Creative Writing 101

By Ali Hale

What is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is anything where the purpose is to express thoughts, feelings and emotions rather than to simply convey information.

creative writing

I’ll be focusing on creative fiction in this post (mainly short stories and novels), but poetry, (auto)biography and creative non-fiction are all other forms of creative writing. Here’s a couple of definitions:

Creative writing is writing that expresses the writer’s thoughts and feelings in an imaginative, often unique, and poetic way.
( – What is Creative Writing?)

Writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals.
(Don DeLillo)

Writing of any sort is hard, but rewarding work – you’ll gain a huge amount of satisfaction from a finished piece. Being creative can also be difficult and challenging at times, but immensely fun.

How to get started

Many people think that just because they’ve read a lot of stories (or even if they haven’t!) they should be able to write one. But as Nigel Watts writes:

There is a common belief that because most of us are literate and fluent, there is no need to serve an apprenticeship if we want to become a successful wordsmith. … That’s what I thought until I tried to write my first novel. I soon learnt that a novel, like a piece of furniture, has its own set of requirements, laws of construction that have to be learnt. Just because I had read plenty of novels didn’t mean I could write one, any more than I could make a chair because I had sat on enough of them.
(Nigel Watts, Teach Yourself Writing a Novel)

By all means, if you’re keen, jump straight in and have a go: but don’t be too disappointed if your first efforts aren’t as good as you’d hoped. To extend Watts’ metaphor, you may find that these early attempts have wonky legs and an unsteady seat. There are lots of great books aimed at new fiction writers, and I’d strongly recommend buying or borrowing one of these:

I’d also recommend starting small. Rather than beginning with an epic fantasy trilogy, a family saga spanning five generations, or an entire adventure series … have a go at a short story or a poem.

And if you end up chewing your pen and staring at a sheet of paper, or gazing at a blank screen for hours, try kickstarting your writing with a short exercise. Don’t stop to think too much about it … just get going, without worrying about the quality of the work you produce.

Tips and tricks for beginners

  • Do some short exercises to stretch your writing muscles – if you’re short of ideas, read the Daily Writing Tips article on “Writing Bursts”. Many new creative writers find that doing the washing up or weeding the garden suddenly looks appealing, compared to the effort of sitting down and putting words onto the page. Force yourself to get through these early doubts, and it really will get easier. Try to get into the habit of writing every day, even if it’s just for ten minutes.
  • If you’re stuck for ideas, carry a notebook everywhere and write down your observations. You’ll get some great lines of dialogue by keeping your ears open on the bus or in cafes, and an unusual phrase may be prompted by something you see or smell.
  • Work out the time of day when you’re at your most creative. For many writers, this is first thing in the morning – before all the demands of the day jostle for attention. Others write well late at night, after the rest of the family have gone to bed. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
  • Don’t agonize over getting it right. All writers have to revise and edit their work – it’s rare that a story, scene or even a sentence comes out perfectly the first time. Once you’ve completed the initial draft, leave the piece for a few days – then come back to it fresh, with a red pen in hand. If you know there are problems with your story but can’t pinpoint them, ask a fellow writer to read through it and give feedback.
  • HAVE FUN! Sometimes, we writers can end up feeling that our writing is a chore, something that “must” be done, or something to procrastinate over for as long as possible. If your plot seems wildly far-fetched, your characters bore you to tears and you’re convinced that a five-year old with a crayon could write better prose … take a break. Start a completely new project, something which is purely for fun. Write a poem or a 60-word “mini saga”. Just completing a small finished piece can help if you’re bogged down in a longer story.

Online resources

Every November, hundreds of thousands of people just like you do something extraordinary: they write a novel in just thirty days. Want to be part of the coffee-fueled, manic-typing, adrenaline-rush that is National Novel Writing Month? (NaNoWriMo for short). Make sure you sign up by October 31st. The “rules” state that you can’t start writing Chapter 1 until 00.01am on November 1st but you can spend as long as you like before that planning…

Authors’ websites and blogs
I read lots of websites and blogs written by authors and these give real (sometimes harsh) insights into what it’s like to write professionally. One which has been a strong favourite of mine for many years is Holly Lisle’s. Check out her
advice for writers and her weblog. She also has an excellent newsletter which I subscribe to, and some very thorough and helpful e-books on various aspects of writing available for purchase.

Competitions listings
Having a theme and a deadline can make a startling difference to a writer’s motivation! If you’re in the UK, Sally Quilford’s competition listings are a comprehensive and regularly-updated list.

I Should Be Writing podcast
This is a practical and inspiring podcast: I Should Be Writing by Mur Lafferty. She describes the podcast as “For wanna-be fiction writers, by a wanna-be fiction writer” (though since starting it several years ago, she’s had considerable success selling her short stories) and focuses on science fiction and fantasy.

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165 Responses to “Creative Writing 101”

  • RJ

    Great article.
    Morning is definitely the time where I am most creative. I think it’s because my mind is the freshest and the least cluttered at this time of day.

  • Doug Rosbury

    When I write, it is with an emphasis on the sharing of wisdom arising
    from my life experience. Wether one could reasonably term such writing as being creative or not I don’t necessarily concern myself with.
    The creative aspect which I believe is part of a writing nevertheless
    may be found in how I address people with careful consideration
    regarding how I may come across to them. There is no use in trying to be helpful if The way I say things registers in the readers mind that I
    am being arrogant and self serving. Best regards,—Doug Rosbury

  • Susabelle

    GREAT article. Good inside and beginner info. Everyone needs to read this.

  • Paper Writing

    For me creative writing is an “art piece” of your mind wherein you can freely express your ideas, emotions and ability to attract or magnetize readers. I love what he said regarding writing which is “HAVE FUN”. I’m absolutely agree on that. Look at writing as a gift, hobby or as a passion. If you see writing as a job, definitely you will feel exhausted and dead. For me, I enjoy writing specially if it is personal essay or fashion trends essay. I enjoy what I’m doing because writing is my passion.

  • The Boxcar Children

    Good tips for writing. I really like the notebook idea. I always have trouble remembering the little details that make writing all the more interesting, so having a notebook always helps for memory’s sake as well. Also, who doesn’t look kind of important carrying around a notebook with a sophisticated air about them?!

