Creative writingA few tips for creative writing  – by Lyn Sirkett

Narrative or creating writing is your chance to let your imagination run wild, but you still need to plan ahead….. ..Remember, you are painting a picture with words and the reader doesn’t know what the story is about until it unfolds. You need to paint the picture for them by the way you write.

Use inventive ways to describe what you are thinking about. Write from experience. Use a wide vocabulary.

In story writing there are mostly two types of narrative used. The narrative is the writing style and depends on who is ‘the voice’ of the story.

First person narrative

This is where you, or someone who is the main character is “the voice”or “narrator” and is telling the story. You can tell when reading the story whether this is the case because the language will be “I did this” or “I did that”.

Third person narrative

This is where “the voice” or “narrator” of the story is someone who is not the main character. You can tell this when reading the story because the language will be using Nouns or Pronouns to describe the main characters such as …”Constable Jones was so terrified he took the wrong road to the Castle” or, ….”He was so terrified he took the wrong road to the Castle”.

1. Think about your composition, paragraph and sentence structure

A good introduction, which is the first paragraph, should introduce one or some of your key characters or points. These will be the main characters or points that will flow through the story.

A key build up – what will happen next and to whom? How will you build up to the middle part of the story? Think about the vocabulary you use, Give your character (s) a challenge. There could be some uncertainty, or risk, to make this part exciting.

The climax of the story – is where the action, or main point of your story is brought to a head. The main part of the story, or turning point, should happen now. You can build up suspense and tension in this part to keep your reader guessing what will happen next.

The ending – will be the last paragraph or paragraphs. Be sure that your conclusion makes some kind of point. This is where you can finish off your story with a happy ending, a sad ending or, an ending with a twist.

Everything you write should be relevant to the plot or storyline.


A paragraph is a group of sentences. These sentences are about the same thing, or follow one another. All of the sentences in a paragraph are related to each other. You need to start a new paragraph every time something, or someone, new is introduced. For example:

  1. A new person
  2. A different time
  3. A new place
  4. A new topic

Lastly, paragraphs need to be linked and flow smoothly from one to the next. This can be done by referring back to the paragraph before and using similar language to start the new paragraph. Or, words like Therefore, However, Again, With this in mind, On the Other Hand could be used as link sentences.

2. Choose appropriate tenses

Think about how your narrative is going to unfold. First person narrative can use past, present and future tenses. Third person narrative generally uses past and present tenses. The tenses will help to create a more vivid picture of the action. Is it happening now? Or when did it happen?

3. Use apostrophes correctly

Think about all of the grammar you are learning. Where do you use an apostrophe and how? Are the words connected where something belongs? Or, are the words contractions and would be two words if written out?

4. Use commas and other punctuation to mark grammatical boundaries

In writing one of the worst crimes to be committed is a long long long sentence that has no comma or full stop or any other punctuation and keeps going for five or six lines and becomes very very difficult to read so much so that by the time it finishes the reader is worn out trying to work out where there was a pause and where there should have been a full stop and if there was some question in the sentence and whether or not someone was making a point that needed an exclamation mark and so they gave up and didnt finish reading the paragraph because they were fed up and went to make a cup of tea

I think I have made my point here!! Use punctuation carefully and in the correct places. Is there a pause? Do I need a comma? Is there a question? Do I need a question mark?

5. Show a clear sense of purpose for the essay

Introduce your characters and then stay with them for your essay. Try not to introduce new, or different, elements to your essay towards the end. This can be confusing for the reader and make the storyline appear disjointed.

6. Select ideas to inform and engage your reader

What kind of story, or genre, will you write about? Mind map some ideas. If the story line is about “My Day on Mars”, think about nouns, adjectives and verbs that you could use that would relate to the topic.

7. Use powerful verbs and adjectives for impact

When writing think about (consider) using better (more powerful) verbs to describe what is happening.

For example this sentence sounds fine…

“I walked quickly away from the big house, as the mist and fog was thick and the night began to become dark around me”.

However, the sentence reads much better when you use more powerful verbs and adjectives…

“I sprinted away from the imposing, scary house, as the mist and fog became dense and the darkness of the night closed in around me.”

Use a wide range of vocabulary to keep your work interesting and the reader excited about reading more.

8. Ensure you write to ‘inform’ your reader

Remember, the reader does not know your storyline; so, you need to keep their interest in the way you describe your characters, places, situations, feelings and the atmosphere.

Creative writing is a wonderful way to explore your own imagination. Everyone can do it!

Our Creative Writing Challenge gives children the opportunity to submit their work and have it marked by our tutors. It is entirely FREE and we encourage everyone to have a go!