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Guides • Perfecting your Craft

Last updated on Dec 23, 2022

Creative Writing: 8 Fun Ways to Get Started

Creative writing is a written art form that uses the imagination to tell stories and compose essays, poetry, screenplays, novels, lyrics, and more. It can be defined in opposition to the dry and factual types of writing found in academic, technical, or journalistic texts.

Characterized by its ability to evoke emotion and engage readers, creative writing can tackle themes and ideas that one might struggle to discuss in cold, factual terms.

If you’re interested in the world of creative writing, we have eight fantastic exercises and activities to get you started.

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1. Use writing prompts every week

Illustration of a writer getting ready for a creative writing contest

Coming up with ideas for short stories can be challenging, which is why we created a directory of 1700+ creative writing prompts covering a wide range of genres and topics. Writing prompts are flexible in nature, they are meant to inspire you without being too constrictive. Overall, they are a great way to keep your creative muscles limber.

Example of Reedsy's Creative Writing Prompts

If you’re struggling for motivation, how does a hard deadline and a little prize money sound? Prompts-based writing contests are a fantastic way to dive into creative writing: the combination of due dates, friendly rivalries, prize money, and the potential to have your work published is often just what’s needed to propel you over the finish line. 

We run a weekly writing contest over on Reedsy Prompts, where hundreds of writers from all around the world challenge themselves weekly to write a short story between 1,000 and 3,000 words for a chance to win the $250 prize. Furthermore, the community is very active in providing constructive feedback, support, and accountability to each other 一 something that will make your efforts even more worthwhile.

Take a peek at our directory of writing contests which features some of the most prestigious open writing competitions in the world. 

2. Start journaling your days

Illustration of a writer journaling in autumn

Another easy way to get started with creative writing is to keep a journal. We’re not talking about an hour-by-hour account of your day, but journaling as a way to express yourself without filters and find your ‘voice in writing’. If you’re unsure what to journal about, think of any daily experiences that have had an impact on you, such as… 

Special moments . Did you lock yourself out of your house? Or did you catch a beautiful sunset on your way back from groceries? Capture those moments, and how you felt about them.

People . Did you have an unusual exchange with a stranger at the bar? Or did you reconnect with someone you haven’t seen in years? Share your thoughts about it.

World events . Is there something happening in the world right now that is triggering you? That’s understandable. You can reflect on it (and let some steam off) while journaling.

Memories . Did you go down memory lane after a glass of wine? Great, honor those memories by trying to recollect them in detail on paper so that they will always stay vivid in your mind.

Life decisions . Are you having an existential crisis about what to do with your life? Write down your thought process, and the pros and cons of the possible decisions in front of you. You’ll be surprised to discover that, not only is it a great creative writing exercise, but it can also actually help you sort your life out! 

If you struggle to write consistently, sign up for our How to Write a Novel course to finish a novel in just 3 months.  

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3. Create an anonymous social media account

Illustration of a writer thinking

Like anonymous blogging, an incognito Twitter account sidesteps the pressure that comes with attaching your name to your work. Anonymously putting tiny stories out into the ether gives you the freedom to create without worrying about the consequences — which is great, so long as you don’t use it as an opportunity to troll people or spread conspiracy theories. 

You could use the anonymous account in different ways. For example, you could…

  • Tweet from unique points of view (e.g. a dog observing human behavior );
  • Create a parody account of real or fictional people (e.g. an English poet from the Middle Ages );
  • Challenge yourself to write tiny flash fiction stories that fit into Twitter threads.

Just remember, you’re not doing this to fool anyone into thinking that your account is real: be a good citizen and mark yourself a fiction account in your bio. 

How to Start Creative Writing | Screenshot of a tweet by the Twitter account

But if you’re not really a social media kinda person, you may enjoy our next tip, which is a bit more on the analog side.

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4. Find an old photo and tell its story

Illustration of a photo-inspired journaling exercise

Find a random old photo — maybe on the web, maybe from a photo album in a yard sale — and see what catches your attention. Look closely at it and try to imagine the story behind it. What was happening? Who are the people in it and how are they really feeling? Do they share a relationship, and of what kind? What are their goals and dreams?