  • aidan

    I would like to improve my french vocabulary and understanding

  • BillinDetroit

    My writing is horrible. But it’s much better than it was.

    The tip that I would toss into the hat is to be willing to write garbage prose in order to get an idea out, however roughly. Just get it down on paper in a form that will let you recognize it later. You can edit it tomorrow — IF you wrote it today.

    I go now to teach myself how to blog from an outline.

  • leng crisostomo

    Hi!!! I am looking for a parttime online writing job. Please recommend a site that I can visit. Thanks and more power!!!

  • Essay Writing Insider

    Creative writing for me is the ability of certain writers to write any topic under the sun. A true writer for me can right any kind of writing at any topic.

  • shine valdez

    Creative Writing 101 encourages neophyte writers how to write a piece imaginatively which can attract readers. The tips are very hepful in writing piece. Thank you so much for the post you have given. This will hep in expanding our skills in writing.

  • bill bubb

    Writing and reading fiction is where I am at. Using proper English and sentence structure is my goal from start to finish, since I am not part of the Dumbing Down of America when it comes to writing of any kind.

    Working on getting the most lethal intensity out of my characters and the situations they find themselves in no matter what the tone or the subject matter is. I see this now and then in what I read and I must emulate this and still remain with feet on the ground and sane :-). If you are a writer of fiction without boundries and needs to talk with another beginner like yourself about this method of self-expression, don’t hesitate to drop me a note. We might be able to help each other out to one degree or another.

  • Nano

    Writing rocks!

  • michelle

    Thanks for the great tips. I write to get things off my mind . Though i,m told i am too deep.I wonder if that could be a plus for me someday as i,ve alot of ideas lingering in my head.

  • Rumdoh

    I would like to join the group.

  • Magda

    The tips were very helpful. I’ve got a lot of good ideas and the material just flows at times. However, I still have room for improvement.

  • Eleni

    I hope it’s alright that I use some parts of the blog in my project this year- don’t worry, I cited correctly! I got a lot out of the information you provided, being a budding creative writer myself, and I appreciate the great tips and other links!

  • Malia

    I really enjoyed this article, and there were a lot of useful tips that I am in the midst of using as we speak (finals week, ugh…) I love to write, but my “internal editor” does not allow one consistent thought to flow freely. When I am writing, I constantly edit words and phrases in my mind before I can get anything on paper. The technicalities of writing has hindered my fulfillment of the act itself. I still love it, I just want to love it MORE. Anyone with any advice, as to how to break free from these (mental) constraints?

  • Amanda

    The article was very interesting and helped me understand where I am in my writing skills (that is in comparison to others). I must respond to the comment before me, it’s simply too tempting. I wrote a short essay for myself a while back because I was frustrated with my english teachers controlling the end product of my writing. My essay explained that correct english is useless, you use grammar to get your point across (as well as word choice). If your point comes across as you want it to, tell your “internal editor” to be quiet for a moment.
    I find the comments much more helpful than the article. All the opinions teach you that writing is as you make it, nothing more.

  • Tashe Wangdi

    I have found your site interesting and would like to know more about it……………….Think it’s really going to help budding/aspiring writers………

  • Tashe Wangdi

    Would like to learn a lot from you……..

  • Dan

    Writing is a phenomenon that I am unable to grasp. My high school years precipitated a downward spiral of confusion. It has paralyzed my cerebrum, dash my confidence, retarded my ability to freely and clearly express myself without criticism. Luckily, I have stumbled upon your advice. I hope that with continued persistence, I will be able to rise to the level of the greats…

  • Rajesh Chaudhary

    It is really a wonderful site I have ever got to hone my writing skill and broaden my ken. And for this very reason I have recommended this site to my friends as well and hope they might also be doing good with their writing as they are obviously great readers and writers than me in some aspect.

  • Sandi O’Brien

    Thanks for your insights. One of my greatest irritations is to read a published article or book with blatant grammatical or spelling errors. Do these people not have spell check or ANYONE who reads what they have written BEFORE it is published??? I have found these problems in academic materials as well as fiction writing. Amazingly, I find very few errors in magazine articles which would seemingly have more of an excuse because of the short publishing deadline!

  • Lee Barker

    How best might I approach writing promos for a senior group here in the town of Moraga, California?
    Lee Barker

  • MaryFrances Rafferty

    I need support on learning how to freewrite then write what I’m thinking. It can be difficult sometimes not always just need support on good writing put me on all list please if not a problem

  • Samuel

    It was woderful to see the sight and have some insight regarding letter writing. Thanks lot.

  • Itunu

    Thanks for creating this site. please I will like to be tutored on Writing fiction

  • Unpublished Guy – Creative Writing

    In addition to the books in this article, I would add “Art of Fiction” by John Gardner to a list of recommended reading. The first part is more theoretical with chapter titles “Aesthetic Law and Artistic Mastery,” “Basic Skills, Genre, and Fiction as Dream,” “Interest and Truth,” and “Metafiction, Deconstruction, and Jazzing Around.” The second part focuses on the craft of writing with the best discussion of fiction writing technique and style that I have ever read. Chapter titles in the part: “Common Errors,” “Technique,” and “Plotting.”

    Art of Fiction also includes some great exercises. In particular, I liked a long sentence exercise: Write three effective long sentences, each at least one typed page, each involving a different emotion. Several other exercises develop the technique of leading the reader paragraph by paragraph and establishing tone. These exercises include writing about the discovery of a dead body before the body is discovered or writing about an old woman whose detestable husband has died but without mentioning the husband or the death.

