The art of writing is the transformation into an artful kind of human experience in literature. Writing is a rigorous craft that invests in techniques such as literary methods and respects field standards. Many areas of creative writing (from education and publishing to granting and technical writing) require a higher degree, including at least a Bachelor’s degree, and often an MFA in creative writing, or an MA in literature, journalism, or a similar field.
1. Figure out what to write. The broad field of creative writing divides into sub-categories (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction) and there are even specialized genres (sci-fi, mysteries, experimental … the list goes on). Write down what you’d like to read. Your best writing will spring from something you’re passionate about, and perhaps only you are. If your passion is injected into your writing, then your readers will be interested in turn. Your passion for writing your individual project is a powerful tool that will serve as a starting point.
- Remember you don’t have to confine yourself to one single sector. Many existing writers expand and explore — maybe when writing their creative non-fiction work, they write creative essays. Perhaps their short novels have poetry in them.
2. Set up a routine for yourself. Establish your writing sessions a specific time of day, place, and atmosphere. As you create this routine, your brain’s imaginative side is getting used to working under these familiar conditions. Items to think about are …
- Noise: some authors enjoy the absolute stillness. To jog their creative impulses, some will listen to the album. Others would want to share ideas for the friend’s business.
- Time: Just before they sleep, some writers jot down thoughts. Early morning hours work well for others, with fewer people awake to disturb them. Other writers may enjoy badgering and write in between coffee breaks or other work sessions. Other writers will like long periods of undisturbed writing time and dedicate to writing their weekends.
- Location: establishing a specific building, room, or even chair can assist in the writing process. This familiarity can teach the brain to function creatively, or technologically, in accordance with the objectives.
3. Reading and learning. Read the things you enjoyed, and study them — figure what makes them work, what makes them work. Seek to grasp the meaning of your favorite poem, or the character development of your favorite book. Find a phrase you think is brilliant, and wonder — why did this author pick that word? The word?
- Don’t restrict yourself to single genres or fields. You have to try it to fully enrich your writing experience. You may not like fantasy but for some reason, many people are reading and writing fantasy. Find this motto: “I read to write. I read for information. I read for inspiration.’
4. Be an Investigator. Keep things in mind. Look out for the world around you. Look for mystery, and try to solve it. When you have questions, follow up with obsessive curiosity on the answers. Take the unique and rare special note. Having found things while writing can help give you something to write about. In addition, it will help to make your writing more convincing, richer, and rational. Below are a few tips to help you discover the world around you:
- None of this is natural or dull. There is something unique or unusual about each and all.
- There is a mystery before you: a TV that is not going to turn on, a bird that is not going to fly. Find how things work, why things don’t work, and why.
5. Keep a diary. Write down things you notice or inspire. Take it wherever you go. Some famous authors also went as far as cutting extra pockets into their jackets to hold more paper scraps. Use this newspaper to create ideas, take note of things you see, hear, read, and flesh out your writing material. You can revisit it for inspiration if you get stuck on your idea. Understand that everything can go through your notebook because everything is a source of inspiration.
- Dreams: a strange and odd weighty source. Write it down before it’s gone!
- Fotos: photos and doodles
- Quotes: stuff people say, sentences that shock you, short poems, inside a cookie of fortune
6. Start the project. It is the most critical element and can be very difficult. Many of us stare at the computer screen blankly, without writing words. Some call it “writer’s block.” To help, here are some basic writing exercises that can help you jog your creative juices and supply your project with the material:
- Go busy someplace, ideally a place with lots of people. Imagine your scene view being a video camera, recording all. Delete your pad, and write down exactly what’s going on. Include both senses — seeing, feeling, hearing, taste, touch.
- Take a voice recorder and spy on a chat. Don’t let orators know! Transcribe the conversation on paper after you’ve registered it for an acceptable period of time. Play with words — delete things, change stuff, add stuff. Create a new environment or a new one.
- Create a trait. Which is it they want? Fear, huh? What is its secret? With whom are they related, and where are they living? What is their last name … if they’re even one?
- Set targets for writing as early as possible, and do your hardest to stick to them.
7. Commit your project to completion. The planet has a billion half-novels, and a trillion half-short stories. Having a target and sticking to it is important to find out what you want to write, however difficult the research can get. By the time you finish what you first set out to write, you’ll have three things to do:
- A good idea of what you really want to publish
- A little skill to write about
- The tenacity to get the job done
8. Be a part of a local community. Sharing ideas and getting feedback is one of the best ways to get inspired and make your work better. For inexperienced authors, this can be terrifying, because your work may be something very personal, and you can be scared of rejection. Isolated writing, however, means that not only is no one reading your work, but you can also run the risk of compounding bad habits (being too wordy, repetitive or melodramatic, etc.). Instead of being scared, consider that every person with whom you share your work is a potential person who can give you new ideas and inspire you.
9. Tackling financial problems. Being a writer is almost like becoming a superhero: daytime awkward office work … dragon-riding, super sleuth, a nighttime knight in WRITER armor. Some creative writers have no day-time jobs — but this is very rare. Getting a day job isn’t a bad thing though. In reality, a good day job of being a writer may also be helpful to your target. Here are some things to consider when finding your dream-day job:
- Was it paying out the bills? A good day job will relieve your financial pressures so that you can compose without concern. Stress isn’t good for your business.
