What are some tips for improving your creative writing?


Quick Answer

Tips for improving your creative writing include reading other writers in your genre, keeping a notebook of ideas and observations, and studying the elements of writing. To improve your initial drafts, find a mentor to review and critique your work, and revise your work.

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Full Answer

When you read other writers analytically, you can see how they do things and form opinions about what works and what does not. Notice how writers hook the reader at the start of a story, how they portray characters and describe settings and action, how they create suspense and anticipation, and how they pace the stories. Analyze classics, bestsellers, books you love and even books you didn't like. Think about things such as why one writer's description of the weather evokes a mood and brings you into the world of the story, while another writer's weather passage bores you. Apply your insights to your own writing.

Keeping a notebook of ideas gives you a resource for when you can't think of anything to write. You can add observations of people, dialogue and scenery to your stories. A news headline may inspire a story idea.

Writers need to know the craft of writing. Every writer should have a good grasp of grammar, punctuation and spelling so that readers, including literary agents and editors, can immerse themselves in the reading without being distracted by mistakes. Understanding plot structures helps with pacing. Knowing how to develop characters can help make readers obsessed with character-driven stories.

Having someone who knows good writing review your work can give you a new perspective on where your story needs to improve. Reread it yourself and correct any inconsistencies, plot holes and loose ends. Revise it as many times as it takes to polish it.

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