‘All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.’ – Ernest Hemingway
From giving life to a picture with words to weaving magic with letters – creative writing is no less than an art. But, it is an art that is fading. This is because most of us have lost touch with the beneficial habit of writing in this age of technology. But as a freelance writer, you cannot really afford a bout of writer’s block. If creative writing isn’t a forte that you can boast of, then it is time to that you use your insightful eye and alert your mind to capitalize on a vivid imagination.
When you have 50 million freelance bloggers to compete with, a creative twist will help your piece stand out in the crowd even when the topic is generic. So if you want to improve your style of writing, adopt these tips that the most successful writers have shared to put your best foot (words!) forward.
I talked around to some of the best freelance bloggers and writers, and they shared some fantastic tricks with me. So here I am with the treasure-trove, ready to open it for you!
1. Address the 5 Ws and the H
If you want to paint a vivid picture in your blog, you need to be very specific about the little details – the nuances and the subtleties. If you are describing a situation, address the 5 Ws – where, when, why, what, who and how. For example, if it is a village scene that you are writing about, you need to mention the rusticity around, the idyllic setting, the people in the scene, the time, and the things that are going around. If you leave any one of the Ws, then you’re leaving out a part of the story.
2. Keep the story lean
Irrespective of how well you narrate a story, you need to remember that your readers are always running out of patience. Moreover, verbosity can often lead to digressions. So you need to trim the fat and keep the lean. Yes! True that the more vivid your writing, the better the picture you paint. But, at the same time, you need to remember that you cannot go on and on. As Neil Patel puts it, “An ideal blog should not exceed 1000 words, because that is where the reader’s attention span breaks.” So cut down where required. Develop the keen sense of an editor to trace what’s essential and what can be chopped off. Your early skills of writing essays for school homework can help you here in expressing your ideas within the limited word count.
3. Show what you are narrating
Although lucidity is the essence of creative writing, evocative writing has its share of flaws too. Since your readers have the prerogative to imagine the setting of the story that suits their liking, the purpose of your writing may not be fulfilled. So before they imagine a setting in their head, give them visual evidence. This way, the readers will move in the path you have paved with your story. And of course, visual esthetics will improve the impact of your writing and make it more engaging for your readers.
4. Address your audience
Think like a journalist for this case. Although the stories covered are for everyone, you will notice how journalists write up their work in a style that fits for a particular section of people. For example, you may have noticed that local stars are often given a brief introduction on national publication because it is assumed that the audience of a national news bulletin will not know who the local star is. So you need to follow the same style while crafting your content.
5. Kiss and Tell
No, we are not talking about the French ones, of course. K.I.S.S. stands for Keep It Short & Simple. So, steer clear from using too many jargons or technical terms in your writing. You may feel that using complex words will make you sound smarter – but that’s not the case. As Arianna Huffington, the co-founder of HuffPost and role model for most bloggers; put it, “Your writing should be written keeping 4th-8th graders in mind.
The more fancy words you use, the faster you lose blog traffic. You cannot expect your readers to consult a lexicon (oops! DICTIONARY) every time they want to get what you are trying to say, can you? So do not be too wordy when describing things.
6. Use headlines to create a hook
What do you notice when you read a piece of news? The headlines, right? You may have noticed readers’ affinity towards catchy titles. So use a catchy title to your piece to create an engaging hook. Keep it short and build a sense of suspense, so that the readers of your article cannot resist what is written within. And headlines aren’t just about grabbing the reader’s attention. Since captions have the limitation of word space, a good headline can help you leave your mark on your readers. Learn it from the Monarch of Click-Baits, BuzzFeed. Here is a list of the best headlines from the brand.
7. Read more pieces by editing
You may have heard about bloggers making many faux pas in their writing and losing followers by the second. Trust me when I say this, you don’t want to be in their shoes. Hence, read about the issue that you are going to write on. Be informed so that you can create awareness with your writing. And however many tips you find on the internet, nothing will teach you to write better than reading pieces composed by other writers.
Reading other’s blogs and bulletin posts will also help you hone your writing skills. Moreover, when you read the content published by other bloggers in your writing niche, you will get a collective idea of what to do and what not to do. You can avoid the approach taken by them and develop a voice that is unique and exclusive to get an edge over your contenders.
Writing is a very dynamic process that takes time. You cannot expect to be an Edgar Allan Poe overnight, pondering over purple curtains and the raven at your window ledge. So give it time. Start now to pace up the process. Also, create a layout before you write. With the right planning and a strong storyline, you are bound to take your writing to an entirely different level.
So wait no more and get these on your To-Do list right away. Here’s wishing you early success and a bountiful of loyal followers. Break a leg!
John Cooper is a marketing manager for a reputed multinational corporation in United State. He has pursued his MBA in marketing from Bond University. He is also a part of Tophomeworkhelper.com where he offers CPM homework help service to students.