  • Sara

    Here’s my story but im a loss of what to do next! The one and only Sherry the Great!
    By Sara Roberts

    If you walk along the river you see a great cliff and next to that cliff is the house in which sherry lives. Now sherry is a nice girl, simple not to bright and not very pretty, but she is nice. She has three family members no of which are related to her but they are the closest people that she knows. There is a cat named Herbert, a doll named Freena, and her best friend Sherrie, who is a speck of dust that she sees float by when she needs help.
    One time sherry was playing wit her cat Herbert and they were on the edge of the cliff seeing who could get the closest to the edge. (Of coarse Herbert would never go along with the plan because he was such a scardy cat, so sherry helped him with that problem by throwing him as far as she could. Lucky for Herbert she couldn’t throw that far.) Now on this particular day sherry did not want Herbert to win so she would take an extra turn after her friend went. But this time she was running so fast and right before she could stop her friend Sherrie floated by and got right ion sherry’s way! This threw sherry of balance and caused her to wobble off over the edge of the cliff. Now I understand what you’re feeling now, how could Sherrie do such a thing! But indeed it was better off that Sherrie do that because right as she did there was a tree that fell down on the other side of the world right exactly where Sherry was standing and if she had tried to go any farther the tree would’ve squished her flat! But now back to sherry, as she fell down the side of the cliff, a great big eagle soared over the sun. Sherry was so scared that she couldn’t even think to cry out for help! But the eagle saw her and swooped down to her rescue, and caught sherry in its mouth. Granted the bird had no intent to save sherry, but she had no knowledge of that. She was merely glad she did not fall to her death. And as the giant bird carried her away, sherry thought brilliantly to her self, ‘My, what a lucky person I am to have so many people try to help me and be my friends.’ And with that she was dropped onto the birds nest where two tiny baby eagles where sitting waiting to be fed. Sherry thought they wanted to be her friends too, so she went over to play with the youngling’s and just as they started to wrestle, one of them bit off her hand. All this was so shocking she screamed and jumped out of the nest! But she left her hand behind her. And as she fell threw the sky for the second time today, she realized that Sherrie was the one who pushed her off the cliff and she wondered. ‘Why would my best friends do something like that?’ but sherry didn’t know why. So as she fell even farther down the side of the cliff, a breeze picked her up and flung her over the Grand Canyon. And then another wind flew her to the Great Wall of China, then over to the Eiffel Tower.

  • Carm

    Thank you for the writing tips that you shared. I benefit from this sharing.

    I am a technical writer who is toying with the idea to try my luck in creative writing for “fun and for legacy” at the same time. Why not?

    Sometimes writing helps me in expressing clearly what I am supposed to say but cannot because I am already drown with mixed emotions.

    In case some people are not aware of this – writers are now highly in demand as content writers and the like.

    So, try writing …

  • niharika panwar

    creative writing is almost a spiritual activity. its purpose is not to inform,but to reaeal. creaty is the ability to create,that is to bring into existence or give to something that is original in nature.

  • Bill Ward

    Some people do puzzle books,or needle point or they have some other hobby to help them relax,for me it’s writing.I know that I am
    a beginner,but I do enjoy it.
    This is the first time that I have been to this website.Reading what
    you have written here has helped me relize that I am not alone.
    Finaly I have found a spot where I will be able to get the help needed to my writing straightened out. Thanks.

  • Amy Hamilton

    I have two unpublished children’s stories. It is so discouraging if trying to get published. Maybe I need a writing course.

  • Matt

    The 4 Winds would like to request a link to Daily Writing Tips at our website. The content of Daily Writing Tips is a great example of the educational programs and curriculums we are interested in promoting with our project. We are also happy to introduce a new eBook of poetry and art entitled “Dreams of Angels”.

    Thank you for your time and consideration in regard to a link to your website.

    Matt James – Project Representative

  • Misty Lintecum

    As I am trying to figure out what to do with my life, career wise, I get an almost uncontrollable urge to just write all that I am feeling, thinking and seeing about what to do. Then I notice there’s no more room in my notebook from front to back pages and I realize maybe the answer is right in front of me, write.

  • lisa kate

    writing is basically my life.i normally write when i’m crying or very early in the morning.i love writing fiction books mainly for teenagers.i love writing boyfriend stuff.

  • L

    thanks for the tips,
    for me you should just think of an emotion or a situation beetween charachters and then get a setting that best shows that like if you want to have a really scardey cat character put them in a dungeon or something, i came up with this myself but i sort of like it but maybe im just imagining that it helps

    yea i know that was a huge run on

  • jackie french

    i dont think your tips will be useful!it sounds like childish,idiot…mine is much better than you. go to and have a look!little kids

  • jan

    I am one
    who whichs to be that way, but people, things get in the way, and now I find myself STUCK, with lots of things I neither need or want, I feel as if I’m carrying my life’s burden on my back, with no way to get rid of it. My freedom depends on me getting rid of this stuff and getting back to me–my very own freedom. I think I need just a little help. I need an outlet for my fustrations, so I write a lot about it. I’m trying to work it thro people, this is not easy. Thanks for listening.

  • Saleem J M

    I just wanted to learn a few tips about writing, how to go about it as to me it’s a way to release all the tension and bottled-up feelings. But still there is no break though, as I can’t figure out how to begin, how to choose a topic or to go beyond a few lines and even if I write something it’s not interesting. But I won’t give up and keep on writing.

  • Roderick Gordon

    I like Creative writing because you get to aspas yourself

  • Krishnam

    This site provides a great insight to first time writers. I had been writing since school days though not regularly. Most of them are short stories. My thoughts are random. I have a larger idea but when I start there is no continuous flow. I first write to form the skeleton and add flesh to the skeletal as I go by. To complete it takes anywhere from 2 days to a week. The mood plays a very important role if you are not a regular writer. When I am upbeat I can complete a short story of 1000 words in a 6 hour stretch with a couple of revisions. I am honing my creative juices and have started blogging lately. Please check my first blog and give in your valuable inputs. Your feedback would help me progress in my pursuit of becoming a full time writer.

  • nina jankowski

    I am a terrible writer. I am deaf. I try to write short journal for paranormal photos in scienctific journal magazine. I am looking for self training writer. I don’t know where and how to start. Thank you !

  • Matt

    It takes a few moments to write some words down on paper, but it takes lifetimes of experience to write them well.
    Thoughts and ideas can take years to develope into the final concept that you desire to put into words. Relax, breathe deeply, be patient and use what you know. The words will come when they are ready and often when most unexpected.

  • yes

    creative writing has really changed my life. it has made me become president of the united states by the creative speech i said to the people. i thank you all for supporting a plagiarist.

  • Roganu

    I have been writing for many years through my school days. the story’s i have written mostly in one genre . now I’m trying to write a romance story with a little sci-fi elements. anyone got any tips or ideas for starting a story in which i have no experience in the genre?