In other words, bring the photo to life with your imagination. Don't be afraid to take artistic license with your story, as the goal is to be creative and have fun while writing. 

How do you know it’s creative writing?

Creative Writing | info card listing 5 headers below

5. Create a character from a random name

Illustration of a young poet and a warrior back to back

Just as our universe started from a few simple elements, you can create a character from a few basic information, like their name, culture, and gender. Reedsy’s handy character name generator can help you with that, offering random names based on archetypes, Medieval roots, fantasy traits and more. A few examples? A Celtic heroine named Fíona O'Keefe, a hero’s sidekick named Aderine, or a Korean track star named Park Kang-Dae.

Once you've chosen their name, begin to develop their personality. Set a timer for 5–10 minutes and write anything that comes to mind about them. It could be a page from their FBI dossier, a childhood diary entry, or simply a scene about them boiling an egg.

Just ‘go with the flow’ and don’t stop writing until your time is up. Repeat the process a few times to further hone the personality. If you like what you end up with, you can always go deeper later with our character profile template . 

If a stream-of-consciousness exercise is not your thing, you can try to imagine your character in a specific situation and write down how’d they respond to it. For example, what if they were betrayed by a friend? Or if they were elected in power? To help you imagine situations to put your character in, we made a free template that you can download below. 

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Reedsy’s Character Questionnaire

40 questions to help you develop memorable characters.

6. Construct a character by people-watching

A writer observing a person and taking notes

People watching is “the action of spending time idly observing people in a public place.” In a non-creepy way, ideally. Sit on a bench on a public square or on a road-side table at your favorite café, and start observing the people around you. Pay attention to any interesting quirks or behaviors, and write it down. Then put on your detective’s hat and try to figure out what that tells you about them.

For example, the man at the table next to you at the restaurant is reading the newspaper. His jacket and hat are neatly arranged next to him. The pages make a whipping sound as he briskly turns them, and he grimaces every time he reads a new article. Try to imagine what he’s reading, and why he’s reacting the way he is. Then, try to build a character with the information you have. It’s a fun creative exercise that will also, hopefully, help you better empathize with strangers. 

7. “Map” something you feel strongly about into a new context

Illustration of a young romance writer

Placing your feelings into new contexts can be a powerful creative writing exercise. The idea is to start from something you feel strongly about, and frame it into a completely different context. 

For example, suppose your heart is torn apart after you divorce your life-long partner: instead of journaling or writing a novel about it, you could tell a story about a legendary trapeze duo whose partnership has come to an end. If you’re struggling with politicking and petty power dynamics at the office: what if you “mapped” your feelings onto an ant who resents being part of a colony? Directing your frustration at a queen ant can be a fun and cathartic writing experience (that won’t get you in trouble if your co-workers end up reading your story).   

8. Capture the moment with a haiku

Illustration of a haiku poet inspired by the four seasons

Haikus are poems from the Japanese tradition that aim to capture, in a few words, daily moments of insight (usually inspired by nature). In a nutshell, it’s about becoming mindful of your surroundings, and notice if you can see something in a new or deeper way 一 then use contrasting imagery to express whatever you noticed. 

Here’s an example:

Bright orange bicycle

Speeding through the autumn leaves

A burst of color waves

It may sound a bit complicated, but it shouldn’t be 一 at least not for the purpose of this exercise. Learn the basics of haiku-writing , then challenge yourself to write one per day for a week or month. At the end, you’ll be able to look back at your collection of poems and 一 in the worst case scenario 一 revisit small but significant moments that you would have otherwise forgot about.   

Creative writing can be any writing you put your heart and soul into. It could be made for the purpose of expressing your feelings, exploring an idea, or simply entertaining your readers. As you can see there’s many paths to get involved with it, and hundreds of exercises you can use as a starting point. In the next post, we’ll look more in detail at some creative writing examples from some fellow authors. 

