Top tips to improve your creative writing skills

Being able to write creatively is a wonderful skill to have because it can open so many doors for you, but not many people know how to effectively convey their thoughts onto paper which is why we have come up with a helpful guide that will see you getting started on your writing journey in no time.

HOW TO START WRITING

Writer’s block is the greatest enemy that any writer will ever face, but this enemy can be defeated if you adhere to some key principles. This isn’t to say that there won’t be times during the writing process that you will struggle to express yourself, but your journey to becoming a published writer will become immeasurably easier if you craft out a plan that incorporates the points made in this article.

If you don’t read, you cannot write

If you truly want to be a great writer, you need to read and not just one style or genre. Immerse yourself in everything from the classics, plot-driven mysteries and works from up-and-coming writers until you find a style that meshes with what you’re wanting to say.

Find your voice

Don’t waste time trying to be the next Harper Lee or F. Scott Fitzgerald. The reason that those writers wound up being so highly acclaimed is because they found a style that accurately reflected them. Finding your voice takes time, but once you do your writing will be infinitely better.

Establish a routine and stick to it

Like any craft, writing demands discipline over a long period. A lot of us would like to write a book, but only a select few have the ability to push through the mental barriers and put pen to paper or tap away on the keyboard day after day. The key to overcoming the challenges associated with being a writer is establishing a routine that works for you, marking it down on a content calendar and following through on the goals that you have set for yourself. Things will be difficult to begin with, but the more you do it the more momentum you will build and before you know it the act of turning ideas in your head into actual content will become as much a part of your routine as brushing your teeth.

Practice the craft

Writing is a skill that can only be refined through practice. While it is often said that practice makes perfect, the only way you can expect to grow as a writer is by engaging in what is known as perfect practice. This can only be achieved by setting out a clear plan and not veering from it.

Establish a network

Whilst reading a diverse set of books is an integral part of your journey to becoming a published writer, you should not limit your learnings to the written word. Interact with other like-minded people and the opportunities will come in.

Regularly review your work

Failure is a part of the writing process. Your characters or the situations in which they find themselves in won’t be perfect the first time. In the pursuit of great writing, having a critical eye and a preparedness to take input from others are non-negotiables.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR WRITING MORE ENGAGING

Arguably the most important element of the creative writing process is coming up with material that your readers will find engaging for the simple fact that people are not going to waste their valuable time reading content that they don’t resonate with. Your writing is likely to be at its most engaging if you’re writing about a topic that you’re passionate about, so take some time to draw up a list of your interests and then begin the process of elimination until you have found a topic that will provide you with endless material.

To help readers remain engaged in your work until they have turned to the final page, you should aim for concise, higher impact sentences and ensure that your vocabulary is diversified.

It is also a good idea to write in the active voice rather than the passive voice because doing so will give life to your writing and make the reader feel like they are in the moment.

Passive example: It was deemed by the coach that the team failed to captalise on their opportunities in front of goal.

Active example: The coach deemed that the team failed to capitalise on their opportunities in front of goal.

Whilst what you’re writing about may be interesting, you will lose the interest of your readers quickly if you take forever to get your message across. The best way to ward against rambling is by establishing what you want to say from the outset.

One of the biggest mistakes that up-and-coming writers make is thinking that using complicated words will make their content seem more interesting, when in reality it results in alienating the reader. You are more likely to get your message across if you use clear and concise language.

As a writer you want to avoid being  called predictable, and a sure-fire way to get yourself pegged as a predictable writer is by using cliches. Come up with unique ways to say what you want to say and your readers will keep on coming back for more.

STORY WRITING TIPS

You have all of your ideas down on paper and now it is time to drill them down until you have a finished product that is ready for publication.

To make a story relatable to a wide audience, you need to give your readers someone to root for. This can be achieved through giving the character a passion that will hopefully be shared by the reader or a weakness that the reader can relate to.

As mentioned earlier, having the ability to describe in a concise manner is imperative if you want to make it as a writer. The best way to sharpen your capacity to describe, in depth, your surroundings is by journaling. When you are journaling, it is a good idea to challenge yourself to describe the places that you frequent – who populates them, how they look and smell, how they interact with others and what moves them in conversation.

The idiom ‘The devil is in the details’ was seemingly made for those who make a living from writing. When you have a lightbulb moment for a story, set about doing some research immediately. Give a great deal of thought to the setting especially and take note of all the things that populate this world and then proceed to mark off the details as they are included in the book.

While everything provided in this article will help you in making the leap from a good to great writer, your writing can be made even more concise and compelling by engaging the services of a top-notch editor who will be able to rid your content of repetitive words and ensure that every sentence counts.

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