    -live long and prosper

  • Roganu

    *to add to my last comment

    i am a man and i don’t know how to write a romance novel that is not feminine. i need help on creating the structure of the story.

    here are the basic ideas that i have

    ” ” studying abroad in japan and my character is just starting to get adjusted to college life. he is somewhat of a loner and has no friends.

    I’m trying to find the right way to make a romantic spark that will stat my characters start my characters social life.

    Also i need to find a way to write in my character’s past without interrupting the flow of the story.

    i cant find a way to make the romantic moments…solid… make the reader feel the emotion of the scene.

  • Mridul Kumar Saha

    Creative Writing is really the opinion or writer’s on any point of view

  • jc

    writing 101 in just 1 week ?

  • mahesh

    the letter or application writing at school level fall into the category of creative writing

  • dooshima

    i love writing especially poems your articles are encouraging and iwill try someting new like short stories

  • James Jorgensen

    Can you give me any ideas on how to get my work , out in views of m y possbile readers and any site I can join where I do not have to pay out for help ? my capital is $0.00

  • maria gina mallari

    hi, thanks for the tips about creative writing it is one way of releasing my stess in my daily activities .

  • barbara

    I am glad I found your site. I will put “Creative Writing 101” on my favorites to return again and again. Great Work and good luck!

  • Janice Cruse

    I enjoyed Creative Writing 1. I am writing a book. I agree you should try new ways of writing, and not take yourself too seriously.

  • Jennifer Bailes (rccc)

    What a great article. This site provided details on much needed information. This link will become a wonderful reference for future writing projects.

  • kai

    i wrote an essay about my life. i am not that good in grammar and correct construction of sentence in english. is it bad if when i read books i take down notes of phrases, expressions, and sentences that delighted me which i can use in writing anything? i’ve finished an essay through that process. the whole story is an original idea and it happened in real life i just injected some of the words i copied from my notes.
    would you think i have the potential to be a writer?
    i am planning to pursue a masters degree and i am not yet decided of what to take up. is creative writing a good choice for me?
    i will appreciate your immediate reply because i need to decide immediately before the course in my chosen school closed, and i will respect your opinion about it whether its negative or positive.


  • Lynette

    I usually start writing at around midnite. All the amazing imagination flows in especially wen i m stressed out after studying…i juz write 4 fun though, poems n stories…:)oh n reali long stuff 2:)

  • Lynette

    oh n this website is totally AWESOME!!!:)

  • Swaroop

    i ALWAYS WRITE WHEN i think that words can only represent the thought process i am going through.It gives me immense pleasure and satisfaction when I am able to portray what I feel in words which are endless.Creativity is something that I always cherish aa its inherited rather than being imparted. If you love what you write then reader would always experience the true picture. I would just say write your heart out and just feel the difference.

  • joshua

    I’m meant to write a creative essay on, What happens when we go to war. Does anyone have any good ideas on how to start my essay??
    I’m really confused, and if anyone could aid me with this, it would be very helpful.

  • Sajid khan

    i want comprihensive note on creative writing

  • Asad Jang

    Exactly! Exactly i was looking for such article .These are something very techinical tip which must be considered.Thanx for doing the work.

  • Waseem khan

    I really like this website because it gave me alot of ideas how to
    start and how to end a creative writing!!!

  • Phil South

    Great tips. Your site is a great resource and I’ve often suggested it to my students. I know it smacks of pimping my wares, and I apologise if that’s the way this comes across, but I’m certain your readers might also like my most recent blog entry, “How to be a Creative Genius”, which covers a lot of similar ground as to how you get started and how you get good.

    I also just read that Malcolm Gladwell in his most recent book “Outliers” has stated that to “get good” at something you need to have done it for 10,000 hours. That is a huge and daunting number but when you break it down it makes more sense. That’s about 3-4 years of 8 hour days, or 10 years worth of a few hours a day. Most professionals can get that under their belt easily, but it does re-emphasise something I’m always saying, you have to write every day no matter what.

    Wonderful blog, keep up the good work.

  • ama

    Great article, very intresting =)

  • Tracey

    Excellent tips. It’s true that you have to take baby-steps before you learn how to write. Some people are born naturals, but most of us need to work at it. Thanks for the resource links, I will check out out.

  • shaily baghel

    i think what you have talk about in this article is very good you have describe how writing improves your life and how writing can improves a personslife i have this to say on articles

  • saloni

    well your concept of writing creatively is very impressive. Its helpful to broaden ones mind with numerous fascinations, observations and imaginations. But usually i think myself as a failure in writing skill due to my poor vocabulary and grammar. I guess with your tips and ideas i might be able to improve them eventually.

  • Joke Nikoro

    Just what I Need, thank you. But I won’t mind a piece on STYLISTICS. i.e. analysing the language of a piece of writing

  • Alden Paul

    To Joshua : You are at war,you have taken aim and fired.Stop the bullet in time.Tell the story of how and why you got there,and to this very point in life.When you get back you will understand that a person has to have a destination

  • Doris

    Thanks for the ideas. While, I am not a writer but want to be one some day. My problem is, How can I start writing a good story? I sometimes find myself writing but soon stop and don’t know what to write again. How can I figure out a complete situation to write a story about?

  • Michelle.Avent

    Thank you for your tips they really helped me on my writing.

  • Danielle Sawyer

    I think that this has alot of good tips to help you get started writing ,carry a notebook around and write down your ideas and things around you and that its ok to have a hard time getting started and it gave you really good tips on how to get over that. i really enjoyed this article

  • nirash paija

    plz give me more information about creative writing

  • andi

    I have lots of idea but I don’t know how to start writing the first word. Anyone can help me?

  • macel

    the article is very helpful for me… i love writing, i do it usually when i am depressed or sad just to speak my emotions when nobody is listening. the article helps me to enhance my writing and hope t create a good master piece….

  • Jitin

    Thanks for sharing some good thoughts with us.

    I too want to join the world of writers, but I don’t know how and from where to start?

    Till now, whatever I have written is my personal diary.

    So, please lend me a helping hand and provide your valuable suggestions…

    I am sure it would help a lot…

    Jitin 🙂

  • Ozorme juliet chinasa

    Writing is an expression of passion in one’s heart. Nature enhances Creative writing .Beauty is writing.

