Creative Medical Writing

Do You Have a Superpower?


Creative writing is a superpower that forges agile imagina­tion with deft articulation. Words strengthen emotions, and sentences elevate readers to new heights. As a writer, you should possess a mastery of the target language and the power to breathe life into mental imagery. Creative abilities differ among talented people. What is yours?

You have seen food-network contestants open baskets of ingredients. Each chef rescues helpless grocery items; lifts them high above mediocrity; and serves superb meals. With the power of creative writing, you can trans­form a prickly topic into a warm dish of cactus paella.

Fine artists grasp the same pencil we use to write grocery lists. Then wield it to lunge immortal imagery deep into our central amygdala. Creative musicians hit notes that make us jerk our necks, swing our heads, and rise to our tapping feet. Through creative writing, your articles reach notes that move readers.

You might be a skillful health or technical writer. Most medical articles have an audience with superior prowess. The scientific vocabulary is elevated beyond the reach of people without medical degrees. How do you transform yourself into a creative writer for the mortal public?

Creative Writing Superpower

Soften The Blow

Superheroes are often known for their strength, not tenderness. They have the power to raze or revive; to vanquish or revitalize. Health topics include disease and mortality. Life-ending ailments are not entertain­ing to the typical reader.

Arg! comic

The familiar format of symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis does not make a good page-turner. I tell freelance writers that writing about all the ways people can die does not engender subscribers.

As a creative medical writer, don’t pummel the damsel in distress with your superpowers. Highlight positive outcomes of the ailment. What treat­ments work best or which clinical trials show promise?

Name the doctors or institu­tions that are leading the path to eradicating a particular disease. If the battle results in some disfigurement, transmogrify your strength into the reader’s courage. Convey how prosthetics, cosmetic surgery, or physiotherapy can improve self-confidence and mobility.

Boom! comic

Defuse the bombs of hopeless­ness. Lift the spirits of bed­ridden patients by being an empa­the­tic pro­tago­nist. Use X-ray vision to peer into the circum­stances of possible readers.

Sick people have fears and limitations. Is this a mother desperately trying to find a cure for her child? Is it a patient research­ing options after receiving a grave diagnosis? Are you encourag­ing middle-age readers to become more active and prevent future health problems? Is a clinician comparing treatment alternatives?

After identifying who you need to rescue, speak to him; resonate with her. Whether you are a medical writer or doctor by profession, you need to have a good bed­side manner.

Metaphorically Speaking

Ouch! art

People may be hesitant to follow medical advice. A common problem among patients is elevated BMI, or obesity. Those with inflammation or stiffness in their back or other joints have mobility issues. As a creative health writer, how can you illustrate the value of losing weight?

💡 “A sleek looking commercial aircraft can weigh hundreds of thousands of pounds while flying through the air. With a full tank, it is heavier when taking off than landing. In emergencies, the captain may dump fuel to lower aircraft weight and reduce complications during landing. With your inflammation, I need you to prepare for an emergency landing by losing 10 pounds.”

Use discretion. The illustra­tive approach is not appro­priate for all publications. Long articles may include several short creative analogies. But do not mix metaphors within the same sentence. In a short article, it is often better to use one good illustration that applies to each of the points under discussion. If not one, a series of related metaphors.

After completing a draft of the article, replace weak words with metaphoric action heroes. Aim to distinguish between a good punch and bad pun.

Bedtime Story

Children love bedtime stories. It calms them so they can rest easy with­out night­mares. Adults like stories too. Characters experience challeng­ing events and come off victorious. To do this in a medical article, keep sight of your goal. First, complete all your research. Then, write about the medical condition in clear language that includes appropriate keywords. Simplify sentences as much as possible. But engage readers in the outcome of each dialogue.

Goal! art

Now it’s time to use your superpower. Visualize your audience while writing an introductory paragraph or two. Stories can be anecdotal or based on actual events. Change character names to protect the inno­cent patients. Invite readers into a character’s life. Explain the plight. Then describe how the medical research benefits the main character.

After developing a powerful story, write a thought-provoking conclusion. What choices did the character make? How is he faring now? What advice is beneficial for others?

This evocative style of writing is what sets the ClinicalReads Health blog apart from other medical sites. It is challenging enough with one writer. Getting more than a dozen writers to display the same power in their work requires much editing and training. They must be as cohesive as collaborative writers of different chapters within one cookbook.

Are you a masked crusader with the power of creative writing? Continue to save the day, or, as a mortal being, enjoy reading more evocative short stories with health benefits within our health blog and novellas.

To support the writing of useful articles about writing, ClinicalPosters sells human anatomy charts, scientific posters and other products online. Slide extra posters into DeuPair Frames without removing from the wall or leave an encourag­ing comment to keep the work going.

Modified main image by Roy Reyna of Pexels

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

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