I am sure that you must be wondering how is it possible to have 10 creative writing strategies for compositions?
After all, there are only these genres for compositions.
VI) Personal recount
VII) Hybrid – a mix of any two of the above
If you look at it, there are only about 6 genres and 7 if you count the hybrid.
So, how in the world did I manage to compose 10 creative writing strategies?
There are 10 which I composed but probably more if you wish to explore further.
There is no limit on the kind of strategies that you can use for creative writing.
Writing beautifully to a captive audience is an art, a finely polished skill that gets richer with time.
There are no limits to creative writing strategies if you wish to expand the limits which you already know.
As far as writing is concerned, it is all about your ability to create something out of nothing.
That is what composition is all about.
It is like a beautifully etched painting by an 18th-century artist where he sees something which captivates his heart and then chooses to interpret it according to his desire.
I have seen the most beautiful art on canvases – both originals and reproductions alike.
They tell a story and each one is different even though it is based on the same setting.
Take the 18th-century painting by Canaletto for instance.
It is a painting of St Mark’s square in Venice, the epitome of romantic art from Italy.
Why do we remember Canaletto’s painting and not someone else’s?
Countless numbers of tourists have captured that fantastic image of St Mark’s square with those pigeons and that gorgeous Venice tower at the back.
It is an image that will conjure up that entire splendour of Venice in anyone’s mind when they have visited it.
What is so different about Canaletto? He had his own strategy.
And what is that in creative writing?
It is the art of making something that everyone sees into something which he saw differently.
And that is exactly what I am talking about.
I am going to run through 10 foolproof winning strategies for creative writing. These are great for beginners and/ or budding writers.
1) Strategy for writing narrative composition
Example: Write about an encounter that you will never forget.
This is a very common question.
Writing about someone or someone whom you have met, someone who taught you something important, someone who made an impact, someone who is important…
All of these are very common questions in creative writing.
The question is, how do you write it?
My strategy for this is to write something from an angle which most people have not thought of.
And that is to ‘write it backward.’ That means visualizing the ending first.
Imagine writing about how this ‘person’ taught you a lesson and what that lesson was.
Maybe it was a lesson on being courageous.
Then you work your way to the front and imagine yourself lacking in confidence and how this character was able to teach you something or give you a piece of valuable advice.
2) Strategy for writing personal recount, narrative or reflective composition
Think of the climax or the most horrifying or shocking part of the story first.
It could be a bomb explosion. That is certainly a horrible climax.
Then visualize the beginning. How you got to that place and why.
Then visualize the ending. This can be used for any story which is supposed to be impactful.
3) Bonus Strategy for writing personal recount, narrative or reflective composition
When you choose a story type of genre, always make sure that you have a superb way of starting.
It can be a quote or a ‘general truth.’
A general truth is like a hook but it has a solid piece of wisdom in it.
I like both quotes and general truths.
An example is “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
This quote is from the 18th century English writer, Charles Dickens’s riveting story “A tale of two cities.”
It is one of my all-time favourite classics.
Can you imagine the impact this will make in creative writing if it is the opening line?
4) Strategy for any genre
Endings are always important as they leave a lasting flavour.
For instance, recharge your ending by mentioning how the world will change in the next 5 years.
This can be used for argumentative, expository or even the story-type genres.
The ending should be philosophical, subjective and sincere.
Always aim for a sincere ending and ‘predict’ a future based on what is going on right now.
It takes practice to do this and excel in creative writing.
5) Bonus Strategy for any genre
If you do not have a good start or ending, it does not matter.
Concentrate on the ‘flow of words.’ Use the words to guide you.
For instance, choose a repetitive metaphor like running water or climbing the hills to write your story.
With such repetitive metaphors, your story will revolve around these words.
It could be about a challenge where you may use the ‘climbing hills’ idea throughout.
Eg. I needed to find my ‘peak.’ Peak is associated with climbing.
Or I had to find my path through rocks and thorns.
6) Strategy based on topics
This is useful for people who are not the bookish type.
For instance, try a topic only based on current affairs.
You may have to keep up with current world affairs.
This is easy if you like to watch the news or listen to people talking about what is going on.
It is rather easy to do creative writing if you simply pay attention to how the world revolves around you.
7) Strategy on all descriptive topics
Most descriptive topics are about the society, your community and a specific set of experiences based on your school or community.
For such topics, you have to steer clear of the creative writing commonplace.
The best strategy is to think out of the box. Think of an approach that is unusual.
If the topic is about describing the happenings in your community, think of events that most people will not think about.
The events may be about being a relief teacher in your community centre or helping the elderly in your neighbourhood.
Always aim for a moral point of view where you can show your altruism.
Charity and willingness to help people in need are good viewpoints and you should write on these.
8) Strategy on writing argumentative topics
It need not only be about writing on world topics.
The way you arrange your ideas is crucial in creative writing.
Always show the examiner that you have the ‘edge.’
This means an extra special value.
What you should do is to show that you know more about that topic than others.
Try to remember memorable quotes from world leaders and iconic figures.
For world leaders, you may choose to remember Donald Trump who always spoke of ‘fake news.’ This is easy to remember.
And for iconic figures, you may remember someone like Steve Jobs who said ‘stay hungry, stay foolish.’
He was describing his marketing strategy for selling his iPhone to people who craved his new technology and were willing to part with their money for it.
Not very pleasant for consumers but it was clear that Jobs was a savvy businessman.
Such world quotes are hard to forget and using them in your argumentative ‘world topics’ will make a world of difference.
9) Time-honoured Strategy
This is to start with the biggest or most important point first and start scaling down towards the least important point at the end.
This is a writing style that will keep your composition well-balanced and organised.
This will make it easy for examiners to understand and the first point will be dynamic as it is the most important.
This is a really good approach for argumentative and expository topics.
10) Interest-based Strategy for narrative writing
This is a great idea to use when you want to generate interest in your readers.
Most people will choose characters based on common names and occupations.
Try to think of an unusual name that still falls within the circle of local names or occupations which are modern and not run-of-the-mill.
Eg. Microbiology farming researcher or zoom teaching psychologist.
It sounds intriguing, does it not?
That is what you should do for creative writing.
Always ensure the plot is unpredictable and the best way to do that is to introduce uncommon ideas and names.
All right. These are quite a handful of strategies for creative writing.
Time to assimilate and take stock.
Which ones will you use first?
Try to use a few at a time and figure out which ones suit your creative writing style.
Good luck with your future compositions!