How Creative Writing Has Changed the World for the Better

by Julia McCoy | Aug 3, 2015 | Storytelling

How Creative Writing Has Changed the World for the Better

From Chaucer to Rowling, creative writing has often been the boon to our stressful, busy world.

It started as a way to maintain folklore tradition and tell us tales of knights in shining armor who brought whole countries together ( King Arthur ).

Excalibur! Forged when the world was young, and bird and beast and flower were one with man...

“Excalibur! Forged when the world was young, and bird and beast and flower were one with man…”  Excalibur (1981)

But creative writing has now become an absolutely powerful force for good. We see the wisdom of Gandalf and Baggins ( Lord of the Rings )…

"You asked me to find the fourteenth member of this company and I have chosen Mr. Baggins."

“You asked me to find the fourteenth member of this company and I have chosen Mr. Baggins.”

…The humor of Bridget Jones, and the horror that only Stephen King ( The Shining) can produce.

Whether you read or write a high fantasy novel or an epic crime drama, there will be an amazing impact. Creative writers of all types have brought about amazing results for the world and all they did was grab the nearest pen, typewriter, or computer and got down to writing.

I want to take a look at just how powerful creative writing has been for our society and just how it has changed the world for the better.

7 Amazing Instances of Creative Writing Impacting the World

Creative writing has been a huge part of making the world a better place. Here are some awesome instances of just how powerful it is.

1. It Captured Oral Tradition Giving Us Amazing Stories to Look Back At. When you think of creative writing, one of the first things many think of is the stories of the Brothers Grimm. They are dark and full of terrors, but those stories are also incredible for many reasons.

One reason these stories are so immensely powerful isn’t just because they provided us with great fairy tales that influenced our popular films, but they also captured history.

The Brothers Grimm traveled around, learning some of the popular folklore that was told in one way and one way only – orally. We all know how much impact those stories had (just look at all the Disney films we have).

A real fairy tale...

Preserved in time by the talents of a pen…

What would have happened if the Brothers Grimm hadn’t stored these stories? What would the world look like now? What a fascinating, and slightly terrifying thought to think. By writing down these creative folk stories, the Brothers Grimm opened a whole new world of creative possibility.

 2.  Creative Writing Has Shown Immense Power in Physical Health. When the Brothers Grimm popularized creative literature, they probably didn’t realize what this would mean for the world.

A huge impact that all creative writing has had, no matter its age, genre, or format, is that of improving physical and mental health. There are so many amazing health benefits when you read creative literature, and that is a pretty awesome impact if you ask me.

When you write creatively , you can see some health benefits such as the ability to improve your memory and have a great format to release pent up emotions.

Reading creative literature also gives you immense health benefits including better cognition, relieving stress, and helping you sleep. That’s right, if you have a hard time sleeping, reading a good book might just be what you need.

The great thing about this is that creative writing and literature doesn’t have to be one type of thing – it can be anything. It can be a comic book, a science fiction novel, the latest study, or a great nonfiction book.

3. A Simple Novella Can be a Letter to a Loved One. Another way that creative writing has made the world a better place is actually something rather small. But, as well all know, those small things add up to something major in the end.

Neil Gaiman is an amazing author with an impressive range of works including The Ocean at the End of the Lane . While this seems like a jaunt into urban fantasy, there is something much deeper. This story started out as a simple, small letter to his soon-to-be-wife, Amanda Palmer.

He wanted to make sure she knew things about him, and he wanted to share his life with her, and creative writing was what helped him achieve this. It ended up turning into an absolutely gorgeous novella, but his small action was something Amanda greatly appreciated.

It might not have made a worldwide impact, but a small gesture through creative writing can change someone’s world for the better. And Amanda experienced something that many of us would absolutely enjoy.

4. Creative Writing Might Send You to San Francisco with Flowers in Your Hair. When you look at the world of creative writing, there are so many facets. There are books, ad campaigns, music, and more.

The 1960s and 1970s were a powerful decade when it came to moving and emotional creative writing. The United States was at war with Viet Nam, with protestors calling for peace. America and the entire world were also on the cusp of major social change.

And music and creative writing had an important role to play.

We had songs about peace, encouraging people to avoid war and work together to meet a resolution without the shedding of blood. People marched singing these songs, hung around in large groups with these songs, and many were backdrops to some of the most intense and saddest moments in American history.

Not only did we have songs about peace, but we also had songs about racial problems around the world but specifically in America. We had books such as To Kill a Mockingbird that highlighted these problems and a speech no one will ever forget :

“I have a dream…”

5. Fiction and Creative Writing Help Create Literate Children and Adults. I’ll admit, when it comes to creative writing and literature, my go-to author is Neil Gaiman. He has great wisdom about creative writing and its importance and he often illustrates that importance himself.

In an article for The Guardian , Neil talks about the importance of creative writing, specifically that of fiction. He points out how fiction can improve someone’s life, no matter if they are reading to escape, learn, or have fun.

He believes, and rightly so, that with literature, we open the door to a healthy society as well as a more literate culture. Did you know that New York City gauged the prison growth rate off of the amount of 10 and 11-year-olds that couldn’t read?

Now, what does that say about the need for literacy? Quite a bit.

While Neil does point out that a literate society does not equal a crime-free one, there is an immense impact of literature, bettering the world.

Creative writing and reading gives people the chance to formulate their opinions and to learn about other views. There are many things a person can learn just by reading and fiction has long had an amazing impact on many readers.

6. Creative Writing Provides Powerful Ads that Cannot Be Ignored. Powerful creativity isn’t just something you see in books and music but is also amazingly powerful in the ad world.

On September 11th, 2001, America saw one of the worst terrorist attacks on their soil and the world felt the immense grief radiating out from New York City, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania. People everywhere were making tributes to the fallen on that day, and there was one particular ad that brought everyone to tears.

Budweiser paid a gorgeous tribute to those who died that day with a Super Bowl ad that only ran for a brief time.

The lovely America, captured in the Budweiser 9/11 tribute ad.

The lovely America, captured in the Budweiser 9/11 tribute ad.

Advertising has done more than just paying tribute; they’ve raised awareness for issues, focused on social change , and worked to bring people together.

One such ad is a Spanish advertisement that only children could fully see . It sent out a message that if a child was being abused, he or she could reach out.

This was met with a fanfare of those who thought it was great and criticism from those who didn’t know if it would work. Regardless, it was still a great, powerful ad.

7. A Simple Children’s Story Can be Immensely Complex. What do I mean with those contradicting words? Easy – Harry Potter, when looked at on the surface, is a simple children’s story, it has all the elements.

The talents of J.K. Rowling.

The talents of J.K. Rowling.

However, it is also immensely complex. Rowling dealt with many issues that children’s literature often didn’t, which could be a major reason why so many adults read it.

This series impacted the world amazingly by giving people something positive in a dark time. And it also brought about something great – literacy.

It inspired so many children to read, especially those who weren’t big readers. It brought about a love for reading, which really did impact the world for the better.

In addition, a 2003 article from the University of North Texas pointed out that it also helped create discussion between children and adults.

Never Be Afraid to Read and Write What You Want

Creative writing really has had an immense impact on the world, changing it for the better, hasn’t it? No matter what it is you are reading or writing, know that it is exactly what you need.

It might get you through a hard time in your life, encourage you to try new things, and if you’re a business owner, help you bring in new clients.

Creative writing is just another thing Express Writers offers, and our team can help you get something epic and creative that people will definitely enjoy.

Photo credits: The Telegraph (King Arthur), John Howe (Lord of the Rings), Goodreads (book cover, Grimm), Marshall.edu (Harry Potter book cover)

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Writing can improve mental health – here’s how

what effect does creative writing have

Creative Writing Lecturer, Cardiff Metropolitan University

Disclosure statement

Christina Thatcher does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Cardiff Metropolitan University provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK.

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The image shows an open notebook, and a person holding a cup of coffee in one hand and pen in the other, ready to start writing.

Ernest Hemingway famously said that writers should “write hard and clear about what hurts” . Although Hemingway may not have known it at the time, research has now shown that writing about “what hurts” can help improve our mental health .

There are more than 200 studies that show the positive effect of writing on mental health. But while the psychological benefits are consistent for many people, researchers don’t completely agree on why or how writing helps.

One theory suggests that bottling up emotions can lead to psychological distress . It stands to reason, then, that writing might increase mental health because it offers a safe, confidential and free way to disclose emotions that were previously bottled up .

However, recent studies have begun to show how an increase in self-awareness , rather than simply disclosing emotions, could be the key to these improvements in mental health.

In essence, self-awareness is being able to turn your attention inward towards the self . By turning our attention inward, we can become more aware of our traits, behaviour, feelings, beliefs, values and motivations.

Research suggests that becoming more self-aware can be beneficial in a variety of ways. It can increase our confidence and encourage us to be more accepting of others . It can lead to higher job satisfaction and push us to become more effective leaders . It can also help us to exercise more self-control and make better decisions aligned with our long-term goals.

Self-awareness is a spectrum and, with practice, we can all improve. Writing might be particularly helpful in increasing self-awareness because it can be practised daily . Rereading our writing can also give us a deeper insight into our thoughts, feelings, behaviour and beliefs.

Here are three types of writing which can improve your self-awareness and, in turn, your mental health:

Expressive writing

Expressive writing is often used in therapeutic settings where people are asked to write about their thoughts and feelings related to a stressful life event. This type of writing aims to help emotionally process something difficult .

Research shows that expressive writing can enhance self-awareness , ultimately decreasing depressive symptoms , anxious thoughts and perceived stress .

Reflective writing

Reflective writing is regularly used in professional settings, often as a way to help nurses, doctors, teachers, psychologists and social workers become more effective at their jobs . Reflective writing aims to give people a way to assess their beliefs and actions explicitly for learning and development.

Woman pauses to look out the window while she writes in a notebook.

Writing reflectively requires a person to ask themselves questions and continuously be open, curious and analytical. It can increase self-awareness by helping people learn from their experiences and interactions. This can improve professional and personal relationships as well as work performance, which are key indicators of good mental health .

  • Creative writing

Poems, short stories, novellas and novels are all considered forms of creative writing. Usually, creative writing employs the imagination as well as, or instead of, memory, and uses literary devices like imagery and metaphor to convey meaning.

Writing creatively offers a unique way to explore thoughts, feelings, ideas and beliefs. For instance, you could write a science fiction novel that represents your concerns about climate change or a children’s story that speaks to your beliefs about friendship. You could even write a poem from the perspective of an owl as a way to represent your insomnia.

Writing creatively about challenging experiences, like grief , can also offer a way to communicate to others something which you feel is too complicated or difficult to say directly.

Creative writing encourages people to choose their words, metaphors and images in a way that really captures what they’re trying to convey. This creative decision-making can lead to increased self-awareness and self-esteem as well as improved mental health .

Writing for self-awareness

Self-awareness is a key component for good mental health and writing is a great place to start.

Why not take some time to write down your feelings about a particularly stressful event that has happened during the pandemic? Or reflect on a difficult work situation from the last year and consider what you have learned from it?

If you prefer to do something more creative, then try responding to this prompt by writing a poem or story:

Think about the ways your home reveals the moment we are currently in. Is your pantry packed with flour? Do you have new objects or pets in your home to stave off loneliness or boredom? What you can see from your window that reveals something about this historic moment?

Each of these writing prompts will give you a chance to reflect on this past year, ask yourself important questions, and make creative choices. Spending just 15 minutes doing this may give you an opportunity to become more self-aware – which could lead to improvements in your mental health.

  • Mental health
  • Self-awareness

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Creative Writing: What It Is and Why It Matters

By: Author Paul Jenkins

Posted on Published: January 13, 2023  - Last updated: January 15, 2023

Categories Writing

Writing can be intimidating for many people, but creative writing doesn’t have to be. Creative writing is a form of self-expression that allows writers to create stories, characters, and unique settings. But what exactly is creative writing? And why is it important in today’s society? Let’s explore this further.

How We Define Creative Writing

Creative writing is any form where writers can express their thoughts and feelings imaginatively. This type of writing allows authors to draw on their imagination when creating stories and characters and play with language and structure. While there are no boundaries in creative writing, most pieces will contain dialogue, description, and narrative elements.

The Importance of Creative Writing

Creative writing is important because:

  • It helps us express ourselves in ways we may not be able to do with other forms of communication.
  • It allows us to explore our creativity and think outside the box.
  • It can help us better understand our emotions by exploring them through storytelling or poetry.
  • Writing creatively can also provide much-needed escapism from everyday life, allowing us to escape into a world of our creation.
  • Creative writing helps us connect with others by sharing our experiences through stories or poems they can relate to. This way, we can gain insight into other people’s lives while giving them insight into ours.

Creative Writing: A Path to Mental and Emotional Wellness

Writing is more than just a way to express your thoughts on paper. It’s a powerful tool that can be used as a form of therapy. Creative writing has been shown to improve emotional and mental well-being.

Through creative writing, we can gain insight into our emotions, develop self-expression and communication skills, cultivate empathy and understanding of others, and boost our imagination and creativity.

Let’s examine how creative writing can relieve stress and emotional catharsis.

Stress Relief and Emotional Catharsis

Writing has the power to reduce stress levels significantly. Writing about our experiences or about things that are causing us anxiety or distress helps us to release those complicated feelings constructively. By expressing ourselves through creative writing, we can work through the emotions associated with stressful situations without having to confront them directly.

This is especially helpful for people who struggle to share their emotions verbally or in person.

Improved Communication and Self-Expression

Creative writing is also beneficial for improving communication skills. Through creative writing, we can explore our thoughts and feelings more intensely than by speaking them aloud. This allows us to think more clearly about what we want to say before actually saying it out loud or in written form, which leads to improved self-expression overall.

Additionally, writing out our thoughts before speaking aloud allows us to articulate ourselves better when communicating with others—which is essential for healthy personal and professional relationships.

Increased Empathy and Understanding of Others

Through creative writing, we can also increase our empathy towards others by exploring different perspectives on various topics that may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable for us—such as racism, homophobia, sexism, etc.—and allowing ourselves the opportunity to see the situation from someone else’s point of view without judgment or bias. This helps us become better communicators and more understanding individuals overall.

The Professional Benefits of Creative Writing

Creative writing is a powerful tool that can help you communicate better and more effectively in the professional world. It can also help you develop various skills that prove invaluable in many industries. Whether you’re looking to build your résumé or improve your communication, creative writing can effectively achieve both.

Let’s take a closer look at how creative writing can benefit your career.

Preparing Students for Careers in Writing, Editing, and Publishing

Creative writing is the perfect foundation for anyone interested in pursuing a career in writing, editing, or publishing. It teaches students the basics of grammar and composition while allowing them to express their ideas in imaginative ways.

