6 Fun Creative Writing Hacks | Angelique Noll | Skillshare

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6 Fun Creative Writing Hacks

teacher avatar Angelique Noll, Artist and Writer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      CreativeWritingHacks Intro


    • 2.

      CreativeWritingHacks 01


    • 3.

      CreativeWritingHacks 02


    • 4.

      CreativeWritingHacks 03


    • 5.

      CreativeWritingHacks 04


    • 6.

      CreativeWritingHacks 05


    • 7.

      CreativeWritingHacks 06


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About This Class

Creativity doesn't thrive in comfort zones, or in same-old same-old. Sometimes, we need to shake it up a bit, change things around and approach our writing from a completely different angle/perspective. That's exactly what we will be doing in this fun class.

How often do you have an idea that you want to write about, but you don't know where to start? Or you have a vague idea that feels like it might be a good one, but you don't know exactly what it is? Or you simply want to write, but don't know what or how? 

In this class, I share 6 of my favourite ways to stir up my creative writing muscles. I've presented these tools in writers workshops previously, and they're always fun to do. Anyone can do them, but they're particularly useful for beginner's or even for those who dream of writing but have yet to put pen to paper. 



Meet Your Teacher

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Angelique Noll

Artist and Writer






My name is Angie, and I'm a writer and artist.


My writing journey started many years ago when I took journalism and advanced journalism courses and started writing freelance articles and short stories for magazines, which were published in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. I also designed and hosted a writers workshop, which took place over the course of a month, with weekly in-person meetings and lots of writing from the participants in between meetings. 


My fine art journey started right here on Skillshare, in 2017. I took some fun art classes in many different media because I had never done fine art before and had no experience, but I knew I wanted to learn. Gradually... See full profile

