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How to Make Your Writing More Interesting & Engaging

how to make creative writing more engaging

Once we grab our readers’ attention, a feat of its own, convincing them to continue reading is another challenge many writers face. This problem concerns not only novelists and marketers but also researchers like you.

You devote countless hours conducting your investigation and are eager to share your findings with the world, but you’re not alone in this endeavor. Thousands of other academics want the same goal, making it difficult for editors to sort through the overwhelming number of submissions they receive.

How, then, can you improve your chance to publish your academic papers successfully? Write better. Not only does the substantive information need to be interesting, but also your writing style should enhance readability and engagement. A monotonous and dull paper means no audience, which translates to editors rejecting your paper, even if your research findings are solidly grounded.

To help you spruce up your paper, we provide the following quick list of ways to improve your writing style.

1. Shorten Those 19th Century-Length Sentences

Academics write long-winded sentences. Add scientific terminology to the mix, and you’ve created an incredibly hard-to-read journal manuscript. To help readers digest your paper’s content, shorten your sentences. Not all conditions, modifiers, and exceptions need to be included in one sentence. Below are a few ways to achieve concise, higher-impact sentences. With these tips, you’ll reduce the chance of losing readers who feel lost in your entangling prose.

  • Break apart longer sentences, particularly those longer than 20 words.
  • Use logical transitional phrases to link ideas together instead of relying solely on conjunctions.
  • If you have a series of long clauses, break them up by inserting brief ones.
  • Save your most powerful content for concise phrases. Short sentences stand out, and the key message you want to convey won’t drown in a sea of words.

2. Avoid Repetitive Phrasing

Here’s a scenario we often encounter:

“You used the same word four times in a paragraph, particularly in consecutive sentences. You might want to diversify the vocabulary,” an editor suggests.

The author retorts, “But they’re technical terms. I have to use them to be accurate.”

 Don’t you tire of reading the same words over and over? Your audience feels the same way. Constantly seeing similar patterns is dull, and even our brain disapproves of such writing. When we become accustomed to repetitive things like words on a page, our eyes gloss over them and we lose focus. Keep your readers engaged by switching up your prose. The following are a few ways to help you diversify your vocabulary.

  • Use synonyms when possible, but be careful that the substitution fits the context.
  • Don’t forget that pronouns and other demonstratives are your friends. Make sure that pronoun references are clear, however.
  • Organize your paragraphs so that similar ideas and topics are together. This method will help you establish more precise references for pronouns and demonstratives.
  • Repetition can be useful for emphasizing a certain point. Use it sparingly or the repeated phrases may lose their impact.

3. Diversify Sentence Structures Within a Paragraph

Like expanding word choice , varying grammatical compositions can help engage readers. For example, consistent use of “subject + verb+object” in consecutive sentences is tedious to read and is akin to child-like writing patterns. Our brains will gloss over the monotonous text. What can you do to correct this problem? Here are a couple of pointers.

  • Mix compound and complex sentences and insert simple sentences to give readers’ eyes periodic breaks.
  • All your sentences shouldn’t be the same length, regardless of their grammatical construction.

4. Vary Consecutive Paragraph Structures and Lengths

You can apply the advice from all three points above to paragraphs and sections.

  • Make sure consecutive blocks of text don’t begin with the same phrases/words.
  • All your paragraphs don’t need to be the same length.
  • Switch around structures. Use bullets and numbered lists where appropriate.
  • Keep your paragraphs short. No one wants to read a wall of text!

We hope this checklist of bulleted revision tips has given you some new tools for strengthening your writing skills and producing clearer drafts. As always, if you would like additional tips and advice on how to improve your drafting techniques, feel free to browse our articles on our Resources page.

And don’t forget to receive professional proofreading and editing services , including manuscript editing and other academic editing services , for your next research paper or academic document before submitting it to journals.

Additionally, if you are a business professional or independent writer, consider using one of the following services to enhance your writing and wow your audience.

Business Editing Services ( Document Editing , Report Editing , Blog Editing )

Editing services for writers ( script editing , book editing ).

Creative Writing Techniques: 39 Tips for Crafting Compelling Stories (Fully Explained)

By: Author Paul Jenkins

Posted on Published: June 20, 2023  - Last updated: July 10, 2023

Categories Writing

Creative writing is a form of self-expression that allows you to communicate your thoughts, emotions, and ideas uniquely and engagingly. Whether you’re writing a novel, a short story, a poem, or a screenplay, there are many techniques you can use to make your writing more exciting and impactful. These techniques can help you create vivid imagery, develop compelling characters, and convey complex ideas clearly and concisely.

One of the most popular creative writing techniques is the use of metaphors, which compare a characteristic of something unknown to something known. This technique adds fun and personality to your writing and can help you create vivid and memorable descriptions. Another technique is using similes, which make comparisons using “like” or “as.” Similes can be used to create visual images that help readers understand complex ideas or emotions.

Creative writing is a powerful tool that can help you connect with others, explore your thoughts and feelings, and share your unique perspective. By mastering these techniques and experimenting with different styles and forms of writing, you can unlock your full creative potential and create works of art that inspire and entertain others.

Key Takeaways

  • Creative writing is a form of self-expression that allows you to communicate your thoughts, emotions, and ideas uniquely and engagingly.
  • Metaphors and similes are popular creative writing techniques that can help you create vivid imagery and convey complex ideas clearly and concisely.
  • By mastering different styles and forms of writing, you can unlock your full creative potential and create works of art that inspire and entertain others.

1. Metaphors: Compare a Characteristic of Something Unknown to Something Known

Metaphors are a powerful tool in creative writing that can add depth and meaning to your work. They are an analogy that compares a characteristic of something unknown to something known. They help readers understand complex ideas by relating them to something familiar.

Metaphors can describe abstract concepts, emotions, and sensory experiences. For example, you might use a metaphor to describe the feeling of falling in love as “a rollercoaster ride.” This comparison helps readers understand the ups and downs of love by relating it to something they are familiar with.

When using metaphors, it’s important to choose accurate and interesting comparisons. Avoid cliches and overused comparisons, as these can make your writing stale and unoriginal. Instead, try to create unique and unexpected comparisons to surprise and delight your readers.

To create effective metaphors, it’s also important to consider the context of your writing. Think about the tone and mood you want to convey and the themes and ideas you want to explore. You can create a more cohesive and impactful piece by choosing appropriate metaphors for your writing.

2. Similes: Make Comparisons Using ‘Like’ or ‘As’

Similes are figurative language that compare two things using the words ‘like’ or ‘as’. They are often used in creative writing to make descriptions more vivid and interesting. Here are some examples:

  • The clouds were like fluffy pillows in the sky.
  • Her hair was as black as coal.
  • The water shimmered like diamonds in the sunlight.

As you can see, similes help create a picture in the reader’s mind by comparing something familiar to something unfamiliar. This makes your writing more engaging and memorable.

It’s important to choose appropriate comparisons that make sense when using similes. Avoid using cliches or overused comparisons, as they make your writing seem unoriginal. Instead, develop unique and creative similes that capture the essence of what you’re describing.

Here are some tips for using similes effectively in your writing:

  • Use similes sparingly. While similes can be effective, overusing them can make your writing seem forced or contrived.
  • Make sure your similes are accurate. Don’t use a simile that doesn’t make sense or is factually incorrect.
  • Use similes to create a specific mood or tone. For example, you might use a dark or ominous simile to create foreboding in your writing.
  • Experiment with different types of similes. You can use similes to compare anything from emotions to objects to natural phenomena.

3. Analogies: Draw Parallels Between Two Seemingly Unrelated Things

One of the most effective creative writing techniques is the use of analogies. Analogies allow you to draw parallels between two seemingly unrelated things, which can help your readers understand complex ideas and emotions more easily.

Analogies can be used in many different ways in creative writing. For example, you can use analogies to describe a character’s personality, explain a difficult concept, or add depth and richness to your descriptions.

To create an analogy, start by identifying two things that seem unrelated but share some common qualities. For example, you might compare a person to a tree, noting that both grow and change over time. Or you might compare a difficult situation to a storm, noting that both can be unpredictable and overwhelming.

Once you have identified your two objects, think about the qualities they share and how you can use those qualities to create a comparison. For example, if you compare a person to a tree, you might write something like: “Like a tree, she stood tall and strong, weathering the storms of life with grace and resilience.”

Analogies can be a powerful tool in creative writing, but it’s important to use them sparingly and effectively. Too many analogies can make your writing feel forced or contrived, so choose your comparisons carefully and use them only when they add something meaningful to your work.

4. Imagery: Use Vivid and Descriptive Language to Create Mental Pictures for Readers

Imagery is a powerful tool writers use to create mental pictures in the minds of their readers. Using vivid and descriptive language can transport your readers to different places, times, and emotions. Here are some tips on how to use imagery effectively in your writing:

  • Use sensory details: Sensory details are descriptions that appeal to the five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. By using sensory details, you can help your readers experience the story in a more immersive way. For example, instead of saying, “The flower looked pretty,” you could say, “The bright red petals of the rose glistened in the sun, emitting a sweet fragrance that filled the air.”
  • Be specific: The more specific your descriptions, the more vivid the mental picture you create in your readers’ minds. Instead of saying, “The car drove down the street,” you could say, “The sleek, silver sports car zoomed down the winding road, its engine roaring like a lion.”
  • Use metaphors and similes: Metaphors and similes are comparisons that help readers understand complex ideas by relating them to something familiar. For example, instead of saying, “She was sad,” you could say, “Her heart felt heavy like a stone sinking to the bottom of a lake.”
  • Use personification: Personification is a literary device that gives human qualities to non-human things. By using personification, you can make your descriptions more engaging and memorable. For example, instead of saying, “The wind blew through the trees,” you could say, “The wind whispered secrets to the leaves, causing them to dance and rustle in the breeze.”

5. Personification: Assign Human Qualities to Non-Human Entities

Personification is a powerful literary device that can add depth and emotion to your writing. It involves assigning human qualities to non-human entities, such as animals, objects, or abstract concepts. Doing this can create a more relatable and engaging story that resonates with your readers.

When using personification, you should carefully choose the right characteristics to assign to your non-human entities. For example, you might describe a tree as “strong and steadfast” to emphasize its resilience or a river as “wild and untamed” to highlight its power and unpredictability. The key is to choose appropriate and meaningful qualities for the story you are trying to tell.

One of the benefits of using personification in your writing is that it can help you create a more vivid and memorable image in your reader’s mind. By giving non-human entities human qualities, you can help your readers understand and connect with them on a deeper level. This can make your story more engaging and enjoyable to read.

However, it’s important to use personification sparingly and appropriately. Overusing this technique can make your writing feel forced or contrived and can distract from the story you are trying to tell. Instead, strategically use personification to enhance your storytelling and create a more powerful emotional impact.

6. Show, Don’t Tell: Describe Actions, Thoughts, and Feelings Rather Than Simply Stating Them

Creative writing is all about immersing your readers in the story and making them feel like they are a part of it. One of the best ways to achieve this is by using the “Show, Don’t Tell” technique. This technique encourages you to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings rather than simply stating them. Doing so can create a more engaging and vivid story that draws readers in and keeps them hooked.

When you “show” rather than “tell,” you allow your readers to experience the story for themselves. Instead of telling them that a character is angry, for example, you can show them by describing how the character clenches their fists, grits their teeth, and scowls. This creates a more vivid image in the reader’s mind, allowing them to empathize with the character and deeply feel their emotions.

To effectively use the “Show, Don’t Tell” technique, it’s important to use descriptive language that appeals to the senses. Use vivid imagery to describe what characters see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. This will help readers feel like they are in the story and allow them to experience it more fully.

Another key aspect of this technique is to use actions to convey emotions. Instead of telling your readers that a character is sad, for example, you can show them by describing how the character slumps their shoulders, avoids eye contact, and speaks quietly. This creates a more powerful emotional impact and makes the story more engaging and interesting.

7. Repetition: Reinforce a Point or Create Emphasis by Repeating Words or Phrases

Repetition is a powerful tool in creative writing that can reinforce a point or create emphasis. Repeating words or phrases can help to drive home a message, create a sense of rhythm, and make your writing more memorable. Here are some ways to use repetition in your writing:

1. Repetition of Words

Repeating a word can be a simple yet effective way to create emphasis. It can be used to highlight a key point or to create a sense of urgency. For example, “You must study, study, study to succeed.” The repetition of “study” emphasizes the importance of studying.

2. Repetition of Phrases

Repeating a phrase can create a sense of rhythm in your writing. It can also reinforce a point or create a memorable image. For example, “The night was dark, dark as coal, dark as the inside of a coffin.” The repetition of “dark” creates a vivid image in the reader’s mind.

3. Repetition of Structure

Repeating a structure can be used to create a sense of order or to emphasize a point. For example, “First, you must study. Then, you must practice. Finally, you must perform.” The repetition of “you must” creates a sense of order and emphasizes the importance of each step.

4. Repetition of Sound

Repeating a sound can be used to create a sense of rhythm or to emphasize a point. For example, “The rain pattered on the roof, splattered on the windows, and chattered on the pavement.” The repetition of the “at” sound creates a sense of rhythm and emphasizes the sound of the rain.

8. Alliteration: Use the Repetition of Consonant Sounds at the Beginning of Words

One creative writing technique that can add a musical quality to your writing is alliteration. Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words close to each other. By using alliteration, you can create a rhythmic and memorable effect that can enhance the overall impact of your writing.

One common use of alliteration is in poetry, where it can help create a certain mood or tone. For example, consider the famous line from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”: “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary.” The repetition of the “w” sound in “weak” and “weary” creates a sense of weariness and melancholy that fits the mood of the poem.

Alliteration can also be used in prose to create emphasis or to draw attention to certain words or phrases. For example, you might use alliteration to highlight the importance of a particular character or object. Consider this sentence: “The shimmering sword sliced through the darkness, sending sparks flying.” The repetition of the “s” sound in “shimmering,” “sword,” and “sparks” draws attention to the sword and its action, making it stand out in the sentence.

When using alliteration, it’s important to avoid overdoing it. Too much alliteration can become distracting or even annoying to the reader. Instead, use alliteration sparingly and strategically, focusing on the words and sounds most impacting your writing.

9. Assonance: Repeat Vowel Sounds Within Words

Assonance is a powerful tool to add rhythm and melody to your writing. It is a literary technique that involves repeating vowel sounds within words. The repetition of these sounds creates a musical effect that can add emphasis, mood, and tone to your writing.

Assonance is not the same as rhyme, which involves repeating the same sound at the end of words. Instead, assonance focuses on repeating vowel sounds within words, regardless of whether the words rhyme. For example, “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain” is an example of assonance, as the “ai” sound is repeated throughout the sentence.

Assonance can be used in a variety of ways to enhance your writing. Here are a few examples:

  • Create a musical effect: By repeating vowel sounds, you can create a musical effect that can add rhythm and melody to your writing. This can help your writing flow more smoothly and make it more engaging to read.
  • Emphasize certain words or phrases: By repeating vowel sounds in certain words or phrases, you can draw attention to them and make them stand out. This can help you emphasize important points or create a mood or tone in your writing.
  • Add depth and complexity: By using assonance, you can add depth and complexity to your writing. This can help you create more nuanced and layered, more satisfying writing .

10. Onomatopoeia: Use Words That Imitate the Sounds They Represent

You should consider using onomatopoeia to make your writing more vivid and engaging. Onomatopoeia is the use of words that imitate the sounds they represent. This literary device can help you create a more immersive experience for your readers by allowing them to hear the sounds in their minds as they read.

Onomatopoeia can be used in a variety of ways. You can use it to describe nature’s sounds, like birds chirping or leaves rustling. You can also use it to describe the sounds of objects, like the beep of a car horn or the clanging of pots and pans in the kitchen. Onomatopoeia can even be used to describe the sounds of emotions, like the thumping of a heart or the sigh of relief.

One of the advantages of using onomatopoeia is that it can help you create a more sensory experience for your readers. Using words that imitate the sounds they represent, you can help your readers hear the sounds in their minds as they read. This can make your writing more engaging and memorable.

Another advantage of using onomatopoeia is that it can help you create a more realistic and authentic experience for your readers. Using words that imitate the sounds they represent can help your readers feel like they are in the scene with your characters. This can help you create a stronger emotional connection with your readers and make your writing more impactful.

Here are a few examples of onomatopoeia that you can use in your writing:

  • Sizzle: This word imitates the sound of something cooking on a hot surface, like a steak on a grill.
  • Buzz: This word imitates the sound of a bee or other insect flying around.
  • Hiss: This word imitates the sound of air escaping from a tire or a snake slithering through the grass.
  • Thump: This word imitates the sound of something heavy hitting the ground, like a book falling off a shelf.

11. Anaphora: Repeat the Same Word or Phrase at the Beginning of Successive Clauses

Anaphora is a rhetorical device that can create a powerful effect in your writing. It involves repeating the same word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences. This repetition can help to emphasize an idea, create a rhythm, and make your writing more memorable.

When you use anaphora, you start each sentence or clause with the same word or phrase. This repetition can help to create a sense of unity and cohesion in your writing. It can also help emphasize a particular point or idea you want to convey to your reader.

Anaphora is often used in speeches and other forms of persuasive writing. For example, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech is full of examples of anaphora. In this speech, King repeatedly repeats the phrase “I have a dream” to emphasize his vision of a better future.

Using anaphora in your writing can help to create a similar effect. Repeating a word or phrase can create a sense of anticipation in your reader. They will be waiting for the next instance of that word or phrase, which can help to keep them engaged with your writing.

