Are you a creative writer? The creative writing world has expanded with the explosion of self-publishing. Anyone that has a story they want to tell can publish their books on platforms like Amazon KDP with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Having a passion for writing is more important than technical skills. You can always hire a copy editor to clean up your spelling and grammar errors. Love for creative writing will keep you writing.
Here is a list of some creative writing tips you can easily implement.
1. Use Your Imagination
Imagination is the beginning of writing because first there must be an idea or concept. Start with any story you really like, and think about how you would have told it, or how it could be told. Then write 100 to 500 words to see if the idea grabs you.
Writers have successfully retold the story of Romeo and Juliet a hundred times in books and movies under various titles. Think about updating a proven formula that works with a twist.
The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.
You should choose a subject that you either love or hate. It should inspire passion so that it motivates you to write. People often say that the key to becoming a successful writer is to write what you know. Yes, it’s true, but if you’re not an expert in something you’re interested in, then you’ll need to research it. Do your research, and then do some more, until you’re writing something you’re passionate about.
3. Make a List
Make a list of what is most important to you. Take anything from that list, and find a story in it. For example, if honesty is important to you, create a story populated with characters that are defined by how honest or dishonest they are, and show the consequences of this trait. If there is some idea or principle that is important to you, imagine alternative stories which show what could happen when this principle is or isn’t followed.
Related reading: 7 Easy Time Management Tips for Writers
4. Combine Stories
Concept combination is a technique used to create new products to sell. Create fresh stories with it, and you’ll get a few laughs and ideas out of it. Combine old stories in new ways. Use stories with unrelated themes for the most creative ideas.
Consider Mixing Adam and Eve, and Star Wars. Place alone a man and a woman on a new planet as an experiment to see what happens.
Combining King Kong and Romeo and Juliet could become a story about when apes learn to speak, and the first human-ape romance develops.
5. Improve Your Vocabulary
Besides developing story ideas, broadening your vocabulary can be an effective way to set the tone and mood of a particular chapter. But more important than that, building your vocabulary will reduce the number of times when you can’t just quite find the word you want but it’s already on the tip of your tongue. Ernest Hemingway is renowned for using simple but heart-rending words to describe events in his stories.
Use Strong Nouns and Verbs
Strong noun-verb combinations keep readers engaged. Nouns and verbs would be the engine of the sentence if it were a train. Adjectives, adverbs, and other parts of speech make the train longer and slower.
Use Lots of Periods
Shorter sentences result from eliminating extraneous words. Try using a lot of periods because shorter sentences increase reading speed and comprehension. Vary your use of sentence lengths.
6. Don’t Lose Your Ideas
If you suddenly have an idea that seems excellent for a future story, write it down. Imagine you’re walking down the street and you come up with a good dialogue idea for your characters. Write it down. It is likely that you will not remember what happened just three minutes ago since the human mind is so tricky. It’s easy to come up with good story ideas, but great ideas are rare, and you never know if what you write will one day become one of the latter.
Related reading: How to Easily Write a Novel Organically
7. Watch the News
Watch the evening news and make a list of the stories. Or, visit a website like the Associated Press News. Television shows mine this source all the time. Think about the last time you watch a show with a story right out of the news.
Try to add a twist that will get the story read. For example, take a real-life issue that is in the news and approach it from a different perspective. Perhaps it could be a story of a business person who profits after a hurricane, but you find a way to make him the good guy.
8. Keep Learning
It won’t surprise you to hear that Stephen King, Danielle Steele, Dan Brown, J.K. Rowling and other famous authors, all say they aren’t perfect writers and they never will be. Perfection is a myth that stops a lot of writers from starting.
There is no such thing as perfect writing. Before you can learn about creative writing, you must first acknowledge the fact that your writing is imperfect and keep learning.
Consider taking a Masterclass from James Patterson or Judy Blume. Or, pick up a writing book online or at your nearest book store. There are also a lot of online resources like Reedsy and DIY MFA. You can read about the 50 best websites on writing here.
If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.
9. Keep Reading
You can’t be a writer without being a reader first. Finding your love for writing shouldn’t stop you from devouring more reading materials; it should instead encourage you to expand your palate. It is essential to broaden your horizons if you want to become good at creative writing. Do not limit yourself to reading one genre of literature because this will only provide you with limited knowledge. Read everything you can get your hands on if you want to improve.
If you can’t afford new books there are plenty of classic books in the Public Domain at Project Gutenberg that you can read for free.
10. Write When You Don’t Want To
The best way to get ideas is to write anything right now. Graham Green attributes his success to a simple habit: he forced himself to write 500 words a day, whether or not he wanted to. Inspiration can strike at any moment but often strikes while you are writing instead of waiting. Get started writing and more ideas will flow.
Alternately, you could set a timer for 10 to 15 minutes and just write. You will be amazed at how much you can accomplish in that small amount of time.
Related reading: 10 Benefits of Journal Writing
Last Words on Creative Writing
Hopefully, some or all of these tips can help you in your writing journey. NEVER STOP WRITING. Don’t make publication of your work the ends and means for your writing. Write because you love to write!
Feature image by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash.