Creative Writing Tips

When I write anything, whether it be a poem, a story, or an article, I always follow these four steps:

Idea development

Plan

Write

Edit

They may seem straightforward and obvious, but many people ignore and/or change the steps and their order.

Idea development

When that first idea comes into your head, write it down and then forget about it. Try to come up with a list of around five or more basic ideas and read through all of them carefully, thinking of how you could develop each one individually. After this, choose the idea that you like the most. With your chosen idea: draw a mind map; make a list; draw diagrams etc. whatever works best for you to explore your ideas. In a story, choose characters and go really in depth with their traits and stories, but if your idea begins to lose momentum or lack depth then change it to something you would prepare.

Plan

I have used the same method of planning since I was taught it in primary school. Make your storyline fit with a mountain: a beginning,  development, climax/dilemma and a resolution. The resolution is not completely necessary depending on your story.  For a poem, the structure can follow a similar pattern or be in a different order.

Make the plan in great detail so when it comes to writing, you don’t worry about where exactly your plot is going.

Write

Blind writing is one of the most important parts of writing. If you are on a laptop, turn the colour you are writing into white so that you cannot read what you have written, this is to prevent you from focusing on what you have already written. Editing is not apart of this section because you loose flow of your writing and only concentrate on corrections and changes. This section is to get your words on the page, not to make them perfect.

Edit

Now is the time to fix everything that doesn’t make sense or is incorrect. Try to be incredibly harsh on your work – is this part necessary? Does this make sense? What does this really say about my work? This is the longest part of writing and the hardest, you need to edit multiple times before it will be where it should be. Ask someone to look at your work and tell them to be critical: you would have developed an attachment to your work and may be reluctant to cut sections.

Soon you will see your writing begin to develop but have patience.

Good luck!

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