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Writing: Creative Language Use


Writing: Creative Language Use Revision

Creative Language Use

After going through this page, you should have a good understanding of how to use language techniques to improve the quality of your creative writing. 

We will cover how to creatively convey tone, style and register, as well as look at some key language features to be aware of when crafting your answer.

There will also be a few examples and analysis of language featuresreading the work of others is a great way to get inspiration for your own!


Tone is the name we give to the style of writing. In combination with language and structure, tone use within your writing contributes to your own unique writer’s voice.



A personal, conversational, or informal tone makes the reader feel as though they are talking to the author. Therefore, texts with an informal tone are often full of opinions and emotion.

This would be appropriate in a question where you have to write an article for a local magazine for example.

You can create this kind of tone by using…

  • colloquial language
  • contractions of words
  • casual phrases or idioms
  • being generous with your punctuation– you would put an exclamation mark after a greeting to your friend, but not to your boss!
  • More emotive language is also good for building a personal tone, particularly if your aim is to persuade or entertain the reader.




An impersonal or a formal tone doesn’t give you an insight into the writer’s personality. Instead, it is usually found in neutral texts, where the language does not contain obvious opinions or emotion.

A text which is written in a formal tone may include facts and figures to support points.

This would be appropriate if you were asked to write a report on an accident at work, or an article for a newspaper about crime rates. 

You can create this tone in your own work by using sophisticated language and avoiding contractions (you should aim to use do not instead of don’t for example).

The third person perspective is more commonly used in formal pieces of writing, as it separates the writer and the reader even further, ensuring that there is limited opportunity for an emotional connection to be created. 




Style and Register

There are a multitude of different writing styles which you can use your work, including:

  • Explanatory
  • Advisory
  • Humorous
  • Excited
  • Sombre

Your language choices, and the techniques you use are a key part of creating the tone you want in your answer. 

For example, a humorous style might require more exclamation marks, or an advisory one could use complex sentences to convey important information.



Using the correct register will help to support the style you are writing in, whether it be formal, informal, informative or chatty.

So, you should always try to work out your audience, purpose and aim before you decide on your style, as these two qualities are closely linked



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Language Features

Let’s have a look at some language features and examples that you can use in your writing section answers…



Emotive Language

This is language deliberately used to evoke an emotional response in the reader.

For example:

‘The poor, defenceless lamb.’




Deliberately exaggerated language used for effect.

For example:

‘I’ve told you a million times!’



Rhetorical Questions

These are questions asked without the expectation of an answer, and can be used in an emotive way. As they often directly address the reader they are useful persuasive devices to use in your work.

For example: 

‘When did we become so inconsiderate?’



Alliteration is when more than one word in the sentence starts with the same sound.

This could be used as a descriptive device or in a more informal-toned piece of writing. 

For example:

‘The soft breeze swept over the sandy bay.’


The repetition of vowel sounds within the sentence, often creating internal rhymes. This is a powerful form of aural (auditory) imagery

For example

‘See you later, alligator.’



A comparison made, but without using ‘like’ or ‘as’. This is a tool used to strengthen imagery in your writing. 

For example:

‘Life is a highway.’


Giving human qualities or emotions to an inhuman object.

This can be powerful in descriptions and as a persuasive device

For example:

‘The tree groaned as it fell over in the storm.’

Pathetic Fallacy

This is similar to personification in the attribution of human feeling to non-human objects, however, in this case, it is when the weather or environment matches the mood of the scene or character. 

For example: 

‘The sun smiled down on the cheery school fete.’ 




Words or a phrase is said more than once for effect. You could use this to engage the reader in a specific part of your writing answer. 

For example:

‘Time after time you exceed expectations.’




A comparison made using ‘like‘ or ‘as’. This can be used to strengthen imagery or an impression of something.

For example:

‘They fought like cats and dogs.’




Example: Creative Language Use


Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë:

“My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being. So don’t talk of our separation again: it is impracticable”



In this extract, Brontë uses a variety of language techniques to create a specific tone and style, including:

  • A simile‘Linton is like the foliage’ and natural imagery‘trees’ and ‘rocks’ to make a distinction between the two men being discussed.
  • A more informal tone is created as Cathy is talking to her housekeeper, Ellen.
  • Informal language, seen through the use of contractions such as ‘don’t’ and ‘He’s’, in addition to the strong emotive language shown throughout. 
  • Repetition of ‘always’ is used to create an urgent tone and an impression of the longevity.


As you can see from this extract, simple language techniques can be used creatively in your work, creating a strong impression on the reader by keeping them interested throughout the piece.



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