Date of Publication: 27 March 2020
Thinking of starting some creative writing? Great news! From helping you to , pursue a dream career in the arts, or even just enjoy as a pass-time, creative writing has a whole range of benefits!
Despite being hugely beneficial, when people are looking at starting their creative writing, one of the most popular questions they ask is; ‘is creative writing hard?’ And it is this notion of creative writing being perceived as difficult which puts so many people off – the fear of the unknown!
Of course, there are many elements to creative writing that will help to ensure your work is meaningful and conveys what you want it to, but the main point of creative writing is that it’s completely down to your imagination. There is no right or wrong as the story has been created in your own mind.
But if you’re unsure of where to start your creative writing journey, we’ve compiled a helpful guide to get your pen onto the paper.
How Do I Start Creative Writing?
If you’re unsure how to begin writing and find yourself with mind-block, starting a journal could help you to unleash your inner creativity. Getting into the habit of writing each day about anything that comes to your mind will train your brain and gradually help it to unlock your imagination.
Creative Writing Summer Course
If you’re just starting out as a creative writer and you are looking to collaborate, share ideas with others and workshop your writing, then joining a creative writing summer course could be a great option.
Our creative writing summer courses are designed to help you extend your creative writing toolkit; with an Oxbridge tutor, you will analyse some of the industry’s greatest writers, as well as workshop some of your own writing with your peers.
Not only is it a chance to develop your writing skill, it’s also an opportunity to network with other budding writers and share tips and hints to make your writing even better!
The main piece of advice we can offer when it comes to starting creative writing is to pick up your pen, or laptop, and start writing. Whether you have a single idea for a character, or a completed narrative arc in mind, you will only succeed beginning to write when you physically do it.
Even if you have no idea what to write, once you channel your inner creativity and begin putting words down, you will notice the words naturally flow. Just ensure you use all the elements mentioned below and you’ll be on your way to creating some amazing writing!
What are the elements of creative writing?
Every piece of creative writing involves planning, and a combination of things to make it a fully formed masterpiece.
We’ve compiled six main elements that will help you to kick-start your creative writing journey and create layered and meaningful masterpieces.
Where is your story taking place? You may have one, or you may have a variety of them depending on what your story demands. Setting can be as small as you like – such as a single room in a building, or it could be an entire city or country.
Think about this before you begin writing. Is it a thriller? Where jumping around settings will disturb the reader’s sense of stability? Or is it a domestic piece of writing, where consolidating the action to a single room could heighten the drama? No matter how good your story is, having the perfect setting is key to a successful piece of work.
Characters are a huge aspect of your writing; they are the ones who drive the plot and overcome the central dilemma. They are the individuals in which your reader identifies with, who they become involved with and follow their journey along your fictional world. They can be whoever you want them to be – human or not, and carry whichever traits you want them to carry.
Need some inspiration? Look around you. Everywhere you go, you see an abundance of characters in every walk of life. Study them. They’ll be your greatest source of inspiration and ensure your characters are believable.
The arc of your story, traditionally made up of three parts (the three act structure), and more commonly known as the setup, the confrontation and the resolution. Every piece of writing, videography or music has a plot, something happens throughout the time that you are watching/listening to it. Ensure that when you’re writing, you always have an underlying plot – it will give every word you write a purpose.
Tying in with character, point-of-view is another essential tool in creative writing. Readers will rely on the central storyteller to relay the plot to them as they see it through their eyes.
There are a variety of options when it comes to choosing whose point-of-view you wish to communicate your story through; first person (I, and me); second person (you); third person limited (tells the entire story through one central character) and more commonly used, the third person omniscient (seeing all characters’ minds).
Choose the point-of-view that best presents your story in the way that you want to tell it. Experiment playing around with different viewpoints until you find the one that suits you – creative writing is all about experimenting, a journey where you discover new things as a writer and about the worlds that you create.
The central hook to any expert story is the conflict. Traditionally in story writing, conflict occurs when the protagonist encounters a conflict with an adversary – otherwise known as an antagonist.
This antagonist could be one of many things such as; another character; nature or a natural force; society and its limitations; technology; religion; or even the main character’s inner beliefs/personality could cause conflict..
Separate to the plot of the story, a theme is the underlying message that is being conveyed in your writing. Themes can be universal and align themselves with all audiences. Many common themes include greed, good vs. evil, defying the odds and coming of age.
Including an underlying theme will add an extra layer to your writing, allowing your audience to gain a deeper understanding of you as a writer and what your purpose for writing is, and help you to grow your creativity.
So, there you have it! Your quick guide to helping you get started with creative writing. Got any tips or tricks to share? Send them in to us to have them featured!
Alternatively, if you would like to find out more information about our creative writing summer programs in the UK, contact us today to speak to an advisor.