Guide To Creative Writing (1 Viewer)


*Original Convention*
May 2, 2007
Near Somewhere =)
"Paul dabbed the sweat beads forming across his forehead and tugged on his gloves. He looked up at the large safe looming over him..."

Random, but if it pulled you in to keep reading it means it's a good start of a creative writing piece. It doesn't mean you won't be asked to write other compositions. Throughout this thread, we'll briefly outline text types, and go into textual features, vocabulary and flow of words, Do's and Don'ts, and practice questions. We're going to get the foundation of it first so we can grasp simple concepts, then we'll get into the heart of it.

Text Types:
-Feature Articles
-Magazine/Newspaper Articles
-Letter to the Editor
If you don't know how to write them, then the internet has fantastic sites directing you on how to write the particular compositions. I've included an attachment that has several examples of those compositions. Read through them, highlighting key features that the compositions include. Shouldn't take long at all. You should already have a general idea of all of them, but knowing their key features will help if they ask for any of those compositions.

Textual Features:
The Common Language & Visual Features document lists alot of textual features that may come to mind when writing Section I, but these are also helpful in creative writing. Making use of these techniques during your writing shows markers your sophistication level and understanding of what Section II is about.

Vocabulary & Flow of Words:
The next document titled 'Synonyms' gives lists of words you may find you use frequently within ALL 3 sections. When you practice writing for them, giving a general flow of wording and paragraphing demonstrates to the marker that you're able to write fluently. The words I've included are just general words...come to think about it you may use that list more in sections I and III then creative writing, but heck it should help you anyway.

Do's & Don'ts:
DO write something unusually creative and original. Think of playing around with the idea of a journey, including imaginative, personal emotional etc. You know what the markers HATE to see.
DO choose an unusual location, event and/or character. It's usually clear to the marker who has done research regarding the topic they're going to write about.
DO have a strong sense of voice. Make the narrative voice and characters in the story realistic and believable.
DO have a clear structure. Be certain where and when your twist is going to happen and stay confident without rambling on about random disgressions.
DO have sophisticated vocabulary relevant to the topic. Language should be well chosen to create mood or develop character. Also remember to use good spelling, punctuation and expression. These tips are indeed simple, but they honestly make a massive difference. Just keep putting yourself in the markers' shoes.
DO make sure the concept of journey is subtly woven into the story. The narrative itself should convey ideas. This shows even more sophistication and prevents the markers from seeing the word 'journey' so much that it becomes the build up to the next volcanic eruption.
DO ensure that the response reveals a clear understanding of the question in regards to whether you are writing in a particular context or for a particular audience or in a specified form. All the preparation in the world is wasted if you do not adjust your writing to the question.
DO check the rubric!
DO look at the question carefully and check if it specifies a particular text type. If it says something like 'a piece of writing' or 'a composition', then this is your chance to be as creative as you want. Most students would assume this to be either a story or essay. You can do anything from a poem to a radio broadcast.
DON'T select a poor topic. It makes it difficult to work well and remember, the poorer the topic, the more likely it is to be chosen by other students. You know what type of story you shouldn't write. Don't risk it. The rule of thumb is that if you thought og it in five minutes, you can be reasonably certain that so did 40000 other students.
DON'T make up the plot as you go along. A story that meanders aimlessly or ties itself up in knots is clear evidence of a writer who has not decided the structure of their story before they begin. Often the best responses are simple in structure but well controlled.
DON'T forget to paragraph and structure according to the type of composition. Those who know how to paragraph can control the flow of their writing. For example, each time a speaker says something, you need to start a new line. Simple things like these make a difference with how the marker thinks of the overall response.
DON'T ignore spelling! Make sure you leave a couple of minutes at the end to check spelling and sentence errors. You'd be surprised how many you may make. You won't lose marks directly, but again, this impacts the marker's thoughts of the overall performance.
DON'T select a limited voice! If you choose to write from the view of a child, this makes it difficult for the markers to tell if it is a genuine voice or if it is simply unsophisticated. If you want to write in the first person from a child's perspective or something similar, then juxtapose it with another more sophisticated style of writing so the markers know the difference.

