Today, I’m going to provide some creative writing tips. Including improving your odds on creativity, keeping your scripts fresh and vital, and moving the action forwards through the use of active verbs and nouns.
Let’s get started, and ironically, getting started is one of the biggest roadblocks to the art of creative writing .
There are always a laundry list of of distractions and tasks that cry out for your attention before you put a pen to paper or finger to keyboard.
It’s vital to establish a regular ritual when you need to generate content that is unique and interesting.
Find an area that appeals to you and is free of distractions. Many of those distractions can be self-induced, so do your best to avoid as many of them as possible.
- Turn off your phone.
- Stay away from the television.
- Alert your close friends that you will be unavailable for a few hours.
And most importantly, look at this creative time as something to enjoy ….rather than something to endure.
Creative writing isn’t a task that’s accomplished like a fitness routine. You can’t force it!
Often the best and most creative ideas come when your thoughts are in neutral, when you’re out for a walk or doing a mundane task. Keep a small notebook on hand to scribble down your best ideas.
Generating Fresh & Effective Copy
With all of the messaging we are bombarded with on a daily basis, it’s not easy to engage your reader. Creating effective copy is a must.
That’s why using an online thesaurus is a great device to help avoid cliches and repetition. It will also help you express your message clearly and convincingly.
But it’s easy to go overboard and overwhelm the reader with too many words.
Don’t try to impress the reader with your vocabulary.
Also avoid the temptation to embellish every action or reaction with extra words and adjectives.
Less is More
Use vivid nouns and active verbs instead of adjectives and adverbs. Adverbs often do nothing but clutter up your message and dilute the impact of what you’re trying to say. Try using a strong or active verb instead of an adverb. Remember less is more.
For example, instead of using “he quickly moved” substitute “he exploded.” Or “she pondered” instead of “she carefully considered.”
Use the Active Voice… not the Passive Voice
In the active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action “he fired the puck.” In a passive voice, the subject receives the action “the puck was fired by him.” Passive sentences can be vague and obscure the meaning of your message.
If you want to study the work of a master in the art of direct and compelling writing, author Cormac McCarthy is a great place to start. “No Country For Old Men” is one of his best and provides a superb example of moving the action forward with a minimum of adjectives and adverbs.
Structure of your Message
Every sentence should reveal character or advance action.
If you’re writing a story, remember that you need a beginning, a middle and an ending.
Remember: The most important factor to aim for in creative writing is keeping your reader engaged. Some strategies to do this include:
- changing the tempo of your message by varying the length
and rhythm of your sentences.
- creating effective paragraphs, by linking the sentences together in a logical and linear fashion.
- ensuring that each paragraph pursues one key idea.
- maintaining your momentum with short, punchy sentences and strong paragraphs.
Let’s talk a little about the concept of finding your creative voice and your own unique style. One way to do this is by striving to find a unique way of looking at familiar objects. Stay away from the norm.
When you have your “eureka moment”, get the main points down but don’t feel you have to explain everything. Give that great idea a little time to percolate ….and you may find alternate angles and story-lines to explore.