Writing Beginner

What Is Creative Writing? (Ultimate Guide + 20 Examples)

Creative writing begins with a blank page and the courage to fill it with the stories only you can tell.

I face this intimidating blank page daily–and I have for the better part of 20+ years.

In this guide, you’ll learn all the ins and outs of creative writing with tons of examples.

What Is Creative Writing (Long Description)?

Creative Writing is the art of using words to express ideas and emotions in imaginative ways. It encompasses various forms including novels, poetry, and plays, focusing on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes.

Bright, colorful creative writer's desk with notebook and typewriter -- What Is Creative Writing

Table of Contents

Let’s expand on that definition a bit.

Creative writing is an art form that transcends traditional literature boundaries.

It includes professional, journalistic, academic, and technical writing. This type of writing emphasizes narrative craft, character development, and literary tropes. It also explores poetry and poetics traditions.

In essence, creative writing lets you express ideas and emotions uniquely and imaginatively.

It’s about the freedom to invent worlds, characters, and stories. These creations evoke a spectrum of emotions in readers.

Creative writing covers fiction, poetry, and everything in between.

It allows writers to express inner thoughts and feelings. Often, it reflects human experiences through a fabricated lens.

Types of Creative Writing

There are many types of creative writing that we need to explain.

Some of the most common types:

  • Short stories
  • Screenplays
  • Flash fiction
  • Creative Nonfiction

Short Stories (The Brief Escape)

Short stories are like narrative treasures.

They are compact but impactful, telling a full story within a limited word count. These tales often focus on a single character or a crucial moment.

Short stories are known for their brevity.

They deliver emotion and insight in a concise yet powerful package. This format is ideal for exploring diverse genres, themes, and characters. It leaves a lasting impression on readers.

Example: Emma discovers an old photo of her smiling grandmother. It’s a rarity. Through flashbacks, Emma learns about her grandmother’s wartime love story. She comes to understand her grandmother’s resilience and the value of joy.

Novels (The Long Journey)

Novels are extensive explorations of character, plot, and setting.

They span thousands of words, giving writers the space to create entire worlds. Novels can weave complex stories across various themes and timelines.

The length of a novel allows for deep narrative and character development.

Readers get an immersive experience.

Example: Across the Divide tells of two siblings separated in childhood. They grow up in different cultures. Their reunion highlights the strength of family bonds, despite distance and differences.

Poetry (The Soul’s Language)

Poetry expresses ideas and emotions through rhythm, sound, and word beauty.

It distills emotions and thoughts into verses. Poetry often uses metaphors, similes, and figurative language to reach the reader’s heart and mind.

Poetry ranges from structured forms, like sonnets, to free verse.

The latter breaks away from traditional formats for more expressive thought.

Example: Whispers of Dawn is a poem collection capturing morning’s quiet moments. “First Light” personifies dawn as a painter. It brings colors of hope and renewal to the world.

Plays (The Dramatic Dialogue)

Plays are meant for performance. They bring characters and conflicts to life through dialogue and action.

This format uniquely explores human relationships and societal issues.

Playwrights face the challenge of conveying setting, emotion, and plot through dialogue and directions.

Example: Echoes of Tomorrow is set in a dystopian future. Memories can be bought and sold. It follows siblings on a quest to retrieve their stolen memories. They learn the cost of living in a world where the past has a price.

Screenplays (Cinema’s Blueprint)

Screenplays outline narratives for films and TV shows.

They require an understanding of visual storytelling, pacing, and dialogue. Screenplays must fit film production constraints.

Example: The Last Light is a screenplay for a sci-fi film. Humanity’s survivors on a dying Earth seek a new planet. The story focuses on spacecraft Argo’s crew as they face mission challenges and internal dynamics.

Memoirs (The Personal Journey)

Memoirs provide insight into an author’s life, focusing on personal experiences and emotional journeys.

They differ from autobiographies by concentrating on specific themes or events.

Memoirs invite readers into the author’s world.

They share lessons learned and hardships overcome.

Example: Under the Mango Tree is a memoir by Maria Gomez. It shares her childhood memories in rural Colombia. The mango tree in their yard symbolizes home, growth, and nostalgia. Maria reflects on her journey to a new life in America.

Flash Fiction (The Quick Twist)

Flash fiction tells stories in under 1,000 words.

It’s about crafting compelling narratives concisely. Each word in flash fiction must count, often leading to a twist.

This format captures life’s vivid moments, delivering quick, impactful insights.

Example: The Last Message features an astronaut’s final Earth message as her spacecraft drifts away. In 500 words, it explores isolation, hope, and the desire to connect against all odds.

Creative Nonfiction (The Factual Tale)

Creative nonfiction combines factual accuracy with creative storytelling.

This genre covers real events, people, and places with a twist. It uses descriptive language and narrative arcs to make true stories engaging.

Creative nonfiction includes biographies, essays, and travelogues.

Example: Echoes of Everest follows the author’s Mount Everest climb. It mixes factual details with personal reflections and the history of past climbers. The narrative captures the climb’s beauty and challenges, offering an immersive experience.

Fantasy (The World Beyond)

Fantasy transports readers to magical and mythical worlds.

It explores themes like good vs. evil and heroism in unreal settings. Fantasy requires careful world-building to create believable yet fantastic realms.

Example: The Crystal of Azmar tells of a young girl destined to save her world from darkness. She learns she’s the last sorceress in a forgotten lineage. Her journey involves mastering powers, forming alliances, and uncovering ancient kingdom myths.

Science Fiction (The Future Imagined)

Science fiction delves into futuristic and scientific themes.

It questions the impact of advancements on society and individuals.

Science fiction ranges from speculative to hard sci-fi, focusing on plausible futures.

Example: When the Stars Whisper is set in a future where humanity communicates with distant galaxies. It centers on a scientist who finds an alien message. This discovery prompts a deep look at humanity’s universe role and interstellar communication.

Watch this great video that explores the question, “What is creative writing?” and “How to get started?”:

What Are the 5 Cs of Creative Writing?

The 5 Cs of creative writing are fundamental pillars.

They guide writers to produce compelling and impactful work. These principles—Clarity, Coherence, Conciseness, Creativity, and Consistency—help craft stories that engage and entertain.

They also resonate deeply with readers. Let’s explore each of these critical components.

Clarity makes your writing understandable and accessible.

It involves choosing the right words and constructing clear sentences. Your narrative should be easy to follow.

In creative writing, clarity means conveying complex ideas in a digestible and enjoyable way.

Coherence ensures your writing flows logically.

It’s crucial for maintaining the reader’s interest. Characters should develop believably, and plots should progress logically. This makes the narrative feel cohesive.


Conciseness is about expressing ideas succinctly.

It’s being economical with words and avoiding redundancy. This principle helps maintain pace and tension, engaging readers throughout the story.

Creativity is the heart of creative writing.

It allows writers to invent new worlds and create memorable characters. Creativity involves originality and imagination. It’s seeing the world in unique ways and sharing that vision.


Consistency maintains a uniform tone, style, and voice.

It means being faithful to the world you’ve created. Characters should act true to their development. This builds trust with readers, making your story immersive and believable.

Is Creative Writing Easy?

Creative writing is both rewarding and challenging.

Crafting stories from your imagination involves more than just words on a page. It requires discipline and a deep understanding of language and narrative structure.

Exploring complex characters and themes is also key.

Refining and revising your work is crucial for developing your voice.

The ease of creative writing varies. Some find the freedom of expression liberating.

Others struggle with writer’s block or plot development challenges. However, practice and feedback make creative writing more fulfilling.

What Does a Creative Writer Do?

A creative writer weaves narratives that entertain, enlighten, and inspire.

Writers explore both the world they create and the emotions they wish to evoke. Their tasks are diverse, involving more than just writing.

Creative writers develop ideas, research, and plan their stories.

They create characters and outline plots with attention to detail. Drafting and revising their work is a significant part of their process. They strive for the 5 Cs of compelling writing.

Writers engage with the literary community, seeking feedback and participating in workshops.

They may navigate the publishing world with agents and editors.

Creative writers are storytellers, craftsmen, and artists. They bring narratives to life, enriching our lives and expanding our imaginations.

How to Get Started With Creative Writing?

Embarking on a creative writing journey can feel like standing at the edge of a vast and mysterious forest.

The path is not always clear, but the adventure is calling.

Here’s how to take your first steps into the world of creative writing:

  • Find a time of day when your mind is most alert and creative.
  • Create a comfortable writing space free from distractions.
  • Use prompts to spark your imagination. They can be as simple as a word, a phrase, or an image.
  • Try writing for 15-20 minutes on a prompt without editing yourself. Let the ideas flow freely.
  • Reading is fuel for your writing. Explore various genres and styles.
  • Pay attention to how your favorite authors construct their sentences, develop characters, and build their worlds.
  • Don’t pressure yourself to write a novel right away. Begin with short stories or poems.
  • Small projects can help you hone your skills and boost your confidence.
  • Look for writing groups in your area or online. These communities offer support, feedback, and motivation.
  • Participating in workshops or classes can also provide valuable insights into your writing.
  • Understand that your first draft is just the beginning. Revising your work is where the real magic happens.
  • Be open to feedback and willing to rework your pieces.
  • Carry a notebook or digital recorder to jot down ideas, observations, and snippets of conversations.
  • These notes can be gold mines for future writing projects.

Final Thoughts: What Is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is an invitation to explore the unknown, to give voice to the silenced, and to celebrate the human spirit in all its forms.

Check out these creative writing tools (that I highly recommend):

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Jasper AI
Show Not Tell GPT
Dragon Professional Speech Dictation and Voice Recognition
Surface Laptop
Sqribble (eBook maker)

Read This Next:

  • What Is a Prompt in Writing? (Ultimate Guide + 200 Examples)
  • What Is A Personal Account In Writing? (47 Examples)
  • How To Write A Fantasy Short Story (Ultimate Guide + Examples)
  • How To Write A Fantasy Romance Novel [21 Tips + Examples)


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Last updated on Feb 14, 2023

10 Types of Creative Writing (with Examples You’ll Love)

A lot falls under the term ‘creative writing’: poetry, short fiction, plays, novels, personal essays, and songs, to name just a few. By virtue of the creativity that characterizes it, creative writing is an extremely versatile art. So instead of defining what creative writing is , it may be easier to understand what it does by looking at examples that demonstrate the sheer range of styles and genres under its vast umbrella.

To that end, we’ve collected a non-exhaustive list of works across multiple formats that have inspired the writers here at Reedsy. With 20 different works to explore, we hope they will inspire you, too. 

People have been writing creatively for almost as long as we have been able to hold pens. Just think of long-form epic poems like The Odyssey or, later, the Cantar de Mio Cid — some of the earliest recorded writings of their kind. 

Poetry is also a great place to start if you want to dip your own pen into the inkwell of creative writing. It can be as short or long as you want (you don’t have to write an epic of Homeric proportions), encourages you to build your observation skills, and often speaks from a single point of view . 

Here are a few examples:

“Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.

The ruins of pillars and walls with the broken statue of a man in the center set against a bright blue sky.

This classic poem by Romantic poet Percy Shelley (also known as Mary Shelley’s husband) is all about legacy. What do we leave behind? How will we be remembered? The great king Ozymandias built himself a massive statue, proclaiming his might, but the irony is that his statue doesn’t survive the ravages of time. By framing this poem as told to him by a “traveller from an antique land,” Shelley effectively turns this into a story. Along with the careful use of juxtaposition to create irony, this poem accomplishes a lot in just a few lines. 

“Trying to Raise the Dead” by Dorianne Laux

 A direction. An object. My love, it needs a place to rest. Say anything. I’m listening. I’m ready to believe. Even lies, I don’t care.

Poetry is cherished for its ability to evoke strong emotions from the reader using very few words which is exactly what Dorianne Laux does in “ Trying to Raise the Dead .” With vivid imagery that underscores the painful yearning of the narrator, she transports us to a private nighttime scene as the narrator sneaks away from a party to pray to someone they’ve lost. We ache for their loss and how badly they want their lost loved one to acknowledge them in some way. It’s truly a masterclass on how writing can be used to portray emotions. 

If you find yourself inspired to try out some poetry — and maybe even get it published — check out these poetry layouts that can elevate your verse!

Song Lyrics

Poetry’s closely related cousin, song lyrics are another great way to flex your creative writing muscles. You not only have to find the perfect rhyme scheme but also match it to the rhythm of the music. This can be a great challenge for an experienced poet or the musically inclined. 

To see how music can add something extra to your poetry, check out these two examples:

“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen

 You say I took the name in vain I don't even know the name But if I did, well, really, what's it to ya? There's a blaze of light in every word It doesn't matter which you heard The holy or the broken Hallelujah 

Metaphors are commonplace in almost every kind of creative writing, but will often take center stage in shorter works like poetry and songs. At the slightest mention, they invite the listener to bring their emotional or cultural experience to the piece, allowing the writer to express more with fewer words while also giving it a deeper meaning. If a whole song is couched in metaphor, you might even be able to find multiple meanings to it, like in Leonard Cohen’s “ Hallelujah .” While Cohen’s Biblical references create a song that, on the surface, seems like it’s about a struggle with religion, the ambiguity of the lyrics has allowed it to be seen as a song about a complicated romantic relationship. 

“I Will Follow You into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie

 ​​If Heaven and Hell decide that they both are satisfied Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks Then I'll follow you into the dark

A red neon

You can think of song lyrics as poetry set to music. They manage to do many of the same things their literary counterparts do — including tugging on your heartstrings. Death Cab for Cutie’s incredibly popular indie rock ballad is about the singer’s deep devotion to his lover. While some might find the song a bit too dark and macabre, its melancholy tune and poignant lyrics remind us that love can endure beyond death.

Plays and Screenplays

From the short form of poetry, we move into the world of drama — also known as the play. This form is as old as the poem, stretching back to the works of ancient Greek playwrights like Sophocles, who adapted the myths of their day into dramatic form. The stage play (and the more modern screenplay) gives the words on the page a literal human voice, bringing life to a story and its characters entirely through dialogue. 

Interested to see what that looks like? Take a look at these examples:

All My Sons by Arthur Miller

“I know you're no worse than most men but I thought you were better. I never saw you as a man. I saw you as my father.” 

Creative Writing Examples | Photo of the Old Vic production of All My Sons by Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller acts as a bridge between the classic and the new, creating 20th century tragedies that take place in living rooms and backyard instead of royal courts, so we had to include his breakout hit on this list. Set in the backyard of an all-American family in the summer of 1946, this tragedy manages to communicate family tensions in an unimaginable scale, building up to an intense climax reminiscent of classical drama. 

💡 Read more about Arthur Miller and classical influences in our breakdown of Freytag’s pyramid . 

“Everything is Fine” by Michael Schur ( The Good Place )

“Well, then this system sucks. What...one in a million gets to live in paradise and everyone else is tortured for eternity? Come on! I mean, I wasn't freaking Gandhi, but I was okay. I was a medium person. I should get to spend eternity in a medium place! Like Cincinnati. Everyone who wasn't perfect but wasn't terrible should get to spend eternity in Cincinnati.” 

A screenplay, especially a TV pilot, is like a mini-play, but with the extra job of convincing an audience that they want to watch a hundred more episodes of the show. Blending moral philosophy with comedy, The Good Place is a fun hang-out show set in the afterlife that asks some big questions about what it means to be good. 

It follows Eleanor Shellstrop, an incredibly imperfect woman from Arizona who wakes up in ‘The Good Place’ and realizes that there’s been a cosmic mixup. Determined not to lose her place in paradise, she recruits her “soulmate,” a former ethics professor, to teach her philosophy with the hope that she can learn to be a good person and keep up her charade of being an upstanding citizen. The pilot does a superb job of setting up the stakes, the story, and the characters, while smuggling in deep philosophical ideas.

Personal essays

Our first foray into nonfiction on this list is the personal essay. As its name suggests, these stories are in some way autobiographical — concerned with the author’s life and experiences. But don’t be fooled by the realistic component. These essays can take any shape or form, from comics to diary entries to recipes and anything else you can imagine. Typically zeroing in on a single issue, they allow you to explore your life and prove that the personal can be universal.

Here are a couple of fantastic examples:

“On Selling Your First Novel After 11 Years” by Min Jin Lee (Literary Hub)

There was so much to learn and practice, but I began to see the prose in verse and the verse in prose. Patterns surfaced in poems, stories, and plays. There was music in sentences and paragraphs. I could hear the silences in a sentence. All this schooling was like getting x-ray vision and animal-like hearing. 

Stacks of multicolored hardcover books.

This deeply honest personal essay by Pachinko author Min Jin Lee is an account of her eleven-year struggle to publish her first novel . Like all good writing, it is intensely focused on personal emotional details. While grounded in the specifics of the author's personal journey, it embodies an experience that is absolutely universal: that of difficulty and adversity met by eventual success. 

“A Cyclist on the English Landscape” by Roff Smith (New York Times)

These images, though, aren’t meant to be about me. They’re meant to represent a cyclist on the landscape, anybody — you, perhaps. 

Roff Smith’s gorgeous photo essay for the NYT is a testament to the power of creatively combining visuals with text. Here, photographs of Smith atop a bike are far from simply ornamental. They’re integral to the ruminative mood of the essay, as essential as the writing. Though Smith places his work at the crosscurrents of various aesthetic influences (such as the painter Edward Hopper), what stands out the most in this taciturn, thoughtful piece of writing is his use of the second person to address the reader directly. Suddenly, the writer steps out of the body of the essay and makes eye contact with the reader. The reader is now part of the story as a second character, finally entering the picture.

Short Fiction

The short story is the happy medium of fiction writing. These bite-sized narratives can be devoured in a single sitting and still leave you reeling. Sometimes viewed as a stepping stone to novel writing, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Short story writing is an art all its own. The limited length means every word counts and there’s no better way to see that than with these two examples:

“An MFA Story” by Paul Dalla Rosa (Electric Literature)

At Starbucks, I remembered a reading Zhen had given, a reading organized by the program’s faculty. I had not wanted to go but did. In the bar, he read, "I wrote this in a Starbucks in Shanghai. On the bank of the Huangpu." It wasn’t an aside or introduction. It was two lines of the poem. I was in a Starbucks and I wasn’t writing any poems. I wasn’t writing anything. 

Creative Writing Examples | Photograph of New York City street.

This short story is a delightfully metafictional tale about the struggles of being a writer in New York. From paying the bills to facing criticism in a writing workshop and envying more productive writers, Paul Dalla Rosa’s story is a clever satire of the tribulations involved in the writing profession, and all the contradictions embodied by systemic creativity (as famously laid out in Mark McGurl’s The Program Era ). What’s more, this story is an excellent example of something that often happens in creative writing: a writer casting light on the private thoughts or moments of doubt we don’t admit to or openly talk about. 

