How to Be Creative in Your Writing

Four Methods:Choosing Creative Topics or ThemesDescribing Your Characters with CreativityGetting Creative with Your Word Choice and DescriptionsSparking Your Creativity

Perhaps you are feeling bored by your writing and are looking for ways to be more creative. Or maybe you are writing a story on a deadline and are struggling to inject some creativity into your prose. You can be creative in your writing by going for topics or themes that are unique and engaging. You can also write about your characters creatively and use creative word choices and descriptions so your text is polished and interesting. To get in the mood for creative writing, you can also take steps to spark your creativity.

Method 1
Choosing Creative Topics or Themes

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    Write about something that freaks you out. You can be creative with your writing by choosing topics that will inspire you and motivate you. Writing about a topic that scares you or freaks you out can infuse your prose with passion, humor, and tension. Maybe you choose to write about your worst fear or about your biggest moment of anxiety in your life. Focusing on a subject that makes you uncomfortable can force you to get creative and write through your fears on the page.[1]
    • For example, maybe you have a fear of heights and decide to explore this topic in your writing. You can try to channel your fear and anxiety into a non-fiction piece about how you have been challenged by your fear of heights in your life and how you have managed to overcome it or work around it.
  2. 2
    Use an interesting setting as inspiration. You can also get inspired to be creative in your writing by choose an interesting setting and sitting down to write in this setting. Bring your pen and paper with you so you can take notes as you observe what is going on around you. Use the setting as inspiration and get creative as you take notes.[2]
    • For example, you may choose a unique setting like your local zoo or the arrivals area of the airport. You may then write down your observations and pay attention to how people interact with each other and the setting. You may then use some of your observations or even the conversations you overhear as raw material you can use creatively in your writing.
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    Explore a hidden or forgotten moment in history. You can also look to history for ways to get creative in your writing. You may do research at your local library or online to find forgotten moments in history. You may narrow down your research to a particular group of people in history or a particular time period and dig around for events or figures in history that have been forgotten or ignored.[3]
    • For example, maybe you feel inspired to research the role of Native Americans in United States history. You may then use resources at your local library and online to look for stories of Native American historical figures that you can explore in your writing.
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    Put a new spin on a classic theme. You should be creative with how you choose the themes you write about in your work. Though there are many classic themes out there that appear in writing all the time, you should try to put a new spin on familiar themes so your writing feels unique and creative. You may use a classic theme as a jumping off point and see how you can approach it from a new or different angle.[4]
    • For example, you may decide to write about the classic theme: “love and friendship.” You may then consider how you can approach this classic theme in a way that feels unique to you. Perhaps you recall a childhood moment where you betrayed a best friend and explore this classic theme in a darker, more cynical way.
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    Do a writing challenge. You can push yourself to being more creative by setting up a writing challenge for yourself. You may make your own writing challenge or do a writing challenge with other writers. This could force you to get creative at least once a day or for a set period of time.
    • For example, you may challenge yourself to write 500 words of creative writing a day. This could be adding words to an existing story you are writing or writing short stories or scenes.
    • You could also do at least one creative writing prompt a day, devoting 30 minutes to one prompt or to multiple prompts. You may then challenge yourself to turn the prompts into stories or longer form pieces.
    • A fun challenge could also be to write a story and then destroy it. Doing this could help you let go of your ideas and force you to come up with new, creative ideas on a consistent basis.

Method 2
Describing Your Characters with Creativity

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    Make your character’s backstory distinct. You should try to create a history, or backstory, for a character that is distinct and detailed. Characters with detailed backstories are often more interesting to read about and come across more developed. Creating interesting backstories for your characters will also require you to get creative.[5]
    • You may decide to do character profiles of each character that includes the major details of their lives, from their profession to their favorite color to their favorite food. Though you likely will not use all of the details in the profiles in your writing, knowing more about your characters than the reader does will make them feel well-rounded and detailed.[6]
    • You may also create backstories for characters that focus on distinct traits, such as a preference for a particular music star or a fear of caterpillars that stems back to childhood. Adding distinct traits to your character’s backstories will allow you to get creative and think of interesting details you can give your characters.
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    Give your characters unique physical markers. You should strive to create characters who feel unique and distinct on the page, as this is how your writing will stand out and feel creative. Whether you are writing fiction, non-fiction, memoir, or poetry, you should have characters who are going to be memorable to your readers. One way of doing this to give your character physical markers that are unique and make them stand out.[7]
    • For example, maybe you have a character who has a distinct scar on her neck. This scar may be a symbol of trauma she experienced as a child and make her stand out in group settings around other characters. You should describe your character’s scar to the reader so they know it is important to the story and so they remember the character’s physical marker.
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    Have your characters use specialized language. You can also create strong characters that are interesting and unique by giving them specialized language. This could be slang, a regional vernacular, or a distinct way of combining English with other languages. Having your characters express themselves in a certain language or style can really deepen their character and allow you to get creative.[8]
    • For example, maybe you have a character who grew up in a household where Spanish and English were spoken by her parents. She may then speak a mixture of Spanish and English when she is with her friends and try to use “proper” English when she is in school. Having these different languages for her character can give her more depth and range as a character in your story.
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    Give your main character a unique narrative voice. You can also get creative with your characters by considering how they might describe an object or an event from their point of view. You could then create a voice for your character that feels distinct on the page and use this voice when your character is narrating the story. Giving your main character a unique narrative voice will add depth and creativity to your writing, especially if your story is in the first person.[9]
    • You may consider how you can make the main character’s narrative voice distinct using punctuation, such as a character who uses question marks a lot. Or you have use certain words or terms when you are writing in the voice of the character.

