Table of Contents
Writing about things they don’t know much about.
Very few people begin writing a book without first doing some reading and gaining reasonable expertise in the subject matter they’re writing about, especially in fiction.
That’s only natural, but the problem arises when that writer believes what he or she has read is all there is to know about a particular subject. The writer may be right–but I doubt it will be possible to tell until someone else (maybe you) points out that fact.
Assuming that composition = good writing and format = bad writing.
In creative writing, just as in most other areas of life, what matters most is substance over style.
Assuming that because the story has been told before, it cannot be retold.
This is probably the most common error of beginning writers. It’s true that the story has been told before, but I’d venture to say that every time a society has experienced some similar event in its history, some writer has also retold the story.
The point of writing a story and publishing it for others to read is so you can be remembered and become immortal, not to make yourself famous forevermore. There are already far too many writers out there, and far too few readers–there’s no need for more of either than there already is.
Trying to be a jack-of-all-trades.
Use your time more efficiently. It’s hard enough to write something worth reading, let alone write something worth reading AND get it published. Consider your strengths and weaknesses, and determine which of those you should emphasize in your writing.
Of course, if you have a good idea and start writing it, chances are that you will want to work on it until it’s finished. That’s not a bad thing–just make sure you don’t get so involved in other things that the original idea suffers for it.
Focusing too much on the creation of the physical book itself (formatting, graphics, etc.) instead of the book’s content (the story).
Let’s face it–the story is the most important thing in your book. It’s the reason people are going to buy it. The fact that you created a beautiful cover and formatted everything correctly shouldn’t really matter all that much; they’re just icing on the cake.
Taking their writing too seriously.
If you love to write, then do so. Don’t let anyone (including yourself) change that, and don’t waste your time worrying about what other people think about what you’re doing or how well you’re doing it.
Focus on writing because it matters to you, not because of any other reason (or any emotion).
Do you have any tips for writing a novel? Any recommended reading?
There are ‘pulitzer winners’ for writing well, and one definition of good writing is to be memorable. As for recommending anything, well, that’s a hard one; most books I recommend don’t do that well. It’s my opinion that the best writers write because they have to.
It’s how they solve problems in their lives, how they deal with the things that life deals them out. A writer who writes just because people buy their books is not writing to satisfy a need; she’s writing because it makes her feel good and she gets attention.
If you can’t see yourself writing or have no desire to be a novelist don’t get another book.
Why do you write?
Writers write because they have to. It’s how they deal with problems and feelings in their lives.
For a novelist who writes just because people buy her books is not writing to fulfill a need, she’s writing for personal satisfaction and attention.
If you can’t see yourself writing or don’t have the desire to be a novelist, don’t get the book.
What is the best advice you ever received about writing?
It was from my high school English teacher. He said, “Every piece of writing should be about something.”
Whether it’s the words themselves, or the characters speaking them, you need to know what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.
If there’s no purpose in your story (whatever that may be), then you’ll have a hard time writing it. This helps you to make it yours, and to help keep your story interesting.
What is good writing?
Good writing is clear, concise, well-worded and accurate. It has a point, a purpose, and it makes the reader want to keep turning pages.
Good writing also can be witty, creative or personal depending on how you use each word in your piece. But good writing should always be understandable by the reader without having to read between the lines or ask questions.
A good story will always have a beginning, middle and end that are clear from the first paragraph.
What should I do if I’m not sure where to start a story?
When starting a story about anything, you can start anywhere. You can start at the beginning and go straight through to the end (especially if your story is written in chronological order) or you can start anywhere else.
I often skip around, writing up different parts of my story until I think that I have enough information to fill in some of the missing holes. This is especially true when it comes to dialog between two characters.
As long as they are talking about something pertinent to the story line, it doesn’t matter if a character has no idea what’s going on. Just write what’s being said and fill in the blanks later.
When a character says something that doesn’t make sense, I’ll usually describe what they’re doing at the time so that there is a picture in the reader’s mind of what’s happening.
What are some tricks to remembering all these characters?
This is one of the biggest challenges for any writer and there are no real secret tricks to solving this, but there are a few things you can do to make it easier for yourself. Start by giving your character a name!
I know it sounds silly, but sometimes writers don’t think about this until they have a ton of characters running around.
What is the essence of creative writing?
Creative writing means developing your own ideas into a written work that reflects the artist in you.
Creative writers like to use vivid characters, dramatic situations, surprising plot twists and powerful dialogue to create a sense of excitement that allows their audience to identify with the main character.
It requires that the writer express emotions as they feel them rather than as they think they should feel. Creative writers consider themselves artists who use words — not grammar — to portray their ideas and feelings on paper.
The ability to tell a good story is an important part of the art of writing, and creative writers pride themselves on their stories.