“Flowering Walrus” by Scott Skinner (Reedsy)

I tell him they’d been there a month at least, and he looks concerned. He has my tongue on a tissue paper and is gripping its sides with his pointer and thumb. My tongue has never spent much time outside of my mouth, and I imagine it as a walrus basking in the rays of the dental light. My walrus is not well. 

A winner of Reedsy’s weekly Prompts writing contest, ‘ Flowering Walrus ’ is a story that balances the trivial and the serious well. In the pauses between its excellent, natural dialogue , the story manages to scatter the fear and sadness of bad medical news, as the protagonist hides his worries from his wife and daughter. Rich in subtext, these silences grow and resonate with the readers.

Want to give short story writing a go? Give our free course a go!



How to Craft a Killer Short Story

From pacing to character development, master the elements of short fiction.

Perhaps the thing that first comes to mind when talking about creative writing, novels are a form of fiction that many people know and love but writers sometimes find intimidating. The good news is that novels are nothing but one word put after another, like any other piece of writing, but expanded and put into a flowing narrative. Piece of cake, right?

To get an idea of the format’s breadth of scope, take a look at these two (very different) satirical novels: 

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

I wished I was back in the convenience store where I was valued as a working member of staff and things weren’t as complicated as this. Once we donned our uniforms, we were all equals regardless of gender, age, or nationality — all simply store workers. 

Creative Writing Examples | Book cover of Convenience Store Woman

Keiko, a thirty-six-year-old convenience store employee, finds comfort and happiness in the strict, uneventful routine of the shop’s daily operations. A funny, satirical, but simultaneously unnerving examination of the social structures we take for granted, Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman is deeply original and lingers with the reader long after they’ve put it down.

Erasure by Percival Everett

The hard, gritty truth of the matter is that I hardly ever think about race. Those times when I did think about it a lot I did so because of my guilt for not thinking about it.  

Erasure is a truly accomplished satire of the publishing industry’s tendency to essentialize African American authors and their writing. Everett’s protagonist is a writer whose work doesn’t fit with what publishers expect from him — work that describes the “African American experience” — so he writes a parody novel about life in the ghetto. The publishers go crazy for it and, to the protagonist’s horror, it becomes the next big thing. This sophisticated novel is both ironic and tender, leaving its readers with much food for thought.

Creative Nonfiction

Creative nonfiction is pretty broad: it applies to anything that does not claim to be fictional (although the rise of autofiction has definitely blurred the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction). It encompasses everything from personal essays and memoirs to humor writing, and they range in length from blog posts to full-length books. The defining characteristic of this massive genre is that it takes the world or the author’s experience and turns it into a narrative that a reader can follow along with.

Here, we want to focus on novel-length works that dig deep into their respective topics. While very different, these two examples truly show the breadth and depth of possibility of creative nonfiction:

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

Men’s bodies litter my family history. The pain of the women they left behind pulls them from the beyond, makes them appear as ghosts. In death, they transcend the circumstances of this place that I love and hate all at once and become supernatural. 

Writer Jesmyn Ward recounts the deaths of five men from her rural Mississippi community in as many years. In her award-winning memoir , she delves into the lives of the friends and family she lost and tries to find some sense among the tragedy. Working backwards across five years, she questions why this had to happen over and over again, and slowly unveils the long history of racism and poverty that rules rural Black communities. Moving and emotionally raw, Men We Reaped is an indictment of a cruel system and the story of a woman's grief and rage as she tries to navigate it.

Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker

He believed that wine could reshape someone’s life. That’s why he preferred buying bottles to splurging on sweaters. Sweaters were things. Bottles of wine, said Morgan, “are ways that my humanity will be changed.” 

In this work of immersive journalism , Bianca Bosker leaves behind her life as a tech journalist to explore the world of wine. Becoming a “cork dork” takes her everywhere from New York’s most refined restaurants to science labs while she learns what it takes to be a sommelier and a true wine obsessive. This funny and entertaining trip through the past and present of wine-making and tasting is sure to leave you better informed and wishing you, too, could leave your life behind for one devoted to wine. 

Illustrated Narratives (Comics, graphic novels)

Once relegated to the “funny pages”, the past forty years of comics history have proven it to be a serious medium. Comics have transformed from the early days of Jack Kirby’s superheroes into a medium where almost every genre is represented. Humorous one-shots in the Sunday papers stand alongside illustrated memoirs, horror, fantasy, and just about anything else you can imagine. This type of visual storytelling lets the writer and artist get creative with perspective, tone, and so much more. For two very different, though equally entertaining, examples, check these out:

Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson

"Life is like topography, Hobbes. There are summits of happiness and success, flat stretches of boring routine and valleys of frustration and failure." 

A Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. A little blond boy Calvin makes multiple silly faces in school photos. In the last panel, his father says, "That's our son. *Sigh*" His mother then says, "The pictures will remind of more than we want to remember."

This beloved comic strip follows Calvin, a rambunctious six-year-old boy, and his stuffed tiger/imaginary friend, Hobbes. They get into all kinds of hijinks at school and at home, and muse on the world in the way only a six-year-old and an anthropomorphic tiger can. As laugh-out-loud funny as it is, Calvin & Hobbes ’ popularity persists as much for its whimsy as its use of humor to comment on life, childhood, adulthood, and everything in between. 

From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell 

"I shall tell you where we are. We're in the most extreme and utter region of the human mind. A dim, subconscious underworld. A radiant abyss where men meet themselves. Hell, Netley. We're in Hell." 

Comics aren't just the realm of superheroes and one-joke strips, as Alan Moore proves in this serialized graphic novel released between 1989 and 1998. A meticulously researched alternative history of Victorian London’s Ripper killings, this macabre story pulls no punches. Fact and fiction blend into a world where the Royal Family is involved in a dark conspiracy and Freemasons lurk on the sidelines. It’s a surreal mad-cap adventure that’s unsettling in the best way possible. 

Video Games and RPGs

Probably the least expected entry on this list, we thought that video games and RPGs also deserved a mention — and some well-earned recognition for the intricate storytelling that goes into creating them. 

Essentially gamified adventure stories, without attention to plot, characters, and a narrative arc, these games would lose a lot of their charm, so let’s look at two examples where the creative writing really shines through: 

80 Days by inkle studios

"It was a triumph of invention over nature, and will almost certainly disappear into the dust once more in the next fifty years." 

A video game screenshot of 80 days. In the center is a city with mechanical legs. It's titled "The Moving City." In the lower right hand corner is a profile of man with a speech balloon that says, "A starched collar, very good indeed."

Named Time Magazine ’s game of the year in 2014, this narrative adventure is based on Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. The player is cast as the novel’s narrator, Passpartout, and tasked with circumnavigating the globe in service of their employer, Phileas Fogg. Set in an alternate steampunk Victorian era, the game uses its globe-trotting to comment on the colonialist fantasies inherent in the original novel and its time period. On a storytelling level, the choose-your-own-adventure style means no two players’ journeys will be the same. This innovative approach to a classic novel shows the potential of video games as a storytelling medium, truly making the player part of the story. 

What Remains of Edith Finch by Giant Sparrow

"If we lived forever, maybe we'd have time to understand things. But as it is, I think the best we can do is try to open our eyes, and appreciate how strange and brief all of this is." 

This video game casts the player as 17-year-old Edith Finch. Returning to her family’s home on an island in the Pacific northwest, Edith explores the vast house and tries to figure out why she’s the only one of her family left alive. The story of each family member is revealed as you make your way through the house, slowly unpacking the tragic fate of the Finches. Eerie and immersive, this first-person exploration game uses the medium to tell a series of truly unique tales. 

Fun and breezy on the surface, humor is often recognized as one of the trickiest forms of creative writing. After all, while you can see the artistic value in a piece of prose that you don’t necessarily enjoy, if a joke isn’t funny, you could say that it’s objectively failed.

With that said, it’s far from an impossible task, and many have succeeded in bringing smiles to their readers’ faces through their writing. Here are two examples:

‘How You Hope Your Extended Family Will React When You Explain Your Job to Them’ by Mike Lacher (McSweeney’s Internet Tendency)

“Is it true you don’t have desks?” your grandmother will ask. You will nod again and crack open a can of Country Time Lemonade. “My stars,” she will say, “it must be so wonderful to not have a traditional office and instead share a bistro-esque coworking space.” 

An open plan office seen from a bird's eye view. There are multiple strands of Edison lights hanging from the ceiling. At long light wooden tables multiple people sit working at computers, many of them wearing headphones.

Satire and parody make up a whole subgenre of creative writing, and websites like McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and The Onion consistently hit the mark with their parodies of magazine publishing and news media. This particular example finds humor in the divide between traditional family expectations and contemporary, ‘trendy’ work cultures. Playing on the inherent silliness of today’s tech-forward middle-class jobs, this witty piece imagines a scenario where the writer’s family fully understands what they do — and are enthralled to hear more. “‘Now is it true,’ your uncle will whisper, ‘that you’ve got a potential investment from one of the founders of I Can Haz Cheezburger?’”

‘Not a Foodie’ by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell (Electric Literature)

I’m not a foodie, I never have been, and I know, in my heart, I never will be. 

Highlighting what she sees as an unbearable social obsession with food , in this comic Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell takes a hilarious stand against the importance of food. From the writer’s courageous thesis (“I think there are more exciting things to talk about, and focus on in life, than what’s for dinner”) to the amusing appearance of family members and the narrator’s partner, ‘Not a Foodie’ demonstrates that even a seemingly mundane pet peeve can be approached creatively — and even reveal something profound about life.

We hope this list inspires you with your own writing. If there’s one thing you take away from this post, let it be that there is no limit to what you can write about or how you can write about it. 

In the next part of this guide, we'll drill down into the fascinating world of creative nonfiction.

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14 Types of Creative Writing

by Melissa Donovan | Apr 6, 2021 | Creative Writing | 20 comments

types of creative writing

Which types of creative writing have you tried?

When we talk about creative writing, fiction and poetry often take the spotlight, but there are many other types of creative writing that we can explore.

Most writers develop a preference for one form (and genre) above all others. This can be a good thing, because you can specialize in your form and genre and become quite proficient. However, occasionally working with other types of writing is beneficial. It prevents your work from becoming stale and overladen with form- or genre-specific clichés, and it’s a good way to acquire a variety of techniques that are uncommon in your preferred form and genre but that can be used to enhance it.

Let’s look at some different types of creative writing. As you read through the list, note the types of writing you’ve experimented with and the types you’d like to try.

Types of Creative Writing

Free writing: Open a notebook or an electronic document and just start writing. Allow strange words and images to find their way to the page. Anything goes! Also called stream-of-consciousness writing, free writing is the pinnacle of creative writing.

Journals: A journal is any written log. You could keep a gratitude journal, a memory journal, a dream journal, or a goals journal. Many writers keep idea journals or all-purpose omni-journals that can be used for everything from daily free writes to brainstorming and project planning.

Diaries: A diary is a type of journal in which you write about your daily life. Some diaries are written in letter format (“Dear Diary…”). If you ever want to write a memoir, then it’s a good idea to start keeping a diary.

Letters: Because the ability to communicate effectively is increasingly valuable, letter writing is a useful skill. There is a long tradition of publishing letters, so take extra care with those emails you’re shooting off to friends, family, and business associates. Hot tip: one way to get published if you don’t have a lot of clips and credits is to write letters to the editor of a news publication.

Memoir: A genre of creative nonfiction , memoirs are books that contain personal accounts (or stories) that focus on specific experiences. For example, one might write a travel memoir.

Essays. Essays are often associated with academic writing, but there are many types of essays, including personal essays, descriptive essays, and persuasive essays, all of which can be quite creative (and not especially academic).

Journalism: Some forms of journalism are more creative than others. Traditionally, journalism was objective reporting on facts, people, and events. Today, journalists often infuse their writing with opinion and storytelling to make their pieces more compelling or convincing.

Poetry: Poetry is a popular but under-appreciated type of writing, and it’s easily the most artistic form of writing. You can write form poetry, free-form poetry, and prose poetry.

Song Lyrics: Song lyrics combine the craft of writing with the artistry of music. Composing lyrics is similar to writing poetry, and this is an ideal type of writing for anyone who can play a musical instrument.

Scripts: Hit the screen or the stage by writing scripts for film, television, theater, or video games. Beware: film is a director’s medium, not a writer’s medium, but movies have the potential to reach a non-reading audience.

Storytelling: Storytelling is the most popular form of creative writing and is found in the realms of both fiction and nonfiction writing. Popular forms of fiction include flash fiction, short stories, novellas, and full-length novels; and there are tons of genres to choose from. True stories, which are usually firsthand or secondhand accounts of real people and events, can be found in essays, diaries, memoirs, speeches, and more. Storytelling is a tremendously valuable skill, as it can be found in all other forms of writing, from poetry to speech writing.

Speeches: Whether persuasive, inspirational, or informative, speech writing can lead to interesting career opportunities in almost any field or industry. Also, speech-writing skills will come in handy if you’re ever asked to write and deliver a speech at an important event, such as a graduation, wedding, or award ceremony.

Vignettes: A  vignette is defined as “a brief evocative description, account, or episode.” Vignettes can be poems, stories, descriptions, personal accounts…anything goes really. The key is that a vignette is extremely short — just a quick snippet.

Honorable Mention: Blogs. A blog is not a type of writing; it’s a publishing platform — a piece of technology that displays web-based content on an electronic device. A blog can be used to publish any type of writing. Most blogs feature articles and essays, but you can also find blogs that contain diaries or journals, poetry, fiction, journalism, and more.

Which of these types of creative writing have you tried? Are there any forms of writing on this list that you’d like to experiment with? Can you think of any other types of creative writing to add to this list? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment, and keep writing.

Ready Set Write a Guide to Creative Writing


Saralee Dinelli

What is “flash” writing or stories.

Melissa Donovan

Flash fiction refers to super short stories, a few hundred words or fewer.

Elena Cadag

its very helpful especially to those students like me who wasn’t capable or good in doing a creative writing

I’m glad you found this post helpful, Elena.

Tracy Lukes

I also found this to be very helpful, especially because I don’t do very well at writing.

Thanks for letting me know you found this helpful. Like anything else, writing improves with practice.


Thank you Melissa. It’s very helpful!

You’re welcome!

Patricia Alderman

Over all good list. Yes blogs can be publishing platforms but only if something is written first. I read what you wrote on a blog.

Zeeshan Ashraf

Thanks a lot Good job

Marie Rangel

Are these types of creaitve writing the same or different if I need to teach children’s creative writing? Can you recommend a website to teach these?

Hi Marie. Thanks for your question. I’ve come across many websites for teaching children’s creative writing. I recommend a search on Google, which will lead you to a ton of resources.


these are very helpful when it comes to getting in college or essays or just to improve my writing

Thanks, Donte. I’m glad you found this helpful.

Jeremiah W Thomas

Free writing really helps me get going. For some reason my prose are much better when I am not beholden to an overall plot or narrative with specific defined characters. I like to free writer “excerpts” on theprose.com. It allows me to practice writing and receive feedback at the same time. I am also trying to blog about writing my first novel, both for writing practice and to keep myself accountable. It really helps!

I feel the same way. Free writing is always a fun and creative experience for me.

Martha Ekim Ligogo

Was trying to give an inservice on writing skills and the different types of writing.

Your wok here really helped. Thanks.

You’re welcome.

Hi, Melissa can you assist me ? I’m trying to improve my writing skills as quickly as possible. Plz send me some more tips and trick to improve my writing and communication skills.

You are welcome to peruse this website, which is packed with tips for improving your writing. I’d recommend focusing on the categories Better Writing and Writing Tips for writing improvement. You can also subscribe to get new articles send directly to your email. Thanks!


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Types of Creative Writing: A Detailed Explanantion

Read the blog and discover different Types of Creative Writing offering insights and examples to help you navigate the world of literary creativity. Explore various forms such as poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and scriptwriting. Discover how each style offers unique ways to express creativity, tell stories, and engage audiences.


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Creative Writing is a diverse and exciting art that demands Writers to look into their imagination and express their thoughts in unique ways. From short stories to poetry, different   Types of Creative Writing which cater to different styles and preferences. In this blog, we will delve into the different Types of Creative Writing, offering insights and examples to help you navigate the world of literary creativity.

Table of Contents

1) What are the various Types of Creative Writing?

     a) Fiction writing

     b) Poetry

     c) Song lyrics

     d) Journals and diaries

     e) Drama and playwriting

      f) Screenwriting

      g) Experimental writing

      h) Novels

2) Techniques used in Creative Writing

3) Conclusion

What are the various Types of Creative Writing?

 Let’s discuss the various Types of Creative Writing:

What are the various Types of Creative Writing?

Fiction writing 

Fiction writing is one of the captivating Types of Creative Writing that transports readers into imaginary worlds, introduces them to memorable characters, and explores numerous emotions and themes. Within fiction, there are several distinct forms that Writers can explore to weave intricate tales. These forms include:

Fiction writing is a captivating part of Creative Writing that transports readers into imaginary worlds, introduces them to memorable characters, and explores an array of emotions and themes. Within fiction, there are several distinct forms that Writers can explore to weave intricate tales:

a) Short stories:

Short stories are concise yet potent narratives that distil the essence of a single plot, theme, or character arc. Writers craft short stories to deliver a powerful impact within a limited word count. The brevity of the format challenges Authors to make every word count, focusing on evoking emotions, building tension, and delivering a satisfying resolution in a short span of time.

Novels offer the canvas for Writers to embark on extended journeys of storytelling. With ample space to develop complex characters, intricate plotlines, and detailed settings, novels invite readers to immerse themselves in the fictional world fully. Writers can explore a myriad of themes, emotions, and conflicts, delving deep into the psyche of their characters and creating a lasting impact on the reader.

c) Flash fiction:

Flash fiction is the art of storytelling distilled into its most concise form. Writers embrace the challenge of telling a complete story within just a few hundred words. This form demands precision and creativity, forcing Writers to capture the essence of a narrative in a condensed space.

d) Fan fiction:

Fan fiction is a fascinating genre that allows Writers to extend and reimagine existing fictional universes. Writers create new stories, scenarios, and adventures featuring beloved characters from books, movies, TV shows, or video games. By building upon established foundations, Writers engage in a creative dialogue with the original creators and fellow fans.

d) Historical fiction:

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Poetry is the language of emotions, a lyrical form of expression that transcends conventional prose. It's one of the most interesting and beautiful  Types  of Creative Writing that condenses thoughts, feelings, and imagery into evocative verses.

It invites readers to experience the world through a different lens. Within the realm of poetry, various forms and styles allow poets to experiment with rhythm, sound, and language, resulting in a rich tapestry of literary artistry that involves the following:

Types of Poetry

Haiku, originating from Japan, is a minimalist form of poetry that captures the essence of a moment in just three lines. With a syllable structure of 5-7-5, haikus distil nature's beauty and human experiences into concise verses. They often focus on capturing fleeting moments, seasons, and emotions, inviting readers to pause and reflect on the subtleties of life.

The sonnet is a structured and elegant poetic form dating  back to the Renaissance. Typically composed of 14 lines, sonnets follow specific rhyme schemes, such as the Shakespearean (ABABCDCDEFEFGG) or the Petrarchan (ABBAABBACDCDCD). Sonnets explore themes of love, beauty, mortality, and the complexities of human emotion.

c) Free verse:

Free verse poetry breaks away from traditional rhyme and meter patterns, allowing poets to experiment with line breaks, rhythm, and imagery. This form gives poets the freedom to let their thoughts flow naturally, creating unique and organic rhythms that reflect the pace of modern life.

d) Limerick:

Limericks are playful and humorous five-line poems with a distinct AABBA rhyme scheme. These witty verses often feature light-hearted language and unexpected twists, making them a favourite for conveying amusing anecdotes and quirky observations.

e) Epic poetry:

Epic poems tell grand narratives of heroes, gods, and legendary quests. With their lengthy verses and intricate storytelling, epic poems like Homer's "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" have shaped cultures and inspired countless works of literature. These narratives delve into themes of heroism, fate, and the human condition, offering readers an immersive journey through time and imagination.

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Song lyrics

If you like writing poetry or you think that it can be your forte as a Creative Writer, then you can also try your hand at writing song lyrics. Song lyrics are another one of the most popular Types of Creative Writing. 

Practising writing song lyrics is one of the best ways to bring out your creativity, especially if you have a knack for music. Although it sounds interesting and fun, matching the lines in a song lyric can be a challenging task.

You need to think about maintaining not only the intent of the song but also the kind of audience you’ll be approaching. Your song lyrics need to be tangible and understandable, and most importantly, they need to carry out a story and song at the same time.

If you don’t have any proper knowledge of music, then you can try getting help from your friends or peers who have a good knowledge of music and see if your lyrics are going well with the music.

Journals and diaries

Practicing journaling is a good way of regulating someone’s emotions and understand their feelings. If you are unsure what Type of Creative Writing you want to pursue, you can simply start by jotting down the events of your day.

Understanding what you go through every day, not only helps you in your personal development, but also help you to become a good Creative Writer. You can even publish your works as we have seen so many famous people publishing their diary entries. If you want to know where to start, there are several journal entries by famous people, whose works can inspire you to start Writing.

Keeping a journal or diary, is crucial for your mental health, as it helps you to express your feelings in a constructive manner. This also gives you another boost to your writing skills, if you are a budding Writer

Drama and playwriting 

Drama and playwriting are artistic forms of Creative Writing that bring narratives to life through the dynamics of performance. These forms of creative expression explore the intricacies of human interaction, emotion, and conflict within the context of staged productions. Let's delve into the world of drama and playwriting, where characters come alive on the stage:  

Types of drama and playwriting

a) Tragedy:

Tragedy is a dramatic genre that delves into the darker aspects of human nature and the inevitability of suffering. Tragic plays often revolve around protagonists who face moral dilemmas, internal struggles, and external forces that ultimately lead to their downfall. Tragedies offer audiences a cathartic experience, allowing them to confront and process complex emotions while reflecting on the human condition.

Comedy is the art of entertainment through humour and light-heartedness. Comedic plays explore the absurdities of human behaviour, social conventions, and misunderstandings. These works aim to amuse and uplift audiences, often featuring witty dialogue, situational comedy, and humorous characters. From slapstick to sattire, comedies provide a diverse range of comedic experiences.

c) Monologues:

Monologues are powerful soliloquies delivered by a single character on stage. They offer insight into the character's thoughts, emotions, and motivations, allowing the audience to connect deeply with their inner world. Monologues provide actors with opportunities to showcase their talent and capture the essence of a character's complexity.

d) Dialogues:

Dialogues are the heart of dramatic interaction. They reveal the relationships between characters, advance the plot, and convey emotions and conflicts. Well-crafted dialogues create tension, build connections, and propel the narrative forward, immersing the audience in the unfolding drama.

e) Experimental theatre:

Experimental theatre pushes the boundaries of traditional forms and conventions. This genre encourages innovative approaches to staging, narrative structure, and performance. Playwrights and directors experiment with non-linear narratives, multimedia elements, immersive environments, and audience interaction to challenge perceptions and evoke thought-provoking responses.


Screenwriting is the art of crafting stories specifically for the visual medium of film or television. It's a dynamic and collaborative form of writing that serves as the foundation for the creation of compelling on-screen narratives. Here are some key elements of screenwriting:

a) Writing for film:

Film screenwriting involves creating scripts that serve as blueprints for movies. ScreenWriters translate their ideas into a structured format that includes scenes, dialogues, actions, and descriptions. They must balance engaging storytelling with the technical aspects of filmmaking, considering camera angles, pacing, and visual cues.

b) Television scripts:

Television scripts are tailored to episodic formats, such as TV series or miniseries. Writers develop characters, story arcs, and dialogue that span multiple episodes, allowing for character development and plot progression over time. Each episode contributes to the overarching narrative while maintaining its own distinct identity.

c) Adaptation:

Adaptation involves transforming existing source material, such as books, plays, or real-life events, into screenplay format. Writers must distil the essence of the original work while making necessary changes to suit the visual medium and the constraints of time.

d) Dialogue and action:

Effective screenwriting places a strong emphasis on dialogue and action. Dialogue conveys characters' personalities, motivations, and conflicts, while action descriptions provide visual cues for directors, actors, and crew. Both elements work together to create a seamless and engaging on-screen experience.

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Experimental writing 

Experimental writing defies traditional conventions, pushing the boundaries of language and structure to create innovative literary works. It challenges readers to engage with unconventional formats, fragmented narratives, and abstract concepts. 

Through a stream of consciousness, collage writing, and visual poetry, experimental writing offers a fresh perspective, inviting readers to explore new realms of thought and emotion. It's a playground of creative freedom where Writers experiment with words as artists do with colours, producing compositions that evoke intrigue, reflection, and a deeper understanding of the limitless possibilities of language.

It is often said that good Writers are voracious readers. Well, if we take that into consideration, then there have many times where you might have loved reading novels. All the novels that you have read, or you know of, are one of the premium examples of Creative Writing.

They may vary in length, depending on the subject or genre that you choose to write on. If you are writing a long form novel, then they are divided into number of chapters. If you have a big idea waiting to be broken down into many chapters, then novels are for you.

Techniques used in Creative Writing

If you are wondering how to begin Creative Writing, you can start by following these techniques:

1) Narrative

Determining the narrative of your story is extremely important. If you control the narrative in your story, you can hold your audience’s attention for a long time, whether you are writing novels, novellas, or even short stories. In general, you should remember that whether you are doing Creative Writing or Non-fiction Writing, deciding on a narrative and then maintaining that throughout is crucial.

2) Characterisation

Characterisation is vital in building your story. If you don’t provide the details of your characters and describe their physical features, background, past, etc., you cannot help your reader imagine the situation. It is a crucial step in Creative Writing, enabling you to drive the plot forward and allow your story to build more layers.

Before you build your story, you need to have a solid plot to make your story upon. It is a blueprint to help you establish your story's theme agenda. It can also be referred to as a series of events that will help you build up the narrative. The plot has five parts: exposition or introduction, complications or rising action, climax, slow revelations and then the conclusion. The more solid your plot will be, the more you can create beautiful stories.

From the whimsical realms of children's literature to the thought-provoking depths of creative non-fiction, this blog about the different Types of Creative Writing has unveiled a world of literary possibilities. As pens meet paper and imaginations take flight, we hope this blog will guide you on your journey to weave tales that leave an indelible mark on hearts and minds.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Incorporating Creative Writing skills will help you in your professional growth. Creative Writing helps in effective communication, improved problem-solving abilities, increased empathy, improved mental health, and enhanced creativity.

The factors which influence the organisational structure in various types of Creative Writing are genre, style, narrative, expectations from the audience, length, point of view, cultural and historical context, character development, and more.

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I don’t know about you, but when I start learning a new skill, I want to know everything about it right away. How do I get started? What do I need to get started? How could this new skill transform my life?

Being an incessant researcher of new pastimes, I love a good master post. So, I’ve made one today for one of my favorite things in the world: creative writing .

I wrote this for people who are just getting into creative writing, but even if you’ve been writing for a while, stay tuned—some of the tricks and resources in this post will be helpful for you, too.

Need A Fiction Book Outline?

What is creative writing?

Creative writing examples, how to start creative writing, creative writing prompts, creative writing jobs, creative writing degrees, online creative writing courses.

Creative writing is imaginative writing. It’s meant to entertain its readers and get some emotional response from them. You’ll note that I said imaginative , but I didn’t say fictional writing, because while fiction is a subcategory of creative writing, it doesn’t define creative writing. All fiction is creative writing, but not all creative writing is fiction.

While technical, legal, or academic writing might be focused on conveying information in the most efficient and clear manner possible, the goal of creative writing is slightly different. You still want to communicate effectively and clearly, but you also want to put some pep in there. Creative writing uses tools like metaphor and imagery to evoke an image, emotion, or both from the reader.

Another way to look at it: if you were to say what makes creative writing distinct as a form, you could say it’s the artsy one.

Creative writing covers more than just fiction, or even just novels . Here’s a quick rundown of some types of creative writing you might encounter.

Novels (which fall under the ‘fiction’ umbrella) are a type of creative writing where the reader follows a character or characters through a plot. A novel might be a standalone, or it might be part of a series.

Example: Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

2. Short Stories

Short stories (which also fall under the ‘fiction’ umbrella) follow a character through a plot, like you’d see in a novel, but short stories are, well, shorter. Generally, short stories run between 1,000 and 10,000 words, with works under 1,000 words falling under the subcategory ‘flash fiction.’

Example: The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Poetry is a form of writing which focuses heavily on imagery, metaphor, symbolism, and other figurative tools. It also involves a lot of technical work with form; meter and rhythm are commonly used to enhance meaning. You can generally tell what poems are by looking at them, since they’re usually divided into groups of lines (stanzas) instead of paragraphs, like you might see in other forms of creative writing.

Example: Little Beast by Richard Siken

Related: Where to Publish Poetry

Plays are written for the stage. They include stage direction, brief scene descriptions, and character dialogue, but there’s often not a lot of prose. Plays are intended to be watched by an audience instead of read, so whatever prose exists, it is intended for the people participating in the play.

Example: Hamlet by Shakespeare

Songs are similar to poetry in terms of their structure and use of figurative language, but songs are meant to be performed. People don’t generally read song lyrics without listening to it, and the instrumentation and production often enhance the meaning of a song. Songwriters also use music theory to play with meaning—at a basic level, for example, minor chords generally convey sadness, while major chords generally convey happiness.

Example: Let it Be by the Beatles

6. Memoirs & Personal Essays

Memoirs and personal essays are a form of creative writing where an author draws on their real lived experience to create a narrative. Memoir specifically sometimes plays with chronological order and specific technical fact in favor of symbolic resonance—the author is getting at an emotional truth rather than a literal or objective truth.

Example: Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

7. Journaling

Not everyone uses journaling as a creative writing exercise—some people want to log their daily activities and be done with it—but if you’ve ever poured your heart out about a breakup to the nonjudgmental pages of a notebook, you’ve probably already done some creative writing!

Want to find more examples? I wrote on this topic for another site, and it includes even more examples of creative writing for you to try.

Now that you know what creative writing looks like, let’s talk about how to get started, even if you’ve never practiced creative writing before.

1. Try stuff on until something fits

Take a look at the list above (or do a Google search for ‘types of creative writing’ and see if there’s anything else you might be interested in—I won’t be offended) and pick one that seems fun. If you want to try, for example, a screenplay, but you’re not sure how to write one, read a bunch. Get a feel for how they work.

Maybe you do that and decide you don't want to write screenplays after all. Okay! Try short stories. Try poetry. Try songwriting. Practicing different forms will make you a more well-rounded writer in the long run, and you might be surprised at what resonates with you.

2. Practice, practice, practice

Once you’ve found a form or a few forms that suit you, your job as a newbie is simple: practice. Write whatever you want as often as you can and, if possible, for your eyes only. Create a relationship between yourself and your craft.

Some say you should start with short stories before jumping into novels so you can practice completing narrative arcs. That might work great! But if you hate writing short stories, just practice with writing novels.

If you have an idea that feels a little too advanced for you, that’s probably what you should be working on, since it’ll teach you a lot about the craft along the way. Don’t be intimidated, and don’t worry about anyone else’s opinions (this includes any fretting about publishing). Your singular goal here is to create, and your secondary goal is to challenge yourself.

3. Join some kind of writerly group

But hold on, you might be thinking. How do I know I’m not getting worse the more I practice? How do I know I’m not just churning out garbage?

At some point, especially if your goal is to publish , you’ll want feedback on your work. And while it’s important to have the support of your loved ones, it’s also important to get feedback from other writers.

I do not recommend sending your very first manuscript to an editor or well-established writer for feedback—their feedback, generally aimed at moderate to advanced writers, is probably going to devastate you at the fledgling stage. I do recommend finding other writers at approximately your skill level to bounce ideas off of and exchange critiques. These other writers can be found online or at local writing circles—check your local public library for creative writing workshops.

Have you picked out a form of creative writing to try, but you just can’t come up with any ideas? Try using a creative writing prompt to get those creative gears turning. These are totally for you to use however is most helpful: use the prompt as-is, tweak it a little, whatever works.

Prompts are a great way to explore different types of tones in writing and hone your own personal style as an author!

Use this FREE tool: Writing Prompts Generator

Looking to make some money with your creative writing endeavors? Here’s a few options to kickstart your job search:


As a ghostwriter, your job is to write the story your client assigns you . This might be a fictional novel, or it might be a memoir. The client often has specific requests for content, length, and so on. The catch? Your name is not on the book. You’re not allowed to say that you wrote it—the client’s name or pen name usually goes on the author line. You can find ghostwriting gigs on sites like Upwork or Fiverr.

Marketing does involve some technical elements like copywriting, but creative writers have a place in marketing, too. Brands need catchy slogans, funny commercials, and even social media gurus to run entertaining Twitter accounts. For more ideas on how to market your upcoming book , check out our post on the topic.

Columnist/Blog Writer

You can also look for work as an op-ed columnist or blog writer. This might be something you do for an existing website, or it might be a blog you start from scratch on Wix, SquareSpace, or Tumblr.

You might have heard of people getting creative writing degrees, or at least you might have heard some of the discourse surrounding these degrees. Off the bat, I want to say that you don’t need a creative writing degree to be a writer. It doesn’t make you a ‘real’ writer, and it doesn’t indicate your seriousness toward the craft.

If you do want to get a creative writing degree, though, you’re looking (broadly) at two options:

Undergraduate writing programs

This is your BFA in creative writing. Not all colleges offer them—many (like my alma mater) offer a creative writing concentration or focus as part of an English degree. So you might graduate, hypothetically, for example, with a degree in English with a concentration in creative writing. Some colleges don’t offer a major, but they do offer minors.

Check to see what sorts of courses your college or prospective college offers. Do you have to be an English major to take their creative writing course? Does their creative writing course offer guidance in the type of creative writing you want to pursue? For example, my alma mater offered a creative writing concentration with two tracks, one for fiction and one for poetry. There was also a separate film studies concentration for aspiring screenplay writers and film students.

Graduate writing programs (a.k.a., the MFA)

MFA programs can be extremely competitive and prohibitively expensive, not to mention that you’re obviously not guaranteed to come out of them a better writer. They can be a great tool, but they’re not a necessary one. Look at it this way: are you willing to get this MFA if it means you might come out of it without a successfully published novel? If so, proceed.

If you want to pursue an MFA, do your research. Don’t go straight for the Iowa Writers Workshop application page and hope for the best—investigate the universities that look appealing to you, see if your interests align with theirs, and make that application fee count.

Going to college isn’t the only way to take classes on creative writing! If you’re looking for more cost-friendly options, the Internet is your friend. I’ve linked to a few places loaded with creative writing courses to get you started.

1. Intelligent.com: The Best 10 Online Creative Writing Courses

2. Coursera: Best Creative Writing Courses and Certifications

3. Self-Publishing School: Best Self-Publishing Courses

4. Our Programs: Fiction Write Your Book Program

Are you ready to try an online creative writing course? Are you ready to start some creative writing prompts? Or, are you think you're ready to go for a full creative writing project of your own? Here is a resource to help you get started:

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Home › Study Tips › Creative Writing Resources For Secondary School Students

Creative Writing Examples: 9 Types Of Creative Writing

  • Published July 28, 2022

A woman with pencils, a typewriter, and a telephone on her table

Table of Contents

Creative writing takes a lot of brainpower. You want to improve your creative writing skills, but you feel stuck. And nothing’s worse than feeling dry and wrung out of ideas! 

But don’t worry. When our creative writing summer school students feel they’re in a rut, they expand their horizons. Because sometimes, all you need is to try something new . 

And this article will give you a glimpse into what you need to thrive at creative writing.

Here you’ll find creative writing examples to help give you the creative boost you’re looking for. Are you dreaming of writing a novel but can’t quite get there yet? 

No worries! Maybe you’d want to try your hand writing short stories first, or maybe flash fiction. You’ll know more about these in the coming sections.

9 Scintillating Creative Writing Examples

Let’s go through the 9 examples of creative writing and some of their famous pieces penned under each type.

There is hardly a 21st-century teenager who hasn’t laid their hands on a novel or two. A novel is one of the most well-loved examples of creative writing.

It’s a fictional story in prose form found in various genres, including romance, horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and contemporary. Novels revolve around characters whose perspectives in life change as they grow through the story. They contain an average of 50,000 to 70,000 words. 

Here are some of the most famous novels:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

2. Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction is similar to a novel in that it offers plot development and characters. But unlike novels, it’s less than 1000 words. Some even contain fewer than 100 words! Legend has it that the shortest story ever told was Ernest Hemmingway’s six-word story, which goes like this, “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”

Do you know that there are sub-categories of Flash Fiction? There’s the “Sudden Fiction” with a maximum of 750 words. “Microfiction” has 100 words at most. And the “six-word story” contains a single-digit word count. 

Remarkable Flash Fiction include: 

  • The Long and Short of It by Michael A. Arnzen
  • Chapter V Ernest Hemingway
  • Gasp by Michael A. Arnzen
  • Angels and Blueberries by Tara Campbell
  • Curriculum by Sejal Shah

3. Short Story

What’s shorter than a novel but longer than flash fiction? Short story. It’s a brief work of fiction that contains anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 words. Whereas a novel includes a complex plot, often with several characters interacting with each other, a short story focuses on a single significant event or mood. It also has fewer characters. 

The best short stories are memorable and evoke strong emotions. They also contain a twist or some type of unexpected resolution.

Check out these famous short stories:

  • The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
  • The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
  • The Sniper by Liam OFlaherty
  • A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor

4. Personal Essay

In a personal essay, you write about your personal experience. What lesson did the experience teach you? And how does it relate to the overarching theme of the essay? Themes can be about anything! From philosophical questions, political realizations, historical discussions, you name it.

Since writing a personal essay involves talking about actual personal events, it’s often called “autobiographical nonfiction.” Its tone is informal and conversational.

Have you observed that applications at universities and companies usually involve submitting personal essays? That’s because having the capability to write clear essays displays your communication and critical thinking skills.

Some of the most famous personal essays include:

  • Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Once More To The Lake by E.B. White
  • What I Think and Feel at 25 by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Ticket to the Fair by David Foster Wallace

Memoirs and personal essays are autobiographical. But while you use your experiences in a personal essay to share your thoughts about a given theme, a memoir focuses on your life story. What past events do you want to share? And how has your life changed?

In a word, a memoir is all about self-exploration. 

Here are among the most famous memoirs:

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • West with the Night by Beryl Markham
  • Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant by Ulysses Grant
  • Night By Elie Wiesel
  • A Long Way Gone By Ishmael Beah

6. Poetry 

Poetry is one of the oldest examples and types of creative writing . Did you know that the oldest poem in the world is the Epic of Gilgamesh, which is known to be 4,000 years old? Poetry is a type of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as sound, imagery, and metaphor—to evoke meaning. 

There are 5 types of rhythmic feet common in poetry: trochee, anapest, dactyl, iamb, and anapest.

The most beloved poems include:

  • No Man Is An Island by John Donne
  • Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
  • Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats
  • If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda
  • Fire And Ice by Robert Frost

7. Script (Screenplay)

A script is a type of creative writing (a.k.a. screenwriting) that contains instructions for movies. Instructions indicate the characters’ movements, expressions, and dialogues. In essence, the writer is giving a visual representation of the story.

When a novel says , “Lucy aches for the love she lost,” a script must show . What is the actress of Lucy doing? How can she portray that she is aching for her lost love? All these must be included in screenwriting.

The following are some of the most brilliant scripts:

  • Citizen Kane by Herman J. Mankiewicz and Orson Welles
  • The Godfather by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola
  • Pulp Fiction by Quentin Tarantino
  • The Silence of the Lambs by Ted Tally
  • Taxi Driver by Paul Schrader

8. Play (Stageplay) 

If screenplay is for movies, stageplay is for live theatre. Here’s another distinction. A screenplay tells a story through pictures and dialogues, whereas a stageplay relies on the actors’ performances to bring the story to life.

That’s why dialogue is THE centre of live performance. A play doesn’t have the benefit of using camera angles and special effects to “show, don’t tell.”

Some of the most renowned plays are:

  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • The Crucible by Arthur Miller
  • A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

What was the best speech you heard that moved you to action? Speeches are among the most powerful examples of creative writing. It’s meant to stir the audience and persuade them to think and feel as you do about a particular topic.

When you write a speech, you intend to present it orally. So not only do you have to consider the words you choose and the phrasing. But you also have to think about how you’ll deliver it.

Will the sentences flow smoothly onto each other so as to roll off the tongue? Do the words give you the confidence and conviction you need to express your thoughts and beliefs?

Here are some of the most stirring speeches in history:

  • I Have A Dream by Martin Luther King Jr.
  • The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln
  • First Inaugural Address by Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • I Choose To Live by Sabine Herold
  • Address to the Nation on the Challenger by Ronald Reagan

What Are The Elements of Creative Writing?

You’re now familiar with the various examples of creative writing. Notice how creative writing examples fall under different categories. Can you guess what they are? That’s right! Poetry and Prose .

(uses rhythmic lines)
(freeflow writing with no rhythmic lines necessary)
Flash Fiction
Short Story
Personal Essay

The Prose section can be broken down further into Prose Fiction and Prose Nonfiction.

 (based on Imaginary events) (based on real, historical events)
NovelFlash FictionShort StoryScreenplayStageplayPersonal EssayMemoirSpeech

Where do the Elements of Creative Writing come in? For Prose fiction . If there’s one word that can describe all forms of prose fiction, it’s STORY. So what are the Elements of a Story (Creative Writing?)

The character is a being (person, animal, thing) through which the reader experiences the story. They speak, act, and interact with the environment and other characters.

  • Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice
  • Simba in Lion King
  • Woody in Toy Story

The two most essential types of characters are the Protagonist and Antagonist. Who is the Protagonist? They’re the main character, and the story revolves around them. Elizabeth, Simba, and Woody are the protagonists in their stories. 

And who is the Antagonist? The one who causes conflict for the protagonist.

Elizabeth Bennet George Wickham
WoodySidney “Sid” Phillips

The setting answers the question, “when and where does the story set place?” It’s the story’s time and location. Providing context that helps the reader visualise the events in clearer detail. 

Pride & PrejudiceRural England, early 19th century
Lion KingPride Lands
Toy StorySan Francisco Bay area, at Andy’s Home (for I and II)

What is the Plot? It’s the sequence of events in the story. If you break it down, the plot looks like this:

Exposition – you can also call this the introduction. Where you first catch a glimpse of the characters and setting. In the Lion King (Part 1), this is where Simba is introduced to all the animals on top of Pride Rock as the future King. 

Rising Action – the story gets complicated. The tension builds, and you see the conflict arise. It’s a time of crisis for the main characters. So what’s the Rising Action for Lion King? It would be when Simba’s uncle Scar murders his father and tells him to “Run away and NEVER return.” 

Climax – you’re at the edge of your seat as the story reaches its crescendo. The most defining (and intense) moment arrives when the protagonist faces the conflict (enemy/challenge) head-on. Simba finally goes back to Pride Rock to confront his wicked uncle Scar. And an epic fight begins. Simba even almost falls off a cliff! *gasp

Falling Action – here you catch your breath as the story starts to calm down. The characters unwind and work towards their respective conclusions. Simba didn’t fall off the cliff. Instead, he won the fight. And he roars atop Pride Rock to reclaim his rightful place as King. The lionesses proclaim their joyful acceptance by roaring back. 

Resolution – remaining conflict concludes, and the story ends. In Lion King, Pride Land is once again lush and peaceful. And Simba looks on with pride as he introduces his daughter Kiara on top of Pride Rock.

You can think of the theme as the main idea. What meaning is the writer trying to express in the story? The other elements, such as setting, plot, and characters, work together to convey the theme.

Pride & PrejudiceLove, prejudice, social status
Lion KingFamily, betrayal, running from responsibility
Toy StoryFriendship, jealousy, good vs. evil 

Point of View

Through what lens or “eye” does the narrating voice tell the story? There are three points of view common in writing stories:

First Person

In the first person point of view, the narrating voice is the main character. Much of the lines talk of “I” and “me.” Everything you know about the other characters, places, and dialogues in the story comes from the main character’s perspective. 

Third Person 

From the third person point of view, the narrating voice is separate from the main character. Meaning the narrator uses “he/she/they” when following the main character in the story. There are generally two types of third-person points of view. 

Limited. In a third-person limited point of view, the narrator only knows about the main character’s inner world – their thoughts and feelings. But they have no idea about the thoughts and feelings of other characters. 

Omniscient. What does “omniscient” mean? All-knowing. So in the Third Person Omniscient point of view, the narrator knows about the feelings and thoughts of all the characters. Not just that of the main character. 

In a story that uses a third-person omniscient point of view, the all-knowing narrator sometimes follows the story from multiple characters’ perspectives. 

There you have it! By now, you’ve learned about creative writing examples, plus creative elements should you want to write a story. Browse our creative writing tips if you’re looking for a bit of help to engage your audience.

Still feel like you need more heavy-lifting? If it’s a talented Oxford, Cambridge, or Ivy League tutor you need to help you master creative writing, check out these creative writing online courses .

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creative writing types and examples

27 Creative Writing Examples To Spark Your Imagination

With all the types of creative writing to choose from, it’s hard enough to focus on just one or two of your favorites. 

When it comes to writing your own examples, don’t be hard on yourself if you hit a wall.

We’ve all done it.

Sometimes, all you need is a generous supply of well-crafted and inspirational creative writing examples. 

Good thing you’re here!

For starters, let’s get clear on what creative writing is. 

What Is Creative Writing? 

How to start creative writing , 1. novels and novellas, 2. short stories and flash fiction, 3. twitter stories (140 char), 4. poetry or songs/lyrics, 5. scripts for plays, tv shows, and movies, 6. memoirs / autobiographical narratives, 7. speeches, 9. journalism / newspaper articles, 11. last wills and obituaries, 12. dating profiles and wanted ads, 13. greeting cards.

Knowing how to be a creative writer is impossible if you don’t know the purpose of creative writing and all the types of writing included. 

As you’ll see from the categories listed further on, the words “creative writing” contain multitudes: 

  • Novels, novellas, short stories, flash fiction, microfiction, and even nanofiction;
  • Poetry (traditional and free verse); 
  • Screenplays (for theatrical stage performances, TV shows, and movies)
  • Blog posts and feature articles in newspapers and magazines
  • Memoirs and Testimonials
  • Speeches and Essays
  • And more—including dating profiles, obituaries, and letters to the editor. 

Read on to find some helpful examples of many of these types. Make a note of the ones that interest you most. 

Once you have some idea of what you want to write, how do you get started? 

Allow us to suggest some ideas that have worked for many of our readers and us: 

  • Keep a daily journal to record and play with your ideas as they come; 
  • Set aside a specific chunk of time every day (even 5 minutes) just for writing; 
  • Use a timer to help you stick to your daily writing habit ; 
  • You can also set word count goals, if you find that more motivating than time limits; 
  • Read as much as you can of the kind of content you want to write; 
  • Publish your work (on a blog), and get feedback from others. 

Now that you’ve got some ideas on how to begin let’s move on to our list of examples.  

Creative Writing Examples 

Read through the following examples to get ideas for your own writing. Make a note of anything that stands out for you. 

Inspiring novel-writing examples can come from the first paragraph of a well-loved novel (or novella), from the description on the back cover, or from anywhere in the story. 

From Circe by Madeline Miller

““Little by little I began to listen better: to the sap moving in the plants, to the blood in my veins. I learned to understand my own intention, to prune and to add, to feel where the power gathered and speak the right words to draw it to its height. That was the moment I lived for, when it all came clear at last and the spell could sing with its pure note, for me and me alone.”

From The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin: 

“‘I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination…. ” 

The shorter your story, the more vital it is for each word to earn its place.  Each sentence or phrase should be be necessary to your story’s message and impact. 

From “A Consumer’s Guide to Shopping with PTSD” by Katherine Robb

“‘“Do you know what she said to me at the condo meeting?” I say to the salesman. She said, “Listen, the political climate is so terrible right now I think we all have PTSD. You’re just the only one making such a big deal about it.”

“The salesman nods his jowly face and says, “That Brenda sounds like a real b***h.”’

From Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (collection of short stories)

“Something happened when the house was dark. They were able to talk to each other again.” (From ‘A Temporary Matter’)

Use the hashtag #VSS to find a generous sampling of short Twitter stories in 140 or fewer characters. Here are a few examples to get you started: 

From Chris Stocks on January 3rd, 2022 : 

“With the invention of efficient 3D-printable #solar panels & cheap storage batteries, the world was finally able to enjoy the benefits of limitless cheap green energy. Except in the UK. We’re still awaiting the invention of a device to harness the power of light drizzle.” #vss365 (Keyword: solar)

From TinyTalesbyRedsaid1 on January 2nd, 2022 : 

“A solar lamp would safely light our shack. But Mom says it’ll lure thieves. I squint at my homework by candlelight, longing for electricity.” #vss #vss365 #solar

If you’re looking for poetry or song-writing inspiration, you’ll find plenty of free examples online—including the two listed here: 

From “I’m Nobody! Who are you?” by Emily Dickinson

“I’m Nobody! Who are you?

Are you – Nobody – too?

Then there’s a pair of us!

Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

“How dreary – to be – Somebody!

How public – like a Frog –

To tell one’s name – the livelong June –

To an admiring Bog!

From “Enemy” by Imagine Dragons

“I wake up to the sounds

Of the silence that allows

For my mind to run around

With my ear up to the ground

I’m searching to behold

The stories that are told

When my back is to the world

That was smiling when I turned

Tell you you’re the greatest

But once you turn they hate us….” 

If you enjoy writing dialogue and setting a scene, check out the following excerpts from two very different screenplays. Then jot down some notes for a screenplay (or scene) of your own.

From Mean Girls by Tina Fey (Based on the book, Queen Bees and Wannabes” by Rosalind Wiseman

“Karen: ‘So, if you’re from Africa, why are you white?’

“Gretchen: ‘Oh my god, Karen! You can’t just ask people why they’re white!’

“Regina: ‘Cady, could you give us some privacy for, like, one second?’

“Cady: ‘Sure.’

Cady makes eye contact with Janis and Damien as the Plastics confer.

“Regina (breaking huddle): ‘Okay, let me just say that we don’t do this a lot, so you should know that this is, like, a huge deal.’

“Gretchen: ‘We want to invite you to have lunch with us every day for the rest of the week.’ 

“Cady: ‘Oh, okay…’ 

“Gretchen: Great. So, we’ll see you tomorrow.’

“Karen: ‘On Tuesdays, we wear pink.’” 

#10: From The Matrix by Larry and Andy Wachowski

“NEO: ‘That was you on my computer?’

“NEO: ‘How did you do that?’

“TRINITY: ‘Right now, all I can tell you, is that you are in danger. I brought you here to warn you.’

“NEO: ‘Of what?’

“TRINITY: ‘They’re watching you, Neo.’

“NEO: ‘Who is?’

“TRINITY: ‘Please. Just listen. I know why you’re here, Neo. I know what you’ve been doing. I know why you hardly sleep, why you live alone and why, night after night, you sit at your computer. You’re looking for him.’

“Her body is against his; her lips very close to his ear.

“TRINITY: ‘I know because I was once looking for the same thing, but when he found me he told me I wasn’t really looking for him. I was looking for an answer.’

“There is a hypnotic quality to her voice and Neo feels the words, like a drug, seeping into him.

“TRINITY: ‘It’s the question that drives us, the question that brought you here. You know the question just as I did.’

“NEO: ‘What is the Matrix?’

Sharing stories from your life can be both cathartic for you and inspiring or instructive (or at least entertaining) for your readers. 

From The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

“It was in fact the ordinary nature of everything preceding the event that prevented me from truly believing it had happened, absorbing it, incorporating it, getting past it. I recognize now that there was nothing unusual in this: confronted with sudden disaster, we all focus on how unremarkable the circumstances were in which the unthinkable occurred: the clear blue sky from which the plane fell, the routine errand that ended on the shoulder with the car in flames, the swings where the children were playing as usual when the rattlesnake struck from the ivy. ‘He was on his way home from work—happy, successful, healthy—and then, gone,’ I read in the account of the psychiatric nurse whose husband was killed in a highway accident… ” 

From Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt: 

“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”

From Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s by Jennifer Worth: 

“Nonnatus House was situated in the heart of the London Docklands… The area was densely-populated and most families had lived there for generations, often not moving more than a street or two away from their birthplace. Family life was lived at close-quarters and children were brought up by a widely-extended family of aunts, grandparents, cousins, and older siblings. 

The purpose of most speeches is to inform, inspire, or persuade. Think of the last time you gave a speech of your own. How did you hook your listeners? 

From “Is Technology Making Us Smarter or Dumber?” by Rob Clowes (Persuasive)

“It is possible to imagine that human nature, the human intellect, emotions and feelings are completely independent of our technologies; that we are essentially ahistorical beings with one constant human nature that has remained the same throughout history or even pre-history? Sometimes evolutionary psychologists—those who believe human nature was fixed on the Pleistocene Savannah—talk this way. I think this is demonstrably wrong…. “

From “Make Good Art” by Neil Gaiman (Keynote Address for the University of Fine Arts, 2012):

“…First of all: When you start out on a career in the arts you have no idea what you are doing.”

“This is great. People who know what they are doing know the rules, and know what is possible and impossible. You do not. And you should not. The rules on what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them. And you can.”

“If you don’t know it’s impossible it’s easier to do. And because nobody’s done it before, they haven’t made up rules to stop anyone doing that again, yet.” 

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From “The Danger of a Single Story” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (TEDGlobal)

“…I come from a conventional, middle-class Nigerian family. My father was a professor. My mother was an administrator. And so we had, as was the norm, live-in domestic help, who would often come from nearby rural villages. So, the year I turned eight, we got a new house boy. His name was Fide. The only thing my mother told us about him was that his family was very poor. My mother sent yams and rice, and our old clothes, to his family. And when I didn’t finish my dinner, my mother would say, “Finish your food! Don’t you know? People like Fide’s family have nothing.” So I felt enormous pity for Fide’s family.

“Then one Saturday, we went to his village to visit, and his mother showed us a beautifully patterned basket made of dyed raffia that his brother had made. I was startled. It had not occurred to me that anybody in his family could actually make something. All I had heard about them was how poor they were, so that it had become impossible for me to see them as anything else but poor. Their poverty was my single story of them.” 

Essays are about arguing a particular point of view and presenting credible support for it. Think about an issue that excites or angers you. What could you write to make your case for a specific argument? 

From “On Rules of Writing,” by Ursula K. Le Guin:

“Thanks to ‘show don’t tell,’ I find writers in my workshops who think exposition is wicked. They’re afraid to describe the world they’ve invented. (I make them read the first chapter of The Return of the Native , a description of a landscape, in which absolutely nothing happens until in the last paragraph a man is seen, from far away, walking along a road. If that won’t cure them nothing will.)” 

From “Fairy Tale is Form, Form is Fairy Tale ” by Kate Bernheimer (from The Writer’s Notebook) : 

“‘The pleasure of fairy tales,’ writes Swiss scholar Max Lüthi, ‘resides in their form.’ I find myself more and more devoted to the pleasure derived from form generally, and from the form of fairy tales specifically, and so I am eager to share what fairy-tale techniques have done for my writing and what they can do for yours. Fairy tales offer a path to rapture—the rapture of form—where the reader or writer finds a blissful and terrible home….  “

Picture yourself as a seasoned journalist brimming with ideas for your next piece. Or think of an article you’ve read that left you thinking, “Wow, they really went all out!” The following examples can inspire you to create front-page-worthy content of your own.

