To some, writing is a hobby. To others, it’s their career. But no matter what, everyone has an opinion on what makes a good story. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what are the creative writing skills you need to become a published author. We’ll also list some other useful tips along the way.
Before we begin, it’s important to note that not all creative writing is made equal. Some stories are simply better than others. Typically, the more you practise, the better you’ll get. But that’s not necessarily the case. Some people are just born with talent and produce excellent work from an early age. For the rest of us, it can take a lot of patience and a lot of practise to be able to write something compelling. So while there’s no denying that talent can help, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll be able to write something great. It’s not all about genetics, talent, and hard work. It’s also about inspiration.
What is story telling?
Many of us have been told that we tell stories all the time without really thinking about it. But did you know that you tell stories all the time without even realizing it? Stories are something we all do naturally. Whether it’s an animated series like Rick and Morty or a book like Harry Potter, we’re constantly bombarded with stories. In fact, psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi asserts that good stories cause us to re-live the events and feelings of the story through our own actions. So if you’ve ever watched an animated series or read a book, you know that these stories often serve as important guides for how to live your life. Ultimately, good stories help us understand the world around us and give us a better idea of what we’re supposed to be doing next. If you’re a writer, you should be familiar with the basics of story telling. This includes things like:
- Using details to evoke a sense of realism – If you want to create a sense of realism and believability within your work, you must use details to ground the story in reality. For example, if you tell the story of a young man who moves to a new town, you must ensure that the personalities and quirks of that young man match the personalities and quirks of the protagonist in your story. The more you do to ground your stories in reality, the more believable and immersive your stories will be to your audience.
- Creating a clear plot and character arc – A story with a clear plot and a logical character arc will keep your audience engaged. As a writer, it’s your job to ensure that your story is as engaging as possible and that your readers continue to believe in the events that you’re presenting to them. A good story needs a strong plot and character arc; these are two important facets that will make or break your story. A strong plot will help you tie all the events of your story together in a logical way, while character arc deals with what happens to your characters over the course of your story. Your story’s arc can be simple or complex, but it needs to make sense, and you as the author must write it well. A lot of times, the simple arcs are the best because they’re the most relatable to your audience. If you can write an arc that will make sense to your readers, you’ll ensure that they continue to read your work and recommend it to others. This is an important factor behind why most of us read the same stories over and over again – we know what happens next!
- Avoiding a clichéd ending – Since stories often serve as important guides for how to live our lives, it’s important that your stories don’t become too familiar. If you’ve ever watched a story arc evolve over the course of several seasons, you know that stories can become predictable. In The Guardian, Alexandra Spiro states that “a good story can be the most dangerous thing in the world to a novelist”. One of the main reasons why writers get stuck in clichés is because they think it’s okay to write a story in a way that’s already been used countless times before. But that’s what makes writing a challenge – you want your work to be as original as possible and avoid falling into clichés. Even minor changes in the script can ruin a scene – especially if it’s a pivotal scene that involves a lot of dialogue. So, as a writer, you must always look for new ways to develop your story and ensure that it doesn’t become predictable. While it’s important to be unique, it’s also important to keep your story fresh. You want your work to speak to your audience, while also not being obvious or simple. If you keep that in mind, you’ll make sure that your story will be unique, and hopefully effective.
As a matter of practicality, there are certain aspects of story telling that can help you as a writer. Most importantly, the craft of writing is all about learning how to improve your writing style. It’s easy to look at the big list of guidelines below and think that you need to learn how to write well. But, in reality, you just need to learn how to write. There are many different styles and ways to write, and while there’s no question that some styles are better than others, none of them are inherently good or bad. Instead, it’s about personal preference. In addition to learning how to improve your writing style, you must also learn how to write effectively. Learning how to write effectively means learning how to make your writing stand out, and stand for what it is without being dull, or difficult to understand. Basically, it means learning how to write concisely and how to make your words count. It’s easy to write an essay about why you want to be a writer, but putting it into practice can be quite the challenge. Learning how to write is the first step to becoming great at it. So, as a writer, it’s important that you learn how to write well and how to make the most out of your writing. Learning how to write creatively can also mean learning how to come up with something unique, imaginative, or different that will engage and entertain your readers. Learning how to write fiction means learning how to suspend reality and how to create your own little world. If you want to be a published author, it’s important that you develop your craft. This includes things like learning how to write a strong query letter, learning how to properly format your work for any potential publishers, and learning how to market and promote your work. It also means taking classes or seminars on writing, and challenging yourself by writing in different styles and submitting your work for critique. Ultimately, good writers learn how to write well and learn how to make the most out of every piece they produce. Only then can they call themselves successful writers.
So while it’s important to understand the basics of story telling, it’s also important to learn how to improve your craft. A good starting point, for those looking to write creatively, is to first find a notebook or journal and make a list of all the things you want to write about. Then, take some time to just write. Before you know it, you’ll have written a good 10 pages, and from there, you can start to build on what you’ve written. Sometimes, the best way to learn is by doing. So get some more pages written, then take a look at what you’ve written and see what you can do to make it better. Soon, you’ll be able to take that original story and develop it into something greater. It’s all about seeing what you’ve written and learning from that. Good luck out there.