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How to Improve Creative Writing

Last Updated: November 2, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Melessa Sargent and by wikiHow staff writer, Hannah Madden . Melessa Sargent is the President of Scriptwriters Network, a non-profit organization that brings in entertainment professionals to teach the art and business of script writing for TV, features and new media. The Network serves its members by providing educational programming, developing access and opportunity through alliances with industry professionals, and furthering the cause and quality of writing in the entertainment industry. Under Melessa's leadership, SWN has won numbers awards including the Los Angeles Award from 2014 through 2021, and the Innovation & Excellence award in 2020. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 33,300 times.

Creative writing is an outlet to express your imagination by putting it onto paper. Many people enjoy creative writing, but some struggle with it because of how unstructured it can feel. If you have been writing creatively and you’d like to improve your skills, try learning grammar rules and receiving feedback on your work to strengthen your creative writing and boost your confidence.

Creating Polished Work

Step 1 Learn the basic grammar and punctuation rules of your language.

  • Using correct grammar and punctuation will also make your writing seem more polished.

Step 2 Cut down on unnecessary adjectives and adverbs.

  • For example, instead of saying, “He quickly and quietly ate his food,” try saying, “He gulped down his meal.” This sentence is more interesting, and gives the same effect to the reader.

Step 3 Proofread your work carefully.

Tip: Take a break from writing and come back to your piece after a few hours or even days. Mistakes will be easier to spot after you’ve taken a break.

Step 4 Revise your first draft as you need to.

  • Revising is similar to proofreading, except you are looking for ways to improve your piece, not just correcting mistakes.

Step 5 Join a writing group to get constructive criticism.

  • Don’t be offended if someone doesn’t like your piece, or has a lot of feedback to give. You can choose whether or not to implement a change that someone else suggests.

Finding Time and Ideas

Step 1 Block off time to write every day.

Tip: If you think you might forget to write, set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself.

Step 2 Read books that you think you will enjoy.

  • Get a library card so that you can check out books for free instead of buying them every time.

Step 3 Look up writing prompts to give yourself inspiration.

  • For example, you might start with a prompt like, “Imagine what it would be like to be a plant,” or "Write about a day in the life of Barack Obama.”

Step 4 Practice people-watching to observe interactions and get story ideas.

  • You can also use people-watching to practice writing down descriptions of behavior and clothing.

Step 5 Write your own take on an existing story.

  • For instance, try writing a fairytale from another character’s perspective, or setting it in today’s era.

Step 6 Set deadlines for yourself.

  • Deadlines that you set for yourself can seem easy to brush off, but you will be disappointed in yourself if you don’t meet them.
  • Make sure your deadlines are realistic. Don’t plan on finishing an entire book by next week if you’re only halfway through.

Expert Q&A

Melessa Sargent

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  • ↑ https://www.luc.edu/literacy/grammar.shtml
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/editing-and-proofreading/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/group-writing/
  • ↑ Melessa Sargent. Professional Writer. Expert Interview. 14 August 2019.
  • ↑ https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentID=4552&ContentTypeID=1
  • ↑ https://www.uopeople.edu/blog/why-its-important-to-read/
  • ↑ https://cetl.uconn.edu/about/mission/

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Creative Writing 101

Creative Writing 101

You love to write and have been told you have a way with words. So you’ve decided to give writing a try—creative writing.

Problem is, you’re finding it tougher than it looks.

You may even have a great story idea , but you’re not sure how to turn it into something people will read.

Don’t be discouraged—writing a compelling story can be grueling, even for veterans. Conflicting advice online may confuse you and make you want to quit before you start.

But you know more than you think. Stories saturate our lives.

We tell and hear stories every day in music, on television, in video games, in books, in movies, even in relationships.

Most stories, regardless the genre, feature a main character who wants something.

There’s a need, a goal, some sort of effort to get that something.

The character begins an adventure, a journey, or a quest, faces obstacles, and is ultimately transformed.

The work of developing such a story will come. But first, let’s look at the basics.

