4 Basics of Creative Writing to Develop Your Inner Artist


creative writing processThe basics of creative writing are important to the student who just wants to improve their ability to write fiction prose, but the rules of creative writing are equally important to the person who dreams of being the next best-selling novelist. This guide to creative writing endeavors will help the individual get going in the right direction with their deep need to be creative and to dive into the fiction genre. First, let’s define what it is to write creatively.

Creative writing is where a person uses the art of writing to convey emotions, feelings, and thoughts through a narrative. Creative writing involves the arts of poetry and prose, short story writing, and larger bodies of works. Creative writing also includes personal essays, memoirs, speeches, songs, scripts, and plays. The writings are purely the imagining of the writer or are an adaptation of non-fiction material in such a way that the story becomes fiction in the telling of it and therefore falls under the category of fiction writing.

1. Hone Your Creative Skills

When you want to be a creative writer you need to take your craft seriously. Many writers never stop studying, learning, and honing their writing craft. There are many books on the subject, some of which can teach you about the elements of writing powerful fiction, the structure of scenes, dialogues, and plot, and how to be successful at writing and selling your very first novel. Bear in mind that if you don’t start writing, your dream of being a novelist will never happen. The idea is to write, keep writing, and write as you continue to learn and grow as a writer.

Along with writing all the time, there are other things you can do to hone your craft. Consider:

  • attending creative writing courses in college;
  • joining a writer’s group or starting your own;
  • entering online writing groups and competitions to keep you writing and inspired;
  • running a writing blog and write about your creative writing experiences;
  • signing up and going to writers’ conferences;
  • attending writing workshops in your local area.

2. Read the Genre You Want to Write

If you dream about writing stories with vampires, ghosts, and paranormal phenomena, then read a lot of books relating to such topics. If you want to write romance, hit up the romance section in your local bookstore. Getting familiar with your genre is your job as a writer. It will let you identify trends and holes in the marketplace that you can fill with your writing.

3. Develop Your Creative Stories

As you write your own stories, make sure your characters are round, not flat. You want your characters to seem less than stereotypical and larger than life. The reader must be able to empathize with the main character if the story is to be at all believable. The goal of the creative writer is to create a fictive dream state, one where the reader can freely lose him or herself in the body of work, even if one has to suspend disbelief to do so. Other things you can do to make the story work for your reader include:

  • Plot and viewpoint development: What is the core of the tale you are telling and who is telling it?
  • Writing about a subject that you are familiar with: It makes the writing come easier and it makes it authentic.
  • Tension, conflict and dynamic characters: Let your characters endure trials and tribulations, it makes them more realistic. As Kurt Vonnegut, the author of Slaughterhouse Five, Breakfast of Champions, and Cat’s Cradle once wrote, “Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters are, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.”

4. Be a Writer

Don’t start a story and then give up. Keep writing every day. Not everything you ever write will be publishable, but it will be a part of your portfolio along the way. The more you write, the better you become. The more you write, the more you are exposed to the world of creative writing and the opportunities within it.

Use these guidelines to develop your creative writing and make sure to benefit from them!

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