Writing is a difficult activity at the best of times. Very few can be given a blank piece of paper and find inspiration on the spot, which translates to ideas that cover the page in perfect written form. Writing is a process that is personal and personalized to each one of us. For some, getting started is the hardest part, for others it is developing the plot, characters, events and/or ideas, and for many it is the proofreading and editing to produce a polished product. Despite the challenges, writing powers your brain! Creative writing helps develop cognitive growth, organizational abilities, and the ability to influence others. This in turn helps you do better in all other subject areas too!
According to Andrea Bergstein, the greatest benefits to creative writing are:
Imagination & Creativity, Self-Expression, Self-Confidence, and Communication & Persuasion Skills
Let’s Get You Started!
Here are 4 sections to help you in your creative writing journey.
(1) Type – Decide what kind of creative writing you want to explore. Here are some popular choices: poetry, fiction or non-fiction narrative, expository, persuasive, and journal.
(2) Brainstorming – Come up with a focus, topic, ideas, sequence of events, etc. This sometimes can be the hardest part for writers of all ages. Below I have provided some ideas and prompts to help you get started if you’re stuck.
a) Find a picture or an object you like and create an event around it to put at the beginning, or in the middle, or at the end of your piece.
b) Take pictures of things close up so that the photo looks so different from the object itself and see if any ideas are sparked that you could write about (or include in your existing plans).
Here are a few I found online:
c) Use a scene to inspire ideas like this one by M.C. Escher called Relativity.
d) Research your favourite authors and see what inspires them, like Chris Van Allsburg and his use of “Cognitive Dissonance” in creating Jumanji.
e) Use a writing prompt to help power up your brain. Here are a few that may be helpful:
Write about a time when you were in danger.
Write as an old person looking back on your life.
Write about a hilarious situation that happened to you.
Write about something that drives you crazy.
Write about being trapped in your favourite video game.
Write about an awesome sight you have observed in nature.
Write about activities you would plan to celebrate Canada’s 200th birthday in 2067.
Write the commentary for a sporting event.
Write about what you see happening out your window.
Write a newspaper article on something meaningful to you.
Write a proposal for a new TV sitcom or reality show.
Write as an alien reporting on the activities of Earth.
Write about a social justice issue that concerns you.
Write about which famous Canadian should be featured next on Canadian money.
Write about ways to improve your neighbourhood.
f) Start with a character. Develop your character based on someone you find interesting, unusual, funny, complex, or even annoying. Maybe take traits from 2 or 3 people you know and create one character. For me, it would be the grumpy old man who lived across the street when I was a kid.
(3) Proofread and Edit – This can be more time consuming than the writing itself, and requires lots of effort and thought as you work to turn your initial writing into a masterpiece. To me, this is really the act of writing…being able to
Here are some checklists to help you with the proofreading and editing process:
(4) Publishing – Publishing is a essential step to writing completion. This means you create a good copy. This can take on a variety of forms. Some ideas are listed below, but there are many more that you could use.
- Book Creator.
- A Novel Idea.
- Creative Book Builder.
- eBook Magic.
- Express Books.
- Book Maker for Kids.
- Scribble Story.
- Story Creator.
- Scribble Press.
Post on your own private website/blog
Altered Books (using an old book): Powerpoint of ideas
Paper Bound Books: Book Binding Ideas