Creative Writing – My Top Tips
Creative writing has always been a part of who I am, and it continues to be. It is an ever-evolving hobby, one that I can continually learn about and try to improve my skills in.
Years ago I went to a creative writing group. I loved sharing the ideas that we all had and refining our own styles. I took away so much from that experience in particular having confidence in some methods that I had relied upon over time.
I was reminded of that again this weekend whilst, of all things, writing my to-do list and planning in all those odd jobs that stack up and resemble some sort of teetering wooden tower game.
So with that in mind I wanted to share the top 5 tips that I have learnt so far, and ones that I come back to regularly:
1. Try, try, try
Try things out. Experiment. Write about different things. Write from different perspectives. Pick up a postcard and write a story centred on the picture. Write a back story for a family in an advertisement in a magazine. Write the biography of an inanimate object. Keep challenging and keep pushing. If something doesn’t work, try again, or try it differently. Write in a different room or space. I love taking my notebook to the park. Quite aside from writing I have made some of my best life decisions when in the great outdoors, opening up my mind and feeling positive.
2. Read widely
Read everything. Newspapers, blog sites, autobiographies, factual literature, fiction across many genres. Notice the structure. Notice what makes you want to turn the page and find out more, or what makes you want to put the book or article down and loses your attention. Make a mental or physical note of this.
3. Keep writing
Whatever you are writing, write daily. Emails, blog posts, postcards, annotated shopping lists. Keep a pen and paper handy or use a mobile device. Whatever suits you best, just don’t stop.
4. Use a thesaurus
Some think that is cheating but I completely disagree. It’s a fabulous resource to consider alternative words and perhaps even an opportunity to broaden your vocabulary.
5. Edit once your first draft is complete.
Take a break between the first complete draft and running through it to edit it. Even a tea break will help you draw breath and freshen your mind. Resist the temptation to edit after every paragraph. Concentrate on getting the ideas down first, then refine and amend later.
Do you have any top tips to add? I’d love to hear them!