Creative writing is a skill many students take for granted as they feel it doesn’t offer any tangible value.
However, with content marketing becoming one of the most lucrative industries in Singapore’s growing digital-first economy, school and college students need to start giving it the attention and praise it deserves.
Even at the classroom level, creative writing has been shown to help students improve their grades in many subjects.
It helps them develop creative thoughts and mind maps, develop quick or alternative solutions to problems, and stimulate their cognitive systems continuously.
However, acquiring good writing skills takes time, practice, and determination even though they’re not too difficult to learn.
The key difference between this form of writing and others is that creative writing is more laborious due to several components that need to come together and make sense.
As a result, even the most experienced writers can feel overwhelmed by its complexity.
So, whether you’re looking to write a persuasive essay for a college application or expand your storytelling capabilities, keep reading as we’ll share eight valuable tips to amp up your creative writing skills.
Let’s get started!
Essential Creative Writing Tips You Need to Know
When it comes to creative writing, you need to go beyond basic writing skills, such as:
- Sentence construction, etc.
These are merely prerequisites every creative writer should have as they set the foundation for writing different types of content.
However, to inform, persuade, or entertain readers, you need three additional creative writing skills:
Research is the art of finding, extracting, and using information suited to a specific topic, niche, and target audience.
It is usually the first step in commencing a writing project, whether you’re working on an essay, book, or other types of content.
Most creative writers skim through blogs, articles, reviews, videos, and other forms of content on search engines (Google), social media, eBooks, websites, etc.
Next, they analyze the information and devise a placement strategy to ensure their content is engaging, streamlined, and authentic.
On many occasions, creative writers have to write on topics they have little or no knowledge about or don’t enjoy.
As a result, adaptability is one of the most important creative writing skills to have.
It helps writers deliver high-quality content consistently regardless of the niche or their expertise.
Today, the best creative writers are those ready to tackle new challenges and increase their knowledge banks.
This skill also allows them to diversify their content, adopt new styles, and integrate new concepts and perspectives into other projects.
Every writer needs to captivate and sustain the interest of readers.
However, presenting authentic and quality information isn’t enough to entice readers to spend time on your content or respond to a call to action.
This is where storytelling comes in to stimulate the reader’s brain and convey a message in a way that relates to them.
This skill is essential in the modern age with short attention spans as it humanizes the content and builds an emotional connection with readers.
8 Effective Ways to Improve Your Creative Writing Skills
Now that you’re up to speed with the most important skills in creative writing, here are 8 tips to help you improve them:
1. Read What You Want to Write About
Regardless of the topic or niche, you’re working on, you need to understand what a finished piece of writing in that subject, theme, or genre looks like.
Whether it’s a how-to guide, a fiction novel, or a technical report, reading what you want to write about can serve as a guide for your project.
Fortunately, you don’t have to look too far for this thanks to the internet.
With a simple Google search, you can find content (articles, videos, blogs, essays, podcasts, press releases, ebooks, etc.) related to what you’re working on. You can also turn to newspapers, magazines, and books if you prefer hard reading.
The tricky part, however, is extracting valuable insights from your reads.
To make it easier, you can start by skimming the content and paying attention to the titles and subheadings to understand the flow.
Moreover, pay attention to the perspective (first, second, and third person) and how the author shifts between them.
Moreover, don’t just stick with one read. If you’re working on a new topic, try to leverage multiple books, articles, or other types of content to build a better understanding of it beforehand.
2. Brush Up the Basics Regularly
Learning the trade of creative writing – correct grammar, spelling, storytelling, editing, formatting, etc. – sets the foundation for this form of art. Writers need to continue improving their skills even after they’ve learned the basic principles of writing.
However, doing so can offer many benefits, especially in the early days.
For instance, taking the time to revise the basics can help improve your self-confidence, especially when you go through your work and find little or no mistakes.
Moreover, with continuous learning and improvements, you can adopt new writing styles and attract more or different types of readers.
The easiest way to brush up on the basics is by fostering the habit of writing every day. This will help you polish your grammar and improve other essential skills, such as creative thinking, problem-solving, and mind mapping.
You don’t have to write long-form content for this purpose. You can write short essays, blogs, press releases, and even social media posts on different topics and niches.
Most writers are easily tempted to cross the finish line without proofreading their work following completion. In many cases, this sense of urgency doesn’t work out and results in several avoidable mistakes and errors.
No matter how tired or determined you are to submit or upload your work, make sure you spend some time going through what you’ve written to find and remove any errors.
The best way to do this is by starting and completing your task ahead of time and leaving enough float for review.
This could be a couple of hours or a whole day. The idea is to come back to it with fresh, more objective eyes.
Ideally, you should begin with simple fixes, such as misspellings, grammar errors, or inconsistencies before advancing to bigger changes, such as sentence reconstructions or additions.
We also recommend reading your work out loud to establish better flow and remove any awkward phrases.
4. Leverage Writing Tools or Software
Since the rise of content marketing, there’s been a rapid influx of tools, apps, and software solutions designed to help writers improve their work’s quality.
Most creative writing experts use a blend of solutions to optimize their content before using it for its intended purpose.
Today, you can find a variety of tools in the market that offer different benefits. However, we highly recommend the following three:
Grammarly is one of the most popular writing assistants in the market. It can quickly highlight spelling, grammar, and other issues in your text and offer real-time fixes.
You can download the free version and add the extension to Microsoft Word, Google Docs, email, and even WordPress.
If you’re looking for more features, such as premium fixtures or plagiarism checking, you’ll have to opt for the paid version.
Thesaurus.com is another popular tool you can use to find synonyms and related terms for your content.
Many creative writers tend to use the same few words repeatedly which can throw off readers.
Thus, this tool offers a viable solution to help users expand their vocabulary and minimize redundancy.
In most cases, creative writers have to look for trending topics to write on.
One place to find inspiration is BuzzSumo – an app that allows users to explore topics that are already out there.
Of course, this is a paid tool. However, if your writing is limited to a few projects every month, you can manage with its free version.
Simply put, the tool shows which content (articles, blogs, videos, etc.) has been shared the most over a certain period based on keyword research.
Finally, we have AnswerThePublic, another popular tool that lets you know what people are looking for on the internet. Understanding the needs of people can help creative writers create content that matches their search intents.
5. Writing Alternative Plots or Endings
One of the best ways to get your creative juices flowing, especially when writing a novel or story, is by rewriting a popular story.
This could be your favorite novel, movie, cartoon, or play.
The idea here is to make changes to the original content and integrate your thoughts, ideas, scenarios, perspectives, and conclusions without starting from scratch.
For instance, you could write an alternative ending to Game of Thrones.
Since you don’t need to work on character development and other details, you can move straight to storytelling and write something new or engaging.
6. Timed Writing
One of the many things most aspiring creative writers struggle with is speed. Whether it’s completing a project for a client or your essay in the exam, timely completion is one of the many positive aspects of writing.
According to different studies, most writers cannot write for five or ten minutes straight without experiencing writer’s block.
However, one way to improve this is by timing your writing projects. For instance, if you’re writing a 500-words essay, it shouldn’t take you more than a couple of hours, depending on the topic.
Still, you should try to push yourself and get it done properly as early as possible.
The trick here is to allow yourself to write whatever comes to mind and not always rely on external resources. You might be surprised by your intellect, stream of consciousness, and pace.
7. Establish A Writing Routine
Another smart tip to amp up your creative writing skills is establishing a proper writing routine and sticking to it.
While this may not improve your skills directly, it might prompt you to create a constant writing habit and allocate sufficient time for it.
Moreover, a routine will help you build discipline, which is a crucial tool in this domain. You’ll need it to finish your tasks/projects on time, stick to your itinerary, and plan your work.
8. Taking Creative Writing Courses
Finally, you can improve your creative writing skills by taking a professional course offered by renowned platforms, including:
Skillshare’s “Become a Better Blogger”
Skillshare is one of the most popular online learning platforms offering a variety of free and paid courses.
You can opt for its “Become a Better Blogger” course to learn the ins and outs of content writing. You can then apply the skills you learn in your creative projects.
Hubspot’s Content Writing Certification Course
Hubspot is the world’s most powerful developer of software solutions for marketing, sales, and customer service.
The company also offers a free content writing certification course through its academy, designed to make learners more proficient in writing.
Coursera’s Creative Writing Specialization
Finally, Coursera also offers a creative writing course affiliated with Wesleyan University.
The course is designed to help aspiring creative writers cover the core elements of creative writing and compose bracing stories for essays, books, magazines, etc.
Creative writing is an in-demand skill in Singapore and one of the top requirements for every Global Industry Classification Standard sector looking to market its value offerings.
From an educational perspective, creative writing is a valuable skill that can improve your communication skills, build confidence, and build a better understanding of subjects related to your field of study or part of your curriculum.
Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut to becoming a great writer. This skill requires time and patience.
However, by using our tips to amp up your creative writing skills, you can accelerate your learning curve and make a significant difference to your writing capabilities in no time!