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Creative writing is an art form with elements and principles to follow. Understanding these basics will make it easier for anyone who wants to be a creative writer.

  1. Character: This is the most important element of your writing, since the story revolves around him/her. Your character could be real or fictitious, human or an object.
  2. Style: This is the way a writer tells a story. It includes grammar, point of view, narration, choice of word, punctuation, imagery, etc.
  3. Dialogue: This is the verbal exchange between two or more characters, also known as ‘talking’. When it’s just one person doing the talking it is called a monologue, and a dialogue if it’s more than one person. When you write dialogues, make use of ‘said’, in place of all the adjectives and adverbs.
  4. Point of view: This is the perspective from which a story is told. It shows who is telling the story, and how the information is being received by the audience.
    The different point of views are:
    * The first person point of view: This point of view is a perspective from the narration of a character in the story. Makes use of the ‘I’ pronoun.  Example: I poured my father a drink.
    * The second person point of view: Tells a story from the reader’s point of view. That is, the narrator is like the reader. Makes use of ‘you and your’ pronouns.  Example: You gave her the book.
    * The third person point of view makes use of the ‘he/she’ pronouns to narrate a story.  Example: He knew she wouldn’t come.
    * The third person omniscient: This is also called the God-like narrator, as this narrator can reveal anything about anyone present in the story.  Example: He thought she was lovely, but she didn’t think so.
    * The third person limited: This narration only reveals what the character sees, thinks or feels.  Example: She couldn’t tell if he was truthful.
  5. The narrative structure refers to the order in which the elements of a narrative is presented to an audience.  This always include the plot, and the story elements.
    The plot refers to the chain of events that occur in the book. It’s a brief sketch or summary of what the reader should expect from the book.
    The story element refers to the features that bring the story to life, such as the characters involved, the conflicts they face, the settings – location or time of the event, and so on.
  6. Literary devices are those techniques that are used to express an idea, or enhance writing. Example, metaphors, similes, alliteration.

These devices help to ensure reader’s participation and absorption in your book.