Creative Writing for Beginners: 10 Top Tips

These creative writing for beginners tips can help with a short story, poem or novel.

Writing is a great pursuit, but many first-time writers find that it’s not as easy as they think. If you are dabbling in creative writing activities or fiction writing for the first time, you will likely discover that writing courses and writing exercises fall short in helping you truly develop characters and overcome writer’s block.

Thankfully, you can take some steps to embrace your inner author and write your first short story or novel. Whether you have an end product in mind or are simply looking to start your writing journey, these writing tips will help you get started.

Living Writer
$8 per month

Living Writer contains time-saving templates for authors and novelists. iOS and Android apps available


We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

1. Dig Deep to Choose Your Topic

Creative writing for beginners

First, determine what you will write about. Your starting point will guide character development and your overall plot. If you’re having trouble finding a topic, consider using these starting points:

  • Start with a story — If you have a compelling storyline or main character in mind, start there.
  • Use personal experiences — Something that happened in your life can help you start a story. Taking our own stories and transforming them into fiction writing can create true masterpieces because the feeling in the writing is personal.
  • Consider a hot topic — Is there a political or social issue that is important to you? Weave that into compelling prose to start your story.

Starting with these ideas, you should be able to settle on a basic idea for your story.

2. Spend Time Reading

Creative writers are usually readers. Reading helps you learn about the nuances of written language, storytelling and character development.

Read a wide range of genres too. While novels are always helpful, non-fiction writing and short stories will teach you as well.

3. Write Daily

Set aside time every day to write. Make it part of your daily routine, and protect that time as much as you can. By having it scheduled into your day, you can overcome the frustration and delays of writer’s block.

During your writing time, limit distractions. Let your housemates or family members know you aren’t available during that time. Write, even if you don’t think what you’re writing is high quality, just to keep the words flowing.

By having daily writing time, you will start to improve your writing skills. Soon you will see a quality piece of writing coming together as you work your way towards your next bestseller.

4. Tackle Writing Exercises

If you find that getting started with creative writing is hard for you, consider some basic writing exercises. Creative writing prompts to get your ideas flowing can be the start of compelling writing as you create your own writing style. Writing exercises can help you learn the importance of the first sentence of your story or the development of your characters.

Sometimes writing exercises do not lead to a final product that you would publish, and that’s fine. The goal isn’t always to create something to share. Sometimes the goal is simply to gain writing experience and hone your craft.

5. Consider a Writing Course

Writing courses can be a great jumping-off point for creative writers. Writing courses teach structure, character development and overall writing techniques.

In a writing course, you will have writing exercises to perform each week and accountability for those assignments. This combination can help many first time writers start writing. Over time the writing skills build up and the writing becomes more natural.

6. Keep It Unique

Creative writing for beginners
Find a unique twist to take your characters on

When it comes to creative writing, uniqueness is a key component. To capture readers, you need something that hasn’t been done before, or you need to approach a story from a new perspective.

To give you a source for creative ideas, take time to brainstorm. Keep a journal where you can jot down ideas as they come or explore storylines. Soon you will find a unique twist to take your characters on.

7. Practice, Practice, Practice

Writing is a creative process, but that does not mean that practice is futile. Practicing daily gets your creativity flowing. You will polish your writing skills and learn more about how brainstorming works for you.

8. Try a Different Medium

Today’s writers rarely put pen to paper, but rather finger to keyboard. Sometimes, a different medium may make the creativity flow.

Ernest Hemingway knew this. He wrote all of his manuscripts on paper with pencil, only typing them for the final drafts. This gave him the chance to edit during the final typing, and he felt that writing longhand spurred his creativity.

If you’re struggling with writer’s block, channel your inner Ernest Hemingway and try writing with pencil and paper instead. It just might get you over that hump.

9. Embrace Your Critics

A good writer can make an interesting story out of nothing. A great writer can do the same thing, then learn from critics to make the writing even better. Whether in a writing class, on social media or in the proofreading stages, have people read and critique your writing.

Accept criticism and use it to grow. Sometimes, you will gain new insight into how you can make your writing better. Sometimes, you will ignore the critics and allow your writing to stand.

Either way, critics will help you polish your art and learn how to craft a story that you are proud to call your own.

10. Write First, Perfect Later

When writing a book or short story, don’t focus on perfection at the start. Get your ideas down and polish your storylines and character development, not necessarily the writing and grammar. This comes later when you proofread your work.

Your first draft is the place to get the story going. After you complete that draft, go back and edit it. Make it more powerful, fix your shortcomings and try to perfect it, but only after the main ideas are complete.

Remember, striving for perfection with the first draft is sure to create writer’s block. Move past it by understanding you can perfect later.

The Final Word on Creative Writing for Beginners

Creative writing for beginners can feel daunting. You know you have good ideas, but getting those ideas on paper feels like an overwhelming task. By scheduling time to write every day, brainstorming your ideas and not striving for perfection at first, all while taking advantage of writing exercises and writing classes, you can succeed in becoming a creative writer.

Want more? Check out out list of writing tips.

Join over 15,000 writers today

Get a FREE book of writing prompts and learn how to make more money from your writing.

Powered by ConvertKit
Scroll to Top