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How to Improve Creative Writing

Last Updated: April 26, 2024 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 35,118 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 for Beginners: 10 Top Tips

These creative writing for beginners tips can help with a short story, poem or novel .

Writing is a great pursuit, but many first-time writers find that it’s not as easy as they think. If you are dabbling in creative writing activities or fiction writing for the first time, you will likely discover that writing courses and writing exercises fall short in helping you truly develop characters and overcome writer’s block.

Thankfully, you can take some steps to embrace your inner author and write your first short story or novel. Whether you have an end product in mind or are simply looking to start your writing journey, these writing tips will help you get started.

1. Dig Deep to Choose Your Topic

2. spend time reading, 3. write daily, 4. tackle writing exercises, 5. consider a writing course, 6. keep it unique, 7. practice, practice, practice, 8. try a different medium, 9. embrace your critics, 10. write first, perfect later, the final word on creative writing for beginners.

Living Writer contains time-saving templates for authors and novelists. iOS and Android apps available

Living Writer

First, determine what you will write about. Your starting point will guide character development and your overall plot. If you’re having trouble finding a topic, consider using these starting points:

  • Start with a story — If you have a compelling storyline or main character in mind, start there.
  • Use personal experiences — Something that happened in your life can help you start a story. Taking our own stories and transforming them into fiction writing can create true masterpieces because the feeling in the writing is personal.
  • Consider a hot topic — Is there a political or social issue that is important to you? Weave that into compelling prose to start your story.

Starting with these ideas, you should be able to settle on a basic idea for your story.

Creative writers are usually readers. Reading helps you learn about the nuances of written language, storytelling and character development.

Read a wide range of genres too. While novels are always helpful, non-fiction writing and short stories will teach you as well.

Set aside time every day to write . Make it part of your daily routine, and protect that time as much as you can. By having it scheduled into your day, you can overcome the frustration and delays of writer’s block.

During your writing time, limit distractions. Let your housemates or family members know you aren’t available during that time. Write, even if you don’t think what you’re writing is high quality, just to keep the words flowing.

By having daily writing time, you will start to improve your writing skills . Soon you will see a quality piece of writing coming together as you work your way towards your next bestseller.

If you find that getting started with creative writing is hard for you, consider some basic writing exercises. Creative writing prompts to get your ideas flowing can be the start of compelling writing as you create your own writing style. Writing exercises can help you learn the importance of the first sentence of your story or the development of your characters.

Sometimes writing exercises do not lead to a final product that you would publish, and that’s fine. The goal isn’t always to create something to share. Sometimes the goal is simply to gain writing experience and hone your craft.

Writing courses can be a great jumping-off point for creative writers. Writing courses teach structure, character development and overall writing techniques.

In a writing course, you will have writing exercises to perform each week and accountability for those assignments. This combination can help many first time writers start writing. Over time the writing skills build up and the writing becomes more natural.

Creative writing for beginners

When it comes to creative writing, uniqueness is a key component. To capture readers, you need something that hasn’t been done before, or you need to approach a story from a new perspective.

To give you a source for creative ideas, take time to brainstorm . Keep a journal where you can jot down ideas as they come or explore storylines. Soon you will find a unique twist to take your characters on.

Writing is a creative process , but that does not mean that practice is futile. Practicing daily gets your creativity flowing. You will polish your writing skills and learn more about how brainstorming works for you.

Today’s writers rarely put pen to paper, but rather finger to keyboard. Sometimes, a different medium may make the creativity flow.

Ernest Hemingway knew this. He wrote all of his manuscripts on paper with pencil, only typing them for the final drafts. This gave him the chance to edit during the final typing, and he felt that writing longhand spurred his creativity.

If you’re struggling with writer’s block , channel your inner Ernest Hemingway and try writing with pencil and paper instead. It just might get you over that hump.

A good writer can make an interesting story out of nothing. A great writer can do the same thing, then learn from critics to make the writing even better. Whether in a writing class, on social media or in the proofreading stages, have people read and critique your writing.

Accept criticism and use it to grow. Sometimes, you will gain new insight into how you can make your writing better. Sometimes, you will ignore the critics and allow your writing to stand.

Either way, critics will help you polish your art and learn how to craft a story that you are proud to call your own.

When writing a book or short story, don’t focus on perfection at the start. Get your ideas down and polish your storylines and character development, not necessarily the writing and grammar. This comes later when you proofread your work.

Your first draft is the place to get the story going. After you complete that draft, go back and edit it. Make it more powerful, fix your shortcomings and try to perfect it, but only after the main ideas are complete.

Remember, striving for perfection with the first draft is sure to create writer’s block . Move past it by understanding you can perfect later.

Creative writing for beginners can feel daunting. You know you have good ideas, but getting those ideas on paper feels like an overwhelming task. By scheduling time to write every day, brainstorming your ideas and not striving for perfection at first, all while taking advantage of writing exercises and writing classes, you can succeed in becoming a creative writer.

Want more? Check out out list of writing tips .

easy steps in creative writing

Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.

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  • Creativity Techniques

26+ Creative Writing Tips for Young Writers

So you want to be a writer? And not just any writer, you want to be a creative writer. The road to being a legendary storyteller won’t be easy, but with our creative writing tips for kids, you’ll be on the right track! Creative writing isn’t just about writing stories. You could write poems, graphic novels, song lyrics and even movie scripts. But there is one thing you’ll need and that is good creative writing skills. 

Here are over 26 tips to improve your creative writing skills :

Read a wide range of books

When it comes to creative writing, reading is essential. Reading allows you to explore the styles of other writers and gain inspiration to improve your own writing. But don’t just limit yourself to reading only popular books or your favourites. Read all sorts of books, everything from fairytales to scary stories. Take a look at comics, short stories, novels and poetry. Just fill your heads with the knowledge and wisdom of other writers and soon you’ll be just like them!

Write about real-life events

The hardest thing about creative writing is connecting emotionally with your audience. By focusing your writing on real-life events, you know that in some way or another your readers will be able to relate. And with creative writing you don’t need to use real names or details – There are certain things you can keep private while writing about the rare details. Using real-life events is also a good way to find inspiration for your stories. 

Be imaginative

Be as crazy and wild as you like with your imagination. Create your world, your own monsters , or even your own language! The more imaginative your story, the more exciting it will be to read. Remember that there are no rules on what makes a good idea in creative writing. So don’t be afraid to make stuff up!

Find your writing style

Thes best writers have a particular style about them. When you think of Roald Dahl , you know his books are going to have a sense of humour. While with Dr Seuss , you’re prepared to read some funny new words . Alternatively, when you look at R.L.Stine, you know that he is all about the horror. Think about your own writing style. Do you want to be a horror writer? Maybe someone who always writes in the first person? Will always focus your books on your culture or a particular character?

Stick to a routine

Routine is extremely important to writers. If you just write some stuff here and there, it’s likely that you’ll soon give up on writing altogether! A strict routine means that every day at a certain time you will make time to write about something, anything. Even if you’re bored or can’t think of anything, you’ll still pick up that pencil and write. Soon enough you’ll get into the habit of writing good stuff daily and this is definitely important for anyone who wants to be a professional creative writer!

Know your audience

Writing isn’t just about thinking about your own interests, it’s also about thinking about the interests of your audience. If you want to excite fellow classmates, know what they like. Do they like football , monsters or a particular video game? With that knowledge, you can create the most popular book for your target audience. A book that they can’t stop reading and will recommend to others! 

Daily Exercises

To keep your creative writing skills up to scratch it is important to keep practising every day. Even if you have no inspiration. At times when your mind is blank, you should try to use tools like writing prompts , video prompts or other ways of coming up with ideas . You could even take a look at these daily writing exercises as an example. We even created a whole list of over 100 creative writing exercises to try out when you need some inspiration or ideas. 

Work together with others

Everyone needs a little help now and then. We recommend joining a writing club or finding other classmates who are also interested in writing to improve your own creative writing skills. Together you can share ideas, tips and even write a story together! A good storytelling game to play in a group is the “ finish the story” game . 

Get feedback

Without feedback, you’ll never be able to improve your writing. Feedback, whether good or bad is important to all writers. Good feedback gives you the motivation to carry on. While bad feedback just gives you areas to improve and adapt your writing, so you can be the best! After every piece of writing always try to get feedback from it, whether it is from friends, family, teachers or an online writing community .

Enter writing competitions

The best way to improve your creative writing is by entering all sorts of writing competitions . Whether it’s a poetry competition or short story competition, competitions let you compete against other writers and even help you get useful feedback on your writing. Most competitions even have rules to structure your writing, these rules can help you prepare for the real world of writing and getting your work published. And not only that you might even win some cool prizes!

Keep a notebook

Every writer’s best friend is their notebook. Wherever you go make sure you have a notebook handy to jot down any ideas you get on the go. Inspiration can come from anywhere , so the next time you get an idea instead of forgetting about it, write it down. You never know, this idea could become a best-selling novel in the future. 

Research your ideas

So, you got a couple of ideas for short stories. The next step is to research these ideas deeper. 

Researching your ideas could involve reading books similar to your ideas or going online to learn more about a particular topic. For example, if you wanted to write a book on dragons, you would want to know everything about them in history to come up with a good, relatable storyline for your book.

Create Writing Goals

How do you know if your writing is improving over time? Simple – Just create writing goals for yourself. Examples of writing goals might include, to write 100 words every day or to write 600 words by the end of next week. Whatever your goals make sure you can measure them easily. That way you’ll know if you met them or not. You might want to take a look at these bullet journal layouts for writers to help you track the progress of your writing.

Follow your passions

Writing can be tedious and many people even give up after writing a few words. The only way you can keep that fire burning is by writing about your true passions. Whatever it is you enjoy doing or love, you could just write about those things. These are the types of things you’ll enjoy researching and already know so much about, making writing a whole lot more fun!

Don’t Settle for the first draft

You finally wrote your first story. But the writing process isn’t complete yet! Now it’s time to read your story and make the all-important edits. Editing your story is more than just fixing spelling or grammar mistakes. It’s also about criticising your own work and looking for areas of improvement. For example, is the conflict strong enough? Is your opening line exciting? How can you improve your ending?

Plan before writing

Never just jump into writing your story. Always plan first! Whether this means listing down the key scenes in your story or using a storyboard template to map out these scenes. You should have an outline of your story somewhere, which you can refer to when actually writing your story. This way you won’t make basic mistakes like not having a climax in your story which builds up to your main conflict or missing crucial characters out.

It’s strange the difference it makes to read your writing out aloud compared to reading it in your head. When reading aloud you tend to notice more mistakes in your sentences or discover paragraphs which make no sense at all. You might even want to read your story aloud to your family or a group of friends to get feedback on how your story sounds. 

Pace your story

Pacing is important. You don’t want to just start and then quickly jump into the main conflict because this will take all the excitement away from your conflict. And at the same time, you don’t want to give the solution away too early and this will make your conflict too easy for your characters to solve. The key is to gradually build up to your conflict by describing your characters and the many events that lead up to the main conflict. Then you might want to make the conflict more difficult for your characters by including more than one issue in your story to solve. 

Think about themes

Every story has a theme or moral. Some stories are about friendship, others are about the dangers of trusting strangers. And a story can even have more than one theme. The point of a theme is to give something valuable to your readers once they have finished reading your book. In other words, to give them a life lesson, they’ll never forget!

Use dialogue carefully

Dialogue is a tricky thing to get right. Your whole story should not be made up of dialogue unless you’re writing a script. Alternatively, it can be strange to include no dialogue at all in your story. The purpose of dialogue should be to move your story forward. It should also help your readers learn more about a particular character’s personality and their relationship with other characters in your book. 

One thing to avoid with dialogue is… small talk! There’s no point in writing dialogue, such as “How’s the weather?”, if your story has nothing to do with the weather. This is because it doesn’t move your story along.  For more information check out this guide on how to write dialogue in a story .

Write now, edit later

Writing is a magical process. Don’t lose that magic by focusing on editing your sentences while you’re still writing your story up. Not only could this make your story sound fragmented, but you might also forget some key ideas to include in your story or take away the imagination from your writing. When it comes to creative writing, just write and come back to editing your story later.

Ask yourself questions

Always question your writing. Once done, think about any holes in your story. Is there something the reader won’t understand or needs further describing? What if your character finds another solution to solving the conflict? How about adding a new character or removing a character from your story? There are so many questions to ask and keep asking them until you feel confident about your final piece.

Create a dedicated writing space

Some kids like writing on their beds, others at the kitchen table. While this is good for beginners, going pro with your writing might require having a dedicated writing space. Some of the basics you’ll need is a desk and comfy chair, along with writing materials like pens, pencils and notebooks. But to really create an inspiring place, you could also stick some beautiful pictures, some inspiring quotes from writers and anything else that will keep you motivated and prepared. 

Beware of flowery words

Vocabulary is good. It’s always exciting when you learn a new word that you have never heard before. But don’t go around plotting in complicated words into your story, unless it’s necessary to show a character’s personality. Most long words are not natural sounding, meaning your audience will have a hard time relating to your story if it’s full of complicated words from the dictionary like Xenophobia or Xylograph .

Create believable characters

Nobody’s perfect. And why should your story characters be any different? To create believable characters, you’ll need to give them some common flaws as well as some really cool strengths. Your character’s flaws can be used as a setback to why they can’t achieve their goals, while their strengths are the things that will help win over adversity. Just think about your own strengths and weaknesses and use them as inspirations for your storybook characters. You can use the Imagine Forest character creator to plan out your story characters. 

Show, don’t tell

You can say that someone is nice or you can show them how that person is nice. Take the following as an example, “Katie was a nice girl.” Now compare that sentence to this, “Katie spent her weekends at the retirement home, singing to the seniors and making them laugh.”. The difference between the two sentences is huge. The first one sounds boring and you don’t really know why Katie is nice. While in the second sentence, you get the sense that Katie is nice from her actions without even using the word nice in the sentence!

Make the conflict impossible

Imagine the following scenario, you are a championship boxer who has won many medals over the year and the conflict is…Well, you got a boxing match coming up. Now that doesn’t sound so exciting! In fact, most readers won’t even care about the boxer winning the match or not! 

Now imagine this scenario: You’re a poor kid from New Jersey, you barely have enough money to pay the bills. You never did any professional boxing, but you want to enter a boxing competition, so you can win and use the money to pay your bills. 

The second scenario has a bigger mountain to climb. In other words, a much harder challenge to face compared to the character in the first scenario. Giving your characters an almost impossible task or conflict is essential in good story-telling.

