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Top 3 Tips to Improve Your Creative Writing!

1) How can students improve creative writing?

As with any type of writing, certain foundational aspects of the language must be mastered. For me, there are 3 things I always get my students to do:

1) Check for Grammar

Regardless of how novel or interesting your idea is, it would be completely wasted if you are not able to articulate or communicate them in an effective way. Knowing how to use appropriate tenses, punctuation and words can influence the tone and overall mood of the piece of writing.

2) Increasing your Vocabulary

Expanding your vocabulary makes for great writing for you and reading for others. As a teacher, I have seen my fair share of “it was good” or “the girls were mean” in students’ stories, and there’s nothing worse than having to read a boring story. What I suggest is that students list down words they think are common in everyday speech or writing and use a THESAURUS to find different ways to say the word.

For example: instead of using the word good, you could use words like authentic, exceptional, valuable, superb, or satisfying.

“The trip to the museum was an exciting experience. The exhibits were exceptional and, even more surprisingly, we found out that our class was the 1 thousandth visiting class! Because of this, we got an exclusive tour in the closed exhibit section of the museum. I have never seen such authentic artefacts so close before. It was a truly superb experience.”

3) Planning & Drafting

Planning & drafting your idea is a key step in making sure you are organised, free from mistakes and do not digress from the topic. It also gives you a general outline of how the progression of your story should be moving as you explore different bits of information that will help you develop an amazing story.

You should follow these steps in the Planning & Drafting stage to make sure your story is told the way you want it to:

a. Plan your story with words, pictures or even movie snippets.

b. Begin writing your story from a point (not necessarily the beginning) where you feel most comfortable with. This will help you choose a focal point about your story.

c. As you write, make sure to refer to your plan so you do not go off-topic and write something that does not fit into the story.

d. Once you’ve completed writing a portion of your story leave it aside for a day or so and come back to it to check for any mistakes (especially spelling and grammar) and for coherence (the story you wrote makes sense).

e. The last step is to be flexible. If you need to make any changes at the end to make the story better, do it!

 

2) Is there any tips on how to memorise quotes?

My tip for memorising quotes is to continuously read and write them in a book until you have memorised it perfectly.

This same technique is used when we are first learning to write our letters and numbers. The key is to convert your short term memories into long term memories (the reason why some of us can remember what we did on a holiday or birthday party a few years ago). Our brain is wired to remember things we do repetitively until it essentially becomes reflexive to us.

 

3) Advice for those who have trouble finding an idea to write about

Finding ideas to write about is the problem most students have issues with. What students need to remember is that there is no right or wrong when it comes to Creative Writing. The whole point of creative writing is TO BE CREATIVE.

My advice for students having trouble with this is:

1) Read more stories in any genre.

Many creative pieces today are reiterations or remakes of ideas once told before. What students can do is be familiar with different genres and combine them into an original idea. For example: Movies like Cowboys vs Aliens mash up different genres and timelines to create something new. As ridiculous as this idea may be, remember, you are writing a creative piece to entertain, mystify or even horrify the reader.

2) Watch movies (crowd favourite)

Many of you will want to this. Watching movies is a great way to visualise ideas. However, it’s not just about watching the movie. Take note of the setting, mood, and meaning of the story being told. Also, observe the mannerisms of the actors as they portray their character, noting down the language used (ie. how they speak, what words they tend to use), gestures, emotions and the relationships between characters. Each scene of the movie has been carefully directed (the good ones anyway) to portray parts of the story in a way where you, the viewer, can relate to.

3) Talk to people and find out about their story (my favourite)

Everyone has a story. Now I’m not telling you to talk to a stranger, but friends and family members can have amazing stories hidden behind their façade of normalcy.

Until recently, I didn’t know that my family 3 generations above were traumatised by the Japanese Occupation during World War II. My great-grandfather fought against the Japanese and was, unfortunately, killed during the time leaving behind his wife and 8 children. The rest is history, but the trials my family went through during that period of time left me with raw emotions and in awe of what humans can do to survive.

So, don’t be shy to dig around your past or ask your parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents what they did and experiences during their younger years. It WILL surprise you.

 

Tips from Alpha Omega Education

creative writing tips

Alpha Omega Education is an established learning centre with a successful 10-year history educating children, school students and businesses. We are experts in tutoring Math, English and Science across all school ages and provide language learning opportunities for Early Learning Centres.

The latest addition to our list of programs is the Alpha Kids Early Learning Program for 3 years and up where we cover foundational literacy and numeracy to prepare young children for Primary School. Our team consists of qualified and passionate teachers, seeking to equip all students with the ability to excel at their studies regardless of their age.

Author: Sim K

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Sim K

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