From “The Deadliest Jobs in America” by Christopher Cannon, Alex McIntyre and Adam Pearce (Bloomberg: May 13, 2015):

“The U.S. Department of Labor tracks how many people die at work, and why. The latest numbers were released in April and cover the last seven years through 2013. Some of the results may surprise you…. “

From “The Hunted” by Jeffrey Goldberg ( The Atlantic: March 29, 2010)

“… poachers continued to infiltrate the park, and to the Owenses they seemed more dangerous than ever. Word reached them that one band of commercial poachers had targeted them for assassination, blaming them for ruining their business. These threats—and the shooting of an elephant near their camp—provoked Mark to intensify his antipoaching activities. For some time, he had made regular night flights over the park, in search of meat-drying racks and the campfires of poachers; he would fly low, intentionally backfiring the plane and frightening away the hunters. Now he decided to escalate his efforts….. “

It doesn’t have to cost a thing to start a blog if you enjoy sharing your stories, ideas, and unique perspective with an online audience. What inspiration can you draw from the following examples?

#21: “How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise, and Get Paid to Change the World” by Jon Morrow of Smart Blogger (Problogger.com):

“After all, that’s the dream, right?

“Forget the mansions and limousines and other trappings of Hollywood-style wealth. Sure, it would be nice, but for the most part, we bloggers are simpler souls with much kinder dreams.

“We want to quit our jobs, spend more time with our families, and finally have time to write. We want the freedom to work when we want, where we want. We want our writing to help people, to inspire them, to change them from the inside out.

“It’s a modest dream, a dream that deserves to come true, and yet a part of you might be wondering…

“Will it?…. “

From “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” (blog post) by Mark Manson :

Headline: “Most of us struggle throughout our lives by giving too many f*cks in situations where f*cks do not deserve to be given.”

“In my life, I have given a f*ck about many people and many things. I have also not given a f*ck about many people and many things. And those f*cks I have not given have made all the difference…. “

Whether you’re writing a tribute for a deceased celebrity or loved one, or you’re writing your own last will and testament, the following examples can help get you started. 

From an obituary for the actress Betty White (1922-2021) on Legacy.com: 

“Betty White was a beloved American actress who starred in “The Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

“Died: Friday, December 31, 2021

“Details of death: Died at her home in Los Angeles at the age of 99.

“A television fixture once known as the First Lady of Game Shows, White was blessed with a career that just wouldn’t quit — indeed, her fame only seemed to grow as she entered her 80s and 90s. By the time of her death, she was considered a national treasure, one of the best-loved and most trusted celebrities in Hollywood…. “ 

From a last will and testament using a template provided by LegalZoom.com : 

“I, Petra Schade, a resident of Minnesota in Sherburne County — being of sound mind and memory — do hereby make, publish, and declare this to be my last will and testament…

“At the time of executing this will, I am married to Kristopher Schade. The names of my (and Kristopher’s) four children are listed below…

“I hereby express my intent not to be buried in a cemetery. I ask that my remains be cremated and then scattered at the base of a tree.

“None will have any obligation to visit my remains or leave any kind of marker. I ask that my husband honor this request more than any supposed obligation to honor my corpse with a funeral or with any kind of religious ceremony.

“I ask, too, that my children honor me by taking advantage of opportunities to grow and nurture trees in their area and (if they like) beyond, without spending more than their household budgets can support…. “

Dating profiles and wanted ads are another fun way to flex your creative writing muscles. Imagine you or a friend is getting set up on a dating app. Or pretend you’re looking for a job, a roommate, or something else that could (potentially) make your life better. 

Example of dating profile: 

Headline: “Female 49-year-old writer/coder looking for good company”

“Just moved to the Twin Cities metro area, and with my job keeping me busy most of the time, I haven’t gotten out much and would like to meet a friend (and possibly more) who knows their way around and is great to talk to. I don’t have pets (though I like animals) — or allergies. And with my work schedule, I need to be home by 10 pm at the latest. That said, I’d like to get better acquainted with the area — with someone who can make the time spent exploring it even more rewarding.”  

Example of a wanted ad for a housekeeper: 

“Divorced mother of four (living with three of them half the time) is looking for a housekeeper who can tidy up my apartment (including the two bathrooms) once a week. Pay is $20 an hour, not including tips, for three hours a week on Friday mornings from 9 am to 12 pm. Please call or text me at ###-###-#### and let me know when we could meet to discuss the job.”

These come in so many different varieties, we won’t attempt to list them here, but we will provide one upbeat example. Use it as inspiration for a birthday message for someone you know—or to write yourself the kind of message you’d love to receive. 

Happy 50th Birthday card:  

“Happy Birthday, and congratulations on turning 50! I remember you telling me your 40s were better than your 30s, which were better than your 20s. Here’s to the best decade yet! I have no doubt you’ll make it memorable and cross some things off your bucket list before your 51st.

“You inspire and challenge me to keep learning, to work on my relationships, and to try new things. There’s no one I’d rather call my best friend on earth.” 

Now that you’ve looked through all 27 creative writing examples, which ones most closely resemble the kind of writing you enjoy? 

By that, we mean, do you enjoy both reading and creating it? Or do you save some types of creative writing just for reading—and different types for your own writing? You’re allowed to mix and match. Some types of creative writing provide inspiration for others. 

What kind of writing will you make time for today? 

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21 Top Examples of Creative Writing

By Rofida Khairalla

examples of creative writing

Let’s be practical: anyone can be a writer.

Sure, practicing the skill and perfecting the art takes a certain modicum of natural interest in the profession.

But the thing that so many people can often overlook is that being a “writer” isn’t defined by how much you write.

So many times we can get hung up on trying to write a bestselling novel or groundbreaking book that we can forget that there are so many other types of writing out there.

Take a step back for a moment and think about it this way:

Whether you have a blog, a social media page, or spend all day texting that special someone, there’s probably an inner literary genius inside you waiting to burst out on the page.

Maybe you don’t have the time or the patience to write a novel, and that’s okay. There are plenty of different types of writing out there and you can most likely find one category, or several, that allow you to get your thoughts on paper in a way that works for you.

If you’re curious to know more, or are just interested in trying out a new writing genre, we’ve made it easier for you by compiling a list of the top 21 examples of creative writing.

1. Novel Writing

A novel is probably the most popular example of creative writing out there. When you think “creative writing” an image of Stephen King typing madly at his computer is probably the first thing that pops into your head. And that’s okay. Given that novels have been a popular form of entertainment for centuries, it’s not surprising.  Typically what distinguishes a novel from other forms of writing is that novels are usually works of fiction that are longer in length and follow a set of characters and plot structure.

2. Short Stories

When it comes to examples of imaginative writing, not unlike its longer counterpart, the novel, short stories also follow a set plot and typically feature one character or a selection of characters. However, the thing to keep in mind about short stories is that they typically resolve in fewer than 50 pages.

creative writing examples

3. Flash Fiction

If you’re up for a real challenge, try your hand at some flash fiction . This type is similar to a short story or novel in the sense that it follows some form of a plot. However, flash fiction usually resolves within a few hundred words or less. There are a few kinds of flash fiction that exist: the six word story, the 50 word story, and the hundred word story. Additionally, flash fiction also has another faction known as sudden fiction, which usually tells a full story in about 750 words.

As an example of imaginative writing, the incredible thing about poetry is that there are so many kinds. From narrative to lyrical and even language poetry there’s so many different ways you can express yourself through a poem. You might be especially interested in pursuing poetry if you enjoy word play or experimenting with the musicality behind words.

Although rap is somewhat of a subcategory of poetry, it’s one of the few forms of poetry that can often get over looked in academic classes. However, it’s probably one of the more contemporary types of poetry available while still sticking to many of the classical rules (or tools) of poetry, including rhyme. Also, it’s one of the areas where the best writers are really produced. The reason for that is because rap forces writers to think on their feet in a way that many other genres don’t.

Playwriting is another great writing style to experiment with, especially if you enjoy the idea of seeing your work come to life. Typically, playwriting involves developing a script that both clearly sets the setting, plot, and characters while also minimizing the amount of description used. One of the key elements of a play is that it’s a collaboration of minds, even though they often don’t work together at the same time. Yet the final product, the performance, is always the end result of work done by the playwright as well as the director, actors and even set designers.

7. Scripts (T.V./Movies)

Like traditional plays, movie or T.V. scripts are often the result of collaboration between a team of people including the cast and crew. However, the big difference is that when you’re writing a T.V. or movie script , you’re often working together with the director and the actors as part of the production team.

Not a fiction writer? No problem! You probably have a unique story worth sharing: it’s called your life. Here’s the deal when it comes to memoirs: the biggest thing to remember is that not everything in your life is considered readership-worthy. In fact, most things probably aren’t. But, most likely, there is a unique angle or perspective that you can take when examining your life.

For example, if you have a really distinctive family history and you’re looking into exploring it, that could be a great subject for a memoir. Maybe you have a really interesting job that exposes you to lots of different people and events on a regular basis; you could write a book about your experiences in that field. The key to writing a good memoir is knowing what angle to take on any subject.

9. Non-Fiction Narratives

Of course, a memoir is just a subsection of a category known as the non-fiction narrative. But not all non-fiction narratives are memoirs. Take for example author Tim Hernandez, who wrote the book Mañana means Heaven . Hernandez writes in a style that is inherently descriptive and interesting, despite the fact that the book’s narrative is mostly based on research and interviews.

10. Songs/Lyrics

Another sector of poetry, songs and lyrics are also a great place where you can express your thoughts and emotions not only through words, but also through music. Whether you’re writing a love ballad or a hymn, there are lots of reasons to enjoy working in this genre. While a lot of this genre is relatively unrestrictive in terms of what you can create, it’s a really good idea to get familiar with the basics of song writing. Especially in an era where so much of the music we hear is impacted by technology, the more you know about the art of song writing, the freer you will be to experiment.

11. Speeches

Speech writing is another great way to express yourself and also reach a wider audience. The thing about speeches is that they are both a form of oral and written text, so the key to writing a really good speech is to take into consideration your phrasing, word choice and syntax. More importantly, the way a speech is delivered can really make or break its success. Practice strong enunciation, confident body language and invoking a clear voice.

12. Greeting Cards

You might hear a lot about greeting cards when people talk about how to make easy money as a writer. But the truth is, being a greeting card writer is anything but easy. You have to be able to keep the greeting card expressions short, catchy and, in a lot of cases, funny. However, if you’ve got the chops to try your hand at a few greeting cards, practice writing limericks and other forms of short poetry. More importantly, read lots of greeting cards to get an idea of how the best writers go about creating the really fun cards that you enjoy purchasing.

It used to be that blogs were the place where teenagers could go to express their teenage angst. But nowadays, blogs are also a great place to be if you’re a writer. There are an unlimited amount of topics you can successfully blog on that will garner attention from audiences. You can use your blog as a forum to share your writing or even reflect on current events, the stock market—really anything! The possibilities are endless, but the key is finding a subject and sticking to it. For example, if you decide to start a blog dedicated to rock music, stick to rock music. Avoid long tangents about politics or other unrelated subjects.

14. Feature Journalism

Feature Journalism is a great place to start if you want to get your feet wet if you’re interested in reporting. Why? Because there are a lot more creative aspects to feature journalism compared to news journalism. Feature stories typically allow you more flexibility with the kinds of details you put into the article, as well as more room for creativity in your lede.

15. Column Writing

If you like the idea of journalism but feel you could never be a journalist in light of your strong opinions, column writing is another avenue you can take. The thing about columns is that they’re typically based in ideas and opinions rather than fact. Yet, because columnists are considered experts in their respective fields, their opinion tends to hold more sway with readers.

As part of the non-fiction narrative family, the personal essay, or even the academic essay, has plenty of elements that are creative. Whether you’re writing about personal experiences or a science project, there are lots of opportunities you have to be creative and hook your reader. Even the most mundane reports have the opportunity to become interesting if you know how to present your topic. As with a lot of non-fiction writing, the secret to writing a good essay is all about your framing. When you begin writing, think about explaining the issue in the most engaging way possible. Just because your writing should cut to the chase doesn’t mean that it should be bland, boring or bogged down in technical jargon. Use anecdotes, clear and concise language, and even humor to express your findings.

17. Twitter Stories

With only 140 characters, how can you tell a story? Well, when you use Twitter, that’s exactly what you’re doing. However, a new phenomenon that’s currently taking over the site is a type of flash fiction called Twitterature, where writers tell a full story or write a poem in 140 characters or less.

18. Comic Strips

If you have a knack for writing and drawing, then you might be especially interested in working on a comic strip. Comic strips are harder project to tackle because they require a lot of preplanning before you start writing. Before you begin drafting you need to know the plot and have a strong outline for how the graphics will look.

19. Collaboration

This is typically a writing exercise that writers do with other writers to expand on their creativity. Essentially the way the exercise works is that one writer will start a story and another will finish it. You might be especially familiar with this kind of work if you’ve ever read the work of an author that was completed AFTER their death. However, collaboration is just another way you can bounce ideas off another person. You can also collaborate with other writers for world building , character development and even general brainstorming.

20. Novella

An example of creative writing, a novella is essentially the love child of a short story and a novel. Although the novella does feature a plot, the plot is typically less complicated compared to that of a novel. Usually novellas are about 50 pages.

21. Genre Writing

Another type of writing that fiction writers can do is genre writing. If you think of popular writers like Stephen King, Nora Roberts and James Patterson, then you’re probably familiar with genre writing. Essentially, genre writing is when a writer explores different stories in one particular genre, like romance, fantasy, or mystery. There’s a huge market out there for genre fiction, which makes it definitely worth pursuing if you a have preference for a particular kind of literature.

The important thing to keep in mind as a writer is that experimentation is never a bad idea. If you’re genuinely curious about one or more items on this list, give it a go! Some of the best literary works were created by accident.

What did you think of our list of 21 creative writing examples? Do you have experience in any of these types of creative writing? Do you know of any other creative writing examples? Please tell us more in the comments box below!

21 Top Examples of Creative Writing is an article from Writing Tips Oasis . Copyright © 2014-2017 Writing Tips Oasis All Rights Reserved

As a graduate from the University of Arizona in English and Creative Writing, Rofida Khairalla’s love for classical literature and post-modern fiction extends beyond the realm of books. She has provided her services independently as a freelance writer, and wrote on the news desk for the student-run newspaper, The Daily Wildcat. As an aspiring children’s book author, she’s refined her craft amongst the grand saguaros of the Southwest, and enjoys playing with her German Shepherd on the slopes of Mount Lemmon.

creative writing types and examples

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Exploring the Different Types of Creative Writing

  • on Sep 26, 2022
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  • Last update: November 16th, 2023

Writing comes in all forms and sizes. But in order for a work to be considered creative writing, it must come from a place of imagination and emotion. 

This is something many people pursuing a  creative writing degree online  at first struggle to get a handle on. Take for example what Franz Kafa said about creative writing, “Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” 

Many authors who choose to follow Kafka’s advice—to write “mercilessly” and from the soul—find it comforting that their writing doesn’t have to conform to one style. But this variety of types and forms might leave some writers a bit confused. 

That’s why, in this article, we are going to walk you through the most popular types of creative writing, with some great examples from authors who absolutely rocked their respective forms.   

Types of Creative Writing

In this article:

  • Creative Writing Definition
  • Creative Writing Techniques
  • Free Writing
  • Journal Diaries
  • Personal Essays
  • Short Fiction
  • Novels/Novellas

What Is Creative Writing?

Think of creative writing as a form of artistic expression. Authors bring this expression to life using their imagination, personal writing style, and personality.

Creative writing is also different from straightforward academic or technical writing. For instance, an economics book like Khalid Ikram’s The Political Economy of Reforms in Egypt is an academic monograph. This means that readers would rightfully expect it to contain analytic rather than creative writing.   

So what are some elements that make a written piece more creative than analytic?

Popular Techniques Used in Creative Writing

Despite the fact that creative writing can be “freer” and less traditional than academic writing, it is likely to contain one or more of the following six elements:

1. Literary Devices

Many creative writers use literary devices to convey the meaning and themes of their work. Some common literary devices are allegories , metaphors and similes , foreshadowing , and imagery . These all serve to make the writing more vivid and descriptive .

2. Narrative

Authors often use this technique to engage readers through storytelling. Narrative isn’t limited to novels and short stories; poems, autobiographies, and essays can be considered narratives if they tell a story. This can be fiction (as in novels) or nonfiction (as in memoirs and essays).

3. Point of View

All creative writing must have a point of view; that’s what makes it imaginative and original. The point of view is the perspective from which the author writes a particular piece. Depending on the type of work, the point of view can be first person, third person omniscient, third person limited , mixed (using third- and first-person writing), or—very rarely—second person.

4. Characterization

Characterization is the process by which authors bring their characters to life by assigning them physical descriptions, personality traits, points of view, background and history, and actions. Characterization is key in creative writing because it helps drive the plot forward. 

5. Dialogue

An important element used in many creative writing works is dialogue . Assigning 

dialogue to characters is a way for authors to show their characters’ different traits without explicitly listing them. 

Dialogue also immerses readers in the narrative’s action by highlighting the emotions and tensions between characters. Like characterization, it also helps drive the plot forward.  

6. Plot 

The plot is the sequence of events that make up a narrative and establish the themes and conflicts of a work . Plots will usually include an exp osi tion (the introduction), rising action (the complications), climax (the peak in action and excitement), falling action (the revelations and slowing down of events), and denouement (the conclusion). 


The Main Types of Creative Writing (With Examples)

What’s great about creative writing is that there are so many types to choose from. In this section, we’ll walk you through the most popular types of creative writing, along with some examples. 

Type 1: Free writing 

Free writing, also known as stream-of-consciousness writing, is a technique that allows words and images to spill onto the page without giving thought to logic, sequence, or grammar. Although authors often use it as an exercise to get rid of the infamous writer’s block , free writing is also useful within a larger work. 

For instance, let’s take a look at this excerpt from Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved.  

Beloved by Toni Morrison [an excerpt]

Beloved by Toni Morrison

the air is heavy I am not dead I am not there is a house there is what she whispered to me I am where she told me I am not dead I sit the sun closes my eyes when I open them I see the face I lost Sethe’s is the face that left me Sethe sees me see her and I see the smile her smiling face is the place for me it is the face I lost she is my face smiling at me

Note how the author uses free writing to convey the character’s disjointed and agitated thoughts. Even punctuation has been set aside here, adding to the rush of the character’s fear and confusion. The imagery is powerful (“the sun closes my eyes”; “her smiling face is the place for me”) and relies on repetitions like “I am not dead” and “I see” to immerse the readers in the character’s disturbed mental state. 

