Creative Writing Skills

Dr. Purushothaman
October 13, 2013



Creative writing is anything where the purpose is to express thoughts, feelings and emotions rather than to simply convey information. English writing skills include formal and informal style. Learning is a skill and it can be improved

In this age where communication is the key, few skills re more important for a person to master than writing. If you don't think you are a good writer or would like to become a better one, there are plenty of things you can do to improve your writing.

Write Every Day: If you want to be a better writer, write more. Write every day if possible even a journal entry, an email or a letter will do. The best way to develop effective writing skills is to practice, practice, and practice.

Read - a lot! Reading offers writers a lot of benefits. You see how great writers construct their work. Style, diction, construction of sentences, paragraphs, whole pieces. Reading helps you expand your vocabulary. Often, even simple articles or stories contain new words or terms that you can tuck away for your own future use. Reading expands the world you know about - the more you know, the more fodder you have for writing of any kind. If you want to be a good writer, be a good reader.

Commit certain basic rules to memory and force yourself to use them: 3 Rs: Read, Record, Recall. While many of the minute peculiarities of grammar may not come into play every day, the basic grammar and writing skills do. And one way to develop writing skills is to learn these basics and make sure you use them all the time. The person who has a run-on sentence, writes in fragments, or throws in random commas all the time, the person will not have the same success as a writer who knows the basics.

Good writers should know how to write short, concise, complete sentences. They should know when to use commas to separate ideas in a sentence - and when not to do so. They should know how to get a subject and verb to agree. They should know how to use pronouns
clearly. And they should know the difference between jargon and real words.


Creative Writing Tip # 1: Be Simple

Write in the simple, natural language of everyday speech. This doesn't mean that you confine yourself to only the most basic words, but that you avoid pompous language, which may cloud your meaning or send readers to sleep.

For example, do not say, He acquired an instrument of destruction wherewith he decapitated the formidable foe, when you mean, with his axe he chopped off the giants head. Use short, familiar words rather than long, obscure ones - unless the longer word fits your meaning more precisely. One way to acquire good style is to study the works of great writers: not to imitate them but to learn how simple language can be elegant, lyrical and powerful.

Creative Writing Tip # 2: Be Yourself

Be yourself; be natural and sincere. Don't try to imitate another writers style; find your own, the style that bears the stamp of your personality. A guarded, polished style is like a faceless mask; its not real. Good writing resonates with the true voice of the human author, with all of that authors warmth, wit, idiosyncrasies and vulnerabilities.

Write as if you  are speaking to a friend. Your reader should be able to hear the rhythms and cadences of your speaking voice. Your family and friends should be able to say, “This sounds like you.

Creative Writing Tip # 3: Be Precise

Choose words that say precisely what you mean. Avoid trite words like nice, interesting, big. as in: We had a nice dinner; that's a big bird. Be specific. Is it sushi, wonton or mutton curry? Is it flamingo, an eagle or an ostrich? Follow the war cry: How to kill an adjective!

Avoid vague words like walk, laugh, pour. Be creative. The boy ambled, shuffled, swaggered; the villain scoffed, jeered, sneered; water gurgled, gushed, spurted out.

Avoid meaningless words like thing, something, somewhere. Be definite. Name the thing or place, use concrete words that evoke clear images. Get a thesaurus to help you, of course use it with caution. A dictionary of synonyms helps too. Choose words that convey your message clearly to readers. Good writers look for the apt word, the word that carries the precise denotation and the strongest, richest connotations.

Creative Writing Tip # 4: Be Concise

Concise writing is clear and strong. Write to the point, cut out unnecessary words. This doesn't mean that you throw out all details, descriptions and figures of speech but that you make every word pull its weight.

Cut out meaningless words and phrases like basically, personally, as a matter of fact. As a matter of fact, today is my birthday has the same meaning as Today is my birthday.

Personally I feel we shouldn't go near the bull; can anyone ever feel impersonally? Don't repeat yourself. Phrases like round in shape, the reason is because, revert back, say the same thing twice. Use strong action verbs. Sentences with active verbs are shorter and stronger than those with passive verbs.
Active Verb: The man bit the dog.
Passive Verb: The dog was bitten by the man.

Replace roundabout phrases like in the event of, by virtue of the fact that, by the name of, with single words that do the same job, like if, because, named. Phrases like there is, there was, it was dilute your meaning: There was a baby crying in the basket; it was the babys cry that woke him up. Cut out the verbiage: A baby was crying in the basket; the babys cry woke him up.

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