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How to be more creative writing

Creative Writing: How to Get Started with Creative Writing [+ 9 Exercises]

Now, we’re not saying your creative writing is bad necessarily, but just that if you want to continue to push yourself in this industry, you’ll need some work since literature is more competitive now than it ever has been.

You might not like to face that truth, but it is indeed a truth everyone who wants to write and publish successfully has to face.

I’ll go into more detail about that in a little bit but every writer out there needs some writing tips to help them get better.

And one of the best ways to get better at creative writing is to first learn and understand the craft of it, and then challenge yourself by completing writing exercises.

Because when your time comes to publish, you want a high-quality final product in order to actually sell your book and acquire raving fans.

Save This Resource NOW for Quick Reference Later…

200+ Fiction Writing Prompts In the Most Profitable Genres

Come up with your NEXT great book idea with over 200 unique writing prompts spanning 8 different genres. Use for a story, scene, character inspo, and more!

Here’s what you’ll learn about creative writing:

What is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is a form of writing where creativity is at the forefront of its purpose through using imagination, creativity, and innovation in order to tell a story through strong written visuals with an emotional impact, like in poetry writing, short story writing, novel writing, and more.

It’s often seen as the opposite of journalistic or academic writing.

When it comes to writing, there are many different types. As you already know, all writing does not read in the same way.

Creative writing uses senses and emotions in order to create a strong visual in the reader’s mind whereas other forms of writing typically only leave the reader with facts and information instead of emotional intrigue.

It can be a book series or a single installation, the factors that make up creative writing have more to do with how it sits with the reader artistically.

What are the Elements of Creative Writing?

In order to get better at creative writing, you have to understand the elements of what makes writing a book great.

You can’t build a car engine without understanding how each part plays a role, right…?

That’s the same case with writing.

And just a note, this is all stuff we cover, and you get to talk about 1-on-1 with your coach when you join Self-Publishing School.

Here are the elements that make up creative writing and why each is just as important as the other.

Unique Plot

What differentiates creative writing and other forms of writing the most is the fact that the former always has a plot of some sort – and a unique one.

Yes, remakes are also considered creative writing, however, most creative writers create their own plot formed by their own unique ideas. Without having a plot, there’s no story.

And without a story, you’re really just writing facts on paper, much like a journalist. Learn how to plot your novel and you’ll open up the possibility of writing at a higher level without the need to find your story as much.

Character development

Characters are necessary for creative writing. While you can certainly write a book creatively using the second person point of view (which I’ll cover below), you still have to develop the character in order to tell the story.

Character development can be defined as the uncovering of who a character is and how they change throughout the duration of your story. From start to end, readers should be able to understand your main characters deeply.

Underlying Theme

Almost every story out there has an underlying theme or message – even if the author didn’t necessarily intend for it to. But creative writing needs that theme or message in order to be complete.

That’s part of the beauty of this form of art. By telling a story, you can also teach lessons.

Visual Descriptions

When you’re reading a newspaper, you don’t often read paragraphs of descriptions depicting the surrounding areas of where the events took place. Visual descriptions are largely saved for creative writing.

You need them in order to help the reader understand what the surroundings of the characters look like.

Show don’t tell writing pulls readers in and allows them to imagine themselves in the characters’ shoes – which is the reason people read.

Point of View

There are a few points of views you can write in. That being said, the two that are most common in creative writing are first person and third person.

  • First Person – In this point of view, the narrator is actually the main character. This means that you will read passages including, “I” and understand that it is the main character narrating the story.
  • Second Person – Most often, this point of view isn’t used in creative writing, but rather instructional writing – like this blog post. When you see the word “you” and the narrator is speaking directly to you, it’s second person point of view.
  • Third Person – Within this point of view are a few different variations. You have third person limited, third person multiple, and third person omniscient. The first is what you typically find.

