You’re ready to try your hand at writing short stories, poetry, or a novel, but you don’t know where to begin. Unlike nonfiction writing, which focuses on cold, hard facts, creative writing is an artistic expression that requires putting your imagination and creativity into words. The Review Board team at Writer’s Relief has evaluated thousands of writing submissions and can offer great tips and advice to help you build a narrative and connect with readers on an emotional level. Here are our 6 best creative writing tips for beginners (veteran writers will find these helpful too!).
Creative Writing Tips And Advice For Beginners
Find Your Best Writing Environment
Whether you’re attempting to write short prose, poems, or a full-length novel, it’s important to have a dedicated writing space where you can focus on your craft. If you don’t have a studio, study, or den, carve out a corner for yourself in the living room or your bedroom. Or you can head out to the local library or coffee shop. Just make sure your writing environment is comfortable and free from distractions—and that includes your cell phone or social media feeds!
Set A Writing Schedule And Stick To It
Life can get busy and before you know it, your writing has fallen by the wayside. It’s important to block off time when you can concentrate on your creative writing. Be sure to set realistic expectations: If you have a full-time job, a busy after-work schedule, and miscellaneous pets, you’ll probably have less time for writing than someone whose life is less hectic. If you can’t commit to spending hours or even thirty minutes on your writing each day, writing just one sentence a day will still help you reach your goal!
Keep A Writing Journal
Jotting down notes, thoughts, and inspiration in a journal can help improve your creative writing. Writing doesn’t only happen when you’re sitting at your desk, typing on the keyboard. Inspiration can strike anywhere, and you don’t want to risk losing your great idea! You can use a pen or pencil and a classic bound journal with ruled pages, or go high-tech with the notes app on your phone to capture moments, reflections, quotes, and more.
Realize A First Draft Isn’t A Final Draft
You’ve written your first draft, and it’s perfect! Well, hold on—it may seem perfect, but very rarely is a first draft good enough to be the last draft. The first draft simply gets your initial ideas down on paper. Once this is done, it’s time to reread, edit, proofread, and make the changes you now realize are needed. You can focus on grammar, characterization, tone, and other writing elements in your second and third (and possibly more!) drafts.
Use Writing Prompts
Writing prompts can help you develop ideas you wouldn’t have had on your own and keep your writing fresh. And using a writing prompt is also a great way to bust through writer’s block. You can find hundreds of prompts online, and there are even writing prompt books you can purchase. Or try this old-school prompt generator. The more often you use writing prompts, the more ideas you’ll discover for your work.
Read Like A Writer
One of the best ways to perfect your craft is also something many of us enjoy: reading! Reading books in your own genre as well as others will show you different writing styles and voices. You can also see how other authors deal with character development or dialogue. As you read, ask yourself questions. What is the author trying to convey? Who is the audience? What makes the story compelling? You’ll come away with a more thorough understanding of how the published author skillfully created a story or poetry collection that effectively engaged readers.
Bonus Tip: Submit Your Work For Publication!
Every published writer was once an unpublished beginner! When you’ve polished your work, don’t let doubts or impostor syndrome stop you from sending your writing out to literary journals or agents. The research experts at Writer’s Relief will help you pinpoint the best markets and boost your odds of getting an acceptance. Learn more about our services and submit your work to our Review Board today!
Question: Which tip do you feel is most helpful for new creative writers?