Practice Qs:
1. Write a journal entry at a point in time when you were conscious of the need to travel to a new environment.
2. 'It is not the journey that matters, but the life in your journey.'
Write a speech explaining this concept.
3. You have been asked to submit a piece of writing based around the concept of the journey for a popular teen magazine. Write an interview exploring this concept.
4. 'The journey home would not be easy'. Write a story using these words as an opening or closing.
5. Write a letter to a friend in which you want to talk about how a journey into memory has triggered for you. This journey could be triggered by any stimulus. Do NOT sign your own name at the end of your letter.
6. 'All journeys have secret destinatins of which the traveller is unaware.' Compose a piece of writing that explores a journey that has been overlooked.
7. 'We will build new ships to carry man forward into the universe, to gain a new foothold on the moon and to prepare for new journeys to the worlds beyond our own'. Compose a piece of writing that explores a journey of discovery.
8. 'Journeys are an extension of personal boundaries'. Write a letter to your relative about a recent journey you have encountered, discussing the above quote.
9. 'Heroes take journeys, confront dragons and discover the treasure of their true selves'. You are a contributor for the magazine 'Inspirational Journeys', which is based on personal stories that people send in for publishing. Compose a piece relating to inspirational journeys.
10. You are invited into a radio transcript as an expert on Geographical landmarks of the world. Write a transcript relating to the quote 'Journeys broaden the mind to allow the understanding of the world.'
11. Imagine that reading one of the journey texts in Section I has had a strong impact on you. It has helped you understand key issues that are associated with the concept of journey. Write a journal entry as a character from one of the characters in a text from Section I and describe their attitudes, emotions and perspectives the day after the journey referred to in the text. Express the impact their journey has had on them.

Okay, so hopefully we have made progress...the attachments should be helpful so don't forget them! I also attached a general document on answering all 3 sections so have a read through that. I think it was from the HSC site. I am DEAD tired so I'm going to sleep.
Good luck hard =P

Hugs from Ang. =)
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Active Member
Oct 29, 2008
1. Show rather than tell.
2. Try to create suspense by keeping your character as long as possible within the moment.
3. Make the piece authentic (believable)
4.Try to imagine that you are within your character's shoes (what range of emotions and feelings would you be having??)
5. Sometimes if you take a scenario that has happened within your life and tweak it, these pieces of creative writing can actually turn ou to be the best and show a great level of depth and empathy.

Remember practice, practice and practice; eventually you'll get the hang of it and also remember to write when you feel comfortable and believe that you have a good starting idea.

I have included some lecture notes from an ETA convention day that I attend that may be of benefit for you to have a read of.


ETA LECTURE NOTES (this was for belonging; regardless some general pointers on creative writing included).

Writing Creatively
Three writing sections each worth 15 marks
“A” range marks- will be engaging, skilful, effective and original
“Low” range marks- will be unlimited, weak, and un-engaging. In the HSC paper there will be approx 35 minutes for the belonging writing section.

Common Types of writing styles, of which students could be asked to write:-

• Diary/journal.
• Speech
• Continue the scenario types of pieces.
• Write in regards to reading tasks of which may have been included in the other areas of the module paper.
• Interviews.
• Opening sentences, meaning an innovative way of setting the scene and capturing the responder’s attention when beginning to read your writing piece.

When writing a belonging piece, it is essential to consider why we belong? And our own experiences; which will allow our stories a more personal feel, for e.g. consider such scenarios as your 1st day at school or being new to a certain place/area; what are you feeling, how do interact in this scenario, these are all things of which should be taken into consideration when trying to write an effective belonging piece; as you really should try to picture yourself as the character, put yourself in their shoes and write from that type of perspective.

Writing belonging stories format:-

1) Understand/familiarise yourself with the concept.
2) Synthesize (Normally from other readings of text to gain an overall concept of belonging, as it allows for different perspectives of belonging rather than just being subjected to one particular text as it could be feminist or follow the Marxism structuring.
3) Apply, explore and adapt concepts, and remember don’t just copy other bodies of work, you can get ideas and then create an interpretation from texts that you have explored; as if you copy texts the markers will often now and it is a form of PLAGIRASIM!!

Writing Belonging stories convincingly and effectively:-
• Write from a perspective of either a positive or negative feeling/ most good belonging stories contain a mixture of different perspectives involving both positive and negative feelings.

• Make yourself as the characters from the poems or novels that you read for the topic of belonging, often this helps you to get a better understanding of the topic and write more convincingly if you have engaged yourself with a particular character from a poem or novel that you have read and allows for you to write with much empathy.

What every story needs:-
• Characters (humans preferably).
• Setting
• Complication (reasoning for happenings).
• Resolution (whereby someone needs to realise or accept something).

