Six tips for the creative writer

By Katherine Stairs |

All throughout my high school years, I was in creative writing. These classes were the best out my entire schedule, but it did have its downfalls.  So here are six tips I wish I knew while I was in Creative Writing.

1. Always have an idea of where your narrative is going.

If you don’t, then a story will take you everywhere you probably do not want it to go. Take it from me, I was writing a novella during my freshman year of high school and then the plot started to become sidetrackedSo if you want to tell a good story, never let it fly off the rails. It’s when you don’t exactly know the ending but just know where the story will go next so it’s not a hot mess.

2. Be yourself on the page, whether it is a personal essay or fiction.

Feel free to let your ideas flow on the page. Just make sure you go back and edit so the story isn’t everywhere. Don’t take harsh criticism to heart. Learn from it and grow from it. And if it’s not good advice, don’t listen to it. Who says you have to follow every critique you’re given? If you like something, keep it the way it is or just look for a better way to write what you were meaning.

3. Do not copy someone else’s idea.

I know having your own take on a matter can seem harmless. But most copied ideas usually have the same exact plot as the one being copied from. It’s not good to do and it burns a bridge with the writer you copied. I’ve seen it happen before with a story with the same exact idea, it just had different phrasing. Don’t be that person.

4. Cut yourself some slack.

Don’t be too self-critical of your writing. Let your ideas out on the page before judging it. Don’t write one sentence and say you hate it. You won’t get anywhere with the idea by doing that. Just write out what you want to say and fix it later. Don’t downplay your potential. You can do great things if you spill your thoughts out on the page and edit later. Have others help you if that makes you feel better too. Don’t put yourself down for rough drafts.

5. Branch out and try to write in different styles.

In a creative writing class, my teacher told us a story of how she knew a lady who only fed her children lima beans. Because of this, the kids did not care for any other vegetable. Don’t be like this woman; write in as many different ways as possible. It might be difficult at first but it’s the best way to help craft and develop your own voice and style when you craft poetry or prose.

6. Let no one keep you from speaking what you believe.

Writing is all about being yourself and using your own voice. If you don’t think something is right, write an essay about it. Don’t agree with someone’s opinion? Write about how you feel. If you don’t like a movie, write about it. Don’t let anything stop you from sharing how you feel through writing. Writing, when done well, can be impactful. Don’t forget your opinions matter too. Share your thoughts with everyone with words. They are definitely more powerful than fists.

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