Creative writing classes also allow students to learn from professionals who have experience as editors, agents, and publishers. They can use this knowledge to learn creative writing, refine their craft and gain valuable experience before entering the job market.

Improving Skills in Storytelling and Marketing for Various Careers

Creative writing teaches students to think critically about stories and craft compelling narratives that draw readers in. This skill is precious for those who wish to pursue careers outside traditional writing roles—such as marketing or advertising—where storytelling is key.

People who understand the fundamentals of creative writing will be able to create persuasive copy that resonates with readers and effectively conveys a message.

Enhancing Team Collaboration and Leadership Skills

Creative writing isn’t just about expressing yourself through words; it also provides an opportunity to practice working collaboratively with others on projects. Many creative writing classes require students to work together on group projects, which helps them develop essential teamwork skills such as communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.

As they work together on these projects, they will also gain confidence in their ability to lead teams effectively—an invaluable asset no matter what industry they pursue after graduation.

Uncovering the Power of Creative Writing

Creative writing has become an increasingly powerful force in shaping our society. Creative writing has many uses, from preserving cultural heritage to promoting social change.

Preserving Cultural Heritage with Creative Writing

Creative writing has long been used to preserve and share cultural heritage stories. This is done through fictional stories or poetry that explore a particular culture or group’s history, values, and beliefs. By weaving these stories in an engaging way, writers can bring a culture’s history and traditions to life for readers worldwide. This helps bridge cultural gaps by providing insight into what makes each culture unique.

Promoting Social Change & Activism with Creative Writing

Creative writing can also be used for activism and social change. Writers can craft stories that help promote awareness about important issues such as poverty, race relations, gender equality, climate change, and more.

With the power of words, writers can inspire readers to take action on these issues and work towards creating positive change in their communities.

Through creative writing, writers can raise awareness about important topics while fostering empathy toward individuals who may be facing difficult or challenging situations.

Fostering Creativity & Innovation with Creative Writing

Finally, creative writing can foster creativity and innovation in various fields. For example, businesses can use creative copywriting techniques to create compelling content that captures the attention of customers or potential investors.

Aspiring entrepreneurs can use storytelling techniques when pitching their ideas or products to potential partners or investors to make their cases more persuasive and memorable.

By harnessing the power of words through creative writing techniques, businesses can create content that resonates with their target audience while inspiring them to take action on whatever message they’re trying to convey. It often aids the overall creative process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of creative writing.

Creative writing has many benefits, both for the writer and the reader. For the writer, it can be therapeutic, helping them to explore their emotions and better understand themselves. It can also be used as entertainment or communication, allowing them to share their ideas with the world. For the reader, creative writing can provide enjoyment, escapism, and insights into the human condition.

How can I improve my creative writing skills?

There are several ways you can improve your creative writing skills. Firstly, make sure you allow yourself time to write regularly. Use a writing prompt to inspire a short story. Secondly, read as much as you can; great writers are also great readers. Thirdly, experiment with different styles and genres to find one that suits you best. Fourthly, join a writers’ group, writing workshop, or creative writing program to get feedback from other writers. Finally, keep a journal to track your progress and reflect on your work as a creative writer.

What is the importance of imagery in creative writing?

Imagery is an important element of creative writing, as it helps to create a more vivid picture for the reader. By using sensory and descriptive language, writers can transport readers into their stories and help them relate to their characters or themes. Imagery can bring a scene alive with detail and evoke emotion by helping readers create strong visual images in their minds. Furthermore, imagery can help make stories more memorable by giving readers a deeper connection with the characters or setting.

What are the elements of creative writing?

The elements of creative writing include plot, character, dialogue, setting, theme, and point of view. The plot is the structure or main storyline, while the character is the personage involved in this story. Dialogue includes conversations between characters to give insight into their emotions and relationships. Setting refers to the place or time in which a story takes place, while theme explores deeper meanings behind a story’s narrative. Finally, point of view defines how readers experience a story through first-person or third-person omniscient narration.

What’s the difference between creative writing and other types of writing?

The main difference between creative writing and other types of writing is that it allows the writer to create their own story, characters, settings, and themes. Creative writing also encourages writers to be inventive with their style and use descriptive language to evoke emotion or bring stories alive in readers’ minds. Other academic or technical writing types typically involve more research-based information and are usually more objective in their presentation. Additionally, most forms of non-creative writing will have stricter rules regarding grammar, structure, and syntax.

What is the golden rule of creative writing?

The golden rule of creative writing is to show, not tell. It’s the core creative writing skill. When it comes to creative writing, it’s essential to use descriptive language that immerses readers in the story and allows them to experience the events through their emotions and imaginations. This can be done through metaphors, similes, sensory language, and vivid imagery.

How important is creativity in writing?

Creativity is essential in writing as it allows writers to craft a unique story and evoke emotion from the reader. Creativity can bring stories alive with fresh perspectives and exciting plot lines while creating an escape for readers and giving them more profound insights into the human condition. Writers who combine creativity with technical aspects such as grammar, structure, language usage, and flow will create pieces that capture their audience’s attention and provide an enjoyable reading experience.

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How creative writing can increase students’ resilience, students can find strength and community in sharing their stories through writing..

Many of my seventh-grade students do not arrive at school ready to learn. Their families often face financial hardship and live in cramped quarters, which makes it difficult to focus on homework. The responsibility for cooking and taking care of younger siblings while parents work often falls on these twelve year olds’ small shoulders. Domestic violence and abuse are also not uncommon.

To help traumatized students overcome their personal and academic challenges, one of our first jobs as teachers is to build a sense of community. We need to communicate that we care and that we welcome them into the classroom just as they are. One of the best ways I’ve found to connect with my students, while also nurturing their reading and writing skills, is through creative writing.

For the past three years, I’ve invited students in my English Language Development (ELD) classes to observe their thoughts, sit with their emotions, and offer themselves and each other compassion through writing and sharing about their struggles. Creating a safe, respectful environment in which students’ stories matter invites the disengaged, the hopeless, and the numb to open up. Students realize that nobody is perfect and nobody’s life is perfect. In this kind of classroom community, they can take the necessary risks in order to learn, and they become more resilient when they stumble.

Fostering a growth mindset

what effect does creative writing have

One of the ways students can boost their academic performance and develop resilience is by building a growth mindset. Carol Dweck, Stanford University professor of psychology and author of the book Mindset , explains that people with a growth mindset focus on learning from mistakes and welcoming challenges rather than thinking they’re doomed to be dumb or unskillful. A growth mindset goes hand in hand with self-compassion: recognizing that everyone struggles and treating ourselves with kindness when we trip up.

One exercise I find very useful is to have students write a story about a time when they persevered when faced with a challenge—in class, sports, or a relationship. Some of the themes students explore include finally solving math problems, learning how to defend themselves, or having difficult conversations with parents.

I primed the pump by telling my students about something I struggled with—feeling left behind in staff meetings as my colleagues clicked their way through various computer applications. I confided that PowerPoint and Google Slides—tools (one might assume) that any teacher worth a paperweight has mastered—still eluded me. By admitting my deficiency to my students, asking for their help, and choosing to see the opportunity to remedy it every day in the classroom, I aimed to level the playing field with them. They may have been reading three or four grade levels behind, but they could slap a PowerPoint presentation together in their sleep.

For students, sharing their own stories of bravery, resilience, and determination brings these qualities to the forefront of their minds and helps solidify the belief that underlies a growth mindset: I can improve and grow . We know from research in neuroplasticity that when students take baby steps to achieve a goal and take pride in their accomplishments, they change their brains, growing new neural networks and fortifying existing ones. Neurons in the brain release the feel-good chemical dopamine, which plays a major role in motivating behavior toward rewards.

After writing about a few different personal topics, students choose one they want to publish on the bulletin boards at the back of the classroom. They learn to include the juicy details of their stories (who, what, when, where, why, and how), and they get help from their peers, who ask follow-up questions to prompt them to include more information. This peer editing builds their resilience in more ways than one—they make connections with each other by learning about each other’s lives, and they feel empowered by lending a hand.

In my experience, students are motivated to do this assignment because it helps them feel that their personal stories and emotions truly matter, despite how their other academics are going. One student named Alejandro chose to reflect on basketball and the persistence and time it took him to learn:

Hoops By Alejandro Gonzalez Being good takes time. One time my sister took me to a park and I saw people playing basketball. I noticed how good they were and decided I wanted to be like them. Still I told my sister that basketball looked hard and that I thought I couldn’t do it. She said,“You could do it if you tried. You’ll get the hang of it.” My dad bought me a backboard and hoop to play with. I was really happy, but the ball wasn’t making it in. Every time I got home from school, I would go straight to the backyard to play. I did that almost every day until little by little I was getting the hang of it. I also played with my friends. Every day after lunch we would meet at the basketball court to have a game. … I learned that you need to be patient and to practice a lot to get the hang of things. With a little bit of practice, patience, and hard work, anything is possible.

Originally, Alejandro wasn’t sure why he was in school and often lacked the motivation to learn. But writing about something he was passionate about and recalling the steps that led to his success reminded him of the determination and perseverance he had demonstrated in the past, nurturing a positive view of himself. It gave him a renewed sense of investment in learning English and eventually helped him succeed in his ELD class, as well.

Maintaining a hopeful outlook

Another way to build resilience in the face of external challenges is to shore up our inner reserves of hope —and I’ve found that poetry can serve as inspiration for this.

For the writing portion of the lesson, I invite students to “get inside” poems by replicating the underlying structure and trying their hand at writing their own verses. I create poem templates, where students fill in relevant blanks with their own ideas. 

One poem I like to share is “So Much Happiness” by Naomi Shihab Nye. Its lines “Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house / and now live over a quarry of noise and dust / cannot make you unhappy” remind us that, despite the unpleasant events that occur in our lives, it’s our choice whether to allow them to interfere with our happiness. The speaker, who “love[s] even the floor which needs to be swept, the soiled linens, and scratched records,” has a persistently sunny outlook.

It’s unrealistic for students who hear gunshots at night to be bubbling over with happiness the next morning. Still, the routine of the school day and the sense of community—jokes with friends, a shared bag of hot chips for breakfast, and a creative outlet—do bolster these kids. They have an unmistakable drive to keep going, a life force that may even burn brighter because they take nothing for granted—not even the breath in their bodies, life itself. 

Itzayana was one of those students who, due to the adversity in her life, seemed too old for her years. She rarely smiled and started the school year with a defiant approach to me and school in general, cursing frequently in the classroom. Itzayana’s version of “So Much Happiness” hinted at some of the challenges I had suspected she had in her home life:

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness. Even the fact that you once heard your family laughing and now hear them yelling at each other cannot make you unhappy. Everything has a life of its own, it too could wake up filled with possibilities of tamales and horchata and love even scrubbing the floor, washing dishes, and cleaning your room. Since there is no place large enough to contain so much happiness, help people in need, help your family, and take care of yourself.   —Itzayana C.

Her ending lines, “Since there is no place large enough to contain so much happiness, / help people in need, help your family, and take care of yourself,” showed her growing awareness of the need for self-care as she continued to support her family and others around her. This is a clear sign of her developing resilience.

Poetry is packed with emotion, and writing their own poems allows students to grapple with their own often-turbulent inner lives. One student commented on the process, saying, “By writing poems, I’ve learned to be calm and patient, especially when I get mad about something dumb.” Another student showed pride in having her writing published; she reflected, “I feel good because other kids can use it for calming down when they’re angry.”

To ease students into the creative process, sometimes we also write poems together as a class. We brainstorm lines to include, inviting the silly as well as the poignant and creating something that represents our community.

Practicing kindness

Besides offering my students new ways of thinking about themselves, I also invite them to take kind actions toward themselves and others.

In the music video for “Give a Little Love” by Noah and the Whale, one young African American boy—who witnesses bullying at school and neglect in his neighborhood —decides to take positive action and whitewash a wall of graffiti. Throughout the video, people witness others’ random acts of kindness, and then go on to do their own bit.

“My love is my whole being / And I’ve shared what I could,” the lyrics say—a reminder that our actions speak louder than our words and do have an incredible impact. The final refrain in the song—“Well if you are (what you love) / And you do (what you love) /...What you share with the world is what it keeps of you”—urges the students to contribute in a positive way to the classroom, the school campus, and their larger community.

After watching the video, I ask students to reflect upon what kind of community they would like to be part of and what makes them feel safe at school. They write their answers—for example, not being laughed at by their peers and being listened to—on Post-it notes. These notes are used to create classroom rules. This activity sends a message early on that we are co-creating our communal experience together. Students also write their own versions of the lyrics, reflecting on different things you can give and receive—like kindness, peace, love, and ice cream.

Reaping the benefits

To see how creative writing impacts students, I invite them to rate their resilience through a self-compassion survey at the start of the school year and again in the spring. Last year, two-thirds of students surveyed increased in self-compassion; Alejandro grew his self-compassion by 20 percent. The program seems to work at developing their reading and writing skills, as well: At the middle of the school year, 40 percent of my students moved up to the next level of ELD, compared to 20 percent the previous year. 

As a teacher, my goal is to meet students where they’re at and learn about their whole lives. Through creative writing activities, we create a community of compassionate and expressive learners who bear witness to the impact of trauma in each others’ experiences and together build resilience.

As a symbol of community and strength, I had a poster in my classroom of a boat at sea with hundreds of refugees standing shoulder to shoulder looking skyward. It’s a hauntingly beautiful image of our ability to risk it all for a better life, as many of my ELD students do. Recognizing our common humanity and being able to share about our struggles not only leads to some beautiful writing, but also some brave hearts.

About the Author

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Laura Bean, M.F.A. , executive director of Mindful Literacy, consults with school communities to implement mindfulness and creative writing programs. She has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and presented a mindful writing workshop at Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth Conference in San Diego in 2016.

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Creative Primer

What is Creative Writing? A Key Piece of the Writer’s Toolbox

Brooks Manley

As we delve into the world of writing, it becomes apparent that not all writing is the same. One form that stands out due to its unique approach and focus on imagination is creative writing. This section will explore the question, “ what is creative writing ” and highlight its key characteristics.

Definition of Creative Writing

Creative writing is a form of writing that extends beyond the bounds of regular professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature. It is characterized by its emphasis on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes or poetic techniques to express ideas in an original and imaginative way.

Creative writing can take on various forms such as poetry, novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, and more. It’s a way for writers to express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas in a creative, often symbolic, way. It’s about using the power of words to transport readers into a world created by the writer.

Key Characteristics of Creative Writing

Creative writing is marked by several defining characteristics, each working to create a distinct form of expression:

1. Imagination and Creativity: Creative writing is all about harnessing one’s creativity and imagination to create an engaging and compelling piece of work. It allows writers to explore different scenarios, characters, and worlds that may not exist in reality.