Write powerful scenes

Scenes help build a picture in your reader’s mind without even including any actual pictures in your story. Creating powerful scenes involves more than describing the appearance of a setting, it’s also about thinking about the smell, the sounds and what your characters are feeling while they are in a particular setting. By being descriptive with your scenes, your audience can imagine themselves being right there with characters through the hard times and good times!

There’s nothing worse than an ending which leaves the reader feeling underwhelmed. You read all the way through and then it just ends in the most typical, obvious way ever! Strong endings don’t always end on a happy ending. They can end with a sad ending or a cliff-hanger.  In fact, most stories actually leave the reader with more questions in their head, as they wonder what happens next. This then gives you the opportunity to create even more books to continue the story and keep your readers hooked for life (or at least for a very long time)! 

Over 25 creative writing tips later and you should now be ready to master the art of creative writing! The most important tip for all you creative writers out there is to be imaginative! Without a good imagination, you’ll struggle to wow your audience with your writing skills. Do you have any more creative writing tips to share? Let us know in the comments!

Creative writing tips

Marty the wizard is the master of Imagine Forest. When he's not reading a ton of books or writing some of his own tales, he loves to be surrounded by the magical creatures that live in Imagine Forest. While living in his tree house he has devoted his time to helping children around the world with their writing skills and creativity.

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Writing Beginner

What Is Creative Writing? (Ultimate Guide + 20 Examples)

Creative writing begins with a blank page and the courage to fill it with the stories only you can tell.

I face this intimidating blank page daily–and I have for the better part of 20+ years.

In this guide, you’ll learn all the ins and outs of creative writing with tons of examples.

What Is Creative Writing (Long Description)?

Creative Writing is the art of using words to express ideas and emotions in imaginative ways. It encompasses various forms including novels, poetry, and plays, focusing on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes.

Bright, colorful creative writer's desk with notebook and typewriter -- What Is Creative Writing

Table of Contents

Let’s expand on that definition a bit.

Creative writing is an art form that transcends traditional literature boundaries.

It includes professional, journalistic, academic, and technical writing. This type of writing emphasizes narrative craft, character development, and literary tropes. It also explores poetry and poetics traditions.

In essence, creative writing lets you express ideas and emotions uniquely and imaginatively.

It’s about the freedom to invent worlds, characters, and stories. These creations evoke a spectrum of emotions in readers.

Creative writing covers fiction, poetry, and everything in between.

It allows writers to express inner thoughts and feelings. Often, it reflects human experiences through a fabricated lens.

Types of Creative Writing

There are many types of creative writing that we need to explain.

Some of the most common types:

  • Short stories
  • Screenplays
  • Flash fiction
  • Creative Nonfiction

Short Stories (The Brief Escape)

Short stories are like narrative treasures.

They are compact but impactful, telling a full story within a limited word count. These tales often focus on a single character or a crucial moment.

Short stories are known for their brevity.

They deliver emotion and insight in a concise yet powerful package. This format is ideal for exploring diverse genres, themes, and characters. It leaves a lasting impression on readers.

Example: Emma discovers an old photo of her smiling grandmother. It’s a rarity. Through flashbacks, Emma learns about her grandmother’s wartime love story. She comes to understand her grandmother’s resilience and the value of joy.

Novels (The Long Journey)

Novels are extensive explorations of character, plot, and setting.

They span thousands of words, giving writers the space to create entire worlds. Novels can weave complex stories across various themes and timelines.

The length of a novel allows for deep narrative and character development.

Readers get an immersive experience.

Example: Across the Divide tells of two siblings separated in childhood. They grow up in different cultures. Their reunion highlights the strength of family bonds, despite distance and differences.

Poetry (The Soul’s Language)

Poetry expresses ideas and emotions through rhythm, sound, and word beauty.

It distills emotions and thoughts into verses. Poetry often uses metaphors, similes, and figurative language to reach the reader’s heart and mind.

Poetry ranges from structured forms, like sonnets, to free verse.

The latter breaks away from traditional formats for more expressive thought.

Example: Whispers of Dawn is a poem collection capturing morning’s quiet moments. “First Light” personifies dawn as a painter. It brings colors of hope and renewal to the world.

Plays (The Dramatic Dialogue)

Plays are meant for performance. They bring characters and conflicts to life through dialogue and action.

This format uniquely explores human relationships and societal issues.

Playwrights face the challenge of conveying setting, emotion, and plot through dialogue and directions.

Example: Echoes of Tomorrow is set in a dystopian future. Memories can be bought and sold. It follows siblings on a quest to retrieve their stolen memories. They learn the cost of living in a world where the past has a price.

Screenplays (Cinema’s Blueprint)

Screenplays outline narratives for films and TV shows.

They require an understanding of visual storytelling, pacing, and dialogue. Screenplays must fit film production constraints.

Example: The Last Light is a screenplay for a sci-fi film. Humanity’s survivors on a dying Earth seek a new planet. The story focuses on spacecraft Argo’s crew as they face mission challenges and internal dynamics.

Memoirs (The Personal Journey)

Memoirs provide insight into an author’s life, focusing on personal experiences and emotional journeys.

They differ from autobiographies by concentrating on specific themes or events.

Memoirs invite readers into the author’s world.

They share lessons learned and hardships overcome.

Example: Under the Mango Tree is a memoir by Maria Gomez. It shares her childhood memories in rural Colombia. The mango tree in their yard symbolizes home, growth, and nostalgia. Maria reflects on her journey to a new life in America.

Flash Fiction (The Quick Twist)

Flash fiction tells stories in under 1,000 words.

It’s about crafting compelling narratives concisely. Each word in flash fiction must count, often leading to a twist.

This format captures life’s vivid moments, delivering quick, impactful insights.

Example: The Last Message features an astronaut’s final Earth message as her spacecraft drifts away. In 500 words, it explores isolation, hope, and the desire to connect against all odds.

Creative Nonfiction (The Factual Tale)

Creative nonfiction combines factual accuracy with creative storytelling.

This genre covers real events, people, and places with a twist. It uses descriptive language and narrative arcs to make true stories engaging.

Creative nonfiction includes biographies, essays, and travelogues.

Example: Echoes of Everest follows the author’s Mount Everest climb. It mixes factual details with personal reflections and the history of past climbers. The narrative captures the climb’s beauty and challenges, offering an immersive experience.

Fantasy (The World Beyond)

Fantasy transports readers to magical and mythical worlds.

It explores themes like good vs. evil and heroism in unreal settings. Fantasy requires careful world-building to create believable yet fantastic realms.

Example: The Crystal of Azmar tells of a young girl destined to save her world from darkness. She learns she’s the last sorceress in a forgotten lineage. Her journey involves mastering powers, forming alliances, and uncovering ancient kingdom myths.

Science Fiction (The Future Imagined)

Science fiction delves into futuristic and scientific themes.

It questions the impact of advancements on society and individuals.

Science fiction ranges from speculative to hard sci-fi, focusing on plausible futures.

Example: When the Stars Whisper is set in a future where humanity communicates with distant galaxies. It centers on a scientist who finds an alien message. This discovery prompts a deep look at humanity’s universe role and interstellar communication.

Watch this great video that explores the question, “What is creative writing?” and “How to get started?”:

What Are the 5 Cs of Creative Writing?

The 5 Cs of creative writing are fundamental pillars.

They guide writers to produce compelling and impactful work. These principles—Clarity, Coherence, Conciseness, Creativity, and Consistency—help craft stories that engage and entertain.

They also resonate deeply with readers. Let’s explore each of these critical components.

Clarity makes your writing understandable and accessible.

It involves choosing the right words and constructing clear sentences. Your narrative should be easy to follow.

In creative writing, clarity means conveying complex ideas in a digestible and enjoyable way.

Coherence ensures your writing flows logically.

It’s crucial for maintaining the reader’s interest. Characters should develop believably, and plots should progress logically. This makes the narrative feel cohesive.

Conciseness

Conciseness is about expressing ideas succinctly.

It’s being economical with words and avoiding redundancy. This principle helps maintain pace and tension, engaging readers throughout the story.

Creativity is the heart of creative writing.

It allows writers to invent new worlds and create memorable characters. Creativity involves originality and imagination. It’s seeing the world in unique ways and sharing that vision.

Consistency

Consistency maintains a uniform tone, style, and voice.

It means being faithful to the world you’ve created. Characters should act true to their development. This builds trust with readers, making your story immersive and believable.

Is Creative Writing Easy?

Creative writing is both rewarding and challenging.

Crafting stories from your imagination involves more than just words on a page. It requires discipline and a deep understanding of language and narrative structure.

Exploring complex characters and themes is also key.

Refining and revising your work is crucial for developing your voice.

The ease of creative writing varies. Some find the freedom of expression liberating.

Others struggle with writer’s block or plot development challenges. However, practice and feedback make creative writing more fulfilling.

What Does a Creative Writer Do?

A creative writer weaves narratives that entertain, enlighten, and inspire.

Writers explore both the world they create and the emotions they wish to evoke. Their tasks are diverse, involving more than just writing.

Creative writers develop ideas, research, and plan their stories.

They create characters and outline plots with attention to detail. Drafting and revising their work is a significant part of their process. They strive for the 5 Cs of compelling writing.

Writers engage with the literary community, seeking feedback and participating in workshops.

They may navigate the publishing world with agents and editors.

Creative writers are storytellers, craftsmen, and artists. They bring narratives to life, enriching our lives and expanding our imaginations.

How to Get Started With Creative Writing?

Embarking on a creative writing journey can feel like standing at the edge of a vast and mysterious forest.

The path is not always clear, but the adventure is calling.

Here’s how to take your first steps into the world of creative writing:

  • Find a time of day when your mind is most alert and creative.
  • Create a comfortable writing space free from distractions.
  • Use prompts to spark your imagination. They can be as simple as a word, a phrase, or an image.
  • Try writing for 15-20 minutes on a prompt without editing yourself. Let the ideas flow freely.
  • Reading is fuel for your writing. Explore various genres and styles.
  • Pay attention to how your favorite authors construct their sentences, develop characters, and build their worlds.
  • Don’t pressure yourself to write a novel right away. Begin with short stories or poems.
  • Small projects can help you hone your skills and boost your confidence.
  • Look for writing groups in your area or online. These communities offer support, feedback, and motivation.
  • Participating in workshops or classes can also provide valuable insights into your writing.
  • Understand that your first draft is just the beginning. Revising your work is where the real magic happens.
  • Be open to feedback and willing to rework your pieces.
  • Carry a notebook or digital recorder to jot down ideas, observations, and snippets of conversations.
  • These notes can be gold mines for future writing projects.

Final Thoughts: What Is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is an invitation to explore the unknown, to give voice to the silenced, and to celebrate the human spirit in all its forms.

Check out these creative writing tools (that I highly recommend):

Read This Next:

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Writers' Treasure

Effective writing advice for aspiring writers

  • How to Get Started in Creative Writing in Just Three Steps
  • Creative Writing Tips

For reference, look at Daily Writing Tips’ awesome article Creative Writing 101 . There are quite a few steps given there. I will be adding my own touches to them.

So, without any further ado, here are the three steps for you to climb and emerge as victor (sorry, couldn’t resist it).

Know the Genres and Subgenres of Creative Writing

It might not seem important now, but if you know the genres and subgenres of creative writing, you’ve done yourself a great service. Why? Because many great authors specialize in one big broad genre such as fiction or poetry or non-fiction. That is why… you see that great novelists write only novels, great short-story writers write only short stories, great poets only write poetry and so on. You don’t want to become “Jack of all trades; master of none.” And you can only specialize by knowing all of them.

Note : Now, of course, there are exceptions. Some novelists do write short stories and vice versa. But these types of authors are not common; they are rare. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t step outside of your broad genre and be afraid to experiment with other ones, it’s just to say that you should, first and foremost, go with the one you like most.

So do yourself a favour and read on the creative writing genres. They’re all known, of course. Fiction is branched into four sub-genres, of which only two are really popular: novels, novelettes, novellas and short-stories.

If you want to dig under the surface, you will find more and more sub-genres. Stories under 1000 words are called micro-fiction. Recently a new type of sub-genre has come into light: Twitter fiction , fiction of 140 characters. The people who make such fiction must be talented, because I can’t seem to close up a story under 1000 words. Concise writing , of course, is the issue.

Then there is poetry . I don’t write any poetry now, because I find it harder than writing fiction and hence I specialized and chose fiction as my broad genre. There are many sub-genres under poetry. Sonnet, haiku, ballad, tanka, pantoum, roundel, etc. My head hurts just looking at so many forms. Wow.

Creative Non-fiction . It’s strange that non-fiction is a part of creative writing, but then, as goes a saying, the truth is sometimes better than fiction. Memoirs, autobiographies, biographies, essays and journals, etc are all part of non-fiction.

Pick Out Your Own Genre

This is sometimes easy work, and sometimes hard work. It took me nearly a year to find out my own genre: writing fiction. Before I was experimenting with all forms without success and in vain (yeah they say the same thing). As soon as I started writing only fiction, my writing improved.

Every writer has his own genre of which he seeks to become the master of. It shouldn’t necessarily be fiction or a popular form. It can be as obscure as can be. Only enjoyment should be gained out of it, at least at the beginning. (You’re free to make money from it if you’re really good enough!)

It might be fun sometimes to step out of your genre and write something fun. I tried this with essays and it was a success. But remember that you should first write inside your genre and then after some time do what you like.

Start Writing (Regularly)

If you don’t know how to write for a period of time, check out the Daily Writing Tips article . Their idea of notebooks and finding ideas works for me.

It doesn’t matter whether you write once a day or a week or a month or anything else. Your writing should not be set on a schedule in which you can’t match your other work. “Write Every Day” is outdated advice now… the newer and better advice is “Write Regularly as much as you can inside your genre.” If you continue the practice… you should start seeing results. Never break off from your work. I tried it one time and the results were not uplifting. It took me a whole month to get back to my earlier standard.

Bottom line is: just write (regularly), and you’re started in creative writing! You can say with pride, “I’m a writer.” Just write. That’s it.

But what’s the purpose?

If your purpose is to get published and make money from your writing straight away, I’m sorry to say that you will be bitterly disappointed. Even the best authors’ first novels were proper garbage (not my words; their words) unless they were edited previously. So you might as well give up creative writing if you only want the money.

But if your purpose is to enjoy your ride and perfect your writing and just be pleased by writing, then you are welcome inside the camp of writers. You’re a writer. So you might just as well do—do what?—write.

Tomorrow we will look into the differences between creative writing and technical writing .

This post is the second instalment in the series “Creative Writing 101.”

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Further reading:.

  • Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Creative Writing

19 thoughts on “How to Get Started in Creative Writing in Just Three Steps”

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I am trying to become a writer, and I am in the midst of struggling through a bumpy point right now. I am seeking outlets, other kindred spirits to connect with in order to get into focus with my plans. I am online regularly, seeking information and outlets……

when writing express yourself through your thougt, imagination,feeling or emotion. if it is something on history you make some research work. feel free to write without thinking of what people may say it is your work

I love to see my thoughts turn into words. But for some reason I cannot seem to write any story, just general writing I know and understand. I also have a hugh problem with, what is called, grammar!

I just want to write better to be understood. I have my own writing style because of my serious problem with english grammar, so I created my own way of understanding english grammar.

The logic of the words within the sentence, sentence structure and of course editing. How much do you charge for your service? [email protected]

I love to write my thoughts down, I also have a bad time with grammar. How much do you charge? [email protected]

I’m sorry, I don’t see the point of “picking your own genre”. You don’t really give a reason for this point, other than saying: “As soon as I started writing only fiction, my writing improved.” While I don’t doubt that this is true, it is merely your own personal experience. If I enjoy writing several different genres, why shouldn’t I switch between all of them equally? A bit more explanation on this point would be appreciated, thank you.

Well as they said, “Jack of all Trades, master of none”, it is better to find what you work with best rather than play around with all the genres willy nilly, because using the genre you are best with, will allow you to convey what you want to say more easily and your focus will be on being creative rather than actually trying to figure out how to write a short story or a novel, etc. Similar to how an Artist will stick with particular mediums, Watercolour is far different to Oil paints and so the Artist will stay with they are familiar with, the best way to convey what they feel.

The quoted phrase actually originated as “Jack of all trades, master of none; but better than master of one”, the last bit just being dropped for ease and eventually forgotten and misinterpreted.

Hi haven’t you heard they say little knowledge is dangerous. it is true for the point you are trying to make, since it is never easy for anyone to master a number of genres equally, except to master them all equally poorly. the best thing is what’s been said above; pick your genre and be an expert in it and leave the rest to whom who can make the best out of them.

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those worried about grammar , i think if you read and write more often ….you are likely to improve your grammar

writing down raw thoughts,ideas ,emotions does work .you may refine it later ,but the raw idea in itself is half the work.

regular writing helps one to express ideas more clearly i also think what drives you to write determines the quality of work if you are doing it to get published , you put yourself under pressure you will constantly feel inadequate

I like creative writing but I don’t how to start, please I want someone to guide me how to write please thank you

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Writing tip: experiment with free-writing writing tip: experiment with free-writing.

Free-writing. What is that? You write freely? It isn’t a technical description, but yes, the meaning is similar. Write whatever comes in your head. Just write. That’s all. But even though it’s simple, it’s powerful .

But what is it useful for?

Have you ever been stuck? I mean, you opened your word processor and freaked out at seeing the blank page? Did you have that feeling of writers’ block ? The feeling of not being able to write a single word? If it did happen to you, it’s not a matter of worry. It happens to everyone.

The reason it happens is usually that the brain is focused intently upon what you’re going to write. Writing is a mental process. If you get too focused and tense, wondering how you’re going to commit pen down to paper (virtually), then of course, that feeling will happen.

So yes, it’s no big deal not being able to write. But how do you get rid of that feeling so that you actually get some writing done?

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How to unleash creativity through outdoor exploration How to unleash creativity through outdoor exploration

This is a guest article by Indiana Lee. If you want to submit a guest article of your own, be sure to  read the guest article guidelines.

Living a creative life is both enriching and challenging. Yes, you undoubtedly have talents and perspectives that make your writing unique. However, you can’t always rely simply on your internal resources. That wellspring can occasionally run a little dry. The good news is that there are resources for unleashing creativity all around us. The great outdoors has long been considered a renewing influence for artists. Why not consider how you can effectively step beyond your writing space and explore what nature has to offer?

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Creative writing in 2015: here’s what you need to know Creative writing in 2015: here’s what you need to know

There are few things constant in the world, and creative writing is not one of them.

Sure, it may not look like it on the surface. After all, creative writing is one of those things which stays evergreen, supposedly. Books on creative writing written decades ago still have relevance in the present. Creative writing advice from years ago is still useful today.

It’s the reason why I wrote Creative Writing 101 in 2010, and it’s the reason why that resource remains the most popular on  Writers’ Treasure , as well as still being evergreen content. Outdated? Of course not.

But it’s been five years since Creative Writing 101 , and as specified, it was a beginner’s guide. What about an upgrade? What about the next level? …..

So here you have it. Announcing Creative Writing 201 – a new series of articles, a new creative writing resource aimed to upgrade your creative writing skills to the next level. The aim is to upgrade a creative writer to become an intermediate and then an expert.

Intended as a proper successor to Creative Writing 101 , this series of articles will be even more in-depth, more readable (like always).

We’ll start from a macro look at creative writing as it stands today, move on to the macro issues, macro tips and techniques, and macro examples of effective creative writing.

See the keyword? Macro? What does it mean? And our topic today: creative writing in 2015. Isn’t this topic contradictory to what I said a few paragraphs ago? The answers to these questions – and many more – are found in the full explanation below!

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Last updated on Oct 29, 2023

How to Write a Short Story in 9 Simple Steps

This post is written by UK writer Robert Grossmith. His short stories have been widely anthologized, including in The Time Out Book of London Short Stories , The Best of Best Short Stories , and The Penguin Book of First World War Stories . You  can collaborate with him on your own short stories here on Reedsy .  

The joy of writing short stories is, in many ways, tied to its limitations.  Developing characters, conflict, and a premise within a few pages is a thrilling challenge that many writers relish — even after they've "graduated" to long-form fiction.

In this article, I’ll take you through the process of writing a short story, from idea conception to the final draft.

How to write a short story:

1. Know what a short story is versus a novel

2. pick a simple, central premise, 3. build a small but distinct cast of characters, 4. begin writing close to the end, 5. shut out your internal editor, 6. finish the first draft, 7. edit the short story, 8. share the story with beta readers, 9. submit the short story to publications.

But first, let’s talk about what makes a short story different from a novel. 

The simple answer to this question, of course, is that the short story is shorter than the novel, usually coming in at between, say, 1,000-15,000 words. Any shorter and you’re into flash fiction territory. Any longer and you’re approaching novella length . 

As far as other features are concerned, it’s easier to define the short story by what it lacks compared to the novel . For example, the short story usually has:

  • fewer characters than a novel
  • a single point of view, either first person or third person
  • a single storyline without subplots
  • less in the way of back story or exposition than a novel

If backstory is needed at all, it should come late in the story and be kept to a minimum.

It’s worth remembering, too, that some of the best short stories consist of a single dramatic episode in the form of a vignette or epiphany.

A short story can begin life in all sorts of ways.

It may be suggested by a simple but powerful image that imprints itself on the mind. It may derive from the contemplation of a particular character type — someone you know perhaps — that you’re keen to understand and explore. It may arise out of a memorable incident in your own life.

easy steps in creative writing

For example:

  • Kafka began “The Metamorphosis” with the intuition that a premise in which the protagonist wakes one morning to find he’s been transformed into a giant insect would allow him to explore questions about human relationships and the human condition.
  • Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener” takes the basic idea of a lowly clerk who decides he will no longer do anything he doesn’t personally wish to do, and turns it into a multi-layered tale capable of a variety of interpretations.

When I look back on some of my own short stories, I find a similar dynamic at work: a simple originating idea slowly expands to become something more nuanced and less formulaic. 

So how do you find this “first heartbeat” of your own short story? Here are several ways to do so. 

Experiment with writing prompts

Eagle-eyed readers will notice that the story premises mentioned above actually have a great deal in common with writing prompts like the ones put forward each week in Reedsy’s short story competition . Try it out! These prompts are often themed in a way that’s designed to narrow the focus for the writer so that one isn’t confronted with a completely blank canvas.

easy steps in creative writing

Turn to the originals

Take a story or novel you admire and think about how you might rework it, changing a key element. (“Pride and Prejudice and Vampires” is perhaps an extreme product of this exercise.) It doesn’t matter that your proposed reworking will probably never amount to more than a skimpy mental reimagining — it may well throw up collateral narrative possibilities along the way.

Keep a notebook

Finally, keep a notebook in which to jot down stray observations and story ideas whenever they occur to you. Again, most of what you write will be stuff you never return to, and it may even fail to make sense when you reread it. But lurking among the dross may be that one rough diamond that makes all the rest worthwhile. 

Like I mentioned earlier, short stories usually contain far fewer characters than novels. Readers also need to know far less about the characters in a short story than we do in a novel (sometimes it’s the lack of information about a particular character in a story that adds to the mystery surrounding them, making them more compelling).

easy steps in creative writing

Yet it remains the case that creating memorable characters should be one of your principal goals. Think of your own family, friends and colleagues. Do you ever get them confused with one another? Probably not. 

Your dramatis personae should be just as easily distinguishable from one another, either through their appearance, behavior, speech patterns, or some other unique trait. If you find yourself struggling, a character profile template like the one you can download for free below is particularly helpful in this stage of writing.   

  • “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman features a cast of two: the narrator and her husband. How does Gilman give her narrator uniquely identifying features?
  • “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe features a cast of three: the narrator, the old man, and the police. How does Poe use speech patterns in dialogue and within the text itself to convey important information about the narrator?
  • “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor is perhaps an exception: its cast of characters amounts to a whopping (for a short story) nine. How does she introduce each character? In what way does she make each character, in particular The Misfit, distinct?

easy steps in creative writing

He’s right: avoid the preliminary exposition or extended scene-setting. Begin your story by plunging straight into the heart of the action. What most readers want from a story is drama and conflict, and this is often best achieved by beginning in media res . You have no time to waste in a short story. The first sentence of your story is crucial, and needs to grab the reader’s attention to make them want to read on. 

One way to do this is to write an opening sentence that makes the reader ask questions. For example, Kingsley Amis once said, tongue-in-cheek, that in the future he would only read novels that began with the words: “A shot rang out.”

This simple sentence is actually quite telling. It introduces the stakes: there’s an immediate element of physical danger, and therefore jeopardy for someone. But it also raises questions that the reader will want answered. Who fired the shot? Who or what were they aiming at, and why? Where is this happening?

We read fiction for the most part to get answers to questions. For example, if you begin your story with a character who behaves in an unexpected way, the reader will want to know why he or she is behaving like this. What motivates their unusual behavior? Do they know that what they’re doing or saying is odd? Do they perhaps have something to hide? Can we trust this character? 

As the author, you can answer these questions later (that is, answer them dramatically rather than through exposition). But since we’re speaking of the beginning of a story, at the moment it’s enough simply to deliver an opening sentence that piques the reader’s curiosity, raises questions, and keeps them reading.

“Anything goes” should be your maxim when embarking on your first draft. 

By that, I mean: kill the editor in your head and give your imagination free rein. Remember, you’re beginning with a blank page. Anything you put down will improve what’s currently there, which is nothing. And there’s a prescription for any obstacle you might encounter at this stage of writing. 

  • Worried that you’re overwriting? Don’t worry. It’s easier to cut material in later drafts once you’ve sketched out the whole story. 
  • Got stuck, but know what happens later? Leave a gap. There’s no necessity to write the story sequentially. You can always come back and fill in the gap once the rest of the story is complete. 
  • Have a half-developed scene that’s hard for you to get onto the page? Write it in note form for the time being. You might find that it relieves the pressure of having to write in complete sentences from the get-go.

Most of my stories were begun with no idea of their eventual destination, but merely an approximate direction of travel. To put it another way, I’m a ‘pantser’ (flying by the seat of my pants, making it up as I go along) rather than a planner. There is, of course, no right way to write your first draft. What matters is that you have a first draft on your hands at the end of the day. 

It’s hard to overstate the importance of the ending of a short story : it can rescue an inferior story or ruin an otherwise superior one. 

If you’re a planner, you will already know the broad outlines of the ending. If you’re a pantser like me, you won’t — though you’ll hope that a number of possible endings will have occurred to you in the course of writing and rewriting the story! 

In both cases, keep in mind that what you’re after is an ending that’s true to the internal logic of the story without being obvious or predictable. What you want to avoid is an ending that evokes one of two reactions:

  • “Is that it?” aka “The author has failed to resolve the questions raised by the story.”
  • “WTF!” aka “This ending is simply confusing.”

Like Truman Capote said, “Good writing is rewriting.”

Once you have a first draft, the real work begins. This is when you move things around, tightening the nuts and bolts of the piece to make sure it holds together and resembles the shape it took in your mind when you first conceived it. 

In most cases, this means reading through your first draft again (and again). In this stage of editing , think to yourself:

  • Which narrative threads are already in place?
  • Which may need to be added or developed further?
  • Which need to perhaps be eliminated altogether?

easy steps in creative writing

All that’s left afterward is the final polish . Here’s where you interrogate every word, every sentence, to make sure it’s earned its place in the story:

  • Is that really what I mean?
  • Could I have said that better?
  • Have I used that word correctly?
  • Is that sentence too long?
  • Have I removed any clichés? 

Trust me: this can be the most satisfying part of the writing process. The heavy lifting is done, the walls have been painted, the furniture is in place. All you have to do now is hang a few pictures, plump the cushions and put some flowers in a vase.

Eventually, you may reach a point where you’ve reread and rewritten your story so many times that you simply can’t bear to look at it again. If this happens, put the story aside and try to forget about it.

When you do finally return to it, weeks or even months later, you’ll probably be surprised at how the intervening period has allowed you to see the story with a fresh pair of eyes. And whereas it might have felt like removing one of your own internal organs to cut such a sentence or paragraph before, now it feels like a liberation. 

The story, you can see, is better as a result. It was only your bloated appendix you removed, not a vital organ.

It’s at this point that you should call on the services of beta readers if you have them. This can be a daunting prospect: what if the response is less enthusiastic than you’re hoping for? But think about it this way: if you’re expecting complete strangers to read and enjoy your story, then you shouldn’t be afraid of trying it out first on a more sympathetic audience. 

This is also why I’d suggest delaying this stage of the writing process until you feel sure your story is complete. It’s one thing to ask a friend to read and comment on your new story. It’s quite another thing to return to them sometime later with, “I’ve made some changes to the story — would you mind reading it again?”

easy steps in creative writing

So how do you know your story’s really finished? This is a question that people have put to me. My reply tends to be: I know the story’s finished when I can’t see how to make it any better.

