Revise GCSE English Language: Creative Writing Tips

(These tips come from a creative writing lesson pack which can be found on this link and features additional ideas and a range of tasks.)

Language question 5‘Show, Not Tell’

Your creative writing will be more engaging and sophisticated if you ‘show, not tell’.

But how do you do this?

  1. Vivid verbs – action or ‘doing’ words.
  2. Adventurous adverbs – words usually ending in ‘ly’ that tell us how the action has been done.
  3. Ambitious adjectives – describing words that add details about appearance, personality or condition.

Vivid Verbs

Describe the action using a vivid verb to make it interesting and give more information.

e.g. The crowd screamed Beyoncé’s name.

Why?

This adds extra information in a creative way. It tells us what the crowd was like and how they were feeling.

Your turn: think of as many as you can…

Adventurous Adverbs

Now, add some adventurous adverbs to add
further detail and information.

e.g. Deafeningly, the crowd screamed Beyoncé’s name.

Why?

This adds extra information, building a clearer picture for the reader in just one word!

Your turn: think of as many as you can…

Ambitious Adjectives

Now, add some ambitious adjectives to add
further detail and information.

e.g. Deafeningly, the large, boisterous crowd screamed Beyoncé’s name.

Why?

This builds upon the image, adding extra information to help the reader imagine what is happening.

Your turn: think of as many as you can…

Try changing these character descriptions from telling to showing:

  1. Jonathan had ginger hair. He was very tall. He was feeling happy because it was the end of term.
  2. Louise was dressed in a ball gown ready for the school prom. But she was feeling sad because her cat had died.

Browse our GCSE creative writing resources for more ideas and approaches.

Find our collection of AQA specimen papers and associated resources here.

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