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1. CreativeWritingHacks Intro: Hi, everyone. It's Engy. I'm a writer living in Auckland, New Zealand, and I arrived anything from short stories, too. Freelance articles of returning Children's meditation, CD All Right, Blog's and guess Blog's so and even maybe review. So I write quite a lot of things in different ways on but also present writers, workshops and, last year, as part of the Creative Woman Summit. So one thing that I find really interesting is different ways to make writing more accessible and to make it easier and more fun because a lot of writers, myself included, can sometimes struggle with the writing process. So it might be really nice, and you might enjoy it and my PR calling. But that doesn't mean it's easy. So one thing that I find really fascinating is different ways in which you can play without writing to make it more accessible and easier to do, because minutes face that writing can be really difficult to do, even if it's your calling and that's what you were meant to do. And it's what you really love to do. Writing can be challenging for all of us. So in my last class I presented some ways in which you can use your intuition as a way to access writing and to make it easier for you. And in this class, I want to share with you six ways that I've learned to play with my writing on it, six ways that I've presented at my writer's workshops and participants really enjoy them. And it's just a way off. Taking us are writing less seriously and getting different starting points and entry points and just seeing what happens if we change things around a bit and shuffle them up a bit and approach it from a completely different way to the norm. So if you're interested in playing around the writing and finding ways to make it easier, then join me the next class. 2. CreativeWritingHacks 01: Hi. So, in our first listen, what we're going to do as a za way to challenge our writing into approach it from a different way is to take something really small and see what what we can write on this. So what do you want to do is you want to grab a really tiny piece of paper? The point is that we're so used to writing on either an endless word document that's just a man has infinity number of pages or we have normal writing paper, which is sort of rectangular and lined, and we start in the top left hand corner. So that's kind of the norm. If you take different different sizes, different shapes, it can really listen something different in you. So for this class, I challenge you to write on something really small, and I'm not going to give you writing prompt. It doesn't matter what you write. The point is that you look at your piece of paper and you and you feel for yourself. What does this piece of paper want me to write on it? What do I feel like putting on this small space? So it has to be something. Complete it. Try not to write the beginning of something. I've done it on. Um, this sort of it's a little bit smaller than origami paper, maybe No bad paper I've written on here, and I've also written on half of that, and at some point I was inspired to write on a culture of that something really small. So in the workshops, I gave various sizes to participants. Normally, there's a few different sizes, and you just pick one and see what you get. And that's what you write on. And we've had some really interesting responses to the small pieces of paper. Some people write poetry. There's been some people who wrote really insightful things that they haven't been able to verbalize. And somehow that came out in the small piece of paper. And for one participant, she felt that writing it on her really small piece of paper allowed her to see that What she thought was a big deal actually really wasn't such a big deal. Um, and then I mean, we've had different things. So what I've got here is on my tiny little piece of paper, I felt inspired to write a little haiku poem. And, um, I'm not talking poetry have none again. So that was on the little one on the medium one. I found that I wanted to write a dream that I had the night before, so and that fitted on their beautifully. It's just beginning to end on dawn, the big one. At some point earlier this year, I decided that I was going to write a nonfiction book, and I'm still busy with that. But in beginning, getting my thoughts organized was really difficult. So I tried one of these ways to play with my writing just to get get at it from a different angle. And I wrote about that on this piece of paper and making it fit on this piece of paper forced me to clarify my ideas. So that worked really well. So for your project for this, listen, I urge you to get a really small piece of paper. Just cut something small on dumbed, be brave, be daring. Get a really tiny piece matchbox size and see what you write on name or something like this . Size origami, sci fi. Not that brave, but give it a go and see what comes out and then passed it as your project and it'll see what you wrote. And maybe also put little description to tell us how you feel how you felt when you did this. Writing on a really small piece of paper and heart win for you, Okay? And they will see you in the next close. 