  • Mohammed Abbakar

    This web site is very useful for me to get more infomation in helping
    me to improve my skills in creative writing , therefore i would request daily writing tips to provide me recources and samples of creative writing.

  • Mohammed Abbakar

    I would like to join the world of writers, but the problem facing me
    how and from where get started. I would very nice if i get one method to follow.

  • choji Sha

    Though at the moment I can’t say I’m a writer but I feel there’s something that’s about to break forth- I feel that every time I pass book stands or when I read just any creative material.
    My self discovery venture led me to this site; I must confess it’s given me direction, a direction in which only a conscious effort can lead.

  • bushra

    If someone has chosen to write,it is quite obvious from the decision itself that the person relishes the process of generating ideas and creating new plots. Write when you feel like writing, there is no time or place barrier.Make writing your deepest pasion. Always write things that you desired to see .

  • Bass Drum Mallets

    Useful information and exceedingly layout you got guide! I definitely to thank you for sharing your thinkings and time into the goods you post!!! Thumbs up!

  • kally

    I have loads of ideas on what to write on.These tips will be very useful to me, but i feel i still need more help so as to bring out these ideas out of me.

  • Danijela

    Hey guys!
    I am fifteen years old and I have decided (today actually) that I would like to write novels, and i’d rather do it sooner than later so I can get them published and all that jazz. It will mostly be fantasy, because I absolutely adore fantasy novels and I can read them anywhere, anytime. I’m having trouble trying to come up with a different plot though, because with fantasy, some novels are quite similar to others and I would really like mine to be completely unique. Does that make any sense? Please email me on ideas
    Your ideas will be greatly appreciated!! Thanks for taking the time to even read this! 🙂

  • mikey

    in no stretch of the imagination am i a great writer but for me when writing i look at two sides of the coin,think of multiple scenarios that you can travel in your story,i write two conflicting trails for my story to travel,example i’m working on a screen play but gave myself a path that leads to horror but another that leads to a drama still haven’t decided on which way to go sadly

  • Via

    thanks for the useful info it really help me a lot. It’s true being a writer means living with criticism but then you wouldn’t just sit there and act as a blind at a corner watching your country and your countrymen having limited wings…living with discrimination and corruption. We have to wake those who are acting as blinds and leaving a deafening ear to the cry outside those walls.
    Being a writer means also facing your death…but it’s better to die fighting for the truth and justice than living with your guilt forever.
    We are the minds beneath the pen’s mist.

  • george from kenya

    after loosing that best part of my life ewhich was my wife and only child nelson,,i decided to try something that would make me drown ma sorrows thru those sleepless nights.i`ve still not penned anything down but trust me my pillow books are full with all things bright ideas.some one help.

  • ghonsie

    I’m 16 years old and I’m from Nigeria. I found out recently taht I really enjoy writing but i was a pure science student in high school:( so I didnt get to do a literature. I have this idea for a novel in my head. It seems like most critics and people in general want very traditional novels from african writers. However, tradition is not as extreme here as it used to be. Do you think with all these I would still be able to pull off a really good novel. Would people enjoy it even if it’s not as “african” as they’ll want it to be?

  • jhon

    Hi ghonsie, im a Nigerian living in texas. im currently working on a novel, and it’s set in both Nigeria and the US. the reason this endeavour is called creative writing is because it’s subjective. it is more about what you wanna express than it is about what people would like to read. write a good piece and most people would read.
    feel free to contact
    we might share ideas

  • Alaura

    I attempted NaNoWriMo two years ago and I am a failure- let’s just say that I tend to have trouble putting detail into my stories.. I just get up and go. It seems that I finish long before I’d like. I plan on trying again this year if I can- I’m currently writing a novel already and wouldn’t want to be set back by another

  • Raven

    The tips are helpful!!!!!

  • Peyale

    I love reading books,but that does not mean that i have to be a good writer. yes,i do try to write my thought process.somehow i cannot create a proper sentences. i use a very simple language,and it does not look professional.I am working on it although and this article have showed me a right way to start up again and know where i am lagging behind. Its my dream to publish my own article which will be appreciated by all.Please do suggest me in a better way. I am glad to my brother who helped me with this site.Hope i will get a reply back.
    Thanks a ton.

  • I’m so earger to know how to write a good creative piece of work.

    In my view, Creative writing is any piece of work that entertains, educates and full of learning.

  • Leighton

    Great Info….I’m not a professional writer, this is useful stuff….

    I think creative writing depends on the individual. We’re all different so we are going to think, interpret and act different.

    Your the biggest critic of your own work so if you can impress yourself, it’s more than likely others will enjoy it too..

    Thanks Heaps!

  • mae

    i am not a big fan of writing poems or whatsoever..but i take my time learning how to because i am interested with it..i believe that writing can be a pleasure..and i would like to add writing as one of my hobbies…and now i am still studying and i have entered a program where in they teach students with different talents,and because i am really interested with writing i am part of the creative writing class in our school..hope i can find myself in the field of writing..eyy…hope to write here in the second time around..

  • Tour Dates

    Do you want to buy cheap concert ticket ? please visit my site .Thanks

  • flora

    hiiii i want to learn how to write a short stroy in creaitve writing,,,
    couse i feel it somethimes it`s hard to write u know the writing subject it`s defficult from others subjects ,,,,, so help me to learn in easy way inshallah,,,,thanks,,
    my regards .

  • Asad Jang

    I think Practice can work out,it is because once you start writing you will have lack of ideas and appropriate word in order to convey your message.One must read much that he has or she has a bunch of vocabulary and structures.

  • Jamil

    I have a lot of ideas in my head that floating around in my head, but I’m having a hard time bringing them to life. I feel that they will bring happiness to everyone that reads them.

  • Leila

    I always like write for myself, not for publishing a book or something like that. I’d like Just write for myself. However, every time that I start, I don’t know how I should be writing about the subject and I will lose the words. It sounds that there is nothing in my mind for explaining. So I can’t write again and it’s so frustrating.

  • S. Barry Hamdani

    Write based on your passion. Don’t stop to judge your writing, simplly write. If you have a passion for a specific subject, trust me, others will enjoy it.

