How to Improve Creative Writing Skills

Dr. Purushothaman
October 13, 2013


One of the fun challenges about writing is that there is always room for growth and improvement. It is an on-going process that can benefit from the passage of time and practice. Here are ten tips that might help improve your creative

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First, get a partner to work with. Look to your library for help. Sometimes there are writers' groups that get together and critique each other's writings. This is the best place to get help initially.

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Second, write every day. Pick up a journal at the dollar store and dedicate time every day to writing for at least 10 minutes.

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Third, read the type of books you want to write. For example, if you are interested in writing nonfiction, then read several nonfiction books by different authors. This will help you to identify the type of writer you want to become.

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Fourth, read books that are opposite of what you want to write. Sometimes if we read books that are not in our usual scope, new ideas emerge. It may give you an idea on how to start your story or how to organize it in a different way

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Fifth, when you sit down to write, don't be critical of yourself. Tell yourself that you'll come back and edit later. Let the ideas flow.

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Sixth, when you are done writing, print it out and read it out loud. This doesn't mean read it in your head. Actually read it out loud to a friend or just to yourself. This will help you to catch many more mistakes.

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Seventh, write the introduction last. After you have written the whole story, go back to the beginning and write an introduction that will capture the audience and get them ready for the story


Keep a journal designed for your eyes only. Think of journal writing as a free association exercise, but instead of reveal what's on your mind to your therapist, you're doing it with your journal. If you can't find anything to write about, take your journal to a public place and observe your surroundings. Describe the scene.


Give things specific names. A cherry red vintage Mustang is much more descriptive than "car" or even "sports car." The cherry red vintage Mustang communicates something to the reader about the owner of the car. Make your nouns specific.


Show action with strong verbs. Life is not static, and your writing shouldn't be either. Bypass boring forms of the verb "to be" in favor of more lively action words.


Choose modifiers like adjectives and adverbs sparingly. When you use adjectives, opt for one specific adjective over several mediocre ones. When tempted to modify a verb with an adverb, see if you can instead make your verb more specific. "She whispered" is more detailed than "she said softly."


Explore figurative language. Similes and metaphors provide creative ways to describe something or someone. Use personification to describe your rebellious computer. You might exaggerate with a hyperbole by writing that a cat was so ugly it could scare a dog. Beware of clichés, overused figures of speech that don't contribute anything to your writing.


Depict information with all your senses. Much of writing depends on what you visually see and occasionally hear. More powerful creative writing comes from the use of the other senses. The stench of garbage tells a reader more than seeing a room in disarray. The tangy taste of lemonade pursing your lips carries more power than someone taking a drink.


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