Planning, Preparation and the Belonging Module:-
Practice writing in 35 mins, this will help you to get a feeling for how to write and plan a response in the allocated time, given in the actual exam.
4-6 pages approximately should be attempted to be written if proper time has been taken to plan, draft and edit various pieces of writing before the exam.

Tips for writing and engaging markers:-
Sophisticated responses à will aim to produce own ideas, concepts and the analysis on belonging.
• Jump right into the action of the story.
• Have few characters (as with too many the story loses focus on the topic involved; in this case belonging).
• Consider different ways of opening the story; as if you don’t have a good idea which feeds off your opening; then quite often the reader’s of your paper won’t become engaged.
• “SHOW” through description (emotive language) and writing (e.g. similes and other textual language devices) rather than “TELL” the story.
• If you have planned a certain writing style piece; say a narrative; quite often you can adapt/ change the narrative so that it suits another format; as for e.g. you could change it to suit a journal entry by perhaps splitting your narrative into 3 distinct sections.
• You are about 1 out of 25,000 students sitting for the HSC advanced English exam, your belonging story needs to be innovative and show the cycle of how life develops over a course to show belonging within a character, which you need to clearly to the markers, be clear; rather than being clever (using overpowering language where you can easily get the message across more effectively by using simple everyday language).
• Practice writing dialogue.
“DON’T use footnotes at the end of your writing for e.g. (PS. This is a true story or another example is; I wish to go into an occupation of being a doctor when I finish school.)

Further structuring of Belonging Writing Pieces:-
Point of view - outside character
- 1st person
- Author.

Voice- establish a character.

Approach-_ Narrative
1) Lineal
2) Flashback
3) Parallel

Structure- Will be dictated by the exam.

Use of dialogue- “SPARING!!”

Establishment of character and setting- You can start thinking of this at any time and start planning ideas.

Find your preferred method of narration.

I know from experience, having produced a creative piece that my English Advanced teacher absolutely loved and gave full marks.

Good luck with it all! :)
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New Member
Apr 16, 2013
Write more by setting a smaller daily goal. If you’re one of those writers who struggle with finding time to write, here are some convincing reasons why this approach might work for you. It’s easier to find smaller bites of time than long, uninterrupted periods. Repetition strengthens habits. Repetition also builds momentum. If it’s only for 15 minutes, you can justifiably postpone other tasks. You can reverse procrastination—instead of procrastinating the start of your writing, you procrastinate following the distractions that used to keep you from writing. You can envision letting go of all the other things competing for your attention and allow yourself to really focus, because it’s for only 15 minutes. This kind of focus, where we get lost in the writing, is one of the biggest joys of writing.


New Member
Oct 2, 2013
Thank you for your information that i was not knowing anything about the creative essay


Premium Member
Aug 23, 2012
Uni Grad
The guide is very well written. However, just wanted to point out the starting sentence, "Paul dabbed the sweat beads forming across his forehead and tugged on his gloves. He looked up at the large safe looming over him..." -there is a disparity/inconsistency with tense usage, 'dabbed' is past tense, 'forming' is in present tense, 'forming' should be changed to 'swear beads which formed across his forehead', making sure tense is consistent within a story is one of the best ways to improve the fluency of any creative.


Mar 25, 2014
This is all new to me, as I have always just written stories as they came and still achieved high marks. Reading extensively seems to imbibe a sense of textual form and techniques. However, I really would like to learn formalities in creative as I am about to commence Extension 2 English. Would anyone care to enlighten me? (Please please!!!!!) The simpler the better, with examples, would be fantastic.


New Member
Jun 20, 2015
The guide is very well written. However, just wanted to point out the starting sentence, "Paul dabbed the sweat beads forming across his forehead and tugged on his gloves. He looked up at the large safe looming over him..." -there is a disparity/inconsistency with tense usage, 'dabbed' is past tense, 'forming' is in present tense, 'forming' should be changed to 'swear beads which formed across his forehead', making sure tense is consistent within a story is one of the best ways to improve the fluency of any creative.
Sorry to nitpick, but this isn't correct. "Forming" doesn't function as a verb in that sentence; it's the beginning of a participial phrase. You can think of "forming across his forehead" as simply an adjective modifying "sweat beads."


New Member
Aug 25, 2018
Good post. You can make your writing strong by using phrases in sentences. Also, follow writing styles for making it more professional. Give proper format including headings, tags and images to content.

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