What if today was the day you finally started your creative writing journey?

Imagine ideas just pouring out!

Have you put your desire to start creative writing to the back of your mind and last on your list of priorities?

The problem with that, is we feel like we need to ask permission to bring being creative into our everyday life and a result of this is, we can start to feel like our spark has gone. You will never know the gems you may uncover…

Treasure chest full of your creative ideas!

I’m not suggesting that you start writing another War & Peace today (unless you want to of course!) but being creative is like a muscle, once you start flexing a bit more, and turning on the creative tap, ideas just start to flow and become more natural. Trust me!

I spent way too long seeking permission before I finally decided to dedicate my life to being creative.

I felt like I was ‘silly’ or needed to ‘grow up’ and ‘be responsible’. (But that was more to do with who I surrounded myself by at the time which was their beliefs).

I kind of started writing our debut novel ‘Meet Me At 10’ almost in secret. Crazy eh?

Fast forward 4-5 years and I’m making money being creative, so who do I need to ask to continue? Nobody.

Same for you…

Being creative can be anything like writing poetry, painting, graphic design etc.

I will focus mainly on creative writing and how you can start (as I feel I like I have more knowledge to pass on in this area). I have no doubt that if we didn’t start out in a creative writing group, we wouldn’t be where we are now.

I will give you easy to implement tips and strategies to start creative writing.

You will go from having zero ideas to unlimited creative ideas and you will start to feel excited about making time for YOU!

What We’ll Cover:

Number #1 – What is Creative writing exactly?

Number #2 – Creative writing images

Number #3 – Creative writing prompts

Number #4 – Creative writing websites that will help you

Number #5 – Creative writing resources.

Number #6 – What to do now..?

Number #7 – How to create a daily/weekly plan

And much, MUCH more!

Number #1 – What is Creative writing exactly?

The true definition of creative writing is:

 Original writing that expresses ideas and thoughts in an imaginative way. It’s the “art of making things up.

(Source: https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/word-definitions/definition-of-creative-writing.html)

Storytelling has been in our blood for thousands of years.

Through storytelling we can evoke all kinds of emotions; fear, love, happiness etc. Think of when we used to tell ghost stories to each other. We may have even made them up and added bits on. That’s being creative! And yet as we get older, we lose the kid in us.

Go find the kid in you!

Even if it means getting messy sometimes!

It’s not just kids who can be creative!

If we can improve the art of creative writing, we can produce stories that could possibly change lives (even our own). At the very basic level, if you practice the skills and strategies involved in creative writing, you may produce a book, then another, then another…

Trust me, there is a living to be made in writing books. But all a book is, is one sentence after another.

These self-published authors are making a killing through writing books. They started off as beginners…

Mark Dawson

Simon McCleave

Craig Martelle

Rachel Abbott

Why is Creative Writing important?

Where would we be without creative people? A sad place that’s where. Think of a world without musicians, painters, fashion designers, novelists, songwriters etc.

All of these people probably came up against others telling them to get ‘proper jobs’. Are we glad they didn’t listen right..?

Can Creative Writing be taught?

Yes it can.

As long as you have the curiosity, you can learn creative writing. For example, some people are not sure about how to start. (That’s why writing prompts, worksheets etc. really help) then once you get going, there’s no stopping you!

Which type of Creative Writing is for me?

Basically, the one you feel most drawn towards and then become most comfortable and passionate about. But I recommend you try them all!

For instance, I started off being a songwriter from the age of 7 and was convinced that’s the only form of being creative I was going to pursue. I was proud of getting my songs played on the radio and making a bit of money. I loved the whole process of thoughts in my head, turning into stories (with some elements of truth in them and then a sprinkling of fiction) and then them booming out from speakers. It’s a buzz trust me!

I write in the pop/ballad genre, if you care to have a little listen.

Click on image to take you to iTunes.

After that, I attended a Creative Writing Group ran by Sharon Atkinson. It was here that I discovered my love for writing short stories and then full-blown novels.