- Will that leave enough time and energy for you to write? With your skill level, a decent day job will be straightforward enough that you won’t be tired afterward.
- Will the “distraction” provide good? It can be helpful to have space away from the writing work. It can be overly immersive to spend too much time on one single project. Taking one step back is good.
- Do other creative people have it? A good day ‘s work will send you incredible colleagues. They ‘re imaginative people everywhere! They ‘re not just artists or authors.
Transforming Inspiration into Words
1. Reader to detention. No, don’t put them in handcuffs, literally! Immerse your work in these. Suck them into writing and they’re going to read and read and never want to leave, and they’re going to want you to handcuff them to their next novel. Here are some techniques you can use to do this:
- The thoughts. We perceive the world through our senses and feel it. An immersive and convincing work will often give readers the opportunity to see, touch, taste, hear, and smell.
- Clear info. Such types of information offer a clear sense of comprehension of what’s happening in writing. Instead of generalizing an image—” she was pretty”—get specific: “She had thick, golden braids, interwoven with daisies.”
2. Write down what you feel better. If you know anything more, you can write about it in more detail, more realism, and more depth. If you don’t know a detail important to your project, do some research. Google. Tell whoever asks. The more information you know about a scenario, a person or environment, the more objectively you’ll be able to make it on the website.
3. Take structure in mind. Often, “Linear Structure” is the best way to write a story: Start, Climax, and Resolution. There are also, many other ways of writing a story though. Think “In Media Res”—when the tale begins in the thick of things. Or, a narrative that’s interspersed with many flashbacks. Depending on the progression of your story choose your structure.
Nitty-Gritty Rules of Thumb
1. Start with only words. Easy is the best way of getting started. While you’ll certainly need a well-stocked vocabulary (more about that later), too many big words will drive away all but the most dedicated readers. Small launch. Don’t cling to a grandiose word simply because it sounds fancy. Alternatively, try to encourage someone who is reading your writing to understand exactly what you wanted them to understand. None more, nothing less.
2. Stick to the start with short sentences. Quick sentences are easy to absorb and very easy to read. That’s not to suggest you can’t write a long sentence every once in a while or you shouldn’t. It is simply that simple sentences provide information without stopping the reader in his or her tracks, stranding them on an island of befuddlement.
- Take a look at a long, overwrought, notorious sentence. The following sentence won second-prize at the satirical Bad Writing Contest. Why it counts as “poor prose” is no mystery. The sentence is caked in jargon, littered with imprecise catchphrases, and is far too long:
- “If, for a while, the ruse of desire can soon be calculated for the uses of discipline, the repetition of guilt, justification, pseudo-scientific theories, superstition, spurious authorities, and classifications can be seen as a desperate effort to formally ‘normalize’ the disturbance of a discourse of splitting which violates the rational, enlightened claims of its enunciatory modality.”
3. Let the real work happen to your verbs. Verbs are the perfect sentence-drivers. We bear meaning from one thought to the next. In addition, they are helping authors achieve impressive degrees of precision.
- Pay careful attention to other verbs about issues. Verbs such as “did,” “went,” “saw,” “thought,” and “had” do not really add any spice to your writing while sometimes necessary. Where possible, substitute a more descriptive word for problem verbs: “accomplished,” “skipped,” “looked,” “experienced,” and “free” all convey more concrete ideas.
- Using the active voice as a thumb rule instead of the passive voice.
- Active voice: “The cat has found her master.” Here, so to speak, the cat does the work. She actively looks for her lord.
- Passive voice: “His cat finds the master.” Here the cat is more distant from the action. The master is found; the cat finds no.
4. Do not overuse adjectives. The initial writer gets crazy with adjectives. Adjectives are nothing wrong except that they can often be repetitive and are sometimes more complex — and thus more difficult to understand than other parts of speech. Don’t feel like you need to use an adjective to characterize the noun before any noun.
- Adjectives often become redundant. Take the sentence “I saw the last pawn raise and set it down, checkmate the king, clinch his good victory.” The adjective here is merely restating what we already know. This does not do much to make the reader understand what’s happening.
- Many times it can be very difficult to use the adjectives authors use. “He is a mighty foe” is an expression that is neither open nor necessary. “Puissant” means strong, so replacing “strong” with “powerful” would have made the sentence both comprehensible so bearable.
5. Be a Vocabulary student. Keep a dictionary and thesaurus at all times beside you. If a word you don’t know comes across, look it up. If you are not at least marginally interested in etymology it is hard to call yourself a writer. At the same time, make sparing use of your vocabulary. Just because you know the words “defenestrate,” “pyknic,” and “agnomen” don’t mean you should find excuses for using them.
- Study the Word Roots. Word roots (especially Latin roots for the English language) can help you decode the meanings without a dictionary of unknown words. Understanding the mal-, ben-, epi-, eu-, ag-, and con- roots is a good start.