2. Emotional Engagement: Creative writing often evokes strong emotions in the reader. It aims to make the reader feel something — whether it’s happiness, sorrow, excitement, or fear.

3. Originality: Creative writing values originality. It’s about presenting familiar things in new ways or exploring ideas that are less conventional.

4. Use of Literary Devices: Creative writing frequently employs literary devices such as metaphors, similes, personification, and others to enrich the text and convey meanings in a more subtle, layered manner.

5. Focus on Aesthetics: The beauty of language and the way words flow together is important in creative writing. The aim is to create a piece that’s not just interesting to read, but also beautiful to hear when read aloud.

Remember, creative writing is not just about producing a work of art. It’s also a means of self-expression and a way to share one’s perspective with the world. Whether you’re considering it as a hobby or contemplating a career in it, understanding the nature and characteristics of creative writing can help you hone your skills and create more engaging pieces. For more insights into creative writing, check out our articles on creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree and is a degree in creative writing worth it .

Styles of Creative Writing

To fully understand creative writing , one must be aware of the various styles involved. Creative writing explores a multitude of genres, each with its own unique characteristics and techniques. The styles we’ll explore in this section are poetry , short stories , novels , screenplays , and plays .

Poetry is a form of creative writing that uses expressive language to evoke emotions and ideas. Poets often employ rhythm, rhyme, and other poetic devices to create pieces that are deeply personal and impactful. Poems can vary greatly in length, style, and subject matter, making this a versatile and dynamic form of creative writing.

Short Stories

Short stories are another common style of creative writing. These are brief narratives that typically revolve around a single event or idea. Despite their length, short stories can provide a powerful punch, using precise language and tight narrative structures to convey a complete story in a limited space.

Novels represent a longer form of narrative creative writing. They usually involve complex plots, multiple characters, and various themes. Writing a novel requires a significant investment of time and effort; however, the result can be a rich and immersive reading experience.

Screenplays

Screenplays are written works intended for the screen, be it television, film, or online platforms. They require a specific format, incorporating dialogue and visual descriptions to guide the production process. Screenwriters must also consider the practical aspects of filmmaking, making this an intricate and specialized form of creative writing. For those interested in this style, understanding creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree can provide useful insights.

Writing for the theater is another specialized form of creative writing. Plays, like screenplays, combine dialogue and action, but they also require an understanding of the unique dynamics of the theatrical stage. Playwrights must think about the live audience and the physical space of the theater when crafting their works.

Each of these styles offers unique opportunities for creativity and expression. Whether you’re drawn to the concise power of poetry, the detailed storytelling of novels, or the visual language of screenplays and plays, there’s a form of creative writing that will suit your artistic voice. The key is to explore, experiment, and find the style that resonates with you. For those looking to spark their creativity, our article on creative writing prompts offers a wealth of ideas to get you started.

Importance of Creative Writing

Understanding what is creative writing involves recognizing its value and significance. Engaging in creative writing can provide numerous benefits, including developing creativity and imagination , enhancing communication skills , and exploring emotions and ideas .

Developing Creativity and Imagination

Creative writing serves as a fertile ground for nurturing creativity and imagination. It encourages individuals to think outside the box, explore different perspectives, and create unique and original content. This can lead to improved problem-solving skills and a broader worldview, both of which can be beneficial in various aspects of life.

Through creative writing, one can build entire worlds, create characters, and weave complex narratives, all of which are products of a creative mind and vivid imagination. This can be especially beneficial for those seeking creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree .

Enhancing Communication Skills

Creative writing can also play a crucial role in honing communication skills. It demands clarity, precision, and a strong command of language. This helps to improve vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, making it easier to express thoughts and ideas effectively.

Moreover, creative writing encourages empathy as writers often need to portray a variety of characters from different backgrounds and perspectives. This can lead to a better understanding of people and improved interpersonal communication skills.

Exploring Emotions and Ideas

One of the most profound aspects of creative writing is its ability to provide a safe space for exploring emotions and ideas. It serves as an outlet for thoughts and feelings, allowing writers to express themselves in ways that might not be possible in everyday conversation.

Writing can be therapeutic, helping individuals process complex emotions, navigate difficult life events, and gain insight into their own experiences and perceptions. It can also be a means of self-discovery, helping writers to understand themselves and the world around them better.

In conclusion, the importance of creative writing extends beyond the realm of literature and academia. It fosters creativity, enhances communication skills, and provides a platform for self-expression and exploration. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, the benefits of creative writing are vast and varied. For those interested in developing their creative writing skills, check out our articles on creative writing prompts and how to teach creative writing . If you’re considering a career in this field, you might find our article on is a degree in creative writing worth it helpful.

Steps to Start Creative Writing

Creative writing can seem daunting to beginners, but with the right approach, anyone can start their journey into this creative field. Here are some steps to help you start with creative writing .

Finding Inspiration

The first step in creative writing is finding inspiration . Inspiration can come from anywhere and anything. Observe the world around you, listen to conversations, explore different cultures, and delve into various topics of interest.

Reading widely can also be a significant source of inspiration. Read different types of books, articles, and blogs. Discover what resonates with you and sparks your imagination.

For structured creative prompts, visit our list of creative writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing.

Planning Your Piece

Once you have an idea, the next step is to plan your piece . Start by outlining the main points, characters, settings, and plot. This can serve as a roadmap to guide your writing process.

Remember, a plan doesn’t have to be rigid. It’s a flexible guideline that can be adjusted as you delve deeper into your writing. The primary purpose is to provide direction and prevent writer’s block.

Writing Your First Draft

After planning your piece, you can start writing your first draft . This is where you give life to your ideas and breathe life into your characters.

Don’t worry about making it perfect in the first go. The first draft is about getting your ideas down on paper. You can always refine and polish your work later.

And if you don’t have a great place to write that first draft, consider a journal for writing .

Editing and Revising Your Work

The final step in the creative writing process is editing and revising your work . This is where you fine-tune your piece, correct grammatical errors, and improve sentence structure and flow.

Editing is also an opportunity to enhance your storytelling. You can add more descriptive details, develop your characters further, and make sure your plot is engaging and coherent.

Remember, writing is a craft that improves with practice. Don’t be discouraged if your first few pieces don’t meet your expectations. Keep writing, keep learning, and most importantly, enjoy the creative process.

For more insights on creative writing, check out our articles on how to teach creative writing or creative writing activities for kids.

Tips to Improve Creative Writing Skills

Understanding what is creative writing is the first step. But how can one improve their creative writing skills? Here are some tips that can help.

Reading Widely

Reading is a vital part of becoming a better writer. By immersing oneself in a variety of genres, styles, and authors, one can gain a richer understanding of language and storytelling techniques. Different authors have unique voices and methods of telling stories, which can serve as inspiration for your own work. So, read widely and frequently!

Practicing Regularly

Like any skill, creative writing improves with practice. Consistently writing — whether it be daily, weekly, or monthly — helps develop your writing style and voice. Using creative writing prompts can be a fun way to stimulate your imagination and get the words flowing.

Attending Writing Workshops and Courses

Formal education such as workshops and courses can offer structured learning and expert guidance. These can provide invaluable insights into the world of creative writing, from understanding plot development to character creation. If you’re wondering is a degree in creative writing worth it, these classes can also give you a taste of what studying creative writing at a higher level might look like.

Joining Writing Groups and Communities

Being part of a writing community can provide motivation, constructive feedback, and a sense of camaraderie. These groups often hold regular meetings where members share their work and give each other feedback. Plus, it’s a great way to connect with others who share your passion for writing.

Seeking Feedback on Your Work

Feedback is a crucial part of improving as a writer. It offers a fresh perspective on your work, highlighting areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. Whether it’s from a writing group, a mentor, or even friends and family, constructive criticism can help refine your writing.

Remember, becoming a proficient writer takes time and patience. So, don’t be discouraged by initial challenges. Keep writing, keep learning, and most importantly, keep enjoying the process. Who knows, your passion for creative writing might even lead to creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree . Happy writing!

Brooks Manley

Brooks Manley

what effect does creative writing have

Creative Primer  is a resource on all things journaling, creativity, and productivity. We’ll help you produce better ideas, get more done, and live a more effective life.

My name is Brooks. I do a ton of journaling, like to think I’m a creative (jury’s out), and spend a lot of time thinking about productivity. I hope these resources and product recommendations serve you well. Reach out if you ever want to chat or let me know about a journal I need to check out!

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The Benefits of Creative Writing

Nanowrimo , blog.

what effect does creative writing have

To some, creative writing is a fun hobby that has little benefit, and can in fact serve as a time sink wherein nothing is accomplished other than words being spewed onto a page. To others, creative writing is a vital way of expressing oneself. It can be difficult to say which group is correct, but there are some definitive benefits to engaging in creative writing.

One of the first benefits is that it helps to develop creative problem solving skills. Creative writing is an exercise in solving problems, either for the characters within the story or for the author themselves. Characters within stories need to be navigated through a series of difficulties, and if the problems take place in the real world, then the solutions must also be real-world solutions. If the problem is a literal dragon that needs slaying, there’s somewhat less need for it to mimic a real-world solution, since that’s not typically a problem that we have. By navigating fictional characters through difficult times in their lives, either emotionally or financially, writers can learn how to handle those problems in the real world as well, without the stress of trying to figure it out when they’re already in the middle of the situation.

Another benefit of creative writing, particularly if the writer is involved in a formal class or writing group, is that it gives the writer experience in both taking and giving constructive criticism. The first time someone hears that there’s something wrong with their writing can be difficult, but over time, it does get easier. Trust me. I’ve had my fair share of critical remarks, and I’d like to think I’ve gotten better about responding to them. I no longer cry and throw things, so that’s a definite bonus. Taking criticism well is a vital skill, especially in the workplace, because employers often have feedback for their employees that might not necessarily be what the employee wants to hear. Giving criticism that is also constructive is another incredibly valuable skill. If someone believes they are just being torn down, they will not listen to a piece of criticism that might genuinely be designed to help. For this reason, it is important to understand that there are ways to provide tips for improvement without ripping someone’s work apart. Working in a workshop or a creative writing class will help improve these skills.

Creative writing helps to build vocabulary. Do you know how many types of swords there are? I don’t either, actually, but I know many of them. Do you know how many ways there are to say mean? Well, there’s mean, of course, but there are also words like malevolent and malicious and cruel, which all help to paint a more accurate picture of whatever it is that the writer is trying to portray. Once the writer knows these words, they aren’t likely to ever be forgotten. At the very least, the next time the writer is trying to describe someone as mean, they might remember that there are two other, more impressive sounding words that start with ‘m’ that might be used to describe said person.

Creative writing helps to improve outlining skills, which are vital for any kind of large project. Without an outline, creative writers might find themselves bogged down in details they didn’t intend to get lost in, or might lose track of vital plot threads that they’ll need to remember for later in this story. This is also true for any kind of large project, whether it be academic or professional. Presentations made without an outline in place can meander and get lost in themselves, making them difficult to understand or follow. For this reason, outlining is a good skill to pursue, and can be learned or improved upon through the use of creative writing.

One of the most subjective benefits to pursuing creative writing is the way that it can benefit the writer’s emotional well-being. I was skeptical about this one for a long time, because I love writing, but found it to be more stressful than anything else when I did indulge in writing. However, I have found that as I’ve adopted a regular writing schedule and have stuck to it, my mood has begun to improve greatly. I have had friends tell me that I’m happier now, and I do genuinely feel it. But I’m definitely willing to acknowledge that the same might not be true for other people

Creative writing is incredibly beneficial to burgeoning writers, and to students of all kinds. It requires effort, yes, but the more effort someone puts into it, the more likely they are to reap the benefits of it.

27 March, 2017 by McDaniel College Writing Center

Jenni Ogden Ph.D.

  • Neuroscience

Creative Writing and Your Brain

The mind works in mysterious ways when it is creating a fictional story..

Posted April 15, 2013

Books in our brains

Is there a creative writer who hasn’t at times wondered what it is that impels thousands of people to spend thousands of hours thinking about and writing made-up stories, that at best will be read by thousands of people who have got nothing better to do than read made-up stories! Is there some evolutionary imperative that has moulded our minds to seek stories? Even Steven Pinker, the cognitive scientist and author of "How the Mind Works" --such a wonderful title-- who controversially suggests that music confers no survival advantage and describes it as “auditory cheesecake” (p. 534), submits that fiction can, like gossip, be biologically adaptive. “Fictional narratives supply us with a mental catalogue of the fatal conundrums we might face someday and the outcome of strategies we could deploy in them.” (p. 543.) Perhaps for writers of fiction the truth of this is even greater. But what does this mean for the mind? Does it suggest we have special systems in our brains that have evolved for the purpose of creating stories that might some day be useful in our real lives? And why is it that some people are better at making up stories than others, and if they are, are they therefore better prepared for whatever life throws at them?

In her book, "The Mystery of the Cleaning Lady", Australian novelist and creative writing teacher, Sue Woolfe, explores these questions in such an honest and personal way that I almost felt as if I were sitting in the room listening to her deepest thoughts. As a neuropsychologist, I often find myself cringing when I read fiction involving, for example, a character who has suffered a stroke, where some of the neurology facts are blatantly wrong. But this didn’t happen with Sue’s book, and I quickly became engrossed, finding myself reading it as a fledgling fiction writer, not as a neuroscientist .

Sue began writing the book as part of her doctoral thesis in creative writing, but this is no dry treatise. She takes her reader through her long, often tortuous process of completing her 2003 novel, "The Secret Cure", in itself a novel about the wonders of the creative human mind, all the while weaving in and out of neuroscience findings and theories that might explain some of her creative processes and how they can so often become blocked. In "The Secret Cure" Sue put herself inside the head of an unusual young man who had been isolated from the real world for almost 20 years because of his severe stutter (a cruel disability that used to be much more common, and was recently brought into the spotlight by the phenomenal success of the Oscar-winning film, "The King’s Speech".) The reader of "The Secret Cure" would be excused for thinking that Sue Woolfe must herself have worked in a research laboratory and have an inside knowledge of autistic disorders, so real was her writing. In her non-fiction writing memoir, "The Mystery of the Cleaning Lady: A writer looks at creativity and neuroscience", she takes us back there, showing us how her creative process soared and stumbled and soared again as she immersed herself in the imaginary world of her laboratory cleaning lady by spending time in a real laboratory and listening and observing and taking notes. When she found she could not write, she asked herself “what does a fiction writer do to her mind to create fiction, and was I doing something wrong that jeopardised my own work?”(p. 44.)

