Guide to Effective Creative Writing


What is creative writing? How does it different than other types of writing? Addressing these questions is important in discussing creative writing. First, successful creative writing means using the imagination. It is different than research papers in that the writer uses his/her imagination to create the essay or story. However, it is still composed of facts so the writer must do some research depending on the essay and how much the writer knows on the topic. Creative writing is to be enjoyed by both the writer and the reader.

Creative writing does not have a specific structure. Some instructors assign creative essays while other instructors assign different types of structure including poetry. Creative writing is creative so it is important for the writer to use his/her imagination. Creative writing is usually fun or enjoyable to read. Some types of creative writing are character sketch, letters to the editor, screenplays, monologues, and essays. Creative writing can be written on almost any form of writing. What makes it creative is the writer who uses his/her imagination to expand the topic and make it interesting.

Many instructors assign creative essays. When the instructor says to write a creative essay students often build a writer's block that makes it difficult to create an essay. One way to eliminate this writer's block is to brainstorm. The main goal of brainstorming is to help the writer select different ideas. Sometimes an instructor assigns a specific topic and brainstorming helps the student think about what he/she already knows about the topic. Let the ideas flow freely. Next, think of ways to improve, modify, and build on the ideas. It is important to come up with several ideas so any of them can be chosen for the essay. Remember that creative writing is using the imagination so coming up with bizarre ideas are accepted. For instance, if the topic assigned is dinosaurs. Creative writing allows the student to select different types and then use his/her imagination to write an interesting story about dinosaurs.

The next step after choosing an idea is to organize your writing. If it is an essay, then create an outline with all the main important points that you plan to use. Think about how you are going to open the essay. It needs to be creative from the beginning. Use an anecdote that captures the interest of the audience. Create a thesis statement that shows the audience where you are going and why. Be as imaginative as possible but also remember to research the paper topic.

One technique used in creative writing is using the journalistic six. This simply means asking questions such as who, what, when, where, why, and how. Like a detective solving a murder, the detective begins by asking who questions. Who are the suspects? Who are the characters involved? Who was murdered? Who benefits from the murder? Next, ask the detective ask "what" questions. What happens in the story? What did the person do that might have made someone mad? What did Character A do that cause character B to murder him? The next group of questions the detective would ask is "when". When did the murder take place? Next, the detective would ask "where" questions. Where did the scene take place? Where did the murder happen? Where did Character A meet Character B? What settings are used? Next, the detective would ask "why" questions. Why did Character A murder Character B? Why was Character A angry? The last set of questions asked by a detective would be "how". How did Character A murder Character B? How did the murder take place? How did one scene lead to another scene? Asking questions is a great way to stir the imagination.

Many different types of creative writing exist including custom-written creative essays, term and research papers, creative narratives, poetry, monologues, screenplays, etc. Creative means using the imagination. Brainstorming and the journalistic six are great ways to begin creative writing. The five-paragraph essay is often used in creative writing beginning with an anecdote that grabs the attention of the reader and continuing until the end. Always proofread and rewrite the creative essay or other types of creative writing. Remember creative essay writing is to be enjoyed by both the reader and the writer.

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