Here are some tips for using anaphora effectively in your writing:

  • Choose a word or phrase that is important to your message.
  • Use anaphora sparingly. Too much repetition can become tedious for your reader.
  • Vary the length and structure of your sentences to keep your writing interesting.
  • Experiment with different words and phrases to see which ones work best for your message.

12. Epistrophe: Repeat the Same Word or Phrase at the End of Successive Clauses

Epistrophe is a creative writing technique where the writer repeats the same word or phrase at the end of successive clauses or sentences. This technique is also known as epiphora. Epistrophe is used in poetry, speeches, and prose to create emphasis and rhythm.

Epistrophe is similar to anaphora when the writer repeats the same word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences. The difference between the two is that epistrophe repeats the word or phrase at the end of the sentence, while anaphora repeats it at the beginning.

One famous example of epistrophe is from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” In this example, Lincoln repeats the phrase “of the people, by the people, for the people” at the end of each clause, creating a powerful and memorable effect.

Epistrophe can be used to create a sense of finality or to emphasize a particular point. It can also create a sense of rhythm or musicality in the writing. When using epistrophe, it’s important to choose a word or phrase that is meaningful and impactful, as repetition can quickly become tedious if it’s not used effectively.

13. Anadiplosis: Repeat the Last Word of One Clause at the Beginning of the Next Clause

Anadiplosis is a powerful literary device used in creative writing to create a sense of rhythm and repetition. In Anadiplosis, you repeat the last word of one clause at the beginning of the next clause. This technique is often used to emphasize a particular word or phrase and to create a sense of continuity in the text.

Anadiplosis is commonly used in poetry, speeches, and other forms of creative writing. It is a versatile technique that can be used to create various effects. For example, Anadiplosis can create a sense of urgency or build momentum in a narrative.

Anadiplosis can also create a sense of symmetry or balance in a text. By repeating a word or phrase, you can create a sense of harmony and order in your writing. This technique can be especially effective with literary devices like alliteration or rhyme.

Here are some examples of Anadiplosis in action:

  • “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda, Star Wars.
  • “The love of wicked men converts to fear; That fear to hate, and hate turns one or both To worthy danger and deserved death.” – William Shakespeare, Richard II.
  • “When I give, I give myself.” – Walt Whitman, Song of Myself.

14. Chiasmus: Reverse the Order of Words in Two Parallel Phrases

Chiasmus is a literary device that reverses word order in two parallel phrases. It is a rhetorical device commonly used in literature, speeches, and other forms of creative writing. The word “chiasmus” comes from the Greek word “Kiasmos,” which means “crossing” or “x-shaped.”

Chiasmus is a powerful tool for writers because it can create a sense of balance and symmetry in a sentence. It can also help to emphasize a particular point or idea. By reversing the order of words, writers can create a memorable and impactful phrase that sticks with the reader.

Here are a few examples of chiasmus in action:

  • “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy
  • “You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.” – Cormac McCarthy, The Road
  • “It is not the years in your life but the life in your years that counts.” – Adlai E. Stevenson

Notice how each of these examples has a similar structure. The first phrase sets up an idea, and the second phrase reverses the order of words to create a memorable and impactful statement.

When using chiasmus in your writing, it’s important to ensure that the reversed phrases make sense and flow well. It’s also important to use chiasmus sparingly, as overusing it can make your writing seem contrived or forced.

15. Adnomination: Repeat Words with the Same Root, Differing in One Sound or Letter

Adnomination is a literary device that involves repeating words with the same root but differing in one sound or letter. This technique can create a particular sound and effect in text. It can also be used to describe the repetition of a word but in a different sense. Adnomination is used frequently for emphatic contrast or punning.

Using adnomination can add emphasis and depth to your writing. It can help to create a poetic effect, making your writing more memorable and engaging for your readers. Adnomination can also help to create a sense of rhythm and flow in your writing.

Here are a few examples of adnomination:

  • “She was the light of his life, the fire in his soul, and the wind in his sails.”
  • “The city was a maze of streets, alleys, and avenues.”
  • “The cat sat on the mat, looking fat and happy.”

As you can see from these examples, adnomination can create a sense of repetition and rhythm in your writing. It can also create a sense of contrast or comparison between different words.

When using adnomination in your writing, it’s important to use it sparingly. Overusing this technique can make your writing feel forced and contrived. Instead, try to use adnomination naturally and organically to your writing style.

16. Flashbacks: Reveal Past Events to Provide Context or Deepen Characterization

Flashbacks are a powerful tool that can reveal past events and provide context to your story. By taking the reader back in time, you can deepen the characterization of your protagonist, reveal important backstories, and create a more complex and nuanced narrative.

When using flashbacks, it’s important to be strategic. You don’t want to disrupt the flow of your story or confuse your reader. Here are some tips to help you use flashbacks effectively:

  • Use flashbacks sparingly. Too many flashbacks can be disorienting and disrupt the flow of your story. Use them only when necessary to provide context or deepen characterization.
  • Make sure your flashbacks are relevant. Your flashbacks should directly relate to the main story and help move the plot forward.
  • Use clear transitions. Make it clear to your reader when moving into a flashback and returning to the present. You can use formatting, such as italics or a change in tense, to help differentiate between the two.
  • Don’t rely on flashbacks to provide exposition. While flashbacks can be a great way to reveal important backstories, they shouldn’t be used as a crutch to provide exposition. Make sure your story is strong enough to stand on its own.

17. Dialogue: Use Conversations Between Characters to Convey Information and Develop Relationships

Dialogue is essential for creative writers to convey information and develop relationships between characters. You can reveal their personalities, motivations, and conflicts by writing conversations between characters. Dialogue can also move the plot forward and create tension in the story.

When writing dialogue, it is important to make it sound natural and believable. People do not always speak in complete sentences and often interrupt each other. Use contractions, slang, and regional dialects to make the dialogue more authentic. However, avoid using too much jargon or technical language that may confuse the reader.

To make the dialogue more engaging, use body language and gestures to show how the characters feel. For example, if a character is nervous, they may fidget or avoid eye contact. They may clench their fists or raise their voice if they are angry. These nonverbal cues can add depth and complexity to the conversation.

When writing dialogue, it is important to remember that every character has a voice and personality. Each character should have a unique way of speaking, with their vocabulary, tone, and syntax. This can help the reader distinguish between characters and make them more memorable.

18. Monologue: Allow a Character to Express Their Thoughts or Feelings in an Extended Speech

Monologues are an effective tool in creative writing that allows characters to express their thoughts or feelings in an extended speech. This technique is often used in theater but can also be used in books, movies, and other mediums. Monologues can be addressed to other characters in the scene, or they can be one character talking to themselves or the audience.

To write a compelling monologue, you must first understand your character’s motivations, fears, and desires. This will help you create a speech that is authentic and believable. You should also consider the setting and tone of the scene. Is the character angry, sad, or happy? Is the scene serious or humorous?

A good monologue will have a clear beginning, middle, and end. It should also be concise and to the point. Avoid rambling or going off on tangents. Use descriptive language and vivid imagery to engage the reader and bring the scene to life.

When writing a monologue, it’s important to remember that it should reveal something about the character. It should provide insight into their personality, beliefs, and values. It should also advance the plot or reveal something important about the story.

19. Symbolism: Use Objects, Characters, or Events to Represent Abstract Ideas or Concepts

Symbolism is a powerful literary device that can add depth and meaning to your writing. It uses objects, characters, or events to represent abstract ideas or concepts. Doing so can create a richer and more complex narrative that engages your readers on multiple levels.

One of the most important things to remember when using symbolism is that the symbol should be closely related to what it represents. A strong symbol usually shares key characteristics with whatever it is meant to symbolize or is related to it in some other way. For example, a dove symbolizes peace because of its gentle nature and association with religious stories.

Characters can also be symbolic. They can represent specific ideas or concepts or embody broader themes or motifs. For example, in “The Great Gatsby,” the character of Jay Gatsby represents the American Dream, while the character of Daisy Buchanan represents the corruption and superficiality of the wealthy elite.

Events can also be symbolic. They can represent larger societal issues or personal struggles. For example, in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the trial of Tom Robinson represents the racial inequality and injustice prevalent in the American South during the 1930s.

When using symbolism, it’s important to remember that it should enhance your story rather than detract from it. Don’t use symbols just to use them; make sure they serve a purpose and add meaning to your narrative.

20. Irony: Create a Contrast Between What Is Expected and What Actually Occurs

Irony is a useful tool in creative writing that can help you create a contrast between what is expected and what actually occurs. Using irony, you can create a sense of surprise, humor, or even tragedy in your writing. There are three types of irony: verbal, situational, and dramatic.

Verbal Irony

Verbal irony is when a character says one thing but means the opposite. This type of irony is often used for comedic effect. For example, if a character says, “I just love being stuck in traffic for hours,” when they don’t enjoy it, that’s verbal irony.

Situational Irony

Situational irony is when the opposite of what is expected happens. This type of irony can create a sense of surprise or even tragedy. For example, if a firefighter’s house burns down, that’s situational irony.

Dramatic Irony

Dramatic irony is when the audience knows something that the characters do not. This type of irony can create tension and suspense in your writing. For example, if the audience knows that a character is about to be betrayed, but the character does not, that’s dramatic irony.

21. Hyperbole: Use Exaggeration for Emphasis or Effect

When it comes to creative writing, one technique that can be particularly effective is hyperbole. Hyperbole is a figure of speech that exaggerates something for emphasis or effect. Using hyperbole, you can create vivid images, convey strong emotions, and add humor to your writing.

Hyperbole can be used in a variety of ways. For example, you might use it to describe a character in your story. Instead of saying that your protagonist is “tall,” you might exaggerate and say they are “towering over everyone in the room.” This helps to create a stronger image in the reader’s mind and emphasizes the character’s physical presence.

Another way to use hyperbole is to add humor to your writing. For example, you might describe a character’s reaction to a situation exaggeratedly, such as saying they “nearly died of shock” when they received unexpected news. This can add a lighthearted touch to your writing and make it more engaging for readers.

When using hyperbole, it’s important to balance exaggeration and believability. While hyperbole is meant to be an exaggeration, it shouldn’t be so extreme that it becomes unbelievable or ridiculous. It’s also important to use hyperbole sparingly, as too much can make your writing feel over-the-top and tiresome.

22. Understatement: Minimize the Importance of Something for Emphasis or Humor

Understatement is a creative writing technique that involves intentionally representing something as less significant than it is. It is the opposite of hyperbole, which exaggerates the importance of something. Understatement is used to downplay the value or importance of something, often to create emphasis or humor.

Using understatement can be an effective way to make a point without being too direct or confrontational. It can also create a sense of irony or humor in your writing. For example, if you are writing a story about a character who has just won the lottery, you might use understatement to describe their reaction to the news. Instead of saying they were ecstatic, you could say they were “moderately pleased” or “mildly surprised.”

One of the benefits of using understatement is that it can create a sense of humility in your writing. It can show that you know the limitations of your knowledge or perspective. For example, if you write an opinion piece on a controversial topic, you might use understatement to acknowledge other valid viewpoints. You could say, “While it is true that some people believe X, others might argue Y.”

Another benefit of understatement is that it can create a sense of surprise or shock in your writing. By downplaying the importance of something, you can create a sudden shift in tone that catches the reader off guard. For example, if you are writing a horror story, you might use understatement to describe a gruesome scene. Instead of describing the blood and gore in graphic detail, you might say “there was a small amount of blood on the floor.”

23. Juxtaposition: Place Contrasting Elements Side by Side to Highlight Their Differences

Juxtaposition is a powerful tool in creative writing that involves placing two contrasting elements side by side to highlight their differences. This technique can create tension, irony, humor, or convey social or political commentary. By juxtaposing, you can draw attention to the differences between the two elements and create a more vivid and compelling narrative.

Juxtaposition can be used in various ways in creative writing. For example, you can use it to compare and contrast characters, settings, themes, or ideas. This technique can effectively highlight the differences between two characters or settings and create a sense of conflict or tension.

Another way to use juxtaposition is to create irony. By placing two seemingly unrelated elements, you can create a sense of irony that can be both humorous and thought-provoking.

For example, in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the pigs who lead the revolution and establish a new social order are eventually revealed to be just as corrupt and oppressive as the humans they overthrew. This juxtaposition creates a powerful irony and underscores the novel’s social and political commentary.

Juxtaposition can also be used to create mood and atmosphere. By placing two contrasting elements side by side, you can create a sense of tension or unease that can add depth and complexity to your writing.

For example, in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death,” the opulent and decadent party that the protagonist attends is juxtaposed with the looming presence of the Red Death, creating a sense of dread and foreboding that adds to the story’s horror and suspense.

24. Parallelism: Use Similar Grammatical Structures to Create Balance and Rhythm

Parallelism is a writing technique that uses similar grammatical structures to create balance and rhythm within a sentence. Using parallelism, you repeat a specific grammatical pattern throughout a sentence or paragraph. This repetition creates a sense of rhythm and balance, making your writing more engaging and memorable.

Parallelism can be used in many different ways, including:

  • Creating lists: When you list items in your writing, you can use parallelism to make the list more readable and memorable. For example: “She loved to dance, sing, and act.”
  • Emphasizing important points: Parallelism can be used to emphasize important ideas or concepts in your writing. For example: “You must work hard, study diligently, and never give up if you want to succeed.”
  • Comparing and contrasting: Parallelism can also be used to compare and contrast ideas in your writing. For example: “He was both kind and cruel, generous and selfish, all at the same time.”

When using parallelism, it’s important to ensure that your repeating structures are truly parallel. This means that they should have the same grammatical form and structure. For example, if you use parallelism to create a list, each item should be structured similarly. This will make your writing more clear and compelling.

In addition to creating balance and rhythm, parallelism can help you convey your ideas more effectively. Repeating a specific grammatical pattern can draw attention to important ideas and make them more memorable. This can be especially useful when trying to persuade or convince your readers.

25. Oxymoron: Combine Contradictory Terms to Create a Striking Effect

An oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines two contradictory terms to create a striking effect. This literary device is often used in creative writing to add depth and complexity to a text. Oxymorons can create a sense of irony or humor or emphasize a point.

Oxymorons consist of two words that have opposite meanings. For example, “bittersweet,” “jumbo shrimp,” and “living dead” are all examples of oxymorons. These terms may seem contradictory, but when used together, they create a unique and memorable image in the reader’s mind.

When using oxymorons in your writing, it’s important to consider the context in which they are used. An oxymoron can be used to create a sense of irony or humor, but it can also be used to emphasize a point. For example, “cruel kindness” can highlight the negative impact of well-intentioned actions.

Oxymorons can also be used to create memorable and impactful descriptions. For example, the phrase “silent scream” creates a vivid image of a person expressing intense emotion without making a sound. Similarly, the phrase “dark light” can describe a situation where light and darkness are present.

26. Paradox: Present a Seemingly Contradictory Statement That Reveals a Deeper Truth

Paradox is a literary device that involves presenting a statement that appears contradictory but, upon further examination, reveals a deeper truth or meaning. It’s a powerful technique that can add depth and complexity to your writing.

One classic example of a paradox is the statement, “Less is more.” At first glance, this statement seems to contradict itself. How can less be more? But upon closer inspection, we can see that the statement reveals a more profound truth: that sometimes, simplicity is more effective than complexity.

Another example of a paradox is the statement, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This statement appears contradictory because how can someone who is also an enemy be considered a friend? But upon closer examination, we can see that this statement reveals a deeper truth: sometimes, people with a common enemy can work together towards a common goal.

Paradoxes can be used in a variety of ways in creative writing. They can add depth and complexity to characters, reveal hidden meanings and truths, and create a sense of mystery and intrigue. When using paradoxes in your writing, it’s vital to ensure they are relevant to the story and add value to the reader’s understanding.

To create a paradox, consider the theme or message you want to convey in your writing. Think about how you can present a statement that appears contradictory but reveals a deeper truth. Consider using contrasting words or phrases, such as “love and hate” or “life and death,” to create a sense of tension and intrigue.

27. Pun: Use a Play on Words for Humor or Emphasis

Puns are a popular literary device that can add humor and emphasis to your writing. A pun is a play on words involving words with similar sounds but different meanings. Puns can be used for comedic effect, to create irony, or to add depth to your writing.

To use a pun in your writing, you need to identify words or phrases that have multiple meanings or that sound similar to other words. For example, you could use a pun by saying, “I’m reading a book on anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down!” This pun relies on the double meaning of “put down,” which can mean physically placing something down and losing interest.

Puns can also be used to create irony or to add depth to your writing. For example, you could use a pun in a serious piece of writing to draw attention to a particular point. This can be an effective way to add emphasis to your message without being too heavy-handed.

When using puns, it’s important not to overdo them. Too many puns can be distracting and can take away from the overall message of your writing. Instead, use puns sparingly and strategically to add humor or emphasis where needed.

28. Foreshadowing: Hint at Future Events in the Story

Foreshadowing is a literary technique that hints at future events in a story. It is a powerful tool that builds suspense, creates tension, and keeps readers engaged. By foreshadowing, you can prepare your readers for what’s to come and make the story more satisfying when the events finally unfold.

There are several ways to use foreshadowing in your writing. One common method is to use symbolism. For example, you might use a recurring image or object to hint at something that will happen later in the story. This can help create a sense of continuity and add depth to your writing.

