Writing Creatively: Elements, Tips and Tricks
For as long as its existence, humanity has told stories. Whether they be moral warnings or epic tales, there was always some creativity woven in. And, when the ability to write came into play, this imagination only continued to flourish. In today’s blog, we’re taking a look into Creative Writing. Additionally, we divulge some tips on how to improve your own.
What is Creative Writing?
Creative writing is any work that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature. We identify it by an emphasis on:
- narrative craft
- character development
- the use of literary tropes
Because of this loose definition, both fictional and non-fictional works fall into this category. This includes forms such as:
- biographies and autobiographies
- short stories
- graphic novels
Thus, it is more a contemporary and process-oriented name for what was traditionally called “literature”. But, what do the writers and critics say? When it comes to the purpose and drive of this category of work, Paul Witty and Lou LaBrant say it serves such needs as:
- Keeping records of significant experience.
- Sharing experience with an interested group.
- Free individual expression which contributes to mental and physical health.
Many components come together when taking on a piece of creative writing. They include:
- Action. The physical movement of the characters. It is the mode that writers use to show what is happening at any given moment.
- Character. The person or other being in the character. They can belong to archetypes such as: the father, the mother, the hero, and so on.
- Conflict. This creates challenges in a story by adding uncertainty as to whether the goal will be achieved. Additionally, narrative is not limited to single conflict.
- Dialogue. The verbal exchange between two or ore characters. If there is only one character talking aloud, it is a monologue.
- Genre. A category of literary composition determined by technique, tone, and content. These include: action and adventure, comedy, crime and mystery, fantasy, horror, science fiction, and romance.
- Narration. The use of written or spoken commentary to convey a story to an audience. It can be a specific person or unspecified literary voice.
Additional Writing Elements
- Pace. Refers to the speed at which a story is told. Determined by the length of scenes, how fast the action moves, and how quickly the writer provides information to the reader.
- Plot. The sequence of events where each affects the next one through the principle of cause-and-effect. Did you know there are Seven Basic Plots? Thus meaning every piece of writing follows one or more plot that has specific characterises and twists and turns.
- Point of View. This refers back to the person who is giving the narration. Points of view include: first person (I), second person (you), third-person (he/she/they/etc.).
- Setting. The time and geographic location. Elements include culture and historical period.
- Style. The manner of expressive thought in language characteristic of an individual, period school, or nation. For example, some writers choose to write the narrative in a specific accent.
- Suspense. The anticipation of the outcome of the plot.
- Theme & Motif. A theme is a central topic, subject, or message within a narrative. A motif is a distinctive repeating feature or idea. It helps develop writing aspects such as theme or mood.
Tips and Tricks
Interested in trying your hand at creative writing? Then, check out these tips.
- Read. The best way to learn to write is to read. Collect some reference to draw from for your own works.
- Always Be Writing. Capture the ideas that come into your head. Also, practise makes perfect.
- Have an Opinion. Decide what story, message, or lesson you want to share. Leave a lasting impression on your audience.
- Show, Don’t Tell. Don’t just describe the events. Instead, show the through actions, sensory details, words, or the expression of character’s emotions.