  • Third person limited’s narrator uses “he/she/they” when speaking about the character you’re following. They know that character’s inner thoughts and feelings but nobody else’s. It’s much like first person, but instead of the character telling the story, a narrator takes their place.
  • Third person multiple is the same as limited except that the narrator now knows the inner thoughts and feelings of several characters.
  • The last, third person omniscient, is when the narrator still uses “he/she/they” but has all of the knowledge. They know everything about everyone.

While non-creative writing can have dialogue (like in interviews), that dialogue is not used in the same way as it is in creative writing. Creative writing (aside from silent films) requires dialogue to support the story.

Your characters should interact with one another in order to further the plot and develop each character other more.

Imaginative Language

Part of what makes creative writing creative is the way you choose to craft the vision in your mind.

And that means creative writing uses more anecdotes, metaphors, similes, figures of speech, and other figurative language in order to paint a vivid image in the reader’s mind.

Emotional Appeal

All writing can have emotional appeal. However, it’s the entire goal of creative writing. Your job as a writer is to make people feel how you want them to by telling them a story.

Creative Writing Examples

Since creative writing covers such a wide variety of writing, we wanted to break down the different types of creative writing out there to help you make sense of it. Y ou may know that novels are considered creative writing, but what about memoirs?

Here are examples of creative writing:

  • TV show scripts
  • Movie scripts
  • Songs

9 Creative Writing Exercises to Improve Your Writing

Writing is just like any other skill. You have to work at it in order to get better.

It’s also much like other skills because the more you do it, the stronger you become in it. That’s why exercising your creative writing skills is so important.

How do you start creative writing?

The best authors out there, including Stephen King, recommend writing something every single day. These writing exercises will help you accomplish that and improve your talent immensely.

#1 – Describe your day with creative writing

This is one of my favorite little exercises to keep my writing sharp and in shape.

Just like with missing gym sessions, the less you write, the more of that skill you lose. Hannah Lee Kidder, a very talented author and Youtuber, gave me this writing exercise and I have used it many times.

Creative Writing Exercise:

All you have to do is sit down and describe your day – starting with waking up – as if you were writing it about another person. Use your creative writing skills to bring life to even the dullest moments, like showering or brushing your teeth.

#2 – Description depiction

If you’re someone who struggles with writing descriptions or you just want to get better in general, this exercise will help you do just that – and quickly.

In order to improve your descriptions, you have to write them with a specific intention.

With this exercise, the goal is to write your description with the goal of showing the reader as much as you can about your character without ever mentioning them at all.

Save This Resource NOW for Quick Reference Later…

200+ Fiction Writing Prompts In the Most Profitable Genres

Come up with your NEXT great book idea with over 200 unique writing prompts spanning 8 different genres. Use for a story, scene, character inspo, and more!

23 Tips to Become a More Creative Writer

While surfing the net some time ago, I came across a list of tips titled “33 Ways to Stay Creative.” I found it very inspiring and decided to adapt the original to the world of writing. In addition, I added a brief explanation to each of the points on the list. As a result, I have the following 23 tips to becoming a more creative writer. I hope you enjoy them.

1. Make Lists

Sometimes we feel overwhelmed in thinking there are hundreds of things that must be done. However, if we write them down in a list (differentiating between tasks and micro-tasks), we realize it’s not such a big deal. In fact, they can be finished one at a time and crossed off our to-do list. This leaves the brain better organized, we feel more relaxed, and we can make space for creativity.

2. Carry a Notebook Everywhere

I think I’ve mentioned this many times because it is of great importance, but take a notebook with you. You never know when you will come up with a fantastic idea, and you’ll appreciate having a readily available place to jot it down.

3. Try Free Writing

Free writing is writing without any planning ahead of time. It can be a magnificent way to activate your inspiration. Start with a sentence or a combination of words, and then let yourself go.

4. Get Away from the TV and the Computer

If you’re trying to stimulate the part of the brain that is in charge of providing you with ideas, turn off the TV and the computer, disconnect from the Internet, and place your phone out of reach. They’re useful tools for other tasks, but they aren’t good for your creativity.