Another way to use foreshadowing is through dialogue. You can use your characters’ conversations to hint at future events or big reveals. This can be a joke, an offhand comment, or even something unsaid that adds personality to your characters while planting the seed for later revelations.

Foreshadowing can also be used to create dramatic irony. This is when the reader knows something that the characters do not, which can create tension and anticipation. For example, if a character is planning a surprise party, but the reader knows that the guest of honor hates surprises, the reader will be on the edge of their seat waiting for the reveal.

When using foreshadowing, it’s essential to strike a balance. You don’t want to give away too much information too soon, but you also don’t want to be so subtle that your readers miss the hints altogether. It’s a delicate dance, but foreshadowing can be a powerful tool in your creative writing toolbox.

29. Euphemism: Use a Mild or Indirect Expression to Replace a Harsh or Blunt One

In creative writing, euphemism is a technique used to substitute a harsh or blunt expression with a mild or indirect one. It helps to convey a message without being offensive or unpleasant. Euphemism is often used in literature to add depth and subtlety to a character’s dialogue or to describe sensitive subjects.

For example, instead of saying, “he died,” a writer might use the euphemism “he passed away,” which conveys the same meaning but more gently and respectfully. Similarly, instead of saying, “She’s fat,” a writer might use the euphemism “She’s curvy” or “She’s full-figured,” which are less harsh and more positive.

Euphemism can also be used to create irony or humor. For instance, in George Orwell’s novel “Animal Farm,” the pigs use euphemisms to manipulate the other animals and justify their actions. They refer to stealing food as the “readjustment of rations” and executions as “sending to the knacker.”

However, it’s important to use euphemisms carefully and appropriately. Overuse can make writing sound insincere or cliché. It’s also important to consider the context and audience. What may be an appropriate euphemism in one situation may not be in another.

30. Stream of Consciousness: Write from the Perspective of a Character’s Thoughts and Feelings

Stream of consciousness is a writing technique that captures the natural flow of a character’s extended thought process. This technique is often used to convey the character’s thoughts and feelings realistically, and it can be a powerful tool for immersing the reader in the story.

To write from the perspective of a character’s thoughts and feelings using the stream-of-consciousness technique, you need to incorporate sensory impressions, vague ideas, unusual syntax, and rough grammar. Your writing may not flow logically, but it will be more authentic and reflect the character’s inner world.

One way to get started with stream-of-consciousness writing is to imagine that you are the character and try to write down everything that comes to mind. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation at first; focus on capturing the character’s thoughts and feelings as they come. You can always go back and edit later.

Another technique is to use a prompt or trigger to get the character’s thoughts flowing. For example, you could write about a specific event or memory important to the character or use a sensory detail like a smell or sound to evoke a particular emotion.

Remember that stream-of-consciousness writing can be challenging for readers who are used to more traditional storytelling techniques. To make your writing more accessible, you can use formatting tools like italics or bold text to indicate when the character is thinking versus speaking or paragraph breaks to signal a shift in the character’s thoughts.

31, Epistolary: Tell a Story Through Letters, Diary Entries, or Other Documents

Epistolary writing is a technique that involves telling a story through letters, diary entries, or other documents. This technique can create a sense of intimacy between the reader and the characters and provide a unique perspective on the story.

To write an epistolary story, you should first develop a narrative arc. This means you should clearly understand your story’s beginning, middle, and end before you start writing. Once you have this in mind, you can start thinking about the letters or other documents that will make up your story.

One of the advantages of epistolary writing is that it allows you to create a sense of immediacy and intimacy that is difficult to achieve with other techniques. By using letters or diary entries , you can give the reader a direct insight into the thoughts and feelings of your characters. This can be particularly effective if you write a story dealing with complex emotions or relationships.

Another advantage of epistolary writing is that it allows you to experiment with different voices and styles. Because a different character writes each letter or diary entry, you can use this technique to create a sense of diversity and variety in your story. This can be particularly effective if you are writing a story that deals with multiple perspectives or points of view.

32. Magic Realism: Blend Elements of the Fantastical with the Everyday

Magic realism is a literary genre that combines fantastical elements with the everyday. It is a unique and fascinating technique that allows writers to create a world that is both familiar and strange, where magical and supernatural events are presented as a regular part of everyday life.

In magic realism, the fantastic is not presented as something extraordinary or unknown but as a part of the world. This creates a sense of wonder, enchantment, and connection to the world around us.

To write in the magic realism genre, you need to blend the fantastical with the everyday seamlessly and believably. This can be achieved by using a variety of techniques, such as:

  • Subtle Magic: In magic realism, magic is often presented subtly , with small, everyday events taking on a magical quality. For example, a character might be able to see the future, or a tree might have the power to heal the sick.
  • Symbolism and Metaphor: Magic realism often uses symbolism and metaphor to convey its message. For example, a character might be represented by an animal, or a magical event might represent a larger theme or idea.
  • Mixing Genres: Magic realism often blends different genres, such as fantasy, horror, and romance, to create a unique and compelling story.
  • Magical Realism vs. Fantasy: It is important to note that magical realism differs from fantasy. In fantasy, the magical elements are presented as something separate from the real world, while in magic realism, they are presented as an integral part of it.

33. Anthropomorphism: Give Human Traits to Animals or Objects

Anthropomorphism is a literary device attributing human traits to non-human things, such as animals or objects. This technique can add depth and complexity to your writing, allowing you to explore human emotions and experiences through the lens of non-human characters.

When using anthropomorphism, it’s important to balance realism and fantasy. While you want your non-human characters to be relatable and engaging, you also want them to be believable within the context of your story. Consider the following tips when incorporating anthropomorphism into your writing:

  • Use specific details to create a vivid and realistic portrayal of your non-human characters. Think about their physical appearance, mannerisms, and behaviors and how they might differ from those of humans.
  • Avoid relying too heavily on stereotypes or clichés when creating your non-human characters. Instead, draw on real-life observations and experiences to create unique and nuanced personalities.
  • Consider the implications of giving human traits to non-human characters. How might this affect the themes and messages of your story? What commentary might you be making on human nature and society?

34. Allegory: Use a Story or Characters to Represent Abstract Ideas or Moral Lessons

Allegory is a powerful technique in creative writing that allows you to convey complex or abstract ideas through characters, events, or symbols. An allegory is a narrative in which the characters and events represent abstract ideas or moral lessons. This literary device is often used to convey political or social commentary or to explore philosophical or religious themes.

The use of symbolism is key to creating a compelling allegory. Symbols are objects, characters, or events that represent something beyond their literal meaning. When used in an allegory, symbols can represent abstract concepts or ideas in a way that is more accessible to the reader.

For example, George Orwell’s Animal Farm is an allegory in which the animals represent different factions of society, and the story’s events represent the Russian Revolution and the rise of Stalinism. Using animal characters and events that mirror real-world historical events allows the reader to connect with the story deeper and understand the underlying message.

Allegories can be used to explore a wide range of themes and ideas, from political and social commentary to personal growth and spiritual enlightenment. Some common themes explored through allegory include the struggle between good and evil, the nature of humanity, the search for truth and meaning, and the consequences of greed and corruption.

35. In Medias Res: Begin the Story in the Middle of the Action

One of the most effective ways to hook your readers is to start your story in media res, Latin for “in the middle of things.” This technique involves beginning your story during action rather than with exposition or background information. By plunging your readers into the middle of the story, you can immediately capture their attention and keep them engaged.

To use in media res effectively, you need to start with a scene that is both interesting and relevant to the story. This scene should raise questions in the reader’s mind and create a sense of urgency. For example, you might start a mystery novel with the detective already on the killer’s trail or a romance novel with the couple amid a heated argument.

One advantage of starting in media res is that it allows you to avoid the pitfalls of exposition. You can reveal this information through action and dialogue rather than telling your readers about the characters and their backgrounds. This not only makes your story more engaging but also helps to create a more immersive reading experience.

However, it’s important to remember that in media res is not appropriate for every story. If your story requires a lot of exposition or background information, starting in media res may confuse your readers and make it difficult for them to follow the plot. Additionally, if you start your story too far into the action, you may miss important opportunities to establish character and setting.

36. Frame Narrative: Use a Story Within a Story to Provide Context or Commentary

A frame narrative, also known as a frame story or framing device, is a literary technique that uses a story within a story to provide context or commentary. It is a powerful tool for writers who want to tell a complex story with multiple layers of meaning. Using a frame narrative, you can create a rich, immersive world that draws readers in and keeps them engaged.

In a frame narrative, the outer story serves as a frame or container for the inner story. The outer story provides context and commentary on the inner story, and the inner story provides depth and complexity to the outer story. This technique can create various effects, from suspense and mystery to humor and satire.

One of the most famous examples of a frame narrative is “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer. In this work, a group of pilgrims travels to Canterbury and decides to pass the time by telling stories. Each pilgrim tells a story, resulting in a collection of stories within a story. This technique allows Chaucer to explore various themes and ideas, from love and marriage to religion and politics.

Another example of a frame narrative is “One Thousand and One Nights,” also known as the Arabian Nights. This work is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. The frame story is about a Persian king who marries a new bride every day and executes her the next morning.

To avoid this fate, the clever Scheherazade tells the king a story every night but leaves it unfinished, promising to finish it the next night. This goes on for 1,001 nights, and by the end, the king has fallen in love with Scheherazade and spares her life.

37. Unreliable Narrator: Use a Narrator Whose Credibility Is in Question

When it comes to creative writing, one technique that can be used to add depth and complexity to a story is the use of an unreliable narrator. An unreliable narrator is a character who tells the story but whose credibility is in question. This can be achieved through deliberate deception or unintentional misguidedness, forcing the reader to question the narrator’s reliability.

Using an unreliable narrator can add intrigue to a story, as the reader is forced to question the truthfulness of what they are being told. This can create a sense of tension and uncertainty that can keep the reader engaged throughout the story. Additionally, an unreliable narrator can explore themes of perception, truth, and memory as the reader is forced to consider what is real and imagined.

There are several ways to create an unreliable narrator in your writing. One way is to use a first-person point of view, as this allows the reader to see the story through the eyes of the narrator. This can make it easier to create a sense of intimacy with the character but also make it harder to trust their version of events.

Another way to create an unreliable narrator is to use a mentally unstable or emotionally compromised character. This can make it harder for the reader to separate truth from fiction, as the character’s perception of reality may be skewed. Villains, insane people, fools, liars, or hypocrites can all be examples of unreliable narrators.

38. Multiple Narrators: Tell the Story from the Perspectives of Different Characters

If you want to add depth and complexity to your story, consider using multiple narrators. This technique allows you to tell the story from different characters’ perspectives, providing a more nuanced view of the events and allowing the reader to see the story from different angles.

To use multiple narrators effectively, it’s important to choose characters whose perspectives are compelling and distinct. You want to avoid confusing the reader, so make sure each character has a distinct voice and point of view. Consider the following tips:

  • Choose characters who have different backgrounds, experiences, and goals. This will allow you to explore different aspects of the story and add complexity to the plot .
  • Use chapter headings or other markers to indicate when the perspective is changing. This will help the reader track who narrates the story and prevent confusion.
  • Be consistent with the point of view. If you use first-person narration for one character, stick with that for the entire chapter or section. This will help maintain consistency and clarity.
  • Use multiple narrators to reveal different aspects of the story. For example, one character might have access to information that the others do not, or they might interpret events differently based on their own experiences and biases.

39. Cliffhanger: End a Chapter or Scene with Suspense to Keep Readers Engaged

One of the most effective techniques to keep readers engaged is to end a chapter or scene with a cliffhanger. A cliffhanger is a writing device that creates suspense and leaves the reader wanting more. It can be a sudden twist in the plot, a revelation, or a question left unanswered.

You must build tension and anticipation throughout the chapter or scene to create a cliffhanger. You can do this by introducing a problem or challenge the protagonist must overcome. As tension builds, you can escalate the stakes and introduce new obstacles that complicate the situation.

When you reach the end of the chapter or scene, you should leave the reader with a sense of uncertainty or anticipation. You can do this by ending with a question, a revelation, or a sudden twist in the plot. The key is creating a sense of urgency that makes the reader want to turn the page and discover what happens next.

Here are some tips for creating effective cliffhangers:

  • Keep it short and sweet: A cliffhanger should be no more than a few sentences long. It should be concise and to the point, leaving the reader with a clear sense of what is at stake.
  • Use strong verbs: To create a sense of urgency, use strong verbs that convey action and movement. Avoid weak or passive language that slows down the pace of the story.
  • Leave the reader with a question: A cliffhanger should leave the reader with a question that needs to be answered. This can be a question about the plot, the characters, or the setting.
  • Escalate the stakes: As the tension builds, you should escalate the stakes and make the situation more difficult for the protagonist. This will create a sense of urgency and keep the reader engaged.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common creative writing techniques used in literature.

Many creative writing techniques are used in literature, but some of the most common ones include imagery, symbolism, foreshadowing, and flashbacks.

Imagery uses vivid descriptions and sensory details to create a mental picture in the reader’s mind. Symbolism represents abstract ideas or concepts using objects, characters, or actions. Foreshadowing uses hints or clues to suggest what will happen later in the story. Flashbacks are scenes that occur in the past and are used to provide background information or reveal something important about a character or event.

How can descriptive writing techniques be used to enhance storytelling?

Descriptive writing techniques can enhance storytelling by creating a vivid and immersive experience for the reader. By using sensory details such as sights, sounds, smells, and textures, you can transport your reader to the world you’ve created and make them feel like they’re a part of the story. Descriptive writing can also create mood and atmosphere, reveal character traits, and set the tone for the story.

What are some examples of persuasive writing techniques?

Persuasive writing techniques convince the reader to take a particular action or adopt a particular point of view. Some standard techniques include emotional appeals, such as fear or desire, to get the reader to act. Another technique is using logic and reasoning to present a strong argument for your point of view. You can also use rhetorical questions, repetition, and other persuasive devices to make your argument more compelling.

How can identifying different writing techniques improve my writing?

Identifying different writing techniques can improve your writing by giving you a better understanding of how to use them effectively. By studying the techniques used by other writers, you can learn how to create more engaging characters, build tension and suspense, and create a more immersive world for your readers. You can also learn different techniques to achieve different effects, such as creating a sense of mystery or building empathy for your characters.

What are some of the most important elements when using creative writing techniques?

When using creative writing techniques, it’s important to consider the audience you’re writing for, the genre you’re writing in, and the purpose of your writing. It would help if you also considered the tone and style of your writing and the pacing and structure of your story. It’s important to use techniques appropriate for your story and help you achieve your desired effect.

What are some examples of different types of creative writing beyond fiction and poetry?

Creative writing encompasses various genres and styles, including memoirs, personal essays, screenplays, and even video game scripts. Some writers also use creative writing techniques in non-fiction, such as journalism and academic writing. The key to using creative writing techniques effectively is to adapt them to the specific genre and style of writing you’re working in.

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  • 13 Ways to Make Your Writing More Interesting to Read

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There are numerous characteristics of a good essay: original thinking, a tight structure, balanced arguments, and many more .

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But one aspect often overlooked is that a good essay should be interesting . It should spark the curiosity of the reader, keep them absorbed, make them want to keep reading and learn more. A boring essay risks losing the reader’s attention; even if the points you make are excellent, a dull writing style or poor handling of a dry subject matter can undermine the positive aspects of the essay. The problem is that many students think that essays should be like this: they think that a dull, dry style is suited to the purposes of academic writing, and don’t consider that the teacher reading their essay wants to find the essay interesting. Academic writing doesn’t have to be – and shouldn’t be – boring. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to make your writing more interesting, even though you can only do so much while remaining within the formal confines of academic writing. Let’s look at what they are.

1. Be interested in what you’re writing about

Image shows a woman looking very enthusiastic on a carousel.

If there’s one thing guaranteed to inject interest into your writing, it’s actually being interested in what you’re writing about. Passion for a subject comes across naturally in your writing, typically making it more lively and engaging, and infusing an infectious enthusiasm into your words – in the same way that it’s easy to chat knowledgeably to someone about something you find interesting. This makes it relatively easy to write interestingly about a subject you have a real passion for. However, problems arise when you’re forced to write an essay about subjects for which you lack enthusiasm. It’s difficult to conjure up passion for your least favourite subjects, and that will come across in your writing. There are steps you can take, though: here are some tips on writing about a subject you don’t enjoy.

  • Adjust your mindset : convince yourself that there are no boring subjects. If the subject or essay comes across as boring, blame yourself; if you find yourself feeling negatively about it, try to find the interest in it. Think about how it relates to the real world and how important the subject is. Find interesting snippets of information about it and look at it from a new angle.
  • Think about your reader : consider the fact that not everyone will find the subject as boring as you do. As you write, keep the reader in mind and imagine them to be the world’s biggest fan of this subject.
  • Find the fans : if you find it impossible to get into the mindset of your audience, try Googling the subject to find forums, videos or blog posts in which the subject is discussed by people who do find it interesting. This will help you picture whom you’re writing for, and give you a different perspective on a subject you may not have found inspiring up to now.

2. Include fascinating details

Image shows a rose blooming.

Another factor that can make an essay boring is a dry subject matter. Some subjects or topic areas are naturally dry, and it falls to you to make the essay more interesting through your written style (more on this later) and by trying to find fascinating snippets of information to include that will liven it up a bit and make the information easier to relate to. One way of doing this with a dry subject is to try to make what you’re talking about seem relevant to the real world, as this is easier for the reader to relate to. In a discussion of a seemingly boring piece of legislation, for instance, you could make a comment along the lines of “if it were not for this legislation, none of us would enjoy the freedom to do such and such today”, or “Legislation A ultimately paved the way for Legislation B, which transformed criminal law as we know it.” Make it seem exciting!