In essence, creative writing is the art of telling your story — or someone else’s — in a way that will capture and hold the attention of the audience.
It’s not about spelling or grammar; it’s about being clear, concise and consistent in what you say.
Who does creative writing?
Although professional writers usually get paid to produce their works, there are many reasons why people choose to write creatively. Most do it for pleasure and personal fulfillment, but many others find a deeper meaning in expressing their creativity on paper.
A great deal of hard work, research and experience goes into becoming a published writer. However, if you are new to the craft and looking for a way to try your hand at writing before delving into creative writing, you might want to hone your skills by first writing nonfiction works.
Some people choose to do creative writing in addition to their day job because it allows them to express themselves outside of work. When writing for fun, many writers like the freedom to choose their own topics as well as the flexibility in working on an idea over a long period of time.
As with any other form of writing, there are no rules when it comes creativity.
How can I write dialogue that sounds natural?
Adverbs are forbidden. Adjectives are tricky. Remember, you want your words to be clear, concise, and precise.
Avoid words that aren’t necessary to convey your meaning or can be interpreted differently by the reader. It is better to say “he walked quickly” than “he hurriedly walked.”
It adds a layer of depth and description about his walking without adding unnecessary bulk or word count to your work.
For example, some literary writers might describe the way a character walks as “he shuffled along slowly,” which could also be misinterpreted as “he was very lethargic. He did not seem to want to move at all.”
Structure is important when you’re writing dialogue:
- Use a period at the end of every sentence. This will show your reader that the conversation has ended and that your character has moved on with his life.
You can use periods in dialogue, provided it is not a question (like “said,” or “asked”). A simple example would be “This used to be my favorite store. Now it’s nothing but a place where annoying children play in the aisles.”
- If a character says “Go ahead and judge me,” instead of “You can judge me,” indicate that the character is speaking to himself:
“Go ahead and judge me.”
- If a character thinks something, or says it out loud (especially if the thought or words are not clear), indicate that the character is thinking about something or talking out loud:
“I still think about him at night.”
- If a character is talking about himself, make sure you include a possessive pronoun with his name- otherwise you might be implying that your reader should know what he’s talking about (i.e., you mean talking about him as in he is you. Or that he is talking about himself in third person).
- Dialogue should always be written with a period (unless it is a question). Avoid using exclamation points if you want your readers to believe your characters are being realistic (i.e., don’t scream at each other!).
- When writing dialogue for your main characters, remember that the first letter of every word in their dialogue should be capitalized unless the sentence starts with a lowercase letter.
- If you have more than two people speaking, consider using “he said” at the beginning of each new character’s dialogue in order to keep track of who is speaking without interrupting the flow of the dialogue.
How many words should there be in a novel or a short story?
A novel needs to have about 80,000 words. A short story has less than 8,000.
How to write action scenes?
It’s an old adage, but it rings true: show, don’t tell. The most exciting action scenes in movies are the ones where we see what’s happening instead of being lectured at by the narrator about how it happened.
It can be challenging to write for a novel without telling readers what you want them to know, but if you want readers to get caught up in the moment and that scene, describing the event as it unfolds is ideal.
What is theme, plot and setting?
A theme is a statement that summarizes the message of the text. A plot is the course of events. The setting is the time and place in which a story takes place.
What are the 3-act structure and 5-act structure?
The 3-act structure is what most of the movies you see are made out of. It consists of: first act–set up, second act–risks and obstacles, third act–resolution.
- The 5-act structure is about incremental change and consist of:
- Exposition–the introduction to the story’s vital information,
- Inciting Incident (plot point 1)–the event that starts everything moving in the story;
- Rising Action (plot points 2-4)–events that build tension as they complicate issues or confrontations;
- Climax (plot point 5)–the event that will determine whether your protagonist faces success or failure;
- Falling Action (plot points 6-8) -final events before conclusion.
How does theme relate to characters and setting?
Theme is the overriding idea or feeling that a story, artwork, novel, song, film etc. conveys. A theme can relate to character and setting by either exploring it or contradicting it.
The theme of social media addiction could be explored by someone who feels a sense of worry about how reliant he is on his phone for news updates.
Similarly to this the social media addiction could also contradict with someone who is able to use their phone without any worries or concerns that come from being addicted to social media.
The characters and setting of a story could be explored through the theme.
For example, look at the theme in heavy metal music, how it reflects the themes of rebellion against a corrupt society that is based on money and power.
In a film such as Heavy Metal, this is reflected in the characters of Zebra and Dimebag Darrell who were both rebels against their corrupted society and who were also tragic deaths due to their rebellion against this corrupted society, by dying from an overarching love for heavy metal music.
The setting could also be explored through the theme in theatre.
How do you write compelling characters people care about.
- Develop a character who has an interesting backstory.
- Give your character a personality trait that stands out and make it different from the rest of them.
- Allow the reader to see what they go through and why they are going through this when writing about their experiences by incorporating dialogue, action, thoughts, feelings etc..
- Allow your characters to make decisions and take risks rather than being perfect all the time; people respect heroes who fail at achieving their goals sometimes more than those who achieve them easily because it demonstrates their admirable qualities in greater measure- which is more relatable to readers as well!
- Use active verbs and avoid passive verbs.
- Don’t use adverbs, they are a weakness in writing. Adverbs should be used rarely or at least not excessively or you might as well just rewrite the sentence using the adjective instead of an adverb.
- If you find any parts that you think are meh, don’t delete them. You can always edit them later.
- Write at least 1 paragraph for each character; include dialogue, action and thoughts!
- Keep it interesting- if you get bored writing about it, chances are the reader will too.
- Don’t get discouraged if your writing isn’t up to par because everyone has to start somewhere!
- Take a break when you need to or have to in order to keep up the quality of your work!
- Be creative- don’t write something that is cliche because it’s been done so many times already- be original!!
How important are themes in creative writing?
Themes are very important in creative writing. Creative writing is often used to explore the meaning of life.
They can be used to explain how a person feels about their own life or the lives of others. A theme is the idea that a story has, or the strong feeling it gives to the reader.
For example, in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, the theme is about fighting for what you believe in and not surrendering.
Creative writing can be used to tell a story from different viewpoints. This can create two stories from one viewpoint or one story told twice with a different feeling from each version.
How can I write a good villain or antagonist?
A good villain is complex, driven, and human. Write a bad guy who has a motive that readers can understand and care about. A villain with a sense of humor is also more interesting than a flat-out evil character.
How do you create a villain that will influence your readers?
The most common way to create a villain is to have them be an obstacle for the protagonist.
However, making your villain too strong can cause readers to become frustrated with the protagonist because they might believe that the hero is weak and should just overpower the villain.
Another way to make your antagonist more compelling and interesting is by giving them a weakness or vulnerability, thereby creating an emotional connection between reader and character.
Another way to make your antagonist more convincing is by creating a multidimensional character, which can be done by giving them different motives and traits.
For example, if your villain thinks they have a great goal for their life, but if they don’t get it it will destroy them.
If you give them their own personality quirk, such as being addicted to video games or having obsessive-compulsive behavior, it can change the way that readers view and respond to your antagonist.
The main point of this article is: You can create more compelling characters with an already existing character that has flaws and personal issues.
How do you write a hero?
“A hero is a person of any significant achievement who has inspired you and given you something to shoot for. This may be in the form of a character or from reality. It doesn’t have to be someone you admire, but it should be someone whose life you can relate to.” – author unknown.
How to write a good plot for a story.
There are several points to think about when writing a novel or short story. Writing a good plot involves the art of writing the story line and developing characters for a good story plot.
The plot is the sequence of events or the series of cause and effect that make up your narrative. Plot in a novel is also used to describe what happens within the context of your story’s setting and conflict or dilemma.
A plot should be well developed with twists and turns in unexpected directions as well as suspense for your readers interest to continue reading to know how the story ends.
The plot is the main way the story is structured or put together to make the story make sense and to give it meaning. A well developed plot can be your key to writing a best selling novel.
Plot is not only just where the story takes place, but it’s also about what happens in the story.
The key elements in any plot include exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. These five parts are usually all found in any good novel or short story and they are put together differently by many authors.
Keep in mind that some authors may not include all of these parts for their own personal taste of writing, but these are usually included in most novels and novellas unless otherwise noted by their author.
Exposition can be defined as the setting for a story; it is also the introduction of characters and plot for a story.
Usually opening chapters or acts of a story are where the author will bring you to know where the story takes place, how it started and who the characters are.
This is also where you will find out about the novel’s plot including it’s theme, theme related to the characters and conflicts within your characters.
Rising action is when your characters are going through some kind of adversity, or find something in their lives that brings them into conflict with another character or people, such as always getting in trouble at school.
Rising action is also something that you want to have in your story as this brings tension to the story.
Climax is where the conflict within your characters is intensifying.
In short stories it can be when your character has to fight against her or his opponent, but in a novel, climax can be when you introduce conflict with another character or two or more characters who are acting as antagonists who are out to cause harm toward your main character’s life at some point.
Falling action is what happens after everything has ended between the main characters of a novel.
This includes the ending of the story line, a crucial moment in your story, and the resolution of your plot. When it comes to short stories you are not usually going to have climax and falling action.
Resolution is how a character or characters’ lives are going to go after all is said and done in your book or in a novella, or if you will have more books published about your characters. Resolution depends on what kind of novel you are writing.