shreyapv
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Any tips for creative writing??
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TMongkul
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Try thinking outside the box and write something different that isnt clique.
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Rexicon7
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(Original post by shreyapv)
Any tips for creative writing??
Every time you come across an interesting descriptive sentence in a book/movie/song that really stands out and has connotations of something interesting, write it down. For example, "the starlight suckled the roof" or "the moon glistened over the serene water" creates clear images in the reader's head and also have connations related to them such as maternal relationships or calmness. Then try and use a few of them when you next practice descriptive writing.

Also, make sure you're consistent with your description, keeping all your sentences loosely to the same theme, e.g. if you're describing the snow, talk about its whiteness, the way it gleams etc and use sentences with connotations to white such as purity.

It might help to take a mental snapshot of the thing you're trying to describe, divide it up into 4 squares and focus on describing one of the squares at a time.
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TabithaFord99
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(Original post by shreyapv)
Any tips for creative writing??
My top tip is to ignore the stuff posted below. We pay attention to writers who have something original to say. Trying to copy someone else's thoughts, or point of view or vocabulary or style will end in just that - a poor copy of the original.

If you are writing for an exam:
(a) make sure that your grammar and punctuation is correct - this in itself will go a long way to getting a good mark
(b) write about what you know. In your short life you will not have a lot of experience to draw from, that's why "write about what you know" is good advice. When you are older you can draw beyond those boundaries. For now, study the small stuff. What does disappointment taste like? What does your grandmother's voice feel like? Did the sand in your shoes last summer chafe at words not spoken when your father let go of your hand? Put yourself in the moment, and try and capture it in a way that means something TO YOU. Stop trying to perform and try and be honest.
(c) practice and edit. The sky does not look like the cornflower blue of your brother's melancholy eyes when he dreamt of the golden, mouse smelling haystack. You do not need all those adjectives. Pick the one that conveys the mood. If I'm sad, the haystack is melancholy. If I'm hopeful, it will be golden. If I am disgusted, it will be mouse infested. Pick one mood.
(d) READ. The more you read the more ideas you will have. You can learn from other writers, but never, never copy them. We want to hear your voice.

You can do it. Now GO! I have every faith in you...
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EMC075
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(Original post by shreyapv)
Any tips for creative writing??
Oooh I love creative writing! My tips might not be the most valuable as I have no credentials but here are some things you might find helpful: (I know you're probably aware of most of the literary devices I've talked about, but it can be good to know here to apply them)

If you're doing the AQA GCSE like I did it's usually easier to get high marks on the description task as it's easier to avoid plot cliches etc. For these I always like to try and build some atmosphere by using sensory imagery. Apparently olfactory imagery is the most vivid but I like to use a combination of visual, auditory and olfactory imagery.

Symbols can also be really useful if you're introducing characters or themes as they can communicate a lot of meaning with few words. For example, instead of writing "the family were very religious" you might write "a worn bible sat on the mantle piece the only feature lacking dust" or "a crucifix stared down from every doorway" or something like that idk.

On that note personification is a really useful tool but be careful not to overuse it. There's nothing worse than when a description starts off really nicely like "the moon lay languidly on the waves" and then everything gets personified. It is okay sometimes though, especially when the writer uses it within an extended metaphor (a classic example might be comparing the sounds of the natural world- birds maybe? to an orchestra), which can be really beautiful. Another really useful device, for narratives and descriptions, is narrative enigma- mystery created by not fully explaining something/ not naming the characters/ leaving unanswered questions. There are countless other literary devices like this, I encourage you to look them up and find examples of them in some of your favourite texts.
As others have already said, the most important thing is to read- this will help you with ideas and give you a good intuition for naturally bringing various literary devices into your work.