3. Emulate the style of writers you find interesting

When you read a lot, you subconsciously start emulating the style of the writers you read. It’s therefore beneficial to read widely, as this exposes you to a range of styles and you can start to take on the characteristics of those you find interesting to read. If you feel engaged with a piece of writing, the writer must be doing something right! As you read, think consciously about what the writer is doing to hold your interest, perhaps underlining or copying out certain phrases, techniques, sentence structures and so on. Then apply their techniques to your own writing.

4. Write in the active voice

Image shows scientists at work in the desert.

It’s the oldest trick in the book, but using the active rather than the passive voice will automatically make your writing more interesting to read. It results in more direct, energetic writing that makes the reader feel more ‘in the moment’. Unfortunately, many students employ the passive voice in the belief that it makes their writing sound more academic or intellectual; in fact, it makes their writing sound boring. Remember, the active voice is when the subject of the sentence “acts”, while the passive voice is when the subject is acted upon. Passive : It was concluded by the scientists that the methods used were… Active : The scientists concluded that the methods used were… The subject in this example is “the scientists” and the “act” they are carrying out is “concluding”. As you can see in this example, the active voice almost always results in neater and more elegant phrasing, which is more concise and enjoyable to read.

5. Borrow some creative writing techniques

There’s clearly a limit to the amount of actual ‘story-telling’ you can do when you’re writing an essay; after all, essays should be objective, factual and balanced, which doesn’t, at first glance, feel very much like story-telling. However, you can apply some of the principles of story-telling to make your writing more interesting. For example, just as the opening sentence or paragraph of a novel is incredibly important in capturing the attention of the reader early on, so the first paragraph of your essay is essential in making your reader want to continue reading it. Start with an attention-grabbing ‘hook’ to draw them in, such as a controversial statement, a tantalising snippet of information or a rhetorical question (more on these below). Here are some more techniques you can adopt from creative writing to improve your essays .

6. Think about your own opinion

Image shows a baby thinking.

Your essay is bound to be boring if all you do is paraphrase what everyone else says about something. A good essay – in humanities subjects, at least – incorporates the writer’s intelligent responses to what others say, and this critical consideration not only shows that you’re thinking at a high academic level, but it automatically adds more interest and originality to your writing. So, think independently and don’t be afraid to demonstrate that you’re doing as much.

7. Cut the waffle

Rambling on and on is boring, and almost guaranteed to lose the interest of your reader. You’re at risk of waffling if you’re not completely clear about what you want to say, or if you haven’t thought carefully about how you’re going to structure your argument. Doing your research properly and writing an essay plan before you start will help prevent this problem. Editing is an important part of the essay-writing process, so once you’ve done a first draft, edit out the waffle. Read through your essay objectively and take out the bits that aren’t relevant to the argument or that labour the point. As well as editing out chunks of text, it’s important to be economical with words – not using ten where five will suffice, and avoiding clunky phrases such as those outlined in this article . During the editing process, tighten up your phrasing by eliminating unnecessary words and reordering any sentences that read badly.

8. Using a thesaurus isn’t always a good thing

Image shows a thesaurus against a yellow background.

You may think that using a thesaurus to find more complicated words will make your writing more interesting, or sound more academic, but using overly high-brow language can have the wrong effect. It alienates the reader and makes you sound pompous, with the result that the essay is more laborious to read and the reader may quickly lose interest. Despite this, many undergraduates admit to deliberately over-complicating their language to make it sound more high-brow. If you want to keep your reader interested, keep your language clear and simple.

9. Avoid repetitive phrasing

Avoid using the same sentence structure again and again: it’s a recipe for dullness! Instead, use a range of syntax that demonstrates your writing capabilities as well as making your writing more interesting. Mix simple, compound and complex sentences to avoid your writing becoming predictable.

10. Use some figurative language

Image shows a hawk screeching.

As we’ve already seen, it’s easy to end up rambling when you’re explaining difficult concepts, – particularly when you don’t clearly understand it yourself. A way of forcing yourself to think clearly about a concept, as well as explaining it more simply and engagingly, is to make use of figurative language. This means explaining something by comparing it with something else, as in an analogy. For example, you might use the analogy of water escaping from a hole in a bucket to explain the exponential decay of a radioactive substance, as the rate of depletion of both depends on how much remains, making it exponential. This gives the reader something familiar to visualise, making it easier for them to understand a new concept (obviously this will not be a new concept for the teacher who set your essay, but they will want to see that you can explain concepts clearly and that you have a thorough grasp of it yourself).

11. Avoid clichés

Clichés are overused words or phrases that make your writing predictable, and therefore less interesting. An example would be “at the end of the day”, but there are many such favourites of student essay-writers. Don’t forget that your teacher will have a stack of essays to read in one sitting; if you use the same tired expressions everyone else uses, your essay will blend in with all the others. Make it stand out by shunning the clichés you know your classmates will be using.

12. Employ rhetorical questions

One of the ways in which ancient orators held the attention of their audiences and increased the dramatic effect of their speeches was by making use of the rhetorical question. What is a rhetorical question? It’s essentially one you ask without expecting your audience to answer – one that you will answer yourself, like the one we asked in the previous sentence. This can be an effective way of introducing a new line of enquiry, or of raising questions that you’re going to address in more detail. A good place to use a rhetorical question is at the end of a paragraph, to lead into the next one, or at the beginning of a new paragraph to introduce a new area for exploration. The rhetorical question, “But is there any evidence to support X’s claim?” could, for instance, begin a paragraph that discusses evidence for an opinion introduced in the previous paragraph. What’s more, as we’ve already seen, you could use a rhetorical question as your ‘hook’ to lure readers in right at the beginning of your essay.

13. Proofread

Finally, you could write the most interesting essay a teacher has ever read, but you’ll undermine your good work if it’s littered with errors, which distract the reader from the actual content and will probably annoy them. Before you submit your essay, proofread it thoroughly to ensure that the grammar is elegant, the punctuation is perfect and the spelling is flawless. Don’t just use a spelling and grammar checker, as these don’t always pick up on all the errors.

Do you want to take your writing to the next level? Our Creative Writing summer school will teach you how to experiment with a number of different writing techniques, plan, edit and proofread your own work and introduce you to new concepts and ideas. 

Image credits: banner ; carousel ; rose ; scientists ; baby ; thesaurus ; hawk ; questions . 

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Rafal Reyzer

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How to Write More Creatively (Ignite Your Literary Genius)

Author: Rafal Reyzer

Are you struggling with creativity in your writing career? The good news is that there are many things you can do to get the fountain of ideas flowing again.

Being able to write more creatively will open new avenues for you as a professional writer and propel your craft to greater heights as you develop new faculties of creative thinking. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of writing more creatively and give you some tips on how to do it effectively. So if you’re ready to jump-start your idea factory, read on!

The Benefits of Infusing Your Writing With Creativity

Whether you’re writing a short story, a science fiction novel, or a personal essay, it’s easy to get stuck in a writing rut . That’s especially true if you feel you’ve been churning out the same old type of content for a while. If your goal is to write more creatively, several benefits come with infusing imaginativeness into your work. Here are four reasons why it’s worth making an effort to add some creative flair to your writing:

1. Creativity Makes Your Writing More Vivid

If you want people to enjoy reading what you write, it needs to be engaging and attention-grabbing from start to finish. Adding a touch of creativity will help you become a better writer and make your work more mentally appealing. It will allow you to develop your unique voice and share your perspective in your own words, without limitations. Your ingenuity will enable you to express how you feel about the worlds inside and outside your head . When readers see that you’ve put thought and care into making something original, they’ll appreciate it all the more.

2. It Can Make You a More Successful Writer and Stand Out from the Competition

In today’s digital world, there is so much content available that it’s easy to fall into writer’s block. There’s simply a lot of competition in the literary world, especially now, when a typical writing process includes the use of artificial intelligence. You need to dig deep into your own experience and your surroundings. Be inspired by real people, real emotions, and real events. You don’t need fancy writing prompts or literary devices. To get into a creative flow, reflect on your journey as a human being, including the small moments that permanently burned themselves into your memory. Let those reflections guide the philosophy that underpins your writing. If everyone else subconsciously wants to blend in, being creative will give you an edge. Uniqueness always catches people’s eye.

writing in a notebook in a creative space-min

3. Open-Mindedness Toward Feedback Helps Improve Your Future Pieces

Accepting feedback can be a great way to help you reach your creative writing goals. Like pieces of a puzzle, the more feedback you receive, the clearer the picture will get. If you shut down or become defensive when people try to approach you, you are more likely to miss out on opportunities to improve and excel in your craft. Never view constructive criticism as a bad thing because it aims to help improve your performance on whatever project you’re undertaking. That’s why you should always test your creative writing techniques in writing workshops and through various writing exercises (more on that below!)

4. Practice Brainstorming Different Ways and Think Outside the Box

This helps with approaching future assignments from a unique point of view. Brainstorming lets your new ideas flourish, so you can become a creative writer. There are dozens of effective brainstorming techniques you can employ, such as storyboarding, mind mapping , S.W.O.T. analysis, and many others. Allow each member of your peer group to share knowledge and ideas, and be involved in developing a plan, delegating, and efficiently tackling problem areas. Adding an element of creativity to your first draft enhances the process itself and the result. This applies whether you’re crafting a fresh blog post or considering the correct word choice for a series of graphic novels. I hope these tips helped encourage you to try something different next time you sit down at the keyboard. Key takeaway: Injecting creativity into your writing makes it more engaging and successful.

Effective Ways to Be More Creative as a Writer

Creativity is often considered a trait that some people are born with. Either you have it or you don’t. However, everyone can become creative with ample practice. If you’re stuck in a writing rut or wonder how to infuse a creative spirit into your academic writing, here are four effective ways to get your creative juices flowing:

1. Take on Different Writing Challenges

Trying new things is a great way to stimulate creativity. So, if you normally write short stories, why not try your hand at poetry or personal essays? Or if you typically stick to non-fiction, branch out and try fiction for a while. By pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, you’ll open yourself up to new possibilities and ways of writing creatively.

2. Collaborate with Someone on a Writing Project

Collaborating with another person can jumpstart the brainstorming process and help generate the next great idea. Whether it’s recording ideas over coffee or trading email drafts back and forth, working with someone else will help take your thinking (and writing) to the next level. The Beatles’ John Lennon and Paul McCartney are probably the most successful songwriting tandem in history. By collaborating on unique ideas, they fed off each other’s intelligence, energy, and creativity, resulting in a huge number of hit songs.

revising writing while drinking coffee-min

3. Keep a Journal (Traditional or Digital)

A journal doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Simply jotting down stream-of-consciousness thoughts can lead to unexpected insights about characters or plotlines. When you keep a journal going and log ideas, you will process information in more creative ways. This will help you with sparking new ideas and you can always go back to older pages, which can ignite even more ideas that’ll allow you to add more emotion to the whole story. Plus, having all of your thoughts in one place makes it easy to refer back later when you need inspiration.

4. Write Down Your Ideas As Soon As They Come

This may seem like common sense, but capturing those “Eureka!” moments is essential for being creative and developing powerful main characters. As soon as an idea pops into your head, grab a pen and paper (or open up a simple notes app on your phone) so you don’t forget what inspired you. For aspiring authors, even one page of notes can spark your creativity and lead to a great book idea. I remember a scene in the now-defunct TV series Two and a Half Men, where Charlie Sheen was waiting to use the restroom. Then out came from the door Eddie Van Halen with a guitar slung on his shoulder. When Charlie asked him why he carries a guitar in there, the rock legend replied “You’ll never know when an inspiration may strike” before playing an outstanding riff. That’s how a blank journal mentioned above comes in handy for writers. It can help to ignite your imagination as it allows you to brainstorm in many forms. By following these four tips, you’ll be well on your way to writing something genuinely creative. Key takeaway: To be more creative, try new challenges, brainstorm with other writers, keep a journal, and write down your ideas.

Why You Should Write More Creatively

We all know that writing can be therapeutic. It’s a great way to express ourselves and get our thoughts out there. But did you know that writing can also be fun? And by “fun,” I don’t mean just the act of putting words on paper (or screen). I’m talking about letting your creative juices flow and coming up with new, innovative ways to express yourself. If you’re not a naturally creative person, you might be thinking, “Why should I write more creatively? What’s the point?” Well, here are four reasons channeling your inner Stephen King or Margaret Atwood is a great idea:

1. It’s Enjoyable

When you let your creativity shine through in your writing, it becomes much more than just a task or chore. It becomes something you enjoy doing. The process is less daunting and even exciting when coming up with fresh ideas and ways to communicate them effectively. So go ahead, have some fun with it. By training your creativity muscle, you’ll build your character and embark on your new creative nonfiction project with flair. Think about it like a puzzle. How would you approach the dialogue, the main character, and the overall story to push everything in the right direction? Let the muse whisper into your ear. That’s how you come up with good writing!

2. Your Readers Will Appreciate It

Let’s face it, no one wants to read dull or unoriginal content. If you want your anonymous readers or a real-life friend to enjoy reading what you’ve written, put some extra thought into making it engaging and stimulating from start to finish. Make your mental space wide open to approach your fiction or creative nonfiction from a new point of view.

practicing creative writing in a notebook-min

3. It Helps Hone Your Craftsmanship as a Writer

By continually challenging yourself creatively, chances are good you’ll see improvements in other areas of writing as well. Now it’s not only about developing your main story but also about overcoming writer’s block and writing more consistently. Remember – practice makes perfect!

4. You May Just Surprise Yourself

Creativity often breeds originality, and that’s something that we could all use a little more of in our lives these days. If you ever considered creative writing as a profession, why wouldn’t you want to come up with something that makes you sweat with excitement? Who knows? Maybe you’ll come up with the next big thing! Key Takeaway: Making an effort to write more creatively can be therapeutic, and fun, and may even surprise you with your originality.

Teach Others How to Improve Creative Writing Skills

When mentoring others, you are inadvertently improving your skills. Whether it be writing, painting, acting, storytelling, or any other discipline. Assuming the reader has little to no creative writing experience, explain what creative writing is and why it’s important. Use simple words and short sentences. Define any technical terms you use. Then, provide several tips on improving one’s creative writing skills, such as reading often, practicing regularly, expanding one’s vocabulary , listening to music for inspiration, etc. Give specific examples of how the tips you provided help improve one’s innovativeness in writing. Finally, encourage the reader to keep practicing and remind them that everyone’s journey with creative writing is different.

FAQs on How to Write More Creatively:

1. how can i be better at creative writing.

There is no easy answer to this question. However, here are some tips that may help you write more creatively:

a) Let Go of Your Inner Critic.

Allow yourself to write freely without worrying about whether it is good enough. The first step to writing anything creative is simply getting the ideas down on paper (or screen). Worrying about perfection will only hinder your creativity and prevent you from producing anything at all.

b) Be Open to New Ideas and Possibilities.

When you approach writing with an open mind, you will be more likely to come up with original and creative ideas. If you find yourself getting stuck, try brainstorming, using writing prompts, or free-writing for a few minutes to see what comes up. Remember that it’s much easier to keep writing than getting down to writing in the first place.

c) Take Inspiration from the World Around You.

Look for everyday objects or situations that can inspire your writing. Maybe there’s something strange about the way the light hits a building at sunset, or maybe there’s a fascinating character in line at the coffee shop who would make a great protagonist in your short story. Keeping your eyes peeled for these kinds of details can help jumpstart your creativity when you need it the most.

d) Experiment with Different Genres and Styles.

If you usually write fiction, try writing poetry, personal essays, or nonfiction for a change. Or if you’re used to writing short stories, try your hand at a novel. You can also try business writing. Trying out new genres can help break you out of any ruts you may have fallen into and give you fresh ideas for approaching your usual type of writing.

e) Get Feedback from Others—But Don’t Let It Stifle Your Creativity.

Show your work to friends or family members and ask for their honest opinion. But remember that ultimately it is up to you what changes (if any) to make based on their feedback. After all, you’re the creative writer here. Don’t let anyone else completely take over the reins!

2. How can I make creative writing more interesting?

  • Make a list of interesting projects that could benefit from your creative writing skills.
  • Get a notebook or journal and start brainstorming ideas for new stories, characters, or settings.
  • Take a walk and think about your favorite books, movies, or TV shows, then try to come up with something even better.
  • Join a writers’ group so you can share your work with other people who are also interested in making their writing more interesting and enjoyable.
  • Read books on writing crafts and techniques. There are plenty of great ones out there to help you hone your skills.
  • Practice, practice, practice!

The more you write, the better you’ll become at making your work interesting and engaging for both yourself and your readers.

3. How can I learn to write creatively?

The best way to learn how to write creatively is by studying the work of other creative writers. Pay attention to their use of language, plotting, and characterization. As you read and analyze their work, take note of what techniques you find most effective and try incorporating them into your writing. It’s also important to give yourself time and space to explore your creativity freely, without worry or judgment. Allow yourself the freedom to experiment with different styles and ideas until you find a voice that feels authentically yours. Finally, don’t forget that practice makes perfect. The more you write, the better (and more creative) a writer you’ll become!

The takeaway from this article is that writing more creatively can have many benefits, both for the writer and the reader. If you’re struggling with creativity, don’t despair. There are plenty of ways to get those gears inside your head turning again. So what are you waiting for? Start writing! If you want to learn how to write more creatively, boost your productivity as a writer , or simply improve your creative writing skills, then look no further! I offer freelance writing services that can help you with these things and more. Contact me today to get started on making your writing goals a reality. Next up, you may want to explore a guide to location-independent writing .

