7 Elements of Creative Writing

7 Elements of Creative Writing | Munachim Yvonne Frank-Dobi

A common misconception is the art of writing is referring to all forms of writing as content writing. There are surmountable differences between content writing and creative writing. While this article gives an in-depth discourse on creative writing, you can also check out the Elements of Content Writing article.

What is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is a form of writing that aims to entertain, intrigue and emote its readers. Creative writing uses literary tropes, imagination, creativity and innovation to weave a story. Fiction is the most common and almost synonymous with creative writing but creative writing can take different forms such as Non-fiction, poems, memoirs etc.

Elements of Creative Writing

Regardless of the form of creative writing, there are about 7 elements that must be present.

  • Characters: Every story is about a person, animal, thing, alien or whatever creature the writer decides to create. These are called characters. Characters are the creatures within a story.
  • Theme: this is the main idea of philosophy your story explains. Your theme is like the main lesson, idea, context or meaning a writer is trying to get across to the readers. This means that the characters and all other elements of your story tilt towards this central theme.
  • Plot: this refers to a sequence of events that happen in a story and can be centered on a particular moment, turning point or action. Every story has a beginning which is the introduction or exposition where key events are set into action. The middle of a story comprises of the rising action, the climax and the falling action before winding down to the end which is the resolution.
  • Setting: this refers to the time a place a story takes place. The setting of a story can take place inside a room or in a country. The timing can be an hour or a century. All setting decisions are decided by the writer.
  • Point of View (POV): this refers to the perspective the story is told from. The writer has to indicate who is telling the story and who the story is being told to. The three main POVs are the first person (I), the second person (you) and the third person (he, she, they). The third person POV can further be divided into the third person omniscient where the narrator can enter the mind of the characters giving the readers, an entire insight into the character’s feelings, opinions and thoughts. There is also the third person limited POV, where the narrator only divulges the mind, thoughts and feelings of one character while remaining in the third person.
  • Conflict: a story without conflict is spiceless and bland. Every protagonist needs an antagonist who stops him/her from achieving their goals. It is more interesting when the character of both the protagonist and antagonist is properly developed. This conflict may also be fate, technology, another character, the supernatural or the environment against the main character.
  • Tone: the tone of a story is the voice and the emotion it elicits. The writer must use a tone to guide the emotion of the reader. Horror and thriller stories will likely use scary and suspenseful tones. A comedy or romantic story will use a light, breezy and funny tone to tell the story.

Creative writing creates intrigue and excites the reader and is a powerful medium to teach morals, pass down history and entertain your readers.

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