Type 2: Journals and Diaries 

A journal is a written account of an author’s experiences, activities, and feelings. A diary is an example of a journal, in which an author documents his/her life frequently. 

Journals and diaries can be considered creative writing, particularly if they offer more than just a log of events. For instance, if a diary entry discusses how the writer ran into an old friend, it might include details of the writer’s emotions and probably use literary devices to convey these feelings.   

It’s almost impossible to read the word “diary” and not think of Anne Frank. Let’s look at this excerpt from her work The Diary of a Young Girl . 

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl [an excerpt]

The diary of a young girl

Saturday, 20 June, 1942: I haven’t written for a few days, because I wanted first of all to think about my diary. It’s an odd idea for someone like me to keep a diary; not only because I have never done so before, but because it seems to me that neither I—nor for that matter anyone else—will be interested in the unbosomings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl. Still, what does that matter? I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart. 

In the extract above, Anne adopts a reflective tone. She uses the rhetorical question “what does that matter?” to illustrate how she arrived at the conclusion that this diary will help bring out what is “buried deep in her heart.” 

In this way, the diary serves as a log of events that happened in Anne’s life, but also as a space for Anne to reflect on them, and to explore her resulting emotions. 

Type 3: Memoir

Although they might seem similar at first, memoirs and diaries are two different creative writing types. While diaries offer a log of events recorded at frequent intervals, memoirs allow the writer to select key moments and scenes that help shed light on the writer’s life.  

Let’s examine this excerpt from the memoir of Roxanne Gay, author of Bad Feminist .

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxanne Gay:

Hunger: a memoir

I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.

Roxanne Gay offers readers a powerful work on anxiety, food, and body image by taking them on a journey through her past . Using evocative imagery in the excerpt above (“I buried the girl I was”; “I was trapped in my body”) the author shares her psychological trauma and resulting tumultuous relationship with food. 

As with most memoirs—and diaries—this one is intimate, allowing readers into the dark crevices of the author’s mind. However, unlike a diary, this memoir does not provide an account of the writer’s day-to-day life, but rather focuses on certain events—big and small—that the author feels made her who she is today. 

Type 4: Letters

Unlike diary and journal entries—which usually don’t have a specific recipient—letters address one target reader. Many famous authors have had collections of their letters published, revealing a side of them that isn’t visible in other works. 

Letter writing uncovers the nature of the relationship between sender and recipient, and can include elements of creative writing such as imagery, opinion, humor, and feeling. 

Here is an excerpt from a letter by Truman Capote, author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood . 

Too Brief a Treat: The Letters of Truman Capote , edited by Gerald Clarke 

Too Brief a Treat: The Letters of Truman Capote

Dear Bob;  Have come, am here, am slowly freezing to death; my fingers are pencils of ice. But really, all told, I think this is quite a place, at least so far. The company is fairly good… I have a bedroom in the mansion (there are bats circulating in some of the rooms, and Leo keeps his light on all night, for the wind blows eerily, doors creak, and the faint cheep cheep of the bats cry in the towers above: no kidding. 

In his letter to editor and friend Robert “Bob” Linscott, Truman paints a scene of his new setting . He uses hyperbole (“freezing to death”) and a powerful metaphor (“my fingers are pencils of ice”) to convey the discomforting cold weather. Truman also uses sound imagery (“doors creak”; “wind blows eerily”; “cheep cheep of the bats”) to communicate the creepy, sinister mood to his reader. 

Type 5: Personal Essays

Many of us don’t normally think of essays as creative writing, but that’s probably because our minds go to academic research essays. However, there are many types of essays that require creative rather than analytic writing, including discursive essays, descriptive essays, and personal essays. 

A personal essay, also known as a narrative essay, is a piece of nonfiction work that offers readers a story drawn from the author’s personal experience. This is different from a memoir, in which the primary focus is on the author and their multiple experiences. 

A personal essay, on the other hand, focuses on a message or theme , and the author’s personal experience is there to communicate that theme using memorable characters and setting , as well as engaging events . These, of course, all have to be true, otherwise the personal essay would turn into a fictional short story. 

Here is an excerpt from a personal essay by writers Chantha Nguon and Kim Green.

The Gradual Extinction of Softness by Chantha Nguon and Kim Green

In 1975, the Khmer Rouge informed the Cambodian people that we had no history, but we knew it was a lie. Cambodia has a rich past, a mosaic of flavors from near and far: South Indian traders gave us Buddhism and spicy curries; China brought rice noodles and astrology; and French colonizers passed on a love of strong coffee, flan, and a light, crusty baguette. We lifted the best tastes from everywhere and added our own.

The opening of this paragraph establishes the author’s strong and unwavering opinion : “we knew it was a lie.” Instead of providing a history of Cambodia, she demonstrates the country’s rich past by discussing its diverse “flavors”: “spicy curries”; “strong coffee”; “light, crusty baguette”, etc. 

Using gustatory imagery , which conveys a sense of taste , the authors reveal their personal version of what makes Cambodia wonderful. The writer communicates the essay’s theme of food and memories through a story of her childhood. 

Type 6: Poetry 

Robert Frost once wrote: “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” Good poetry is effective because it uses the power of imagery to convey what it is to be human. Every word in a poem counts, and the best poems are those that evoke the reader’s emotions without unpacking too much. 

As one of the most diverse types of creative writing, poetry can come in many forms. Some poets prefer to write in the more traditional forms such as sonnets , villanelles , and haikus , where you have particular structures, rhyme, and rhythm to follow. And others prefer the freedom of free verse and blackout poetry . 

Let’s take a look at this excerpt from Maya Angelou’s powerful lyric poem , “Still I Rise.”

“Still I Rise” from And Still I Rise: A Book of Poems by Maya Angelou

Still I Rise

Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.

Packed with powerful language, this excerpt from Angelou’s poem gives us absolute 

chills! The refrain “I rise” is repeated 7 times in these two verses alone, 

hammering home the idea that the speaker cannot be defeated. 

The imagery, repetition, and rhyme scheme all work together to convey the emotions of pride and resilience. Both verses also rely heavily on metaphors (“I’m a black ocean”; “I am the dream and the hope of the slave”) to convey the speaker’s power. She is not like an ocean or a dream; she is both, and she is unstoppable. 

Type 7: Song Lyrics 

Song lyrics are in many ways similar to poems, except that lyrics are meant to be sung . They are a form of creative writing that allows writers to surpass the rules of grammar and punctuation in favor of creating rhyme and rhythm . This means that the creativity of a  song lyricist is free from the traditional restrictions of language. 

Type 8: Scripts 

Scriptwriting is a form of creative writing that relies heavily on character dialogue , stage directions , and setting . Scripts are written for films and TV shows (known as screenplays and teleplays), stage plays, commercials, and radio and podcast programs. 

Like song lyrics, scripts are written with the intention of reaching a non-reading audience. In other words, scriptwriters must bear in mind how their writing will be 1) interpreted by other storytellers , such as directors, designers, etc., and 2) performed by actors.   

Let’s examine the iconic opening scene from the screenplay of the film Forrest Gump . 

Forrest Gump , screenplay by Eric Roth [an excerpt]

THE MAN Hello, I’m Forrest. I’m Forrest Gump.  She nods, not much interested. He takes an old candy kiss out of his pocket. Offering it to her:  FORREST (cont’d) Do you want a chocolate? She shakes “no.” He unwraps it, popping it in his mouth.  FORREST (cont’d) I could eat about a million and a half of these. Mama said, “Life was just a box of chocolates. You never know what you gonna get.”

From the dialogue and stage directions in this opening scene, the audience can see that there is something innocent, kind-hearted, and simple about the character Forrest Gump. This is conveyed through the way he introduces himself with a slight repetition (“I’m Forrest. I’m Forrest Gump.”) to a complete stranger, and the way he quotes his mother to her. 

Moreover, the action of  Forrest “popping” the candy in his mouth is almost childlike , and that the stranger is reluctant to communicate with him foreshadows the fact that the people Forrest meets are initially suspicious of him and his innocence. Thus, the pauses and silences in the scene are just as important to the work as what is explicitly said. 

Type 9: Short Fiction

Short fiction is a form of creative fiction writing that typically falls between 5,000 to 10,000 words ; however, there is definitely room to go lower than 5,000 words, depending on the topic. 

For instance, flash fiction is a form of short fiction that can be 1,000 words or less. In the case of flash fiction, the author unpacks the “skeleton” of a story in as few words as possible. For instance, legend has it that Ernest Hemingway wrote a 6-word “story”:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn. 

 In just six words, the reader is led to understand that this is a story of death and loss. 

Nevertheless, the average short story is usually structured around the following elements: characterization , setting , plot , and conflict . Many fiction authors start out writing short fiction because it enables them to nail all the essential elements, which they can then expand upon in longer works. 

Let’s look at an excerpt from Janet Frame’s short story, “The Bath”

“The Bath” by Janet Frame [an excerpt]

She leaned forward, feeling the pain in her back and shoulder. She grasped the rim of the bath but her fingers slithered from it almost at once. She would not pancic, she told herself; she would try gradually, carefully, to get out. Again she leaned forward; again her grip loosened as if iron hands had deliberately uncurled her stiffened blue fingers from their trembling hold. Her heart began to beat faster, her breath came more quickly, her mouth was dry. She moistened her lips. If I shout for help, she thought, no-one will hear me. No-one in the world will hear me. No-one will know I’m in the bath and can’t get out. 

In this paragraph, there is an image of a frail, old woman, physically unable to get out of her bathtub. The diction , or word choice, serves to convey the woman’s sense of fear and helplessness. For instance, words like “grasped,” “slithered,” “uncurled,” and “stiffened,” demonstrate the immense effort it takes for her to try to get out.

 The image of her “moistening” her lips illustrates that fear has turned her mouth dry. And the repetition of “no-one” in the last few sentences highlights the woman’s loneliness and entrapment —two of the story’s main themes. Indeed, the bath symbolizes the unavoidable obstacles brought about by old age. 

Type 10: Novellas / Novels

Novels are one of the most popular forms of creative writing. Though they vary in length, depending on the subject, they’re generally considered a long form of fiction , typically divided into chapters . 

Novellas, on the other hand, are shorter than novels but longer than short stories. Like short stories, novels, and novellas contain characters , plot , dialogue , and setting ; however, their longer forms allow writers a chance to delve much deeper into those elements. 

Type 11: Speeches 

Speeches are a form of writing similar to essays in that both forms are non-fiction , and both usually entail a discussion of the writer’s personal experiences and include engaging events and a particular theme.  

However, speeches differ from essays in that the former are meant to be recited (usually in front of an audience), and tend to be persuasive and inspirational. For instance, think of the purpose of graduation speeches and political speeches: they aim to inspire and move listeners. 

One of the most well-known speeches from the 20th century is Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream”. Let’s examine the excerpt below:

“I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King [an excerpt]

I have a dream (speech writing)

Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

What immediately catches the eye (and ear) in this paragraph is the speaker’s usage of anaphora : the repetition of the phrase “now is the time” serves to emphasize the urgency of the matter being discussed (i.e. the prevalence of racial injustice). 

The speaker’s repetition of the pronoun “our” is an appeal to his audience’s emotions and their sense of unity. Both he and they are in this together, and thus he is motivating them to take on the challenge as one. 

Moreover, the use of figurative language is abundant here and can be found in similar inspirational and motivational styles of creative writing. The imagery created by the metaphor and alliteration in “the d ark and d esolate valley of segregation,” and its juxtaposition with “sunlit path of racial justice,” together aim to convey the speaker’s main message. Segregation has brought nothing but darkness and ruin to American society, but there is hope and light on the path toward racial equality.

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Final Thoughts

Creative writing acts as a medium for artistic expression. It can come in a variety of forms, from screenplays and speeches to poetry and flash fiction. But what groups all of these different types of creative writing under the “creative” umbrella, regardless of form, is their display of a writer’s imagination, creativity, and linguistic prowess. 

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I appreciate you offering such a thought-provoking perspective. It should be useful for academic writing in addition to creative writing, in my opinion. Each method you listed is pertinent and appropriate.

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You’re absolutely right! Many of these writing methods can be applied to both creative and academic writing, enhancing the depth and effectiveness of communication.

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Robert smith enago

Thank you for sharing this enlightening blog post on the various types of creative writing. Your exploration of different writing methods and styles provides an inspiring perspective on the boundless possibilities within the realm of creativity.

It is remarkable to see how creative writing encompasses an array of forms, each with its unique allure and artistic essence. From poetry, fiction, and drama to screenwriting, creative nonfiction, and even songwriting, each avenue offers writers a chance to express their thoughts, emotions, and imagination in captivating ways.

We truly appreciate your kind words! Creative writing is indeed a vast and fascinating world with endless opportunities for self-expression 🙂

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19 Popular Creative Writing Genres with Examples

Last Updated on October 23, 2023 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

Dive into the diverse universe of creative writing, where the mind dances with words and ideas, forming a tapestry of tales. From the playful poems of Oxford to the mystic memoirs echoing the halls of the University of Northern Iowa , each stroke of the pen (or press of the key) adds a hue to the narrative of human experience. But where does one begin on this path of storytelling? The answer lies in exploring the genres with unique flavor and essence. Ready to journey through the genres and find your narrative niche?

Short Fiction

Short Fiction is like a quick, refreshing dive into a narrative pool. It’s brief yet leaves ripples in the reader’s mind. From compelling novelettes to succinct short stories , this genre is about telling a captivating tale with a tight word leash.


  • Brevity : Short fiction is all about telling more in less. It’s the art of narrative economy.
  • Complete Story : Despite the brevity, the whole story unfolds with a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Character Arc : A succinct but clear character arc is often a hallmark.

Notable Examples:

  • ‘A&P’ by John Updike : A snapshot of youthful rebellion.
  • ‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson : A chilling tale that holds a mirror to society.
“The short story is the art of the glimpse” – William Trevor

Science Fiction (Sci-Fi)

Sci-fi is the canvas where imagination meets science. It’s about venturing into realms unbound by earthly laws, where the narrative is often driven by scientific or technological innovations.


  • Cyberpunk : Envisioning a high-tech, dystopian future.
  • Space Opera : Grand tales set against the cosmic backdrop.
  • Time Travel : Traversing the rivers of time, exploring ‘what if’ scenarios.
  • ‘The War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells : An early epitome of alien invasion narrative.
  • ‘Neuromancer’ by William Gibson : A seminal cyberpunk narrative.
“Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it’s the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself.”  – Ray Bradbury

Action Adventure

The heart-thumping, adrenaline-fueled narrative realm where heroes rise, villains fall, and every page is a battlefield or a chase against time.

  • Heroic Protagonist : A daring hero often drives the narrative.
  • High Stakes : The stakes are monumental, often a matter of life and death or the fate of the world.
  • ‘The Odyssey’ by Homer : A quintessential adventure of heroism and homecoming.
  • ‘ Treasure Island’ by Robert Louis Stevenson : A timeless tale of pirates and treasure hunts.
“Adventure must start with running away from home”  – William Bolitho

Drama, the mirror to human emotions and societal norms, is a genre where dialogues and character interactions drive the narrative against a backdrop of conflict.

  • Tragedy : Where heroes fall due to their own flaws, like in the tales of Euripides.
  • Comedy : The lighter side of drama, often with a happy resolution.
  • ‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare : A tragic tale of revenge and existential dilemma.
  • ‘ Pride and Prejudice ’ by Jane Austen : A comedic drama portraying love and societal expectations.
“Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.”  – Alfred Hitchcock

Mystery is the genre of the unknown, the unsolved, where every clue is a step towards unveiling the truth, and every red herring, a detour.

  • Detective Mystery : The sleuthing journey to resolve a crime.
  • Cozy Mystery : A lighter, often humorous take on the mystery genre.
  • ‘Sherlock Holmes’ series by Arthur Conan Doyle : The epitome of detective mystery.
  • ‘Agatha Raisin’ series by M.C. Beaton : A delightful series of cozy mysteries.
“The mystery story is two stories in one: the story of what happened and the story of what appeared to happen.” – Mary Roberts Rinehart


Thriller is the literary roller-coaster. It’s about the rush, the chase, and the narrow escapes from the jaws of peril.

  • High Tension : Thrillers maintain a high-wire tension throughout the narrative.
  • Unexpected Twists : The plot is laden with unforeseen turns, keeping readers on the edge.
  • ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ by Stieg Larsson : A modern-day thriller intertwined with mystery and drama.
  • ‘The Bourne Identity’ by Robert Ludlum : A thrilling chase of identity and conspiracy.
“The thriller is the most popular literary genre of the 20th century.”  – Ken Follett

Ah, Romance, the genre that explores the many shades of love, with narratives often leading to a heartwarming union. It’s where hearts flutter, part, and reunite in a love story that stands the test of time.

  • Historical Romance : Love blooming in the backdrop of historical settings.
  • Comedic Romance : Love with a touch of humor, breaking the ice and warming the heart.
  • ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Brontë : A classic tale of love overcoming adversities.
  • ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen : A delightful dance of wit and romantic interest.
“Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”  – Robert Frost

Young Adult Fiction

Young Adult Fiction , a genre resonating with the vibrancy and uncertainties of youth. It’s where adolescence meets adulthood, paving the path of self-discovery amidst the societal and self-imposed expectations.

  • Fantasy YA : Where young adults navigate through magical realms.
  • Dystopian YA : The narrative of young rebellion in dystopian settings.
  • ‘Harry Potter’ series by J.K. Rowling : A magical journey of friendship, courage, and self-discovery.
  • ‘The Hunger Games’ series by Suzanne Collins : A stark narrative of survival and rebellion.

“Young adult fiction is a genre that has captured the hearts of readers of all ages.”  – Unknown


Step into the eerie unknown, where each page might send a chill down the spine. This genre explores the supernatural, the fears lurking in the dark corners of the mind.

  • Supernatural Elements : Ghosts, spirits, and other paranormal entities drive the narrative.
  • Psychological Horror : It’s not just about the external ghosts but the internal demons too.
  • ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ by Shirley Jackson : A chilling narrative that dances on the edge of reality and supernatural.
  • ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker : A timeless tale of horror and the fight against the unearthly.
“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.”  – Stephen King

Speculative Fiction

Speculative Fiction is the canvas of ‘what if’, exploring narratives unbound by the conventional reality, often branching into various sub-genres like sci-fi, fantasy, and dystopian.

