Knowing the Key Elements of Creative Writing. Source: Unsplash

Like all creative pursuits, there’s no specific skill that creative writing requires. Instead, it’s a plethora of several various elements and skills that should hang well with each other.

Creative writing is one of those abilities that you can always get better at, but usually, be terrible when you begin. It doesn’t mean that it’s okay to be bad at creative writing, but if you want to pursue and push yourself to become better in this industry, you’ll need to consider essential things since literature is more competitive nowadays.

All the essential elements of creative writing need a variety of skills and to create a masterpiece, they all should complement, balance, and coalesce each other. A piece with an incredible plot can easily become unsuccessful if the characters are not effective, or if the style of writing is jarring or clumsy.

If you’re writing your own piece, nonfiction or fiction, prose or poetry, you should make sure to take a creative writing course in Canada, and exercise all of the skills that you need to make your piece a sensational whole. And that means following all of the essential elements of creative writing.

Canada Creative Writing

Do you want to be a writer who enjoys sharing your ideas and stories with other people? You can enrol in some of the best online college-approved certificate programs in Canadian cities like Montréal and discover your potential in writing in a goal-oriented, constructive, and practical academic environment.

If you enrol in a writing degree program in one of the cities of Canada like Edmonton, you will learn the basics of writing, the vital steps related to the process of writing, topics in aesthetic criticism, and the structure of language. Special attention is placed on developing a unique style in writing as students create pieces in different genres.

Some of these programs are ideal for students who:

  • Enjoy the art of writing.
  • Are independent in online learning environments.
  • Possess good skills in both written and oral communication. 

The Essential Elements of Fiction

The Essential Elements of Fiction. Source: Unsplash

Fiction is a make-believe, imaginary story. It might be novels, novellas, plays, short stories, vignettes, or fables. Even though writers may relate and characterize based on people that they know in real life, the person in the story and the character’s experiences in the story isn’t real.

So, how do you write fiction? Here are some of the essential elements of writing fiction stories.

Characterization

Characterization is a process by which the writer reveals and presents a character and its characteristics, be it through other characters that help describe a specific character or a direct description of that certain character.

Even if other elements of fiction stories are extremely utilized and channelled, without characters, these elements easily become dull with no relevance or meaning.

Characters may be dynamic or static, and minor or major. A minor character has multiple functions but their main purpose is to highlight the major characters. These types of characters may be static, in which they stay the same without going through any kind of character development from the beginning to the end of the literary piece. Minor characters may also be dynamic, which they change, be it in their characteristic, behaviour, or role.

A major character is a significant being representative of the theme of the story. Usually, there is a conflict present between the major protagonist and antagonist.

Plot Development

The plot is all about what happens in your fiction story. A fiction story should have forward motion, there should have to be some kind of events, crises, tensions, conflicts, and resolutions. Unless you’re Reymond Queneau or Samuel Beckett, of course, who diligently wrote books where nothing special occurs.

Regardless of this, there should be a reason why the reader needs to keep on reading. Even if plotting out the main events are entirely cerebral happenings, these can still help you understand your fiction’s structure.

Setting

The setting is when and where the story happens. It includes the following:

  • The geographical location which includes the city, state, and country.
  • The specific period like what century or decade the story happens.
  • A particular season of the year: spring, summer, winter, fall.
  • The weather such as sunny, rainy, windy, cloudy, or snow, etc.
  • The time of the day such as morning, afternoon, or evening.
  • The direct environment of the characters such as props in a scene like food, furniture, trees, inside of a car or house, etc.

Setting can work as the main strength that the characters experience, such as a flood or tornado, or a setting can have a minor responsibility such as setting the mood. Frequently, the setting can disclose something about the major characters as he or she is in that time and place.

As a writer, you can write about the surroundings that you’re familiar with. If you don’t have any idea about the place, then you must research it to be more precise about the place.

Point of View

There are two points of views that fiction stories are mostly told:

  • The first-person point of view
  • The third-person point of view

First-person means that one of the story’s characters will tell or narrate what happens in the story. Mostly, the narrator may be the main character or the protagonist. The readers become more attached to the story if the writer narrates the story from the first-person point of view. The readers can read it as if they’re the character in the story since the writer uses personal pronouns such as I, me, my, us, we, and our.

While the third-person perspective means that the one telling the story is not a character of the story. As a writer, you can do the third-person point of view in these two ways:

  • Third-person omniscient
  • Third-person limited

Third-person omniscient means the narrator has an endless capability to be in a different character’s perspective. Whereas, third-person limited means the narrator restricts him or herself by being inside a character’s mind.

The Key Elements of Stage Writing and Screenwriting

The Key Elements of Stage Writing and Screenwriting. Source: Pexels

There’s a huge difference between writing a piece to be heard and a piece to be read, and if you’re executing both drama and prose, you’ll need to remember this all the time. Excellent writing in film or theatre isn’t the same as being excellent writing when you’re writing a novel.

Character

On-screen or stage, there’s no way to describe a character verbally as there is inside a book. Yes, you can portray them or you can disclose their characteristics through the things that they utter. As a creative writer, you should put more information about your characters through the words of other characters or the character’s own words.

In stage or screenwriting, the character must be more comprehensive too, since they don’t get indicators that they can conceal behind in books.

Dialogue

Of course, the dialogue is the primary element of these types of writing, and you must practice your dialogue skills if you wish to become successful in the world of scriptwriting.

A playwright and screenwriter should utilize dialogue in a different approach. As much as it’s the character, the dialogue is the action on screen or stage. And compared to a book, it’s much more alive in stage writing.

The Key Elements of Poetry

You’ll understand that creative writing courses in cities of Canada like Toronto separate those people who want to learn poetry writing from the writing courses for novelists. It’s because poetry writing is a whole lot different from fiction writing. Being a good poet doesn’t make you a good novelist, and a good novelist doesn’t make you a good poet.

In a poetry writing course in some facilities in cities such as Ottawa, you will pay more attention to entirely different things that you would in a creative writing program for creative nonfiction or fiction. In writing poetry, language takes on a unique form, a contrast as huge as that between technical writing and travel writing.

Metre

If you're a poet, you may already know that the main element of poetry is rhythm and metre. Looking for a way to write in a natural way and within the perimeters of the form is an excellent adjustment that a poet needs to make, so that focus in the metre becomes second nature within the process of creative writing.

Structure and Form

Are you writing a limerick or a ballad, a sonnet or an ode? As the very heart of a poem, the element that provides the poem sense is the form. You’ll give it that feeling that you think most applicable based on your personal poetics.

Symbolism and Meaning

In the conventional sense, ‘meaning’ doesn’t quite work the exact way. Language highlights here, while it takes much more of a fixed structure in a poem. What you want the poem to be or what you’re trying to convey is crucial.

Takeaway

Characterization, plot development, setting, point of view, dialogue, metre, structure and form, symbolism and meaning are just some of the elements of creative writing that you will learn when you enroll for a creative writing course in Canadian cities like Vancouver and Calgary.

The challenging yet supportive courses may provide helpful exercises and assignments to help writers at different levels and master every genre. Live or online class discussions will provide students with the opportunity to receive feedback on their own writing pieces.

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Mike is a freelance writer with a passion for continuous learning, self-improvement, and helping others through education.