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Rafal Reyzer

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time entrepreneur building two companies, a digital marketer, and a content creator with 10+ years of experience. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient digital marketer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Explore my journey here , and don't miss out on my AI Marketing Mastery online course.

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  • Writing Advice

5 Ways to Make Your Writing More Engaging

by Sara Seitz · March 1, 2021

The idea of storytelling seems easy enough on the surface.

You explain events as they happened (or as you picture them happening) in a way that makes sense to your audience.

We engage in this kind of storytelling every single day. We tell our spouses about the drama at work by rehashing the action as it happened. We recite scenes from our favorite movies by describing each detail in order. We muse with our friends by walking through the events of our pasts.

We tell stories just as we would share our favorite recipes or writing exercises: by giving the play-by-play.

While this tactic works well for describing an experience, it is not the best approach for writing a novel.

If you want to elevate your prose beyond basic play-by-play storytelling, you need to provide your reader with more than just an explanation of what happened. You need to immerse them in the action and the emotion of your story.

In this article, we’ll show you five simple ways to make your writing more immersive. It won’t happen overnight. But with practice, these tips will help you transform boring play-by-play into engaging prose that will grab your reader and never let go.

How to Elevate Writing Beyond Simple Play-by-Play

When it comes to reciting a story about your day or sharing your favorite brownie recipe, play-by-play storytelling is exactly what you need. It is simple to follow and tells your audience everything they need to know.

But writing an entire novel using play-by-play tactics is boring. It doesn’t matter how much action or drama your plot contains, no one wants to read three hundred pages of “this happened, then this, then he did this.”

This type of writing fails to engage the reader. You can’t expect someone to be sucked into your world when all you’re doing is explaining what is happening.

Instead, you need to paint them a picture of what is happening. You need to make them feel the action and the sorrow and the joy. You need to put your reader inside your character’s mind and at the center of the scene.

Before we get into how, exactly, to accomplish this, let’s first take a look at an example of the typical play-by-play style writing used by many aspiring writers:

Alda grabbed her hat and put it on before stepping outside. She raced to the car as her mother yelled at her from the window. Ignoring the threats, she jumped into the driver’s seat and tore off in the direction of Justin’s house. Tears rolled down her cheeks as the old jeep rumbled down the empty street.

Clearly, something very emotional is happening to Alda. We get that from the description of the scene, but we don’t necessarily feel it. If this kind of “removed” writing went on, most readers would lose interest after only a few pages.

Now let’s look at a some ways to pump up this prose to make it more engaging.

1. Add Detail

Adding detail is one of the most straightforward ways to engage you reader.

In basic play-by-play writing, you are telling the reader what is happening. But you aren’t telling them much more about the world. This makes it hard for your audience to connect with the action.

Describing the scenery, objects, and your character’s actions in more detail can help pull your reader into the story.

Alda grabbed her stained baseball cap and slid it onto her head as she crashed through the front door. Her mother’s screams echoed from the open bedroom window, her voice cracking on every vowel. Alda ignored the cutting threats and slid onto the sun-warmed driver’s seat of the old jeep. She jammed the key into the ignition and spun out of the driveway. Tears poured from her eyes, blurring her vision as she drove down the deserted street.

When coming up with descriptive text, consider all five senses . Don’t just talk about what your character sees and hears; describe what they might be tasting, smelling, and feeling.

Keep in mind the mood of the scene as you choose your descriptors as well.

Describing a flower as “buoyant” or “jovial” in the middle of a funeral scene doesn’t give your audience an impression of the loss and sorrow your characters are feeling. It may help to make a list of mood-appropriate adjectives for each scene before you write it.

2. Use Varied Sentence Structure

Sucking your reader into the world you’ve created isn’t the only way to keep them engaged. Often, you can retain your audience’s interest in the text simply by breaking up the rhythm of it.

Play-by-play writing inherently takes on a repetitive and balanced rhythm. Each sentence tends to be of a similar length–kind of like a lullaby.

So if you don’t want to put your reader to sleep, you need to vary your sentence structure.

Use short sentences and fragments to increase your pacing and depict fast-moving action. Use longer sentences to slow the pacing down. Use both to break up the monotony of boring play-by-play writing.

Alda grabbed her hat and put it on as she crashed through the front door and raced to the car. Her mother’s voice echoed from an open window. Harsh threats. Alda ignored them with ease and slid behind the wheel of the old jeep. The engine rumbled to life. The tires squealed. She’d make it to Justin’s in no time. Assuming she could find her way through the veil of tears that blurred her vision.

Lean on short sentences and fragments during high-intensity scenes and those that contain a lot of action. But be sure to slow things down with longer prose as the action ceases and during scenes when your character is feeling bored, sad, or content.

3. Bypass Unnecessary Steps

One thing that makes play-by-play writing boring even with details and varied sentence structure is the inclusion of unnecessary steps.

Your reader knows what’s necessary to start a car and back out of a driveway. Unless you are writing an instruction manual for driver’s ed, you don’t need to include these steps in your scene.

If a scene sounds awkward because you’ve skipped over a time-consuming step, try changing your focus to fill that gap.

Instead of describing how Alda pulls the keys out of her pocket and starts the car, move your focus in and show the reader how her hands are shaking as she turns the key and grips the wheel.

Don’t tell the reader that the jeep backs out of the driveway and onto the street. Instead, move the focus out and describe how her mother’s screams and the roaring engine echo off the houses of the quaint suburban neighborhood as she drives away.

4. Filter the Text Through Your Character

One thing almost all play-by-play writing lacks is a strong voice.

Voice is the combination of tone, point of view, vocabulary, and context that makes each book sound different from the next.

Voice has just as much to do with you and your writing style as it does your characters.

All books should use a coherent voice throughout (that’s the part that comes from you). But voice should also be influenced by the characters themselves. Meaning, the voice of your book should shift as your character’s mood shifts and as you jump from one character to the next.

You wouldn’t expect a spoiled brat from the city to see the world the same way as a weather-worn cowboy from the plains.

These different perspectives should be apparent in the way you write scenes from each character’s point of view. This is true whether you are using first or third person.

Play-by-play writing will always contain some traces of your voice. But it lacks the stronger voice of your character. By filtering your voice through your character you will add another dimension to your writing. And, more importantly, engage your reader in your character’s plight.

Alda pulled the old ballcap on as she crashed through the front door. She ignored her mother’s weak insults and weaker threats and headed for the mudder at the end of the driveway. The scalding leather never felt so good on the backs of her thighs. The rumbling engine felt better. She drove the pedal into the floorboard and reveled in the squeal of the tires as the old jeep lurched onto the road. She had made it halfway to Justin’s before she realized she was crying like a little baby.

5. Include Internal Action

Adding your character’s voice to a scene simply means using vocabulary, syntax, and tone that makes sense given their age and world perspective. But you can go beyond this to help your reader identify and engage with your character.

You do this by adding internal action to each scene.

If you are writing from first-person point of view, this is easy and hard not to do. Your character is telling the story, so of course, they are going to add their thoughts and feelings to the narrative.

But this can also be done from third-person perspective.

By breaking up your play-by-play with insight into how your character is feeling and what is running through their mind, you help break the monotony. It also gives you a tool to explain steps without sounding like an instructional guide.

Consider not just what your character would do in reaction to some event, but how they would feel as they do it. Now use description and variable sentence structure to insert these thoughts and feelings into the text.

Alda ripped her old ballcap from the hanger next to the door and charged into the blinding afternoon light. Mom was screaming from the bedroom. She didn’t care. The old hag could spew as many threats as she wanted. Alda was done. Done for good this time. She hopped behind the wheel of the old jeep and shoved the keys into the ignition. The sunbaked leather bit into the backs of her thighs. Just more pain to add to the heaps already swelling in her chest. She set off in the direction of Justin’s, the squealing tires and rumbling engine bringing a smile to her lips despite the tears streaming down her cheeks.

Elevate Your Writing

If you frequently find yourself writing in play-by-play style, don’t expect to be able to overhaul your prose overnight.

It takes practice and patience to learn how to describe a scene you can see in your head in a literary way, rather than a logical way. This is especially true when you are penning your first draft of a story.

But once you get the bones of the scenes on paper, it is much easier to pick back through your work to add and takeaway text to make your story more interesting.

Adding detail, varying sentence structure, skipping unnecessary steps, and filtering your prose through your character while including their internal thoughts and feelings will all help your reader engage more with your story.

Have questions or other pointers to share? Drop a comment in the box below.

Tags: Description Immersive writing Show dont tell Voice

how to make creative writing more engaging

Sara Seitz is a freelance writer by day and novelist by night. In the fiction realm, she enjoys writing engaging, character-driven stories that highlight the plight of the underdog and leave the reader guessing until the very last page. Interested in hiring Sara? Visit her freelance site at penandpostwriter.com

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Thanks, Sara, for the great tips.

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How to Make Writing Fun: Engaging Tips for Enjoyable Composition

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Written by Dan

Transforming the writing process into an engaging experience is essential for writers of all ages and stages. Finding joy in writing can dramatically improve a writer’s motivation and the quality of their work.

By incorporating playful strategies and creative exercises, the act of writing transcends routine, becoming an adventure in expression and imagination.

Emphasising the fun aspects of writing helps combat writer’s block and stirs enthusiasm, leading to a nurturing environment where ideas flourish.

how to make creative writing more engaging

Creating an enjoyable writing practice involves tapping into one’s creativity, which may include using fun activities like story maps or writing prompts that prompt laughter and thought-provoking scenarios.

It’s about constructing a space where the writer feels comfortable and inspired.

Regular writing fosters skill development, and by making it an enjoyable habit, young and seasoned writers alike can enhance their abilities while looking forward to each writing opportunity.

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Key Takeaways

  • Embracing creativity leads to a more enjoyable writing experience.
  • A supportive environment is key to maintaining writing motivation.
  • Consistent practice is vital for skill enhancement in writing.

Igniting the Spark of Creativity

To make writing entertainment, one must stoke their creativity. This section details how to use writing prompts, engage with existing works, and try creative writing activities to ignite the imagination.

Exploring Writing Prompts and Ideas

Writing prompts are a splendid way to kick-start a creative session. They can challenge a writer to think differently and start on an unexpected journey.

For instance, someone could explore unique creative writing prompts that range from everyday scenarios to the utterly fantastical, planting the seeds for a range of stories or themes to explore.

Engaging with Literature and Poetry

Immersing oneself in literature and poetry is known to enrich one’s own creative faculties .

Reading diverse genres and styles exposes a writer to new phrases, plots, and character depths that they can then weave into their writing.

One can draw inspiration from a collection of sentence prompts that derive from poetic lines or literary excerpts, integrating the rhythms and nuances of seasoned writers into their work.

Creative Writing Activities for Inspiration

Engaging in creative writing activities often sparks inspiration and breaks through the feared writer’s block.

Writers can embrace strategies such as changing environments or engaging in collaborative storytelling, much like the guidance found in the article on overcoming the writer’s block .

Through these activities, they can solicit feedback, challenge their own norms, and unlock a treasure trove of creative ideas.

Cultivating a Fun Writing Environment

Creating a fun writing environment involves more than just a physical space; it involves incorporating elements that stimulate creativity and enjoyment.

One can transform the writing process into a delightful activity by using music and art, ensuring a comfortable setting, and integrating technology.

Using Music and Art to Enhance Writing

Music can significantly influence the atmosphere of a writing space, providing a rhythmic backdrop that can both soothe and energise the writer. For example, classical music might create a focused environment, while jazz could stimulate creative thinking.

Similarly, the presence of art , such as a colourful comic strip on the wall, can serve as a source of inspiration and a visual break from the text.

The Importance of a Comfortable Setting

A comfortable physical environment is crucial for a pleasant writing experience. This includes ergonomic furniture, such as a supportive chair and a desk at the correct height to prevent strain.

It also involves natural light and fresh air, which have been shown to improve mood and cognitive function, thereby making the process more enjoyable.

Integrating Technology in the Writing Process

The integration of technology into the writing environment can make the process more fun and efficient. Tools such as digital notebooks and writing software provide freedom to organise thoughts and ideas easily.

Moreover, writing apps with gamification elements can turn the act of writing into an engaging and rewarding experience, making it appealing even for those who may not traditionally enjoy writing.

By thoughtfully considering these aspects, one can cultivate an environment that brings joy to the writing process.

Overcoming Writing Challenges

In the journey of making writing enjoyable, addressing the challenges that hinder progress is crucial. Whether these barriers stem from fear or a lack of skill, tailored strategies can facilitate a more enjoyable writing experience.

Addressing Common Fears and Anxieties

Writers often grapple with fears such as doubt in their abilities or anxiety about the reception of their work. It’s essential to recognise that these fears are common and that overcoming them is a significant step towards enjoying the writing process.

Identifying specific fears , like writer’s block or fear of criticism, allows individuals to tackle these issues proactively with various writing activities .

Strategies for Reluctant Writers

Reluctance to write can stem from numerous factors, including a perceived lack of skill or interest in the activity. To engage reluctant writers , incorporating fun and creative writing prompts can spark interest.

Additionally, setting achievable goals and providing consistent positive feedback can motivate reluctant writers to persevere and discover the joy in writing.

Improving Handwriting and Letter Formation

Handwriting difficulties can diminish the enjoyment of writing, particularly for younger learners. Focusing on handwriting and letter formation through repetitive practice can drastically improve this skill.

Utilising tracing activities and emphasising the correct formation of letters are practical steps in this improvement. This educational resource offers worksheets and activities to help refine handwriting abilities.

By concentrating on the individual challenges a writer faces and offering supportive, growth-oriented tactics, one can transform the writing process into an engaging and pleasurable experience.

Enhancing Writing Through Practice

To make strides in one’s writing abilities, consistent practice paired with reflective refinement are crucial. Adopting a structured approach to daily exercises and attending diligently to the technical aspects of writing can elevate both enjoyment and proficiency.

Daily Writing Exercises

Engaging in daily writing exercises fosters discipline and sparks creativity. An individual might start with a simple goal of 150 words per day and gradually increase the target.

They could explore different genres or focus on a single topic to deepen their expertise. Whether it’s crafting short stories or experimenting with poetry , the key is to make this a regular routine that writers look forward to each day.

  • Weekday : Descriptive passages
  • Weekend : Creative storytelling

Incorporating Feedback and Reflection

An essential part of improving one’s writing is the ability to incorporate feedback and invest time in reflection . Writers should seek constructive criticism from peers or mentors and reflect on the insights provided.

By keeping a journal to note down reflections on their writing journey, they systematically enhance their skills.

  • Collect feedback from various sources.
  • Schedule time weekly to reflect on comments and identify areas for improvement.

The Role of Grammar and Spelling in Writing

Strong writing is underpinned by a solid grasp of grammar and spelling . Even the most imaginative stories can lose their lustre if they are riddled with errors.

Hence, one should always utilise tools and resources to check their writing, and consider revisiting the basics through reliable online platforms or comprehensive guides when necessary.

Grammar Resources:

  • Online grammar checkers
  • English grammar guides

Spelling Improvement :

  • Spelling apps
  • Daily spelling quizzes

Developing Skills in Young Writers

Cultivating a young writer’s ability requires a deliberate mix of theory and practice. Teachers can transform the process into an engaging and multifaceted educational journey with targeted writing lessons, dynamic writing activities, and a strong emphasis on reading.

Writing Lessons in the Classroom

The groundwork for effective writing begins with structured writing lessons in the classroom. Teachers should focus on age-appropriate literacy frameworks involving students in various writing styles, such as narratives and persuasive texts.

This equips them with a diverse skill set, vital for their development. For example, balancing group activities and solo tasks helps students appreciate different aspects of the writing process.

Fun Writing Activities for Students

Engaging in fun writing activities can significantly enhance a student’s writing experience. Activities like ‘Think-Write-Pass’, where students write spontaneously before passing their work on for peer input, inject a playful element into the learning environment.

Moreover, including tasks that reflect children’s interests and everyday life contexts can create a sense of relevance and increase their willingness to participate.

Encouraging Reading to Improve Writing

A robust relationship exists between reading and writing development. Encouraging students to read a wide range of genres enriches their vocabulary and exposes them to different writing styles.

This exposure is essential for them to be able to analyse and imitate quality writing, thereby enhancing their own writing competencies. Teachers might consider setting up a classroom library to provide easy access to a variety of books.

Related Posts

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About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.

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Improve Your Creative Storytelling Skills For More Engaging Writing [Podcast Ep. 21]

Want to learn how to improve your creative storytelling skills f or more engaging writing and better blog posts?

In this special feature episode, I interview podcaster and live storyteller Adrien Behn of The Strangers Abroad Podcast .

She’ll be sharing:

  • What a story is
  • Her unique creative storytelling process and practice (including how she gets into a flow state to write!)
  • Creative ways to tell a story, write better blog posts, and create quality travel blog content — which you can then add to your blog post planner template
  • How to “murder your darlings” (an important writing technique!)
  • How to repurpose long-form stories in a blog writing format for social media
  • Some powerful creative writing exercises and prompts

Basically, if you’re interested in improving your storytelling and captivating an audience, you won’t want to miss this episode!

