Are you struggling to find your rhythm as a creative writer? Can’t seem to figure out the plot or the characters? Or maybe you just have no idea what you’re doing wrong and why your writing doesn’t seem as magical and others. Well, here are 15 ways you can instantly become a much better creative writer. Like seriously, these tips are game-changing!
1. Write as much as you can
When it comes to creating any form of art – including writing – nothing will make you a master writer as much as simply: doing as much of it as possible. So write. Write as much as you can. Keep writing, even if it’s bad. Just keep going. When you’re practising, it is quantity over quality. Because one day you’ll look back at your work and be astonished by how much you’ve improved over time.
2. Practice focal descriptive writing
Learning to describe things properly is essential when it comes to learning how to be a better writer. Because your readers can’t see what you’re seeing in your head. So it is your job to paint the picture for them.
You can practice focal descriptive writing by picking any random object near you and describing it as much as you possibly can. For example, you picked the plant on your window. Describe what the leaves look like. What colours can you see? How do those colours interact with each other? What does the object remind you? What can you compare it with?
3. Write short stories
Sometimes getting lost in the plot is our biggest downfall. So to really help you learn how to get storytelling right, start with short stories. Find a unique, interesting and powerful plotline and get right to the juicy parts.
Aside from helping you get out of needing to inject your writing with fillers, it will teach you how to develop a story. You’ll figure out how to develop your characters in such a short time. How to throw in a plot twist, how to have your characters and the storyline grow.
By the time you get to writing longer stories, you’ll know what the basics of character development are. And it’ll seem much easier to have so much more space to do it over a longer story.
4. Mix up the genre you write about
Want to get better at anything? Get out of your comfort zone. It’s the golden rule of life. Are you a total stellar at writing romance stories? That’s great, now write something sci-fi. Are adventure books not really your thing? Well, you better get comfortable with them because now you’re gonna write an adventure story.
Granted, your first piece of work will be far from great. But keep going, because that is exactly how you get better.
5. Practice scenery descriptive writing
Time for a new description exercise. You can do the following, either: Go somewhere (anywhere) and in as much detail as you can, describe the place you’re in. What colours do you see? What do you smell? How many people are there? What is the atmosphere like? How does the place make you feel?
Or, you can let your imagination guide you. Answer all the same questions, only this time you’re imagining everything. Remember, this is your world. You decide how everything is. So if someone were sitting in your imaginary world, what would they see? How would they feel? What would it be like?
6. Read as much as you can
To be good at something, it is important to surround yourself with other’s greatness. So to be a better writer – read! Read all the time, read as much as you can. Read your favourite books and some of your less favourite books. Jump between different genres. Read from different cultures and different styles. Read from a writer you’re not familiar with. Or even a writer you might not like very much!
Figure out what you like and what you don’t like. Why don’t you like some things? Why don’t they work? What is something a writer does that you do like and how can you incorporate that in your own writing?
7. Take the time to develop your characters
Writing isn’t just about the plot. It’s about the starring actors playing out your story. Nothing is worse than having an amazing story with a sensational plotline and then having 2-dimensional characters to act it out.
So take the time to develop your characters. Sit down and mindmap them if you need to. Give your characters depth. Make them human so they can be sympathized with – even the “bad” ones. Make them unlikeable but give them redeeming qualities or a killer character arc. Readers want to see development. They want to see characters that feel real and human and relatable.
If you’re struggling with this, try to build the plot around the character arcs, rather than the other way around.
8. Get criticism for your writing
Your friends, your family, your peers, your neighbours or even your neighbour’s dog! Ask everyone! Give everyone small samples of some of your best work and ask them to critique it. Remember – don’t take it too personally if some of the criticism that comes back isn’t what you expected. Don’t settle for what you assume is “your best” because you can always get better.
So by keeping it in mind that you want to get better, listen to everyone’s critique. Now it is important to note that not everyone might be your target audience or who you wrote your story appealing to. Which is when you decide what parts of someone’s critiques to take and what parts to discard.
At the end of the day, your story, your choice.
9. Read poetry
Poetry is an amazing way to beautifully capture many things in life. Whether it’s an event, a feeling, a particular picture the poet wants you to see, poets capture this beautifully. By reading lots of poetry you can see how they use what words and techniques to enclose the exact feeling you want to evoke.
10. Practice those literary techniques
All those literary techniques you learned in English class? Personification, juxtaposition, imagery, pathetic fallacy, similies and metaphors. The whole lot of them. Make a list of all the techniques you intend to use in each short piece of writing and by the end, go over your writing and see if all techniques are present. If not, go back and change the writing.
Another way to practice them is to do one technique at a time. Write 2-3 sentences that have one technique in them for random situations. Do this over and over until you have at least 10 examples for each technique.
11. Write the scenes you want to write
Writing doesn’t have to be a linear process. You’re the author, you create the story! So you don’t have to take it scene by scene like a timeline. Don’t feel like writing the romance scene today? That’s okay! Leave it for another day and get to the murder scene you’ve been aching with anticipation to write. Remember, writing doesn’t have to be tedious!
12. Take inspiration from other forms of art
All good artists know that inspiration can come from anywhere. And art is all around us. Music, movies, TV shows, physical artwork. Even things like cooking! Art is everywhere. So take inspiration! Watch some of your favourite movies, go out to eat in a pretty restaurant, listen to a new album that just came out! Get those brain juices flowing and ready to create some art of your own!
13. Research the topic you’re writing about
Never underestimate the importance of research. Are you writing a scene where a character is giving another CPR? Research how to do CPR properly. Is your character fixing a car? Find out exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. Research the things you write about so that your story doesn’t suffer from awkward plot holes and misinformation.
14. Write through your own perception
Struggling to describe a specific scene? Put yourself in the shoes of the character’s whose POV you’re in. Are you there yet? Good. Now, use your perception to describe everything. What can you hear? Smell? See? Can you taste anything? What can you feel?
It is such an easy and beautiful way to really connect with your readers on a personal level and describing to them things in a first-person, human level.
15. You’re not just painting a picture
When you’re writing, you’re not just painting a picture. You’re doing so much more than that. You’re creating a whole new world. Your readers don’t just need to see what you want them to see – they need to feel what you want them to feel. Do you want their hearts to be breaking at a certain scene? How do you want them to react? What should they be feeling? What should they be imagining?
Constantly ask yourself how you want your readers to be feeling when writing a specific scene. This can really help rein you in and bring you back to the basics of storytelling. The most important part – the feeling.
And there you have it, writers! Some amazing tips to help you produce some amazing work! But what if you’re looking to write professional and really take your talent to the next level. Well, I can’t recommend this programme enough!
By New York Times Best Selling Author Ron Douglas, who’s sold over one million books and ebooks and been featured on Fox News, Good Morning America, and in People Magazine, a course especially for new writers to find a way to make a full time earning through their talent!
It highlights all the critical mistakes you’re making as an amateur writer which are preventing you from reaching your full potential of income. Plus, tons of comprehensive and extensive resources to help you overcome all these things and make what you deserve for your writing talent!