Here at Proofed, we tend to focus on formal and academic English. But life isn\u2019t all about PhD dissertations and business reports, so today we\u2019re looking at creative writing!\n\n[caption id="attachment_2340" align="aligncenter" width="275"] The ghost of Oscar Wilde approves.[\/caption]\n\nThis encompasses many things, from novels and poetry to screenplays and songwriting, each of which requires a different approach. Nevertheless, the following tips should be helpful if you're not sure where to begin with your creative project.\n1. Time to Experiment!\nAs mentioned, creative writing includes many different styles and forms. You might already have a good sense of the writing style that suits you, but playing around with different ways of telling the same story or expressing the same idea can lead to interesting places!\n\nLikewise, if you\u2019re not sure what kind of creative writing you want to try, reading work by different writers in lots of different styles is a great way of getting inspired.\n2. Start Small\nMaybe you\u2019ve never written any fiction before, yet you\u2019ve had a great idea for the next Harry Potter or Game of Thrones. That\u2019s awesome, but you might want to start with something a bit more succinct before launching into the first volume of your seven-part fantasy epic.\n\nWorking on shorter stories to begin with will help you develop the skills you need to be a great writer one day. Even George R. R. Martin started out writing about his pet turtles!\n\n[caption id="attachment_2339" align="aligncenter" width="397"] Knowing GoT, at least one of these guys died by the end of the first chapter.[\/caption]\n3. Just Write!\nWe all struggle to write sometimes and getting started can be especially difficult. There are many ways to tackle writer\u2019s block, but one of the best is just to begin writing.\n\nThis might sound strange, but not letting a lack of inspiration get the better of you is crucial. Even writing a small amount every day will soon add up and you can edit or delete anything you aren\u2019t happy with later on. The important thing is getting some momentum going.\n4. Carry a Notebook\nComing up with something original is possibly the hardest part of creative writing, so you should carry a notebook around with you to write down ideas as soon as they occur.\n\nKeeping a pen and paper by the bed is a good idea, too, since you might be lucky enough to wake up with a great idea for something to write in your head!\n\n[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="539"] The Ancient Greek Muses did all their best inspiring at night.[\/caption]\n5. Break the Rules!\nIt\u2019s not often that a proofreader will tell you it\u2019s OK to abandon conventional grammar and spelling. Sometimes, however, creative writing requires bending the rules a little.\n\nIn a novel or a play, for instance, you\u2019ll often have to use informal English if you want dialog to sound realistic. Likewise, since poetry uses language in a very different way to prose, breaking the rules of grammar and spelling can help you to express yourself.\n\nJust don\u2019t do the same thing next time you\u2019re writing an academic essay or a report at work!