There are many different types of writing out there. For the purpose of this video, we will look at creative writing and the simple steps to take in writing a creative essay.
What is creative writing? It is a broad statement that covers every form of narrative writing from poetry to feature articles in newspapers to novels – the list is endless. Loosely put, it excludes anything academic and technical.
Let’s look at how to write a creative essay:
First step: Choose your subject. When choosing a subject, pick something you and others may find interesting. It may not have to be a subject that you know well, though that helps! If the subject is something you find interesting, but do not know much about, research it!
That will be Step 2: All good writers research the background to their essay/story/novel, etc. If need be, talk to relevant authorities. Ask questions and learn more about the topic. Take some time and mull over your topic. Look at it from different perspectives. Write down all thoughts that occur to you on the subject, relevant or random, it does not matter. You can sift through it later and decide on what you want to use. You never know. You might end up with enough material for more than one essay.
Onto the next step, Step 3, where you put down an outline of how, what, when, where and who your essay is all about. This will guide and keep you on the straight and narrow of the story without taking you down a meandering path. Then it’s time to flesh out these how, what, when, where and who questions as that will build the foundation of the story. Once you have the first 3 steps done, you can proceed to Step 4, writing the story. Using the outline you have set out, start with the introduction. In the introduction, the setting for the creative essay is established. Here is where you establish the place, time and scenery for the main subject of the essay.Next we come to the body of the essay. The plot of the essay is developed in the body. It can be made up of just one paragraph, in the case of a short story, or several paragraphs, when the story is longer. Each paragraph is to showcase one main idea. The movement from one paragraph to another has to be smooth and fluid without choppiness.
This is where transitions come in useful. Briefly, transitions are words like ‘yet’, ‘and’, ‘but’ and so on. They allow the essay to flow seamlessly from one idea to another. They are usually used in the middle of a sentence. But, they can be used in the beginning to emphasise a point. I just did that. I used ‘but’ in the beginning of a sentence when it is usually used in the middle. This lays emphasis on the content of the sentence following the ‘but’ and shows the continuity of the thought process from the previous sentence. Just be careful not to over use transitions in your essay. Other transitions which we use all the time are words like ‘however’, ‘also’ and ‘therefore’. There are many more transition words and I will get into grammar transitions more fully in another video.
Finally, (there’s a transition for you!) we come to the conclusion of the creative essay. The conclusion is where the whole plot comes together and is tidied up …or not. That depends on you, the author, on how you want the essay to end. It can be neat and tidy, with a ‘happily ever after’ like fairy-tale ending or in can be a cliffhanger, where the ending is left shrouded in suspense. The ending or conclusion of your essay is important, so don’t rush it or end it abruptly. It must leave a strong enough impact that the story remains in the reader’s mind after he finishes reading it. Now that your creative essay is done, check it thoroughly for spelling and grammatical errors. Change whatever does not read or flow right. Think about the effect the essay will have on the reader. Ask someone else to proofread it for you. Very often we miss errors in our own writing that others will pick up. Once your essay is checked, proofread, corrected and checked again, it is done!