This is when you can finally put down your pencil (or keyboard), rest content with your work for a few days, then submit it so that people can read your work. And you can start with this directory of literary magazines once you're at this step. 

The truth is, in my experience, there’s actually no such thing as a final draft. Even after you’ve submitted your story somewhere — and even if you’re lucky enough to have it accepted — there will probably be the odd word here or there that you’d like to change. 

Don’t worry about this. Large-scale changes are probably out of the question at this stage, but a sympathetic editor should be willing to implement any small changes right up to the time of publication. 

easy steps in creative writing

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Nicole Breit

3 Easy Steps to Inspired Creative Writing

by nicolebreit | creative writing

If you have a burning desire to share your stories with the world, but you don’t know the steps to inspired creative writing, this video is for you. 

Today, I’m pulling back the curtain on my EXACT step-by-step process for writing with more creativity and flow.

My process breaks out into three stages. I’ve learned it’s crucial that you fire up the right parts of your brain for each stage and task. 

When you know how to do that, writing is going to be so much easier…

The steps for inspired creative writing are:

  • Pre-writing

Listen in as I walk you through each step in this video.

In this episode, besides the 3 easy steps to inspired creative writing, you’ll learn:

  • My favourite tool for the pre-writing stage.
  • The step to start focusing and finish a solid draft.
  • How to avoid overwhelm when drafting your story.
  • Why we aren’t re-writing “Once upon a time”
  • Why it’s necessary to access the right mode at the right time for creative writing.

Resources Featured In This Episode:

  • Writer, meet your genius. 
  • Follow me on Instagram!
  • Free Training
  • Sign up for my email list!
  • Learn how to write about trauma, grief and loss. 

Your key takeaways from ‘3 easy steps to inspired creative writing’.

Let’s dive directly into what the three stages of inspired creative writing are and how you can use them to craft powerful stories to share with the world. 

Step #1: Pre-writing

This first step is all about generating and gathering all the pieces as starting points for your work. Your creative brain is great at finding links and patterns once you have some material to work with.

My favourite tool for the pre-writing stage is mind mapping. It’s like a creative brain dump but represented visually on a page. Check out the video resources on this page for an example in case you’ve never seen a mind map before.

I use mind maps to help me gather all my free-floating ideas connected to a story – important memories, phrases, songs, dreams, images, symbols. I also use mind mapping throughout the process if I feel stuck. Using a mind map actually helps you to see connections you haven’t made before. 

This next step is going to help you start to focus and finish a solid draft

Step #2: Drafting your story

At this stage you have some ideas that you can further develop and use as building blocks of your story. For me, the key is to choose some kind of structure for my story that works as a container, for the story fragments I want to work with from step 1.

For example, I might decide that my story can only be 1500 words and has to be written in two sections. Now I have to decide what two scenes are going to make up this story. I can make some decisions about what to include and what to leave out as material for another story. I’m starting to bring some shape to my story idea.

Some writers tell you not to worry about a story’s form until later in the drafting process, but I find it helps me get through a draft to make some decisions early on about the structure. It also helps me avoid overwhelm because the structure helps me focus my piece.

The final step to inspired creative writing: Shaping  

In this last stage, we’re going to start tapping into the logical part of the brain which is perfect for the task of revision.

If you’re working with a draft that has several sections in the shaping stage you’ll decide what order they belong in. It may not be chronological. You can start with a strong image, a moment of conflict. Start with impact! We aren’t re-writing “Once upon a time”. You can start your story wherever the energy is.

The writing process requires moving back and forth between the more logical brain and more creative intuitive brain; it’s all about accessing the right mode at the right time.

Ready to write powerful stories with 1:1 feedback on your work? Get on the waitlist for the Spark Your Story Intensive!

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easy steps in creative writing

5 Steps To Creativity In Writing

Creativity is essential for writers. We define creativity, look at the importance of creativity in writing , and give you 5 steps to become more creative .

‘In a time of destruction, create something.’ ~ Maxine Hong Kingston

What Is Creativity?

Creativity is an act where we create something new – something that did not exist until we put it together.

According to Psychology Today : ‘Creative thinking involves making new connections between different regions of the brain, which is accomplished by cultivating divergent thinking skills and deliberately exposing oneself to new experiences and to learning.’

Creativity is a process.

Being creative means that we take two or more things and we put them together. We create something that was not there before. If it’s any good, our creation will have made something more valuable and better than what came before.

Creativity In Writing

When we write we are performing a creative act. We are quite literally creating a novel idea. Our words make up people and places that did not exist until we gave them life.

We take an idea, dream up a set of characters, build a world for them, and create.

There are no new plots and most genres are set, but we take this framework of fiction and we make something of our own.

James Clear says: ‘The creative process is the act of making new connections between old ideas or recognising relationships between concepts. Creative thinking is not about generating something new from a blank slate, but rather about taking what is already present and combining those bits and pieces in a way that has not been done previously.’

Creative writers and great business writers do this every day.

Creativity Is A Solution To A Problem

The writer’s favourite question: ‘ What if? ‘ is the ultimate creative question. When writers get stuck or when they are plotting a novel, one of the best ways to employ creativity in writing is by asking this question.

What if my protagonist loses their job? What if my villain is arrested on an unrelated charge? What if the setting becomes uninhabitable? What if my character loses one of their senses? What if a stranger comes to town?

Questions like these create a new reality that has to be navigated.

How To Be Creative When You Write

James Webb Young, author of A Technique for Producing Ideas , suggested that there were five steps to being creative : They are “1) gathering material, 2) intensely working over the material in your mind, 3) stepping away from the problem, 4) allowing the idea to come back to you naturally, and 5) testing your idea in the real world and adjusting it based on feedback.” ( source )

Writers can adapt this method for their own work to develop their creativity skills. I have adapted it to create a ‘5 Steps To Creativity In Writing’ process.

Step 1: Gather Material

(Tip: You don’t need to do everything listed below, but the more you do the easier it will be.)

  • Find an idea for a plot .
  • Decide on your four main characters .
  • Complete detailed character questionnaires .
  • Write a synopsis for your story.
  • Create an outline .
  • Use a timeline .
  • Make lists of your characters’ traits and flaws .
  • Research the setting .

Step 2: Work It Over

Think about everything you’ve learned along the way. Ask as many ‘What ifs’ as you can. Think about what happens when you put characters together.

Examine the various ways the plot could develop. Imagine using the antagonist as a protagonist . Perhaps you could start the story at a different point. Perhaps you could tell it from another character’s viewpoint. Maybe it would be better in present tense instead of past tense.

Try some visual techniques (including creating patterns, doodling , drawing, and pinning) when you do this. Read: 5 Visual Techniques To Bring Your Story To Life . Do some synaesthesia exercises.

Step 3: Step Away

Step away from what you have been working on. Stop thinking about what you’ve been writing. Try to do something that has nothing to do with it at all. (This is the most important step in the process, but it only works if you have done the work in the first two steps.)

Step 4: Wait For It

Your ideas will come back to you on their own, often in a better shape than the original ones you had. You may want to write the story from a different viewpoint – maybe first person instead of third person, or write in another genre, or set it in another universe.

Step 5: Write The Story

Test the idea by writing the story. You will be bursting with energy and creativity because you have so much material in reserve. The response you get to the finished product will be the ultimate test.

Top Tip : This is not just for creative writing. Use this five step process to help you in your business writing, blogging, or for creativity in your business. The importance of creativity in writing cannot be overstated.

Top Tip : Find out more about our  online courses  and  workbooks  in our  shop .

easy steps in creative writing

© Amanda Patterson

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2 thoughts on “5 Steps To Creativity In Writing”

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Great concise tips

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Thank you, Dan.

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Writers.com

The short story is a fiction writer’s laboratory: here is where you can experiment with characters, plots, and ideas without the heavy lifting of writing a novel. Learning how to write a short story is essential to mastering the art of storytelling . With far fewer words to worry about, storytellers can make many more mistakes—and strokes of genius!—through experimentation and the fun of fiction writing.

Nonetheless, the art of writing short stories is not easy to master. How do you tell a complete story in so few words? What does a story need to have in order to be successful? Whether you’re struggling with how to write a short story outline, or how to fully develop a character in so few words, this guide is your starting point.

Famous authors like Virginia Woolf, Haruki Murakami, and Agatha Christie have used the short story form to play with ideas before turning those stories into novels. Whether you want to master the elements of fiction, experiment with novel ideas, or simply have fun with storytelling, here’s everything you need on how to write a short story step by step.

How to Write a Short Story: Contents

The Core Elements of a Short Story

How to write a short story outline, how to write a short story step by step, how to write a short story: length and setting, how to write a short story: point of view, how to write a short story: protagonist, antagonist, motivation, how to write a short story: characters, how to write a short story: prose, how to write a short story: story structure, how to write a short story: capturing reader interest, where to read and submit short stories.

There’s no secret formula to writing a short story. However, a good short story will have most or all of the following elements:

  • A protagonist with a certain desire or need. It is essential for the protagonist to want something they don’t have, otherwise they will not drive the story forward.
  • A clear dilemma. We don’t need much backstory to see how the dilemma started; we’re primarily concerned with how the protagonist resolves it.
  • A decision. What does the protagonist do to resolve their dilemma?
  • A climax. In Freytag’s Pyramid , the climax of a story is when the tension reaches its peak, and the reader discovers the outcome of the protagonist’s decision(s).
  • An outcome. How does the climax change the protagonist? Are they a different person? Do they have a different philosophy or outlook on life?

Of course, short stories also utilize the elements of fiction , such as a setting , plot , and point of view . It helps to study these elements and to understand their intricacies. But, when it comes to laying down the skeleton of a short story, the above elements are what you need to get started.

Note: a short story rarely, if ever, has subplots. The focus should be entirely on a single, central storyline. Subplots will either pull focus away from the main story, or else push the story into the territory of novellas and novels.

The shorter the story is, the fewer of these elements are essentials. If you’re interested in writing short-short stories, check out our guide on how to write flash fiction .

Some writers are “pantsers”—they “write by the seat of their pants,” making things up on the go with little more than an idea for a story. Other writers are “plotters,” meaning they decide the story’s structure in advance of writing it.

You don’t need a short story outline to write a good short story. But, if you’d like to give yourself some scaffolding before putting words on the page, this article answers the question of how to write a short story outline:

https://writers.com/how-to-write-a-story-outline

There are many ways to approach the short story craft, but this method is tried-and-tested for writers of all levels. Here’s how to write a short story step-by-step.

1. Start With an Idea

Often, generating an idea is the hardest part. You want to write, but what will you write about?

What’s more, it’s easy to start coming up with ideas and then dismissing them. You want to tell an authentic, original story, but everything you come up with has already been written, it seems.

Here are a few tips:

  • Originality presents itself in your storytelling, not in your ideas. For example, the premise of both Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ostrovsky’s The Snow Maiden are very similar: two men and two women, in intertwining love triangles, sort out their feelings for each other amidst mischievous forest spirits, love potions, and friendship drama. The way each story is written makes them very distinct from one another, to the point where, unless it’s pointed out to you, you might not even notice the similarities.
  • An idea is not a final draft. You will find that exploring the possibilities of your story will generate something far different than the idea you started out with. This is a good thing—it means you made the story your own!
  • Experiment with genres and tropes. Even if you want to write literary fiction , pay attention to the narrative structures that drive genre stories, and practice your storytelling using those structures. Again, you will naturally make the story your own simply by playing with ideas.

If you’re struggling simply to find ideas, try out this prompt generator , or pull prompts from this Twitter .

2. Outline, OR Conceive Your Characters

If you plan to outline, do so once you’ve generated an idea. You can learn about how to write a short story outline earlier in this article.

If you don’t plan to outline, you should at least start with a character or characters. Certainly, you need a protagonist, but you should also think about any characters that aid or inhibit your protagonist’s journey.

When thinking about character development, ask the following questions:

  • What is my character’s background? Where do they come from, how did they get here, where do they want to be?
  • What does your character desire the most? This can be both material or conceptual, like “fitting in” or “being loved.”
  • What is your character’s fatal flaw? In other words, what limitation prevents the protagonist from achieving their desire? Often, this flaw is a blind spot that directly counters their desire. For example, self hatred stands in the way of a protagonist searching for love.
  • How does your character think and speak? Think of examples, both fictional and in the real world, who might resemble your character.

In short stories, there are rarely more characters than a protagonist, an antagonist (if relevant), and a small group of supporting characters. The more characters you include, the longer your story will be. Focus on making only one or two characters complex: it is absolutely okay to have the rest of the cast be flat characters that move the story along.

Learn more about character development here:

https://writers.com/character-development-definition

3. Write Scenes Around Conflict

Once you have an outline or some characters, start building scenes around conflict. Every part of your story, including the opening sentence, should in some way relate to the protagonist’s conflict.

Conflict is the lifeblood of storytelling: without it, the reader doesn’t have a clear reason to keep reading. Loveable characters are not enough, as the story has to give the reader something to root for.

Take, for example, Edgar Allan Poe’s classic short story The Cask of Amontillado . We start at the conflict: the narrator has been slighted by Fortunato, and plans to exact revenge. Every scene in the story builds tension and follows the protagonist as he exacts this revenge.

In your story, start writing scenes around conflict, and make sure each paragraph and piece of dialogue relates, in some way, to your protagonist’s unmet desires.

Read more about writing effective conflict here:

What is Conflict in a Story? Definition and Examples

4. Write Your First Draft

The scenes you build around conflict will eventually be stitched into a complete story. Make sure as the story progresses that each scene heightens the story’s tension, and that this tension remains unbroken until the climax resolves whether or not your protagonist meets their desires.

Don’t stress too hard on writing a perfect story. Rather, take Anne Lamott’s advice, and “write a shitty first draft.” The goal is not to pen a complete story at first draft; rather, it’s to set ideas down on paper. You are simply, as Shannon Hale suggests, “shoveling sand into a box so that later [you] can build castles.”

5. Step Away, Breathe, Revise

Whenever Stephen King finishes a novel, he puts it in a drawer and doesn’t think about it for 6 weeks. With short stories, you probably don’t need to take as long of a break. But, the idea itself is true: when you’ve finished your first draft, set it aside for a while. Let yourself come back to the story with fresh eyes, so that you can confidently revise, revise, revise .

In revision, you want to make sure each word has an essential place in the story, that each scene ramps up tension, and that each character is clearly defined. The culmination of these elements allows a story to explore complex themes and ideas, giving the reader something to think about after the story has ended.

6. Compare Against Our Short Story Checklist

Does your story have everything it needs to succeed? Compare it against this short story checklist, as written by our instructor Rosemary Tantra Bensko.