I, like most contemporary neuroscientists, tend to assume that everyone understands that the mind is a product of the brain. As Sue discovered, some neuroscientists like Antonio Damasio explain this further by pointing out that the brain, by itself, would have no mind. It requires the cooperation of the body in order to think and feel. It is this interaction between the brain and the body that causes the mind. In return, our feelings may seem to come from the body, and the body is modified by our thoughts and the brain by our actions. Sue gives many examples of writers who, like her, feel that their creative thoughts are somatic, and come from the belly, or the fingers, rather than from the brain (which in fact has no sensations of its own). As she tells us about her everyday, often painful, journey of creating her novel, she muses, comments, and analyses her creative process. Delving into neuroscience research on creativity, she reports and explains her discoveries in ways that made sense to me as a neuroscientist, but also made sense to me as a creative writer.

Sue begins a novel by writing numerous seemingly unrelated fragments, a process most productive when she is in an almost trancelike state she refers to as “loose construing” where attention is defocused rather than focused, logical thought is slowed, judgement and anticipation put on hold, and new elements can be allowed in without seeming incongruent, almost reminiscent of the dream state. Shaping the story from these fragments comes much later, probably involving more “tight construing” where logic and structure have a place. Only at the end do themes finally emerge. Another interesting idea Sue discusses is Damasio’s hypothesis that we have body reactions or “somatic markers” that imbue certain thoughts with emotional states, making them repugnant, and focuses us on thoughts that are more acceptable. This got her thinking about the constraints an avoidance of unacceptable thoughts can place on a writer. She decided that in order to enter the psyche of a character whose values and experiences were far removed from her own, she must allow herself through “loose construing” to think like her character, however unthinkable those thoughts might be. She learned that she must free her mind to work in its mysterious way to create a rich story; rich with more meanings than she ever consciously thought up.

In the end, Sue came to the conclusion that neuroscience does not yet know how the mind works when it comes to creating complex and rich stories that, from the writer’s point of view -- at least during those precious peak times of creation -- almost seem to write themselves. Rather like the process of writing a novel, the theme or deeper truth – how the mind works to create a story --may only appear after a much longer journey as we pull together the many fragments that neuroscience research throws up. For her readers, Sue has translated her discoveries of fragments of the mystery of creating stories into a writing book that is different, and a far cry from a writing manual. It is a pleasure to read and provides much food for thought and new strategies to try in those times when writing that book seems the worst idea you ever had.

For myself as a baby boomer neuropsychologist, and a writer of fiction as well as narrative non-fiction, I am convinced that creative writing is one of the best exercises we can do for the aging brain. The folklore, somewhat supported by research data, is that in most right-handed people, right brain (called the right hemisphere) thinking is more creative and holistic, and left hemisphere thinking more logical and linear. The right hemisphere is better at seeing the world from a broader perspective and may be better at visual imagery, and the left hemisphere is definitely dominant for language. But to believe the rhetoric of folk psychologists who claim that they can teach you how to draw or become more creative by using your right hemisphere is probably unwise. The brain is more like a great symphony orchestra where every part works in concert with the whole. Sure, occasionally the violins might soar above the rest, but even then they rely on the background of the orchestra as a beautifully coordinated entity to give them their full meaning. In the healthy brain, everything we do involves the right and left hemispheres of the brain working together, and creative writing must be one of the clearest examples of this. Our language comes primarily from the left hemisphere and perhaps our images – the visual ones at least -- come more from the right hemisphere. Very likely the “loose construing” Sue discusses is more a right hemisphere activity and the “tight construing” later needed to put the story together is more of a left hemisphere activity. But in both types of thinking and in all stages of writing that story, my guess is that both hemispheres are fully on-line. Reading fiction and narrative non-fiction also indisputably engages both sides of the brain, at least if the reader is engaged in the story.

The joy of this for a “baby boomer” writer or reader is that these pleasurable activities could almost certainly be added to the intellectual and physical exercises that slow down the brain’s aging process most often experienced by the forgetting of names and words and where you put the car keys – or the car! Neuroscience research is only at the beginning of proving the importance of ongoing intellectual activity for the brain – the “use it or lose it” idea -- but there is already some good evidence for this. From my personal experience, an entirely uncontrolled experiment, it seems that although I frequently can’t remember a word when in casual conversation, when I am writing this happens far less often. Perhaps this is because the brain is so fired up or primed for finding words when a writer is deeply focused on writing. Multiple word and image connections are firing, and thus the right word is more likely to pop up when it is needed. There is certainly evidence for this type of priming in memory studies.

A cynic may point out that for baby boomers who are way past their child-bearing years, getting your imagination working and activating your understanding of language by writing or reading fiction or creative non-fiction cannot be directly biologically adaptive. But if grandparents are important in the upbringing of their grandchildren – and we share 25% of our genes with each of our grandchildren, so their survival is biologically of utmost importance to us -- then remaining switched on for as long as possible can certainly be viewed as socially adaptive. And for all of us who love stories, who cares anyway? The pleasure is enough for us.

Jenni Ogden Ph.D.

Jenni Ogden, Ph.D. , clinical neuropsychologist and author of Trouble in Mind, taught at the University of Auckland.

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The Science of Writing

research-based best practices for writing instruction

what effect does creative writing have

The role of creativity in the writing process

Creativity plays a crucial role in the writing process. It is the driving force behind originality, imagination, and the ability to produce engaging and impactful written work.

Students and creativity in writing go hand in hand. Writing is not only a fundamental skill but also a means of self-expression and exploration of ideas. Nurturing creativity in writing can significantly enhance a student’s ability to communicate effectively and develop their unique voice. Here are some ways to encourage creativity in student writing:

  • Provide freedom and choice: Allow students to choose their topics or writing prompts. When given the freedom to explore their interests, students are more likely to tap into their creativity and produce unique and engaging pieces.
  • Foster a supportive environment: Create a classroom atmosphere that encourages risk-taking and values creativity. Establish an open dialogue where students feel comfortable sharing their ideas without fear of judgment. Encourage peer feedback and constructive criticism to help students refine their work.
  • Incorporate different writing styles and genres: Introduce students to various writing styles and genres, such as poetry, short stories, persuasive essays, and creative nonfiction. Exposing them to different forms of writing expands their horizons and allows them to experiment with different techniques.
  • Use visual aids and prompts: Visual aids, such as images, paintings, or videos, can serve as excellent prompts for writing. Encourage students to observe and reflect on visual stimuli and let their imagination take over as they create narratives or descriptions inspired by the visuals.
  • Emphasize the revision process: Teach students that writing is an iterative process. Encourage them to revise and refine their work, focusing on aspects like structure, word choice, and clarity. Emphasize that creativity can be nurtured through revisiting and reimagining their initial ideas.
  • Encourage reading: Reading is an essential component of developing strong writing skills. Encourage students to read widely and expose them to different literary styles and voices. Reading can inspire their creativity and provide them with a broader understanding of storytelling techniques.
  • Incorporate collaborative writing activities: Collaborative writing activities, such as group storytelling or shared writing exercises, can foster creativity by encouraging students to build on each other’s ideas. Collaboration helps students see different perspectives and learn from their peers’ creativity.
  • Provide time for unstructured writing: Dedicate class time for free writing sessions where students can explore their thoughts and ideas without constraints. This unstructured writing time allows them to tap into their creativity and develop a habit of expressing themselves freely.
  • Celebrate and showcase student work: Recognize and celebrate students’ creative writing achievements. Share their work with the class, display it on bulletin boards, or create a class anthology. Public recognition and validation of their creativity can inspire students to continue exploring their writing talents.

Remember, each student is unique, and their creative processes may differ. Encourage individuality and personal expression while providing guidance and support along the way. By fostering creativity in writing, you empower students to develop their voices, think critically, and communicate effectively in a variety of contexts.

Pressto helps students write across a range of subjects and interests and produce their own digital essays or pages, or printable zines.

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neurons firing in the brain.

How the subconscious mind shapes creative writing

Authors who improvise, like John Boyne, and those who meticulously pre-plan like Michelle Paver, all seem to benefit from thoughts they don’t know they’re having

Do you remember those plastic slide puzzles you used to get in party bags? They were made up of a three by three grid with eight tiles and a blank square – the missing tile allowing you to move the others around.

This nine-grid puzzle was the central image behind the story of Mark Haddon’s The Red House – although, bizarrely, he didn’t know it when he wrote the book.

“I was being interviewed by Claire Armitstead at the Edinburgh Books Festival when she said that when she read the book she kept thinking about those tile puzzles,” wrote Haddon on his blog after the interview.

“I felt a lurch, because before writing The Red House I’d given up on a novel called The Missing Square, the central image of which was one of those tile puzzles, and whose organising conceit was that certain absences may make a world imperfect, but they enable that world to change and generate new meanings. I suddenly realised this image had remained a model for the central structure of The Red House, which is a story about the eight remaining members of a family and a ninth member – a stillborn daughter – who is still having a profound effect on the family despite, or because of, her absence.”

This hidden structure enabled Haddon to plot and plan his novel around a central theme without even realising it. Unusual, but perhaps not unheard of, this got me thinking: how many other novelists have plotted their books subconsciously?

Perhaps another subconscious plotter is John Boyne, who wrote the first draft of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in just three days and is known for writing without planning. I caught up with him to see how much of his writing he puts down to hidden thoughts.

The Boy In Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

“I think a lot of my writing comes from the subconscious. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was an unusual writing experience – no sleep for three days and constant writing. I wouldn’t normally do that. Nowadays, when I write I start with an idea for a scene or a character and just see where it takes me.”

Like Haddon, Boyne finds some unconscious thoughts reveal themselves in the plot. “Sometimes when you’re mining your thoughts for ideas you realise you’ve been thinking about a particular story for a while. And then you start writing sections that you’re not sure why are in the text – but later on in the writing the subplot reveals itself.”

Boyne also admits he doesn’t know where the story is going to go when he starts writing. “I never know the ending of my books. The more you write [without planning] the better you get at it and the more interesting the work becomes.”

So, if the improvising writers see hidden plots emerge in their work, what about life’s planners? Take Michelle Paver , a former City lawyer turned author, who likes to plan her books in stages. When I spoke to Paver, she agreed this hidden logic can reveal itself while writing.

“Even if you plan your book, the actual writing is unplanned. All stories come from the subconscious – which is why it doesn’t make sense to over-plan. And it’s only once you get on the ground with the characters that you think ‘Oh hang on a second he’s not going to want to do that’ and you have to change your plot. So I’m constantly being surprised and finding unplanned things – because the writing is a process of experiencing things on the ground with the characters.”

A bit of planning is good, and it can test the strength of your story, but don’t treat it like a blueprint, says Paver. “I always imagine it like a whole load of plates spinning, and you’ve got the plan, the research and the plot, and you’ve got to kind of keep them spinning and constantly moving between one and the other.”

So it seems both those that plan, and those that don’t, acknowledge the role of the subconscious in their work. How much then of what authors pen is truly unstructured? And how much is the result of subconscious planning? As with those plastic slide puzzles, although the author has an image of the final objective, this picture is not always available as the story unfolds.

So is the writing truly spontaneous? It could be argued that all writers have a master plan for their work - some of them just don’t know it.

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The benefits of creative writing

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As you learn to clarify your thoughts and emotions more efficiently and accurately, through creative writing, you will communicate more effectively; a skill that’s exceedingly important in all areas of life.

Practising creative writing is about a lot more than just improving your grammar, spelling and vocabulary; it will allow you to develop your own unique voice and share your perspective without limitations, expressing how you feel about the worlds inside and outside of your head. When you engage in creative writing you’re stimulating your imagination and thinking outside the box, which teaches you how to think more innovatively and push boundaries. Both are valuable skills.

Creating a pretend universe will often mean assembling personalities, emotions, and places that might be totally alien to your own life experiences. This is an effective way to build on your capacity to feel empathy and understanding for people who may have had very different life experiences to your own. Your perspectives and philosophies can be mirrored or explored by your characters or their setting. With practise you’ll find yourself becoming more comfortable in asserting your opinions and values in real life.

Expressive writing can bring a range of mental, emotional, and physical health benefits.

If you engage with creative writing when you’re dealing with difficult emotions, it can help you explore why you’re feeling what you’re feeling, allowing a direct insight to your mindset. It’s an opportunity to work through whatever discomfort we’re experiencing so we can get back to whatever we want to achieve today; a healthy way to alleviate the negative thoughts and emotions we experience on a day-to-day basis.

Of course, creative writing exercises can also expand your vocabulary and provide a better understanding of the mechanics of the written word. You’ll learn to distinguish when grammar works and when it doesn’t. With practise, your writing will flow better for the reader.

According to clinical psychologist Karen A.Baikie and psychiatrist Kay Wilhelm, writing creatively about traumatic, stressful or emotional events has been found to improve both physical and psychological health. In a clinical trial, participants who wrote about difficult life events for 20 minutes, on a handful of occasions, had significantly better physical and psychological outcomes compared to those who wrote about neutral topics. Baikie and Wilhelm concluded that expressive writing has real potential as a therapeutic tool for survivors of trauma and in mental health treatment settings.

By Grant J Everett, Panorama magazine

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The Impact of Creative Writing

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Ashley Phonthibsvads , Writer September 29, 2017

Creative writing is a fun and creative way to express yourself. But how does it impact students? Some people stress about writing a good, interesting piece, while others can write pages in 10 minutes.

“Many students have huge imaginations and ideas, but they don’t know what know how to use it. Creative Writing allows students to place their imagination and ideas on paper,” said Casey Kula, a leader of the Writing Club, which meets in room C126 on Wednesdays.

“I think it does benefit students. Creative writing can also be a challenge at times. These challenges will keep students engaged in learning about writing and improve their writing skills as well as problem solving,” said Michelle Le Roy, a member of the Writing Club.

Gracie Poehlman, a senior and another member of the Writing Club, said, “It expands minds and fosters collaboration. Forcing students to think outside the box now on a simple narrative will lead to more innovative solutions to the challenges that students face in college and at their jobs.”

Expressive writing has also been linked to improved mood, well-being, and reduced stress levels for those who do it regularly. Writing creatively is also seen as therapeutic; even blogs can help. Laziness with words creates difficulty in describing feelings, sharing experiences, and communicating with others, but creative writing helps improve one’s word choice and enhances clarity, according to Help Scout.

Michelle Le Roy said, “During English things like research papers are pushed a lot. But I, as a student, have written research papers many times and quite understand the process and what it takes to do so. This technical writing is fine and good. But how will students know how to creatively incorporate interesting things into their stories? Like writing a short story with complex themes woven into it. In English one analyzes works of literature, but when do students apply these studies into actual works? I think English classes should encourage creative writing more.”