Table of Contents

Improve Your Creative Storytelling Skills For More Engaging Writing – Podcast Episode Audio

…or click the links below to tune in on your preferred audio platform:

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Here is the livestream interview replay:

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Improve Your Storytelling Skills With These Related Episodes:

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How To Pitch A Brand Collabortion Proposal With Confidence

13 Clever Ways To Boost Your Travel Blogging Income

How To Enjoy Social Media – Growth Strategy Included

How To Create A Blog Content Plan – Template Included

10 Strategies For Monetizing A Travel Blog

How To Grow Your TikTok Account & Make Money As A Blogger

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Improve Your Creative Storytelling Skills For More Engaging Writing

Improve Your Creative Storytelling Skills For More Engaging Writing – Episode Transcript

This transcript was created with the help of automation software. I’ve tried to go in and add text where the software missed words and information, so some sections may not be 100% word-for-word what was said in the video interview. 

Bolded & larger heading lines are Jessie, while the typical paragraph font is Adrien.

When I think of somebody who is a storyteller, I immediately think of Adrien Behn, who I am so excited to interview for this episode of The Profitable Travel Blogger Podcast .

Q: Adrien, can you share more about yourself and your storytelling experience?

I’m excited to be here! I’m a storyteller of multiple mediums. I write for the written word, I podcast and then I do live storytelling.

Basically I take true stories from my life — typically focused on travel, but not always — and I reformat them into different mediums.

By the way, all three of those offer a really wonderful way to have a holistic understanding of storytelling. Once I choose my medium I adjust my voice for it, because the way that I would tell the same story in a blog post versus a narrative podcast episode versus a live storytelling event is completely different.

But I love all three. They’re like my children — I can’t choose which one I love more.

I really started getting into storytelling through my podcast, Strangers Abroad , where I interview strangers that I meet while traveling. And then I kind of sandwich each episode with a personal story of my own as to where I’m at and what am I experiencing.

I’m currently working on the second season of my podcast and the format is a little bit different, but it’s very, very storytelling based.

Q: Amazing! Now let’s dive into the topic of actually improving your storytelling. To start, what is a story?

It’s really interesting because storytelling is fundamentally what makes us human. And yet many people don’t know how to do it; however, when we hear stories, we’re addicted to them.

That’s why the movie industry, the book industry, podcasts and all of these storytelling platforms are massive because we are addicted to this thing that humans have created on our own basically.

Our ability to tell stories is really what separates us from animals.

In terms of what a story is, it’s a series of events where the stakes are raised. There’s a climactic point and then a moment of change after it’s all happened, so keep this in mind as you consider story writing topics.

Now there are a few different storytelling structures that different writers or teachers follow. I would say the most common one is called The Hero’s Journey, which is where an individual starts off in their regular world and then there’s a call to action.

Something has to happen. They need something or they need to rescue someone or they need to go find something.

And that journey to find this thing brings us to the climax.

Then, at the end, they return back to their world, but changed.

Now I have a lot of feelings on the does the protagonists have to be changed, but that’s the typical storytelling arc.

A storytelling isn’t just a list, but a series of events. For instance, if you say “I went to the store, I couldn’t find sauerkraut, I came back home.” That’s a series of events without feelings.

But if I said “I went to the store as I had this insane craving for sauerkraut because I was missing my grandfather. I just wanted to taste a little bit of nostalgia. And then I got to the grocery store and I was crestfallen because I couldn’t find any sauerkraut anywhere, and that’s all I really wanted.”

I just made that up on the spot, but hopefully you get my point. A story is a series of events with feelings embedded within and there’s a moment of change at the end.

Q: Touching on something you said earlier, do you feel there doesn’t need to be a big change in the protagonist for a story to take place?

I’ve argued with a fair amount of storytellers about this. I believe that there are sometimes stories we tell where you get to the end and you don’t necessarily feel different.

What I think is really interesting with this though, is if you don’t feel different, analyze why you don’t think that you are different.

Because I think that at the end of the day there is ultimately change, but it’s not always this crazy “Phoenix out of the ashes” kind of transformation.

But the person I woke up today is very different than the person I’ll be when I go to sleep because I’ve shed skin cells and grown new ones and I’ve had new conversations and I’ve read different things.

It’s more about analyzing the little changes which are much harder to see as we consider possible story writing topics.

I don’t think a story needs to be this crazy thing. It can literally be about eating salmon.

Q: I love that! Actually, in my past photography training my instructor assigned us this exercise to take a mundane object, like a water bottle, and photograph it 10 times, then 20 times, then 30 times. Do you think something like this could be used as a storytelling exercise, for instance, having to make eating salmon into a captivating story?

Totally! I focus on more memoir writing, but I read a lot of fiction books because I think that the way that fiction is written can be manipulated into memoir as well because memoir is not necessarily fact-based off of memory, which can be made dated; you know, it can be forgotten, changed, rewritten, it’s malleable.

There are a lot of writing prompts and creative writing exercises that I use that are designed for fiction that you can absolutely use for storytelling. For instance, write the story about dinner, but from the perspective of your cup. There are so many creative ways to tell a story!

Q: Where do you find writing prompts and creative writing exercises?

I usually make up my own, though one book that I found really helpful is called The 3 AM Epiphany (affiliate link) . And it’s all about this feeling. My partner, who is also a storyteller, and I talk about it all the time, how at night there is this magic creativity that kind of comes bubbling up to the surface.

And the 3am epiphany kind of touches upon that and then gives a ton of writing prompts.

I find that my best writing is when I’m just a little sleepy. Maybe I’m getting on a 6am flight somewhere and I’m sitting on the subway and there’s something about not being totally there that allows my brain to just relax and make different connections that it wouldn’t normally.

Maybe it’s also a little less judgment. You’re not thinking so much about, “Oh this is bad or this is weird.”

Going back to writing prompts, a lot of storytelling shows are based around a theme that you’re given.

So if, say, the theme is ghosts, it doesn’t have to be like “I see a woman standing in my kitchen and she’s not supposed to be there. She’s translucent.”

It could be being ghosted or something else; you can interpret it however you want.

Writing based around a theme is really interesting.

And again, because writing for the page and a podcast and the stage are all different, the voices used will be different from each other.

For instance, I can manipulate audio. I think that I can get the audience more into my thoughts and feelings in a way that I can’t do on the stage, and I can use soundscape or music as part of my podcast production workflow to really emphasize that.

Whereas with the page, it’s only words and I have to be able to convey that same powerful emotion or message with just how I’m typing, you know?

Then onstage I can use my body and movements.

Q: So if someone is writing a story, how can they tell if it’s actually a good story?

Again, a good storyteller can make eating salmon sound interesting. It’s all on how you tell it.

I find that the way to convey a really great story is to give it a structure:

  • introduction
  • rising accent
  • falling action
  • and then some type of resolution

That’s a story.

If you say just a sentence like “Oh, this one time my Grandma Danko made the salmon so terrible she buried it in the backyard”; that’s funny and it’s cute, but it’s not a story.

In my opinion, storytelling is basically a form of telepathy. I will never know what is going on in your head, but you telling me a story and you telling me what you were thinking and what you were feeling is the closest that I’m going to get.

Q: So you touched on storytelling structure quite a bit. Do you feel you have anything else to add to that kind of idea of constructing the story?

I would say that this most powerful tool that you can use with storytelling is vulnerability and just being as honest about your feelings as possible.

Because when we’re vulnerable and we’re honest about what we’re really feeling, it gives other people permission to feel the things that they’re feeling.

We don’t always feel good things and they’re really scary. But I think that storytelling is a way for you to take control of it and be like, “Yes, I feel these feelings, but they don’t own me. I am not all of the emotional baggage that I carry around every single day.”

The more vulnerable you are, the better because you never want to adjust how you were thinking and feeling based on what you want others to think about.

Honestly, I like the stories where I’m not the hero; where I’m messing up over and over again and I’m being kind of a jerk because that kind of makes other people feel better about their own experiences.

Never augment your thoughts and your feelings. Tell the truth. People want that. We’re starved for the truth.

Q: Absolutely. Now you had mentioned something to me previously about “murdering your darlings.” What is that and how do you do it?

To “murder your darlings” happens during the writing process. Sometimes I will say, “Okay, I know I want to convey this and I’ll write three different sentences,” but then I love them all.

However, you can’t put all of them in because you’re just regurgitating the same thing. And when you’re trying to convey a message, you only want to say things once if they really need to be said.

“Murdering your darlings” is killing two of the sentences and being okay with it. It’s a way for you to not get completely attached to your writing.

And I love nothing more than when I give someone a piece that I’ve worked on — either in audio or in writing — and they tear it to pieces and they show me things that I couldn’t have seen before. This whole writing tactic is all about non-attachment for the sake of the greater piece.

I don’t technically kill sentences I love. I lock them up somewhere else. Actually, I have lists of notes in Evernote that I never delete because if I’m really into a sentence, maybe it just hasn’t found its place yet.

Q: Now I’m curious. You talked about getting rid of sentences, but what about entire pieces? Do you find sometimes that you spend hours working on a whole podcast script or a blog post idea , and then you feel like it doesn’t work and you get rid of it?

I did that the other day. I was really stuck on a podcast script that had an episode quickly coming up. I wrote it last Friday and it was bad. And I knew it.

But you know what?

I think that I needed to just kind of have a morning of word vomiting and getting it out in order to have the epiphany that I had Sunday morning.

On Friday I felt super blocked and I think it was because I was writing about a story when I was in my teens, so it took me longer to get back to that place emotionally to remember all the details that the first two hours were just me, clicking along and just trying to get back there.

But then on Saturday, I gave myself a break. By the way, I don’t do work on Saturdays and that’s important; it’s part of my creative storytelling process and practice.

And then I talked it out with my partner a little bit. And then Sunday morning it just came to me. I felt a faucet that had been turned on and the story just flew out of me.

I didn’t use anything from the piece that I wrote on Friday and I’m okay with that because sometimes you just need to get it out of your system to ultimately create quality content.

Q: Do you feel like in your head you had a deadline, so you were trying to force the story to be timely? And do you feel like for your process, is it more important to sometimes forget the deadline if you need more time to write your story?

Absolutely!

That episode I was just talking about actually should have come out today, but I’m editing the whole thing right now.

By giving myself a little bit more time, I found many more insights as well as sentences that needed to be there. I’d rather it be spectacular and worth the wait then for me to put something that’s just okay out. That would be embarrassing.

As long as you don’t have people really waiting on you then, yeah, give yourself another day if you need it.

Q: Do you have any advice for improving your writing?

Write every day! This is an essential part of my creative storytelling process and practice, as it’s the only way to find your voice.

I mean, I look back at stories that I wrote a year or two ago and it is so different now because now it’s almost a workout routine that I do every day, except Saturdays. It is a muscle that you have to work at every single day.

The other thing that you should do:

You have to read a lot of other literature. Personally, I have a lot of people that I read where it’s like I love their voice. I love what they’re doing here and I feel very inspired by it.

I will try to consume and keep tabs on the people whose work I really love or I find that my work is very similar to theirs. You want to be able to kind of take the temperature.

Q: Do you feel with that have you’ve ever gotten into the sort of comparison and competition mindset where you’re following someone for inspiration but then you’re sort of getting into a more envious mindset?

I feel when I was younger doubt weighed really heavy on my podcasting process because I would criticize myself, like, “Oh, this audio quality isn’t great. I don’t really know what I’m doing.”

But the more that you practice storytelling — and I don’t know if it’s pride or just feeling more comfortable — but that doubt kind of went away. It doesn’t bother me anymore because I feel I know what my voice is and I know how my voice stands in the chorus of other people who are doing very similar things.

I mean, when it comes to the comparison thing I will sometimes dip into the sort of, “Oh, I wish I got a book deal or I want a Netflix special.” That happens. But I also know that everyone I admire was once in my position and I need to go through what I’m going through in order to get those things.

I just think of it more as part of the process and, if anything, it fuels me more. These things become goals as I get into a growth mindset for success .

Q: Now, I know from being friends with you that you have a very specific creative writing process. You’ve kind of touched on it a bit, but can you share a bit more about what this process is, what it looks like, and why it works?

Creativity is a wild wind that is very hard to domesticate, but I guess you don’t domesticate her.

I’ve found that there are certain times where I am more creative than others. Personally, I’ve found that I’m most creative in the morning.

And I’ve found a series of things that help me get into a state of flow during my creative writing process, which is when you’re kind of at your peak creativity.

For instance, the first thing I do is I wake up and I exercise. For me running is the best way to click myself into this writing mode. On days that I run I definitely have bigger writing projects.

Then I meditate, shower, make breakfast and then I do morning pages — which is just a very cathartic process of writing down all your thoughts; all your frustrations. Maybe you write down the weird dream you had last night, or a to-do list. The point is to just get all of the gunk out of your brain.

It’s like stretching, as it warms you up to get into the writing process.

A lot of times my notes start with this — all my feelings — and then it just naturally goes into the piece I have to write on that day. I start getting all my clunky notes out and then I get into full gear.

Now, I would say the number one most important thing about this entire process is that I don’t talk to anyone. I don’t check my phone, I don’t check email, I don’t talk to the people that I live with.

How diva is that?

But it’s worth it, so I don’t care. Fortunately, everybody with the exception of my father is really, really cool with it.

There is something about conserving that energy and giving it only to myself that makes my writing super. I wake up with enough bees in my brain, and I don’t need more thoughts from the outside world to interrupt me.

On an ideal day, I wouldn’t really talk to somebody until I maybe 3pm or 4pm, when I’ll get all of my menial tasks done.

But I will say there is a weird caveat. I think it goes back to the nighttime creativity thing. I actually work on my live storytelling at night because I am more social and I want to be more physical; more animated. And there’s something about, again, being a little sleepy that makes me a better joke writer.

Q: Do you have any advice for people for when they get stuck in an uncreative rut or they feel writer’s block coming on? What strategies or tips would you give someone?

Many times when I’m struggling with a sentence and I want to work on it on my own, I tend to fall into the camp of over-complicating things.

To help, I’ll just write out exactly what happened in four sentences. And from there it’s like, “Okay, I see it” and then I’m able to kind of flesh it out more and put on the bells and whistles.

Noticing when you’re over-complicating things is something that I’ve struggled with and then simplifying it to its bare bones is what I’ve done to fix that.

I’m actually a creative extrovert, although I need deep introversion to work through a larger story or I really need to talk stuff out with people. I have a handful of people that I will talk to and once I’m talking it out somehow my brain synapses shoot different ways and I can just kind of see it better.

And I have people in my life who know my voice and I respect their opinion and they’re not going to offend me honest feedback.

Also, when it comes finding creative ways to tell a story, sometimes you need to let a piece breathe and you need to know when to step away and think about something else, like I did with the podcast episode I mentioned earlier.

Q: And then what is your strategy for taking stories that you might share on in a blog writing format or a podcast episode — where you have a lot of space and time to create them, like a whole page or an hour of air time — and then paring it down for social media?

I think that when it comes to taking a piece from a blog writing format to a social media format, I whittle it down into the main storytelling steps:

  • What’s the information?
  • What’s the inciting incident?
  • Rising action?
  • Falling action?
  • Resolution?

I’ll often go through my script and just select what works and adjust my voice a bit, or re-write something if it helps me to better create quality content.

And by the way, having a template like the above can help you learn how to enjoy social media instead of agonizing over it! It’s also a smart strategy for growing on Instagram , a platform where thoughtful captions can help you gain traction.

Q: Storytelling is a great technique to use for selling, for instance, when a blogger might be promoting a product they’ve created or the product of an affiliate partner. Do you have any advice for bloggers or anyone who wants to pair storytelling with selling effectively?

It is still very feelings- and emotions-based and emotionally based, so consider the resolution of the product.

A good salesperson identifies their audience’s pain points and plays into them. For instance, they might say something like “Aren’t you tired of doing X, Y, and Z, and wouldn’t it be great if you had X, Y and Z? My product is the thing that can help.”

And I mean, we’ve all seen commercials that have brought us to tears. I mean, put on a Sarah McLaughlin song and I’m weeping, you know?

I think that good salespeople are actually just storytellers. They’re just selling a product at the end of it.

Honestly, I’ve even been hooked into giving somebody my email because they’ve identified my personal pain points well.

Jessie’s Bonus Note: Yes! When it comes to email marketing for bloggers  I personally love writing storytelling emails when selling digital products . I’ll usually think about a benefit of a product and then create a personal story of how this strategy or the solution has helped me. Sort of a before and after story.

Alright, now I hope you enjoyed this episode on how to improve your creative writing skills for more engaging writing.

I hope you feel inspired and empowered to go work on your storytelling skills, find creative ways to tell a story, and maybe even pinpoint your own creative writing process.

Don’t forget to grab  free access to my Travel Blogger Resource Library . The tools inside will really help you grow much faster and easier.

Also, make sure to  subscribe to the podcast on iTunes  so you get notified when future episodes publish.

Happy blogging!

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How to make your sentences more engaging

We all know the power of truly engaging writing. Here are five simple techniques that will bring some instant pizzazz to your writing – regardless of the intent.

Kevin Eddy

We all know the power of truly engaging writing. Everyone has lost themselves in a book written by a talented author: in the worlds and characters seeming to leap off the page and living in our imagination instead.

However, when we try to recreate that magical prose, too often our sentences come out as dull and uninspiring—regardless of whether we’re writing creatively or for another purpose.

Writing more engaging sentences isn’t some mystic art: with just a few small tweaks — and some techniques borrowed from the greats — your writing could captivate people too. Here are five simple techniques that will bring some instant pizzazz to your writing – regardless of the intent.