  • Jade

    I love writing, especially fiction novels, but at the minute I’m completely stumped. No matter how hard I try to ‘just write’, I can’t stop myself from editing every sentence I type. I’ve only finished half the story I’m currently working on, and I’ve already re-drafted the start four times. It’s driving me crazy!
    And I have a friend who is my “writing buddy”, and I love her writing to pieces, but whenever I read it I always feel so downtrodden. I feel like I’ll never be as good as she is, but without her I don’t think I’d have the willpower to write at all.
    What can I do? I’m desperate to just write all my ideas down, but I feel like there’s something blocking their path.

    -Jade, UK

  • adam goldman

    Writing is good for the brain 🙂

  • D

    Great post!! Very Helpful! Right On!! Keep it up.. looking out for more such articles! 🙂

  • ME

    I’ve always thought of myself as a great writer. I went to a great university and obtained my Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism & Mass Communications and minored in English. Now, seven years later I have yet to nurse my need for writing and I’m finding that I’m not really a good writer after all. I’ve worked at several jobs but none in the writing field. I’ve lost my editing ability, it takes a long time to develop my thoughts and “pen them to paper” and last but not least, I lost my voice. I’m not sure of what I want to do or what my purpose in life is anymore. I feel as though writing used to be an outlet but its not working anymore. No one wants to hire me and there isn’t a lot of money to be made in this field where I currently reside. I feel hopeless

    Warm regards,
    Faith must find ME again

  • DK

    If you want to learn something really helpful and unique about creative writing read the book “On Writing” by Stephen King. He is the master!

  • Lessie Williams

    This article was very imformative and inspiring. I thought so many time about writing a novel and I get bogged down by all the worries of what might go wrong. I like that this aritcle tells you to just do it and not think about it. The advice was wonderful.

  • Frankie Courtney

    I feel the advise is good. Carrying a pad to write something down all the time is essential. You never know when something good is going to appear in your head. The best writing comes from the weirdest situations. The best writing for me also comes when i am viewing a situation as it is happening.

  • Vincent Mwakazi Zakayo

    Wow! I read about creative writing from this website and it’s interesting that what my leccturer and head of dept of Mass Communication told me about writing is exactly what I find here. Truely, I sometimes try but stop just before I written two pages. Am I in the right track to becoming a writer? I love this site since it has given a new desire for writing.

    God Bless You.

  • tita bondoc

    very informative !

  • wparena

    This is an great article, and it’s just perfect for people like me.
    Thanks a lot for tips and also the great links!

  • zahid wazir

    i need guidence or steps to improve creative writing.

  • Mohammed Abbakar

    I like writing very much , because it will help a lot to reinforce my
    skills especially creative writing.Therefore itis necessary to understand these techniqes.

  • weng

    Writing for me is an outlet of your other self. You could be what you want, anytime -all the time.

  • yasir ally

    actualy when i first heard about creative writing i didn know much but thaks to you guys on that

  • chamathka

    I love to write poems,articles and essays.I gained a good knowledge about writing poems and all from this article.It is so interesting.

  • Wasim

    I found it interesting everytime i start to write i don’t know from where i got the words….but i think if u start then definetily u wl get results…keep writing as much as u can….

  • Sienna

    I am doing an essay on creative writers for a possible career in the future most kids are doing theirs on medical stuff but that is way to boring for me. Don’t you think medical stuff is incredibly boring?

  • William McQueen

    Over the years I have written several items, short stories, ads for local businesses, … even pitched for Hollywood. But my true passion lies within the pages of the novel I am writing. Unfortunately I find that I am woefully dreadful at writing dialog, but I refuse to let that keep me from writing my first draft. I fully intend (when my finances will allow) to return to school and learn everything I am lacking. This book is too important to me to simply let it fall into the ash-heap of broken dreams.

  • Sekyen

    I write poems, mostly on personal experience and I need help with that. Am also working on a book which is a faction (fact and fiction). Truely, writing is not easy but it is fun.

  • sara

    Thing that writing is a fun.

  • sara

    Thing that writing is a fun. Should not we write whatever we have in our mind.

  • salim sabo

    really creative writing is a good imagination of different idear which many people can perceive your idear in so many way.

  • Van

    Thank you for this article! I really needed it.

  • Fred

    Why am so many of you not so good with
    the spelling and the grammer? I thinked
    writers need to be good at the writing, no?
    It makes me very disgusting to see so much
    errers from them who’s supposed to be good
    with the words. I pull my hare out. What is
    going on with you peepl?

  • Mary Lou

    Sara said: “Thing that writing is a fun. Should not we write whatever we have in our mind”

    No, Sara, you shouldn’t write whatever comes into your head. Heads are renowned for being filled with rubbish and nobody wants to have to read it just because it’s been written down. One writes because one has something to say. That’s quite different to recording what comes to mind. Unfortunately, publishers’ slush piles are packed with the thoughts of writers who wrote whatever junk they had in their minds.
    Too many aspiring writers think that because they can pen a few words that they’re worth reading by others. Not so. Writing takes about twenty years for the average apprentice, and most people aren’t up to it. The reason Woody Allen couldn’t find a plumber at the weekend was because too many potential plumbers were in their garrets scribbling muck that came into their ‘minds’. Hemingway put it best: “Writing is easy. All you do is sit at your typewriter and bleed.” Plumbing is even easier still, but you have to be prepared to work weekends.

  • Sadia

    This is a great website it influences you to write amzing stories

  • the writer

    Hi Ali,
    We have one thing in common… I’m also a huge fan of Holly Lisle’s write ups… I am a freelance article writer.
    Two things which I really find helpful in your post are: keeping a notepad with you to jot down ideas and proofread your content after at least a couple of days… if you read you text same day or even the next day, you will hardly hit the mark.
    Jenna Twain

  • Amlandeep Bhattacharya


    I find this article very useful. I am an aspiring riter form Kolkata and want to write for big publishing houses . Howver as I have no liinks to publishers I find my book hard to sell. Any takers?

  • avantika

    I am a crazy lover of poems & creative writings . Creative world is so beautifull writers expressor open their heart in words. I would like to share my own ideas ,thoghts in front of you. However as i have no link to publish my ideas.

  • Pj

    I found this site quite by accident. I need to tune-up the grammar and punctuation skills before I give up entirely.

