How to Master Your Creative Writing Process

Three Methods:Finding a Process That Works For YouRevising Your WorkLearning from Other Writers

Writing creatively can be more difficult than other forms of writing. Creative writing takes more ingenuity and innovation. It takes knowing the rules and knowing when to break them. When writing creatively, you need to figure out what process works best for you. Every writer is different, and the process will be different for each person. However, there are ways that you can figure out what process works best for you as described in the following sections.

Method 1
Finding a Process That Works For You

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    Explore different kinds of inspiration or writing prompts. Maybe you need a bit of meditative silence. Maybe you need a prompt. Maybe you need to start writing the second you have an idea (though this might not always the most practical option). It’s likely that more than one thing will help get you started; just use the one that feels best when you sit down to write. Try different things to figure out what works best for you. Some ideas include:
    • Use writing prompts.
    • Go to readings to hear other people’s works.
    • Read poetry or fiction before starting to write, in order to spark your own creativity.
    • Use a photograph or a special item to prompt your writing.
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    Play around with different physical writing methods. Also experiment with where and how you write down your ideas. The way that you physically write out your thoughts will make you think and write a bit differently, which can improve your work. Some famous writers, such as Neil Gaiman, exclusively write their first drafts by hand.
    • Try writing on paper rather than on a computer.
    • Try writing by hand with a fountain pen.
    • Explore using markers to write.
    • Use a chalkboard.
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    Write at different times of the day to find what works best for you. Maybe you write best in the morning when your brain is fresh. Maybe late at night works better because the sleepiness you feel helps turn off the super-critical part of your brain. Try working in the middle of the day at lunch. Keeping going until you find a time that feels right for you.
    • You may also find that some days you produce more in the morning, while on others you might produce more work at night. Listen to your body and try to be flexible.
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    Figure out what type of writing environment works for you. Experiment with the environment you write in. Some people need complete silence. Some people need light background noise. Still others work best with lots of noise. Find what works best for you by trying each type.
    • Try writing with other people around. Sometimes, something magical can happen just by being forced to write in the same room as other people.
    • You can also try writing a story together by shouting out ideas and then passing the story from person to person.
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    Emulate different writing styles. When you are first beginning to write, try channeling some of your favorite authors in an attempt to find your own voice. Of course, once you become a professional writer, you don’t want to exactly copy other people’s styles.
    • Take a story you love and try writing one in the same style. Set a similar mood, and look at how the author uses syntax and grammar.
    • Similarly, in poetry, try writing poems that copy the style of another poet. Most artists learn by copying first, and that’s no different for writers.
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    Ne consistent, no matter what your style or writing methods are. Yes, writing takes talent. But more than that, it takes persistence. Write every day if possible, even if it’s only a little bit at a time. If you write just 200 words a day, you could have over 70,000 words in a year, which is easily a novel.
    • Persistence will also teach you how you write best, as it will give you plenty of practice in trying out different techniques and environments.
    • Just keep going. Even if it seems like it’s not working, just try to keep writing. Eventually, you’ll find a rhythm, and you’ll figure out what works for you. First drafts are terrible; they’re supposed to be. That’s why you take time to revise your first draft over and over.

Method 2
Revising Your Work

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    Never underestimate the importance of revision. Revising is essential no matter what kind of writer you are. Take the time to reread your work. Try putting your writing aside for a while, so you can come back to it with fresh eyes.
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    Look for typos and grammatical errors. Check for awkward phrasing by reading it aloud. Sometimes it can be hard to really proofread your work because you are so familiar with the words you have written. Try reading your writing out loud in order to give yourself another perspective and see what your words sound like together.
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    Don’t be afraid to rewrite. If you’re worried about losing something good, just save the original in another file and start rewriting. That way, you can rewrite without worrying about destroying your original copy. You may find that after rewriting, there are certain aspects of both versions that you want to combine.
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    Be experimental. If a piece of writing isn’t working, try taking a different approach to it. Write it from a different point of view, such as third person instead of first, or try writing it from a different character’s perspective.
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    Try to rewrite the piece without looking at the original draft. One unique way to rewrite something is to read through the piece once, and then try to recreate it without looking at the original.
    • This technique works especially well with poems, as it may help you decide what you really need to keep in the poem.

Method 3
Learning from Other Writers

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    Take classes and one day workshops on writing. Try to learn what works for other writers and incorporate these techniques into your own process. Writing workshops will often have you write during the time you are there. The instructor will usually talk about a particular style of writing and how to use that technique yourself. In classes, you’ll be assigned writing projects to do at home. You may also be asked to read books that discuss writing techniques.
    • You can find workshops by checking listings at your local library. You can also run an internet search to find writing workshops in your area. Community colleges also offer writing classes.
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    Read books on writing. Most writers who author books on writing also talk about their process, which can help you refine your own. Choose an author who writes in the same genre(s) that you do.
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    Ask for help from other people. Let people you trust read your work, or join a workshopping group where you can exchange your writing with other people; workshopping groups offer critiques to one another and can help you improve your writing over time while also improving the story you are working on at the time.
    • You can find a workshopping group through your local library, online, or through social media platforms.
    • If you can’t find one you like, create one with a group of friends that have similar interests.
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    Learn how to deal with criticism. Receiving constructive criticism can be challenging, but try to remember not to take the criticism personally. Most other writers will have a genuine interest in helping you write better.
    • However, that doesn’t mean they’re always right, so take criticism with a grain of salt. Use the criticism that you feel makes the piece better; throw out what doesn’t.
    • Keep in mind that it’s usually a safe bet that if quite a few people point to the same part of a piece of writing over and over again, then you should probably do something to change it.


  • Remember that every writer is different. What works best for you as a writer is not going to work the best for someone else. Take the time to work through each part of writing so that you can establish your own process.

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Categories: Better Writing