As a newbie writer, mastering the elements of creative writing serves as the essential foundation for your growth and mastery of your creative art. You have a lot to learn and get right to aid your writing journey, of which mastering the elements of creative writing is one.
The six main elements of creative writing are plot, characters, setting, style, theme, and tone. More elements can be considered and some of them include characterization and character development.
Although there have been arguments on how often or not these elements should be used in writing, it is still of great importance that you understand the mechanics of these elements.
What Is Creative Writing?
Creative writing has diverse definitions, but most commonly, it is perceived as any type of writing that depicts originality and the imaginative novelty of the writer.
Usually, you can tell it by how much it focuses on narrative craft, like character development, story, and plot, and how its structure is full of imagination, invention, and storytelling.
In summary, creative writing is seen as any kind of modern, original writing that doesn’t follow any standard rules and uses a wide range of techniques. It is your way of creativity expressing ideas and thoughts that are unique to you.
Simply put, it means giving your writing your own “style.”
What Is The Point Of Writing Creatively?
Creative writing can be used in many different ways, but the goal is always the same: to show how a person thinks and feels in a way that readers can understand.
Any form of writing, from fiction to Non-fiction, can use creative writing. It helps people feel closer to themselves and to other people. It also helps people talk about how they feel in ways they don’t usually.
Creative writers need to have their own style so they can say what they want to say without being too stiff or just copying what they’ve seen or heard somewhere.
What Are The Various Types Of Creative Writing?
Creative writing can take many different forms and can be done in many different genres and styles. There are many kinds of creative writing, which can be put into two groups: fiction and nonfiction.
Some of the most well-known types of creative writing are:
- Fiction includes novels, novellas, short stories, flash fiction, and microfiction.
- Poetry and spoken word
- Personal essays
What Are The Basic Elements of Creative Writing?
Six basic elements of creative writing generally apply to all kinds and forms of writing. They include:
At the very least, characters carry out the plot in a story. At most characters fuel and drive the whole story. Characters can take any form or personality, they can belong to a world known or unknown, and they can be human or supernatural.
Readers are often obsessed with relatable characters and become so involved in their fictional worlds that they cheer for the unlucky underdogs and hate the bad guys. So, relatable characterization counts.
Basically, the plot is everything that occurs in a story. Typically, stories have a linear progression. The plots have a beginning, middle, and climactic end.
A good plot has the power to elicit varying emotions in your readers. Your plot could leave them highly satisfied or utterly devastated.
Most writers’ exposure to stories in popular culture begins long before they start writing.
Your story setting is the place where your story happens. You can have one or more than one, depending on what your story needs. Your setting could be large, or it could be the living room or kitchen.
If you want to use this element, the best advice is to think about how a certain setting will bring out the themes in your work. Are you using a quest plot that would work best if it took place in different places?
If your story is about a character’s coming of age or personal growth, the setting will seem less important because most of what happens in that kind of story occur in the character’s mind.
The tone of your story is how you, as the author, talk to your readers about your story.
Your tone is pronounced through the words you use, the way your sentences are put together, what your characters do, and how they are described.
It is similar to the tone of your voice but in a cultured way to powerfully convey your story.
The theme of a story doesn’t have to be limited to a certain set of ideas. Your theme(s) are the larger ideas in your story, like murder, betrayal, honesty, and compassion.
Setting and theme are similar in that if you use a theme on purpose to make a point instead of because it fits naturally into your story, that piece of writing will probably fail.
Style is fluid because it’s built of thin, transitory elements that are real but hard to grasp. It’s your vocabulary, syntax, rhythm, voice, and mood in your writing. It may be copied, but it’s primarily you.
It resists manipulation. Like DNA, it’s unique.
Elevated diction and specialized themes can help you change your style. Even mimicking authors with more obvious styles won’t make you a better writer.
Some freelancers claim they can control their styles, changing as tasks need, but this is a contrivance, not a change in personal style. Be authentic. Better writing is easy.
How Do You Know If A Piece Of Creative Writing Is Good?
First of all, it’s important to realize that there is no set definition of what a “good” piece of creative writing looks like.
Creative writing is, as the name suggests, a way to use your imagination to make something unique to you. It doesn’t fit into a single category, so there will never be a single word to describe the “perfect” piece.
Just think about the differences between a Gothic short story and a great Romantic poem. They are so different that it wouldn’t be unfair to judge them together.
But even so, there are a few general rules you can follow to make your creative writing as good as it can be by making it as real and true to you as possible.
As a new writer, these 5 rules will help you create exceptional stories.
Know Your Audience
All great stories start with a target audience in mind because you need to know who you’re writing for to really tailor your writing and connect with them.
So, any creative writer should plan out exactly who they want to read their work before they start writing.
Once you know this, your writing will naturally start to take shape and flow in a way that makes sense to your readers.
Craft Stories Around What You Know
Often, the best stories are ones that we can connect to and relate to in some way. Or, they are stories that seem so real that you might think the writer wrote them about his or her own life.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to write about your life exactly, but you can use what you know about different parts of your life to make your story more relatable and believable.
Creativity Is Key
One of the most important parts of creative writing is creativity. It’s what makes you different from other writers in your genre.
This doesn’t mean you have to write a story about a completely mythical world full of strange creatures. Instead, just use your imagination to think a little outside the box and give things a unique twist.
Use literary devices like metaphors, alliteration, and different sentence structure to make your work unique and interesting.
Use Your Imagination
One of the best things about creative writing is that there are no rules about “how” to write. It’s a much more subjective genre that depends a lot on how you see things.
So, you should use all of your creativity to see what the end result could be. Some of the most interesting works of literature make us think or make us question the writing or the world around us.
Where could your story take us?
Plan A Loose Story Arc
Even though creative writing has few rules, it’s still a good idea to plan a loose story arc for any piece of writing you make.
Story arcs are important because they give your writing direction and purpose. They also help you write the whole piece at a good pace without wasting time or writing “waffle.”
If you follow your story arc, your writing will have a strong structure, pace, and direction, which will keep your readers more interested.
Creative writing is a literary genre that encourages you as an author to express yourself through personal experience and insight into a topic or theme.
It breaks all the rules of other styles of writing because it is based only on the reader’s tastes and experiences.
If you want to start a career in creative writing, you should immerse yourself as much as possible in the literary world by reading widely and writing frequently.