  • Alternate Realities : Creating worlds different from the known reality.
  • Innovative Concepts : Often presents novel ideas and perspectives.
  • ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley : An exploration of a dystopian future.
  • ‘1984’ by George Orwell : A chilling narrative of surveillance and totalitarianism.
“Speculative fiction is the literature of change and discovery.”  – Orson Scott Card

Fantasy, the genre where magic breathes and myths come alive. It’s a realm where the ordinary meets the extraordinary, leading to narratives filled with adventure and wonder.

  • Magical Elements : Magic is an integral part of the narrative.
  • Mythical Creatures : The presence of beings from folklore and mythology.
  • ‘The Lord of the Rings’ by J.R.R. Tolkien : An epic saga of good versus evil in a mythical land.
  • ‘Harry Potter’ series by J.K. Rowling : A tale of magic, friendship, and courage.
“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.”  – Lloyd Alexander

Children’s Fiction

Children’s fiction is the nurturing ground for young minds, where each story is a blend of fun, lessons, and imagination. It’s where kids meet characters and scenarios that stay with them as they grow.

  • Picture Books : Visual narratives for the young minds.
  • Middle-Grade Fiction : Stories for the slightly older kids, often filled with adventure and lessons.
  • ‘Charlotte’s Web’ by E.B. White : A heartwarming tale of friendship and loss.
  • ‘The Gruffalo’ by Julia Donaldson : A delightful tale filled with humor and cleverness.
“Children’s fiction is the bedrock on which we build our reading lives.”  – Unknown

Memoir, Biography, and Autobiography

This genre is a reflection of real-life stories, a narrative mirror held up to the lives of individuals, showcasing the spectrum of human experience.

  • Memoirs : Personal narratives focusing on specific experiences or periods in one’s life.
  • Biography : The life story of a person as told by someone else.
  • Autobiography : The writer’s own life story, often from birth to the present day.
  • ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ by Anne Frank : A poignant memoir of a life amidst war.
  • ‘Steve Jobs’ by Walter Isaacson : A biography illuminating the life of the tech maestro.
“Memoir isn’t the summary of a life; it’s a window into a life.”  – William Zinsser

New Adult Fiction

New Adult Fiction navigates the turbulent waters of early adulthood, exploring love, career, and self-discovery. It’s where the cocoon of adolescence unravels, revealing the challenges and charms of adult life.

  • Emotional Exploration : Delving into the emotional and personal growth of the characters.
  • Realistic Challenges : Facing real-world problems and learning to overcome them.
  • ‘Beautiful Disaster’ by Jamie McGuire : A narrative exploring the tumultuous journey of love and self-discovery.
  • ‘Easy’ by Tammara Webber : A poignant tale of overcoming personal tragedies and finding love.
“New Adult Fiction is the bridge between adolescence and adulthood, narrated with a fresh voice.”  – Unknown

Novellas are the middle ground of narrative length, offering a canvas large enough for character development while retaining the charm of brevity.

  • Concise Narratives : A story told with precision, sans the extensive subplots.
  • Focused Themes : Centered around a specific theme or message.
  • ‘Heart of Darkness’ by Joseph Conrad : A novella exploring the darkness within human souls.
  • ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck : A narrative encapsulating the themes of friendship and dreams.
“The novella is the stepchild of literary genres, too long for a short story and too short for a novel.”  – Ian McEwan

Poetry is the garden where emotions bloom into verses. It’s a realm where every metaphor is a leaf, every rhyme, a blossom, and every stanza, a tree of expression.

  • Sonnet : A 14-line poem with a specific rhyme scheme.
  • Haiku : A 3-line poem with a syllable pattern of 5-7-5.
  • ‘Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night’ by Dylan Thomas : A sonnet exploring the theme of death.
  • Various Haikus by Matsuo Basho : Delicate snippets capturing the essence of nature.
“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”  – Robert Frost

Historical genre is a time machine crafted with words, transporting readers to bygone eras, making history come alive through fictitious narratives.

  • Historical Accuracy : Incorporation of factual historical elements.
  • Period-Specific Dialogue and Settings : Reflecting the essence of the era being portrayed.
  • ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr : A tale set against the backdrop of World War II.
  • ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak : A narrative intertwined with historical events.
“Historical fiction is the closest thing we have to a time machine.”  – Unknown

Family Saga

Family Saga is the narrative orchard where the seeds of past actions bear fruits for future generations. It’s a genre exploring the intertwining branches of familial bonds, legacies, and secrets over generations.

  • Multi-Generational Narratives : Stories spanning across several generations.
  • Character Complexity : The complexity of relationships and individual character arcs.
  • ‘The Thorn Birds’ by Colleen McCullough : A saga spanning across three generations of a family.
  • ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ by Gabriel García Márquez : A magical realist saga of the Buendía family.
“In family sagas, the past casts a long shadow over the present, each generation a ring in a mighty tree.”  – Unknown

Literary Fiction

Literary Fiction is the genre of introspection, where the narrative dives deep into the human psyche, exploring the complex tapestry of emotions, relationships, and societal norms.

  • Exploration of Human Condition : Delving deep into the emotional and existential realms.
  • Stylistic Narrative : Often characterized by a unique or experimental narrative style.
  • ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee : A narrative exploring racial injustice and moral growth.
  • ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald : A tale reflecting the American dream and its disillusionment.
“Literary fiction explores the many layers of the human condition, narrated with an artistry that echoes the complexity of life.”  – Unknown

Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction is where reality meets narrative artistry. It’s about painting the canvas of facts with the colors of personal storytelling and reflective insight.

  • Personal Essay : Expressive essays reflecting personal experiences or views.
  • Narrative Nonfiction : Factual stories told with a narrative flair.
  • ‘In Cold Blood’ by Truman Capote : A groundbreaking narrative nonfiction exploring a real-life crime.
  • ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert : A personal essay exploring the author’s journey of self-discovery.
“Creative nonfiction is not making something up but making the most of what you have.”  – John McPhee

Final Words

We hope this blog has helped you in understanding how different genres work and what makes them different from each other. While some of the genres mentioned above may not appeal to everyone, others have been successful time and again in capturing readers’ attention. What works for one person might not work for another but the key here is being sure about what kind of writing style suits you best before diving into the world of storytelling!

Most Read Articles in 2023:

Sharon Baisil

Hi, I am a doctor by profession, but I love writing and publishing ebooks. I have self-published 3 ebooks which have sold over 100,000 copies. I am featured in Healthline, Entrepreneur, and in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology blog.

Whether you’re a busy professional or an aspiring author with a day job, there’s no time like now to start publishing your ebook! If you are new to this world or if you are seeking help because your book isn’t selling as well as it should be – don’t worry! You can find here resources, tips, and tricks on what works best and what doesn’t work at all.

In this blog, I will help you to pick up the right tools and resources to make your ebook a best seller.

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Sensory Imagery in Creative Writing: Types, Examples, and Writing Tips

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Sep 29, 2021 • 6 min read

Sensory imagery is a literary device writers employ to engage a reader’s mind on multiple levels. Sensory imagery explores the five human senses: sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.

creative writing types and examples

The Ultimate Guide to 12 Different Forms of Creative Writing

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When you hear the word “creative writing”, you might think of writing novels, telling stories, or something like that. But it turns out there are lots of different forms of creative writing.

Speaking of which, this exciting blog post will shed light on different forms of creative writing put to paper by the expert paper writing service provider . So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Table of Contents

Different Forms of Creative Writing

Short story.

Structure:  Short stories often involve just one storyline and a relatively small number of characters, typically following one narrative arc.

Length:  Usually, these stories can be told in a few hundred to a few thousand words, so you can get the point across quickly.

Elements:  This story has all the key bits and pieces, like plot, setting, characters, conflict, and resolution, that make it what it is. Being so short, every word matters in getting the story across properly.

Forms:  Poetry comes in many different shapes and lengths. You’ve got your sonnets, haikus, limericks, free verse, and plenty more. Each one has its own rules (or lack thereof) when it comes to how it’s structured and rhymed.

Imagery:  Uses lots of bright pictures, metaphors, beats, and noises to stir up feelings and express complicated ideas in a few words.

Emotion and Language:  Frequently looks at how we feel, what we go through, what we notice, or problems in our society by using words with strong feelings and special literary techniques.

Scope:  It offers lots of opportunities for telling stories, with lots of different story arcs, loads of characters with complex personalities, and detailed worlds.

Length:  Novels are generally more lengthy than short stories, and they can have anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 words.

Genres:  Covers a wide range of genres, from romance and fantasy to mysteries, sci-fi, historical fiction, and beyond.

Flash Fiction

Conciseness:  It takes an expert storyteller to effectively tell a story or evoke emotions within a very short number of words, usually 1000 or less.

Punchy Impact:  Short stories usually try to have a powerful or unexpected conclusion because they’re so brief, using storytelling that packs a punch in just a few words.


Dialogues and Actions:  Emphasizes conversations, what the actors do, and how they act, to make the characters seem real in a theatre production.

Scenes and Acts:  Using scenes and acts to divide up the play, taking into account the performance dynamics and how the audience is reacting.


Visual Storytelling:  Formatting for visuals such as movies or TV shows, putting together scene descriptions, dialogues, and actions to make an interesting story.

Technical Elements:  Needs an understanding of how to write a screenplay and how to time it for telling a story on the screen.

Creative Nonfiction

Factual yet Creative:  Mixing real-life stories or events with literary elements to create exciting stories.

Personal Reflection:  Often includes the author’s own musings, feelings, and emotions, making it more personal and easier for readers to relate to.

Personal Expression:  It’s a way to think about yourself, express yourself, and explore your feelings and ideas.

Varied Forms:  You can express yourself in so many different ways – from telling stories to being creative – to capture your experiences and thoughts.

Experimental Writing

Innovation:  Trying out different formats, structures, vocab, or ways of telling a story instead of sticking to the standard.

Pushing Boundaries:  They like to think outside the box when it comes to getting people’s attention and coming up with innovative ways to express their thoughts.

Epistolary Writing

Unique Perspective:  Share an account of events and characters by using documents, letters, emails, or journal entries. It’s a great way to get a personal and in-depth look.

Character Development:  This allows for the creation of more detailed and complex characters through their letters and conversations.


Lyrics and Melodies:  Uses stories and music to make us feel something and get the message across through songs.

Versatility:  This opens up different kinds of singing, from telling stories in a song to expressing yourself with poetic lyrics set to music.

Graphic Novels/Comics

Visual Narrative:  They combine art and story to make something interesting, using pictures and speech bubbles to tell their tale.

Panel Sequencing:  Uses panels and visuals to show a story, display character feelings, and present action.

Examples of Each Forms of Creative Writing

Creative writing examples are often the best way to master this art. Here you go with some examples.

Example of Short Story

“The sun set as the old man reminisced, painting the sky in shades of orange and pink. An elderly figure sat on a familiar park bench, memories like wisps of smoke playing in his eyes. A young girl’s laughter broke the silence, and the old man found himself entranced by their conversation. He shared stories of his younger days, of loves won and lost, and adventures taken. As the sky darkened, his mind was filled with nostalgia.”

Example of Poetry (Haiku)

“Beneath cherry trees,

Petals whispering their tales,

Nature’s fleeting grace.”

Example of Novel

“In the mystical world of Eldoria, where magic filled the atmosphere and mythical creatures were around every corner, Elara, a young magician, discovered an old prophecy written in a long-forgotten book. This prophecy stated that darkness was coming to their world, threatening to take it over. With her trusty sidekicks—a humorous thief and a reliable warrior—Elara set off on a dangerous journey to uncover secrets hidden in the past and protect her realm from impending destruction.”

Example of Flash Fiction

“The door creaked open, showing a room that was barely lit. The walls had old and worn-out tapestries hanging on them. There was a candle that was flickering on an old table, casting some creepy-looking shadows. Next to it was a note with some mysterious directions. It said, “Find me in the labyrinth of time”. That’s how the journey of the searcher began, searching for a way through the winding hallways and the forgotten memories of the past.”

Example of Playwriting

[Opening scene stage directions]

Location:  A bustling city street.

Characters:  LENA, a young artist absorbed in sketching; JACK, a hurried businessman.

Action:  Lena, perched on a bench, meticulously sketches the towering skyline. Jack, lost in thought and rushing past, collides with her, scattering her art supplies.

Example of Screenwriting

[Scene from a screenplay]


Character: JESSICA (mid-20s), nervously sips her coffee.

JESSICA: “I never thought I’d see you again.”

MARK (across the table): “Fate has a way of surprising us.”

Example of Creative Nonfiction (Personal Essay Excerpt)

“The Himalayas took my breath away with their stunning snow-capped peaks, a reminder of how tough nature can be. I enjoyed the peaceful valleys and the crisp mountain air, and I also found something else – a chance to get to know myself better, all while taking in the beauty of the mountains.”

Example of Journaling (Reflective Entry )

“The rain was constantly tapping on my window today, like a slow, calming beat. Even though there was a lot of chaos going on outside, each raindrop seemed to take away some of my stress, leaving me feeling relaxed and peaceful.”

Example of Experimental Writing (Fragmented Narrative)

“She stepped into the hallway, a maze of memories, where time was all over the place. Every doorway reminded her of something from her past, a story that wasn’t finished. She could hear laughter, crying, and whispers that had been forgotten all around, telling a story that didn’t seem to have any kind of order.”

Example of Epistolary Writing (Excerpt from a letter)

“Hey buddy, I can’t put into words what I’m feeling, so I wrote it down instead. Read between the lines and you’ll get a better understanding of how strongly I feel about our bond.”

Example of Songwriting (Verse from a song)

“Underneath the starry night,

Dreams take flight, shining bright,

Guided by the moon’s soft light,

We’ll find our way through the night.”

Example of Graphic Novels/Comics (Comic Panel Sequence)

Panel 1:  A shadowy figure emerges from the mist, cloak billowing in the wind.

Panel 2:  The figure’s piercing eyes glow with an otherworldly power, illuminating the darkness.

Panel 3:  A sudden burst of blinding light engulfs the scene, revealing a mysterious symbol etched in the air.

Creative writing is more than storytelling and poetry. In fact, it includes songwriting, screenwriting, and more. This interesting blog post discusses 12 types of creative writing with examples for your understanding. Hopefully you have now a good knowledge of the 12 different forms of creative writing.

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12 Types of Creative Writing to Explore

Kate is an experienced writer who has written hundreds of articles for publication.

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Creative writing isn't just limited to novels, short stories, and poems; in fact, this type of writing encompasses at least a dozen different types, each suited to specific situations and kinds of personal expression. Try them all to find out which ones you enjoy the most.

You may think of writing a song as a purely musical form of creative expression, but if your song has lyrics, you'll also be doing some creative writing. Lyrics are similar to poetry in that they can have many forms, although some type of rhyme scheme is common. See examples of some of the most popular song lyrics at MetroLyrics .

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From haiku to sonnets, there are dozens of different poetic forms to try. In general, the key to writing poetry is to create evocative images and make every word count. You can write about anything, from nature to love to your family . You can even write poems for specific occasions, such as a wedding ceremony or a funeral .

3. Vignettes

Vignettes are a short form of fiction or creative non-fiction that sets up a scene for the reader. There may not be a central conflict to drive the story forward, and there may not even be characters. Length can range from a single paragraph to a few pages. Generally, the entire piece takes place in one location. Ernest Hemingway's In Our Time features several examples of vignettes.

4. Short Fiction

Short fiction offers more of a "story" than a vignette. It includes short stories and even modern fan fiction. Writing a short story is a great way to learn about how fiction is structured, including plot, characters, conflict, and setting. You can even make money writing short fiction. A great example of this genre is A&P by John Updike.

5. Novellas

Longer than a short story but not quite as long as a novel, a novella goes into great detail about all the elements of the story. It may or may not have chapters. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is a good example of a novella.

Novels are perhaps the best known form of fiction, and you'll see them in many genres, including romance, thrillers, and science fiction. In this long form of fiction, you have time to explore the plot, characters, and other elements more fully. Writing a novel is a huge undertaking and a great way to improve your skills as a writer. If you're considering such a project, look at what works in some of the best novels of all time.

Scripts, for everything from TV commercials to radio programs and even movies, are another form of creative writing. The length can vary significantly, but the key is that the words you write will be recited by actors and recorded. An audience will view or listen to the piece later. Find movie scripts to review as examples of this form of writing.

Like a script in that the dialogue you write will be recited by actors, plays are designed to be performed in front of an audience. They are usually divided into several acts, although short, one-act plays are also popular. Writing a play is a great way to see your story ideas come to life. Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is a good example if you're looking for inspiration.

9. Personal Essays

Not all creative writing is made up. In fact, creative non-fiction comes in several important forms. One of these is the personal essay in which the writer explores his or her own life experiences or opinions. Writing an essay on yourself isn't always easy, but it's an important skill to have for everything from college applications to family history.

10. Journals and Diaries

More than just a therapeutic exercise or a way to record the day's events, journals can also be a type of creative writing. This is especially true if you infuse your entries with your emotions and personal experiences. Take some time to read journal writing prompts and try your hand at this creative writing form.

11. Memoirs

A longer form of the personal essay or journal, a memoir is a type of creative nonfiction that explores a person's life or experiences. You can focus on a single period or your entire life. This is different from an autobiography in that it includes feelings and thoughts - not just the facts of what happened. There are even websites with examples of memoirs and tips for writing your own.

12. Letters

Because they contain more than a basic reporting of the facts, letters can also be a type of creative writing. This is especially true if they discuss emotion or opinion. Even love letters can be creative.

Try All the Forms

There are many more forms of writing that can become creative if they expand beyond the basic facts. For instance, some blogs and literary journalism articles are very creative too. There are so many types of creative writing to explore that it makes sense to try them all. You're sure to find one (or several) that you love.

Griffin Teaching

11+ creative writing guide with 50 example topics and prompts

by Hayley | Nov 17, 2022 | Exams , Writing | 0 comments

The 11+ exam is a school entrance exam taken in the academic year that a child in the UK turns eleven.

These exams are highly competitive, with multiple students battling for each school place awarded.

The 11 plus exam isn’t ‘one thing’, it varies in its structure and composition across the country. A creative writing task is included in nearly all of the 11 plus exams, and parents are often confused about what’s being tested.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the plot of your child’s writing task is important. It is not.

The real aim of the 11+ creative writing task is to showcase your child’s writing skills and techniques.

And that’s why preparation is so important.

This guide begins by answering all the FAQs that parents have about the 11+ creative writing task.

