How to Do Creative Writing Assignments for School
Whether you are in 5th grade, 8th grade or doing some form of short writing for high school, college writing or beyond, there is no shortage of writing assignments. You might be asked to write an essay, a short story, a book review, your resume, a scientific paper, a poem or even a creative story. The latter being the most fun, naturally.
Regardless of the nature of your writing assignment, one of the most challenging tasks comes from trying to figure out what words to put on the paper of the crisp, white paper that sits in front of you.
Creative writing allows you to explore the inner depths of your mind, to let your emotions and your imagination run wild. There really are no limitations when it comes to what you can and cannot turn into a creative written work.
However, writer’s block is very real and most, if not all, writers will experience it at one point or another.
Luckily, brainstorming ideas for a great short story or creative writing assignment doesn’t have to be painful. There are a few exercises that you can call upon to get your creative process flowing, and hopefully help you get your boots to the ground (so to speak) so that you can write a great short story.
Definition of Creative Writing Assignments
Creative writing can be defined as any type of writing that is written from a creative perspective. This could be fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, scripts and more. The idea here is to express something through your writing, whether that be emotions, thoughts, feelings or something else entirely.
Instead of only providing information, or provoking the audience to carry out some sort of beneficial action, creative writing exists to entertain or educate readers, to increase awareness about someone or something, and to express thoughts and emotions.
Creative writing can be broken into two categories: Good and bad, or effective and ineffective. Ineffective or bad creative writing will never make any sort of positive impression on the audience. It will never achieve it’s goal or purpose.
Whether you fancy yourself a novelist, you are writing for middle school or hoping to improve your college writing, you need to refine your skillsets. But, the question is how do you do that?
As you being to write excellent works of fiction, poems, or even non fiction, you will be surprised at the amount of great things that can happen. If your writing is engaging enough, your readers will have a difficult time putting it down. Granted, the work you write might not become a bestseller, but it could get you some pretty awesome grades and a whole lot of credit with your teacher.
Of course, the best way to get to this level is to practice your writing as often as possible. Here are a few things you can do to improve your creative writing skills right now.
Freewrite: Freewriting forces you to take all of the words and messed up phrases that are floating around in your head and put them to paper. This is an excellent way to overcome the dreaded writer’s block.
If you are lucky, you should find yourself jotting down ideas or concepts that might be worthy of further exploration. To do this, set a timer for 5 minutes and just write. Put everything that pops into your head onto the paper.
Don’t lift your pen from the paper – just write. Anything that comes to mind should be written down. After the time goes off, take some time to read the things you’ve written and see if you can come up with a sentence or a new concept that could be used to start your story.
Using Pictures as a Guide: Photos or other pictures are often capable of suggesting narratives. You might find that in exploring old photographs, you uncover a story that you previously might not have thought of.
Take a look at magazines, newspapers, old family photo albums. Now, select an image that really speaks to you and use it to tell your story. Write about what you see, what it makes you feel, what conversations you think the people in the photo might be having. Whatever comes to mind. There are no wrong answers.
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Using the dictionary for prompts: Sometimes using something as simple as the dictionary or a thesaurus will introduce you to new words that might inspire the direction of your writing. Try opening the dictionary and selecting a few words at random. Use these words as topics to base your writing around. If you find that the words are too difficult, or you don’t understand them, don’t be afraid to pick new words.
The Idea Box: Begin collecting phrases, words or even images that you find to be inspiring. This way, the next time writer’s block hits you have a collection of material ready and waiting.
Recall your best memories: Jot down a list of your favorite memories. Try to be as specific and detailed as you can. Now, go back and try to determine why each memory was significant and of value. What did that moment mean for you, and why has it stayed in your mind all this time? Is there an accompanying memory?
How can you see the situation differently now than when you had first experienced it? Try to write the memory from the perspective of another character. How do the different perspectives contrast? What is the reason behind the specific actions? Has there been some sort of misunderstanding? Now use you material to write a story.
Get a little bit nosey: Make your way to a local coffee shop, grab a coffee and just sit and listen to the patrons. People will typically always speak loud enough for those around them to hear their conversation, and the words they choose – if taken out of context – can really go in any direction you would like them to. Spend some time people watching and collect a series of random statements and sentences from the people around you and try to start a story with each one.
Rewrite one of your older stories: Sometimes you might find that rereading something you’ve written previously is enough to inspire you. Go back and re-read a few of your old works and see if you can’t finish the original story or add to it in some way. If that doesn’t work, try reading a story you were never able to finish and selecting a line or paragraph at random. Use this to start a completely new story.
This is why it is important to save all of your old writing assignments and stories, you never know when they might inspire you. Take for example, the whimsical and innocent stories you wrote in grade school, when you still believed in all of the good and magic in the world. How neat would it be to call upon one of those stories and use it as the foundation for a new and better story?
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