5. Be Otherworldly

Dare to think differently … be unique! Forget about trying to be like everyone else. Being original means being your natural self.

6. Take Breaks

Did you know your brain works faster when you’re relaxed? Knowing that, relax some of your life a little every day, and you’ll see how new ideas come along.

7. Sing in the Shower

… and sing in the car, at work, on the street, etc. Sing and whistle all you want. It’s very healthy for your mind as well as your mood! A cheerful person is a more creative person. Besides setting your shyness aside by singing loudly in the shower, it also helps free you from inhibitions, is relaxing, and relieves stress.

8. Drink Coffee or Tea

In moderation, of course. One or two cups a day will stimulate your brain and can also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

9. Know Your Roots

I think writers should be clear about where they come from meaning they know about their culture and their roots. It will help you find your own voice and be aware of your particular way of looking at the world. In no way does this mean you have to limit yourself because there are many interesting things out there. Nevertheless, as a good friend of mine told me long ago, when you know where you come from, you are more prepared to know where you want to go.

10. Listen to New Music …

… and read new books, visit new exhibitions, watch new films, etc. Do “new” always. Culture is alive and in constant motion. Pay attention to the things being done around you as they provide unexpected points of view and key ideas for your writing.

11. Collaborate and Be Open

If there’s something I’ve learned from this blog, it is that writers shouldn’t lock themselves in a room with no contact other than their own words. Whether virtually or in person, it’s very rewarding to share your writing, participate in writing groups, and comment on the writing of other people. In short, it’s good to exchange words with other people.

12. Surround Yourself with Creative People

Do so whenever possible because creativity attracts creativity.

13. Don’t Give Up

Never, ever give up! Keep on trying. Perseverance is essential if you want to be a writer; it matters as much or maybe more than talent matters.

14. Practice, Practice, Practice

Writing is like playing an instrument – you have to spend time on it. The more you practice, the closer you are to excellence.

15. Allow Yourself to Make Mistakes

Here’s a universal truth and one of the few I believe in – you’re going to make mistakes. That’s for sure. Sooner or later, we all make mistakes. Everybody does. Never being wrong means you’ve never tried anything. You have to make many mistakes to be right sometimes.

16. Go Somewhere New

Taste food you had never tasted before … dare to try new things. It stimulates creativity and provides you with experiences which then give you new material to write about.

17. Watch Old Films …

… and read old books. Go back to the classics. It’ll be worth it when your creativity gets a boost from the favorite films and books of old.

18. Count Your Blessings

We’re usually very clear about our defects, right? Nevertheless, we often find it more difficult to be aware of our virtues. To remedy this problem, make a list with all the good things about you. Believe in them, and enjoy them. Take delight in your qualities. Self-esteem is a good partner of creativity because it removes fears and insecurities that prevent us from thinking differently.

19. Break the Rules

You know the old saying, “You have to master the rules before you can break them.” Once you have a good command of the rules, dare to transgress them a bit. Write differently, and seek new ways to do things, etc. You’ll probably be wrong often, but it’ll be worth the effort when you get it right.

20. Learn Something New Every Day

I really like this tip. It’s difficult, but it’s also invigorating. It makes you pay attention and stay alert in the search for new information. All the interesting things we learn remain in the brain which is then responsible for shaping them to form ideas.

21. Clean Your Workspace

You probably have heard the saying Latin saying, “Mens sana in corpore sano” which roughly translates as “a healthy mind within a healthy body.” However, it should also be emphasized that the brain works better in a comfortable environment. It’s not about becoming obsessed with order, but organizing your workspace once in a while will help you think clearly.

22. Have Fun

Fun is indispensable. Have fun in your life, and have fun when you write. Some may believe in the image of the tormented writer or the bohemian and depressed artist, but you should find that writing (even if it’s sometimes hard) can also be very funny.

23. Finish Something

Finish everything you can. If you finish what you’ve started, your brain will get used to it being a habit, and you’ll take your work more seriously.