  • What is Creative Writing?

It’s prose (fiction or nonfiction) that tells a story.

Journalistic, academic, technical writing relays facts.

Creative writing can also educate, but it’s best when it also entertains and emotionally moves the reader.

It triggers the imagination and appeals to the heart.

  • Elements of Creative Writing

Elements of Creative Writing

Writing a story is much like building a house.

You may have all the right tools and design ideas, but if your foundation isn’t solid, even the most beautiful structure won’t stand.

Most storytelling experts agree, these 7 key elements must exist in a story.

Plot (more on that below) is what happens in a story. Theme is why it happens.

Before you begin writing, determine why you want to tell your story.

  • What message do you wish to convey? 
  • What will it teach the reader? 

Resist the urge to explicitly state your theme. Just tell the story, and let it make its own point.

Give your readers credit. Subtly weave your theme into the story and trust them to get it.

They may remember a great plot, but you want them thinking about your theme long after they’ve finished reading.

2. Characters

Every story needs believable characters who feel knowable.

In fiction, your main character is the protagonist, also known as the lead or hero/heroine.

The protagonist must have:

  • redeemable flaws
  • potentially heroic qualities that emerge in the climax
  • a character arc (he must be different, better, stronger by the end)

Resist the temptation to create a perfect lead. Perfect is boring. (Even Indiana Jones suffered a snake phobia.)

You also need an antagonist, the villain , who should be every bit as formidable and compelling as your hero.

Don’t make your bad guy bad just because he’s the bad guy. Make him a worthy foe by giving him motives for his actions.

Villains don’t see themselves as bad. They think they’re right! A fully rounded bad guy is much more realistic and memorable.

Depending on the length of your story , you may also need important orbital cast members.

For each character, ask:

  • What do they want?
  • What or who is keeping them from getting it?
  • What will they do about it?

The more challenges your characters face, the more relatable they are.

Much as in real life, the toughest challenges result in the most transformation.

Setting may include a location, time, or era, but it should also include how things look, smell, taste, feel, and sound.

Thoroughly research details about your setting so it informs your writing, but use those details as seasoning, not the main course. The main course is the story.

But, beware.

Agents and acquisitions editors tell me one of the biggest mistakes beginning writers make is feeling they must begin by describing the setting.

That’s important, don’t get me wrong. But a sure way to put readers to sleep is to promise a thrilling story on the cover—only to start with some variation of:

The house sat in a deep wood surrounded by…

Rather than describing your setting, subtly layer it into the story.

Show readers your setting. Don’t tell them. Description as a separate element slows your story to crawl.

By layering in what things look and feel and sound like you subtly register the setting in the theater of readers’ minds.

While they concentrating on the action, the dialogue , the tension , the drama, and conflict that keep them turning the pages, they’re also getting a look and feel for your setting.

4. Point of View

POV is more than which voice you choose to tell your story: First Person ( I, me ), Second Person ( you, your ), or Third Person ( he, she, or it ).

Determine your perspective (POV) character for each scene—the one who serves as your camera and recorder—by deciding who has the most at stake. Who’s story is this?

The cardinal rule is that you’re limited to one perspective character per scene, but I prefer only one per chapter, and ideally one per novel.

Readers experience everything in your story from this character’s perspective.

For a more in-depth explanation of Voice and POV, read A Writer’s Guide to Point of View .

This is the sequence of events that make up a story —in short, what happens. It either compels your reader to keep turning pages or set the book aside.

A successful story answers:

  • What happens? (Plot)
  • What does it mean? (Theme: see above)

Writing coaches call various story structures by different names, but they’re all largely similar. All such structures include some variation of:

  • An Inciting Incident that changes everything
  • A series of Crises that build tension
  • A Resolution (or Conclusion)

How effectively you create drama, intrigue, conflict, and tension, determines whether you can grab readers from the start and keep them to the end.

6. Conflict

This is the engine of fiction and crucial to effective nonfiction as well.

Readers crave conflict and what results from it.