1. Use figurative language

Storytelling and imagery are deeply imprinted on the human psyche, all the way back to the days of daubing red ochre on cave walls. A well-placed piece of imagery can immediately transport a reader to another world – and makes your writing more compelling.

There are many literary devices that you can use to do this, including:

A comparison of one thing with something else – especially effective if the comparison is unconventional or unexpected.

Derek was as silent as a mouse
The trees rose above the horizon, like arrows pointed at the stars
The people crowded onto the train carriage like cattle being corralled into a pen.

scrabble, scrabble pieces, lettering, letters, wood, scrabble tiles, white background, words, quote, letters, type, typography, design, layout, similes are like metaphors, simile, metaphor, similitude, like, similar, similarity, grammar, words, analogy, comparison, homology, parallel, semblance, likeness, like, correspondence,

Like a simile, a metaphor compares one thing to another. However, rather than using ‘like’ or ‘as’, a metaphor states that the thing is something else (but is not intended to be taken literally).

Steven’s words cut deeper than a knife
Isabella’s eyes turned to ice
The road ahead was a ribbon stretching across the desert.
The computer was a dinosaur compared to his smartphone.

Personification

Cute piggy bank

Giving a non-human object, animal or idea a human attribute – making that thing feel more human and relatable.

The sun smiled upon Sarah’s face.
The vintage car coughed and wheezed as Robert started it up.
The stolen brooch lay on the dresser, staring at Teresa accusingly.

In addition, you can use other literary devices that can heighten imagery, such as:

  • Alliteration: repetition of consonant sounds in a sequence of words or syllables
  • Assonance: repetition of vowel sounds, so that they almost rhyme
  • Onomatopoeia: words that mimic the sounds they describe

All three of these devices are used in the examples above – can you spot them?

2. Action stations

One of the simplest ways to make your writing more engaging is to use active voice rather than passive voice. This blog post goes into detail about the differences between active and passive voice, but the basic rule is:

  • Active voice = subject of the sentence performs the verb action ( Olivia purchased the car)
  • Passive voice = subject of the sentence receives the verb action (The car was purchased by Olivia)

how to make creative writing more engaging

In almost all circumstances, active voice is easier to understand, uses fewer words, and is more engaging than passive voice.

You can also make your sentences more active by using verbs to describe things, rather than adjectives or adverbs. For example:

“I can’t believe you saw the movie without me!” said Cynthia angrily.

Could be better phrased as:

“I can’t believe you saw the movie without me!” raged Cynthia .
The sun’s rays were warm on Alan’s skin
The sun warmed Alan’s skin

The easiest way to do this is to use Outwrite , which will suggest these changes for you. You can also use the tool to restructure any sentence you like, simply by highlighting it.

how to make creative writing more engaging

3. Appeal to the senses – hearing, smell, taste

One of the most effective techniques to make your sentences more engaging—particularly in creative writing—is to appeal to all five senses (sight, sound, taste, smell and touch). This makes your writing more real, effectively bypassing the higher brain functions and appealing to your reader at a primal level. It’s even more effective if you can do it unexpectedly, or combine more than one sense to build a complete picture. For example:

As Ben walked through the carnival gates, the first thing that struck him was the aroma of popcorn and hot dogs drifting through the air. He could almost taste the sweetness of the fried onions and the tartness of the cheap tomato ketchup. Every colour imaginable swirled against the darkness of the night sky. A cacophony of competing sounds assaulted his ears: dodgems crashing into each other, teenage laughter rising, the music from the rides merging into a discordant symphony. He reached up instinctively, seeking his father’s hand, a lifetime of calluses rough against Ben’s own soft palms.

4. Work the rhythm

Earthen Rhythms, a local african drumming group at the Summertime in Maitland, NSW, Australia celebration.

We respond at a fundamental level to rhythm. Writing has its own rhythm, too, which we can manipulate via different sentence lengths and punctuation to make our writing more interesting.

Varying your sentence lengths is a very effective way to make your reader sit up and pay attention.

Long sentences are calming, to a point: lulling your readers into a (false) sense of security — at least, until they start to go on a little too long, which starts to create a sense of anxiety or discomfort.

Whereas short, staccato sentences have impact. They punch the reader in the face. Quick. Hard. Powerful.

Punctuation within sentences serves a similar function – a comma , a semicolon and a colon all indicate a slightly different length of pause (along with their strict grammatical functions). Using brackets, em-dashes or en-dashes instead of commas can also make a clause more or less prominent, and keeps your readers engaged.

5. Break it up

Finally, don’t underestimate the visual impact of your writing.

Big blocks of text send us to sleep, especially in the digital age. Use formatting on the page (or screen) to add interest to your writing: for example, insert relevant images to break up blocks of text.

Coffee Break

Introduce headings at regular intervals – these can be more frequent for short, informal writing like blogs; they are generally less frequent (and may also feature two or three levels of sub-headings) for more formal writing.

Meanwhile, design features like pull-out boxes or different fonts can highlight key pieces of text. Use italics to emphasise key words (this is generally preferred to bold or CAPS nowadays). Using bullet points for lists or examples helps break up the text, and improves reader engagements.

All of these techniques are at play in this blog post – why not scroll back up and see how many you can spot?

An even easier way to make your sentences pop

There you have it. Five quick and easy ways to turn turgid prose into sparkling, witty sentences.  

Of course, you can also let Outwrite’s paraphrasing tool improve your sentences for you: just double-click on or highlight a sentence, select your rewriting goal, and Outwrite will generate a list of suggestions for you.

how to make creative writing more engaging

Nicole Bianchi

Writing, Copywriting, & Marketing Strategies

7 Editing Tips That Will Make Your Writing More Engaging

Published May 21, 2020 | Last Updated November 13, 2023 By Nicole Bianchi 2 Comments

Blank notebook next to pair of glasses and three sharpened pencils | 7 Editing Tips That Will Make Your Writing More Engaging

A few months ago, I wrote a review of award-winning editor Jack Hart’s book Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction .

(That’s my Amazon affiliate link above — I’ll make a small comission if you buy a copy at no extra cost to you. Thanks!)

Storycraft is one of my favorite books on the craft of writing (I share several of my other favorite books in my article here ). Even though Hart aimed his book at writers of nonfiction, I believe there is much that writers of fiction can glean from its pages too.

In fact, there’s one chapter in particular that’s a goldmine of editing tips for any kind of writing. Recently, I collected my top takeaways from the chapter and arranged them as an editing checklist for myself when I work on blog posts, essays, and short stories.

I’ve found these tips incredibly helpful so, today, I wanted to share seven of them with you!

These powerful editing tips will help you breathe life into your writing, turn plodding sentences and paragraphs into fast-paced narratives, and capture the attention of your readers.

Let’s dive in.

1. Get Moving in Your Introduction

Hart emphasizes the importance of getting moving right out of the block. Make sure your opening paragraphs aren’t dry and filled with exposition. Instead, they should include a sentence or two that catches your reader’s interest and entices them to read more.

Hook your readers with action, curiosity, or intrigue.

The hook might be the very first sentence in your piece — a real attention grabber like the opening line of George Orwell’s 1984 ,

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

In my recent memoir essay “ Expecting the Unexpected in New York City ”, I followed that approach, opening with this sentence,

During the two-and-a-half years that I went to college in New York City, I witnessed a crime only once.

However, you can also bury the hook several paragraphs into your piece as I did in my essay “ The Hidden Treasure Beneath My Library ”, and as Joan Didion did in her essay “Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream” when she writes, after three paragraphs,

Imagine Banyan Street first, because Banyan is where it happened.

Even if the hook appears several paragraphs into your story or essay, make sure those preceding paragraphs are fast moving. They might even hint that a twist or something else unexpected is coming.

And that leads into tip #2.

2. Push Scenes Forward with Continuous Motion

Scenes should not be stagnant. At the end of a scene, the action should move forward. The characters shouldn’t be glued to their chairs and talking to each other like robots. That will bore our readers to tears!

If you have scenes with dialogue, include descriptions of what the characters are doing while they’re talking. Often, this is more effective at revealing what they’re feeling then if you used words like “angrily.”

For example, compare these two sentences:

“I’m not talking about this,” he said angrily.
“I’m not talking about this,” he said and slammed the door behind him.

When you’re editing your piece, look to see if you’ve included motion to push scenes forward. If you’re writing an informative blog post, this might mean including a story to illustrate a point.

3. Use the Language of Action

Are your action scenes as powerful as they could be?

Hart points out that the most powerful action words describe causality.

For example, let’s say you’re describing a woman driving a car. She tries to swerve out of the way of something in the road. You could write, “The car jerked to the left.”

But Hart suggests that it would be more gripping to write, “She jerked the wheel to the left”. It puts us closer to where the action is happening.

4. Write in the Active Voice

With tip #3 in mind, when you edit your piece, make sure you’ve written your sentences in the active voice and not the passive.

If your high school grammar is a little rusty, you can read a quick review of passive sentences here . Essentially, in a passive sentence, the subject receives the action rather than performing it.

For example, politicians and business executives like to use the passive voice when they want to avoid claiming responsibility for a mistake. They might write, “Mistakes were made.”

It’s a neat little trick because this sentence avoids taking responsibility by failing to tell us who made the mistakes.

Note that you can’t fix a passive sentence by tacking the subject onto the end. “Mistakes were made by all of us” is still passive.

So how to fix it?

Just write, “We all made mistakes.” Now the sentence is active.

5. Eliminate Unnecessary Words

In his book On Writing Well (Amazon affiliate link), William Zinsser notes,

…The secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be a short word, every adverb that carries the same meaning that’s already in the verb, every passive construction that leaves the reader unsure of who is doing what–these are the thousand and one adulterants that weaken the strength of a sentence.

Hart agrees and recommends eliminating the following unnecessary words in order to write strong sentences:

1. Progressive tense and auxiliary verbs. Write “The wind blows” or “The wind blew” instead of “the wind is blowing” or “the wind had blown.”

2. Empty Words. For example, eliminate “There are”, “There is”, “There was”, “It is”, “It was”. I shared more about empty words in my article here .

3. Beginning of an action. For example, don’t say “He began to race around the room.” Just write, “He raced around the room.”

6. Use Time Markers and Straight Chronology

Sometimes when you’re writing a narrative, it’s necessary to skip forward or backward in time. However, if you do, be sure you use clear time markers so your readers don’t get confused.

If your reader has to stop to try to figure out when something is happening, it will definitely slow down the pace of your narrative.

A time marker just means that you write a line explaining when the next scene is going to take place. For example, “None of this would have happened if I hadn’t received that call two days earlier …” or “Fast forward three weeks later.”

Hart points out that sometimes your time markers can be more subtle,

You might simply note the fall colors on the trees when you open a new scene that jumps ahead from summer to autumn. Or you could slip in the height of the sun in the sky when a character walks out of a building.

He also believes straight chronology is the easiest for readers to follow, so evaluate your piece to see if a flashback really is necessary. Sometimes I’ll rearrange paragraphs in my piece because I realize that jumping backward and then forward in time might be confusing to my readers.

7. Speed up, then Slow Down

Speed up during the boring parts. Slow down during the climatic scenes.

How do you speed up? Wherever you have lots of exposition, make sure you’re only communicating what’s absolutely necessary for your readers to know.

I’ll ask myself, “Is this paragraph of description necessary? Is this back-story necessary?”

When you reach a climatic moment in your piece, however, you’ll want to slow down the pace of your writing to keep your readers in suspense. It will give the writing a breathless quality.

Hart quotes Pulitzer-Prize winner Tom French,

The reason you slow down is so that the reader can really feel and process and really enter that scene…And how do you slow down?…You allow more space on the page. You allow more sentences. You literally write in shorter sentences. You get more paragraph breaks. You use space. You find pauses inside the scene that occur naturally that you would normally skip over.

I wrote more about varying sentence structure in my article here .

The Takeaway

These seven editing tips are simple and straightforward. You can start using them right away to make your writing more engaging and fast-paced.

By following these tips, you’ll better hold the attention of your readers and, thus, be more effective at sharing your message with the world.

If you’re looking to strengthen your writing and storytelling skills, I definitely recommend getting a copy of Hart’s book. It’s an in-depth read with lots of fantastic actionable advice.

Make sure to check out the other five tips I shared from his book in my previous review here .

What was your biggest takeaway from Jack Hart’s tips above? Let me know in the comments.

And If you enjoyed this post, please share it with a friend who you think might find it helpful too. Thanks for reading!

Did you enjoy this post? Get the free eBook!

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Ria Sharma says

June 14, 2020 at 4:22 am

Hi Nicole Greetings

I love your blog a lot. Such meaningful and helpful posts .Keep writing and keep posting .

Thnx and cheers

Nicole Bianchi says

June 15, 2020 at 5:38 pm

Thank you so much, Ria! 🙂 I really appreciate that.

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How do you make writing engaging?

Catie Holdridge

Author : Catie Holdridge

Posted : 30 / 06 / 16

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Engaging writing means happy readers

Or, more specifically, how can you make your business writing engaging?

Why, surely that’s a contradiction in terms! Right …?

A lot of people do seem to make a distinction between 1) Work Writing, and 2) Pretty Much Every Other Kind of Writing. It essentially amounts to this: type 2 has the potential to be entertaining and engaging and type 1 … doesn’t. After all, prestigious prizes are awarded for literature, journalism and non-fiction writing. Meanwhile, the kind of writing they have to do at work can be, yes, functional – but probably also dry. That’s just how it is.

You may be unsurprised to hear we don’t think that’s true. OK, you might not win a Pulitzer Prize for your latest proposal, this month’s management report or that email you wrote to Stuart in Accounts. But you can make the reading experience for your potential client, the management team or old Stu a more interesting one. Better still, doing so will make a huge difference to how successful and effective what you’ve written is. We live in a world of too many documents and too little time, and anything that’s actually a pleasure to read already has an advantage.

So here’s how you can help topple the myth that business writing has to be B-O-R-I-N-G:

Begin at the beginning

Begin with your reader. This is always our number one rule, simply because who you’re writing for should colour all the decisions you make when writing. A reader is much, much more likely to be engaged by what you’ve written if it feels relevant to them. Let’s face it, if someone concludes by sentence three that this particular document or email has no relevance to them, what do you suppose the odds of them continuing to read are? Yep – not good.

Ideally, you’d be writing about a topic that already interests them, naturally – but there again, you may not have a choice. And even if you know they’re unlikely to be instantly gripped, you still have the chance to find a way to make it seem as important as you can to them. Ask yourself these questions every time you write, to prime yourself.

And it might sound obvious, but be clear on what you want to say before you get going. Plan the structure first. Combining the thinking and writing processes tends to result in a message that meanders all over the place. And (tough love time), you can’t expect anyone to follow you round the houses on the off-chance they find a point along the way.

Hook ’em in

Engaging writing has to engage from the start. Those first lines are when your reader is weighing up whether to keep going or do something else instead (like reading another document or email, checking social media or simply leaving their desk and grabbing a coffee). It’s at this point that you set their mood for facing the rest. Clearly, it doesn’t bode well if their reaction to the first few lines is, ‘Wow, this is going to be a slog’. So make your introduction work hard to captivate from the beginning. It’s the gatekeeper to the rest of your work.

Of course, the reader isn’t the only one who may find this section problematic. You will still be getting into the swing of writing when you compose your introduction (unless you’re writing it in a panic at the end). This makes it easy to start out a bit long-winded, waffly or flat. But an introduction must have impact. So keep your first sentence or two tight, and definitely don’t go in with reams of background.

One great technique you can use to kick off is the surprise intro: a strong statement that – you’ve guessed it – will come as a surprise and shake the reader out of autopilot. Something like ‘More than 60 per cent of Acme Widgets’ business comes from just 20 customers’ or ‘One in six people are at risk of flooding in England’ has a good chance of making them want to read on to find out more.

Invisible ink

Hands up everyone who likes working really hard to understand something. Thought so.

It’s very important to make your writing effortless to read. The best writing is ‘invisible’. This means that the language used doesn’t draw attention to itself – it’s just a stealth vehicle for the message, which then seems to arrive in your reader’s head as if from nowhere.

And how do you achieve this? Using simple language is a good place to start. Make short words your first choice. Mind you, what this doesn’t mean is that you shouldn’t ever use longer words. It means, when you do, you do so because the longer word is the best fit, not because it seems like a high-class upgrade. So, you might put ‘utilise’ in place of the shorter ‘use’ for its specific meaning of employing something to do a job it wasn’t necessarily designed for. But replacing ‘help’ with ‘ameliorate’ won’t gain you extra points or frequent flyer miles – it just might lose you readers.

The point’s less about always using the shortest word and more about choosing words that are familiar – there’s where your knowledge of the reader comes in. Try to avoid a word that’s likely to send them off to the dictionary, or that could make them feel frustrated, small or stupid because they don’t know it. Treat jargon words the same way, and ban any that won’t be understood. (Do use ones that you’re sure will be a useful shorthand, though – again, it’s about knowing what’s appropriate for the reader.)

In fact, try to write more or less as you’d speak in a meeting: professional but conversational. Reading your work aloud can help to check your written voice is as natural as your speech.

Doing this will also remind you to pick verbs over the noun equivalent where you would say something using verbs – ‘we agreed ‘ rather than ‘we reached an agreement ‘, for example. The same goes for favouring the active voice , where you put the doer before what he, she or it did: ‘ we discussed the matter’ not ‘the matter was discussed by us ‘. (But if you would naturally say it in the passive, use the passive.)

Two-way conversations

You can draw on more conventions of conversation to engage a reader as you would a listener. Borrow its directness. Would you ever refer to yourself – or the other person – in the third person if you were having a chat? ‘Catie would like to determine if a cup of tea would be of value to the addressee.’ No-one wants to sit next to that person in the office.

Yet we often switch to this kind of indirect, detached language when we write. We’ve all seen it. Management would appreciate it if colleagues’ comments were received by Friday , says the memo to no-one in particular, as if written by a disinterested outsider.

But guess what? To be engaging, you have to engage with people. So use ‘you’ to address the reader if you can, plus the odd ‘I’, or ‘we’ for the company. You’ll sound much more human too.

And try using questions. Even closed ones with a simple yes/no answer can be powerful, as you can’t help but answer them in your head (can you?).

Make them see it, feel it and believe it

A common piece of advice in fiction writing is ‘show, don’t tell’ – but it applies just as well to business writing. Showing is more visual and convincing than just proclaiming a fact and hoping you’ll be believed.

Check if you’re relying too heavily on describing words, whether they’re describing things or actions. Either way, they can sound a bit thin if there’s nothing backing them up. So don’t just say ‘sales have been impressive’, get specific: say they’ve ‘doubled’ or ‘increased by 30 per cent in a month’. And don’t just call your team of trainers ‘experienced’ – say how many years they’ve been in the industry or whom they’ve successfully helped. What did that success look like? Did they increase productivity or sales? Be sure to put numbers in a context people can actually relate to .

Commit to what you’re saying. Confident words are compelling, while continually using hedge words like ‘perhaps’, ‘it’s possible’, and ‘it is our intention to’ will chip away at your reader’s faith in you.

Find your rhythm

When it comes to the sound of your writing, think less techno and more jazz. Mix up the length of your sentences to vary the rhythm and keep your reader (who will hear your words in their head) interested.

You probably can – and should – go much shorter with your sentences than you think, sticking to a maximum of 35 words and an average of 15–20. But variety is key. If they’re all similarly longish, it’ll be dull; all short and the effect is like that of being on a bus during rush hour – endless stop-starting, a sense of nausea and a desperate desire to escape.

Use punctuation to keep the rhythm interesting too – a strategically placed dash (like that one), for example, can add a nice dramatic pause. Meanwhile, brackets give the sense of an aside.

If you’re feeling particularly creative, you can play with some literary techniques that’ll make your writing more visual and memorable. One is alliteration – repeatedly using the same letter, as above in ‘stop-starting’ and ‘desperate desire’. The other is the power of three. No-one’s sure quite why, but three does indeed seem to be the magic number. One way you can exploit this is by illustrating with three examples, as (again) with those side effects of riding a bus, or the subheading ‘Make them see it , feel it and believe it ‘.

There’s no need to overdo these last two tricks, but they do give your writing a bit more punch and staying power – which is why advertisers use them.

And finally

One last thing: remember that for your writing to be engaging, you have to be engaged while you’re writing it. Going through the motions won’t result in anything that sounds fresh, especially if you’re still getting used to trying out these techniques.

With all that in mind, let’s go forth and be engaging – yes, even at work. As well as giving everything we create the best chance at success, we just might make the world of business writing a bit more interesting. And that would indeed be something to prize.

Image credit: A and N photography / Shutterstock

The Write Stuff

The definitive guide to transforming the writing of individuals and teams

Author: catie holdridge.

Catie joined Emphasis with an English literature and creative writing degree and a keen interest in what makes language work. Having researched, written, commissioned and edited dozens of articles for the Emphasis blog, she now knows more about the intricacies of effective professional writing than she ever thought possible.

She produced and co-wrote our online training programme, The Complete Business Writer , and these days oversees all the Emphasis marketing efforts. And she keeps office repartee at a suitably literary level.

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Expresso is a little tool to edit texts and improve your writing style. It will teach you to express yourself through writing more efficiently and help make your texts more readable, precise, and engaging. Expresso does not save entered texts to protect privacy. To learn more about Expresso: understand How to use , learn about text style Metrics , or do a quick interactive Tutorial .

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How to Make Your Writing More Positive and Engaging

How to make business writing more positive and engaging. In this post, we share some tips to get make your writing more positive, reader-focused and engaging for the person reading it.

Make Your Writing More Positive

Why Make Writing More Positive and Engaging

Whether you are writing a blog post, an email to a customer or a report, it pays to make your writing more positive and Engaging.

Positive writing is much more engaging and gives a much better all-around feeling for the reader.

What is Negative Writing?

Negative writing is when the language that is used in writing is viewed as negative. We use negative words over positive.

Examples of negative words we could use are:

  • Won’t
  • Can’t

We also may use negative statements such as:

  • Didn’t meet expectations
  • Nothing we can do

Not commital words can also be seen to be negative. Words and statements such as:

How to Make Writing More Positive

The idea is to consider the structure of your writing and aim to make things more positive. Here are some examples:

Negative – The system probably won’t be up and running until next Tuesday

Positive – The system will be up and running by next Tuesday.

Negative – I’m sorry that the website fell short of your expectations.

Positive – I appreciate the suggestions you sent about ways to improve the website.

Negative – We are unable to reserve advertising space until 15 th September.

Positive – We can reserve advertising space from 15 th September.

Use a positive, decisive version of verbs: e.g. use ‘ask’ not ‘enquire’; ‘think’ rather than ‘believe’; ‘know’ rather than ‘feel’.

Here are some other words that pack a positive punch:

  • Immediately

These have negative connotations:

When you are writing content, take some time to read back over what you have written and consider if there are ways to make what you have written more positive.

How to Make Writing More Engaging

The Plain English Campaign is a great resource for tips and ideas for business writing. We use some of their guidance in our business writing skills training courses .

We all want to be able to write quickly while still being able to get the message and understanding across. We also want to engage the reader.

How to Make Writing More Engaging

  • Keep writing reader-focused
  • Keep it short and simple (K.I.S.S.) and choose decisive words
  • Say what you can and will do, not what you can’t and won’t do
  • Limit ‘ing’ endings to verbs
  • Use the active voice at least 80% of the time
  • Avoid nominalizations.

Reader Focused

Don’t be afraid to use I, we and you where appropriate in letters, emails and reports to personalise writing.  Communication is to people, not departments. Phrase as much text as possible from your readers’ viewpoint.

Look for simple single syllable verbs: ‘go’ not ‘proceed’, ‘send’ not ‘transmit’.  These are quicker to read and understand.  Use a positive, decisive version of the verb: ‘ask’ not ‘enquire’; ‘know’ rather than ‘feel’.

Say What You Will Do

Put a positive spin on your writing.  Positive words trigger positive responses, and positive sentences are shorter and more compelling to read. Use a positive, decisive version of verbs: e.g. use ‘ask’ not ‘enquire’; ‘think’ rather than ‘believe’; ‘know’ rather than ‘feel’.

Limit ‘ing’ Endings

Try not to use the present tense in the ‘–ing’ form. For example, rather than ‘We are committed to deliver ing’  use ‘We will Deliver’ or, rather than ‘One of our objectives is reducing costs’ use ‘To reduce costs is one of our objectives’.

Use the Active Voice

This required reordering of words to make them more active. Instead of ‘The TV was watched by Peter’ which is passive, use ‘Peter watched the TV’. It’s less stuffy and shorter to read and write. Another example – ‘Peter was crushed by the tree’ is passive. ‘The tree crushed Peter’ is active.

Avoid Nominalizations

A nominalisation is a result of turning a verb into a noun. As with the passive voice, nominalisations increase the length and complexity of the sentence. For example, ‘Users should ensure they are in compliance with the regulations’ includes a nominalization where ‘Users must comply with the regulations’ doesn’t.

Making writing more active, reader-focused and easier to read will go a long way to making your writing more engaging.

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How to Make Your Writing More Engaging

26 Mar 2022

How to Make Your Writing More Engaging

So, you have managed to create a brilliant hook and your readers anticipate superb content. Now you have to make the next step and convince them to continue reading and stay with you till the end. It sounds like a great plan, but you may face a lot of challenges as a writer.

It does not matter whether you are a blog writer, a researcher, or even a student working on your assignment, you are definitely eager to engage the audience and share your ideas, findings, or points of view with other people. You are not alone! There are a lot of other academics, bloggers, and writers of different kinds who struggle with the same endeavors. If you write a dull paper, your audience will not be willing to go any further than the first lines of your text. Spruce up your text and take a step away from the monotony!

Tricks that Make Your Writing Better

  • No more Shakespearean flowery style!

Sorry, but your long-winded sentences can bore to death. It is so complicated to digest the text with lengthy phrases. For sure, we do not recommend making your texts sound primitive, but there should be a limit to complex structures in your writing. Shorten the sentences which appear too wordy and include only relevant information in them. If the phrase is concise, it produces high impact and attracts more readers.

  • Estimate the number of words in the sentence and make sure that there are not more than twenty words in it.
  • Link ideas with transitional phrases not conjunctions.
  • Make a mix of simple sentences and long clauses.
  • Cover the most important content in short sentences as the readers pay attention to them.
  • No repetitions!

Your vocabulary determines the quality of impact your text can make. It can be diversified with various phrases and precise wording. Your readers will be tired of similar patterns and same words and you can help them keep focused.

  • Pay special attention to the organization of paragraphs to make sure that all similar topics are grouped accordingly.
  • Use effective synonyms.
  • Mix nouns and pronouns, but always double check the text you have composed for clarity.
  • Be creative with sentence structures

Learning how to make your writing more engaging, do not forget about the variety of patterns in grammar compositions. If one sentence follows the pattern “subject + verb + several objects,” then the next one should use inversion or some other technique to prevent tedious flow.

  • Complex and compound sentences should be mixed with simple sentences. Thus, the readers will get some break from time to time and feel more relaxed while perceiving your ideas.
  • Mind not only the grammar constructions, but also the number of words in a sentence. The length of the sentences should vary.
  • Read a lot!

Get exposed to different writing styles, expand your vocabulary, develop your skills of critical thinking, and study grammar in context via extensive reading. It is also a great way to get inspired!

  • Always do the editing! (see the next section!)

Tricks that Facilitate Effective Editing

If you feel that your writing needs some life to breathe in, make use of our powerful editing guidelines. Thus, you will be more efficient at capturing your readers’ attention and you will create engaging content that produce incredible impact.

  • Mind every word, starting from the introduction

A dry opening paragraph can ruin all the effect out of the following parts. Some intrigue and action from the very beginning can hook the audience and motivate them to read on. It is not easy to create attention grabbers; however, if you manage, it will be your contribution to success of your writing.

  • No stagnant sections

Check whether your text moves forward. Even in the informative posts for your blog, you may illustrate the points with interesting stories and bright examples.

  • Use verbs in the active voice

Most of the sentences should be in the active voice. Read through your text and make sure that only a few of all sentences are passive and that is done for a specific purpose, such as avoiding responsibility or concealing who has done a particular action.

  • Include only necessary words

There are words which have no actual functions. Eliminate them with no mercy as you should care about the quality, not quantity.

  • Prefer the language of action

Make the sentences gripping with powerful verbs and bright adjectives.

  • Change the pace of telling stories

Slow down after you have sped up. Creating suspense is a great technique for any type of writing as the readers get engaged in the story and cannot skip any aspect. You should sound straightforward and simple to strengthen the writing skills.

You do realize that one of your major concerns is choosing a brilliant topic and then engaging the audience. If your writing is not appealing enough, the readers will probably get distracted after the first 50 words. Writing on the topic, you get to a point when you feel that you have nothing more to tell about. In that case, it is much better to leave it as it is than to go on writing meaningless phrases just to add to the word count. Do not forget to remind your audience the reason why they have started reading your text. Send reminders of the subject either in the beginning or the end of every paragraph and do not let your readers get distracted.

No matter what your topic is, take your readers on your journey! If you are passionate about what you are writing about, they will feel that. And then you will take care of such aspects as proper structure, vocabulary, and grammar. If you make your audience feel included, they will be your loyal readers and fans of your writing talent. Wherever possible, make an emotional connection with them and use your impact at the emotional level along with using effective techniques. Your technical skills are as important as your ability to draw people. Wise choice of words and use of the storytelling techniques can bring you to a new level of mastery. Strive for making your style perfect! Never stop developing! Remember that the limit is the sky for a great writer!

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5 Tricks To Make Your Writing More Engaging

These are some useful and easy-to-follow tips you can use to make your writing more engaging and exciting. all you have to do is keep your write-up straightforward and use easily understood vocabulary..

(PHOTO: Daniel Thomas/Unsplash)

Writing requires plenty of skill and practice. As a writer, you need to learn the art of catching your audience’s attention. Good writers are capable of engaging their audience in their work. To do well in your academics, you should strive hard to make your writing more interesting.

Here are some tips to make your writing more engaging.

Write in the Active Voice

You can look for a place to buy essays online to order a well-researched customized essay on the benefits of using active voice. There are many benefits of preferring active voice over passive voice as it makes your writing more engaging. It is recommended that you polish your grammatical skills to make your writing error-free. Your readers will be put off by the grammatical mistakes you commit during your writing. Practice writing in an active voice to make your writing more engaging to your audience.

If you seek help from an expert on how to make your writing more interesting, they will advise you to use an active voice. You can make your writing sound direct and energetic by using an active voice. Your readers will feel more engaged with the events you have narrated in your writing. Moreover, the readers will easily understand what is happening and efficiently track the proceedings. It helps to keep your audience interested till the end.

Some writers think that using passive voice gives their writing an academic touch, and they can sound more intellectual using passive voice. However, readers find the writing more boring in many cases if they use passive voice in their writing. Using the active voice will construct neater phrases that will make your writing better and more appealing. You will only end up making long and complex sentences if you make a habit of using the passive voice as your preferred structure. Consequently, your readers will find your writing quite boring and difficult to understand. As a writer, you should make a sincere effort to make your writing more enjoyable for your readers.

Choose Precise Words

If you want your readers to call your paper a masterpiece of interesting writing, you should start using more precise words. Clarity is the key element of good writing skills. You can make your writing sound clear to your readers by using precise words that can help deliver the message clearly to your audience.

Sometimes, writers use complicated language to make their writing more interesting for their audience. It is recommended that you not take this path as this technique often results in disaster. It makes your writing sound boastful, and your reader may find it difficult to understand. In addition, your readers would lose their interest as they would like to make a strenuous effort of comprehending what message you are trying to give through your writing.

If you strive for engaging writing, you should keep your writing to the point. Make sure that you use exact words to deliver your idea. Using precise words will make your writing clear, and you will keep your audience interested. Using words wisely to convey your idea is the key to writing engaging articles. Using lofty words that your audience is unfamiliar with to convey your message is not a good idea. Choosing more straightforward and more familiar words is the way to go if you are wondering how to make my writing better.

Vary Consecutive Paragraph Structures and Lengths

If you wish to make your writing engaging for your audience, you need to be creative to develop your point of view in your paper. By bringing a variety in paragraph structure and length, you can make your articles more interesting. You can use different paragraph structures to give your writing an exciting touch. You will have to choose from different styles of structures as per the requirement of your article.

It will help if you also make an effort to make sure that your essay has paragraphs of different lengths so that your audience can notice the stylistics in your writing. It will give your writing that unique touch and your readers will appreciate the way you use writing techniques to good effect. You can change the length of your paragraphs according to the style of the paper that you are working on.

It is important that your writing should not have a monotonous touch. By varying the length and structures of your paragraph, you will create an exciting reading for your readers. You should plan well before you sit to write your essay and give due consideration to the length and structures of your paragraphs. Plan for what specific effect you will alter the lengths of your paragraphs and what you will try to achieve by doing that. Your success depends on how creative you are in engaging your audience, and you can do that by bringing variety to your writing.

Borrow Some Creative Writing Techniques

An effective means of making your writing more engaging is to use creative writing techniques. You can use several creative writing techniques to write exciting papers. These stylistic devices can help you create great content that your readers can visualize and easily understand your message. For example, you can use the following techniques for different purposes to make your writing more interesting .

  • Use the “Rhetorical Question” technique to think about a particular point. You can also use this technique to express strong emotions in your writing;
  • You can use the technique of “Personification” to give an exciting touch to your writing. Personification will help you in interestingly portraying nonliving things;
  • Use the technique of “Onomatopoeia” to make your stories sound more realistic. Your audience will find this technique quite appealing;
  • You can use “Colloquial language” to make your readers relate more to your writing.

Avoid Cliches

Make sure that you don’t develop a habit of overusing words. It is a habit that you can develop, and most of the time, you don’t even notice that you are using sentences again and again. You often repeat the exact phrases and sentences that make your writing sound more redundant. It will help if you read your writing to identify whether you repeatedly use words and sentences. Your readers will get tired of the repeated expressions and find your writing quite dull. So avoid clichés to make your writing more interesting.

These are some useful and easy-to-follow tips you can use to make your writing more engaging and exciting. All you have to do is keep your write-up straightforward and use easily understood vocabulary so that your reader stays glued to your paper.

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    Now let's look at a some ways to pump up this prose to make it more engaging. 1. Add Detail. Adding detail is one of the most straightforward ways to engage you reader. In basic play-by-play writing, you are telling the reader what is happening. But you aren't telling them much more about the world.

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    How to Make Your Writing More Engaging. The following is a list of narrative and literary techniques that can spruce up a piece of writing, make it more interesting, and (just like a whodunnit) keep the reader engaged until the end. 1. Metaphors and Similes. Writers often struggle to find a way to compare two (possibly disparate) things.

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  21. 5 Tricks To Make Your Writing More Engaging

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