3. CreativeWritingHacks 02: hi, Everyone lead to see you back. So in our second listen, the technique I want to present you hear all the the way that we compared The writing is the opposite of the 1st 1 It's too right on a really large sheet of paper. So a really big piece of paper can be intimidating. I mean, we find little a four pieces of paper intimidating a lot of the time. So really big piece of paper can have a really intense emotional reaction, so beware of it. But it's also fine, serious part of the funnest part of the exploration. And allow yourself to open up to this big piece of paper and just see what, what you want to write on it. So in the writer's workshops, I have presented this in two ways. One is, I have a really big like butcher science piece of paper, which I think is about a two on the floor, and I get the participants to all right on one piece of paper together, and they can write anyway, you know, over each other under each other corners. It doesn't matter. And if you want to do that, you can do it to the writing buddy or with a friend or even with your family. You can all just put the big piece of paper in the middle and everybody just rights wherever they want to. There are no rules, and you don't have to stick to your corner or your area, either. On the other way in which I've done this was to give a big piece of paper to individual participants. So one person has to write on the really big piece of paper on and either which way? It's really interesting because we're so used to a certain small size of manageable size. So I want to urge you as your project to get a really big piece, I would say not smaller than a I three double of a four. So not not smaller than that, because otherwise you sort of coming back to a four size, but certainly challenge yourself and go bigger than that. If you want to, and you don't have to be confined to words, you can do diagrams, drawings, words illustrated, anything that comes out. Whatever comes out, it's fine, so don't limit yourself towards, and the only other thing I want to add is that you don't have to start in the top left hand corner either, that we normally started with such a big piece of paper. You have so much face. There's no reason why you have to start in the top left hand corner. So I'll leave you with that and as your project, please post what you've done. If you can't fit it in and just tell us what how the experience was for you on dumb, we'd love to see what you come up with, and then I'll see in the next lesson. Have fun. 4. CreativeWritingHacks 03: Hi, everyone. Welcome back to listen three. So the weather you can apply it are writing in. This lesson is really fun. So far, we've used really small piece of paper and then a really large piece of paper. But what you haven't done is change the shape of the paper much. So this is really fun in their writers workshops. When I present this, I either hand out various shapes paper that's pre cut, and I you know participants just pick it from the hat and you get whatever shape you get. So it could be triangle circle. It could be flower hard diamond, whatever jagged I've had lightning shapes, whatever otherwise I had bought. It spends pin and paper and scissors and they cut the own shape. So either way is fine. I mean, you can get pre made pre cut shapes. It's also fun. So I have done some. I've just kept some. I mean, I keep all my writing. I have lots of journals and things that I keep. So I've collected some to show you. So this one I wrote on a circle Andi again when I looked at the shape, I wasn't sure what I wanted to write on the you know it's a circle on. There's no definite starting point. There's no definite ending point. That's that's what makes it really interesting is that when you have a normal rectangular piece of paper like this one, you know we always start in the top who is into indica bottom, and that's how we do it. But when you have something like a circle, well, this one, which was a flower, um, you don't you know, there's no starting point so and that has certainly fit on your thoughts and the way that you arrange your creative ideas as well. So when I looked at this circle overall kind of piece of paper, I decided that what I wanted to write and he was my feelings of being home sick at the time . And I didn't feel like I wasn't inspired to use full sentences and really dig deep and get all the dirt out, and that's kind of thing. So what I really felt like doing was just sort of naming everything that I must, which is what I wrote in my circle. And that was really interesting. And it did lead to some more writing off to its deeper writing. But it was nice just to sort of get. Although it's almost that bullet points, just get the pin points out. So and you can do that for if you have a novel idea or a article idea, or even if you don't know what to write. Getting a different shape can inspire lots of things in you. So this one I did quite a while ago because I can see the snails have been eating at home. But it was It's a flower shape that I just drew in, sort of cut around and again. There is no different starting point. There's no definite ending point. So it was just really interesting to see Way to start would start in. The center will start on the outside, and what I did with this one was Ah, Children showed story that I was thinking about in wanting to write. I wrote the name of the story in the middle, the provisional title, and then I used each of the petals to write about the characters I had in my head and kind of what they would be and what they would be doing and maybe where the story would go because it was an idea that had bean brewing for a while. But I've never done anything about it. So, um, the little peoples is We are wrote my ideas for the characters. And as you can see, some of these petals like this one is completely empty. This one has only got a line of one or two lines at the top, the restart quite full. So again there are no rules. If you have a flower shape and you find you can only write in three or four pickles, then that's the end of that. That's fun. Doesn't matter. And in the last shape that I can show you. I did a elaborate This is my journal, my current one. So on I decided to draw in a labyrinth type shape, or what is spiral type shape. And I found this process really interesting because again you could start at the end or you could start in the center and we traded I want to go. So I started in the center, and I found that as I wrote emotionally, something happened to me. It was like an unraveling and not in a bad way. No drama and hysterics. Just I felt really look freeing up and I landed up. As I read it off to it, I landed up using words that I wouldn't normally use. So I wrote something, something, something in a