Creative writing is taught in many schools and institutions around the United States. It has the ability to dramatically improve your writing skills as a topic, particularly in the context of essays and other forms of academic writing.
But what is it all about, exactly? And where do you begin if you’re new to the subject?
Creative writing is all about expressing yourself through your imagination and individuality in order to transmit ideas and thoughts in a way that is distinctively yours. Simply put, it is about integrating your own ‘flair’ into your writing, and going beyond the conventional boundaries of academic or another specialist language to create something unique.
With this useful guide and introduction to creative writing, you’ll learn more about what creative writing is, what the different forms are, and how to get started.
What Is Creative Writing?
As the term suggests, creative writing deviates from the rules of conventional, professional, academic, or technical writing in order to express oneself artistically.
In both fiction and nonfiction writing, a variety of genres and techniques are represented, including storytelling, playwriting, poetry, prose, journalism, and other forms of creative nonfiction writing.
Though the concept of creative writing is somewhat ambiguous, it is typically defined as any sort of writing that is unique and conveys one’s own point of view. In a work of literature, a concentration on narrative craft, focusing on variables such as character development, narrative, and plot, and infusing its framework with originality, imagination, and tale, is often discernible.
Creative writing, according to this definition, is any new, original text that is free of current conventions and incorporates a range of techniques.
In an academic setting, creative writing classes are typically divided into fiction, poetry, and scriptwriting, with an emphasis on writing in a unique style that is not defined by pre-existing structures and genres.
What different styles of creative writing are there?
Creative writing can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and it can encompass a vast range of genres and techniques. There are many different types of fiction and non-fiction creative writing. The following are only a few of the most well-known:
- Novels, novellas, short stories, and other works of fiction
- Spoken word and poetry
- Essays on yourself
What characteristics distinguish a good work of creative writing?
First and foremost, it is vital to acknowledge that there is no pre-defined criteria of what constitutes a “good” work of creative writing. As the name suggests, creative writing is an original process developed by the individual with all of their quirks and oddities.
Because creative writing does not fit neatly into a particular genre, there will never be a catch-all term to define the “perfect” composition. Consider a Gothic short story and then compare it to the traits of great Romantic poetry – the two are so diverse that assessing them together would be unfair.
However, there are a few general rules you may follow to make your creative writing as strong as possible – by being as honest and genuine to yourself as possible:
Know your audience – All great tales begin with an understanding of the intended audience in mind, because this is precisely what you need to know in order to personalize and connect with your audience. Because of this, any creative writer should begin by choosing who they want to see their work before they begin. As long as you keep this in mind, your writing will naturally take shape and flow in a way that appears acceptable to your intended audience.
Write down what you already know — The most compelling stories are typically those that we can identify with and relate to in some way to our own experiences. Alternatively, they may be stories that appear to be based on the author’s own life and are therefore believed to be true. To be clear, this does not indicate that you have to write about your entire life; rather, you can use the knowledge you have about various elements of our lives to make your story more realistic and credible.
Creativity is essential – Storytelling that is most fascinating is often one in which we can identify with and relate in some way to our own experiences. Another option is for them to look to be based on the author’s actual life, in which case they will be accepted as fact. In order to be clear, this does not imply that you must write about your complete life; rather, you can draw on your knowledge of many aspects of our lives in order to make your story more realistic and trustworthy.
One of the wonderful things about creative writing is that there are no rules or definitions for ‘how’ to write. It’s a lot more personal genre that mainly relies on your own interpretations. As a result, you should stretch your imagination to explore what the eventual result might be. Some of the most intriguing works of literature provoke thought or cause us to question the writing or the world around us – where could your narrative take us?
Make a broad plot arc – Regardless of how open the boundaries of creative writing are, it is still a good idea to design a loose story arc for any piece of literature you write. Story arcs are essential for providing your writing direction and purpose, as well as allowing you to compose the entire article at a fast speed without adding unnecessary stuff or ‘waffle.’ If you stick to your story arc, your writing will have a solid structure, pace, and direction, which will keep your readers engaged.
What are some of the creative writing techniques?
Writers use a variety of creative writing approaches and literary strategies to make their work stand out, including:
Character development is the process of producing a genuine, well-rounded character with depth, personality, and distinct goals or motivations.
Plot development refers to how your piece of writing develops, unfolds, and progresses through time.
A narrative’s point of view is the standpoint through which it is told. It specifies who is telling the story and how the information is communicated to the audience. Writers frequently use the key character’s or protagonist’s point of view to deceive and twist the reader’s perspective.
Dialogue – The talks and dialogues that characters have with one another. Dialogue and a character’s language choices can be crucial in defining their personality.
Metaphors, similes, and alliteration are examples of literary devices that can be used to make creative writing more imaginative and detailed. Writers employ these in a variety of ways to make their work more vivid, intriguing, and engaging.
Is it possible to learn how to write creatively?
Yes, of course! It is possible to teach creative writing, and it is a very popular subject among university students and those who attend our summer courses.
Those interested in learning more about the many genres of writing within the discipline of Creative Writing would often examine a number of works from various eras of time. They’ll get to know some of the industry’s best creative authors from the past to the present, as well as some lesser-known and up-and-coming talent.
It’s not commonplace for Creative Writing students to participate in frequent workshops and scratch sessions, where they bring a piece of writing to class and have it read by other students and the tutor, inspired by what they’ve learned in class. They’ll leave with critical input on how to enhance their writing, as well as suggestions for other works to read in order to gain inspiration.
How do you get started with creative writing?
If you want to get your creative juices flowing and improve your writing skills, check out the following suggestions on how to get started with creative writing:
Read as much as you can – Inspiration for creative writers can come from a variety of places, but the most prevalent source is other writers. All authors should be inspired by some exceptional examples of creative writing throughout history. Read a wide range of genres by a number of authors to acquire a true sense of the style of writing you wish to pursue.
Begin keeping a journal – Keeping a journal can be a great way to tap into your inner creativity. Getting into the habit of writing every day about anything that has been bothering you that day will help you improve your writing skills. The more you journal on a regular basis, the more confident you will become. You never know, you might get your next big idea from something you’ve written in your journal!
Join a Creative Writing Summer School — If you’re just getting started as a creative writer and want to collaborate, share ideas, and workshop your work, a creative writing summer school could be a terrific alternative. Our summer creative writing classes are meant to help you expand your creative writing toolset; you’ll analyze some of the industry’s best writers and workshop some of your own work with your peers.
Practice employing literary devices, such as metaphors, similes, and rhyme, to help you write more vividly and create more descriptive imaginative scenes. If you use them on a regular basis, you’ll notice that your own creative writing will thrive. Do you need some inspiration to get started practicing? Pick a random object from around your house. Then, to discover where your creativity can take you, practice utilizing 5 literary strategies to describe the same object.
Pick up your pen or laptop and start writing! – One of the best pieces of advise we can give on how to start creative writing is to pick up your pen or laptop and start writing. You will only begin your creative writing journey if you have a single conversation starter for a character or a complete narrative arc.