Learn how to tell a story in your own voice by getting in touch with your creative process
Creative writing is a form of writing in which the writer has the freedom to exhaust his imagination when creating a story, unlike research papers. It has no rules or restrictions; you can write absolutely anything that comes to your mind. You may even add some humor and drama to develop interesting characters and plots. What matters most is that both the reader and the writer should enjoy it. However, the task of writing creative stories can be boring, frustrating and time-consuming for some people. If you are one of them, here are a few tips on how to be a creative writer.
Find your Inspiration
Generally, creative writers have some inspiration which inspires them to write their stories. There must be something that triggers your imagination when writing. It could be listening to music or watching TV. Avoid using other people's ideas; use your own, be original and let someone else's idea inspire you to develop your own story.
Jot Down Points
Getting started can sometimes be a challenge and you may end up staring at the paper for many hours, waiting for a perfect idea to simply appear out of nowhere. Instead of just sitting there waiting, start by writing down points and go with the imaginative flow of your thoughts. At any given time, write only what you can manage; don't overdo it. There are some days when you will be able to write continuously and other days when you'll not manage to write even a word.
Brainstorming helps you develop different types of creative thoughts and ideas. Write a word in the center of a paper. Make arrows around the word, and in each, write words that you think about when you see the word. Do the same with other words. Once you have a cluster of words, link them with each other, and you might come up with an interesting plot, character or setting for your story. For instance, write a 35-year old man on the paper. Now write everything that comes to mind when you look at that word. It can be his name, family, childhood, career, education, personality, background, mannerisms or tragic events in his life.
Photos are a great way to develop stories. Choose a photo from your album or a random photo from a magazine. Observe it carefully and write anything you feel about its subjects, the event, the background etc. You can also write funny captions. It helps you enhance your sense of humor. For example, you can write down what could be on the minds of the people in the photo.
Use Journalistic Six
Journalistic six is a great way to make the most out of your writing creativity. This involves asking a couple of questions, such as where, what, how, who, why and when. Remember to proofread and edit your story once you are through.
In conclusion, creative writing will allow you to express your thoughts, feelings and ideas through a story. And these guidelines will help you achieve that.
Needless to say, writer’s block is the worst thing that can happen to a content creator. And it happens to even the best of us. We wake up and go to the computer intending to write. But two hours later, we have come up with no words on the page. What could be the problem? Writer’s block is, undoubtedly, not a fun process and if you are struggling with it do not get discouraged as it is easy to overcome. Below, we take a look at 4 powerful strategies on how to overcome writer’s block as follows:
1. Step away from writing temporarily and engage in something creative
You could choose to make a collage or scrapbook, write poetry, paint pictures, design images using Photoshop, or if you are the masculine type, you could build something in your garage. The objective here is to work on another creative project either for a few hours or days and then resume writing. You will find that engaging in other projects is likely to activate your creativity. The key is to continue exercising the creative part of the brain and eventually tap back into your writing flow.
2. Engage in freewriting
Spend 30 minutes or more a day writing down whatever comes to mind. Do not focus on punctuation but just write freely and be totally random. You may choose to change your subject as often as you wish. For instance you may mix journaling with fiction or just vent out your frustrations. This process trains the brain to tap into the words that are inside your head and make them come alive on your journal or computer screen. Do this for about a week and then return to your writing project. Alternatively, you could freewrite for about 20-25 minutes in the middle of your writing project and then immediately resume writing your article or book. You may be surprised that some of your freewriting entries may actually turn out to be the inspiration for future works.
3. Eliminate distractions
Unplug from the internet and turn off your phone. Or spruce up your work space as a cluttered desk puts your mind in a state of confusion. Also, try to find time in your schedule that is totally dedicated to writing- at least 4 to 5 hours. If you write from home, ask your loved ones to respect your space so that you can work without interruptions, or write at night when everyone is sleeping. Finding the space and time to be in solitude is vital to staying focused.
4. Move around
Practice Tai Chi, yoga, or just dance. This may not be known to many but when you get your body into flow, your mind is sure to follow. Take long, deep breaths and meditate as a relaxed mind is certainly more open which translates to increased imagination. Also, you are more likely to focus for longer periods when you are in a peaceful state. Step away from writing when experiencing writer’s block and try to breath and do some yoga poses. You will soon find out that you will return to your writing project in a more creative state.
Writing is a wonderful form of self-expression. We all have a unique perspective on life, and finding a way to interpret and recount things in your own voice is essential. Whether you enjoy writing fiction or non-fiction, being able to express yourself and relate to the world around you will form a connection between you and your readers. If you are interested in and engaged by your subject matter, your audience will pick up on your enthusiasm. You can learn how to tell a story in your own voice by getting in touch with your creative process.
Oftentimes the most difficult part of writing is getting started. It is easy to be overly critical of oneself and hold off on writing anything due to anxiety. However, getting in the practice of writing frequently and accepting all ideas as valid will be of great help. The more you write, the less daunting it will be, and sometimes jotting down ideas that seem incomplete helps inspire other developments later on. Making writing a regular part of your routine will help you get in touch with your creative process. Many writers make a point of having designated times to write every day. Just like exercise, a healthy and consistent routine will strengthen your abilities and allow you to progress.
Good writers use structure and discipline to harness their creativity. It is wise to write as often as you can, and to pay attention to the times that you feel the most inspired so that you can capitalize on those moments. Some people keep a journal at their bedsides, so that they can write down thoughts that occur to them right before falling asleep or after waking from a dream. Others keep something to write with at their desk or in their cars, so that they can focus on ideas during down time in their daily routine. If you can get in the habit of writing on a daily basis, it will get easier to focus and develop ideas over time.
The same thing goes for structuring your actual bodies of work. It is good to find a format that works for you, but each story can be developed in many different ways. Some people prefer doing an outline and having the entire structure of a story laid out, and then filling in the content as they goes. Others prefer to focus on character development or themes that are important to them first, and allow the plot to unfold as they write. There is no right or wrong way to compose a piece. It is wise to have an end goal in mind and figure out the best way to motivate yourself, giving yourself as little or as much structure as you need to feel motivated.
Developing tools to provide you with discipline is important, but it really is a means to an end. It is important to understand structure and order so that you may write effectively, but at the same time maintain the passion that motivates you to write. Writing is a creative art, and keeping it interesting and fun for you is essential to putting out good work. For many authors, once you discover how to tell a story in your own words, you become inspired to learn and tell many more.