I think it really helped with me being a songwriter first because essentially, writing songs is writing very short stories where every word is precious so you can’t afford to waffle. This put me in good stead for writing stories.

It was when I was in this writing group, through writing prompts and our monthly competitions, the idea for Meet Me At 10 was born and the rest is history!

We went on to write more books in that series and then start a crime fiction series (along with non-fiction books too!)

Click image to take you to Amazon

So you see, it is worth trying every kind of creative writing before you find your favourite.

Try:

Song writing

Poetry

Plays

Screenwriting

Fiction (novels, novellas, short stories)

Memoirs

Resources

Here are some resources for you to explore.

(Click on links to take you to destination)

How to start song writing

Click here

Books to help you start song writing.

Click here

How to start writing poetry

Click here

Books to help you start writing poetry.

Click here

How to start writing a play

Click here

Books to help you start writing a play.

Click here

How to start screenwriting.

Click here.

Books to help you start screenwriting.

Click here.

How to start writing fiction.

Click here.

Books to help you start writing fiction.

Click here.

How to start writing a memoir.

Click here.

Books to help you start writing a memoir.

Click here.

Places to go to start creative writing:

Creative Writing Groups (google ‘Creative writing groups near me’ etc)

Search for Facebook groups in the area you want to start.

Then just click ‘join’ to all the groups that interest you. Post any questions you have. (Make sure you read the rules first).

But I hear you, you’re probably thinking ‘But I don’t know where to even start with ideas’

Don’t worry, we will come onto that.

Number #2 – Creative writing images.

Discover hidden stories lurking in your creative brain- what will you come up with?

Why images can stir your creativity.

When you see a spooky house at night? What do you think?

Yeah, me too.

You certainly don’t think of a ‘happy ever after story’ right?

Images stimulate our senses and take us back to a reference point in our life where that kind of image makes sense. (Thunder and lightning may evoke excitement or fear depending on the reference point in the person’s memory e.g. If a child was always scared of thunder of lightning, every time they watch a movie, read about it thundering, it evokes fear).

If I was show you a picture of a storm, it will evoke a feeling. That feeling can help stimulate an idea.

Here are some images I want you to think about:

Why is this guy happy?

Write down the obvious and then start thinking more obscure…

He could have just proposed to somebody.

He could have passed his job interview.

He could have won some money.

Now lets get a bit darker…

He could have broken up with his girlfriend and so he is relieved.

He could have robbed a bank and got away with it.

He could have just been cleared of murder, even though he was guilty.

Can you see how it takes you in a different direction?

Name 5 more ideas.

Who is this child?

Are they playing hide and seek? (Happy)

Or are they simply frightened?

What are they scared to look at?

Is there somebody with them?

Have they just discovered something?

Where is this?

Is this car on the way to somewhere or on the way back?

Is there somebody following them? If so, why?

Have they driven through the night to surprise somebody?

Are they escaping from somebody? If so, why?

Are they going to make it to their destination?

Who is in this picture?

Are they happy?

Are they saying goodbye?

Are they reminiscing?

Is one of them being unfaithful?

Is one of them in danger and they don’t know it? Why would that be?

Just google images that inspire you and brainstorm WHATEVER comes into your head! don’t edit at this point. The aim is to come up with as many ideas as possible and maybe even coming out of your comfort zone like I did!

Number #3 – Creative writing prompts

Explore new exciting ideas you never thought possible! (That’s how we came up with our book series!)

We came up with the Shona Jackson series after Sharon (our creative writing group leader) made us come out of our comfort zones.

I normally drifted towards psychological thrillers if I practised in the group. But Sharon wanted us to explore our creativity even more.

One month, she set us a task to come up with ANY story that from a prompt of a vending machine. Yes, a vending machine.

At first I thought, there’s no way I can get excited about writing about a vending machine!