Below is a collection of practical short story writing tips by Writers.com instructor Rosemary Tantra Bensko . Each paragraph is its own checklist item: a core element of short story writing advice to follow unless you have clear reasons to the contrary. We hope it’s a helpful resource in your own writing.

Update 9/1/2020: We’ve now made a summary of Rosemary’s short story checklist available as a PDF download . Enjoy!

easy steps in creative writing

Click to download

Your short story is 1000 to 7500 words in length.

The story takes place in one time period, not spread out or with gaps other than to drive someplace, sleep, etc. If there are those gaps, there is a space between the paragraphs, the new paragraph beginning flush left, to indicate a new scene.

Each scene takes place in one location, or in continual transit, such as driving a truck or flying in a plane.

Unless it’s a very lengthy Romance story, in which there may be two Point of View (POV) characters, there is one POV character. If we are told what any character secretly thinks, it will only be the POV character. The degree to which we are privy to the unexpressed thoughts, memories and hopes of the POV character remains consistent throughout the story.

You avoid head-hopping by only having one POV character per scene, even in a Romance. You avoid straying into even brief moments of telling us what other characters think other than the POV character. You use words like “apparently,” “obviously,” or “supposedly” to suggest how non-POV-characters think rather than stating it.

Your short story has one clear protagonist who is usually the character changing most.

Your story has a clear antagonist, who generally makes the protagonist change by thwarting his goals.

(Possible exception to the two short story writing tips above: In some types of Mystery and Action stories, particularly in a series, etc., the protagonist doesn’t necessarily grow personally, but instead his change relates to understanding the antagonist enough to arrest or kill him.)

The protagonist changes with an Arc arising out of how he is stuck in his Flaw at the beginning of the story, which makes the reader bond with him as a human, and feel the pain of his problems he causes himself. (Or if it’s the non-personal growth type plot: he’s presented at the beginning of the story with a high-stakes problem that requires him to prevent or punish a crime.)

The protagonist usually is shown to Want something, because that’s what people normally do, defining their personalities and behavior patterns, pushing them onward from day to day. This may be obvious from the beginning of the story, though it may not become heightened until the Inciting Incident , which happens near the beginning of Act 1. The Want is usually something the reader sort of wants the character to succeed in, while at the same time, knows the Want is not in his authentic best interests. This mixed feeling in the reader creates tension.

The protagonist is usually shown to Need something valid and beneficial, but at first, he doesn’t recognize it, admit it, honor it, integrate it with his Want, or let the Want go so he can achieve the Need instead. Ideally, the Want and Need can be combined in a satisfying way toward the end for the sake of continuity of forward momentum of victoriously achieving the goals set out from the beginning. It’s the encounters with the antagonist that forcibly teach the protagonist to prioritize his Needs correctly and overcome his Flaw so he can defeat the obstacles put in his path.

The protagonist in a personal growth plot needs to change his Flaw/Want but like most people, doesn’t automatically do that when faced with the problem. He tries the easy way, which doesn’t work. Only when the Crisis takes him to a low point does he boldly change enough to become victorious over himself and the external situation. What he learns becomes the Theme.

Each scene shows its main character’s goal at its beginning, which aligns in a significant way with the protagonist’s overall goal for the story. The scene has a “charge,” showing either progress toward the goal or regression away from the goal by the ending. Most scenes end with a negative charge, because a story is about not obtaining one’s goals easily, until the end, in which the scene/s end with a positive charge.

The protagonist’s goal of the story becomes triggered until the Inciting Incident near the beginning, when something happens to shake up his life. This is the only major thing in the story that is allowed to be a random event that occurs to him.

Your characters speak differently from one another, and their dialogue suggests subtext, what they are really thinking but not saying: subtle passive-aggressive jibes, their underlying emotions, etc.

Your characters are not illustrative of ideas and beliefs you are pushing for, but come across as real people.

Your language is succinct, fresh and exciting, specific, colorful, avoiding clichés and platitudes. Sentence structures vary. In Genre stories, the language is simple, the symbolism is direct, and words are well-known, and sentences are relatively short. In Literary stories , you are freer to use more sophisticated ideas, words, sentence structures, styles , and underlying metaphors and implied motifs.

Your plot elements occur in the proper places according to classical Three Act Structure (or Freytag’s Pyramid ) so the reader feels he has vicariously gone through a harrowing trial with the protagonist and won, raising his sense of hope and possibility. Literary short stories may be more subtle, with lower stakes, experimenting beyond classical structures like the Hero’s Journey. They can be more like vignettes sometimes, or even slice-of-life, though these types are hard to place in publications.

In Genre stories, all the questions are answered, threads are tied up, problems are solved, though the results of carnage may be spread over the landscape. In Literary short stories, you are free to explore uncertainty, ambiguity, and inchoate, realistic endings that suggest multiple interpretations, and unresolved issues.

Some Literary stories may be nonrealistic, such as with Surrealism, Absurdism, New Wave Fabulism, Weird and Magical Realism . If this is what you write, they still need their own internal logic and they should not be bewildering as to the what the reader is meant to experience, whether it’s a nuanced, unnameable mood or a trip into the subconscious.

Literary stories may also go beyond any label other than Experimental. For example, a story could be a list of To Do items on a paper held by a magnet to a refrigerator for the housemate to read. The person writing the list may grow more passive-aggressive and manipulative as the list grows, and we learn about the relationship between the housemates through the implied threats and cajoling.

Your short story is suspenseful, meaning readers hope the protagonist will achieve his best goal, his Need, by the Climax battle against the antagonist.

Your story entertains. This is especially necessary for Genre short stories.

The story captivates readers at the very beginning with a Hook, which can be a puzzling mystery to solve, an amazing character’s or narrator’s Voice, an astounding location, humor, a startling image, or a world the reader wants to become immersed in.

Expository prose (telling, like an essay) takes up very, very little space in your short story, and it does not appear near the beginning. The story is in Narrative format instead, in which one action follows the next. You’ve removed every unnecessary instance of Expository prose and replaced it with showing Narrative. Distancing words like “used to,” “he would often,” “over the years, he,” “each morning, he” indicate that you are reporting on a lengthy time period, summing it up, rather than sticking to Narrative format, in which immediacy makes the story engaging.

You’ve earned the right to include Expository Backstory by making the reader yearn for knowing what happened in the past to solve a mystery. This can’t possibly happen at the beginning, obviously. Expository Backstory does not take place in the first pages of your story.

Your reader cares what happens and there are high stakes (especially important in Genre stories). Your reader worries until the end, when the protagonist survives, succeeds in his quest to help the community, gets the girl, solves or prevents the crime, achieves new scientific developments, takes over rule of his realm, etc.

Every sentence is compelling enough to urge the reader to read the next one—because he really, really wants to—instead of doing something else he could be doing. Your story is not going to be assigned to people to analyze in school like the ones you studied, so you have found a way from the beginning to intrigue strangers to want to spend their time with your words.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration or want to publish your own stories, you’ll find great literary journals for writers of all backgrounds at this article:

https://writers.com/short-story-submissions

Learn How to Write a Short Story at Writers.com

The short story takes an hour to learn and a lifetime to master. Learn how to write a short story with Writers.com. Our upcoming fiction courses will give you the ropes to tell authentic, original short stories that captivate and entrance your readers.

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Rosemary – Is there any chance you could add a little something to your checklist? I’d love to know the best places to submit our short stories for publication. Thanks so much.

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Hi, Kim Hanson,

Some good places to find publications specific to your story are NewPages, Poets and Writers, Duotrope, and The Submission Grinder.

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“ In Genre stories, all the questions are answered, threads are tied up, problems are solved, though the results of carnage may be spread over the landscape.”

Not just no but NO.

See for example the work of MacArthur Fellow Kelly Link.

[…] How to Write a Short Story: The Short Story Checklist […]

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Thank you for these directions and tips. It’s very encouraging to someone like me, just NOW taking up writing.

[…] Writers.com. A great intro to writing. https://writers.com/how-to-write-a-short-story […]

' src=

Hello: I started to write seriously in the late 70’s. I loved to write in High School in the early 60’s but life got in the way. Around the 00’s many of the obstacles disappeared. Since then I have been writing more, and some of my work was vanilla transgender stories. Here in 2024 transgender stories have become tiresome because I really don’t have much in common with that mind set.

The glare of an editor that could potentially pay me is quite daunting, so I would like to start out unpaid to see where that goes. I am not sure if a writer’s agent would be a good fit for me. My work life was in the Trades, not as some sort of Academic. That alone causes timidity, but I did read about a fiction writer who had been a house painter.

This is my first effort to publish since the late 70’s. My pseudonym would perhaps include Ahabidah.

Gwen Boucher.

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Creative Writing

Last updated on: Feb 9, 2023

Creative Writing - Easy Tips For Beginners

By: Cordon J.

10 min read

Reviewed By: Melisa C.

Published on: Aug 24, 2021

Creative Writing

If you have been assigned creative writing, then it is a great chance for you to polish your learning and writing skills.

Even if you are bad at writing, working on creative writing major tasks can help you alot during bachelors of art.

If you are a starter and have no idea how to get done with the task of creative writing, this blog has everything you need to master this art.

Dive in and learn everything about how to become a successful creative writer.

Creative Writing

On this Page

What is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is the art of presenting ideas and imagination in words. It is a form of writing that expresses and presents something different and in the form of art.

Literature is a classic example of what creative writing is, and students usually get to work on this skill through their school and high school.

It is different from other forms of writing like professional, report, journalistic, academic, and technical forms of writing. Like them, creative writing has its own conventions, and it follows a different path.

Who is A Creative Writer?

A creative writer is one who presents the story in a creative manner. Usually, they imply storytelling techniques to express and state his or her views. The main aim of the writer is to keep the readers, or the spectators, engaged and provide special emphasis on work.

It may sound easy, but, believe us when we say it, it is not only difficult but, at times, impossible when you lack the right writing skills and genius to keep the audience engaged and interested in your work.

Types of Creative Writing

Many of us think that creative writing prompts include novels and poetry only. Interestingly, this genre of writing is quite vast and includes a number of different forms of creative writing and literary magazines.

How to Write Creatively?

It is said that creative writing comes naturally, and it is not something that can be learned 9or mastered. However, we dare to differ. Just like any other skill, creative writing can also be learned and mastered with hard work, dedication and practice.

If you are new to creative writing, then this may seem like something that you cannot do but worry not. We are here, and we are not alone. We have brought some great and functional writing tips for beginners as well as for the people who are looking to up their writing game.

  • Understand the Difference of Writing

Most of the students are not familiar with the concept of good and bad writing.

The term “bad writing” does not only mean that the piece of writing is full of grammatical, sentence structure, punctuation, or formatting mistakes.

If your tone is not appropriate and according to the form of writing, it will still be considered as bad writing.

For instance, if you are writing poetry or a story, your tone, choice of words, and styling of sentences should be interesting and compelling.

In this case, if you mistakenly keep your tone flat, just like you are writing one of your academic tasks (research paper, thesis, dissertation, etc.), your readers will get bored very soon. And they will find it very hard to engage themselves with your piece of writing.

  • The Reader is the Judge

Keep that in mind that the reader is always going to be the judge of your writing. It possesses the power to either accept or reject your creative work.

To impress your reader and to grab and hold their attention, presenting an impressive and engaging work is a must. Therefore, it is important that you make your creative writing piece interesting and engaging for them.

What is the best way to impress the reader, then?

That's where things get tricky.

Character development is a key factor when it comes to creative writing. Mention the background of the character. It is important when you are developing the story of the character.

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  • Uniqueness is the Key

If you write a creative piece on an already written material, the chances are that the readers already know quite enough about it and are not interested anymore.

You need to come up with a unique idea to captivate your readers. Even if you are writing on a common topic, you need to discuss its unique side, which was not enlightened before, or at least discuss it from a novel perspective.

Make sure you always look to extract uniqueness from your mind. It is the only place where inspiring, exciting, and mind-blowing ideas are born. So look out for such creative writing ideas.

How can you find that spectacular idea to impress the readers? How to be more creative in writing?

If you are thinking about it, that's a good thing, and it means you are on the right track.

You can become a novelist, story writer, creative nonfiction writer, and even a poet. But first, you need to invoke your inner creativity and inventiveness through writing exercises.

However, there are students whose native language isn’t English, but they have strong and unique ideas. Unfortunately, such English department students have difficulty expressing their ideas on paper.

If that is the case with you, then you can take help from our  essay writing services  and hire one of our professional essay writers to write your paper.

  • Brainstorming Makes you Creative and Unique

Before writing anything on paper, brainstorm the possible ideas. It is a good creative writing degree to think and then pen down all the possible ideas. It is like making a short story in your mind and using it as a foundation for your writing piece.

Every now and then, a remarkable idea pops in mind. If you fail to extract it, you’ll miss the trip. Explore the wild section inside your mind and make it a habit to practice the ‘thinking and writing’ technique.

  • Practice makes a Writer Perfect

People have made false assumptions related to creative writing. For instance, “One doesn’t need to practice anything”, or “It is the voice of the soul”.

These are all myths, so never get carried away or demotivated by these lines. Instead, advance to practice daily to polish skills and learn the techniques of brainstorming with a wide variety of writing. If you want to learn how to become a more creative writer, practice is the only key.

Once you begin to practice every day, your mind will produce ideas in a creative manner.

Pen them down, continue practicing, and you will definitely see improvement. It is guaranteed that you will even surprise yourself.

  • Make the Pen ‘Bleed’

And we mean it figuratively, of course. Never restrict yourself to a specific object. The word creative means to ponder each and everything that comes to your mind.

Keep a journal or an online document to write persistently. For example, write what you did throughout the day or what is going on in your mind, or anything you desire to write.

The purpose of the activity is to let the mind wander in different directions and stay active.

It is your mind where creativity is cooked. So allow it to wander to the places where it has never been before.

The mind becomes creative, mostly late at night.

Instead of staring at the walls lying in bed, get up and write some more.

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  • Embrace the Criticism

The creative work is often criticized in comparison to other pieces of writing.

Always be prepared to face the backlash. Unfortunately, many writers give up in this phase and never accept the harsh facts. As a result, they do not grow.

Do not be like them, or your efforts will go in vain.

While doing so, many beginners prefer not to reveal their work.

If you do the same, you are being horribly unjust to yourself. Attending creative writing workshops and classes, witnessing how people present their work will inspire you.

When you accept criticism with a big heart and improve your writing, then you grow and improve your writing skills. Embracing criticism will help you learn how to become a great creative writer.