Sorry for the long message, hopefully something in here was useful!
Last edited by EMC075; 7 months ago
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TabithaFord99
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(Original post by EMC075)
Oooh I love creative writing! My tips might not be the most valuable as I have no credentials but here are some things you might find helpful: (I kknow you're probably aware of most of the literary devices I've talked about, but it can be good to know here to apply them)

If you're doing the AQA GCSE like I did it's usually easier to get high marks on the description task as it's easier to avoid plot cliques etc. For these I always like to try and build some atmosphere by using sensory imagery. Apparently olfactory imagery is the most vivid but I like to use a combination of visual, auditory and olfactory imagery.

Symbols can also be really useful if you're introducing characters or themes as they can communicate a lot of meaning with few words. For example, instead of writing "the family were very religious" you might write "a worn bible sat on the mantle piece the only feature lacking dust" or "a crucifix stared down from every doorway" or something like that idk.

On that note personification is a really useful tool but be careful not to overuse it. There's nothing worse than when a description starts off really nicely like "the moon lay languidly on the waves" and then everything gets personified. It is okay sometimes though, especially when the writer uses it within an extended metaphor (a classic example might be comparing the sounds of the natural world- birds maybe? to an orchestra), which can be really beautiful. Another really useful device, for narratives and descriptions, is narrative enigma- mystery created by not fully explaining something/ not naming the characters/ leaving unanswered questions. There are countless other literary devices like this, I encourage you to look them up and find examples of them in some of your favourite texts.
As others have already said, the most important thing is to read- this will help you with ideas and give you a good intuition for naturally bringing various literary devices into your work.

Sorry for the long message, hopefully something in here was useful!
I think you are using the word "clique" wrongly. Are you confusing it with "cliche" I wonder? (just trying to help)
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Englishteacher24
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TabithaFord99 is asking quite a lot of a GCSE student! In fact, I explicitly tell my students that they are not expected to write the next great work of fiction in 45 minutes.

What a student needs to focus on is meeting the assessment objectives - while I would love to sit here and say that the exam is an opportunity to unleash creativity, the reality is that the assessment objectives are narrow and the time frame is short. It is great if students are able to be creative within the parameters of an exam and really show off, but it is incredibly difficult for a lot of students. It is difficult to achieve 'honesty' with writing when a student is given a prompt and has to write to a specification: students must perform because that is what the government and exam boards ask for. Originality and sophistication mean something different at GCSE level - a student is measured against other students in the same age range. Adjectives will get you marks. Flowery language and phrasing, as long as the response is readable and grammatically correct, can show skill.

While writing what you know about can be a good starting point, it is also important to note that your experiences can be limiting. Often, when students write solely from their own experiences, their responses are lackluster. It is also perfectly fine to use other writers as inspiration - to take note of their phrasing, vocabulary, and ideas. You don't want to plagiarise them e.g. memorise and copy part of a novel word for word but so much of what we write is inspired by what we read: our voices are shaped by the voices of others. For example, if I was tasked with writing a response inspired by an image of a beach, I may think back to the opening of Brighton Rock - the hustle and bustle and celebration of a bank holiday as well as the hidden criminality of it all. I may try and achieve something similar in my response, capturing the beauty of the sea side as well as the less savory side - of people forced to beg, of sea life suffering from waste etc. In this way, I create my own work inspired by the work of others.

I agree, though, that you need to make sure your SPaG / technical accuracy is great, that you need to practise and proofread, and - when you begin writing - you should have a clear message / atmosphere in mind.

My advice is to break down the success criteria into a series of devices (both language and structure e.g. metaphors and flashbacks) and then practise using them to respond to different creative tasks (both narrative and descriptive - make sure you know the difference! Each one has different conventions). Often, you will find that you have phrases that you repeat or devices you gravitate towards. I'm a fan of including juxtaposition but I find it difficult to experiment with time - find your own style! The more you practise, the less "clunky" your writing will read.

