Like any other form of writing, creative writing takes time to excel at. However, it may be complicated to grasp because of the layers that make up a good piece of creative work.

It demands a set of skills and elements combined to form valuable work. And an author cannot succeed in their creative writing career unless they use every aspect in their writing.

Therefore, if you wish to practice and master them, you should register for online creative writing courses.

In the meantime, here are the key elements of creative writing to brush up on:

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Theme

You might be thinking, what is creative writing, and how does it have themes? A theme isn't the plot of the story; instead, it is the fundamental message being passed on.

Themes are usually common narratives, which means readers can easily perceive the subject of the story regardless of the culture they belong to or the country they live in.

A few great themes for you to practice creative writing include:

  • Prejudice
  • Greed
  • Good vs. evil
  • Circle of life
  • Vengeance

While themes convey moralistic messages, they must never be openly instructive. This is known as didacticism – preaching a subject so openly that readers lose interest in the story and ignore its true meaning.

There may be primary and secondary themes in a story. And books for kids usually only have a single primary theme, which is the central message of the story.

However, books for older people might have more than one theme as adults are capable of greater understanding.

Furthermore, creative writing embraces two kinds of themes:

  • Explicit theme: A theme openly and directly stated
  • Implicit theme: An indirectly hinted or indicated theme
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The traditional yet effective way of learning creative writing is to read as many books as you can. Reading and analyzing authors' novels with established creative writing careers might help you build your own career someday (Source: Unsplash)

Style

Style in creative writing is defined as the kind of language used. A writer is responsible for creating a writing style as they put their words together to form a story.

Most story writers use a standard writing style. It might sound natural at first, but when you read it closely, you may realize that it is quite formal.

Utterances like "uh," are avoided, and the sentences are better tied together. Moreover, the use of contractions is also minimized. And as easy as it is to understand, it is nothing like conversational English.

Stories written in conversational style are informal as they sound like regular speech. The storyteller's part and the character's dialogues both sound like a normal conversation.

However, a decorative or unusual style of creative writing is used in historical fiction or extreme-fantasy novels.

Furthermore, the earlier editions of traditional English literature might have some examples of unusual writing styles.

But, unfortunately, old-age poetry also uses the same style, so it is pretty challenging to read and comprehend.

Log story short, authors use a various mix of styles to write captivating stories.

Characters

Character development is the most crucial element of creative writing! It is the element that explains your narrative to the readers and investigates your subject.

Yet, characters are more than that. They permanently reside in the memories due to the impact they make on the reader's mind.

Characters are often used to help the reader relate to the story. Readers connect themselves to the personalities in the novels they read, which creates a sense of intimacy.

Spending long hours thinking about the best possible character arcs is an essential element of composing fiction.

Any story holds two main types of characters:

  • Protagonists: The main character in the story's plot
  • Antagonist: The opposing force against the good character. This could also either be a person, civilization, nature, or destiny

Other characters in the story are considered side roles or minor roles. Therefore, they have little effect on the proceedings.

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The habit of keeping a diary will improve your creative writing skills and provide you with opportunities in your creative writing career. (Source: Unsplash)

Setting

The setting involves the location and the era in which the story occurred, according to the writer.

However, it might not have as significant an impact on the story as other elements of creative writing have.

There are two types of settings in creative writing;

  • Integral setting is crucial and relevant to the plot as it inspires the kind of activities, characters, or subject that any other location could not have
  • Background setting, on the other hand, is comparatively less plot-pertinent. We can say that it plays the role of a bland curtain or regular scenery set in a theater

However, it depends on the readers to interpret the setting as they like. For instance, if the story should occur in a vast city, it could be considered an integral setting. This is better explained in these tips.

But other readers might perceive the same location differently because the story could occur in any city according to them.

The setting is still an essential element of creative writing as it simplifies conflict, highlights characters, and influences moods.

Furthermore, if the conflict is "human against nature" then, the setting can play the antagonist's role in the story.

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Point-Of-View (POV)

Point of view is the storyteller's perception of the characters and events. In fictional stories, it is either shared by using a first person or third person speech.

The first-person point of view is always a self-witnessed opinion by the author, while the third-person point of view helps describe the events happening to other characters.

Plot

A plot is an artistic tool used by writers to structure the events in a story. It is the responsibility of the plot to introduce an occasion, event, or defining moment.

Then, this moment may lead to tension, struggle and bring up the primary narrative in the book. The plot always leads to a series of events that are associated with unlocking the dramatic mystery.

Often, it may also involve a conflict, which is usually the main fight between the protagonist and antagonist.

Either way, it is supposed to be a life-altering event for the protagonist as they either defeat their fears, foes, or inhibitions.

Meanwhile, the beginning of any story holds incredible worth. It needs to:

  • Catch the reader's interest
  • Define the characters
  • Lay the setting
  • Materialize the conflict mentioned above

Moreover, the beginning also weaves into the eventual plot of the story. This plot also ends up developing towards the ending of the story.

This is how a plot focuses on maintaining the reader's attention throughout the story. The goal is that the story leaves the reader with a feeling of fulfillment and content.

Dialogue

Another valuable element of creative writing is creating natural scenes. To compose great scenes in your tale, you must already be able to visualize them.

A writer needs to realize what their scenes will be about and what they want the characters to say – the dialogue!

Dialogues are not just about what the characters say; it is also about what they wear and where they reside.

A good writer figures these details out beforehand. However, if you are just beginning your creative writing career, you should focus on the following questions to comprise a great dialogue:

  • What details is your audience to be told?
  • Is there any information you can skip without hurting the quality of your piece?

Details are good; they allow the reader to imagine and see the writer's story practically. But adding unnecessary amounts of irrelevant information can curtail your writing progress.

This might also bore your readers and make them lose interest. Remember, the dialogue and scenes should always be moving towards the climax.

The last question you should consider is how you will compose your dialogue. If you wish to learn how to be a good composer, you must focus on your dialogues' tempo, sound, and fluency.

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If you are an ambitious writer, you would automatically be a good reader. All those high school years you spent reading comic books and romance novels will finally pay off when you enroll in creative writing lessons (Source: Unsplash)

Tone

The tone is the most crucial element of creative writing as it sets a connection between the reader and the writer.

It can be described as the attitude displayed by the writer towards their subject of writing. To put it simply, the tone is the gravitas that you, as a reader, get from the author's writing.

You may have noticed that it is pretty difficult to describe the concept of tone. This is because the tone is the toughest creative writing element – it is easy to identify but harder to put into words.

Authors use various tones in their novels; however, humor is the easiest one to identify. Therefore, if you are trying to describe the style of your writing to a friend or professor, you should use adjectives like:

  • Funny
  • Enigmatic
  • Eerie
  • Straight-forward
  • Realistic
  • Thrilling
  • Suspenseful

Learn The Elements Of Creative Writing With An Accomplished Writer

This might have provided you with a detailed understanding of the elements of creative writing.

However, if you wish to practice, learn and improve your writing, sign up with Superprof for the best creative writing classes.

Superprof is a platform where teachers and students can find each other. Enter your preferences and choose from a list of experienced professionals in your area.

You may find someone who will offer a free first lesson alongside flexible class schedules and creative writing guides.

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