Understanding Texts

Creative Writing – Four Key Writing Aspects

Creative Writing – Four Key Writing Aspects

    • Capturethemes
    • characters
    • setting
    • structure

Creative writing, such as in short stories, builds a world to add substance to the plot. Often, there will be underlying themes within the plot for the reader to consider. To make the reader believe their story, authors have to create believable and engaging characters. In addition, they have to construct settings that are so realistic; you could imagine yourself standing in the scene. The structure is crucial to making the story engaging (building emotional tension or suspense), and ensuring the other key aspects compliment each other.



Themes of a story are the underlying ideas which an author presents throughout their writing. Stories and novels vary in how much they differ from our actual world. Some use familiar places and familiar people, while others can create settings and characters and place them in a fictional setting which is grounded in the real world. Other authors create their own worlds, removing the safety net of familiarity with our society’s rules.

However, regardless of whether a story of other piece of fiction is fantasy, science fiction, historical or any other genre, they can be linked with common themes. Fiction examines these themes through its characters and plots, creating competing ideas which leads to conflict.

An example of this is conflict between characters and either other characters or society (the culture in which the characters live). An author may intend to expose conflict which exists in the real world, such as the conflict which arises between characters when dealing with racism. This is explored in To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee. Conflict is an important part of fiction and forms the basis of every plot.

When you analyse the themes in a piece of fiction, you should always think about how conflict relates to them. It is also important that you make your own judgements and evaluate whether or not the author’s attempt to present the conflict within a theme is effective.

Below is a list of common themes which you may be asked about in your exam. Other themes will depend on the specific text you are studying. In addition, there are examples of conflict which can develop from a theme: