Why Creative Writing Skills Are Essential & How To Improve Them

Why Creative Writing Skills Are Essential_featured image

Your writing may seem like an uphill battle at times, but it doesn’t have to be. Creative writing is a skill that can be learned and practiced over time, so you’ll always be improving.

One way to get started is by learning how to mix up your Creative Writing skills with different mediums — whether that’s in a blog post, using Instagram captions, or crafting a movie script.

If you want your creative writing skills to grow stronger and more robust as you move forward in life, the best advice I can give is: don’t stop exploring!

Creative Writing and Critical Thinking

The two are often confused. What’s the different between creative writing and critical thinking?

Creative writing is the act of turning one’s imagination into something tangible, while critical thinking is the process of evaluating different ideas and finding their pros and cons.

Very few things are completely subjective. While we can all have our own opinions, the truth of the matter is that creativity requires an objective view. That means that you won’t be able to fully understand your creative writing skills unless you’re able to look at them without bias or prejudice.

To do so, you should always question your work. Get to know your writing skills and where the problems lie. Do this by using a highlighter when reading anything that you’ve written.

Anytime you come across a weak point – stop reading and begin highlighting it. Learn how to make creative writing better by looking at these weak points and finding a solution for them.

Be a critical thinker towards your creative writing!

Creative wriitng essential for the new writer

What is creative writing in simple words?

Creative writing is the act of turning one’s imagination into something tangible. It is the process of creating or inventing.

There are many different types of creative writing such as poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Creative writing requires time and perseverance to improve. It takes years, yes, even decades to hone one’s skill in this type of art form.

What skills do you need for creative writing?

You need to have a lot of patience, perseverance, motivation and inspiration. You must also have an open mind as well as the ability to think outside the box. You must push yourself to write every single day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Passion helps to engage the mind and also keeps it open to new ideas.

You need to be able to put your ideas into words in a form that engages your readers and compels them to read more. To be able to do this you need to have a lot of practice, starting off with simple things.

Start off by writing things that might interest you such as poetry, short stories or anything else that might engage your creative side.

Language for Creative Writing

You also need to have excellent command over the language that you are using. You must be able to communicate your ideas clearly and effectively in order for your audience to understand and enjoy them.

You will also need insight into human nature by being able to decipher what your audience will be interested in reading and knowing why they will want to read it.

  • What drives people to do something heroic or to do something criminal?
  • How are their minds different?
  • What causes us to be greedy, jealous, angry and depressed?
  • What makes us laugh or cry?

Understanding all human motivations and emotions is one of the most important aspects in creative writing. Learning this will enable you to create characters who are interesting.

The best way to find out why people do things is to understand their motivations and emotions. This will help you make your characters more believable and more likeable.

The mind is powerful and just by understanding some basic human needs, you’ll be able to give your characters a voice that readers can relate too.

A great writer should always know their audience. They must be able to put themselves into the shoes of their readers and imagine what it is like to read what they’ve written.

Dialogue should move the story forward
Good grammar is essential for creative writing

The Importance of Verbs In Creative Writing

A verb is a word that describes an action, motion, or state of being. A sentence can be made up without verbs, but what use is a sentence without action?

It is important to understand the proper role of verbs in creative writing, because it will help you structure your fiction. A simple way to make sure that your sentences are descriptive is by organizing them based on tense.

Some tenses are passive while others are active.

  • Passive : A sentence that describes an action, motion, or state of being without the person doing it.
  • Active: A sentence that describes someone performing an action, motion or state of being.

Try to use active tenses to your advantage. Active tenses are often more effective because they allow the reader to picture a situation without being limited by a passive tense.

Basic creative writing skills for beginners

For the creative writing skills I’d recommend that you should start off with short stories and poetry. Then, once you have practiced a lot, you can move onto novel writing. Here are some tips for writing your first short story.

  • Fiction is not real life – make it up! What was happening in this story? How was the protagonist feeling? What happened to him/her/them? Why was he/she/they feeling that way?
  • Focus on your protagonist and try to stay in their head space throughout the entire piece as much as possible – good character development makes everything better!
  • Try sticking with just one verb tense at a time so you don’t confuse yourself! I’ll often use the past tense then go back to future tense in my story and it works really well!
  • If you want to break out of your writing room, start off small and work your way up! Start with short stories and build on them.
  • Keep your fingers and toes on the pulse of life around you – everything we do, we’ve done before! If you’re writing about someone starting out in their career, try looking at a job you have already or a friend’s job. Get close to an experience that you’re familiar with to make it more real
  • When it comes to poetry: Don’t worry about crafting it too much. Try to write stuff that inspires you or makes you dream. Don’t worry if it rhymes or not!

The Author’s Voice in Creative Writing

Creative writing is often said to have a certain voice. Voice is the author’s literary style and personality that reflects themselves in the story.

It is a central element of every piece of creative writing and contributes to how we understand the writer. The voice can be seen as an expression of identity, because it establishes who the author is, as well as conveying messages about their emotions, values, attitudes and beliefs.

Voice also may depend on what era you are from; for example some authors use less formal language in their work not because they are lazy or do not know better – rather it was simply a part of speech in those days.

Character’s Interactive Dialogue

If you don’t know how to start writing about your dialogue, try writing a simple story that begins with the character’s dialogue. Then, go back and write an opening paragraph, 3-4 sentences describing your protagonist’s situation and what is happening when their dialogue starts.

Examples:

  • “I remember the first day of school,” Jimmy said sadly as he rolled over. “We were all excited…but there was something on my mind.”
  • “I’m late,” she thought to herself as she ran out of her apartment building uncharacteristically early for her weekday morning jog.
  • The first time I met Mr. Green was in my fourth grade class when his name was called out at random for recess duty.”

What characters say in creative fiction is crucial to the plot and characterization. Learning to write dialogue about realistic characters who say believable things will help you develop stronger characters and set up better plot points.

“If the character’s dialogue is well written, it makes the story more interesting and helps the reader see the character more clearly.”

How do you go about writing realistic dialogue?

What is dialogue? It is a conversation between two (or more) characters. In fact, a lot of conversations are not really “dialogue” in the traditional sense, but merely information being passed from one character to another.

If the information being exchanged is not essential to understanding the story, then it is usually better off as exposition via narrative. Dialogue should be used to create intriguing complications or introduce new events in the plot or characterization.

  • Dialogue in creative fiction is not like real speech but it should be written as realistically as possible. In a novel, dialogue is under the control of the author.
  • Dialogue in creative writing is a tool used to develop characters and contribute to plot development. It can also help readers understand characters’ motivations, emotions, and attitudes.
  • The rhythm of the dialogues serve to create dramatic tension throughout a scene by keeping the reader engaged in the conversation. Everything in creative fiction should serve to move the story forward and dialogue is no different.

What are some techniques used in the creative writing skill of poetry?

Poetry is a way of writing that utilizes rhythm and sound. It is very different from prose, which is a prose that uses sentences to tell the story.

Poets usually write verse or patterns of longer lines to convey their thoughts and feelings. Like prose, poetry has many different forms such as: ballads, sonnets, odes, quatrains etc.

Does poetry need creative writing skills?
Fiction need creative writing skills

Writing fiction for beginners

Creative writing for the new writer can be a bit overwhelming. You may have no idea where to begin. Writing a short story or a poem seems so daunting that you are unsure of how to even begin.

  • How do you start?
  • What is the first step?
  • How do you know what things to include in your piece?

These are just some of the questions that new writers ask themselves every day and unfortunately, they are pretty much impossible to answer for each person individually.

Beginners often have a great idea for some creative fiction. They know where it starts and where it ends, but the space in the middle is what is hard to fill in.

A work of fiction is often based on the 3 act structure and seasoned writer say ‘act 2 is where the novel goes to die’. This is because there is a lot of pressure on this act to move the story forward, create tension in the plot and develop all the characters.

The second act also has a tendency to come off as slow paced and boring because it simply needs to set up for what is coming later on in the book. However, there are ways to keep your second act from becoming ‘the place where your novel goes to die’.

Writing fiction course online

There are many resource online for learning creative writing and the one I’d recommend is the Writers online workshop. This online writing course was designed by an award-winning author and has all the tips you need to make your first story a success!

WOW is a great resource for writers because it gives you step by step guidelines on how to write your story. Most courses get very technical and are difficult for new writers who have never written fiction before.

The Writers Online Workshop takes out all of that technical information and leaves only what you need to know to get started as a writer in creative writing.

Writing fiction endings – the end of the story

An ending is absolutely essential to any piece of creative writing. Not only is it the final chapter, but also provides the reader with resolution for all of their questions and emotions that are near and dear to them.

Fiction like any other form of creative writing, should contain a satisfying resolution and what makes endings so important? This is because your story will have a bigger impact for you if everyone’s problems are solved.

Without an ending, your readers might find the book frustrating or it may leave them wanting more. There are many different types of endings used in creative writing and they all have one thing in common: they keep the reader satisfied after reading your story.

It is important to understand how to write a satisfying ending for all of the readers of your story. Writers sometimes create multiple or interactive endings using one story that will work great for some people and not so great for others.

Story ending is very important in fiction
Is first person best for creative writing fiction?

Writing fiction first person or third – which is best and why?

Good fiction will incorporate a variety of different point of views. The most common is the first person perspective, but what is the first person perspective and what are some examples in creative fiction?

First Person: A story told by a character or narrator. This perspective creates an intimate relationship between reader and author because readers can have access to the narrator’s thoughts.

Third Person: A story told using an outside (uninvolved) narrator without ever really showing what the narrator’s personal experiences are.

Writing fiction in first person

First person point of view is very common and is used by writer’s like John Grisham to make a piece of creative writing a page turner.

The majority of plot twists and questions that are answered at the end of the story have more impact if you are able to read it from someone’s perspective that you are rooting for.

It is easy for a first person narrator to describe things and their feelings in a way that pulls the reader right into the story. Writers use this creative writing skill to describe everything in detail to make the reader feel like they are part of it.

Writing fiction movement – how do you write action scenes?

Things are not always as they appear. When writing a story, you have to really think about what is happening in between the words. You will need to convey the actions and feelings of your characters through descriptions of what they see, hear, smell, taste or touch.

This is what makes fiction come alive. It’s best not too describe to much action, as it can be confusing and hard to follow. Instead, use your characters to describe what they are seeing, hearing or thinking.

The following example has a character described as “trying to make sense of the mess that was unfolding before her” although it is not a direct quote from the character.

“A small girl ran through the busy market place with her eyes scanning for any sign of her mother.” This is a great action scene. We can feel the girl’s panic as she searches the market for her mum.

  • Is she lost?
  • What’s going to happen?

We want to know what’s going to happen to her and that is at the heart of story and creative writing.

So many stories could be told here about what happens next – most of them based on her mother realizing she has been left alone. Writing fiction is all about the unexpected. What would you do in this situation?

Summary: Stories and creative writing are where the unexpected is expected. By using a variety of different literary techniques that we have covered in this article, you can start improving your skills as a writer and bring to life your own characters who have their own story to tell.