Roger And then why the hell not? And I was a bit surprised because I wouldn't normally right like that. Andi somehow and I felt really freeing when I wrote this, So this was really good to do, and I think I will do the shape again just to see what unravels. And I thought I would do the shape if I get stuck in a particular a particular idea that I have and I don't know how to write or how to present it or how to fish it out. Then I would use this sort of spiral shape again and see what comes up. So for your project, I would encourage you to find a shape so you can either just draw something random or get a free cut shape. And even if you land up having a circle and you don't feel inspired, it'll draw something in the circle maker spiral or make little circles, or you can get really creative anything you like, and it doesn't have to be one shape if you had a circle and you put some triangles and squares inside or you just divided with some squiggly lines and wrote different things, it's entirely up to you. So play around third ends and really take note of what happens inside of you. When you are faced with this different shape and and how it makes you feel, is it free you up to write more? Does it lead to new ideas? Does it make you feel scared? Whatever it is that there's no good or bad right or wrong, just take note of how to fix you and then take a picture off your writing and your shape and tell us how you felt and what it produced for. You have fun 5. CreativeWritingHacks 04: hi, everyone and welcome to missing for So in this. Listen, we're going to play around with our lines that were writing. So so far, we've used the shape refused a small piece of paper, a large piece of paper, different shape of paper. So for this this way of playing with your writing, we're going to confine our writing a little bit by allowing ourselves only three lines normally in the writer's workshops. When I present this, I leave it entirely up to you up to the participants. How long you want your three lines to be. So we have had people choosing again a really small piece of paper and just write in three lines on the I've had participants choosing a really large sheet of paper and even turning it so that it is landscape and having three really long lines. It doesn't matter. I've had people write three diagonal lines. It's up to you. It's only the limit is three lines, so you can write that if you want in those three lines, but sticker to three lines. So we've had things like jokes come out. Somebody made up a joke in with three lines or cartoons or haiku poetry. Just classic three line form. Anything you want, one participant wrote. She had some something weighing heavily on her heart, and she wrote it in three lines, and she enjoyed that experience. So it doesn't matter what comes out. You don't have to pre planet. You don't have to decide. I'm going to write poetry on the street. In these three lines, it can be anything. And just like we approach the shapes in a different you're just asking what the shape eliciting. You do the same with your three lines. Just maybe sit for a minute and say, What do I want to express in three lines and then people to go right at first time and just yet, And if there happened to be three really long lines, then let them be three really long lines. If there happen to be three really short ones, that's fine, too. So have fun with it. Piece for your project for this class. Please take care of it. If it's if it's something you don't want to share, that's fine. Maybe just leave a review of your project and said he really enjoyed it or it was too personal to shape. But if it's not too personal, then please take a photo of it and posted as your project would love to see what you come up with in three lines and I'll see you in the next listen. 6. CreativeWritingHacks 05: Hi, everyone, and welcome to listen. Five. So in this this way of playing with your writing, it's a negativity that I've done a few times in after knitting the writer's workshops. And it's always very interesting and quite fun. What you gonna do is think of a certain time in your life any memory that comes up. It could be the first memory that comes up, or you can dig and find a specific memory. It doesn't really matter, and your task is to rewrite that memory but right in the third person and cost yourself as a character in your memory. So if, for instance, you are writing about your first day at school, or, let's say a Christmas dinner family Christmas dinner, then you could write it from the perspective off. Um um, or you could write it from your perspective. But as 1/3 person, put yourself as third person. You could try to, from the perspective of the dog off the turkey being eaten. Whatever your granny, it doesn't really matter if you could just be the arm the narrator writing but everybody as character. So that's your task. Write about it in the third person, and it could be really interesting to see what comes out. You can embellish. You can add a bit that wasn't there. You can take away as a just as you would renew writing fiction. We sometimes take things from real life, and then we change them a bit, and we but things that wasn't. Then we put other things and we take some stuff away and then we have something new. So do the same with your memory. I have a writer's French, really dear friend, and she used this technique a lot when she wrote her first novel, and her first novel was very. It was a novel, but it turned out to be off to its. When she looked back, she saw a lot of herself in her mind character, and what she did when she was generating material for a novel is she did this technique quite often, and she said she took some memories and she rewrote them so many times and embellished them so much that by the time she was finished, there was hardly anything off the original memory lift. And that's fine. You can stick to the facts also, if you like. And but as long as you're right from the third person, that's fun. So have fun with it, and