Proofreading your HSC Creative Writing Piece

Proofreading your HSC Creative Writing Piece

Creative writing can often be the hardest text type HSC students can encounter. Often, digging deep and creating a piece that effectively weaves figurative techniques as well as in depth themes can cause frustration. Moreover, this frustration tends to increase the more time you are left with the creative piece. This may lead some to neglect editing their work and inadvertently not get the best marks possible. This guide will hopefully show you how to effectively proofread and edit your work, to potentially reduce that frustration.

1. Ensure that your story makes sense!

Narratives are all about exploring a theme and bringing a story to life. Read your story out to someone you know and have them critique your work. If the person reading it feels as if you did not do anything with the characters or themes, change it accordingly.

2. Know the type of piece you are aiming to write.

Knowing is half the battle, right? Know what type of piece you have to create; this will allow you to edit accordingly. As a rule, shorter narratives do not need dialogue, if you have placed dialogue in your short piece, edit that to be a description instead. On the other hand, remember if you are using dialogue, remember that dialogue only serves three purposes: a thematic reason, a plot reason and finally a character development reason. Edit your dialogue so that it follows those points.

In addition, if you were to add dialogue, remember these points: use quotations, separate your sentences between actions before the dialogue and actions after the dialogue and start a new space or paragraph to indicate a new speaker, simple right?

Finally, remain consistent in your themes and perspective. Edit out words that change perspective randomly and make sure your diction retains the same thematic considerations.

3. Remove “boring” portions of your narrative and liven them up!

Like dialogue, descriptions, subplots, plot points and other writing in your piece serves only three purposes; to explore a theme, to explore characterisation or to further the plot.
Ask yourself this…

  • Does this plot point lead anywhere?
  • Does this description serve a purpose?
  • Does this section of writing lead anywhere, thematically, character wise or plot wise?

If not, remove these dead sections and replace them with live ones.

4. Re-read your assessment syllabus and critically analyse if you have fulfilled that point.

If you do not have a stimulus and are writing a freestyle style piece, this need not apply to you but often you are required to write to a stimulus.
Re-read that assessment or stimulus and ask yourself the following:

  • Does my narrative fit the themes of the stimulus?
  • Does it tie with the stimulus well, not just randomly integrated in?
  • Am I writing to the specifications laid forth by your assessment?

It is important to remember that if this creative writing piece is for an assessment, that heavily determines what you can and cannot write about.

Hopefully with these four tips you can alleviate the stress associated with your narrative and help you edit it accordingly!

Our English teachers would love to critique and build on your writing skills. Enrol with us and we can show you all the tips and tricks to mastering an innovative creative piece!

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