    It was a dark and stormy night.

  • avantika

    i just remember one thing nature’s beauty , happiness,lot of fantastic things which gives us best moments

  • Santo Toni

    I love writing from childhood, i already have two unfinished novel, but i lack the motivation to keep moving. Help!

  • xixihaha567

    Fantastic post however I was questioning in the event you could write a litte more on this subject? Id be extremely thankful if you could elaborate just a little bit further. Appreciate it!


    i love creative writing! its so much in ma bones and blood.av so far published 2 of ma stories in ma countries news paper..i need motivation to continue

  • Derek

    I believe some people can write creatively and others can’t. There are some people who think they are good writers with atrocious grammar and spelling – it’s embarrassing really.

    Unless they go back to school and learn how to spell, these people should be told the truth for their own good: they are wasting their efforts by trying to write illiterate garbage: they are running before they can walk. The bare truth can do wonders for people.

    As for the creative part, as I’ve said, it’s a talent which you either have or have not – period. It’s like a singing voice.

  • What A Joke

    I find writing very difficult it has to be said. I have these ideas in my mind and I am never quite able to get them down on the paper with the passion that they deserve. I am able to speak about a subject with passion but something happens when I try to write.

    Maybe i just get too wordy ^

  • Idowu Wande

    Hi,I’m very passionate about creative writing that I sometimes feel very bad about not having a breakthrough on it!Please how can I get a comprehensive book on it?I really need a lot of help.Thanks.Idowu (Human Anatomist)

  • Citra cahyadi

    This site is very interesting, I have got an assignment from my lecturer to make a story, I hope you can help me because I’m just a beginner in writing.

  • jessalyn

    i dont have an assignment, but im 15 and writing is my life, i have recently had a writers block but just started writing randomly and i got a awesome idea XD so it really does work, just right and you may get a idea

  • jessalyn

    i also believe that everyone can write, im helping my little 11 year old brother write a story, my sister was saying that his writing would not be as good as mine so it wouldnt be a good story and this is what i said:
    writing comes naturally to me, so i dont work that much to write something. but lets use a example: school, lets say math, someone may be really good at math naturally, and somebody may be really good at math and not know it because they have never done it, you just got to give yourself and other people a chance.

    so just start writing, try different techniques and genres because you could find a hidden talent

  • Okezie Victoria

    Writing is with the mind. using the pen with so much passion. setting it all into papers, into life. All the drama is in the fingers, all the words stay close to the pen and lie safe on papers. When i write, am happy, relaxed, fulfilled and just me. if u love to write. build it, is a tool, strong tool.

  • Maria

    Thanks for sharing such a useful and factual information. It will definitely help me to write a unique and creative article.

  • Pisith

    This is a very useful article for writing improvement. Thanks!

  • Moomean Yitta

    From literature perspective, engaging in any work of art requires critical thinking over what to write, devotion of time in search of facts concerning what to write because writing is not all about fallacies and rational linkage of your writings to the comprehensible life situations.

  • Adebola Ademuyiwa

    Creative writing is verily d core focus of every Inspired Writers. I have a passion 4 writing wen i was@ d tender age of 10years. I’m into inspirational writing,educative writing,general poets,etc. Pls let’s keep writing ‘professional’ n ‘impactful’!.

  • Phil South

    Just came back to this post after a few years and remember its such a good piece of information. Have you ever considered expanding this into a book?

    Phil South
    Creative Genius Programme

  • Rajeev

    Thanks for the nice information about how to improve our writing skills.

    It’s really very helpful in writing personal experience, essay, speeches and technical writing. Initially, we have to just write rather then too much thinking like how i can write?. Think positive whatever thought comes in your mind just write, because it will take time in perfection. But this procedure gives you boost in writing. After some days you will find yourself as a good writer.

  • Tom

    Short stories are quite a different task to novels.

    Short stories require different techniques. New writers can often find writing short stories to be more difficult than they first imagined because short stories are often mistaken as easier to create than novels.

    The main reason for this is that new writers think that, because short stories are short, they require less writing technique. In fact, short stories are equally, if not more demanding to create, *because* they are short.

    Shortness is not always easy to create. I have discovered this on many occasions. They require a lot to be moulded into a short space. Where as novels allow space for writers to create scene, back story, build characters, create set pieces, etc. over a large canvas, e.g. 95k words plus, short stories require all this in under 3k words (some times more).

    Back story, character building, scene setting, etc. all have to be done in a few sentences throughout the story, but mostly, and this is where short stories differ greatly from novels, these things will have to have happened *before the story began*. There is often little room to pause and establish back story as there is in novels.

    In brief, short stories begin *after* the main action has occurred. Novels begin before (just before some times) the main action as occurred.

    So, new writers should give short stories a go but not because you think they are an easy option to writing novels. They are equal, if not more demanding, for any writer.

    One of the best “Tips and tricks for beginners” I can offer because it works so well is this: Begin copying out in long hand the first chapter of your favourite novel. Try it! Magic happens.

  • Javier Oscar

    I have been thinking… what if I publish my story and became famous… it would be cool but… I really dont know exactly how to do that maybe this website should like a tutorial about it…
    step by step of how to publish a book

  • Otevia Andy

    Writing is one thing I’d like to develop a penchant for, but like every work of art, I need to learn the needed skills. Is there a forum where beginners can meet and rub minds? I really need to develop my writing skills.

  • sengendo douglas

    I love writing it frees my minds , at time when am sitting some where or even walking i think of many things and that is where the feeling of writing comes from . I like expressing my ideas as a youth and probably share them with my fellow friends . I also believe that the only way my feeling can reach a great multitude is by jotting them down. I wanna be a writer and for sure am living in the dream.