How could more assignments in English classes that involve writing creatively impact students learning? If English classes involved more creative writing in their classes, it will keep the students’ interest, according to Gracie Poehlman, who added, “[Creative writing] keeps students interested and engaged as they learn specific concepts.”

Also, according to Cassie Volkin, “It can help students learn how to take criticism and view their work critically. You should take pride in your work, but it’s equally important to be open to suggestions and improvements.” Many people struggle to take suggestions to improve their work. 

If students do not have room in their schedules, they can always attend Writing Club or just submit their poems and stories to The Eclectic, the school’s literary and arts magazine, for publication.

So can creative writing impact students? The answer is yes! Besides, it’s fun to come up with a story. 

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Is Screenwriting Creative Writing? Unveiling the Art of Crafting Compelling Narratives in 2023

In the vast realm of writing, two captivating forms often spark curiosity: screenwriting and creative writing. While both involve crafting compelling narratives, the big question is: Is screenwriting creative writing?

In this article, we will dive deep into the world of screenwriting, exploring its relationship with creative writing, the key components of successful screenplays, essential techniques, and tips for aspiring screenwriters.

Table of Contents

Introduction

When it comes to the art of storytelling, few mediums captivate the audience as powerfully as screenwriting. The allure of cinema and television lies in the ability to convey stories through visuals, dialogue, and emotions.

Screenwriting is a specialized form of writing that demands creativity, skill, and attention to detail. But is screenwriting considered creative writing? The answer to that is YES but there’s a catch to it.

Without wasting too much time, let’s embark on a journey to unravel exactly what that catch is and in the process find out the magic behind crafting captivating narratives that leave a lasting impression on audiences.

Understanding Screenwriting and Creative Writing

Before we proceed, let’s clarify what screenwriting and creative writing actually mean.

What is Screenwriting?

Screenwriting is the art of writing scripts for films, television shows, documentaries, and other visual media . Screenwriters use their creativity and storytelling skills to craft compelling narratives, memorable characters, and engaging dialogues.

A screenplay serves as the blueprint for a movie, outlining the scenes, actions, and dialogue that will come to life on the screen .

Screenwriting is much more than merely describing what the audience sees on the screen; it is about engaging the audience emotionally and intellectually.

A skilled screenwriter can take a simple concept and transform it into a gripping story that captivates the viewers from start to finish. They have the power to transport us to different worlds , make us laugh , cry , and ponder the complexities of life .

What is Creative Writing?

Creative writing , on the other hand, is a broader term that encompasses various forms of imaginative expression, including novels, short stories, poetry, and plays. It allows writers to explore the vast landscape of their imagination, creating worlds, characters, and emotions that resonate with readers.

Creative writing offers a boundless playground for writers to experiment with words, imagery, and themes. It enables them to delve into the depths of human emotions , paint vivid scenes with descriptive language , and challenge conventional perspectives .

Through creative writing, writers can become architects of their own universes, constructing tales that take readers on extraordinary journeys.

The Art of Screenwriting

Screenwriting is more than just putting words on paper; it involves mastering the art of visual storytelling.

Structure and Format

A well-crafted screenplay follows a specific structure, with acts and plot points that drive the story forward. The three-act structure is a common framework used by screenwriters to create a cohesive narrative that captivates the audience.

In the first act, the setup, the main characters and their motivations are introduced, and the central conflict is established. The second act, also known as the confrontation, builds tension and presents challenges for the characters to overcome. Finally, the third act, the resolution, brings the story to its climax and provides a satisfying conclusion.

In addition to structure, proper formatting is crucial in screenwriting to ensure clarity and ease of reading for directors, producers , and actors. Industry-standard screenplay formatting includes elements like scene headings , action lines , and character names in uppercase, making the script easy to interpret and translate onto the screen.

Character Development

Compelling characters are the heart of any great screenplay. A skilled screenwriter invests time in developing multi-dimensional characters with distinct personalities, motivations, and arcs.

As viewers, we become emotionally invested in the story when we can relate to the characters or find them intriguing. Complex characters with flaws and virtues can evoke empathy, making us root for their success or transformation throughout the narrative.

Dialogue and Narration

Dialogue in a screenplay should be crisp, authentic, and reflective of each character’s voice. It drives the plot, reveals emotions, and adds depth to the narrative. Well-crafted dialogue can be both impactful and revealing, allowing the characters to communicate their thoughts, feelings, and intentions effectively.

Narration is also essential in screenwriting, guiding the reader through the visual elements and helping them envision the scenes as they unfold. Narration sets the tone and atmosphere of the story , giving the audience a sense of the mood and ambiance.

The Essence of Creative Writing

Creative writing allows writers to explore the depths of their imagination and create unique literary works.

Exploring Imagination

In creative writing, there are no limits to where your imagination can take you. Writers can craft fantastical worlds, and futuristic societies, or delve into the past to tell historical tales. It is a canvas where creativity knows no boundaries.

The beauty of creative writing lies in its ability to transport readers to places they have never been and allow them to experience life through the eyes of diverse characters. By tapping into the vast reservoirs of imagination, writers can create narratives that ignite curiosity and wonder.

Crafting Unique Narratives

A key aspect of creative writing is the ability to spin original and captivating narratives. Whether it’s a mystery, romance, or adventure, writers have the freedom to innovate and surprise their readers with fresh perspectives.

One of the most exciting challenges for creative writers is to offer a unique twist on familiar themes. This creativity allows them to break new ground, challenge conventional norms, and create stories that resonate deeply with readers.

Evoking Emotions

Words have the power to evoke a wide range of emotions, and creative writers wield this power to transport readers to a world of feelings. From joy and laughter to heartache and tears, skilled writers can make readers feel deeply connected to their stories.

Emotional resonance is what separates a memorable piece of creative writing from a forgettable one. By tapping into universal emotions, creative writers can forge bonds with their readers, creating experiences that leave a lasting impact.

Similarities Between Screenwriting and Creative Writing

While screenwriting and creative writing may seem distinct, they share several common elements.

Storytelling

At their core, both screenwriting and creative writing revolve around storytelling. Both forms aim to capture the audience’s attention, take them on a journey, and leave a lasting impact.

Storytelling is an innate human characteristic, dating back to ancient civilizations when stories were shared orally around campfires. Today, the mediums have evolved, but the essence remains unchanged—crafting narratives that resonate with audiences.

Impact on the Audience

Both screenplays and creative works can leave a profound impact on their audience. They have the potential to entertain , educate , provoke thought , and even spark social change .

Powerful stories have the capacity to elicit strong emotions and prompt introspection. They can challenge our beliefs, broaden our perspectives, and create empathy for characters and situations we may not have encountered otherwise.

Key Differences Between Screenwriting and Creative Writing

Despite their similarities, screenwriting and creative writing have fundamental differences that set them apart.

Medium of Expression

The most apparent difference lies in the medium of expression. Screenwriting is primarily meant for visual consumption, while creative writing caters to the reader’s imagination.

Screenwriting, as the name suggests, is tailored for the screen. The words written by the screenwriter are brought to life through a collaborative effort involving directors, actors, cinematographers, and various other professionals in the filmmaking process.

On the other hand, creative writing relies solely on the written word to convey the narrative. It is up to the reader’s imagination to visualize the scenes and characters described by the writer.

Visual Elements

Screenplays rely on visual cues , describing scenes , actions , and camera angles to guide filmmakers in bringing the story to life. The screenwriter must think visually and consider how their words will translate into compelling visuals on the screen. Effective use of visual elements is crucial in screenwriting to create a vivid and immersive experience for the audience.

In contrast, creative writing relies on descriptive language to stimulate the reader’s imagination. Creative writers paint pictures with words, using metaphors, similes, and vivid imagery to craft a mental landscape that readers can explore within their minds.

While screenwriting utilizes visual storytelling to convey the narrative, creative writing focuses on evoking emotions and sparking the reader’s imagination through the written word.

Collaboration

Screenwriting often involves collaboration with directors, producers , and actors to realize the vision of the script on screen. The process of turning a screenplay into a film or TV show requires teamwork and the expertise of various professionals in the film industry.

Screenwriters must be open to feedback and willing to adapt their scripts to fit the vision of the director and producers. The collaborative nature of screenwriting requires effective communication and a willingness to work as part of a team to bring the story to life.

In contrast, creative writing is a more solitary endeavor. Creative writers typically work alone, immersing themselves in their craft and giving life to their ideas without the need for immediate collaboration.

While both screenwriting and creative writing requires creativity and imagination, the process of bringing a screenplay to the screen involves working with a team of professionals , while creative writing allows for individual artistic expression.

Is Screenwriting Creative Writing?

It is essential to recognize that screenwriting is indeed a form of creative writing . Though the medium and some technical aspects differ, the core essence of creativity and storytelling remains the same.

Screenwriters are storytellers who use their creativity to craft engaging narratives, and they have a profound impact on the entertainment industry. They are the architects of the stories that captivate audiences on the big and small screens.

Similarly, creative writers transport readers to new worlds, immerse them in captivating narratives, and evoke emotions through their words. Whether it’s a novel, poem, or play, creative writing allows writers to explore the depths of human experiences and emotions.

Both screenwriting and creative writing share the common goal of connecting with audiences on an emotional level, leaving a lasting impression through the power of storytelling.

Becoming a Screenwriter and Creative Writer

If you aspire to become a screenwriter or a creative writer, there are certain steps you can take to embark on this exciting journey.

Learning the Craft

To become proficient in screenwriting or creative writing, it is crucial to study the craft and learn from established writers and industry experts. Joining workshops, taking online courses , and reading books on writing can significantly enhance your skills.

In the digital age, numerous resources are available to aspiring writers. Websites, blogs, and online communities offer valuable insights, writing prompts, and tips to hone your writing abilities.

Finding Inspiration

Inspiration can strike from anywhere – a conversation, a fleeting thought, or a breathtaking view. As a writer, be receptive to your surroundings and embrace the endless possibilities for storytelling.

Traveling, reading diverse genres, observing people, and exploring different cultures can all provide valuable inspiration for creating compelling narratives.

Embracing Feedback

Receiving feedback on your writing can be intimidating, but it is a vital part of growth. Embrace constructive criticism, learn from it, and use it to refine your work.

Joining writing groups or sharing your work with beta readers can provide valuable feedback from different perspectives, helping you identify strengths and areas for improvement in your writing.

The Role of Technology in Screenwriting and Creative Writing

Technology has revolutionized both screenwriting and creative writing, providing tools that streamline the process and enhance creativity.

Screenwriting Software

Modern screenwriters rely on specialized software designed for script formatting and organization. Popular screenwriting software like Final Draft and Celtx helps writers focus on their creativity, leaving the technicalities to the program.

These software tools come with pre-built templates, auto-formatting options, and collaboration features that make the screenwriting process more efficient and collaborative.

Digital Platforms for Creative Writers

For creative writers, digital platforms offer a means to share their work with a global audience. Online platforms like Wattpad and Medium enable writers to publish their stories and connect with readers worldwide.

These platforms democratize creative writing, allowing writers to bypass traditional publishing channels and reach a vast audience directly. Writers can receive feedback, build a following, and even attract the attention of literary agents or publishers through their online presence.

Challenges in Screenwriting and Creative Writing

While both forms of writing can be incredibly rewarding, they come with their fair share of challenges.

Dealing with Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is a common hurdle that writers face, regardless of their chosen form of writing. It is a frustrating feeling of being unable to find inspiration or produce new ideas.

Overcoming writer’s block requires patience and adopting strategies like taking a break, changing the writing environment, or brainstorming ideas with fellow writers. Engaging in creative exercises or exploring different genres can also help spark new ideas and break through the block.

Balancing Creativity and Commercial Viability

In screenwriting, striking a balance between creative vision and commercial appeal is essential. Writers must consider the target audience and marketability without compromising the heart of their story.

For creative writers, finding the balance between artistic expression and market demand can also be challenging. While staying true to their unique voice and vision, writers must consider their audience and the potential for their work to resonate with readers.

Screenwriting and Creative Writing in the Entertainment Industry

Both screenwriting and creative writing play pivotal roles in the entertainment industry.

Impact on Film and Television

Without compelling screenplays, movies and TV shows would lack the captivating stories that draw audiences in. Screenwriters’ creativity shapes the worlds we see on the screen.

From blockbusters to indie films, screenwriters play a crucial role in shaping the cinematic landscape. Their scripts provide the foundation for directors, cinematographers, and actors to collaborate and create memorable visual experiences.

The Power of Storytelling in Various Mediums

Creative writing, in its diverse forms, continues to inspire and captivate readers across the globe. Novels, poems, and plays all contribute to the rich tapestry of human storytelling.

Creative writers have the unique ability to transport readers to different eras, cultures, and realities through their words. Their work can transcend time and connect with readers across generations, making a lasting impact on literature and culture.

In conclusion, screenwriting is indeed a form of creative writing. Both screenwriting and creative writing are art forms that celebrate the human capacity for imagination, storytelling, and emotional connection.

Screenwriting allows writers to bring stories to life on the screen, captivating audiences visually and emotionally. The art of screenwriting lies in its structured format, character development, and impactful dialogue, which combine to create memorable cinematic experiences.

Creative writing, on the other hand, provides writers with the freedom to explore the depths of their imagination, crafting unique narratives that evoke a wide range of emotions. It is a powerful medium that transports readers to enchanting worlds, challenges their perspectives, and leaves a lasting impression.

While screenwriting and creative writing have some differences in their mediums and processes, both forms of writing share the common goal of storytelling and making an impact on their audiences.

So, whether you choose to embark on a screenwriting journey or pursue creative writing, remember that both paths are filled with opportunities to leave a lasting legacy through the power of storytelling. Embrace your creativity, hone your skills, and share your unique voice with the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can screenwriting be considered an art form.

Yes, absolutely. Screenwriting involves the creative process of crafting compelling narratives, well-developed characters, and engaging dialogues, making it a distinct art form.

What skills are essential for a successful screenwriter?

A successful screenwriter should possess strong storytelling abilities, a solid understanding of screenplay structure and formatting, excellent character development skills, and the ability to evoke emotions through dialogue and narration.

Is it necessary for a creative writer to have formal training?

While formal training can be beneficial, it is not a strict requirement for becoming a creative writer. Many successful writers have honed their craft through self-study, practice, and a passion for writing.

How do screenwriters collaborate with directors and producers?

Screenwriters collaborate with directors and producers by sharing their vision through the screenplay. The script serves as the blueprint for the film, and during pre-production and production, they work closely to bring the story to life on screen.

What are some famous examples of screenplays turned into successful films?

Some famous examples include “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, “The Shawshank Redemption” by Frank Darabont, and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson.

How do scriptwriters come up with ideas?

Scriptwriters often find inspiration from various sources, such as personal experiences, books, news articles, historical events, and even their dreams. Observing the world around them and asking “what if” questions can spark creative ideas for compelling stories.

