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The steps in creative writing

The Creative Writing Process

Creative writing can serve many purposes in both your personal and professional life. It helps develop imagination and serves as an outlet for people to express themselves consistently. Within your career, creative writing can help you discover your strengths, learn to give and take constructive criticism and help improve your communication skills and thought development.

In this article, we explore what creative writing is and review some foundational creative writing tips to help you use your skills to advance your career.

What is creative writing?

Creative writing is any type of writing that requires imagination or invention to express an idea uniquely. Creative writing often focuses on the development of narrative, poetry or drama, but it can also include nonfiction writing in a professional setting. It is different from informational writing, which aims to convey an idea directly and concisely.

Creative writing often uses many literary devices such as figurative language and imagery to help convey a message in an entertaining way by reaching the audience on a deeper level. Creative writing is process-focused and aims to fully develop and communicate an idea to your audience in an original way.

Practicing these skills can help you approach your work more effectively and excel in a creative writing career.

Parts of creative writing

At the core of any type of writing, including creative writing, is the ability to communicate an idea effectively. When writing creatively for work, consider what your message is and how you can express your idea in a way that highlight’s your company’s message. Some foundational elements of creative writing include:

Characterization: In works of prose and nonfiction, characters are the participants in the story. Through detailed description, an author develops their characters, and their actions propel the plot of the story forward. How invested readers become in a story depends on the author’s ability to craft believable characters and create a story an audience can relate to.

Realism: Readers must be willing participants to submit to the ideas you have crafted as an author, poet or playwright. You can help your readers accept your story more readily if you make sure it includes a degree of realism. A character’s actions must be authentic and agree with the personality and identity that you’ve crafted for them.

Setting: The setting of a work of fiction or nonfiction is where and when the main action takes place. The setting of a creative writing piece can be grand and detailed or sparse and simple. Your setting should work to support the overall message and emotions conveyed by your piece.

Tone: The tone is how you use language and specific word choice to communicate your attitude toward the topic or ideas contained in the writing. The tone is a strong indicator of the theme of your piece and helps guide your audience toward an opinion about the ideas within it.

Mood: Mood refers to how the words chosen by the writer make the audience feel toward the subject or characters. It is a reader’s emotional response to the topic or characters in a creative writing piece.

Structure and plot: The structure of a piece includes the expositions, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. It encompasses the typical pattern of any narrative in which a conflict arises and must be solved. In most cases, the structure will help to indicate the purpose of your creative writing and will support the message you intend on conveying to your audience.

Point of view: The point of view is the lens or perspective from which the story is being told. Although there are several different points of view, the consistent voice who is narrating or filtering the information for the audience will influence the message and the audience’s perspective, opinion and experience.

Resolution: When writing a compelling story or article, the resolution is where all the questions are answered for the audience and storylines find a conclusion that matches the events of the piece up to this point.

Theme: The theme is the message of your creative piece. It can be explicitly stated or implied from the different literary elements you’ve included in your writing. The theme is the idea that you wish to convey to your readers about a particular topic.

Types of creative writing

Creative writing is an imaginative process that can encompass many different types of writing that are original and innovative. Although not limited to these, some typical examples of creative writing are:

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.

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200+ Fiction Writing Prompts In the Most Profitable Genres

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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!