Creative Writing Skills: Do You Have Them All?

Do you know that creative writing isn’t easy?

Silly question, I know. But do you know that there are a certain set of skills which you need to master if you want to be an expert in it?

And the questions that comes out of this are: what are these skills? And are they important?

Read on for the first question. As for the second, of course you already know that the answer is going to be:

“Of course!”

To get what “creative writing skills” actually mean for your writing let’s get the big picture first (the definition of creative writing skills).

Creative writing skills – introduction

Creative writing skills are simply things which you need to know, things which you need to learn to have in your personality. If you don’t have these skills, I won’t say that you don’t have a chance of succeeding, but of course it becomes a lot harder.

Some people can get away with not having these creative writing skills and still being successful enough. But exceptions only prove the rule: if you want to be a pro creative writer, you need to have them, my friend.

The good news for those of us who do want to learn them is that they’re easy to master. They’re easy to grasp. And they’re even easy to remember for a long time.

Okay, so enough talk, let’s get into the main stuff. What are these creative writing skills?

The skills which you need to master

Master the following skills and be an expert creative writer.

  1. Talent – What, you don’t have talent? I don’t think so. Everyone has talent, whether they realize it or not. After all, what is talent if not passion for one’s craft? Is talent in-born or is it something we have to learn? I believe both. Let me tell you my own story… I was lucky enough to be born with talent. What does this mean? Means I was lucky enough to already have a passion for writing. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have to work hard to improve my writing. I did. Everyone has to. If you don’t believe that you have “in-born talent,” just keep writing. Everyone, even a crappy writer (means all of us) can improve their writing easily.
  2. Persistence – The old debate: skills vs. talent comes to mind. Which is essential? Both again. So what does skills mean? Persistence. Determination. Desire to succeed. A creative writer must have persistence. Success is, after all, merely the absence of failure. If it doesn’t work the first time, no matter. Second time, no matter. Third time, no matter. Fourth time, no matter. Millionth time, likewise. I guarantee… you will see success if you try.
  3. Patience – There’s no place for “get-rich-quick-seekers” in this world, and likewise, if you have a mentality for “get-published-quick” or “get-success-quick” it won’t work. Period. One has to be patient in writing, goes without saying. (After all, patience is the ticket to success).
  4. Ability to face criticism – I know, criticism isn’t great to hear. It’s so nice to hear praise, but when you hear criticism instead, you get all hot and afraid at the same time. But criticism is good. It’s actually great for writers, especially if it gives constructive advice. But once in a while, trolls arrive and harsh criticism is thrown on you. Instead of hitting back, the best thing to do is to face it. So you must have the ability to face criticism.
  5. Imagination – Imagination is so helpful in writing that even I would sing its praises for days, they still wouldn’t help. Have trouble conjuring ideas? You need to have a bright imagination. You need to imagine… you need to ignore the naysayers. The well known advice is to think outside the box. Just apply it.
  6. Technical ability – Of all the six creative writing skills, this is quite the easiest. I know what you’re thinking… “what’s technical ability doing in a post about creative writing skills?” Because you need to have some basic ability if you want to write. Pen and paper may continue to work well… but it’s good to also learn the basics of typing (touch typing), web publishing and more.

Phew! Think I got all the creative writing skills. What, you’re telling me that I missed one? I’m all ears… share it in the comments section.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, you really need to know these skills. They aren’t all that hard. They don’t even have anything to do with confusing technical jargon (yeah, if you want to know it, this is my pet hate). So go check whether you have all of the creative writing skills. If you passed all tests, congratulations! And if you didn’t, that’s okay too: keep practising.

Want to learn how to master these skills?

No worries – I’ve got an article coming up on Wednesday that will clear all confusions of how to master these skills. While this post teaches you what the creative writing skills are, part II will teach you how to master them. So stay tuned.

UPDATE: The post is now up! Read Who Else Wants to Master the Creative Writing Skills?.

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Comments

  1. Mansoor says

    Hey, how can I improve my writing expression? I write very simply. My vocabulary is very simple and sentence structure too.

    • TG8 says

      Hi Mansoor,

      When I was in the first grade, I read every book I could get my hands on, even books made for fifth-graders and up. I suppose I owe most of my vocabulary to that. If I came across a word I didn’t know, I would look it up in the dictionary, and I’d read the definition, then I’d go to the thesaurus and look at the synonyms for that word. Say the word I didn’t understand was “brave”. I’d look up “brave” in the dictionary, and read the definition, then I’d put it into my own words. Then I’d go to the thesaurus and find “brave”. I’d read the synonyms, and then I could say “If I run into “courageous”, I know it means “brave”. I know two words now, brave and courageous. I can use courageous to replace brave if I need to.” Then I’d replace common words like “said” or “happy” with “replied” and “joyful”, or “snapped” and “exalted”.
      As for sentence structure, I’d suggest using synonyms or “sentence spicers” to add a bit of zing to your sentences. I’d also suggest varying sentence length.

      Hope I could help,
      TG8

  2. Aleena says

    Hello,I am Aleena.I am from Mumbai.I am appearing for Hsc boards this year.I want to pursue a degree in creative writing skill,and believe me or not this post helped me a lot.thanks a ton for that.I am at the beginner level when it comes to writing skills.Can you please advice me what do I do ahead?

    • DD says

      Hi Aleena,
      If you are from MUMBAI, India — look up St. Xavier’s College of Communications (5 minutes from VT Station). They conduct CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOPS (6 sessions over six Saturdays). The next one begins on June 22, 2013. Tel (022) 22621366 or email: admin@xaviercomm.org. Be STRONG. Follow YOUR DREAM. WORK HARD. And, NEVER GIVE UP!!! All the best!

    • Annabelletarapor says

      Hi Aleena, I teach CW one-on-one. You could contact me if you are interested in attending my sessions.
      Regards,
      Annabelle

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