What is Creative Writing? 15 Tips to Excel in it

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There lies an entire realm of creative writing outside the world of academic writing. And that world that looks alien to writers and non-writers alike. While academic writing personifies a sophisticated look, creativity is side-lined without a glance. Nevertheless, the world needs creativity, and so do writers.

What is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is a type of writing that expresses ideas and thoughts creatively and imaginatively. It is a better medium to explore the human experience. Unlike academic writing, it mainly focuses on educating and entertaining the readers. It takes the help of imagery, drama, and narrative to delight the audience. 

While academic writing is non-creative and centered on hard facts and evidence, creative writing is stimulating.

The importance of creativity in writing lies in its ability to describe real life honestly without any filters. However, it is also one of the misunderstood disciplines among writers and non-writers alike. 

The first thing that comes to mind at the mention of the word creativity is – fiction, poems, or short stories. However, in reality, creativity is a widely sought skill in Marketing and Sales, PR and Communications, and other domains.

You may be an amateur writer or a social media marketer, but honing your creative skills will help you in the long run. With the help of creative skills, you can become a published author and write short stories to entertain the masses.

Five Categories of Creative Writing

We can broadly classify the writing types that heavily rely on creativity into five categories:

  • Fiction writing
  • Creative nonfiction writing
  • Screenwriting
  • Playwriting
  • Poetry writing

Each has its style and structure. You can search for creative writing topics or creative writing prompts you like and start writing in any of these writing formats mentioned above. 

This article will outline the advantages of creativity in writing. And discuss creative writing ideas and tips to help you succeed in your writing career. 

Why learn creative writing?

There is a misconception that academic or persuasive writing exercises help writers hone their skills. In contrast, expressive writing offers little or no advantages to the writer. However, expressive writing is an overlooked skill that has benefits.

  • Boosts self-expression: Expressive writing is a perfect brain exercise to express yourself. The writing activity such as character development will subconsciously make the writer a better communicator with oneself and the world around.
  • Boosts thinking skills: Good writing leads to great thinking. When you want to describe a thought creatively, you prompt yourself to think of that one word or phrase that can explain it better. In other words, you are nudging yourself to feel.
  • Makes you empathetic: Both reading and writing rely on empathy. Imagine that you want to write a biography of a famous person. The writing exercise here is not limited to collecting facts or taking interviews but walking through personal experiences and feeling emotions.
  • Helps job success: With the boom of digital marketing and social media, many organizations want people who can create creative ads and posts. They know that such posts attract people and encourage engagement. As a result, digital media is rooting for creative talent.
  • Mental health: Studies and research reveal that expressive writing cuts down stress. Writing every day can improve mental health and overall well-being.
  • Writing is fun: In the words of Albert Einstein – ‘Creativity is nothing but intelligence having fun.’ So, creativity, when applied to writing a story or poem, is nothing but having fun with imagination and words to create something beautiful.

These are some of the benefits one can have from learning expressive writing.

Let us now move on to creative tips that you can use for penning down creative writing topics.

Video On 15 Tips To Excel in Creative Writing

15 Basic creative writing tips

  1. Start reading: The first step towards writing starts with reading. Reading every day is not just a tip but also one of the primary creative writing ideas. 

read as much as you can without limiting yourself to any style, medium, or genre. You can try reading literary magazines, article columns in newspapers, and other available formats.

Observe the writing styles, word choice, fictional characters, and story development to develop critical and creative thinking.

  1. Research on ideas: Do not skip research even if you want to write fiction, as a make-believe story requires believable elements. A good analysis yields excellent facts and opinions that you can incorporate into your writing. Most writers maintain a bibliography of sources and reference texts they have come across in their research for future reference. 
  1. Find your writing style: You may have found your favorite author; however, do not imitate their writing style. Find your style and tone that can reflect your thoughts authentically. Having your unique voice and style is one of the essential steps toward creating your world of writing and becoming a great writer. 
  1. Know your audience: Your audience defines your writing. Knowing the expectations of your audience can help you decide the plot or genre of your writing. You can determine what you want to write. And what goals do you want to achieve with the help of the audience?

For example, if you want to write a mystery-based story, your audience (mystery lovers) expects plot twists, suspense, and thrill. Your narration must be tight with no loopholes or unnecessary drags.