Method 3
Getting Creative with Your Word Choice and Descriptions

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    Avoid cliches. One of the golden rules of writing creatively is to always avoid using cliches. Cliches are phrases that have been used so often they have lost their meaning. Using cliches in your writing will leave your reader feeling bored, disinterested, and generally unimpressed with your ability to stick to the familiar. Try to banish cliches from your writing and focus instead on creating unique, unfamiliar descriptions in your work.[10]
    • There are many cliches out there and often it can be hard to avoid using them. A good rule of thumb is if you feel you have heard or read a phrase before, it may be a cliche. You can find a list of common cliches on Be a Better
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    Use metaphors and similes. Two of the more common literary devices used in writing are metaphors and similes. These two literary devices can help you go for strong word choice and come up with creative descriptions. You should try to use these devices in your writing to add depth and meaning.[11]
    • A metaphor is the comparison of one thing to another. In a metaphor, the two things appear unrelated, but in fact, they share common characteristics that only make sense once they are placed side by side.[12] For example, “The new girl is a fierce tiger.”
    • A simile makes a comparison between two objects or subjects using “like “or “as”. In a simile, the comparison is direct, unlike the more hidden comparison in a metaphor.[13] For example, “The new girl is as fierce as a tiger.”
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    Create unique imagery. You can also use strong, unique imagery in your writing to make it more creative. Imagery uses sensory detail, such as how things sound, feel, taste, feel, and look, to add depth and meaning. You should try to include imagery in your writing to push yourself to be more creative.[14]
    • Consider how you can describe a scene using the senses. Try to have your characters experience a scene based on how it smells, feels, tastes, sounds, and looks.
    • You should also try to use contrasting images to create interesting imagery in your writing. For example, you may describe a character as appearing "bright in the cold moonlight" or an object that appears "shiny in the darkness of the night."
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    Play with the way words sound on the page. You should consider how you can use certain words together on the page to make your writing appealing orally. Use your creativity to play with how words sound on the page in your writing. Consider how certain words might create a certain rhythm or cadence to your writing.[15]
    • You may decide to use alliteration in your writing to play with the way words sound. Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words placed close together. For example, “Don’t drive drunk” or “The crazy cat crouched over the crib.”
    • You could also use onomatopoeia in your writing. Onomatopoeia refers to words that sound like the object or subject that the word is describing. For example, “The skateboard whizzed by”, or “The rain dripped down the window.”

Method 4
Sparking Your Creativity

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    Listen to music. You can get your creativity flowing by putting on a piece of music that you find inspiring and engaging. You may listen to this music before you sit down to write or have it playing in the background as you are writing. You could also draw inspiration from the music for your writing and use it to be more creative in your work.[16]
    • Music genres like classical and jazz are popular choices for sparking creativity. Classical music and jazz music often do not have words or lyrics, making them more open to interpretation. You may find that certain classical or jazz compositions help you tap into your creativity and feel inspired.
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    Do meditation. You may also find it easier to tap into your creativity if you do meditation. Meditation can help you relax and focus. Guided meditation can also allow you to tap into certain subject matter or certain ideas you may have about your writing.[17]
    • You may decide to do concentration mediation, where you focus your thoughts on a specific topic or idea. Or, you may decide to try mindful meditation, where you calm your nerves and relax to prepare for a creative writing session.
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    Get enough sleep. You should also ensure that you get enough sleep, at least eight hours every night, to help you focus and be creative. Studies have shown the first few moments of waking up can actually be some of the most creative moments of your day.[18] You should be well rested to ensure your brain is ready to get creative every day.
    • You can get enough sleep by sticking to a consistent sleep schedule everyday, even on weekends. You should also maintain a healthy diet and do exercise to ensure your body gets tired when it is supposed to.

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