3 Tips For Creative Writers

Writer’s block is one of the many curses we, as writers, have to face. Even if we have deadlines to meet and a long list of ideas to write about, writer’s block finds a way to creep up on us. There’s only so many breaks you can take from sitting at your laptop or your old fashioned notebook before you suddenly come up with the inspiration to write. If you’re a writer who is tired of reading and rereading your own words because they just don’t sound the way you want them to, take a look at the following tips.

  1. Use vivid language and sensory details. Readers want to experience your writing first hand. They want to jump into the pages and see, hear, feel, smell, and even taste the things your protagonist is experiencing. The five senses are your key to writing an awesome story. Use sensory language to paint a picture that your readers can visualize. For example, instead of saying your main character “walked downstairs and smelt breakfast,” say "as your character walked down the creaking stairs, your character smelt warm blueberry pancakes.” If you’re writing creative nonfiction, try to recall real, true details. What did the setting look like? Smell like? Were there any unusual sounds? Being more specific in sensory details is precise and lifelike. Vivid details can also be found in figurative language such as similes and metaphors. Including that the cat in your story is “as black as coal” is a detail your readers will remember. 
  2. Do your research. Researching and understanding the topics, places, and experiences you chose to write about is probably the most essential part to making a story good. If your character lives in a city, state, or country that you’ve never even been to, you may not know all the details of the culture and lifestyle in the location of your choosing. Life in New York City is very different from life in San Francisco. If your story is about a completely fictional place with fictional creatures, you might still want to do some research on how other fiction writers, specifically those in the science-fiction and horror genres, use characterization and setting to their advantage. Research can come in different forms, depending on what kind of writer you are. It can be reading a long list of novels in the genre you are trying to write, and it can be reading scientific studies published in academic journals. Research can even be done through your own observations. People-watching and, dare I say, eavesdropping are both great ways to learn more about other people, cultures, and lifestyles.
  3. Read your work out loud. This one may be a little awkward, but once you get over the fact that you’re talking to yourself, you’ll realize that reading your work out loud is the perfect editing trick. When you read in your head, your eyes often skip over typos and misspellings. However, when you’re forced to read the words you’ve written aloud, your eyes catch any mistakes that need some editing. It also helps you hear how other people will read your work, and if you don’t like the way the words sound, you can make all the edits you need to. If you feel comfortable enough, read your work to someone you trust. They can also tell you if you need to work on syntax and word choice.

I personally do all three of these steps when I write any kind of piece. Whether it’s an article, a fiction piece, or segments of the memoir I tell myself I’ll publish one day, these tips push me up the hill to get over my writer’s block. Next time you’re working on a piece of writing, try practicing these three strategies to improve your work.