What Is The Scope Of Creative Writing?
Creative writing can be explained as an art form and a means of expressing one’s thoughts and imagination through the written word. Writing can be one’s hobby, a career, or even an amalgamation of both. Creative writing is a good option as a choice of profession and generates income that is on par with mainstream jobs. The demand for creative writers has seen an upward trend thus furthering the scope of creative writing, ever since social media usage became increasingly in vogue the world over. Demand for good writers has increased at an annual rate of 16% every year from 2016 to 2021 and it is only going to intensify in the years to come, thus maintaining its growth trajectory.
What is creative writing?
Creative writing places emphasis on using the attributes of imagination and creativity to tell a story through words that may be deemed capable of transporting the reader through the usage of vivid and well-placed words to make him or her feel a part of the story and also relate with the characters in it.
Traditionally known as literature, creative writing could also be referred to as the art of making things up and can be considered as a form of writing that is original and an indication of the writer’s imagination at work.
Types of creative writing
Creative writing can take on many forms. The most commonly known forms are novels and poems. However, there are other distinct forms as well that come under the umbrella of creative writing. The scope of creative writing is elucidated further in this blog post. Some of the forms of creative writing are:
- Television and movie scripts
- Song lyrics
- Works of fiction
Elements of creative writing
If you are keen on creative writing as a career option, it would be imperative to pay attention to the elements that make a good book or similar content. The elements are elaborated on below.
1. The plot should be unique:
The major differentiating factor between creative and other forms of writing is that creative work has to have a plausible plot and be unique in terms of content as well. Without a tangible plot, there would be no semblance of a story.
2. Character development:
Characters are an integral part of creative writing and their careful development bodes well for the content being delivered. How the characters grow and the changing circumstances that they go through throughout the book. The reader should be able to connect with the characters on an emotional level.
3. Underlying Theme:
Every story written and put out there always has an underlying message, even if the process was unintentional. Creative writing, by default, needs a message to be conveyed without which it feels incomplete. The book, “To Kill A Mockingbird”, for example, deals with the theme of racial inequality.
When reading a source of factual information such as a newspaper, detailed descriptions of the locations and the people in the vicinity isn’t borne out in great detail as would be the case when one is reading a work of fiction. In a work of fiction, the author has to vividly describe the people in the book and the situation as well as the location the characters in the book find themselves.
This is to help the reader imagine themselves in the shoes of the character and to find themselves drawn into the book, which is the primary reason most people pick up a novel.
5. Point of View:
While writing there are different points of view that the content can be written in. The most commonly used in creative writing are the first-person and third-person views. In the first-person point of view, the narrator is usually the main character. This means that you will most certainly encounter passages including, “I” and infer from this, that it is the main character narrating the story.
In the third-person variant, the narrator refers to the character as “he/she/they”. The narrator knows about the character’s innermost thoughts and feelings alone. It’s similar to writing in the first person, except that instead of the character telling the story, a narrator does it.
6. Emotional Appeal:
Creative writing is all about having emotional appeal. It’s the very basis of creative writing. Your job as a writer is to take the readers on a journey whole encountering strong characters and an appealing story arc.
Tips for creative writing
To craft an original work of fiction, poetry, etc., takes time, development of skills, and persistence. While there are no clearly defined rules or creative writing tips, the following suggestions will help you get started:
1. Write every day:
All of the bestselling authors recommend writing some content every single day. This will help you hone your writing skills and improve your abilities as a creative writer. You could write a poem or an interesting anecdote about your day. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is a book that is part memoir, and part master class by Stephen King, who is one of the best-selling authors of all time.
It contains loads of creative writing tips that budding writers will do well to pay heed to. This book gives an inside view of the writer’s craft and comprises the basic tools of the writing trade.
2. Write what you know:
Writers who are looking to kick start their writing career are advised to write about what they know and it’s good advice. Using familiar characters, settings, background, etc., that you’re already familiar with, is one of the creative writing tips that would be a good first step. This would be equivalent to research already done.
