Five Tips to Improve Creative Writing By: Hayden hunt

  1. Come up with a good idea

Every good story begins with an idea. Well-developed ideas influence the characters, setting and the other essential parts of your writing. The best way to come up with an idea is to ask “What if?” questions. This forces an author to think outside the box and come up with original ideas. One example is from Harry Potter. J.K Rowling may have asked herself questions such as: What if witches and wizards lived among us in their own society? Or, what if Voldemort came back?

The purpose of a story is to answer the question in a way that catches the attention of the audience/reader.

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2. Characters

At the heart of every story there lives prominent main characters, such as Percy Jackson, Mickey Mouse, Jo March and more. All of those characters are iconic and memorable because of how readers relate to them and because their interactions with each other and their personalities are interesting and enjoyable. The people in a story can be the determining factor of whether or not readers will enjoy it. One example of this is Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter series being one of the most hated characters from the books because of how she treated the main characters and her overall demeanor.

Characters' personalities and interactions should be interesting, dynamic and relatable to readers.

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3. Setting/ Structure:

Where and when the story’s setting takes place can completely change the way it plays out. For example, a story set in a garden is going to play out differently than if it were in a war zone. The way you describe your setting is incredibly important. When describing a setting, be descriptive and detailed. This helps the readers visualize and understand what is happening. Structure is another thing that will help readers understand your story. This includes: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and conclusion. These elements help your story have a clear plot and timeline. For example, the fairy tale “The Three Little Pigs” would not have made any sense or been as interesting if the Wolf had been boiled to death before he blew down any houses.

Ensuring your story has a plot line will keep the reader’s attention and build the plot.

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4. Takeaways

All stories provide a deeper meaning or lesson that readers will gain/learn. These can be the lessons that the main character learns or the growth that the villain goes through. An example of this is in 1984 by George Orwell which describes the dangers of total government control and the importance of free will.

No matter what it is, the reader should finish your story having gotten something out of it.

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5. Find your voice

Everyone has their own unique way of writing, this includes tone, mood, structure and opinion. Just as you don’t expect a book by R.L. Stein to have the same tone and writing style as a book by C.S. Lewis, your readers won’t expect you to have the same voice as any other author. Another example of this is that the book Emma by Jane Austen starts in a different way and has a very different tone than Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

Be sure to take the time you need to fully develop a personal writing style and voice.

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