Writing for kids is an essential skill as they walk through the different facets of life be it school exams, college applications, or job interviews. But let’s accept that creative essay writing is no mean task. It requires imagination, good language skills, and clarity in writing to keep a reader hooked to your essay.
While associating creative writing skills with essay writing might seem a little far-fetched, you’d be surprised to know that there are many techniques that you or your kids can borrow from creative writing to author compelling essays in your unique voice.
9 Creative Writing Techniques
Here are the top creative writing techniques that you can leverage to enhance your essays:
1. Understanding The Reader’s Mindset
The most important thing for writing amazing essays is to build a reader persona and keep it in your mind while writing. Only by knowing about your target audience can you find ways to keep them interested. For your child, it could be their teachers or university lecturers, so their essays need to be to the point and innovative.
2. Sketching An Outline
Even if you’re a great writer, you need to know that outlines are your friend. Nobody likes never-ending essays. You need to touch upon all the crucial aspects of the topic and hence, you need to sketch an outline (or blueprint, if you may) before you start penning down your thoughts.
Just outline a simple structure containing sections, subsections, and a short description of what each of them will entail. For example:
• Important definitions
• Case study
3. Articulating A Catchy Opening
Don’t we all judge a book by its cover? And only if we find its cover interesting, we decide to read the whole book. The same logic applies to writing for kids. Ditch the slow build-up and start with an attention-grabbing peek of the climax, a quote, or an eye-opening statistic.
For example, if you’re writing about your take on the current environmental affairs, you could start by stating the number of animals and birds that have become extinct due to climatic changes in the last 20 years!
4. Elaborating Interesting Details
You want your reader to build the scene from your essay in their heads. So, use your creative writing skills and elaborate interesting details about the setting or the location.
For example, instead of saying ‘It was a beautiful sunset’, you could write ‘The setting sun painted the sky crimson as though it was on fire’. Weave the best possible imagery in your essays to transport your reader to a world that is different from their reality.
5. Playing With Characters and Emotions
Developing creative writing skills includes being able to tease emotions out of the reader, whether it’s the euphoria of falling in love again or the grief of a loved one dying. Build a fictional character that is relatable and sympathetic as readers experience emotions through the characters in your essay.
Be specific with your choice of words and try to reveal your characters’ physical world through details like their physical experience, clothing, mannerism, etc.
6. Adding The Finishing Touch
Just when you think that your essay is done, wait, and go back to the beginning to pay attention to all the specifics before deeming your job done. Check the order and consistency of your sub-headings as that is the first thing any reader goes through. Re-examine the flow of your essay and ensure that it adheres to the direction or brief given.
7. Using Transitions for A Seamless Flow
You cannot flow from one scene to another abruptly, so make sure that you use appropriate transitions that link one thought to the other as it is necessary for a story’s seamless flow. Without transitions, the reader may get confused and lose interest in the essay.
8. Proofreading and Editing
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of proofreading and editing. Even the best of writers can overlook some common mistakes. So, proofread your essays and correct spelling mistakes, punctuation, article usage, etc.
While editing your essay, you may even realize that a few sentences can be made more concise and crisper than what they are. Do everything in your capacity to make your essay flawless.
9. Keeping It Short and Simple
Do not over complicate things with extra, unnecessary adjectives. Reducing the volume of description and replacing it with stronger verbs is one of the key ways to keep your essays short and simple. As long as your writing is meaningful and relatable to the reader, you are doing a good job at creative essay writing.
Finally, know that a little acceptance goes a long way. It is easy to read someone else’s novel or blog and feel that you may never be able to write so effortlessly. But you’ve got to be patient with yourself while you develop your creative writing skills to make your essays better.
What is important is that you analyze your mistakes and then make a conscious effort to work on them. By using the above creative writing techniques, your essays are bound to get better. So, just keep at it!
Azizul Hakim is the founder & CEO of englishfinders.com. He is a passionate writer, English instructor, and content creator. He has completed his graduation and post-graduation in English language and literature.