List of Writing Techniques
Good writing comes from the creativity inside you, making it hard to teach. But once your creative juices are flowing, writing techniques can act as the foundations for your work. There are a range of techniques available to writers that serve many different purposes, some help you highlight a point, while others aid the description of lifeless objects.
This descriptive writing technique compares one subject to a different subject even though they are not normally related. An example of a simile is, “Linda looks as thin as a toothpick.”
These are similar to similes, but instead of comparing things they go as far as to say to objects are the same. For example, “Life is a rollercoaster.”
Rhetorical questions are questions that do not require or expect and answer. They can be used to make the reader think about a point being made in the question. For example,” How am I supposed to live without you?” shows the story’s love interest, as well as the reader, how strongly the speaker feels.
Alliteration is a writing technique commonly used in poetry that links together at least two words by repeating the sound of the first word, which must be a consonant. An example would be, “The waves washed wistfully against the shores.”
Another technique often seen in poetry, assonance is similar to alliteration but repeats vowel sounds instead of consonants. An example of assonance is “The man with the tan was the meanest in the land.”
This is a writing technique that gives human characteristics to something non-human, such as a car, animal or plant. Personification helps bring things to life, making them more interesting. For example, “The thunder grumbled like an old man,” or “The moon winked at me through the clouds.”
This writing technique is where a sound is represented by a word, such as “whack,” “boing,” or “thud.” Onomatopoeia is used in all literature but commonly in comic books. An example of onomatopoeia is, “Beep! Beep! The drivers behind were becoming impatient.”
Emotive language refers to adjectives and adverbs that are related to emotions. Emotive writing generates a sense of empathy in the reader. An example would be, “Lee was sad after hearing about the death of his grandmother,” or “Jane loved the chocolate cake.” Words like love and sad help the reader feel the emotions of the characters.
This is language used informally, such as the shortening and joining of words together that many people do in text messages. An example of colloquial language is “I ain’t going to the party anymore, I’m just gonna stay in.” Instead of “I’m not going to the party anymore, I’m just going to stay in.” This technique can be used by writers when speaking through a character in their story.
This is the use of excessive exaggeration to highlight a point. Examples of hyperbole include “I’ve been waiting forever.” Literally, this means the speaker has been waiting his entire life. The reader however knows he has only been waiting a while, but it feels like forever.
Based in the U.K., Martin Cole has been writing since 2009. His articles have been published in "The Evening Chronicle," "The Journal" and "The Sunday Sun." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Northumbria University.