How to be creative

As you may know, we at Beyond The Vale Publishing have launched our search for creative writers in schools.

The first annual SA Schools Creative Writing Competition has started. More details can be found here.

But, what is creative writing?

The competition is about creative writing, but what does that mean. Let’s take a look in more detail:

A definition is:

original writing that expresses ideas and thoughts in an imaginative way

And what that means is you get to make stuff up. A new world, a future we haven’t seen, different people, places, things. The only limit is your imagination!

Here are some tips to help you get started:

If you want to start writing your story but you’re not sure how to get going, then start with questions. Try not to think about the answers, just write down whatever comes into your head:

Who – who is your main character? Who are their friends? Who are their enemies?

Where – where is the story going to start? Are we in a city? A jungle? The moon?

When – is your story set in the future, the past, the present?

What – what is your character trying to do. What are their ambitions, their goal. What is their enemy trying to do?

Why – this is very important and leads to your character’s motivation. Why are they trying to achieve whatever it is?

How – once you have answered the above, then you can look at the how. Write a list of things that will happen, this will be the basis for your plot. It will be a lot easier to make your story flow if you have a basic idea of the plot.

Here are some other top tips:

Read. Reading will give you ideas on how to write your story. See how the author uses descriptions, speech and action. See how the characters interact with each other.

Write. You never know when inspiration will hit. Make notes on your phone or a notebook of even the strangest ideas whenever they come to you. Dreams can also be a source of inspiration so make a note of those too. You never know when these notes will come in useful in your writing process.

Over the next few weeks, I will be looking at other ideas and tips for how to make your story stand out.

If you have any questions, you can contact me here.