If everything in your plot is going well and everyone is agreeing, you’ll quickly bore your reader—the cardinal sin of writing.

If two characters are chatting amiably and the scene feels flat (which it will), inject conflict. Have one say something that makes the other storm out, revealing a deep-seated rift.

Readers will stay with you to find out what it’s all about.

7. Resolution

Whether you’re an Outliner or a Pantser like me (one who writes by the seat of your pants), you must have an idea where your story is going.

How you expect the story to end should inform every scene and chapter. It may change, evolve, and grow as you and your characters do, but never leave it to chance.

Keep your lead character center stage to the very end. Everything he learns through all the complications you plunged him into should, in the end, allow him to rise to the occasion and succeed.

If you get near the end and something’s missing, don’t rush it. Give your ending a few days, even a few weeks if necessary.

Read through everything you’ve written. Take a long walk. Think about it. Sleep on it. Jot notes. Let your subconscious work. Play what-if games. Reach for the heart, and deliver a satisfying ending that resonates .

Give your readers a payoff for their investment by making it unforgettable.

  • Creative Writing Examples
  • Short Story
  • Narrative nonfiction
  • Autobiography
  • Song lyrics
  • Screenwriting
  • Playwriting
  • Creative Writing Tips

In How to Write a Novel , I cover each step of the writing process:

  • Come up with a great story idea .
  • Determine whether you’re an Outliner or a Pantser.
  • Create an unforgettable main character.
  • Expand your idea into a plot.
  • Do your research.
  • Choose your Voice and Point of View.
  • Start in medias res (in the midst of things).
  • Intensify your main character’s problems.
  • Make the predicament appear hopeless.
  • Bring it all to a climax.
  • Leave readers wholly satisfied.
  • More to Think About

1. Carry a writing pad, electronic or otherwise. I like the famous Moleskine™ notebook . 

Ideas can come at any moment. Record ideas for:

  • Anything that might expand your story

2. Start small. 

Take time to build your craft and hone your skills on smaller projects before you try to write a book .

Journal. Write a newsletter. Start a blog. Write short stories . Submit articles to magazines, newspapers, or e-zines.

Take a night school or online course in journalism or creative writing. Attend a writers conference.

3. Throw perfection to the wind. 

Separate your writing from your editing .

Anytime you’re writing a first draft, take off your perfectionist cap. You can return to editor mode to your heart’s content while revising, but for now, just write the story.

Separate these tasks and watch your daily production soar.

  • Time to Get to Work

Few pleasures in life compare to getting lost in a great story.

Learn how to write creatively, and the characters you birth have the potential to live in hearts for years.

  • 1. Carry a writing pad, electronic or otherwise. I like the famous Moleskine™ notebook. 

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Creative Writing Tips for Beginners: 10 Top Tips

Hannah Yang headshot

Hannah Yang

creative writing tips for beginners

Creative writing can be a very fulfilling hobby.

Writing can help you explore deep questions, use your imagination, and express your thoughts and feelings in a healthy way.

If you want to learn creative writing, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn our top ten creative writing tips to help you get started.

How to Write Creatively

10 creative writing tips for beginners, how to get better at creative writing, where to find creative writing help.

Anyone can learn creative writing—all you need is a pen and paper, or your writing software of choice.

Once you’ve got your tools ready, it’s time to think of a story idea. You can draw inspiration from your own life, newspaper headlines, songs you like, or anything else around you.

If you don’t have any story ideas in mind, you can also try starting with a prompt. Here are a few creative writing prompts you can choose from:

  • Write about someone with a dangerous secret
  • Write a scene set at your favorite restaurant
  • Write a story about someone who wakes up with no memories, except for a single name
  • Write a story from the perspective of someone who isn’t human
  • Complete the sentence: “It was a completely normal Saturday except for…”

Pick up your pen, choose your favorite prompt, and start writing!

If you’re new to creative writing, here are ten fiction writing tips that you can try.

Tip 1: Read Widely

It’s hard to become a great musician without having heard a lot of great music.