Then I realised, that’s because I hadn’t attempted to think beyond my own boundaries before.

Let’s think more creatively.

I got to work.

At first, I thought it could be a ‘magic’ vending machine that travels in time (Bill & Ted style). Then I thought, who could meet at a vending machine? Friends? Lovers? People who were having an affair? I felt I was getting nearer but nothing really excited me as I felt the ideas had been done to death.

What if two people always met at the vending machine, but they were lovers in secret during a time where their relationship could literally get them killed?

Now we are on to something!

It is in a genre COMPLETELY DIFFERENT to my comfort zone.

I won’t give you any spoilers, but our book ‘Meet Me At 10’ was born (first as a short story, then I completely fell in love with the characters and the story grew.)

I had to do a LOT of research, but I’m not going to give any more away, but trust me, it’s a whopper of story!

If I can do it, then you can.

Here are some prompts from the popular site reedsy.com.

Write about a character putting something into a time capsule.

Write about two characters on the verge of a life-changing event, but one has rigged the outcome.

Write about a character who can suddenly only “remember” their future, not their past.

Write about a character who’s obsessed with an era they never lived through.

Write about a character discovering something new about their past that changes how they remember an important moment.

Set your story in a small town where everyone is suspicious of newcomers.

Here are some First Line Creative Writing Prompts:

60+ Random First Line Writing Prompts

Here are over 60 one-line opening sentences to help you write your next big story:

  1.  “Er… I hate this song. Why is it always playing on the radio?”
  2. Every story has a hero and I’m the hero of this one.
  3. Thunder rattled outside, as Emily tossed and turned trying to sleep.
  4. Life wasn’t great at all for Mr Pea. It wasn’t even mildly good. 
  5. They keep calling me “special”, but what’s so special about me?
  6. Gavin was always getting the best presents. For once I wish I could be like him.
  7. Balloons popping, confetti dropping and food flying. That’s how Katie spent her birthday each year. 
  8. Every night, Peter went out to save the world in his own little way. 
  9. If dogs could speak, then Spike would be thanking Chris right now.
  10.  Money is everything. 
  11.  Was it really Jane’s fault?
  12.  Every day the same thing keeps happening.
  13.  For the first time in her life, Janie felt powerful.
  14.  5 AM and still no phone call.
  15.  Mom’s always telling me to come straight home. 
  16.  There’s an old legend that talks about magical fairies living in the forest. 
  17.  Snow fell, as Clarissa made her way home.
  18.  After the accident, Nelson never felt safe again.
  19.  Katie’s living the dream up in the hills of Hollywood.
  20.  The world seemed like such a big place, until the recent discovery in Antarctica. 
  21.  “Dear diary, today I learned something about myself…” Katie mumbled to herself. 
  22.  Blinded by a bright light outside his window, Jake jumped up in horror.
  23.  Sitting at his computer, Martin noticed something odd about his favourite computer game.
  24.  Rain trembled down the window, as the car radio played in the background. 
  25.  “Ready or not, here I come!” shouted Millie in the distance. 
  26. Once upon a time, there lived a young prince with extraordinary powers. 
  27.  James had it all, but still, it was not enough.
  28.  Her red hair glistened in the sun, as she walked across the car park. 
  29.  Mel was always haunted by her dreams. 
  30.  “Shhhh! It’s your turn now” whispered Kelly. 
  31.  The room was a dump, as Jack frantically searched every corner. 
  32.  This time daddy brought a strange teddy bear home.
  33.  There’s no cure for a beast like me. 
  34.  People ran inside their homes, as the alarm rang. 
  35.  Tracking through the woods, Christian found something strange. 
  36.  Home. What is home anyway?
  37.  Legend says that if you breathe in and out ten times in front of a mirror something strange happens.
  38.  Tick… tock… tick… tock… time was going so slow. 
  39.  The pain was too much, he had to leave right now.
  40.  Slipping out of reach, she lost it forever.
  41.  Money, clothes, food, everything you need for a quick getaway. 
  42.  In the faraway kingdom of Rainbow Popsicles, everything was sweet, apart from one strange-looking thing. 
  43.  In the damp streets of Manhattan, there lived a fierce little cat. 
  44.  Being the ‘odd one out’, the ‘weird’ one wasn’t fun at all.
  45.  “Ahhhhhhhhhhh!” Shelly screamed in her sleep.
  46.  Some say the number 7 is unlucky, but to me, it wasn’t.
  47.  Every Saturday, Joe went to his Grandma’s house, but something was very different this week. 
  48.  Chores, chores and more chores.
  49.  For once I wish I could get my way.
  50.  The sun shone brightly on Oakland farm, but not all was bright.
  51.  “I got one! I got one!” shrieked Sally, jumping up and down in excitement.
  52.  She was everything I wanted to be and more. 
  53.   The same words over and over again scattered all over the floor. 
  54.  The scariest creatures lived deep in the forest where no-one ever went. 
  55.  “Abra Kadabra, turn these ripped trainers into the fastest trainers in the world!” exclaimed Victor. 
  56.  The desert-like sun burned his skin as he lay scorching in the sand. 
  57.  The sound of rustling leaves turned George’s heart to stone. 
  58.  Sunny Slimeville was just a normal town with a funny name. 
  59.  The phone did not stop ringing all week.
  60.  Another tea party, another game.