if possible, you can post them for us. That would be lovely to read them and to see them. And just the thought about how you experience the whole the whole way of going about it. And you might be surprised at what comes from it. So have fun with it, and they're not seeing the last lesson by 7. CreativeWritingHacks 06: Hi, everyone. And welcome to your lost Listen. So in this listen, I'm going to challenge you to write some way unusual, and the whole point is to list elicit some discomfort in you. So artist several kinds with a your writer or a painter or a singer. We all know that a bit of discomfort is good for generating creativity and Artie ideas and inspiration. Um, creativity doesn't really do well in comfort zones and in the same old, same old, same old. So, um, I'm going to ask you to go and write some way really unusual and perhaps some way that you wouldn't normally think you think you would drive in When I first started writing, I wonder. I decided to go right in a coffee shop and it was a really busy coffee shop inside a mall. So and you just sort of set outside the coffee shop all the tables, and I felt really, really uncomfortable. I did not on, and I remember thinking what people write in coffee shops. This is awful. There's so much noise. There's a clanking of cutlery and cups and waiters and people, and I felt really self conscious because I was sitting by myself writing, but actually, once I got down to it, I really enjoyed the experience and I felt I was kind of into the zone because I just focused on myself. And I remember writing quite a lot that in a lot of good stuff that really enjoyed. So that was good to do a condom. I've also written in other places where every time I get a bit stale and I get you know, I mean, I have a writing desk and when I want to write ago City and I right, that's my working desk, my writing desk. And sometimes I just feel like I can't really face my desk today in my chair, just, you know, it's to not too comfortable, but it's just too. I don't want to sit in it today and you get tired of the same thing. So instead of not writing, which is sometimes when I used to do with it, not contract today, because I just can't face my disk and my view and the same old same old anymore. But I've learned to then take my writing somewhere else with me, so I'm a mother and I have two Children and you know I have to work around that. So that's kind of forced me to write in really different places. I've written in the playground at the playgrounds, watching my kids play. I've written at the indoor playgrounds where there's lots of indoor climbing things and a coffee shop in that sort of thing and lots of screaming Children around. It's fine you get you stood. Sorry, I've written by the beach Onda. All of them had a very different experience, fell three different doing all of them. Surprisingly, for me, when I get to the noisy places like the Children's playgrounds and coffee shops, I somehow find it easier to write they than when I've taken my writing to the beach. And it's a really quiet place, and you think you're going to be so inspired and all the solitude and you know it's going to be so lovely. But actually I found it really difficult to writing those places, and it's kind of like Stop, start, stop, start, stop, start and not very satisfying it'll. But that's my experience. It might be different for you. So what I would encourage you to do is go find somewhere really unusual to write. It can be, Um, gosh, we had a writing participants who? I came back the following week to report back on her writing, and she took her writing into the twin, it with her in the morning when she did her morning toilet stuff and she had a cup of tea with her, and she had her ash to collect up with. And she did, writing on the So that's got to be one of the strangest places I've heard of people writing , but she really enjoyed it, and she was working on her thesis at the time, So for her, that was fine. If you won't need the toilet, you can go to it. They I've had somebody else who The Children have a tree house in the garden, and they decided to go up into the tree house, too, right there. So in these bean people writing, you know, in the garden, in coffee shops, on the beach, in the forest, on the path just off the part, she said. But it was a really quiet place, and she felt really freaked out, and she's not really a nice person so she felt very, very uncomfortable. But she forced herself to sit down to write, and she enjoyed it. So, um, really get creative. It can be anywhere you want to write, as long as it makes you feel uncomfortable and see what comes out. So for your project, just post what you wrote or if you don't post what you wrote, post your feelings about putting yourself in such an uncomfortable position and then having to be creative and just see what comes out. What does it do to your creativity? Most importantly, does it jolted into action? Do you get ideas you've never had before? Doesn't force you to think differently? It probably will. So just pay attention to what goes on inside of you and have fun. I hope you had fun of these techniques. Play with them, play with you writing on and you come up with something different. That's fine, as long as you remember. The point of this course was to show you that we don't always have to approach are writing in the same way. We don't always have to start in the top left hand corner. You don't always have to start at the beginning. You don't always have to stick exactly to the truth, especially if you're writing fiction and you don't always have to write a two writers desk . You can do things. In fact, you can do anything you like, and the more you shake up your creativity and shake up your usual habits, them or your creativity will loosen up and your words and your ideas will flow. So that's really the purpose off this course, and and I hope that you enjoyed it on dumb. I will see you in some of my other courses. Thank you for joining me Buying.