8 Elements of Effective Creative Writing (The Art of the Craft)

~ 4-minute read

January is International Creativity Month, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to discuss the basic, but crucial, aspects of creative writing. The Art of the Craft article series will go in-depth into the various elements and techniques that go into crafting a work of creative writing. From novel writing to poetry, The Word Count will cover it all!

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What is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is the act of using your power of storytelling to create literary productions or compositions in an imaginative and original way. Creative writing is the artistic expression of a lens through which to view the world, a message conveyed through an inventive tale.

What Counts as Creative Writing?

Any work which uses imagery, drama, and narrative to communicate to an audience is considered creative writing. Examples include poems, short stories, novels, scripts, screenplays, and creative nonfiction.

What are the 8 Main Elements of Creative Writing?

1.) Voice

Voice refers to the unique style and way a writer expresses oneself on the page. This is similar to how you can recognize someone through the nuances of their personality. A successful creative piece will have a natural, clear, and consistent voice.

2.) Tone

The tone of a creative work is the attitude that the writer showcases toward what they are sharing in the story.

3.) Style

Style is the deliberate way in which writers choose words and place them together to craft the story.

4.) Characters

Characters are the people, animals, inanimate objects, or natural forces, etc. whose actions carry the story forward. The crucial act of developing characters takes time and consideration. Creative writers must know their characters in precise detail to effectively develop a connection with their audience.

5.) Plot

The sequence of incidents that befall characters in a story is known as the plot. The plot of creative works includes elements, such as suspense-building and conflict that guide the characters throughout the story.

6.) Point of View

Point of View (POV) refers to the perspective that the narrator has on the characters and the events transpiring in the story.

7.) Setting

The setting of a creative work is the place and time period in which the characters dwell and the story takes place.

8.) Theme

Theme is the underlying meaning of a creative story, the important statement that the writer aims to share with their audience.

How Do I Get Started Writing my Book?

Step 1: Make Time to Write
This is the most important, but oftentimes forgotten, rule of being a writer of any kind. You need to make consistent time in your schedule to write. Not only will this help you develop a stronger sense of commitment, but over time it will train your brain so you can get into “writer mode” even quicker during your writing sessions.

Step 2: Get Ideas for Writing
Just as it is crucial for a creative writer to make time to write, so is it important for them to set aside time to observe the world, and comb through the story ideas that pop up along the way.

Step 3: Write Aurally and Visually
Even well-written works can become dull and dry without dialogue, interactions, and details that bring them to life! Be thorough when researching genres, setting details, cultures, etc.

Step 4: Draw from your Experiences
Besides researching, you can look back at your experiences for ways to bring a character, their dialogue, or the overall story to life.

Step 5: Read
One of the best ways to grow as a writer is to explore what others in your genre are doing and understand the specific aspects of what you like or dislike in what you see.

International Creativity Month is a time to embrace your creative muse. If you were looking for a sign to pursue creative writing, here it is. Don’t wait for the perfect time or the right level of confidence to embark on the journey.

As a good friend once told me, “Anything worth doing is worth doing it scared.”

If you are unsure or anxious at the prospect of being a creative writer, The Word Count is here to help guide you because every word counts.

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