Creative writing lessons: Creative Writing tips, advice and lessons

One method for starting a story is to tell yourself the story while relaxing or before going to sleep. Another way is to keep a notebook with your characters and plot ideas. Write as well as you possibly can so you have enough of the idea to remember it later when you are starting to write.

Outlining your story is a good tool to use so you can see how the details will let you move smoothly through the storyline as you are writing. You have to follow the story where it leads. The last thing that you want to do is to spoil your book with plot twists that do not lead to supporting your storyline. Be more interested in your characters in the situations you are putting them in.

See what ideas you can come up with to help you have more fun writing. Keep a list of those items close so you can refer to them when you begin to write. It will help you get past the blank page frustration and begin easily.

There are no rights or wrongs so be encouraged that you can express yourself and enjoy the process. If others enjoy your writing that is a big plus for you.

Creative writing lessons: Creative Writing tips

It has been suggested that that the first thing you do with a book is write the last line of that book. Some feel that is kind of like spoiling the fun. Ideas come from different places. The goal is to start with something and just go with it. Try it both ways and see which you like.

The thing is you learn little by little, so sample different genres to see where you enjoy writing. If you want to be a writer, you really only have to do two things you have to read a lot and you have to write a lot, and you have to continue to get excited by what you are doing. Remember writing is subjective, sometimes you get bad advice on good work and sometimes you get good feedback on bad work. The thing that makes it worthwhile is that people take writing seriously. Dreams are free and that is a good, so write, have fun and continue to be creative with your words.

Planning & Pre-Writing a Story for Kids

Writing a personal story helps in planning and pre-writing. A personal story is a true story about your life, and pre-writing is what you do before you write your story. In making a plan for your writing, you think about what will go on each page. Brainstorm and choose a topic for the story to get ready to plan and prewrite.

Here is an example: Write about when you got a new dog. First think about what important things happened. There are four pages so think about what will go on each page.

The first thing that happened was your mom told you that you could get a dog.Then you went to the store because they had some dogs that needed to be adopted.

Next you looked at all the dogs and you chose the one that you wanted.Last you got the dog some food and some toys.On your way home you can plan your story.When you are ready, write your draft.You can look at your plan to remember what to write on each page.This is a quick way to organize the details of your story and get it written.

Brainstorming a Story for Kids

When we brainstorm we think about all of the different things that we could write. Brainstorming helps us find the best possible topic for our writing, and when you brainstorm personal topics you can think about good memories you have about things that have happened to you. Fun things that you’ve done with your family or friends, trips you have taken or special places you have visited. Activities you have done at school or anything else that has happened to you in your life.

It’s important to choose the topic that you care about and remember lots of details about. This will help you write a great personal story. On a brainstorming sheet think of some things that you have done that you would like to write about. You can draw a sketch (if you would like or add an image), and a few words to remember the ideas.

Choose one idea that is a favorite. Here are some suggestions:
When I played kickball at recess yesterday, that was super fun.
My birthday party last summer. I could tell about gifts and games we played.
When my mom took me to the store this weekend and I got a new toy.
When I visited my grandparents for Christmas.
When I watched fireworks in the park on 4th of July.
Write about one of your ideas and save the rest for later.

Five Creative Writing Exercises I Love

I like to sit down and do creative writing activities just to release some creative energy and to put something on the page. That is something that was and is always a lot of fun.

I like to look at random image generators or just look at random pictures. Sometimes you can go on photo and image sites that are free like pixabay.com

Say you decide you are going to write for five minutes about a picture. Click a few times to get a picture that kind of sparks something for you to start writing about. I would probably pick that one I know that would lead to a pretty good five minutes of writing.

This next one is something that I love to use in workshops.  It’s rewriting an important scene in a book from a different characters point of view. This is often what many writers do. They also write each chapter with multiple perspectives and choose the one that fits best for telling the story.

That is a ton of work but it’s also really cool because you get to know each character a lot better and it makes the story more complex and deeper.  It changes the perspective of how you see the story.

This next activity is really fun it’s kind of like found poetry. I first did this activity in a creative writing class.  Here’s how you do this activity: pick two different things you can draw from. People standing in a line at the airport. I started going a little crazy I was always a happy kid but the air mixes with fuel and burns to make hot gases, suddenly I couldn’t breathe. Learning to be a person again from inside the airport, we can see our plane take off again to fly to another destination.  People do all sorts of things on a plane when you’re five you feel like you love people you don’t even know. Can you see them? There’s a life jacket under every seat and once you do get through your airport experience you go on with life. With this activity sometimes you can  add things on. When you read it you might find how amazing the writing is that  came out of that. What ideas and what different interpretations you came  up with. I really like that activity.

