth and to side with your opinion.
#5: Be specific
Instead of being vague and using general information, don’t be afraid to be more specific when writing. Don’t say you use many writing techniques to improve your writing – tell your readers what they are. It will contribute to them perceiving you as an expert.
Yeah, it all starts with an idea, but it needs to be a specific and refined idea if you want it to make sense in the grand scheme of things.
#6: Use active voice
Putting the verbs in the active voice will make your article more dynamic. When you use too many passive constructions , it can slow down your storyline and make it unclear. But when you express the verbs in the active form, you can encourage your audience to take some action.
#7: Use colloquial language
Sometimes, your topic will require a conversational tone. It’s like you’re talking to a friend. This technique is common when your readers are young. They can relate better to an article that doesn’t feature too many “big” words that they might have to look up. When it comes to things like business writing however, using colloquial language might not be the best idea.
#8: Use hyperbole
When you need to emphasize a point in your article and you don’t want to repeat yourself, you can use a hyperbole. It refers to excessive exaggeration, like in the following example: I told you a million times to stop biting your nails.
You can also use this technique for persuasion purposes. Take a look at this example from Mark Twain’s “Old Times on the Mississippi.” Using hyperbole can often be an effective tool to use in persuasive writing.
#9: Target positive emotions
Using a light tone and lots of positive words in your article can provoke positive emotions in your readers. Focus on love, empowering messages, humor, and optimism when writing.
One of the best recent examples is the story of the fireman who saved numerous animals from a fire in Australia. The photo of him giving water to a koala quickly went viral, giving people hope.
#10: Use descriptions
Describing is one of the basic writing techniques. Use adjectives and consult a thesaurus to find more picturesque synonyms for your words. It’s something like painting with words – you’re helping the reader visualize your story. That’s why we sometimes don’t like the choice of actors when watching a movie based on a book.
We’ve been imagining them differently. The paragraph in the picture illustrates the point perfectly.
#11: Create an unexpected turn
Letting your reader think that the plot will go one way and then creating an unexpected turn of events can make them sit up and listen. The best thrillers are based on this writing technique. Sudden changes in the storyline can make the reader race to the end of the text.
#12: Use assonance and alliteration
These writing techniques refer to the use of specific words where sounds and vowels repeat. It can add to a better flow of your article or make it sound more poetic, if necessary. It can also sound very catchy if you’re writing slogans, for instance.
You’ve probably heard of Jaguar’s slogan: “Don’t dream it. Drive it.”
This is an example of alliteration — one of the best literary devices out there in terms of descriptive writing that really pops off the page.
#13: Avoid digressions
Among all the writing techniques, this one may be the toughest when you’re writing about a personal experience. Make sure you stick to the main storyline and skip unnecessary details and digressions. You don’t want to leave the reader confused – they may miss the point of your article.
#14: Use the PAS formula
PAS stands for “problem, agitate, solution.” This is a great template to follow if you’re not sure where to start. It’s quite good for writing “how to” articles. First, identify the issue. Then agitate to make it more painful (but not too far). Then offer a solution.
#15: Use a proven structure
A familiar structure, such as the one we all use for writing essays in school, can prevent you from losing track. Introduce the topic, analyze the existing data, raise counterarguments, and then conclude. Sticking to a structure like this will create a logical flow and make your writing look neat.
#16: Write in the first person
Writing in first person may sound more persuasive. If you’ve written an article, but it doesn’t feel trustworthy to you, it probably won’t sound convincing to your readers either. If you put the whole article into the first person, it may have the effect of a testimonial and higher validity.
Academic Writing Techniques
While the above techniques are great for general use articles, novels, and professional writing, there is a notable exception that requires a different set of rules.
Academic writing much prefers the use of passive voice. Sentences in a passive voice might appear dull and boring, but they are much better at conveying objectivity and distance from the subject of the academic paper at hand.
However, some recent scientific papers have also called for the increased use of active writing to make researchers and scientists appear more involved in the process rather than merely being observers.
The use of passive voice can also apply to writing an essay. In education, knowing how to best approach a subject and write objectively about it is the key to submitting a successful academic paper, no matter your knowledge or education level.
Additionally, using hyperbole or colloquialism is highly discouraged. A scientific paper aims to convey facts, and as such, the related writing process will naturally differ from the works of a fiction writer, who has much more freedom.
Additionally, it helps to write in the third person, as these have to be rather impersonal. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the memoir, which is the incarnation of subjectivity.
Can Online Tools Help?
If you don’t think you have a handle on the above-mentioned techniques, there are several apps available that can help you with them.
English writing technique assistants have evolved from simple grammar and spell checker software to become AI-powered and effective at helping writers achieve their potential.
Microsoft Word has a basic spell checker and punctuation module that will eliminate small errors that can ruin what is generally good writing. Google Docs have a similar feature. However, these don’t have the necessary robustness to be sufficient for fiction writing or story crafting.
Grammarly is a great online tool that has a free version to get you started on your writing journey. While the free add-on is pretty bare-bone, only focusing on basic sentence structure, misspellings, and punctuation, the Premium version includes more options. These include repetition checking, as well as the detection of generally overused words or phrases.
Grammarly can also be set according to your writing technique and writing style, meaning that you can use it for an academic paper, essay, poem, or story.
Another great app for this purpose is Writer . However, it focuses more on professional writing, brand awareness, and a cohesive writing style among groups of writers. It also has several advanced features, such as improving a writing method by suggesting words already used or favored by your company.
With Writer , you can craft a story related to your brand that resonates across the platforms you use and captivates your target audience with good writing, storytelling, and character.
On the other hand, the Scrivener app is all you need to craft a compelling story, outline your memoir, or decide where to go next with your narrative. It has excellent features that make a story easy to sort, separate, and overview, as well as great character sheets that can be used for reference at any time.
Find What Works for You
We hope this article helps you understand writing techniques better. It’s essential to remember that you should experiment and mix different techniques until you find what works for you and your audience. The bottom line is that it’s the reader that needs to enjoy and understand your writing.
If you experience the writer’s block, just select one of these and start writing whatever comes to your mind. It’s an excellent way to break the blockade.