  1. Plan your writing: Do not jump into writing on the spur of the moment. Develop an outline first. Decide on three important sections – beginning, middle, and conclusion beforehand to avoid confusion. 

Make a list of essential scenes or lines that you want to incorporate into your writing. Having an outline for your write-up helps you avoid making basic mistakes.

  1. Point of View (POV): A PoV is nothing but the perspective of your write-up. As a writer, you have the liberty to choose – First, second, or third person narrative, which will be your POV. Nevertheless, as a writer, you must determine this before writing. 

A first-person narrative uses first-person pronouns – I, me, my, myself, and mine/we, us, our, and ourselves.

A second-person narrative uses second-person pronouns – you, yours, your, and yourself.

A third-person narrative uses third-person pronouns – he, him, his, himself, she, her, hers, herself, it, its, itself, they, them, they’re, theirs, and themselves.

  1. Make use of writing prompts: Let your creative juices flow. Attempt a writing prompt that interests you. Participating in a prompt is not just a writing exercise but also fun, creative writing ideas to execute. Prompts usually have conditions to write, which compels the writers to think out of the box and come up with creative answers. 
  1. Grammar and punctuation: All writers must know basic grammar rules and punctuation rules. As it helps to create meaningful write-ups irrespective of their writing style or type. It is good to comprehend the language rules before you attempt to write. Therefore, devote some time to understanding the rules of writing and avoid common mistakes.
  1. Have a writing routine: Develop a writing habit. Dedicate some time every day for writing. A successful writer has a disciplined approach toward the writing goal. Write anything you like – a day-to-day experience you had, a dream you saw, or an incident you witnessed. 

You do not have to wait until you develop creativity in yourself. But, you can start working towards developing creativity.

  1. Catchy first paragraph: The introduction is the first place where you can create the best impression. Opening lines are often referred to as hooks because they can hook your readers to your write-up. 

An engaging first paragraph sets the tone for the rest of your write-up. Avoid making any mistakes in the first paragraph. 

  1. Clear and simple language: Avoid too much description and oversimplification. Do not use grandiose language to show your vocabulary prowess when you can put forward your thoughts in simple language. Not all have the same knowledge of words as you do. Make sure your writing is clear and straightforward to strike the right chord in your readers. 
  1. The show, don’t tell: This simple principle is enough to test a writer’s creativity. In creative writing, ‘show, don’t tell challenges you to make your readers experience what you think without stating it explicitly. 

One way to use this principle in marketing is by making use of visuals like Infographics.

  1. Practice writing: Every skill needs to be practiced, and writing is no exception. Practice does not mean you write/type mindlessly day in and day out. Instead, it is a focused approach to honing your skills, rectifying past mistakes, and making improvements with each session. Create a schedule every day for such practice sessions.
  1. Revise and edit: Revising your write-up once it is done uncovers many mistakes in your writing. A line, sentence, or word that you thought necessary might not add any value. And when you revise your write-up by reading it out loud, you will know what you can change.

Edit and edit more during the revised sessions. You can have a break for some time and continue with the editing later. The more improvements you make, the better your writing gets.

  1. Socialize: Reach out to like-minded people, and discuss and share your ideas with them. Since they share the same thoughts, they can comprehend your thought process easily. A group of mystery fiction writers knows what the difficulties are in the genre of mystery. A group of ad copywriters knows how tough it can get to prepare an excellent tagline that resonates with the audience’s pulse.

Therefore, share your work with veterans and request feedback to improve your writing skills.

Finally, creative writing is written to entertain, educate, spread awareness about something or someone or express one’s thoughts. Rather than giving information alone, like in the case of academic writing or hardcore journalism. The tips mentioned above can assist you in improving your writing, whether it is – fiction, creative nonfiction, or marketing and communication. 

Learn to use your imagination well in your writing endeavors to win over your readers. Know that creative writing is nothing but writing honestly about your thoughts and ideas. Please use the above guidelines when you write, and let your creativity flourish to its fullest. 

Remember the words of Anne Lamott, an American novelist and fiction writer who said – ‘Almost all good writing starts with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.’ So start writing and succeed in your effort. 

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