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7 Benefits of Creative Writing

7 Benefits of Creative Writing

Writing skills are important for students, whether in high school or college. Being able to write well not only helps you in completing your academic assignments or writing effective answers in your exam but is of great use in almost every facet of life. 

When students approach GoAssignmentHelp experts, they often have one main concern – they do not have good writing skills. Some students say that they are unable to frame the answers in their own words while others struggle with language skills like grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure and so on. In general, we have seen students struggling with assignment writing because: 

  • Students lack critical thinking and analytical abilities which are two main things for any form of writing  
  • Students do not know how to use complex sentences
  • Students lack good vocabulary which is why they are always “out of words” 
  • Students fail to structure their ideas properly and state their arguments clearly 
  • Students face issues like plagiarism, improper referencing and formatting 
  • Students are unable to proofread and edit their own work due to a lack of writing skills 

Creative Writing can help students become familiar with the writing process

One of the best ways to enhance your writing skills is through creative writing. Creative writing ignites your imagination, creativity, innovation, and at the same time, helps you focus on elements like grammar, vocabulary and presentation. It includes honest, unfiltered content that can greatly impact our society and help us explore the human experience. Different types of creative writing include plays, poetry, fiction (stories, novels), speeches, scripts (movie, television), personal essays, etc. 

Benefits of creative writing - GoAssignmentHelp

The benefits of creative writing 

#1 Creative writing boosts thinking skills 

The first step to effective writing skills is effective thinking. If you cannot think about a topic or imagine a scenario on a certain topic, you cannot express the topic in words. This is why we say learning how to write is also learning how to think. Creative writing tasks help you choose specific words to speak your mind. It makes you work on your storytelling techniques. It makes you think critically on topics, develop ideas, imagine scenarios, and hence enhances your thinking skills. 

#2 Creative writing builds confidence 

Just like skills like art, dance, crafts, and sports enhance a student’s confidence, creative writing also builds confidence. This is because it helps you develop a voice of your own. Being a creative writer you will have the ability to write about any topic. If you practice creative writing often you will come across new topics which will enhance your knowledge and widen your perspectives. As a result, you will feel more confident in participating in discussions. Above all, receiving praise for your writing skills would be a great encouragement and a boost to your self-confidence. 

#3 Creative writing helps in thought clarification 

When you start writing often, you understand how to clarify your thoughts. There might be many different ideas that come into your mind, but you develop a habit to filter them, categorise them and organise them so that you can present them effectively. This technique is not only applicable in writing but different areas of your academic and professional life. For example, if you choose to become a software developer, you must be able to understand the problems of your clients, classify them and find a solution accordingly. If you choose to become a digital marketer, you must be able to imagine your audience’s perspective, what would affect them and what would not. 

#4 Creative writing enhances language skills 

You can learn more about the grammar, syntax and semantics of a language once you start creative writing. You will be able to express your thoughts in a cohesive and structured manner. You will also be able to master skills like spelling, capitalization, punctuation, word order in sentences, and the ability to distinguish between main ideas and supporting ideas once you start creative writing. 

#5 Creative writing increases empathy 

Creative writing is a great way to understand how other people might experience life. As you write stories, novels or short essays, you develop different characters and personalities. This helps you understand their perspective about life and how people can be different from each other. It can inculcate more humanity and kindness in you as a person and you might start being more understanding and tolerant in your real life.   

#6 Creative writing can benefit academic writing 

Although creative writing and academic writing are two different things, creative writing can make it easier for you to write assignments in school and college. This is because creative writing is more complex. It involves imagination, developing characters, storylines and expression. Academic writing on the other hand is plain and simple. It requires stating facts and arguments based on research. Once you master creative writing, academic writing looks much simpler and easier. 

#7 Creative writing promotes mental well-being

Students often live stressful lives. With things like peer pressure, living up to society’s expectations, getting better grades and finding the right career, students often feel depressed, alone and anxious in life. Creative writing can help them think positively and enhance their well being. One can use creative writing to promote positive healthy emotions such as kindness, hope, thankfulness, fun, inspiration, and wonder. 

Jumpstart your creative writing today! 

Now that we have understood why creative writing is good for students and how it benefits them, you must be curious to find out what to do next. How to start working upon your creative writing skills? So, GoAssignmentHelp essay writing experts have listed some easy ways with which you can start working on your creative writing skills right away. 

#1 Start reading 

The first step to learn how to write is to start reading. The logic is simple. How can you expect to write a novel by yourself until you have not even read one? Similarly, how can you start writing poems, if you do not know what poetry is? So start reading. We know it might be a little difficult to manage your time with all those assignments and academic reading, but even ten minutes a day would work! 

#2 Write, Write a lot! 

Find time to write something every day. Even if it is just a hundred words. Keep a notebook with you all the time and jot down your ideas whenever they strike. Then use those ideas in your writing. It might seem weird in the beginning but slowly words will start flowing from your mind and you will see progress. 

#3 Read more about literary devices 

Creative writing is incomplete without literary devices like metaphors, similes, alliterations, symbolism, anaphora, dramatic irony and flashbacks. So read more about them and start incorporating them in your writing to take it to the next level. 

#4 Do not just write, edit 

You need to learn how to edit and refine your writing. So once you complete a piece, give yourself some time to edit and proofread it. Do not hesitate in rewriting the parts that you do not like or are not as impactful as you thought. 

Key takeaways 

We all know how to make sentences. But, using those sentences to express something meaningful takes practice and skill. If you are struggling with your writing skills in school or college and want to become a better writer, start with creative writing. We hope the tips given in this article will help you become a better writer and you will overcome all your writing challenges. For more advice or help with your assignments, consult GoAssignmentHelp’s academic writers and assignment help experts. We provide affordable assignment help services in every discipline.  

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  • What Is Creative Writing? The ULTIMATE Guide!

Creative Writing Summer School in Yale - students discussing

At Oxford Royale Academy, we offer a range of writing courses that have become extremely popular amongst students of all ages. The subject of creative writing continues to intrigue many academics as it can help to develop a range of skills that will benefit you throughout your career and life.

Nevertheless, that initial question is one that continues to linger and be asked time and time again: what is creative writing? More specifically, what does it mean or encompass? How does creative writing differ from other styles of writing?

During our Oxford Summer School programme , we will provide you with in-depth information on creative writing and how you can hone your skills. However, in this guide, we want to provide a detailed analysis of everything to do with creative writing, helping you understand more about what it is and why it could benefit you to become a creative writer.

The best place to start is with a definition.

What is creative writing?

The dictionary definition of creative writing is that it is original writing that expresses ideas and thoughts in an imaginative way. [1] Some academics will also define it as the art of making things up, but both of these definitions are too simplistic in the grand scheme of things.

It’s challenging to settle on a concrete definition as creative writing can relate to so many different things and formats. Naturally, as the name suggests, it is all built around the idea of being creative or imaginative. It’s to do with using your brain and your own thoughts to create writing that goes outside the realms of what’s expected. This type of writing tends to be more unique as it comes from a personal place. Each individual has their own level of creativity, combined with their own thoughts and views on different things. Therefore, you can conjure up your own text and stories that could be completely different from others.

Understanding creative writing can be challenging when viewed on its own. Consequently, the best way to truly understand this medium is by exploring the other main forms of writing. From here, we can compare and contrast them with the art of creative writing, making it easier to find a definition or separate this form of writing from others.

What are the main forms of writing?

In modern society, we can identify five main types of writing styles [1] that will be used throughout daily life and a plethora of careers:

  • Narrative Writing
  • Descriptive Writing
  • Persuasive Writing
  • Expository Writing
  • Creative Writing

Narrative writing refers to storytelling in its most basic form. Traditionally, this involves telling a story about a character and walking the readers through the journey they go on. It can be a long novel or a short story that’s only a few hundred words long. There are no rules on length, and it can be completely true or a work of fiction.

A fundamental aspect of narrative writing that makes it different from other forms is that it should includes the key elements of storytelling. As per UX Planet, there are seven core elements of a good story or narrative [2] : the plot, characters, theme, dialogue, melody, decor and spectacle. Narrative writing will include all of these elements to take the ready on a journey that starts at the beginning, has a middle point, but always comes to a conclusion. This style of writing is typically used when writing stories, presenting anecdotes about your life, creating presentations or speeches and for some academic essays.

Descriptive writing, on the other hand, is more focused on the details. When this type of writing is used, it’s focused on capturing the reader’s attention and making them feel like they are part of the story. You want them to live and feel every element of a scene, so they can close their eyes and be whisked away to whatever place or setting you describe.

In many ways, descriptive writing is writing as an art form. Good writers can be given a blank canvas, using their words to paint a picture for the audience. There’s a firm focus on the five senses all humans have; sight, smell, touch, sound and taste. Descriptive writing touches on all of these senses to tell the reader everything they need to know and imagine about a particular scene.

This is also a style of writing that makes good use of both similes and metaphors. A simile is used to describe something as something else, while a metaphor is used to show that something is something else. There’s a subtle difference between the two, but they both aid descriptive writing immensely. According to many writing experts, similes and metaphors allow an author to emphasise, exaggerate, and add interest to a story to create a more vivid picture for the reader [3] .

Looking at persuasive writing and we have a form of writing that’s all about making yourself heard. You have an opinion that you want to get across to the reader, convincing them of it. The key is to persuade others to think differently, often helping them broaden their mind or see things from another point of view. This is often confused with something called opinionative writing, which is all about providing your opinions. While the two seem similar, the key difference is that persuasive writing is built around the idea of submitting evidence and backing your thoughts up. It’s not as simple as stating your opinion for other to read; no, you want to persuade them that your thoughts are worth listening to and perhaps worth acting on.

This style of writing is commonly used journalistically in news articles and other pieces designed to shine a light on certain issues or opinions. It is also typically backed up with statistical evidence to give more weight to your opinions and can be a very technical form of writing that’s not overly emotional.

Expository writing is more focused on teaching readers new things. If we look at its name, we can take the word exposure from it. According to Merriam-Webster [4] , one of the many definitions of exposure is to reveal something to others or present them with something they otherwise didn’t know. In terms of writing, it can refer to the act of revealing new information to others or exposing them to new ideas.

Effectively, expository writing focuses on the goal of leaving the reader with new knowledge of a certain topic or subject. Again, it is predominately seen in journalistic formats, such as explainer articles or ‘how-to’ blogs. Furthermore, you also come across it in academic textbooks or business writing.

This brings us back to the centre of attention for this guide: what is creative writing?

Interestingly, creative writing is often seen as the style of writing that combines many of these forms together in one go. Narrative writing can be seen as creative writing as you are coming up with a story to keep readers engaged, telling a tale for them to enjoy or learn from. Descriptive writing is very much a key part of creative writing as you are using your imagination and creative skills to come up with detailed descriptions that transport the reader out of their home and into a different place.

Creative writing can even use persuasive writing styles in some formats. Many writers will combine persuasive writing with a narrative structure to come up with a creative way of telling a story to educate readers and provide new opinions for them to view or be convinced of. Expository writing can also be involved here, using creativity and your imagination to answer questions or provide advice to the reader.

Essentially, creative writing can combine other writing types to create a unique and new way of telling a story or producing content. At the same time, it can include absolutely none of the other forms at all. The whole purpose of creative writing is to think outside the box and stray from traditional structures and norms. Fundamentally, we can say there are no real rules when it comes to creative writing, which is what makes it different from the other writing styles discussed above.

What is the purpose of creative writing?

Another way to understand and explore the idea of creative writing is to look at its purpose. What is the aim of most creative works of writing? What do they hope to provide the reader with?

We can look at the words of Bryanna Licciardi, an experienced creative writing tutor, to understand the purpose of creative writing. She writes that the primary purpose is to entertain and share human experiences, like love or loss. Writers attempt to reveal the truth with regard to humanity through poetics and storytelling. [5] She also goes on to add that the first step of creative writing is to use one’s imagination.

When students sign up to our creative writing courses, we will teach them how to write with this purpose. Your goal is to create stories or writing for readers that entertain them while also providing information that can have an impact on their lives. It’s about influencing readers through creative storytelling that calls upon your imagination and uses the thoughts inside your head. The deeper you dive into the art of creative writing, the more complex it can be. This is largely because it can be expressed in so many different formats. When you think of creative writing, your instinct takes you to stories and novels. Indeed, these are both key forms of creative writing that we see all the time. However, there are many other forms of creative writing that are expressed throughout the world.

What are the different forms of creative writing?

Looking back at the original and simple definition of creative writing, it relates to original writing in a creative and imaginative way. Consequently, this can span across so many genres and types of writing that differ greatly from one another. This section will explore and analyse the different types of creative writing, displaying just how diverse this writing style can be – while also showcasing just what you’re capable of when you learn how to be a creative writer.

The majority of students will first come across creative writing in the form of essays . The point of an essay is to present a coherent argument in response to a stimulus or question. [6] In essence, you are persuading the reader that your answer to the question is correct. Thus, creative writing is required to get your point across as coherently as possible, while also using great descriptive writing skills to paint the right message for the reader.

Moreover, essays can include personal essays – such as writing a cover letter for work or a university application. Here, great creativity is needed to almost write a story about yourself that captivates the reader and takes them on a journey with you. Excellent imagination and persuasive writing skills can help you tell your story and persuade those reading that you are the right person for the job or university place.

Arguably, this is the most common way in which creative writing is expressed. Fictional work includes novels, novellas, short stories – and anything else that is made up. The very definition of fiction by the Cambridge Dictionary states that it is the type of book or story that is written about imaginary characters and events not based on real people and facts. [7] As such, it means that your imagination is called upon to create something out of nothing. It is a quintessential test of your creative writing skills, meaning you need to come up with characters, settings, plots, descriptions and so much more.

Fictional creative writing in itself takes on many different forms and can be completely different depending on the writer. That is the real beauty of creative writing; you can have entirely different stories and characters from two different writers. Just look at the vast collection of fictional work around you today; it’s the perfect way to see just how versatile creative writing can be depending on the writer.

Similarly, scripts can be a type of creative writing that appeals to many. Technically, a script can be considered a work of fiction. Nevertheless, it depends on the script in question. Scripts for fictional television shows, plays or movies are obviously works of fiction. You, the writer, has come up with the characters and story of the show/play/movie, bringing it all to life through the script. But, scripts can also be non-fictional. Creating a play or movie that adapts real-life events will mean you need to write a script based on something that genuinely happened.

Here, it’s a perfect test of creative writing skills as you take a real event and use your creative talents to make it more interesting. The plot and narrative may already be there for you, so it’s a case of using your descriptive writing skills to really sell it to others and keep readers – or viewers – on the edge of their seats.