3. Write what you don’t know:
Using your imagination to create, new characters, new relationships, or even new worlds will help you challenge yourself improve your skills and further help increase the range and scope of creative writing that you possess. It would also help to choose to write about a different period in history or a location that you’re not familiar with.
4. Read a lot:
Writers, as a matter of fact, love reading. Making yourself familiar by reading books in the genre you wish to write in, is one of the best creative writing tips to follow. The genres can be poetry, literary fiction, thrillers, or fantasy. Remember, a good always writer loves to read as well!
5. Work on hooking your readers:
This simple line is one of the most useful creative writing tips as a well-written opening line serves to captivate the readers as soon as they read the first line of the book. By the opening paragraph or sentence, the readers must be intrigued enough to continue reading the book authored by you.
6. Work on dialogue delivery:
When we meet people we can learn a lot about them from what and how they choose to express themselves via their choice of words, the pitch of their voice, and non-verbal cues. A good work of fiction should be able to replicate the same in the reader’s mind. Writing dialogue takes a lot of work to make it sound fresh. Editing repeatedly may be required, but it’s well worth the effort.
7. Polish your work:
Most writers as a rule work on polishing and perfecting their works via the editing process. Editing is not the same as proofreading; it’s way more than simply correcting errors. Rather, it involves carefully going through your work with a fine-tooth comb and carefully considering what could be left out, any changes that could be made that would reflect in your writing and hence making it sound sharper and better in the eyes of the reader.
Editing isn’t easy work. Ernest Hemingway went through 40 drafts before penning the final revision to the last page of A Farewell to Arms. So even if you feel you’re getting nowhere, do keep at it. Persistence pays. This is one creative writing tip that writers simple shouldn’t ignore.
8. Stick to a routine
Routine is vital for writers who seriously wish to pursue a career in writing. A routine involves picking up the writing instrument at a fixed time and duration every day to write. Even if having writer’s block for the moment, it’s a good idea to still take pen to paper and write about anything that crosses your mind. Soon enough writing daily will become a matter of habit and it’s an important step to churning out good content.
9. Elicit feedback
Procuring feedback is a crucial factor in improving your writing skills. Constructive feedback is important to all writers. Good feedback will provide the necessary motivation to continue writing, while bad feedback provides you with ways to improve and adapt your writing and make it stellar. Try and get feedback from family and friends on your work.
10. Keep a notebook
A notebook is a writer’s best friend. Keep one with you at all times! Having a notebook handy is always a good idea as inspiration can come from the most mundane of surroundings. When an idea strikes, instead of having to rue about a missed opportunity you would be able to jot it down for future reference.
11. Pace your story
It’s important to pace your story. After all, you wouldn’t want to get into the meat of the story early on and thereby let the readers infer the way the book is going to end. It’s always a good idea to keep the readers at the edge of their seats and feel a biting the nails kind of suspense as you carefully build the layers of intrigue and reveal all slowly but surely as the book progresses.
12. Ask yourself questions
Once done with your book, do question your writing. Think about any potential plot holes in the story that could perhaps mar the reading experience. Look at it from the reader’s point of view and try and figure out if there is something the reader isn’t likely to understand.
Consider the option that a new character may need to be introduced in the story, or perhaps an existing one removed or their current attributes need to be changed.
13. Have a strong ending:
Avoid endings that have the possibility of leaving the reader with an underwhelming feeling. Clichéd endings will do the book and the author no favors. A strong ending doesn’t necessarily mean a happy one. It can be one that can have any number of endings, such as bittersweet, ambiguous, or even one that generates feelings of angst.
Stories can even end on a note that leaves the reader with more questions than answers, thus paving the road for books that continue in the same vein.
Scope of creative writing with regards to job prospects:
To be a prospective a formal degree in the field isn’t necessary. Anybody with a good command of the English language can venture into this industry. The emphasis is placed on English as it is the universal language the world over. Job opportunities abound for creative writers.
Good creative writers can write books in the genres of fiction, memoirs, travelogues, etc. They can also work be involved as scriptwriters in the movie business. The scope of creative writing permeates into the aforementioned industries along with a few others and are elaborated on below:
Copywriters are usually found to be working in the fields of marketing and advertising. The copywriter’s job is to mainly create content according to the client’s specifications and highlight the features of a particular product or service as the case may be. They create brochures, product catalogs, circulars, etc. The scope of creative writing for a copywriter is only limited by the imagination beholden to the creator.
2. Article writers:
The scope of creative writing for article writers is replete with opportunities but it definitely will serve them better if they are proficient in various subjects that include but are not limited to food, travel, sports, entertainment, politics, etc. Further, they can also decide to write for newspapers, magazines, and websites.
Authors of works of fiction usually rely on their imagination to create captivating stories. Some books by popular authors such as Agatha Christie are even referred to as works of art. There are various genres an author can choose to write in based on his level of interest. Works of fiction as broadly classified into Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult, Thriller, Historical fiction, Thriller among others. Thus the scope of creative writing for an author is quite large.
4. Script Writers:
Some people enjoy conjuring up scenarios that are grandiose and are very imaginative. For them, the scope of creative writing in the world of movies and television offers considerable opportunities to prove their mettle and work in an industry where their talents will be put to good use and become scriptwriters.
Scriptwriters are involved in writing dialogues for movies, plays, television shows, etc. They do thorough research and use their imagination to the hilt to create a plot that will endear itself to the audience and will only increase their brand equity in the industry.
5. Academic librarian:
An academic librarian may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you consider the scope of creative writing. As an academic librarian, your profile will include managing, organizing, and even evaluating and disseminating information among other duties which include providing support to members of the academic community which includes students, researchers as well as lecturers.
Your role would also involve supporting students and staff towards developing the skills that would be needed for effective research. This includes teaching skills, either in classrooms or via virtual learning environments
A good career option within the scope of career writing to consider would be that of ghostwriting. Political leaders, celebrities, and executives often hire ghostwriters to draft or edit autobiographies, speeches, memoirs, magazine articles, or other kinds of written material. In the music industry, ghostwriters are often employed to write songs, lyrics, etc.
Writing a column regularly for a reputable magazine like Wired, T3, Vogue, etc., would undoubtedly be a good career option, but transitory as the scope of creative writing and the subject matter for a columnist is will only appeal to a limited geographical area and/or a certain demographic.
Over a period of time columns proliferated into many fields as diverse as sports, politics, lifestyle, books, movies, society, fashion, homemaking, sports, and ideas. A column is essentially reflective of the writer’s personal opinions and tastes whether it is concerned with fashion trends, foreign policy, or sports.
1. What is the purpose of creative writing?
The purpose of creative writing is to ensure the reader is entertained as well as to share human experiences akin to love or loss. If you yearn to try your hand at creative writing, do keep in mind that it is imperative to use your imagination to express your thoughts.
2. What does the author gain from creative writing?
Creative writing helps the author assimilate attributes such as confidence, artistic self-expression, empathy, and communication skills, and last but not least It helps to increase the author’s levels of imagination.
3. How can authors work on their creative writing?
Some of the ways in which creative writing skills can be improved are by reading a copious amount of books, writing in a journal every day, re-write a famous novel, etc. Reviewing books will also help in your endeavor to become a better creative writer.
4. What should I major in if I like writing?
Majoring in English is a natural choice for anyone who wishes to become a writer. This major would require students to study and delve into classic English literature as well as take on challenging writing assignments.
The scope of creative writing is vast and there are plenty of opportunities for new entrants to make for themselves a lucrative career in creative writing. If you have a zeal for writing, then you can follow your heart and indulge in creative writing as a career option. However, any endeavor which is creative in nature requires to be nurtured carefully as choosing writing as a career option in writing may bring forth opposition to the idea in the form of a family that considers writing as an unviable and unstable career option and may or may not succeed in convincing you to stick to a mundane 9-5 job.
The scope of creative writing goes beyond journalism and scriptwriting. It can be writing articles for digital media platforms, ghostwriting, working as a columnist, and even that of a social media manager which requires you to create engaging content and work on increasing a firm’s social media presence via creating posts that resonate with users such as holding contests and conducting giveaways.