  • Glenn

    I’ve been a “writer” for about 25 years now. A “writer” in the sense that I’ve been communicating my feelings, insights, and thoughts in writing for at least that long. I find myself currently interested in allowing myself to write without criticism or conflict from others about, not only the material, but the fact that I do put thoughts, feelings, opinions, and facts down in print. I’ve concluded that some don’t like written communication, even if the communication is only on the lines of thoughts, experience, feelings, or even conclusions. I’ve decided that, I’m allowed to write without fear of negitive feedback, criticism, or discussion about what I put in writing. I get my inspiration, usually, even before I get out of bed in the morning. I wake up with insightful ideas and an exciting need to put it all down in writing, the need to put it down before it’s forgotten. Kind of like a dream that you remember during and as you first wake up, but then is forgotten just hours or days later. Things are OK. They need to be. I’m not seeking to be a professional writer, but would like to be able to offer the “talent” I may have, if for nobody esle’s benefit, but for my own. I’ve been asked if I was a writer. This didn’t prompt me to write, but rather gave me encouragement to continue to do so. And so, here we go.

  • ben

    I am equally grateful for Ali’s piece of advice. For those who have ideas they need to share with others through writing like let’s keep up the spirit. I’ve been struggling to put up a piece of work, but now with the advice I believe I’ll be to share my with the rest of the world. Here in East Africa prof.Taban Lo Liyong, a literary icon, do reminds us of the need to nurture our talents be it in writing or any other field, and I strongly believe I’ll make it. My advice to beginners like me is not to lose track and more importantly to know the reasons why decide to write. Like the famous writer Eric Arther Blair (George Orwell) puts it: You don’t write for sheer egoism, but to express your to the world; the ones that can truly change the world however small a way it may be. Good luck, beginners.

  • Karen

    I’m more of a technical writer than a creative one, so I needed this for a creative writing job I just took on in a freelancing site. Thanks.

  • Mari

    These tips were very helpful. Before, I was very confused if what I’m doing was right or wrong. I also realized that having an inspiration is a big help for us to write down what we feel. Now I know that as long as we are happy in what we do, we’ll succeed just if what we do is right, we love it whole-heartedly, and if we enjoy it. Sorry for my bad english. It’s not my first language kase! :))

  • Phil South

    I still think this is a great piece. Please visit my own creative writing blog on and let me know what you think.

    Love the blog, keep coming back for more every day.

  • Red

    Wow! This was great! And as seeing all the other comments I pretty sure many agree with me!
    I’m soooooo excited. I have three manuscripts finished now just lookin’ for a publisher! Yahoooooo!
    Yet soooooo many more manuscripts to finish!

    I heard of that national writing thing befre from some pals from a narnia site. I think I might try it.

    Thanks again for the article…made me smile to see that I’m doing things right…toodles!

  • Tracey

    Thank you for such a detailed explaination on creative writing.

    It’s websites like yours that make a real difference to people who are new to the craft of writing.

  • C.J.

    I highly recommend that wannabe writers take writing courses in adult ed. programs or community colleges, with or without credit. Even though I’ve been writing for years, sometimes I become lazy and bogged down with other projects. Taking a course forces me to produce. Also, each new instructor teaches me something new or forces me to look at a problem in a different way and classmates’ feedback can be helpful.

    My community college offers free credited classes to senior citizens. I can audit classes or take them for credit. I always take them for credit (even though I’m not going for another degree) because it would be too easy for me to blow off a non-credited class if I was tired, it was raining , or I didn’t feel like attending. Even though I’ve taught writing, I still take classes.

    I would say the advise to not worry about getting it right is essential. When I taught adult writing classes at a community college, one woman could not move beyond her first sentence until it was perfect. Of course, it would never be perfect no matter how many times she rewrote it.

    Finally, the only thing that worked for her was to make a list of the events in the story. I convinced her to choose a section in the middle to write. Then move to another section anywhere. It took her ten weeks to write one story whereas everyone else wrote a story at home each week, plus the short exercises we did in class.

    One other problem I often saw was that students could not seem to carry over one week’s lesson into another. For example one week, we talked about concrete details. When we talked about conflict, every one concentrated on conflict and forgot to include details.

    Eventually, I made a cumulative list. The first week I listed one thing on which to concentrate. Week two, I listed that one and one more, and so on. Before turning in the story, students were required to check off every item on the list. That seemed to help. One man complained because he ended up reading and revising his final story 10 times (one for each item on the list) by the end of the course.

    My response was, “Good for you”


    Response to Javier Oscar who thinks it would be cool to have a novel published and become famous: I suggest reading Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird.” It has lots of great advise about writing, but also some realistic comments about how difficult it is to be a writer, even after a novel is accepted by a publisher. (Warning: Lamott uses some graphic language. If that would offend you, skip her book.)

  • Shirley Mosley

    I always love to here great writers testimonies of how they gotten started. This is a great inspiring piece to read an get started from. C.J. you are so correct about taking writing skills as well as free classes. I feel like this will help a great deal. When needing to write professional their truly need to be some learning skills involved in-order- to be a perfected writer. Reading your material on what you need to do and need not to do was very helpful. Although the material said do not think to much and write more was great for me because that what I do. I think to much and love writing speaking to my audience in a most memorial way. Although I love writing I hope I get as good as you one day. Even though I hope that I know it will take much practice.

  • DawnThrill

    A great article! Really inspiring. I am a young writer myself, and this article really touched upon the things that I struggled with, and still struggle (with some).

    I especially agree with trying to write for fun and writing in the morning, before your mind gets cluttered with other things.

    Here are some of my own tips for a creative writing:

     1) No matter how crappy the idea seems to you, write it down-if anything, it won’t clutter your mind as much anymore.

    2) Make sure your characters are two dimensional: with virtues and flaws, with quirks and the background. Have them work hard to accomplish what really matters, and it is okay if they fail a few times on the way.

    3) Spell check is your friend: use it.

    4) Always re-read and edit your works: multiple times if needed (as mentioned in the article, I admit).

    5) Welcome constructive criticism with open arms, but don’t let anyone discourage you easily.

    I hope that will help and inspire many of you 🙂

  • Natasha

    I, am also myself, working on a novel, that will most likely be more than one book; I, am posting as saw Dawn’s tips, they are very useful.

    Especially characters, no one likes a superman character, my main character in my dungeon crawler, called dungeon master, is strong, agile and it is explained why later, but she is vulnerable too and has weaknesses as well with the the other 3 members of the party, they are good at something special and lack elsewhere.

    Another tip is you do not need go into their backgrounds right away, give, teases of it then delve into it later it makes the reader want to know more about that particular character.
    Cliffhanger endings to chapters, are good as well as it makes them want to know what is going happen next!

    Happy Writing

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