A speech is definitely a work of creative writing. The aim of a speech can vary depending on what type of speech it is. A politician delivering a speech in the House of Commons will want to get a point across to persuade others in the room. They’ll need to use creative writing to captivate their audience and have them hanging on their every word. A recent example of a great speech was the one by Sir David Attenborough at the recent COP26 global climate summit. [8] Listening to the speech is a brilliant way of understanding how creative writing can help get points across. His speech went viral around the world because of how electrifying and enthralling it is. The use of many descriptive and persuasive words had people hanging onto everything he said. He really created a picture and an image for people to see, convincing them that the time is now to work on stopping and reversing climate change.

From this speech to a completely different one, you can see creative writing at play for speeches at weddings and other jovial events. Here, the purpose is more to entertain guests and make them laugh. At the same time, someone giving a wedding speech will hope to create a lovely story for the guests to enjoy, displaying the true love that the married couple share for one another. Regardless of what type of speech an individual is giving, creative writing skills are required for it to be good and captivating.

Poetry & Songs

The final example of creative writing is twofold; poetry and songs. Both of these formats are similar to one another, relying on creativity to deliver a combination of things. Poetry can take so many forms and styles, but it aims to inspire readers and get them thinking. Poems often have hidden meanings behind them, and it takes a great deal of imagination and creativity to come up with these meanings while also creating a powerful poem. Some argue that poetry is the most creative of all creative writing forms.

Songwriting is similar in that you use creativity to come up with lyrics that can have powerful meanings while also conjuring up a story for people. The best songwriters will use lyrics that stay in people’s minds and get them thinking about the meaning behind the song. If you lack imagination and creativity, you will never be a good songwriter.

In truth, there are so many other types and examples of creative writing that you can explore. The ones listed above are the most common and powerful, and they all do a great job of demonstrating how diverse creative writing can be. If you can hone your skills in creative writing, it opens up many opportunities for you in life. Primarily, creative writing focuses on fictional pieces of work, but as you can see, non-fiction also requires a good deal of creativity.

What’s needed to make a piece of creative writing?

Our in-depth analysis of creative writing has led to a point where you’re aware of this style of writing and its purpose, along with some examples of it in the real world. The next question to delve into is what do you need to do to make a piece of creative writing. To phrase this another way; how do you write something that comes under the creative heading rather than another form of writing?

There is an element of difficulty in answering this question as creative writing has so many different types and genres. Consequently, there isn’t a set recipe for the perfect piece of creative writing, and that’s what makes this format so enjoyable and unique. Nevertheless, we can discover some crucial elements or principles that will help make a piece of writing as creative and imaginative as possible:

A target audience

All creative works will begin by defining a target audience. There are many ways to define a target audience, with some writers suggesting that you think about who is most likely to read your work. However, this can still be challenging as you’re unsure of the correct demographic to target. Writer’s Digest makes a good point of defining your target audience by considering your main motivation for writing in the first place. [9] It’s a case of considering what made you want to start writing – whether it’s a blog post, novel, song, poem, speech, etc. Figuring out your motivation behind it will help you zero in on your target audience.

Defining your audience is vital for creative writing as it helps you know exactly what to write and how to write it. All of your work should appeal to this audience and be written in a way that they can engage with. As a simple example, authors that write children’s stories will adapt their writing to appeal to the younger audience. Their stories include lots of descriptions and words that children understand, rather than being full of long words and overly academic writing.

Establishing the audience lets the writer know which direction to take things in. As a result, this can aid with things like character choices, plot, storylines, settings, and much more.

A story of sorts

Furthermore, great works of creative writing will always include a story of sorts. This is obvious for works such as novels, short stories, scripts, etc. However, even for things like poems, songs or speeches, a story helps make it creative. It gives the audience something to follow, helping them make sense of the work. Even if you’re giving a speech, setting a story can help you create a scene in people’s minds that makes them connect to what you’re saying. It’s a very effective way of persuading others and presenting different views for people to consider.

Moreover, consider the definition of a story/narrative arc. One definition describes it as a term that describes a story’s full progression. It visually evokes the idea that every story has a relatively calm beginning, a middle where tension, character conflict and narrative momentum builds to a peak and an end where the conflict is resolved. [10]

Simplifying this, we can say that all works of creative writing need a general beginning, middle and end. It’s a way of bringing some sort of structure to your writing so you know where you are going, rather than filling it with fluff or waffle.

A good imagination

Imagination is a buzzword that we’ve used plenty of times throughout this deep dive into creative writing. Every creative writing course you go on will spend a lot of time focusing on the idea of using your imagination. The human brain is a marvellously powerful thing that holds the key to creative freedom and expressing yourself in new and unique ways. If you want to make something creative, you need to tap into your imagination.

People use their imagination in different ways; some will be able to conjure up ideas for stories or worlds that exist beyond our own. Others will use theirs to think of ways of describing things in a more creative and imaginative way. Ultimately, a good imagination is what sets your work apart from others within your genre. This doesn’t mean you need to come up with the most fantastical novel of all time to have something classified as creative writing. No, using your imagination and creativity can extend to something as simple as your writing style.

Ultimately, it’s more about using your imagination to find your own personal flair and creative style. You will then be able to write unique pieces that stand out from the others and keep audiences engaged.

How can creative writing skills benefit you?

When most individuals or students consider creative writing, they imagine a world where they are writing stories for a living. There’s a common misconception that creative writing skills are only beneficial for people pursuing careers in scriptwriting, storytelling, etc. Realistically, enhancing ones creative writing skills can open up many windows of opportunity throughout your education and career.

  • Improve essay writing – Naturally, creative writing forms a core part of essays and other written assignments in school and university. Improving your skills in this department can help a student get better at writing powerful essays and achieving top marks. In turn, this can impact your career by helping you get better grades to access better jobs in the future.
  • Become a journalist – Journalists depend on creative writing to make stories that capture audiences and have people hanging on their every word. You need high levels of creativity to turn a news story into something people are keen to read or watch.
  • Start a blog – In modern times, blogging is a useful tool that can help people find profitable and successful careers. The whole purpose of a blog is to provide your opinions to the masses while also entertaining, informing and educating. Again, having a firm grasp of creative writing skills will aid you in building your blog audience.
  • Write marketing content – From advert scripts to content on websites, marketing is fuelled by creative writing. The best marketers will have creative writing skills to draw an audience in and convince them to buy products. If you can learn to get people hanging on your every word, you can make it in this industry.

These points all demonstrate the different ways in which creative writing can impact your life and alter your career. In terms of general career skills, this is one that you simply cannot go without.

How to improve your creative writing

One final part of this analysis of creative writing is to look at how students can improve. It begins by reading as much as you can and taking in lots of different content. Read books, poems, scripts, articles, blogs – anything you can find. Listen to music and pay attention to the words people use and the structure of their writing. It can help you pick up on things like metaphors, similes, and how to use your imagination. Of course, writing is the key to improving; the more you write, the more creative you can get as you will start unlocking the powers of your brain.

Conclusion: What is creative writing

In conclusion, creative writing uses a mixture of different types of writing to create stories that stray from traditional structures and norms. It revolves around the idea of using your imagination to find a writing style that suits you and gets your points across to an audience, keeping them engaged in everything you say. From novels to speeches, there are many forms of creative writing that can help you in numerous career paths throughout your life.

To really unlock your writing potential, try one of our creative writing courses . As mentioned right at the beginning, we have a range of courses for students of different ages, all built around creativity and creative writing.

[1] SkillShare: The 5 Types of Writing Styles with Examples

[2] Elements of Good Story Telling – UX Planet

[3] Simile vs Metaphor: What’s the Difference? – ProWritingAid

[4] Definition of Exposure by Merriam-Webster

[5] The Higher Purpose of Creative Writing | by Terveen Gill

[6] Essay purpose – Western Sydney University

[7] FICTION | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

[8] ‘Not fear, but hope’ – Attenborough speech in full – BBC News

[9] Writer’s Digest: Who Is Your Target Reader?

[10] What is a Narrative Arc? • A Guide to Storytelling Structure

What Is Style?

Definition & Examples of Style

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Style, to a creative writer, is essentially the way in which you write. It results from decisions a writer makes, such as word choice, tone, and syntax. It's the voice readers "hear" when they read your work.

Learn more about how style impacts writing, and the factors that impact writing styles.

The term "style" applies to writers much in the same way as it applies in other scenarios—it's the manner in which someone does something. A writer's style is the culmination of distinctive qualities that define their work. The words you use, the tone you develop, and the syntax of your sentences are perhaps the biggest factors in defining your writing style.

Style is unique, but it often also draws on literary traditions. For example, if someone uses simple, direct sentences with few adjectives, you might say their style of writing has been influenced by Ernest Hemingway. They probably don't write exactly as Hemingway did, but they follow in those stylistic traditions that have become associated with Hemingway.

How Does Style Work?

Your writing style will define your "voice." In other words, your writing style will determine the impact the piece has on readers. Two different writers can write about the exact same subject from the same point of view, but if they have different styles, their writing will have a different effect on the reader.

Even if you haven't studied writing extensively, you can naturally sense the differences between writing styles just by reading works by various authors. Word choice, sentence length, punctuation usage—these factors all have an impact on readers, even if they aren't actively assessing the piece to glean the writing style.

Naturally, your writing style may shift depending on your subject matter and the point of view . You wouldn't write a coming-of-age story from a teenager's point of view the same way you'd write a sci-fi novel about an alien invasion of Earth. However, when we talk about developing your writing style, we mean the voice that is uniquely yours. That voice will change as your writing develops, of course, but like your personality, the foundation remains there even as it develops and matures. That means, whether you're writing about teenagers or aliens, your unique voice will still come across in both works.

This idea becomes clear by reading professional writers' works. Hemingway didn't write about the same thing in every story, but you can recognize Hemingway's style in each piece. Whether you're reading about an old man in a boat, a bullfighter in Spain, or a soldier in World War I, the story is told with sparse language, short sentences, and powerfully minimalistic descriptions.

The Mechanics of Writing

There is a more technical definition of writing style, as well.

To an editor , style refers to the mechanics of writing, including grammar and punctuation. In this sense, "style" refers to the standardized rules that govern the correct way to write. These styles include the Associated Press (AP), Chicago, and Modern Language Association (MLA).

While creative writers should be intimately familiar with how to write in these technical styles, they aren't top of mind when they sit down to create prose or poetry. These technical styles create the frameworks within which creative writers can find their own style and voice. By adhering to some rules and purposefully breaking others, creative writers develop an individual approach to writing that has a unique effect on readers.

These technical rules change depending on what field you're in. For instance, a book publisher using Chicago style would italicize book titles. A journalist reporting on that same book would instead use quotation marks for the title as dictated by AP style guides. Literature students often use MLA style, which also italicizes book titles .

Key Takeaways

  • Style, as it applies to creative writing, is the unique effect a writer has on readers.
  • Style is dictated by factors including word choice, tone, and syntax.
  • There are also technical writing styles, such as AP style and Chicago style, which standardize grammar and punctuation rules.
  • What Does a Copy Editor Do?
  • Pick the Best Writing Style Guide for Your Projects
  • Important Writing and Editing Skills That Employers Value
  • Tips for an Effective Creative Writing Critique
  • Top 12 Tips for Writing Dialogue
  • The Importance of Crib Sheets in the Magazine Industry
  • Ways to Use Figurative Language in Writing
  • How to Win Essay Contests: A Step-by-Step Guide
  • What Voice Means in Writing
  • Everything You Need to Know to Start a Home-Based Editing Business
  • Learn How to Write Fiction
  • What Is Second-Person Point of View?
  • How to Use Metaphors Correctly and Avoid Cliches
  • AP Style Cheat Sheet
  • Becoming a Comic Book Letterer
  • Tips to Help Write a Great Short Story

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what effect does creative writing have

Decoding Writer’s Effects: Analysing and Explaining the Art of Writing

  • June 7, 2023

Decoding Writer’s Effects: Analysing and Explaining the Art of Writing

Table of Contents

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a captivating journey into the intricate world of the written word. Today, we embark on a quest to unlock the hidden mechanisms that lie within the minds of masterful writers, as we delve into the art of decoding their effects. Get ready to immerse yourselves in the realm where words become brushstrokes, sentences become melodies, and paragraphs weave tapestries of emotion and meaning. In this enlightening exploration, we will embark on an analytical adventure to understand the mesmerizing power that writers possess, as they craft their words with purpose and finesse. Just like a skilled artisan, they deftly manipulate language, tone, and structure to evoke emotions, challenge our perceptions, and transport us to worlds beyond our imagination.

As we embark on this voyage, prepare to be amazed by the power of the written word. Let us celebrate the literary genius that has shaped our world and illuminated the human experience throughout the ages. Together, we will uncover the hidden depths of the art of writing , expanding our own understanding and appreciation for the craft that has the power to move mountains, change lives, and inspire generations.

So, brace yourselves, intrepid explorers of the written realm, for an exhilarating odyssey into the heart and soul of the written word. Get ready to decipher, analyse, and explain the art of writing as we unlock the mysterious effects crafted by the wordsmiths of our time.

The Enchanting Techniques That Bring Words to Life

Once upon a time, in the vast realm of literature, there existed a treasure trove of techniques that writers used to captivate readers and weave their tales. These techniques, like magical tools in the hands of a skilled wizard, enhanced the beauty and power of the written word. Metaphors danced across pages, transforming ordinary objects into shimmering symbols of deeper meaning. Imagery painted vivid pictures in the reader’s mind, transporting them to far-off lands and distant memories.

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Similes cast their enchanting spells, drawing unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated things. Personification breathed life into inanimate objects, granting them voices and emotions. Alliteration and rhythm wove delicate melodies, as words harmonized and danced to the reader’s inner ear. Foreshadowing cast its mysterious shadows, hinting at the future yet to unfold. And symbolism, oh symbolism, the master of secrets, whispered hidden truths in the quiet corners of each page.

These literary techniques were the tools of the trade for writers, shaping their stories into living, breathing works of art that would forever be etched in the hearts and minds of those who embarked on their literary journeys.

Unlocking The Secrets: Understanding Literary Techniques

Literary techniques serve as the building blocks of written expression , allowing authors to craft their words with precision and impact. These techniques are the tools of the trade, enabling writers to create vivid imagery, convey emotions, and convey complex ideas in a compelling manner. 

  • Metaphors establish connections between two seemingly dissimilar concepts, unveiling deeper layers of meaning and offering fresh perspectives. 
  • Similes, on the other hand, employ comparisons using “like” or “as,” drawing parallels that enrich the reader’s understanding. 
  • Personification assigns human qualities to inanimate objects or abstract concepts, breathing life into them and fostering a deeper connection with readers. 
  • Imagery employs sensory details to create a mental canvas, painting vibrant pictures that transport readers to different times, places, and emotions. 
  • Symbolism acts as a hidden language, imbuing ordinary objects or actions with profound significance, inviting readers to unravel the underlying messages. 