One of the exercises I enjoy doing is flicking open a page to a novel I enjoyed reading, highlighting language and structure techniques, and using this to inspire my own writing. For example, if I opened a book and there were two different settings - a Gothic lab and an inviting street - I would write a paragraph or two about two different settings side by side. I could choose an ice cream shop and a funeral directors, for example (this would allow me to practise including contrast). If the novel used words like 'sordid' and 'florid', I would incorporate these within my writing. This is quite a good exercise for practising short responses rather than 45 minute ones. You could do this exercise in 10 minutes (or take longer if you wanted to).
Last edited by Englishteacher24; 7 months ago
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EMC075
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(Original post by TabithaFord99)
I think you are using the word "clique" wrongly. Are you confusing it with "cliche" I wonder? (just trying to help)
Oh yes definitely that is not what I meant at all! :giggle: How embarrassing! Thanks for pointing it out
Looks like I should have read your comment about spelling and grammar before posting.
Last edited by EMC075; 7 months ago
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TabithaFord99
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(Original post by Englishteacher24)
TabithaFord99 is asking quite a lot of a GCSE student! In fact, I explicitly tell my students that they are not expected to write the next great work of fiction in 45 minutes.

What a student needs to focus on is meeting the assessment objectives - while I would love to sit here and say that the exam is an opportunity to unleash creativity, the reality is that the assessment objectives are narrow and the time frame is short. It is great if students are able to be creative within the parameters of an exam and really show off, but it is incredibly difficult for a lot of students. It is difficult to achieve 'honesty' with writing when a student is given a prompt and has to write to a specification: students must perform because that is what the government and exam boards ask for. Originality and sophistication mean something different at GCSE level - a student is measured against other students in the same age range. Adjectives will get you marks. Flowery language and phrasing, as long as the response is readable and grammatically correct, can show skill.

While writing what you know about can be a good starting point, it is also important to note that your experiences can be limiting. Often, when students write solely from their own experiences, their responses are lackluster. It is also perfectly fine to use other writers as inspiration - to take note of their phrasing, vocabulary, and ideas. You don't want to plagiarise them e.g. memorise and copy part of a novel word for word but so much of what we write is inspired by what we read: our voices are shaped by the voices of others. For example, if I was tasked with writing a response inspired by an image of a beach, I may think back to the opening of Brighton Rock - the hustle and bustle and celebration of a bank holiday as well as the hidden criminality of it all. I may try and achieve something similar in my response, capturing the beauty of the sea side as well as the less savory side - of people forced to beg, of sea life suffering from waste etc. In this way, I create my own work inspired by the work of others.

I agree, though, that you need to make sure your SPaG / technical accuracy is great, that you need to practise and proofread, and - when you begin writing - you should have a clear message / atmosphere in mind.

My advice is to break down the success criteria into a series of devices (both language and structure e.g. metaphors and flashbacks) and then practise using them to respond to different creative tasks (both narrative and descriptive - make sure you know the difference! Each one has different conventions). Often, you will find that you have phrases that you repeat or devices you gravitate towards. I'm a fan of including juxtaposition but I find it difficult to experiment with time - find your own style! The more you practise, the less "clunky" your writing will read.

One of the exercises I enjoy doing is flicking open a page to a novel I enjoyed reading, highlighting language and structure techniques, and using this to inspire my own writing. For example, if I opened a book and there were two different settings - a Gothic lab and an inviting street - I would write a paragraph or two about two different settings side by side. I could choose an ice cream shop and a funeral directors, for example (this would allow me to practise including contrast). If the novel used words like 'sordid' and 'florid', I would incorporate these within my writing. This is quite a good exercise for practising short responses rather than 45 minute ones. You could do this exercise in 10 minutes (or take longer if you wanted to).
Perhaps you can give me a link to some of the work you've produced, I'd love to read that.
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Englishteacher24
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(Original post by TabithaFord99)
Perhaps you can give me a link to some of the work you've produced, I'd love to read that.
Creative writing? Yes, I can - in fact, I've completed the exact task I recommended to the OP. I'm unsure as to what exactly you want it for? I use my creative writing to model the process to my students so I'd rather not have it visible on TSR, just in case they identify me!
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