Crafting an original work of fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction takes time, practice, and persistence. While there’s no exact science to creative writing, the following tips will help you get started:
1. Know your audience- An important point to start with: you are writing for your readers, not for yourself. Familiarize yourself with your expected audience. Where do you imagine this piece of writing appearing? The readers of a poetry magazine are different from the readers of a fan fiction site; the readers of mass-market mystery novels are different from the readers of a flash fiction blog.
2. Write about what you know- Beginning writers always get told ‘write what you know’, but it’s good advice. Use settings, characters, background, and language that you’re already familiar with and create new stories from the world that you already know. This is like using research you’ve already done. And remember, your background, what you bring to the act of writing, is as valid as what anyone else can bring.
3. Read widely and well Writers love reading. Make yourself familiar with the published landscape of writing in your chosen field, whether it’s modern poetry, literary fiction, thrillers, short stories, or fantasy. Nothing encourages good writing like reading good writing.
4. Keep a journal- One key part of the inspiration process is tracking it down. A writing journal offers a great place to store your observations, thought-provoking quotations, and other interesting tidbits you may encounter. The end result is an accumulation of ideas that can help you in generating character, conversation, and other elements of your writing. A journal also offers a space to experiment with writing exercises, and play around with different writing techniques.
5. Make time to write- You can have everything laid out perfectly in front of you for a great novel, but you also need time to actually write it. Setting aside a daily period specifically for writing might not be necessary, but it will help establish a sense of routine and process, especially if you are working towards a deadline.