Fusion of learning from your mistakes and your experience will polish your art, and it can make you a tremendous writer.

How to Start Writing a Book for Beginners?

Book writing is different from writing an essay or an article. Talking about creativity, it is much more profound and can be lengthier than a play or a drama.

It is a long literary form and something that could be published or presented in parts. This is why planning and writing a book is different from other types of writing.

For a beginner, writing a book is something that is next to impossible. However, you can make this task easier and doable by following the easy steps given below.

1. Setup the writing environment by decluttering your writing space. No matter if it is your home office setup, your couch, or any other place, make it organized and free from anything that could distract you.

2. Instead of delving right into the book writing, plan it months ahead and start working on developing the writing habit. Book writing is like a commitment, and you won't be able to do it without having a strong writing habit.

3. Build a functional book outline before starting with the writing process. An outline will help you stay focused on the main theme of the book. Without an outline, you will be distracted, and soon enough, you will not know what to do.

4. Make a writing schedule and stick to it. One of the gravest mistakes that many new writers make is not having a strict writing schedule. Make it a point to write every day and keep track of the progress.

5. Write one book at a time. We know that your mind is bubbling with ideas, but if you do not work on them one by one, you will not be able to complete any of the books. Therefore, work on one book and idea at a time.

6. For a smooth writing process, deal with the distractions first. Do not wait for them to bother you but get away with them first. Few distractions could be the bills lying on your work table and too many things around. Get rid of them before writing.

Creative Writing Example

Creative Writing Sample

Story Writing Tips for Beginners

To write a great book, you need to have strong and engaging storytelling elements in it. Creative writing stories are interesting and this is why we are so much drawn to stories and narratives.

To plan and build a strong story, follow the following steps:

1. Instead of trying to make your draft perfect, just write the first draft. Then you will know what is wrong with it and how to fix it. If you try to make it perfect the first time, you will only get stuck on the first page.

2. The most important part of your story is the main character. Make sure they are dynamic and strong. They should be responsible for their decisions.

3. Add things that are exciting and entertaining to your origin story. If it's not exciting, people won't read it. Make sure you ask questions that make people think about what might happen next.

4. Instead of telling about the events, use visual details to make it more interesting. Books are better when they have pictures too.

5. Emotional appeal is powerful. When you write, use words that make people feel something. When you do this in a play, it can make the play great.

6. After you are done writing, make sure that you edit it carefully. You might not have time to do this, but it is important to make sure that there are no mistakes.

7. To improve your writing, ask a friend to read it and give feedback. Your friends might see an error that you can't see.

Once you follow these guidelines, you will be on your way to writing a great book and story.

Unlike other boring and dull tasks, creative writing is one that is fun and exciting. It is the best way to show the entire world what your thoughts and feelings are on certain events.

Just follow the above-mentioned creative writing tips next time you are assigned a task regarding creative writing.

These are the effective tips that great creative writers have used and still use. They know that as a human we all are the products of our habits. This is why they have made it their habit to write daily and read extensively.

Practice as much as you can as it sharpens a person’s writing skills and prepares him or her for great writing.

The creative writers at  5StarEssays.com  have life experiences in writing different types of academic papers.

Regardless of your academic level, you will get a  custom paper  according to your instructions. You can always step up in every creative writing task with their help.

They will be there to assist your work in every possible way.

If you are a high school student looking for someone to write your essay, you can contact our  write my essay  service.

If you want your paper to be revised, we can help you with that also. We will provide free revision for your paper until you get the paper you want.

We have made the ordering process simple and convenient with our 24/7 support team.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the four forms of creative writing.

Following are the four forms of creative writing:

  • Descriptive

What is creative thinking?

Creative thinking is the ability to use your skills. It means seeing things from different angles and using tools to solve problems.

What are the main elements of creative writing?

Below you will find a summary of these five elements. These are what you should know about creative writing:

  • Point-of-view
  • Literary devices.

Cordon J.

Literature, Marketing

Cordon. is a published author and writing specialist. He has worked in the publishing industry for many years, providing writing services and digital content. His own writing career began with a focus on literature and linguistics, which he continues to pursue. Cordon is an engaging and professional individual, always looking to help others achieve their goals.

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  • May 26, 2024

What is the Writing Process? A 5-Step Guide for Success

Julia mccoy.

Creator and Co-founder

You’ve got a brilliant idea for a piece of writing, but you’re not sure where to start. The writing process can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the game.

But here’s the thing: even the most seasoned writers struggle with getting their thoughts down on paper. The key is to break it down into manageable steps.

In this post, I’ll walk you through the five essential stages of the writing process. From brainstorming to publishing, you’ll learn how to create compelling content that your audience will love.

Let’s get started!

Table Of Contents:

What is the writing process, the 5-step writing process, step 1: prewriting, step 2: drafting, step 3: revising, step 4: editing, step 5: publishing, great content starts with following the writing process.

Writing is a 5-step process that includes a prewriting stage, writing the first draft, revising and editing, and finally publishing.

Each step has its own set of activities and strategies to help you move your writing project forward.

However, the writing process is not always linear. You might find yourself jumping back and forth between stages as you refine your ideas and improve your work. That’s totally normal and part of the creative process.

Now, you might be wondering, “Why can’t I just sit down and start writing?”

Well, you could, but the result might be a disorganized mess.

Following these writing steps helps ensure that your final product is well-structured, coherent, and effective in communicating your message.

Plus, following a process can reduce stress and writer’s block. When you know what steps to take next, it’s easier to keep moving forward, even when the words aren’t flowing as easily as you’d like.

Here’s a breakdown of the five key steps of the writing process:

This is the brainstorming phase, where you generate ideas, research, and organize your thoughts.

Prewriting strategies like mind mapping, freewriting, and outlining can help you get the creative juices flowing.

Time to start putting your ideas into writing.

In the drafting stage, you take the ideas from your prewriting and start fleshing them out into full sentences and body paragraphs.

Don’t worry about perfection just yet – the goal is to get your thoughts down on paper.

Once you have a rough draft, it’s time to start making improvements.

Revising involves evaluating your content, organization, and word choice to make sure your writing is clear, coherent, and effective.

This is also a good time to get feedback from others.

After revising, it’s time to polish your writing at the sentence level.

Editing involves checking for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors, as well as ensuring consistency in your formatting and citations.

A thorough edit can take your writing from good to great.

Finally, it’s time to share your work with the world.

Publishing can take many forms, from submitting a paper to a professor to posting on a blog or submitting to a literary journal.

Whatever the format, the key is to get your writing in front of your intended audience.

Now let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of the writing process.

Prewriting is the first stage of the writing process, and it’s all about getting those creative juices flowing. This is where you brainstorm ideas, do some research, and start organizing your thoughts.

One of my favorite prewriting strategies is mind mapping . Mind maps are a great way to visually organize your ideas and see connections between different concepts. To create a mind map, start with your main topic in the center, then branch out with subtopics and supporting details.

Another technique is asking journalistic questions about your topic – who, what, where, when, why, and how. This can help you generate ideas and identify areas where you need to do more research.

Speaking of research, it’s an important part of the prewriting process, especially if you’re writing about a complex or unfamiliar topic.

Start by gathering information from reputable sources like books, articles, and websites. As you read, take notes and jot down ideas for how you can incorporate the information into your writing.

But don’t just regurgitate facts and figures – think critically about the information you’re gathering. Consider the credibility and biases of your sources, and look for ways to synthesize and analyze the information to support your own ideas.

Once you’ve generated some ideas and done your research, it’s time to start organizing your thoughts into an outline.

An outline is like a roadmap for your writing – it helps you see the overall structure and flow of your piece.

Start by identifying your main points or arguments, then add supporting details and examples under each one. You can also use your outline to identify areas where you need to do more research or development.

Remember, your outline doesn’t have to be set in stone – it’s a flexible tool that you can adjust as you write and revise. But having that initial structure can make the writing process feel much more manageable.

Alright, you’ve done your prewriting and you’re ready to start drafting. It’s time to start putting your ideas into full sentences and paragraphs.

Drafting can feel intimidating, but remember – it’s just a first attempt. The goal is to get your thoughts down on paper, not to create a perfect final product. Give yourself permission to write freely and without judgment.

Create a Thesis Statement

One key element of drafting is creating a strong thesis statement. This is a sentence or two that summarizes the main point or argument of your piece. It’s like a signpost for your readers, telling them what to expect in the rest of your writing.

Your thesis statement should be specific, arguable, and clearly stated. It’s okay if it takes a few tries to get it just right – you can always revise it later.

Write Topic Sentences

Once you have your thesis statement, it’s time to start fleshing out your ideas in the body of your piece.

One helpful strategy is to write clear topic sentences for each paragraph. A topic sentence introduces the main idea of the paragraph and connects it back to your thesis.

Think of your topic sentences as mini-thesis statements for each paragraph. They should be specific, relevant, and engaging, and they should give your readers a clear sense of what to expect in the rest of the paragraph.

Develop Your Paragraphs

With your topic sentences in place, it’s time to develop your paragraphs with supporting details and examples. Each paragraph should focus on one main idea that supports your thesis statement.

As you draft, try to use concrete, specific language to illustrate your points. Avoid vague or general statements – instead, use vivid descriptions and examples to bring your ideas to life.

Use Supporting Evidence

To make your writing more persuasive and credible, it’s important to use supporting evidence to back up your claims. This can include facts, statistics, examples, and expert opinions.

As you incorporate evidence into your writing, be sure to use proper citation and attribution. This shows that you’ve done your research and helps you avoid plagiarism.

When you’re drafting, just get those thoughts flowing onto paper. Don’t stress about making it super polished yet—you’ll have your tune-up time later for all the tweaks and edit magic.

You’ve got a draft – congratulations. Now it’s time to take a step back and evaluate your work with a critical eye.

Revising is all about making improvements to your content and structure to make your writing as clear, coherent, and effective as possible.

Evaluate Content

Start by reading through your draft and asking yourself some key questions:

  • Does my writing have a clear purpose and audience? 
  • Does each paragraph support my main point? 
  • Is my evidence convincing and relevant?

As you evaluate your content, look for areas where you can cut irrelevant or redundant information, and add more detail or explanation where needed.

Remember, every sentence should serve a purpose and contribute to your overall message.

Improve Organization

Next, take a look at the overall organization and flow of your piece.

Does it have a clear beginning, middle, and end? Do your ideas logically build on each other? Are there any gaps or jumps in your reasoning?

If needed, don’t be afraid to move paragraphs around, add transitions, or restructure your piece to create a more logical and coherent flow.

A reverse outline can be a helpful tool for evaluating and improving your organization.

Enhance Word Choice

As you revise your draft, pay attention to your word choice and tone.

Are you using clear, concise language that your audience will understand? Can you replace any vague or overused words with more specific or descriptive language?

Think about the connotations and emotional impact of your words, and choose language that supports your purpose and engages your readers.

Refine Sentence Structure

Finally, take a close look at your sentence structure and variety.

Are your sentences clear and easy to follow? Do you have a good mix of simple, compound, and complex sentences?

Look for opportunities to vary your sentence beginnings, lengths, and structures to create a more engaging and dynamic writing style. But be careful not to overdo it – too much variety can be just as distracting as too little.

Remember, revising is an ongoing process. You may need to go through multiple rounds of revision to get your writing where you want it to be. But each revision brings you one step closer to a polished, effective final product.

You’ve revised your content and structure – now it’s time to polish your writing at the sentence level.

Editing involves carefully reviewing your work for errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and formatting.

Proofreading for Grammar and Punctuation

One key aspect of editing is proofreading for grammar and punctuation mistakes. This includes things like subject-verb agreement, pronoun usage, comma placement, and more.

Reading your work out loud can be a helpful technique for catching awkward or incorrect phrasing. You can also try reading your work backward, sentence by sentence, to help you focus on each sentence without getting caught up in the overall flow.

Checking for Consistency

Another important aspect of editing is checking for consistency in your writing. This includes things like verb tense, point of view, and formatting.

For example, if you start your piece in the present tense, make sure you stay in the present tense throughout.

If you’re using MLA formatting, make sure you follow MLA guidelines consistently throughout your piece.

Formatting and Citations

Speaking of formatting, it’s important to make sure your work follows the appropriate style guide for your discipline or publication. This includes things like font choice, margin size, and citation style.

If you’re using sources in your writing, make sure to properly cite them both in-text and in your works cited or reference list. Proper citation not only gives credit to your sources but also helps you avoid plagiarism.

Editing can be a tedious process, but it’s an important step in creating a polished, professional piece of writing.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a friend, tutor, or colleague – a fresh set of eyes can catch mistakes that you might miss on your own.

You’ve brainstormed, drafted, revised, and edited – now it’s time to share your work with the world.

Choosing a Publishing Platform

The first step in publishing is choosing the right platform for your work. Consider your audience, purpose, and genre when making this decision.

For example, if you’re writing a research paper for a class, you’ll likely submit it directly to your professor.

If you’re writing a personal essay, you might consider submitting it to a literary journal or magazine.

If you’re writing a blog post, you’ll need to choose a blogging platform and domain name.

Formatting for Publication

Once you’ve chosen your publishing platform, it’s important to format your work according to their guidelines.

Pay close attention to submission rules and follow them carefully. A poorly formatted submission can hurt your chances of acceptance, even if your writing is strong.

Promoting Your Work

Finally, don’t be afraid to promote your published work. Share it on social media, send it to friends and family, and include it in your writing portfolio.

If you’re submitting to a literary journal or magazine, you can also promote your work by attending readings or events hosted by the publication.

Building relationships with other writers and editors can help you grow your audience and find new opportunities for your work.

Remember, publishing is not the end of the writing process – it’s just the beginning. Use the feedback and experience you gain from publishing to continue growing and improving as a writer.

The writing process is a journey, not a destination. By breaking it down into these five essential steps, you can approach your writing with confidence and clarity.

Remember, the key is to stay focused on your message and your audience. Whether you’re brainstorming ideas, drafting your piece, or polishing your final draft, keep your reader in mind every step of the way.

With practice and persistence, you’ll develop your own unique writing process that works for you. So don’t be afraid to experiment, take risks, and let your creativity shine through.

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The Art of Narrative

Learn to write.

How to Write a Poem

How to Write a Poem: In 7 Practical Steps with Examples

Learn how to write a poem through seven easy to follow steps that will guide you through writing completed poem. Ignite a passion for poetry!

easy steps in creative writing

This article is a practical guide for writing a poem, and the purpose is to help you  write a poem!  By completing the seven steps below, you will create the first draft of a simple poem. You can go on to refine your poetry in any way you like. The important thing is that you’ve got a poem under your belt. 

At the bottom of the post, I’ll provide more resources on writing poetry. I encourage you to explore different forms and structures and continue writing poetry on your own. Hopefully, writing a poem will spark, in you, a passion for creative writing and language. 

Let’s get started with writing a poem in seven simple steps: 

  • Brainstorm & Free-write
  • Develop a theme
  • Create an extended metaphor
  • Add figurative language
  • Plan your structure
  • Write your first draft
  • Read, re-read & edit

Now we’ll go into each step in-depth. And, if your feeling up to it, you can plan and write your poem as we go.

Step 1: Brainstorm and Free-write 

Find what you want to write about 

how to write poetry brainstorming

Before you begin writing, you need to choose a subject to write about. For our purposes, you’ll want to select a specific topic. Later, you’ll be drawing a comparison between this subject and something else. 

When choosing a subject, you’ll want to write about something you feel passionately about. Your topic can be something you love, like a person, place, or thing. A subject can also be something you struggle with . Don’t get bogged down by all the options; pick something. Poets have written about topics like: 

And of course…  cats   

 Once you have your subject in mind, you’re going to begin freewriting about that subject. Let’s say you picked your pet iguana as your subject. Get out a sheet of paper or open a word processor. Start writing everything that comes to mind about that subject. You could write about your iguana’s name, the color of their skin, the texture of their scales, how they make you feel, a metaphor that comes to mind. Nothing is off-limits. 

Write anything that comes to mind about your subject. Keep writing until you’ve entirely exhausted everything you have to say about the subject. Or, set a timer for several minutes and write until it goes off. Don’t worry about things like spelling, grammar, form, or structure. For now, you want to get all your thoughts down on paper. 

ACTION STEPS: 

  • Grab a scratch paper, or open a word processor 
  • Pick a subject- something you’re passionate about
  • Write everything that comes to mind about your topic without editing or structuring your writing 
  • Make sure this free-writing is uninterrupted
  • Optional-  set a timer and write continuously for 5 or 10 minutes about your subject 

Step 2: Develop a Theme 

What lesson do you want to teach? 

develop a theme for your poem

Poetry often has a theme or a message the poet would like to convey to the reader. Developing a theme will give your writing purpose and focus your effort. Look back at your freewriting and see if a theme, or lesson, has developed naturally, one that you can refine. 

Maybe, in writing about your iguana, you noticed that you talked about your love for animals and the need to preserve the environment. Or, perhaps you talk about how to care for a reptile pet. Your theme does not need to be groundbreaking. A theme only needs to be a message that you would like to convey. 

Now, what is your theme? Finish the following statement: 

The lesson I want to teach my readers about  (your subject)  is ______

Ex. I want to teach my readers that spring days are lovely and best enjoyed with loving companions or family. 

  • Read over the product of your free-writing exercise.  
  • Brainstorm a lesson you would like to teach readers about your subject. 
  • Decide on one thing that is essential for your reader to know about your topic.
  • Finish the sentence stem above. 

Step 3: Create an (extended) Metaphor 

Compare your subject to another, unlike thing. 

Poem: creating a metaphor

To write this poem, you will compare your subject to something it, seemingly, has nothing in common with. When you directly compare two, unlike things, you’re using a form of figurative language called a metaphor. But, we’re going to take this metaphor and extend it over one or two stanzas- Stanzas are like paragraphs, a block of text in a poem- Doing this will create an extended metaphor. 

Using a metaphor will reinforce your theme by making your poem memorable for your reader. Keep that in mind when you’re choosing the thing you’d like to compare your subject to. Suppose your topic is pet iguanas, and your theme is that they make fantastic pets. In that case, you’ll want to compare iguanas to something positive. Maybe you compare them to sunshine or a calm lake. This metaphor does the work or conveying your poem’s central message. 

  • Identify something that is, seemingly, unlike your subject that you’ll use to compare.
  • On a piece of paper, make two lists or a Venn diagram. 
  • Write down all the ways that you’re subject and the thing you’ll compare it to are alike. 
  • Also, write down all the ways they are unalike.
  • Try and make both lists as comprehensive as possible.  

Step 4: Add more Figurative Language 

Make your writing sound poetic. 

how to write poetry: figurative language

Figurative language is a blanket term that describes several techniques used to impart meaning through words. Figurative language is usually colorful and evocative. We’ve talked about one form of figurative language already- metaphor and extended metaphor. But, here are a few others you can choose from.

This list is, by no means, a comprehensive one. There are many other forms of figurative language for you to research. I’ll link a resource at the bottom of this page. 

Five types of figurative language:

  • Ex. Frank was as giddy as a schoolgirl to find a twenty-dollar bill in his pocket. 
  • Frank’s car engine whined with exhaustion as he drove up the hill.  
  • Frank was so hungry he could eat an entire horse. 
  • Nearing the age of eighty-five, Frank felt as old as Methuselah.  
  • Frank fretted as he frantically searched his forlorn apartment for a missing Ficus tree. 

There are many other types of figurative language, but those are a few common ones. Pick two of the five I’ve listed to include in your poem. Use more if you like, but you only need two for your current poem.   

  • Choose two of the types of figurative language listed above 
  • Brainstorm ways they can fit into a poem 
  • Create example sentences for the two forms of figurative language you chose

Step 5: Plan your Structure 

How do you want your poem to sound and look? 

Poetry stru

If you want to start quickly, then you can choose to write a free-verse poem. Free verse poems are poems that have no rhyme scheme, meter, or structure. In a free verse poem, you’re free to write unrestricted. If you’d like to explore free verse poetry, you can read my article on how to write a prose poem, which is a type of free verse poem. 

Read more about prose poetry here.  

However, some people enjoy the support of structure and rules. So, let’s talk about a few of the tools you can use to add a form to your poem. 

Tools to create poetic structure:

Rhyme Scheme – rhyme scheme refers to the pattern of rhymes used in a poem. The sound at the end of each line determines the rhyme scheme. Writers label words with letters to signify rhyming terms, and this is how rhyme schemes are defined. 

If you had a four-line poem that followed an ABAB scheme, then lines 1 and 3 would rhyme, and lines 2 and 4 would rhyme. Here’s an example of an ABAB rhyme scheme from an excerpt of Robert Frost’s poem,  Neither Out Far Nor In Deep: 

‘The people along the sand (A)

All turn and look one way. (B) 

They turn their back on the land. (A) 

They look at the sea all day. (B) 

Check out the Rhyme Zone.com if you need help coming up with a rhyme!

Read more about the ins and outs of rhyme scheme here.

Meter – a little more advanced than rhyme scheme, meter deals with a poem’s rhythm expressed through stressed and unstressed syllables. Meter can get pretty complicated ,

Check out this article if you’d like to learn more about it.

Stanza – a stanza is a group of lines placed together as a single unit in a poem. A stanza is to a poem what a paragraph is to prose writing. Stanzas don’t have to be the same number of lines throughout a poem, either. They can vary as paragraphs do. 

Line Breaks – these are the breaks between stanzas in a poem. They help to create rhythm and set stanzas apart from one another. 

  • Decide if you want to write a structured poem or use free verse
  • Brainstorm rhyming words that could fit into a simple scheme 
  • Plan out your stanzas and line breaks (small stanzas help emphasize important lines in your poem) 

Step 6: Write Your Poem 

Combine your figurative language, extended metaphor, and structure.

How to Write Poetry

Poetry is always unique to the writer. And, when it comes to poetry, the “rules” are flexible. In 1965 a young poet named Aram Saroyan wrote a poem called  lighght.  It goes like this- 

That’s it. Saroyan was paid $750 for his poem. You may or may not believe that’s poetry, but a lot of people accept it as just that. My point is, write the poem that comes to you. I won’t give you a strict set of guidelines to follow when creating your poetry. But, here are a few things to consider that might help guide you:

  • Compare your subject to something else by creating an extended metaphor 
  • Try to relate a theme or a simple lesson for your reader
  • Use at least two of the figurative language techniques from above 
  • Create a meter or rhyme scheme (if you’re up to it) 
  • Write at least two stanzas and use a line break 

Still, need some help? Here are two well-known poems that are classic examples of an extended metaphor. Read over them, determine what two, unlike things, are being compared, and for what purpose? What theme is the poet trying to convey? What techniques can you steal? (it’s the sincerest form of flattery) 

“Hope” is a thing with feathers  by Emily Dickenson.

“The Rose that Grew From Concrete”  by Tupac Shakur. 

  • Write the first draft of your poem.
  • Don’t stress. Just get the poem on paper. 

Step 7: Read, Re-read, Edit 

Read your poem, and edit for clarity and focus .

Edit your poem

When you’re finished, read over your poem. Do this out loud to get a feel for the poem’s rhythm. Have a friend or peer read your poem, edit for grammar and spelling. You can also stretch grammar rules, but do it with a purpose. 

You can also ask your editor what they think the theme is to determine if you’ve communicated it well enough. 

Now you can rewrite your poem. And, remember, all writing is rewriting. This editing process will longer than it did to write your first draft. 

  • Re-read your poem out loud. 
  • Find a trusted friend to read over your poem.
  • Be open to critique, new ideas, and unique perspectives. 
  • Edit for mistakes or style.

Use this image on your blog, Google classroom, or Canvas page by right-clicking for the embed code. Look for this </> symbol to embed the image on your page.

Write a poem infographic

Continued reading on Poetry

easy steps in creative writing

A Poetry Handbook

“With passion, wit, and good common sense, the celebrated poet Mary Oliver tells of the basic ways a poem is built—meter and rhyme, form and diction, sound and sense. She talks of iambs and trochees, couplets and sonnets, and how  and why  this should matter to anyone writing or reading poetry.”

Masterclass.com- Poetry 101: What is Meter?

Poetry Foundation- You Call That Poetry?!

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easy steps in creative writing

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Creative Writing for Kids: A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing a Story

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Creative writing can be a real positive force for children’s lives and development, but how does a child get started with creative writing? There are many ways, but it can often be helpful to have a structure to work from, so we’ve outlined some simple steps on how your child can write a story and enjoy themselves in the process! As they brainstorm, a lot of ideas will come to mind, so we recommend they take notes throughout the process.

What is creative writing?

Creative writing is an expressive form of writing that allows children to explore their thoughts, ideas, and emotions in an imaginative way. Unlike academic or factual writing , creative writing encourages children to use their imagination to invent characters , settings , and plots , fostering a love for storytelling and self-expression.

In creative writing, children have the freedom to write stories , poems , letters , and even scripts for their own movies. It's an opportunity for them to unleash their creativity, experiment with language, and develop their unique voice as writers. Through creative writing, children learn to think critically, problem-solve, and communicate effectively, all while having fun and exploring their creativity.

Encouraging creative writing at home or as part of homeschooling not only helps children develop their writing skills but also nurtures their imagination and confidence.

Getting started

Child writing.

Your child may not be quite ready to start, and that’s normal - writing can be challenging!

Instead of jumping straight in, ease your child into it with activities like free writing. This will allow them to explore any topic without pressure, acting as a way to boost your child’s imagination before they start writing stories .

If your child is a reluctant writer, you can try different methods that don’t actively require them to put pen to paper, but are linked to creativity and storytelling. These include drawing , picking out new children’s books from the local library, telling stories out loud, or dedicating time to read your child’s favorite books as a family. Generally, reading lays the foundation for your child to be able to create their own stories, improving their narrative writing skills by exposing them to different techniques, genres, and styles.

When all else fails, encourage your child to read more. The more that your child reads, the easier it will be for them to start writing.

Step 1: Character development

Creating a character is a great starting point for your child to write their own story.

This character can be whatever your child wants them to be. They can be a human, an animal, a mystical creature, or something completely made-up! Once they have a general idea of what they want this character to be, they can brainstorm different plot points, which will further inform the characters traits, behaviours, and role in the story.

Here are some questions your child should be able to answer about their character:

  • What is going on in this character’s life?
  • Do they have a problem that they need to fix?
  • Who are they interacting with in this story?
  • How do they feel about other characters, and about the issue at hand?

A story normally relies on one character to be the hero, and on another to be the villain. The villain is typically portrayed as a negative character who introduces a problem (the antagonist), and the hero is a positive character who solves the problems (the protagonist). Once your child creates their main character, they should establish their role within the story. Are they writing from the perspective of the hero, or would they prefer to give the villain of the story a voice?

From there, they can create side characters! These are typically parents, siblings, and friends of the main character, but can also be total strangers. If your child is stuck on how to build their first character, they can use writing prompts to make it a little easier. Try this prompt:

Prompt: Create a character that is half dog, and half elephant and call it a Doggophant! What does a Doggophant like to eat?

Step 2: Setting and genre

The next step in your child’s creative writing process is to choose where it takes place . They should also decide the genre of their story, as some settings won’t work for some specific genres (for example, a sunny beach wouldn’t pair well with a moody mystery).

This story’s setting could be a real location, such as London, Paris, or New York, or a fictional location, like an enchanted forest or an underwater kingdom.

A helpful way to start brainstorming is to ask your child about places they’ve been to, seen on TV, or read about in stories. This is a chance for them to imagine how their story would look like in different settings, and will help them decide on the genre they’d like to go for too.

Prompt (continued): Where does a Doggophant usually live? Is it a magical Night Zoo?

Step 3: Structure and plot

Child writing.

Before starting to plan the plot, your child should understand the basic structure of a story . All good stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

The beginning serves as a way to introduce characters, set the scene, and show the "calm before the storm”. This happens before a conflict is introduced.

The middle of a story is where most of the action takes place. This is where your child should introduce the main problem, and the main character’s journey of trying to solve it.

Finally, the ending or conclusion of the story is where, normally, the conflict is resolved. This can change depending on how your child wants to end their story!

Prompt (continued): Doggophants love when people visit the Night Zoo, but a new character named Lord Nulth is trying to steal all of the creativity in the Zoo! Does Lord Nulth sound like a nice person? Why would he want to steal creativity? How will Doggophant and other animals stop him?

Step 4: Begin Writing

Now that all the planning is done, let’s get writing!

As your child starts to write, they’ll probably make changes and come up with new story ideas— this is normal and an integral part of the creative process.

It’s important that you offer your support throughout this process, especially if your child is a reluctant writer. While giving them space to concentrate, you can check-in every once in a while, offering help if they encounter any hurdles. Your role mirrors that of a writing prompt, providing your child with initial ideas and nudging them to develop their story further. This collaborative approach ensures their story unfolds organically, making the blank page a canvas for unlimited story possibilities!

Step 5: Keep Going!

Child writing.

One of the best things about creative writing is that it enables children to express themselves and grow in confidence with every story they craft. It pushes children to believe in the phrase "I can", as they embark on different writing exercises without the fear of failing or being held by the “what if’s”. As your child starts their journey through the exciting world of writing, it’s important to guide them in the right direction. Encourage them to not overthink and just write whatever comes to mind at first.

To keep the momentum, you can even set different goals, like writing different descriptions, drawing their main character, or brainstorming different story endings before writing the full story. For reluctant writers, setting small, attainable targets can make the process less overwhelming and more exciting. Avoid setting strict word counts or time limits, as these can add pressure and take the fun out of the writing experience.

It’s important to remember that progress isn’t linear, and that every child is unique. If they need to, you can allow your child to build their story gradually, creating a more fluid project that enables them to work when inspiration strikes. Once they finish their first story, you’ll probably see a change in their attitude, and a new motivation to write a different piece.

Creative writing can be a rewarding experience for you and your child. Make sure you give them positive encouragement, and to soak in the experience of reading the story once it has been completed. They’ll have created something one-of-a-kind, and it will give you an exciting look into their imagination!

Step 6: Try Night Zookeeper

Night Zookeeper logo, displayed on tablet screen.

Still having trouble getting your child motivated to write? You should try Night Zookeeper !

Our writing program for kids makes writing fantastically fun by turning different writing activities into games, keeping children engaged, entertained, and excited to learn!

We cover all styles of writing, and boost children’s writing skills using an array of different activities, including writing lessons, short story prompts, and challenges.

More creative writing activities

  • 25 Creative Writing Prompts For Kids
  • Writing Activities For Kids
  • Story Writing Resources

Got any questions? Reach out to us via email at [email protected] . Follow us on social media:

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How to Teach Creative Writing | 7 Steps to Get Students Wordsmithing

easy steps in creative writing

“I don’t have any ideas!”

“I can’t think of anything!”

While we see creative writing as a world of limitless imagination, our students often see an overwhelming desert of “no idea.”

But when you teach creative writing effectively, you’ll notice that  every  student is brimming over with ideas that just have to get out.

So what does teaching creative writing effectively look like?

We’ve outlined a  seven-step method  that will  scaffold your students through each phase of the creative process  from idea generation through to final edits.

7. Create inspiring and original prompts

Use the following formats to generate prompts that get students inspired:

  • personal memories (“Write about a person who taught you an important lesson”)
  • imaginative scenarios
  • prompts based on a familiar mentor text (e.g. “Write an alternative ending to your favorite book”). These are especially useful for giving struggling students an easy starting point.
  • lead-in sentences (“I looked in the mirror and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Somehow overnight I…”).
  • fascinating or thought-provoking images with a directive (“Who do you think lives in this mountain cabin? Tell their story”).

student writing prompts for kids

Don’t have the time or stuck for ideas? Check out our list of 100 student writing prompts

6. unpack the prompts together.

Explicitly teach your students how to dig deeper into the prompt for engaging and original ideas.

Probing questions are an effective strategy for digging into a prompt. Take this one for example:

“I looked in the mirror and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Somehow overnight I…”

Ask “What questions need answering here?” The first thing students will want to know is:

What happened overnight?

No doubt they’ll be able to come up with plenty of zany answers to that question, but there’s another one they could ask to make things much more interesting:

Who might “I” be?

In this way, you subtly push students to go beyond the obvious and into more original and thoughtful territory. It’s even more useful with a deep prompt:

“Write a story where the main character starts to question something they’ve always believed.”

Here students could ask:

  • What sorts of beliefs do people take for granted?
  • What might make us question those beliefs?
  • What happens when we question something we’ve always thought is true?
  • How do we feel when we discover that something isn’t true?

Try splitting students into groups, having each group come up with probing questions for a prompt, and then discussing potential “answers” to these questions as a class.

The most important lesson at this point should be that good ideas take time to generate. So don’t rush this step!

5. Warm-up for writing

A quick warm-up activity will:

  • allow students to see what their discussed ideas look like on paper
  • help fix the “I don’t know how to start” problem
  • warm up writing muscles quite literally (especially important for young learners who are still developing handwriting and fine motor skills).

Freewriting  is a particularly effective warm-up. Give students 5–10 minutes to “dump” all their ideas for a prompt onto the page for without worrying about structure, spelling, or grammar.

After about five minutes you’ll notice them starting to get into the groove, and when you call time, they’ll have a better idea of what captures their interest.

Did you know? The Story Factory in Reading Eggs allows your students to write and publish their own storybooks using an easy step-by-step guide.

The Story factory in Reading Eggs

4. Start planning

Now it’s time for students to piece all these raw ideas together and generate a plan. This will synthesize disjointed ideas and give them a roadmap for the writing process.

Note:  at this stage your strong writers might be more than ready to get started on a creative piece. If so, let them go for it – use planning for students who are still puzzling things out.

Here are four ideas for planning:

Graphic organisers

A graphic organiser will allow your students to plan out the overall structure of their writing. They’re also particularly useful in “chunking” the writing process, so students don’t see it as one big wall of text.

Storyboards and illustrations

These will engage your artistically-minded students and give greater depth to settings and characters. Just make sure that drawing doesn’t overshadow the writing process.

Voice recordings

If you have students who are hesitant to commit words to paper, tell them to think out loud and record it on their device. Often they’ll be surprised at how well their spoken words translate to the page.

Write a blurb

This takes a bit more explicit teaching, but it gets students to concisely summarize all their main ideas (without giving away spoilers). Look at some blurbs on the back of published books before getting them to write their own. Afterward they could test it out on a friend – based on the blurb, would they borrow it from the library?

3. Produce rough drafts

Warmed up and with a plan at the ready, your students are now ready to start wordsmithing. But before they start on a draft, remind them of what a draft is supposed to be:

  • a work in progress.

Remind them that  if they wait for the perfect words to come, they’ll end up with blank pages .

Instead, it’s time to take some writing risks and get messy. Encourage this by:

  • demonstrating the writing process to students yourself
  • taking the focus off spelling and grammar (during the drafting stage)
  • providing meaningful and in-depth feedback (using words, not ticks!).

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2. share drafts for peer feedback.

Don’t saddle yourself with 30 drafts for marking. Peer assessment is a better (and less exhausting) way to ensure everyone receives the feedback they need.

Why? Because for something as personal as creative writing, feedback often translates better when it’s in the familiar and friendly language that only a peer can produce. Looking at each other’s work will also give students more ideas about how they can improve their own.

Scaffold peer feedback to ensure it’s constructive. The following methods work well:

Student rubrics

A simple rubric allows students to deliver more in-depth feedback than “It was pretty good.” The criteria will depend on what you are ultimately looking for, but students could assess each other’s:

  • use of language.

Whatever you opt for, just make sure the language you use in the rubric is student-friendly.

Two positives and a focus area

Have students identify two things their peer did well, and one area that they could focus on further, then turn this into written feedback. Model the process for creating specific comments so you get something more constructive than “It was pretty good.” It helps to use stems such as:

I really liked this character because…

I found this idea interesting because it made me think…

I was a bit confused by…

I wonder why you… Maybe you could… instead.

1. The editing stage

Now that students have a draft and feedback, here’s where we teachers often tell them to “go over it” or “give it some final touches.”

But our students don’t always know how to edit.

Scaffold the process with questions that encourage students to think critically about their writing, such as:

  • Are there any parts that would be confusing if I wasn’t there to explain them?
  • Are there any parts that seem irrelevant to the rest?
  • Which parts am I most uncertain about?
  • Does the whole thing flow together, or are there parts that seem out of place?
  • Are there places where I could have used a better word?
  • Are there any grammatical or spelling errors I notice?

Key to this process is getting students to  read their creative writing from start to finish .

Important note:  if your students are using a word processor, show them where the spell-check is and how to use it. Sounds obvious, but in the age of autocorrect, many students simply don’t know.

A final word on teaching creative writing

Remember that the best writers write regularly.

Incorporate them into your lessons as often as possible, and soon enough, you’ll have just as much fun  marking  your students’ creative writing as they do producing it.

Need more help supporting your students’ writing?

Read up on  how to get reluctant writers writing , strategies for  supporting struggling secondary writers , or check out our huge list of writing prompts for kids .

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Watch your students get excited about writing and publishing their own storybooks in the Story Factory

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Easy Steps in Creative Writing- Infant 2

$ 75.00

First Published in 2018

AUTHOR: Faith Dopson-Marchan, Reeanna E. Pierre-Forbes, Shelly-Ann Mohammed-Mathura, Wendy Lutchmansingh

PUBLISHER: Charran Book Services Limited

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  1. Easy steps in Creative Writing Infant 1 by W. Luchmansingh

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  2. Easy steps in Creative Writing Book 3 by W. Luchmansingh

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  4. Easy Steps in Creative Writing Book 2 by F. Dopson-Marchna

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  5. Easy Steps in Creative Writing Infant 2

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  6. 5 Tips for Creative Writing [Infographic]

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  6. 5 Tips For Creative Writing

COMMENTS

  1. 8 Tips for Getting Started With Creative Writing

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  2. Creative Writing 101: A Beginner's Guide to Creative Writing

    Creative Writing 101. Creative writing is any form of writing which is written with the creativity of mind: fiction writing, poetry writing, creative nonfiction writing and more. The purpose is to express something, whether it be feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Rather than only giving information or inciting the reader to make an action ...

  3. Easy Steps in Creative Writing Book 3 BY CBSL

    Easy Steps in Creative Writing Book 3 is the fifth in a series of six books designed in alignment with the English Language Arts Writing and Literary Appreciation strands in the revised Curriculum (formerly referred to as 'PCR') and the English Language Arts Writing objectives for the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA). ...

  4. Easy Ways to Improve Creative Writing: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

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  5. Creative Writing For Beginners: 10 Top Tips

    To give you a source for creative ideas, take time to brainstorm. Keep a journal where you can jot down ideas as they come or explore storylines. Soon you will find a unique twist to take your characters on. 7. Practice, Practice, Practice. Writing is a creative process, but that does not mean that practice is futile.

  6. 26+ Creative Writing Tips for Beginners ️

    Simple - Just create writing goals for yourself. Examples of writing goals might include, to write 100 words every day or to write 600 words by the end of next week. Whatever your goals make sure you can measure them easily. That way you'll know if you met them or not.

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  8. What Is Creative Writing? (Ultimate Guide + 20 Examples)

    Creative writing is an art form that transcends traditional literature boundaries. It includes professional, journalistic, academic, and technical writing. This type of writing emphasizes narrative craft, character development, and literary tropes. It also explores poetry and poetics traditions.

  9. How to Get Started in Creative Writing

    Your writing should not be set on a schedule in which you can't match your other work. "Write Every Day" is outdated advice now… the newer and better advice is "Write Regularly as much as you can inside your genre.". If you continue the practice… you should start seeing results. Never break off from your work.

  10. How to Write a Book (with Tactics from Bestsellers)

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  11. How to Write a Short Story in 9 Simple Steps

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  12. 3 Easy Steps to Inspired Creative Writing ⋆ Nicole Breit

    Step #1: Pre-writing. This first step is all about generating and gathering all the pieces as starting points for your work. Your creative brain is great at finding links and patterns once you have some material to work with. My favourite tool for the pre-writing stage is mind mapping. It's like a creative brain dump but represented visually ...

  13. 5 Steps To Creativity In Writing

    How To Be Creative When You Write. James Webb Young, author of A Technique for Producing Ideas, suggested that there were five steps to being creative: They are "1) gathering material, 2) intensely working over the material in your mind, 3) stepping away from the problem, 4) allowing the idea to come back to you naturally, and 5) testing your ...

  14. How to Write a Short Story: The Short Story Checklist

    How to Write a Short Story Step by Step. There are many ways to approach the short story craft, but this method is tried-and-tested for writers of all levels. Here's how to write a short story step-by-step. 1. Start With an Idea. Often, generating an idea is the hardest part. You want to write, but what will you write about?

  15. Creative Writing: A Beginner's Guide With Easy Tips

    Creative writing stories are interesting and this is why we are so much drawn to stories and narratives. To plan and build a strong story, follow the following steps: 1. Instead of trying to make your draft perfect, just write the first draft. Then you will know what is wrong with it and how to fix it.

  16. The Writing Process

    Table of contents. Step 1: Prewriting. Step 2: Planning and outlining. Step 3: Writing a first draft. Step 4: Redrafting and revising. Step 5: Editing and proofreading. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about the writing process.

  17. What is the Writing Process? A 5-Step Guide for Success

    Plus, following a process can reduce stress and writer's block. When you know what steps to take next, it's easier to keep moving forward, even when the words aren't flowing as easily as you'd like. The 5-Step Writing Process. Here's a breakdown of the five key steps of the writing process: Prewriting

  18. How to Write a Poem: In 7 Practical Steps with Examples

    Hopefully, writing a poem will spark, in you, a passion for creative writing and language. Let's get started with writing a poem in seven simple steps: Brainstorm & Free-write ; Develop a theme ; Create an extended metaphor ; Add figurative language; Plan your structure ; Write your first draft ; Read, re-read & edit; Now we'll go into each ...

  19. Easy Steps in Creative Writing- Infant 1

    Easy Steps in Creative Writing- Infant 1. $ 75.00. First Published in 2018. AUTHOR: Faith Dopson-Marchan, Reeanna E. Pierre-Forbes, Shelly-Ann Mohammed-Mathura, Wendy Lutchmansingh. PUBLISHER: Charran Book Services Limited. Out of stock. Add to wishlist.

  20. Creative Writing for Kids: A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing a Story

    Step 2: Setting and genre. The next step in your child's creative writing process is to choose where it takes place. They should also decide the genre of their story, as some settings won't work for some specific genres (for example, a sunny beach wouldn't pair well with a moody mystery). This story's setting could be a real location ...

  21. How to Teach Creative Writing

    We've outlined a seven-step method that will scaffold your students through each phase of the creative process from idea generation through to final edits. 7. Create inspiring and original prompts. Use the following formats to generate prompts that get students inspired: personal memories ("Write about a person who taught you an important ...

  22. Easy Steps in Creative Writing- Infant 2

    Easy Steps in Creative Writing- Infant 2. $ 75.00. First Published in 2018. AUTHOR: Faith Dopson-Marchan, Reeanna E. Pierre-Forbes, Shelly-Ann Mohammed-Mathura, Wendy Lutchmansingh. PUBLISHER: Charran Book Services Limited. Out of stock. Add to wishlist.