I call description overload a problem. I saw with my students they thought using a lot of adjectives means they’re a good writer or a creative writer. I would suggest  a very bare-bones  scene like you walk up to an abandoned building, you stand and look at it. You walk in the front door, you turn to the right and see a locked door. You find a key on the floor and open it. What’s inside the room? What they would have to do is make their writing more exciting using the five senses.  I’d ask them to describe what they smelled, what they felt, what they heard, just anything you can think of regarding the scene. What I liked about this is how different each student’s scene ended up. It was interesting to see what kind of building they thought it was and what they thought it looked like. I still think about that when I’m writing. Instead of just using adjectives, how can I describe things in a way that’s interesting and makes the reader feel like they’re actually there. That seems like a very simple thing to do and a very obvious thing, but it can be interesting.

Taking a second to stop and think about what all of your senses are feeling.  Take your main character and think about everything that he or she’s experiencing in that moment.

My final one I know is on different creative writing activity lists, but I like having someone give me three numbers and then I go to a bookshelf at a library or a bookstore. Go to a library or bookstore and go to one of the isles. For the first number I count off how many books. If they give me a number like a twenty,  find that number book. Then the second number I use for the page and then the third number I use for the sentence. I generally like them to use one through twenty for the first and the third number and that’s pretty helpful or I could just do it myself and write down without thinking about the books, three numbers. Then I timed myself for like five to ten minutes and just use that sentence as my first sentence and then keep writing from that point so I’m going do that now. Ready? I’m going to go with 7, 47, 5.  Pick a shelf of books, count down to book 7. Turn to page 47 and count to sentence 5. Take that sentence and make it the start of whatever I was writing.  Then I would to write.  I like this activity again for the random aspect of it. Sometimes when you sit down to write, coming up with the beginning to get started is the hardest part. If you start with something like a sentence it’s generally easier to get going.

I hope you took something from this article. I just wanted to share some of my favorite creative writing exercises and generally what I do if I just want to sit down and do something quick without really working on a bigger project. In the past these activities have led me to write for a lot longer than I was originally planning.  Sometimes it even ends up being a short story and it is really exciting when that happens

5 Mistakes New Writers Make (and how to avoid them)

Today I wanted to talk about  a common question that I’ve gotten since I started giving writing advice. Strangely enough that has to do with mistakes. Everyone wants to know more than just what to do, they want to know what not to do. Here are my top 5 mistakes that I see beginning writers make. Now these mistakes aren’t just exclusive to beginners, anybody can actually make these mistakes. The first step to correcting it is always to realize what you’re actually doing wrong and then the better you get as a writer the easier it will be to avoid these things.

Number one: Wasted words

A lot of new writers are concerned about writing enough that it qualifies as a substantial novel or they’re concerned about writing enough about every single scene that the reader can picture perfectly in their minds.

Every beginning writer worries about this but I’ve come to realize as most writers do at some point that they have plenty to say there’s no need to over explain a scene. Oftentimes the reader can build an image in their mind with minimal description from you. A huge cause of this is actually excitement for writing.  You’re finally doing it, you’re finally sitting down to write a story that’s been in your mind for who knows how long, but sometimes at the end of a writing session you may find that you’ve written 1,600 words about your character brushing their teeth and picking out their wardrobe. You’re on the right track if you’re excited to be writing, but you need to make sure that you weed out all these extra words in the editing phase to keep yourself from falling in the word emic word trap. You should periodically ask the question is this part really necessary? You should always make sure that each part you write contributes something to the story.

If it’s not developing your character or creating suspense, adding tension or setting the scene then you probably shouldn’t take the time to write it.  Some people might think well, I want people to know exactly what my character is wearing so the scene feels real. For specific questions like this I often find there’s an easy solution available. In regards to clothing, you can always describe the type of clothing the character wears and then you don’t have to talk about it again. For example, you can mention that your main character loves to dress in casual comfy clothes and then you don’t really have to go into specifics anymore. Every time after that that you mentioned them getting dressed you can just say they got dressed. The reader already knows that that person likes a particular type of clothes so they’re probably not going to draw up this crazy off-the-wall image of what your characters wearing. Your readers are pretty smart. Just make sure you don’t shove a bunch of description down your readers throat because really no one wants to read about your character brushing their teeth unless the toothpaste has poison in it.

Number two: Not Enough Voice or I should just say problems with voice.

This is one thing that sometimes takes writers a little while to figure out their own voice. I think two things affect the type of voice that you have     (1 the stories that you tell and then (2 the way that you tell them. When reading a novel this can sometimes be the feel of the novel.Your voice can be brief, eloquent, lyrical, or fast-paced. Every author’s story feels different in some way and this is what you want. Many times writers can be drawn to a particular subject because they’re passionate about it and passion is very important for writers. The way that each person writes that story though, varies greatly depending on the sentence structure, word choice and individual stylistic preferences. Stephen King’s little red riding-hood would sound nothing like Marissa Meyers because they have different voices even though they would both be about a little red writing.

Finding your voice can take time and unfortunately the best way to do that is to continue writing. You can also find your voice through reading. Things you don’t like and in things that you love. Over time you’ll end up incorporating these small things into your own writing and molding your own unique voice. It’s good to be different from one another so you should never try to copy somebody else’s voice. If you’re inspired by someone’s voice that’s a different thing. You might actually find yourself guilty of this after rereading a lot of the same authors books. You can subconsciously adopt their voice. You will discover it  when you reread what you have just written. Because it wasn’t your voice you  were being an impostor.  Don’t steal someone else’s voice because your reader will probably know.

Number three: Lack of conflict or too much.

You need action in a story. If you get to the end of a chapter and nothing has physically happened you are NOT going have this. You don’t need explosions  running in every single chapter but physical things need to occur and oftentimes the best way to do that is through conflict.

Now there can be internal conflicts and there can be external conflict. Each chapter needs at least one of these when I read all about a character’s day and nothing happens it gets really boring I’ve said this before but each word that you choose is precious.  You need to hook your readers and then keep them hooked. A really good way to do that is through conflict. Pretty much, things just need to happen to your character. If you reflect on your own day, sometimes things just don’t go your way in the long run. They may not necessarily be relevant to your story line, but it’s kind of a bonus if they are.

There is such a thing as too much conflict though. A balance must be maintained as with most aspects of writing. You never want your readers to go through unnatural conflict and tenses. A lot of errors that come along with tenses actually have to do with using simple past and past perfect incorrectly.

Here  is a grammar rundown really quickly: just watching simple past is obviously recounting something that happened in the past past perfect. Recounting something that happened leading up to an event that happened in the past past perfect often involves certain key words like already, until, before and sometimes. After for example, I went to pick up my car, but they had already taken the engine apart. That is a past perfect sentence. If you want more examples, I would definitely Google until you get the hang of this. It can get really tricky when you switch from simple past to past perfect and then back to simple past. If you’re already writing in the past tense and a character flashes back to a point further in their past, then you must use past perfect even though technically they’re both in the past.

Most grammar rules can be learned naturally through reading without all the confusion of these explanations, but this one in particular I had to take time to research before I learned all these differences. I could read a sentence and know that something was wrong with it. I just wouldn’t have know what exactly it was. If this sometimes happens to you, then I would take a look at your tenses or see if there’s some other grammatical mistakes in your sentences

Number 5: Always show and not tell.

Sometimes telling is the better option. Show doesn’t ever have to be longer than tell. It just has to make the reader feel. This goes along very much with number 1 which was wasted words. You don’t want to ramble on and on  about something if it can take you just a few words to tell it instead.  Showing is what makes us feel so much more for the characters. You just have to make sure that you don’t use too many words to do the showing. Oftentimes when I find something out of balance in the show area, it has to do with the characters emotions or how they react to something. Typically you should never shy away from putting your reader in the characters seat and describing exactly what they’re feeling, how their gut felt or how their chest felt tight or whatever the case may be or is. If they’re angry during the break-up you should use more than just the words for the emotions. All right so that’s all I have for you today. I hope you enjoyed this lesson.

Welcome to Writing Success

Learn to Write Easily

Fulfill your dream to become a writer. Decide to get started and begin.

If you have considered writing, you might want to research genres (categories or different types of writing) to see which area you would enjoy. You can write in more than one genre.

For a description of many genres visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_writing_genres

There are many advantages to learning to write. Publishing is an option, but not required for you to be successful as a writer.

The key is to get started and to have fun.