The same is true for writing. Reading a lot of books is a great way to get inspired and to learn more about the anatomy of a story.

It’s important to read in whatever genre you want so you can understand the conventions of that genre. If you’re writing a fantasy story, for example, you should familiarize yourself with popular fantasy novels and short stories so you know what readers expect.

On the other hand, it’s just as important to read a diverse variety of books. Exposing yourself to lots of genres and authors can help you learn about different writing styles and techniques.

Tip 2: Experiment With Different Formats and Points of View

Creative writing can involve countless different formats. You can write a story that looks like a diary entry, a song, or a Charles Dickens novel.

Maybe you want to write a story in the form of a series of instructions to the reader, like a cooking recipe or a how-to manual.

Or maybe you want to write a story in the form of a confession from one character to another, in a mix of first-person and second-person POV.

four story formats

Try out different styles, even ones that don’t feel like your usual writing style. Doing this experimentation early on in your creative writing journey can help you find your own voice and figure out what works best for you.

Tip 3: Take Inspiration From Many Sources

No story is written in a vacuum. Every artist takes inspiration from other works of art, and you shouldn’t feel bad about writing a story that’s inspired by your favorite book or movie.

At the same time, though, it’s important not to write a story that actually plagiarizes an existing one. Directly copying the work of other creative writers is both unethical and illegal. Plus, it’s much less fun than writing your own stories.

A good rule of thumb if you’re looking for ideas is to take inspiration from many sources rather than a single one.

For example, maybe you like the sarcastic humor of one book, the sweet romance arc of another book, and the Gothic setting of your favorite TV show. When you merge those three things together, you’ll most likely create a story that feels unique and original, even though you took inspiration from existing stories.

Tip 4: Show, Don’t Tell

The phrase “Show, don’t tell” is a popular piece of writing advice that almost every writer has heard before.

Essentially, “show, don’t tell” means that you should immerse the reader in your story through sensory details and descriptive language instead of simply summarizing the story to them.

show, don't tell definition

For example, you could tell someone, “My sister’s room is messy.” That sentence conveys the facts, but the person you’re talking to probably wouldn’t be able to picture your sister’s room in their head.

On the other hand, you could say, “My sister basically uses the floor of her room as a giant laundry hamper—it’s covered with so many sweaters and scarves that I don’t even remember what color her carpet is.” This sentence gives your listener a much more specific idea of what your sister’s room looks like.

Tip 5: Write With Intention

Many newer writers put down words on the page based on what comes to mind first.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to describe a character. A new writer might note down whatever details they visualize right away, like the color of the character’s hair or the type of clothes they’re wearing.

This is a great way to write when you’re just starting out, but if you want to improve your skills, it’s important to learn how to write with intention.

Try to get in the habit of asking yourself: What details does the reader need to know and why? For example, what aspects of this character’s hair color and outfit could tell the reader something deeper about the character’s personality and motivations?

It’s also important to figure out what you want to convey emotionally. What do you want your reader to feel? Excited? Creeped out? Hopeful?

For example, you might describe a sunset as “blood-red” if you want the reader to feel creeped out, or as “glowing and bright” if you want the reader to feel hopeful.

Tip 6: Learn How to Edit

No first draft is perfect, even if you’re a seasoned writer.

Learning how to edit your work is just as important as learning how to write on a blank page. That’s how you can create a creative work you feel proud of.

One helpful tip is to try reading your work out loud. That can often help you spot places where your prose doesn’t flow.

AI-powered grammar checkers like ProWritingAid can also help you identify weaknesses in your prose and learn how to strengthen them. You can catch your grammatical mistakes, avoid unnecessary repetition, choose more evocative words, and more with our powerful tool.

Tip 7: Practice Overcoming Writer’s Block

At some point in their writing journey, every writer has reached a point where writing doesn’t feel fun anymore.

There are lots of different causes for writer’s block. You might be unsure what to write, afraid of failing, or simply burned out from writing too much.