(Source: https://www.imagineforest.com/blog/first-line-writing-prompts/)

Brainstorm:

Just by doing this, you are letting your imagination roar with creativity. There are NO WRONG ANSWERS!

Number #4 – Creative writing websites that will help you

* These websites can enhance your creative writing technique.

https://blog.nanowrimo.org/

https://blog.reedsy.com/writing-exercises/

https://www.writersdigest.com/be-inspired/websites-for-writers-writing-creativity

Number #5 – Creative writing resources.

Explore a magical world that has been buried for too long!

* How do you invest further in your exciting creative writing journey. What I did and why I recommend you do too!

Online writing Courses (Most of these are for FREE!) Click HERE
Creative Writing Books (Amazon) Click HERE
Writer’s stationery (Amazon) Click HERE

Number #6 – What to do now..?

Discover your favourite creative writing technique/aspect and go for it!

* How do you come up with a strategy to put all these together?

* How do you decide which type of creative writing is for you?

I recommend you watch this video by Oscar-winning Screenwriter for how he organises his writing.

I use this exact technique to write our books.

I recommend this book to help you: Save the Cat ( a step by step guide)

Novelist Jessica Brody presents a comprehensive story-structure guide for novelists that applies the famed Save the Cat! screenwriting methodology to the world of novel writing.

Revealing the 15 “beats” (plot points) that comprise a successful story–from the opening image to the finale–this book lays out the Ten Story Genres (Monster in the House; Whydunit; Dude with a Problem) alongside quirky, original insights (Save the Cat; Shard of Glass) to help novelists craft a plot that will captivate–and a novel that will sell.

Click here to check it out on Amazon.

Number #7 – Create a daily/weekly plan- make an appointment with yourself!

What should my word count be?

The following are average word-count ranges by genre.

General Fiction

Fiction Genres

Children’s Books

Nonfiction

(Source: https://thewritelife.com/how-many-words-in-a-novel/)

So basically, if you wanted to write a Crime Novel in 8 weeks you would simply say to yourself:

“I can commit to 3 writing sessions a week. In each writing session I need to write on average 3,400 words each session and in 8 weeks, I would have written my first draft!”

When you set out a plan like this, you then are working towards a goal and not just hitting in the dark.

If you would like more inspiration in how to start writing a book, click here to download my FREE writing guide

You ready? Get excited! What will YOU create?

What was your favourite tip/images/prompt?

Do you already have a book out or are you working on a book at the moment?

Comment below, would be great to hear from you!

See you in the next one,

Vicky x