By grasping these literary techniques, readers gain a deeper appreciation for the artistry and intentionality behind written works, empowering them to engage with texts on a more profound level and unravel the secrets hidden within the pages.

Exploring The Intentions of The Author

Exploring The Intentions of The Author

Stepping into the realm of an author’s intentions is akin to embarking on an intellectual voyage, guided by the compass of curiosity. As we dive into the pages of their work, we become intrepid explorers, venturing into the uncharted territory of the writer’s mind. Our journey begins with a keen eye, scrutinizing the intricate details woven into the fabric of their narrative.

We decipher the underlying motivations driving their characters’ actions, carefully observing their struggles, desires, and transformations. With each passage, we unveil the subtle brushstrokes that compose their literary palette, deciphering the shades of meaning concealed beneath the surface. We uncover the deliberate placement of symbols and imagery, like breadcrumbs left to guide us towards the author’s intended path. We dissect the cadence and rhythm of their prose, listening attentively to the echoes of emotion carried within each sentence. In this process of exploration, we become archaeologists of the written word, unearthing buried intentions and hidden treasures. We question, we speculate, and we engage in a dance of interpretation, mindful of the unique lens through which the author views the world.

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The pursuit of understanding an author’s intentions becomes an intricate puzzle, piecing together fragments of their creative vision until the larger picture emerges. Ultimately, this exploration grants us not only a deeper comprehension of the work itself but also a profound appreciation for the artist behind the words—a testament to the vastness of human imagination and the power of storytelling to shape our perceptions.

Decoding A Writers Style

A writer’s style encompasses the distinctive manner in which they express their ideas and craft their prose. It is the fingerprint that sets them apart, reflecting their unique voice and creative sensibilities. A writer’s style is shaped by various elements, such as their choice of vocabulary, sentence structure, tone, and use of literary devices. Some writers embrace a more ornate and lyrical style, employing rich descriptions and intricate metaphors to paint vivid imagery. Others opt for a concise and straightforward approach, prioritizing clarity and simplicity in their language.

The rhythm and cadence of their sentences contribute to the overall flow and pace of their writing. Additionally, a writer’s style can be influenced by their cultural background, personal experiences, and the literary traditions they draw inspiration from. Whether it be elegant and poetic, conversational and relatable, or intellectually stimulating, a writer’s style is a reflection of their artistic identity and serves as a gateway for readers to engage with their work on a deeper level.

Exploring and appreciating a writer’s style allows readers to witness the intricacies of their craft and the ways in which they bring their ideas to life through the power of words.

Analyzing Narrative Devices

Narrative devices are the tools and techniques employed by writers to shape and enhance their storytelling. These devices serve as the building blocks that create a compelling narrative, allowing writers to engage readers, evoke emotions, and convey their intended messages effectively. By dissecting these narrative devices, we gain a deeper understanding of the writer’s craft and the artistry behind their storytelling.

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  • Point of View: The choice of point of view significantly impacts the reader’s experience. First-person narration provides an intimate connection with the protagonist, revealing their inner thoughts and feelings. Third-person omniscient allows for a broader perspective, delving into multiple characters’ thoughts and experiences. Third-person limited focuses on one character, granting insight into their perceptions while maintaining some narrative distance.
  • Foreshadowing: Writers utilize foreshadowing to hint at future events or outcomes, building suspense and anticipation. Through subtle clues, foreshadowing adds layers of complexity to the narrative and keeps readers engaged as they piece together the puzzle of what lies ahead.
  • Flashbacks and Flashforwards: These narrative devices transport readers to different points in time, offering insights into characters’ pasts or providing glimpses of future events. Flashbacks deepen character development, explaining motivations or revealing secrets. Flashforwards create tension and curiosity, enticing readers to unravel the story’s unfolding trajectory.
  • Symbolism: Symbolism involves the use of objects, actions, or events to represent abstract ideas or concepts. Symbols imbue the narrative with deeper meaning and provoke thought and interpretation. They can evoke emotions, convey themes, and provide layers of subtext that enrich the reader’s experience.
  • Irony: Irony adds a touch of surprise or contradiction to the narrative. It occurs when there is a discrepancy between what is expected and what actually happens. Verbal irony involves the use of words with a meaning opposite to their literal interpretation, while situational irony arises from unexpected turns of events. Dramatic irony occurs when the reader possesses knowledge that the characters do not, creating tension and suspense.
  • Plot Structure: The structure of a narrative shapes its pacing, tension, and overall impact. Traditional structures like the three-act structure or the hero’s journey provide a framework for storytelling, guiding the development of characters and conflicts. Writers may also experiment with nonlinear structures or unconventional narrative arcs to challenge reader expectations and create unique storytelling experiences.

By dissecting these narrative devices, we gain insights into how writers craft their narratives, manipulate reader emotions, and convey their intended messages. This understanding enables us to appreciate the deliberate choices made by writers, fostering a deeper engagement with the stories they tell and enhancing our own appreciation for the art of storytelling.

The Emotional Impact of Words

“For you, a thousand times over”, “But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.” 

These words are eternally etched in memory, like writing on stone. This is the impact of words. For a writer, choosing and combining words are of prime importance. As a reader, the emotional impact of words is a profound and intimate experience. Each turn of the page carries the promise of an emotional journey, a chance to immerse in the lives of characters and explore the depths of their joys, sorrows, and struggles. Words become companions, guiding through a rollercoaster of emotions.

Emotional Impact of Words

Through the skillful arrangement of words, writers transport to different worlds, invoking a sensory symphony that envelops the reader in a writer’s narrative. They can taste the salt of the sea, feel the warmth of a lover’s touch, and hear the echoes of laughter reverberating in the soul. The emotional impact of words lingers long after the book is closed, leaving the reader with a profound appreciation for the power of storytelling and the profound connections forged between reader and writer.

In the grand tapestry of literature, the art of decoding writer’s effects holds the key to unlocking the hidden treasures within the written word. Through the meticulous analysis and exploration of literary techniques, readers embark on a journey that transcends mere consumption of text.

It is a voyage that unravels the intentions of the author, illuminates the emotional impact of their words, and unveils the intricate layers of their storytelling. By delving into the writer’s craft, readers gain a deeper appreciation for the artistry behind each carefully chosen word, each masterfully crafted sentence. Decoding writer’s effects grants us entry into a realm where imagination soars, emotions are stirred, and the boundaries of our understanding are expanded. It is a testament to the enduring power of literature and its ability to inspire, challenge, and connect us on the deepest of levels.

In this pursuit, we become not merely consumers of stories, but active participants in a timeless conversation, honoring the rich legacy of writers who continue to shape and transform the world through their art.

What does it mean to decode writer’s effects?

Decoding writer’s effects refers to the process of analyzing and understanding the intentional choices made by an author in their writing. It involves examining the literary techniques, narrative devices, and language used by the writer to evoke specific emotions, convey messages, and create a desired impact on the reader.

Why is decoding writer’s effects important?

Decoding writer’s effects is important because it allows readers to go beyond surface-level comprehension and engage with the deeper layers of a text. By understanding the author’s techniques and intentions, readers can appreciate the artistry behind the writing, uncover hidden meanings, and develop a more nuanced interpretation of the work.

How can decoding writer’s effects enhance the reading experience?

Decoding writer’s effects enhances the reading experience by providing readers with a deeper understanding and connection to the text. It allows readers to appreciate the author’s craftsmanship, notice subtle details, and engage with the themes and emotions conveyed in the writing. By decoding writer’s effects, readers can have a more immersive and enriching experience with the literature they encounter.

What are some common writer’s effects to look out for?

Some common writer’s effects include the use of vivid imagery, symbolism, foreshadowing, irony, and different narrative perspectives. These effects can evoke emotions, create suspense, convey deeper meanings, and shape the overall impact of the writing. By recognizing these techniques, readers can unravel the layers of a text and gain deeper insights into the author’s intentions.

How can one develop the skill of decoding writer’s effects?

Developing the skill of decoding writer’s effects requires practice and a keen eye for detail. It involves close reading, analyzing the language and structure of the writing, and paying attention to the author’s choices in character development, plot progression, and use of literary devices. Engaging in discussions, reading literary criticism, and exploring different literary works can also help enhance the ability to decode writer’s effects over time.

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New State Laws on Hot-Button Issues Take Effect Today

Many state laws take effect on the first day of 2024, including new rules on gun safety, a ban on diversity programs and a curb on telemarketing calls.

Gov. Tim Walz, sitting on a desk, holds up a just-signed bill, with people celebrating around him.

By Adeel Hassan

A spate of new state laws, including on guns, minimum wage and gender transition care, went into effect as the calendar flipped to 2024. Perhaps the most significant change bans programs that promote diversity, equity and inclusion at publicly funded colleges and universities in Texas.

Conservative politicians have targeted these diversity initiatives, known as D.E.I., because they have said that the programs have used taxpayer money to stoke racial division and push a liberal agenda on campuses. The new Texas law follows a similar one that Florida enacted in May to prohibit public colleges and universities from spending funds on D.E.I. initiatives.

In other states, Americans will follow new rules on guns and marijuana, as well as have additional health care and workplace protections. About three dozen states enacted new laws on voting in 2023, but most of the practical effects won’t be felt until primary and general elections in 2024.

Many of these changes will have an immediate impact on everyday life starting Monday. Here are some other new and noteworthy state laws:

Gun Ownership

Californians will be barred from carrying guns in most public places after an 11th-hour ruling from a federal appeals court. A lower court judge had blocked enforcement of the law earlier in December, but just two days before the law was set to take effect, the appeals court put a hold on the lower court ruling . The law lists more than two dozen locations, including libraries and sports venues, where firearms are prohibited.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia already have red-flag laws that authorize the temporary removal of firearms from people who are deemed dangerous. Minnesota this week became the 20th state to give family members and law enforcement the ability to ask a court to take away guns in certain situations.

Next month, a red-flag law will take effect in Michigan, which is also adding more expansive background checks and a safe gun storage law in homes where a child is present.

Washington State is expanding its 10-day waiting period to purchases of any gun, not only semiautomatic weapons. Gun buyers will also have to show that they have passed a safety training program within the last five years, or prove that they are exempt from training requirements.

Illinois is banning high-powered semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity magazines, and Colorado is getting rid of ghost guns .

Twenty-two states are raising their minimum wages at the start of 2024, according to the Economic Policy Institute . About 40 cities and counties will do the same, with many of the wage levels meeting or exceeding $15 per hour for some or all employees, the National Employment Law Project says.

For Alabamans, employee hours above 40 in a week will no longer be included in gross income, effectively exempting overtime pay from state taxes.

It will be harder to get fired in California. Employees, with few exceptions, can’t be punished for using marijuana outside of work, or if traces of THC — the psychoactive component in marijuana — show up in their blood or urine tests. They also cannot face retaliation for discussing their wages, asking how much co-workers earn or encouraging colleagues to seek a raise.

An executive order in Nebraska demands that some state workers who have been working remotely since the pandemic return to the office starting on Tuesday, but a public employees union has asked a state labor court to delay the requirement.

In Arkansas, unemployment claims will be denied to anyone who fails to respond to a job offer or show up for a scheduled job interview, in what the state calls the Prohibiting Unemployment Claimants from Ghosting Employers Act of 2023. And videoconferencing while driving will be banned in Illinois.

Public Safety

Two notable laws in California aim to increase equity. Law enforcement officers must inform drivers why they have been stopped before they begin any questioning. Black motorists get pulled over at higher rates , and the new requirement is intended to deter officers from using traffic stops as a means to search vehicles or investigate drivers for other crimes.

The California Highway Patrol also will launch an emergency system, called Ebony Alerts , to notify the public when there are missing Black children and women between the ages of 12 and 25. Proponents said that young Black residents comprise a disproportionate share of people who go missing and that their cases receive less attention in the media.

In Pennsylvania, new laws will add protections for female inmates. The state is banning the shackling and solitary confinement of pregnant incarcerated women, and full-body searches of female inmates by male guards.

Health Care

At least 20 states with Republican-controlled legislatures passed bans or restrictions on gender transition care for young people in 2023, and changes will go into effect on New Year’s Day in Louisiana and West Virginia.

West Virginia lawmakers carved out exceptions to its law, including allowing minors to get treatment if they have parental consent and a diagnosis of severe gender dysphoria from two doctors. Doctors could also prescribe medical therapy if a minor is considered at risk of self-harm or suicide.

State legislatures have also considered bills related to abortion in the year and a half since the Supreme Court upended Roe v. Wade, but there are few new rules to start 2024.

California will legally shield its doctors when they ship abortion pills or gender-affirming medications to states that have criminalized such procedures. New Jersey pharmacists will be allowed to dispense self-administered hormonal contraceptives to patients without a prescription. Law enforcement officers in Illinois will be prohibited from sharing license plate reader data with other states to protect women coming for an abortion.

In Arkansas, new mothers will be required to undergo screenings for depression, which will be paid for by health insurance providers in the state. Public safety employees in Arkansas who experience a traumatic event while on duty will be provided counseling .

Illinois is prohibiting book bans in libraries, after a year in which many materials were removed from shelves across the country. The law allows state grants only for libraries that adopt the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights or those who have a statement rejecting the banning of materials.

In California, the teaching of cursive writing from first to sixth grades will be mandatory , and media literacy and Asian American history will be added to the curriculum for K-12 students.

Consumer Protection

Online dating services operating in Connecticut must now have procedures for reporting unwanted behavior and provide safety advice, including warnings about romance scams.

In California, large retailers will be required to provide gender-neutral sections of children’s toys or child care products. Proponents said the law would help reduce gender stereotypes at a young age and prevent price disparities in items marketed for girls. The law does not require gender-neutral clothing sections. Retailers can be fined $250 for the first violation and $500 for subsequent ones.

Telemarketers who don’t follow new rules in New Jersey can be charged with a disorderly persons offense. The state is requiring them to identify, within the first 30 seconds of a call, themselves, whom they’re representing, what they’re selling and a phone number to reach their employer. The law also bans unsolicited sales calls to any customer from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. It has been referred to as the “Seinfeld law,” after a memorable scene from the 1990s sitcom.

While the law went into effect in December, it might be the best example of state legislative consensus in 2023, having passed 38-0 in the Senate and 74-0 in the General Assembly.

Adeel Hassan is a reporter and editor on the National Desk. He is a founding member of Race/Related , and much of his work focuses on identity and discrimination. He started the Morning Briefing for NYT Now and was its inaugural writer. He also served as an editor on the International Desk.  More about Adeel Hassan

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