It’s important to find ways to overcome creative blocks, so you don’t end up putting down your pen for good.

ways to overcome writer's block

One useful technique is to change your environment. If you normally write at home, try writing in a coffee shop or in your local library.

Another technique is to try a different activity for a while. Go for a walk, take a shower, do your dishes, or try another hobby. Before long, you’ll find yourself wanting to write again.

Perhaps the most underrated method is to simply take a break from writing. Give yourself permission to stop for a while—it’s always okay to take a step back.

Tip 8: Study Writing Craft

Many new writers falsely believe that writing can’t be taught; you’re either good at it or you’re not.

But the truth is that creative writing is a craft, just like woodworking, oil painting, or ballet. You wouldn’t expect anyone to be naturally good at ballet without years of training, so why is writing any different?

One way to learn new creative writing techniques is by reading craft books . Some great books to start with include On Writing by Stephen King, Story Genius by Lisa Cron, and The Creative Writer’s Handbook by Philip K. Jason.

These books can help you learn the basics of how to write well. For example, you can learn how to construct high-quality sentences, how to avoid passive voice, and how to use poetic devices.

The more you learn, the more powerful your writing will become.

Tip 9: Invent Your Own Process

When you’re just starting out as a writer, it can be tempting to copy someone else’s writing process.

Maybe you heard an interview with a bestselling author who said you have to outline a story before you draft it. Or maybe you found out your favorite author writes 1,000 words every day, and now you think you have to write 1,000 words every day too.

But it’s important to remember that no two writers have the exact same writing process. What works best for someone else might not work for you.

There’s no right or wrong way to be a creative writer. Your job is to find a writing process that makes you feel fulfilled, productive, and inspired—and if your favorite writers don’t write the same way, that’s perfectly okay.

Tip 10: Don’t Aim for Perfection

There’s a good chance your writing is never going to be perfect. Mine definitely isn’t!

Remember that writing is about the process, not the product. Even if the final product is never perfect, the process has helped you grow as a writer—and hopefully, it’s also been a lot of fun.

You should decide what your main goal for writing is. Maybe it’s writing stories you might be able to publish someday. Maybe it’s telling stories about characters you rarely see in existing stories. Maybe it’s simply a fun new hobby.

Whatever your goal is, remember that you’re already on your way to achieving it. You don’t need to aim for perfection in order to succeed.

There’s no secret to getting better at creative writing. The process is very simple—it just takes a lot of hard work.

All you have to do is follow this two-step process:

  • Step 1: Write consistently
  • Step 2: Ask for feedback on your writing

The first step is fairly self-explanatory. Whenever you’re learning a new skill, it’s important to practice it. The more you write, the more you’ll learn about how to be a successful creative writer.

The second step is the one that receives more pushback from writers because it requires a lot of courage and vulnerability, but it’s just as important as the first step.

If you don’t get feedback, you could write every day and still never improve. That’s because most people can’t spot the weaknesses in their own stories.

You can ask for feedback from your friends, family, or writing groups. They can help you see your work from a different perspective and identify areas for improvement.

As long as you write consistently and listen to the feedback on the work you’re producing, you’ll be able to create a positive cycle where you create better and better stories over time.

If you want to improve your creative writing skills, there are numerous resources you can use to find help.

One great method is to join a writing community where you can share your work and get feedback from other writers.

You can look for free critique groups online, on websites such as Scribophile and Critique Circle. Or you can start your own group with your friends.

You can also consider joining a local writing class or retreat. Many schools and community centers offer classes and workshops you can join.

Another option is to use creative writing tools. ProWritingAid can give you AI-powered suggestions about how to improve your prose and make your writing shine.

Good luck, and happy writing!

how to write creatively

Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.

Hannah Yang is a speculative fiction writer who writes about all things strange and surreal. Her work has appeared in Analog Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, The Dark, and elsewhere, and two of her stories have been finalists for the Locus Award. Her favorite hobbies include watercolor painting, playing guitar, and rock climbing. You can follow her work on hannahyang.com, or subscribe to her newsletter for publication updates.

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