Creative writing is an important skill to inculcate in our youth. It is young people who pave the way for innovation and move the era forward. As such schools make it a priority (and rightly so) to teach students creative writing.
Creative writing is associated with imagination and thinking outside the box. Practicing creative writing trains the brain to look at a situation from multiple angles.
With that said, it is important to realize that the limits of one’s imagination are directly affected by their experiences. Sheltered people won’t be very good at imagining things that they don’t know about.
Typically, children who have read a lot of stories are better than their peers at creative writing. But those other children need not fret. They can harness the power of online paraphrasing tools to fill the gaps.
In this article, we shall check out how to use an online paraphraser for creative writing. Students can follow the tips and advice as we will be using a free paraphrasing tool.
How to Paraphrase Online for Creative English Writing
Since the target audience this time around is students and particularly children, we will be much more specific when it comes to our instructions. As such we have decided to teach by example. Follow along to learn how to paraphrase online for creative English writing.
Search for a Paraphraser
The first step is to open your computer/laptop and open a web browser. Make sure you are connected to the internet as the tool in question is an online tool and works only with an internet connection.
Open Google and search for “paraphrase online”. Hit enter and soon your screen should have a results page with many paraphrasing tools.
For this tutorial, we are going to go with Paraphraseonline.io which is an easy-to-use paraphrasing tool and thus, suited for students.
Once the paraphrase tool has been selected it is time to paraphrase online.
Paraphraseonline.io is a simple and easy-to-use tool. Beginners and first-timers will findits simplistic UI very straightforward and ergonomic. It has several modes for paraphrasing and going forward we will check out how to use them for creative writing.
1. Word Changer
As the name implies, this mode paraphrases the text by replacing only words with either their synonyms or different forms. For example, in this screenshot, we can see that “burn” got replaced with “burnt”, “confusion” got replaced with “chaos” and “begun” was replaced with “began”.
There are a number of ways to utilize this mode for creative writing. A common example is to run an older writing prompt through this mode and get a new prompt.
This works because the words changed (while having the same meaning) may imply different things to the reader depending on their experiences.
An example to explain this is the word “struggle”. Struggle means three things depending on the context:
- A violent effort,
- A conflict,
- A difficult task.
Hence the Word Changer mode can spark creative ideas in the users by replacing important words with those that can hold multiple meanings.
Even in the screenshot of the sample text, we can see that “confusion” has been replaced by “chaos” which is a more powerful word and has more implications than “confusion”. Word-changing modes are present in all paraphrasers and are usually labeled “Standard mode”.
2. Sentence Rephraser
The Sentence Rephraser mode works a little bit differently from the Word Changer mode. It replaces phrases and sentences with either their synonyms or different forms. In the example screenshot, we can see that “…made a mark” is rephrased to “…marked it”, and an entire sentence “Day 52 if the marks on the stone were accurate.” has been rephrased as “Day 52 if the stone markings are correct”.
Changes in the sentence structure are also apparent. Sometimes sentences can become confusing simply due to their unorthodox sentence structure. It can help immensely if the arrangement is changed to make the sentences easier to read.
The Sentence Rephraser can be utilized for creative writing by running parts of your write-up through the tool and seeing how they are rewritten. In creative writing, “show don’t tell” is an important technique. People are more immersed when reading something descriptive.
This mode can assist writers in seeing different ways to describe a scene. Many paraphrasing tools have this mode, although the names may be different. Some tools may call it “Advanced mode”, others may call it “Sentence Improver”. Regardless, the functionality will be the same.
A lot of the free paraphrasers available online basically utilize the same APIs to work and as such their interfaces and functionality are very similar. So, even if you are using a different tool, chances are it may have the same modes available.
3. Paraphrase Text Mode
The “Paraphrase Text Mode” is a mixture of both the Word Changer and the Sentence Changer. Hence, it replaces not only phrases and sentences but also standalone words. However, what is different from the other two modes is that the synonyms used are more elaborate.
Whereas previously we saw that the tool replaced “burnt” with “burn” which is not a very big change, in Paraphrase Text mode “burnt” got replaced with “charred”. Charred is a more impressive word and it basically means “burnt quite heavily”.
Creative writing is enhanced with the usage of powerful words. Thus, the Paraphrasing Text mode can assist writers in creating more powerful descriptions of emotions, scenery, and actions.
If a writer is not satisfied with their own level of creative writing, they can rely on this mode, and chances are they will get a better-written text. However, what may be satisfying for one may not be adequate for another.
Different writers have different values. So, the results may not completely satisfy some writers. In that case, the paraphrased text can be used for inspiration instead.
4. Text Improver
The final mode available is called the “Text Improver Mode”. This mode can be said to be the culmination of all the previous modes. It will replace anything that it deems confusing or poorly written with a better alternative.
This mode is available in quite a lot of online paraphrasers. It may be called “Fluency mode” or “Improver mode” in other tools. The primary result of this mode is that the text it works on becomes more readable. Text that is easy to read is naturally easier to engage with.
Creative writing is all about engaging your readers and ensnaring their attention. If the write-up becomes too confusing the audience loses interest and may end up totally dropping the write-up. In some cases, where the reader really likes the content, they may skip the confusing part, but it will only create more confusion later on. Thus, it’s better to simply write in an understandable manner.
The attached image shows how the sample text has been rewritten to make it easier to read. The word “blend” is relatively uncommon (unless you are an avid drinker of coffee) and has been replaced by “mixed” which is a much more known word.
Similarly, the phrase “much too long” has been shortened to “very long”.“Accurate” has been replaced with “correct”, which under the current context, means the same thing while also being easier to read.
Some More Tips on Paraphrasing Online for Creative Writing
We saw how each individual mode in the tool can be used for improving creative writing. But how does one use them all at once and synergize their outcome? A simple method of doing that is as follows:
- Take the writing prompt/title and run it through the word changer to see how it can be tackled from different perspectives.
- Start the writing procedure and anytime you feel stuck and don’t know how to proceed, use the Word Changer or Sentence Rephraser (or equivalent modes if you are using different tools) to see alternative routes.
- Once you are done writing, proofread your work. Run any parts that you do not feel satisfied with through the Text Improver mode or Paraphrase Text mode. The output may help you a lot.
- If you are feeling daring and adventurous, run your entire write-up through the paraphraser and see how it is changed. Some of the changes might be bad but a lot of them may end up surprising you and stimulating your creative juices.
Creative writing is a great skill that some would consider a “must-have” for all writers. However, it does not come easily to everyone. Some people are just born with a better imagination while others have to cultivate it.
If you are one of those that aren’t naturally gifted, you can rest assured that it is not a difficult skill to acquire. In fact, you can start learning passively while actually writing. With the help of online paraphrases passive learning has become easier. Writers simply need to run various parts of their content to see how they can be rewritten.
More often than not, the rewriting generates a spark of creativity in the writer, and in most cases that is enough to get them started.