So you’ve decided you want to be a writer… congratulations! Writing is just as much a skill as it is a talent, especially from a creative writing perspective. These creative writing tips for beginners are designed to help you access your imagination and put what you see there into meaningful words.
#1. It’s All About The Descriptions.
Adjectives enhance your creative writing efforts. Stringing adjectives together in a meaningful way can help readers picture the exact thing you’re picturing in your imagination. Practice describing common objects that you see, but go beyond the basics. Sure a desk is “large” and “brown,” but a dark mahogany desk handed down as a family heirloom for 7 generations is more descriptive and has more meaning than calling it a large brown desk.
#2. Paint Landscapes With Your Dialogue.
There are thousands of different ways we communicate with people through words. We can flash a smile. We can smirk. We can wink as we say something. We can be angry or flirty. Because you have to put the reader into that dialogue, you’ve got to creatively use these non-verbal descriptions for the words so the correct point gets made. Don’t be afraid to use emotional descriptions and remember to vary up what descriptions you use. A person can only smirk so many times in one conversation.
#3. Keep Your Writing Moving Forward.
There are flashbacks. Flash-forwards. Flash-sideways even sometimes. What sets good writing apart from not-so-good writing is the ability to always keep your story moving forward. If there’s a dream sequence you want to include, then make sure it advances your reader toward a solid ending. The same is true for conversations, character activities, and everything else that’s happening in your creative writing. Every sentence must have meaning. Otherwise there’s no point in reading what you’ve written.
#4. Be Yourself.
Far too many writers try to be something they wish they could be instead of being who they are. Writing must originate from within your soul. You can certainly aspire to be like John Grisham or Stephen King, but in the end you must be yourself. Find your own voice and discover what it has to say. That will inspire your creative side and let you explore writing in a brand new and entirely authentic way.
#5. Practice, Practice, Practice.
A good creative writing exercise to develop your skills is the “perfect description paragraph.” Pick out two subjects: let’s say a sunset and a lion as an example. Now practice writing about these two subjects in a meaningful way so the reader can picture the scene. Here’s what this paragraph would look like with the two subjects here.
The sun painted a strawberry sunset across the savannah. As the shadows lengthened, the lion felt a slightly cool breeze ruffle his mane. The air smelled crisp like twilight, but the heat was still there too. A star could be seen playing peek-a-boo in the areas where the color faded into night. Tomorrow there would be time to hunt, but for tonight, this lion was going to find a comfortable place to rest.
#6. Surround Yourself With Prompts.
Writer’s block isn’t a reflection of zero creativity. It occurs because there isn’t the right prompt to get the words flowing. Surround yourself with various prompts so that if the words get stuck, you can make them become unstuck. Pictures, memories, family stories, personal anecdotes – they can all help you keep moving forward with your creative writing efforts.
#7. Sometimes The Title Is More Important Than The Story.
Think of the title of your story as a thesis statement for what the reader is about to receive. Sometimes crafting stories around that title can be the creative surge you need. If you don’t feel like writing hundreds of words, then come up with a few titles of stories you’d like to write one day. Finding the right title can then give you the energy to write those words later on.
#8. Write a Letter To Yourself 10 Years In The Future.
Use this letter to talk about the challenges you’re facing right now with your writing. Discuss what your hopes and fears happen to be. Check-in with “future you” to see if they’ve accomplished the writing goals you’ve got in mind today. Begin charting a path toward your writing success if you wish. This will help you check-in with your current creativity while helping you begin to sort out your thoughts about what it means to be a creative writer.
These creative writing tips for beginners can help you get started, but it’s up to you to finish your story. Keep writing, keep searching, and keep encouraging your creativity to flow and you will find yourself creating incredible images for your readers.