At the end of the article I give my best tips & strategies for preparing your child for the 11+ creative writing task , along with 50 fiction and non-fiction creative writing prompts from past papers you can use to help your child prepare. You’ll also want to check out my 11+ reading list , because great readers turn into great writers.

Do all 11+ exams include a writing task?

Not every 11+ exam includes a short story component, but many do. Usually 3 to 5 different prompts are given for the child to choose between and they are not always ‘creative’ (fiction) pieces. One or more non-fiction options might be given for children who prefer writing non-fiction to fiction.

Timings and marking vary from test to test. For example, the Kent 11+ Test gives students 10 minutes for planning followed by 30 minutes for writing. The Medway 11+ Test gives 60 minutes for writing with ‘space allowed’ on the answer booklet for planning.

Tasks vary too. In the Kent Test a handful of stimuli are given, whereas 11+ students in Essex are asked to produce two individually set paragraphs. The Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex (CCSE) includes 2 creative writing paragraphs inside a 60-minute English exam.

Throughout the UK each 11+ exam has a different set of timings and papers based around the same themes. Before launching into any exam preparation it is essential to know the content and timing of your child’s particular writing task.

However varied and different these writing tasks might seem, there is one key element that binds them.

The mark scheme.

Although we can lean on previous examples to assess how likely a short story or a non-fiction tasks will be set, it would be naïve to rely completely on the content of past papers. Contemporary 11+ exams are designed to be ‘tutor-proof’ – meaning that the exam boards like to be unpredictable.

In my online writing club for kids , we teach a different task each week (following a spiral learning structure based on 10 set tasks). One task per week is perfected as the student moves through the programme of content, and one-to-one expert feedback ensures progression. This equips our writing club members to ‘write effectively for a range of purposes’ as stated in the English schools’ teacher assessment framework.

This approach ensures that students approaching a highly competitive entrance exam will be confident of the mark scheme (and able to meet its demands) for any task set.

Will my child have a choice of prompts to write from or do they have to respond to a single prompt, without a choice?

This varies. In the Kent Test there are usually 5 options given. The purpose is to gather a writing sample from each child in case of a headteacher appeal. A range of options should allow every child to showcase what they can do.

In Essex, two prescriptive paragraphs are set as part of an hour-long English paper that includes comprehension and vocabulary work. In Essex, there is no option to choose the subject matter.

The Medway Test just offers a single prompt for a whole hour of writing. Sometimes it is a creative piece. Recently it was a marketing leaflet.

The framework for teaching writing in English schools demands that in order to ‘exceed expectations’ or better, achieve ‘greater depth’, students need to be confident writing for a multitude of different purposes.

In what circumstances is a child’s creative writing task assessed?

In Essex (east of the UK) the two prescriptive writing tasks are found inside the English exam paper. They are integral to the exam and are assessed as part of this.

In Medway (east Kent in the South East) the writing task is marked and given a raw score. This is then adjusted for age and double counted. Thus, the paper is crucial to a pass.

In the west of the county of Kent there is a different system. The Kent Test has a writing task that is only marked in appeal cases. If a child dips below the passmark their school is allowed to put together a ‘headteacher’s appeal’. At this point – before the score is communicated to the parent (and probably under cover of darkness) the writing sample is pulled out of a drawer and assessed.

I’ve been running 11+ tutor clubs for years. Usually about 1% of my students passed at headteacher’s appeal.

Since starting the writing club, however, the number of students passing at appeal has gone up considerably. In recent years it’s been more like 5% of students passing on the strength of their writing sample.

What are the examiners looking for when they’re marking a student’s creative writing?

In England, the government has set out a framework for marking creative writing. There are specific ‘pupil can’ statements to assess whether a student is ‘working towards the expected standard,’ ‘working at the expected standard’ or ‘working at greater depth’.

Members of the headteacher panel assessing the writing task are given a considerable number of samples to assess at one time. These expert teachers have a clear understanding of the framework for marking, but will not be considering or discussing every detail of the writing sample as you might expect.

Schools are provided with a report after the samples have been assessed. This is very brief indeed. Often it will simply say ‘lack of precise vocabulary’ or ‘confused paragraphing.’

So there is no mark scheme as such. They won’t be totting up your child’s score to see if they have reached a given target. They are on the panel because of their experience, and they have a short time to make an instant judgement.

Does handwriting matter?

Handwriting is assessed in primary schools. Thus it is an element of the assessment framework the panel uses as a basis for their decision.

If the exam is very soon, then don’t worry if your child is not producing immaculate, cursive handwriting. The focus should simply be on making it well-formed and legible. Every element of the assessment framework does not need to be met and legible writing will allow the panel to read the content with ease.

Improve presentation quickly by offering a smooth rollerball pen instead of a pencil. Focus on fixing individual letters and praising your child for any hint of effort. The two samples below are from the same boy a few months apart. Small changes have transformed the look and feel:

11+ handwriting sample from a student before handwriting tutoring

Sample 1: First piece of work when joining the writing club

Cursive handwriting sample of a boy preparing for the 11+ exam after handwriting tutoring.

Sample 2: This is the same boy’s improved presentation and content

How long should the short story be.

First, it is not a short story as such—it is a writing sample. Your child needs to showcase their skills but there are no extra marks for finishing (or marks deducted for a half-finished piece).

For a half hour task, you should prepare your child to produce up to 4 paragraphs of beautifully crafted work. Correct spelling and proper English grammar is just the beginning. Each paragraph should have a different purpose to showcase the breadth and depth of their ability. A longer – 60 minute – task might have 5 paragraphs but rushing is to be discouraged. Considered and interesting paragraphs are so valuable, a shorter piece would be scored more highly than a rushed and dull longer piece.

I speak from experience. A while ago now I was a marker for Key Stage 2 English SATs Papers (taken in Year 6 at 11 years old). Hundreds of scripts were deposited on my doorstep each morning by DHL. There was so much work for me to get through that I came to dread long, rambling creative pieces. Some children can write pages and pages of repetitive nothingness. Ever since then, I have looked for crafted quality and am wary of children judging their own success by the number of lines competed.

Take a look at the piece of writing below. It’s an excellent example of a well-crafted piece.

Each paragraph is short, but the writer is skilful.

He used rich and precisely chosen vocabulary, he’s broken the text into natural paragraphs, and in the second paragraph he is beginning to vary his sentence openings. There is a sense of control to the sentences – the sentence structure varies with shorter and longer examples to manage tension. It is exciting to read, with a clear awareness of his audience. Punctuation is accurate and appropriate.

Example of a high-scoring writing sample for the UK 11+ exam—notice the varied sentence structures, excellent use of figurative language, and clear paragraphing technique.

11+ creative writing example story

How important is it to revise for a creative writing task.

It is important.

Every student should go into their 11+ writing task with a clear paragraph plan secured. As each paragraph has a separate purpose – to showcase a specific skill – the plan should reflect this. Built into the plan is a means of flexing it, to alter the order of the paragraphs if the task demands it. There’s no point having a Beginning – Middle – End approach, as there’s nothing useful there to guide the student to the mark scheme.

Beyond this, my own students have created 3 – 5 stories that fit the same tight plan. However, the setting, mood and action are all completely different. This way a bank of rich vocabulary has already been explored and a technique or two of their own that fits the piece beautifully. These can be drawn upon on the day to boost confidence and give a greater sense of depth and consideration to their timed sample.

Preparation, rather than revision in its classic form, is the best approach. Over time, even weeks or months before the exam itself, contrasting stories are written, improved upon, typed up and then tweaked further as better ideas come to mind. Each of these meets the demands of the mark scheme (paragraphing, varied sentence openings, rich vocabulary choices, considered imagery, punctuation to enhance meaning, development of mood etc).

To ensure your child can write confidently at and above the level expected of them, drop them into my weekly weekly online writing club for the 11+ age group . The club marking will transform their writing, and quickly.

What is the relationship between the English paper and the creative writing task?

Writing is usually marked separately from any comprehension or grammar exercises in your child’s particular 11+ exam. Each exam board (by area/school) adapts the arrangement to suit their needs. Some have a separate writing test, others build it in as an element of their English paper (usually alongside a comprehension, punctuation and spelling exercise).

Although there is no creative writing task in the ISEB Common Pre-test, those who are not offered an immediate place at their chosen English public school are often invited back to complete a writing task at a later date. Our ISEB Common Pre-test students join the writing club in the months before the exam, first to tidy up the detail and second to extend the content.

What if my child has a specific learning difficulty (dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, ASD)?

Most exam boards pride themselves on their inclusivity. They will expect you to have a formal report from a qualified professional at the point of registration for the test. This needs to be in place and the recommendations will be considered by a panel. If your child needs extra arrangements on the day they may be offered (it isn’t always the case). More importantly, if they drop below a pass on one or more papers you will have a strong case for appeal.

Children with a specific learning difficulty often struggle with low confidence in their work and low self-esteem. The preparations set out above, and a kids writing club membership will allow them to go into the exam feeling positive and empowered. If they don’t achieve a pass at first, the writing sample will add weight to their appeal.

Tips and strategies for writing a high-scoring creative writing paper

  • Read widely for pleasure. Read aloud to your child if they are reluctant.
  • Create a strong paragraph plan where each paragraph has a distinct purpose.
  • Using the list of example questions below, discuss how each could be written in the form of your paragraph plan.
  • Write 3-5 stories with contrasting settings and action – each one must follow your paragraph plan. Try to include examples of literary devices and figurative language (metaphor, simile) but avoid clichés.
  • Tidy up your presentation. Write with a good rollerball pen on A4 lined paper with a printed margin. Cross out with a single horizontal line and banish doodling or scribbles.
  • Join the writing club for a 20-minute Zoom task per week with no finishing off or homework. An expert English teacher will mark the work personally on video every Friday and your child’s writing will be quickly transformed.

Pressed for time? Here’s a paragraph plan to follow.

At Griffin Teaching we have an online writing club for students preparing for the 11 plus creative writing task . We’ve seen first-hand what a difference just one or two months of weekly practice can make.

That said, we know that a lot of people reading this page are up against a hard deadline with an 11+ exam date fast approaching.

If that’s you (or your child), what you need is a paragraph plan.

Here’s one tried-and-true paragraph plan that we teach in our clubs. Use this as you work your way through some of the example prompts below.

11+ creative writing paragraph plan

Paragraph 1—description.

Imagine standing in the location and describe what is above the main character, what is below their feet, what is to their left and right, and what is in the distance. Try to integrate frontend adverbials into this paragraph (frontend adverbials are words or phrases used at the beginning of a sentence to describe what follows—e.g. When the fog lifted, he saw… )

Paragraph 2—Conversation

Create two characters who have different roles (e.g. site manager and student, dog walker and lost man) and write a short dialogue between them. Use what we call the “sandwich layout,” where the first person says something and you describe what they are doing while they are saying it. Add in further descriptions (perhaps of the person’s clothing or expression) before starting a new line where the second character gives a simple answer and you provide details about what the second character is doing as they speak.

Paragraph 3—Change the mood

Write three to four sentences that change the mood of the writing sample from light to gloomy or foreboding. You could write about a change in the weather or a change in the lighting of the scene. Another approach is to mention how a character reacts to the change in mood, for example by pulling their coat collar up to their ears.

Paragraph 4—Shock your reader

A classic approach is to have your character die unexpectedly in the final sentence. Or maybe the ceiling falls?

11+ creative writing questions from real papers—fictional prompts

  • The day the storm came
  • The day the weather changed
  • The snowstorm
  • The rainy day
  • A sunny day out
  • A foggy (or misty) day
  • A day trip to remember
  • The first day
  • The day everything changed
  • The mountain
  • The hillside
  • The old house
  • The balloon
  • The old man
  • The accident
  • The unfamiliar sound
  • A weekend away
  • Moving house
  • A family celebration
  • An event you remember from when you were young
  • An animal attack
  • The school playground at night
  • The lift pinged and the door opened. I could not believe what was inside…
  • “Run!” he shouted as he thundered across the sand…
  • It was getting late as I dug in my pocket for the key to the door. “Hurry up!” she shouted from inside.
  • I know our back garden very well, but I was surprised how different it looked at midnight…
  • The red button on the wall has a sign on it saying, ‘DO NOT TOUCH.’ My little sister leant forward and hit it hard with her hand. What happened next?
  • Digging down into the soft earth, the spade hit something metal…
  • Write a story which features the stopping of time.
  • Write a story which features an unusual method of transport.
  • The cry in the woods
  • Write a story which features an escape

11+ creative writing questions from real papers—non-fiction prompts

  • Write a thank you letter for a present you didn’t want.
  • You are about to interview someone for a job. Write a list of questions you would like to ask the applicant.
  • Write a letter to complain about the uniform at your school.
  • Write a leaflet to advertise your home town.
  • Write a thank you letter for a holiday you didn’t enjoy.
  • Write a letter of complaint to the vet after an unfortunate incident in the waiting room.
  • Write a set of instructions explaining how to make toast.
  • Describe the room you are in.
  • Describe a person who is important to you.
  • Describe your pet or an animal you know well.

creative writing types and examples

8 Creative Writing Examples That Will Spark Your Writing Genius

Jane Ng • 15 November, 2023 • 9 min read

Looking for some creative writing examples to ignite your imagination? You’ve come to the right place! Whether you’re an aspiring writer searching for inspiration, or a student aiming to enhance your creative writing skills, we’ve got you covered. In this blog post, we’ll provide creative writing examples, explore different styles, and techniques, and showcase some truly inspiring pieces. 

So, let’s begin our adventure into the world of creativity and expression.

Table Of Contents

What is creative writing.

  • Types of Creative Writing Styles

Key Takeaways

  • FAQs About Creative Writing Examples

More Tips with AhaSlides

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  • What is Systems Thinking?

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Creative writing is the art of using words to express thoughts, ideas, and emotions in imaginative and unique ways. It’s a writing form that goes beyond the technical and conventional aspects of writing like grammar and structure, focusing instead on capturing the essence of storytelling and personal expression.

In creative writing, writers have the freedom to invent characters, settings, and plots, allowing their creativity to flow without the constraints of strict rules or guidelines. This form of writing can take various forms, including short stories, poetry, novels, plays, and more which we’ll explore in the next section.

examples of creative writing

Types Of Creative Writing Styles

Creative writing encompasses a variety of styles, each with its unique characteristics and purposes. Here are some common types of creative writing styles:

  • Fiction: Storytelling with invented characters, plots, and settings across genres like mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, flash fiction and literary fiction.
  • Poetry: Expressive writing using rhyme, meter, and figurative language to convey emotions and imagery, including forms like sonnets, haikus, and free verse.
  • Drama/Playwriting: Crafting scripts for theatrical performances, incorporating dialogue, stage directions, and character development for stage productions.
  • Creative Nonfiction: Merging facts with narrative storytelling techniques to create engaging personal essays, memoirs, and travel writing.
  • Screenwriting: Developing scripts for movies and television, adhering to a specific format, and including scenes, dialogues, and camera directions.
  • Short Stories: Concise narratives exploring single themes with well-developed characters and plots within a limited word count.
  • Blogging: Creating conversational and relatable content, combining personal experiences, opinions, and information, covering a wide range of topics and formats.
  • Songwriting: Crafting lyrics and melodies to convey emotions and stories through music, blending language with melody in a unique creative form.

1/ Flash Fiction – Short Creative Writing Examples:

Ernest Hemingway’s Six-Word Story:

“ For sale: baby shoes, never worn. “

This poignant six-word story is often attributed to Hemingway, although its true authorship is debated. Regardless, it showcases the power of flash fiction to convey a complete narrative with just a handful of words. In this case, it tells a heartbreaking story of loss and unfulfilled hopes in a remarkably concise manner.

2/ GCSE Creative Writing Examples:

Here’s a GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) creative writing example. GCSE creative writing tasks often require students to demonstrate their ability to craft engaging narratives.

Task: The Unexpected Visitor

“Imagine you are at home alone on a rainy evening. Your parents are out, and you’re engrossed in a book. Suddenly, there’s a knock at the door. You weren’t expecting anyone, and the hour is late. Write a short story (around 300-400 words) about what happens next.”

3/ Haiku Poetry – Creative Writing Examples:

Haikus are a traditional form of Japanese poetry known for their brevity and focus on nature and the changing seasons. Each haiku typically consists of three lines with a syllable pattern of 5-7-5, making them a concise yet evocative form of creative expression.

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694):

“An old silent pond…

A frog jumps into the pond—

Splash! Silence again.”

creative writing types and examples

4/ Screen Writing – Creative Writing Examples:

Screenwriting is a unique form of creative writing that brings stories to life on big and small screens. Here are a few famous examples of screenwriting from iconic films and TV series:

1/ Movie – “Get Out” (2017) Script – Written by Jordan Peele:

Jordan Peele’s screenplay combines horror and social commentary, making “Get Out” a thought-provoking and chilling cinematic experience.

2/ TV Series – “Breaking Bad” (2008-2013) – Created by Vince Gilligan:

Vince Gilligan’s screenplay for “Breaking Bad” masterfully portrays the transformation of a high school chemistry teacher, Walter White, into a drug lord. The series is celebrated for its character development and moral ambiguity.

5/ Playwriting – Creative Writing Examples:

These plays represent a diverse range of styles and themes within the world of playwriting. They have had a significant impact on the theater and continue to be performed and studied worldwide.

1/ “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare:

This timeless tragedy explores themes of love and conflict between the Montagues and the Capulets. It’s one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, known for its poetic language and unforgettable characters.

2/ “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller:

Arthur Miller’s classic play delves into the American Dream and the disillusionment of a traveling salesman named Willy Loman. It’s celebrated for its exploration of the human condition and the pursuit of success.

styles of writing examples

6/ Personal Essay – Creative Writing Examples:

Personal essay examples showcase how writers can draw from their own life experiences to create engaging narratives that resonate with readers.

1/ “A Journey to Self-Discovery”

In this personal essay, the author reflects on a transformative backpacking trip through the mountains. They recount the physical and emotional challenges faced during the journey and how these challenges ultimately led to profound self-discovery and growth. The essay explores themes of resilience, introspection, and the power of nature to inspire personal change.

2/ “Lessons from My Grandmother’s Kitchen”

This personal essay takes readers into the author’s childhood memories of spending time with their grandmother in the kitchen. Through vivid descriptions of cooking rituals and family gatherings, the author reflects on the valuable life lessons and cultural heritage passed down through generations. The essay touches on themes of family, tradition, and the importance of preserving cultural identity.

7/ Blogging – Creative Writing Examples:

Here are a few famous examples of blogs known for their creative and engaging writing styles:

1/ Wait But Why by Tim Urban:

Wait But Why is known for its in-depth articles and entertaining infographics that explore a wide range of topics, from science and technology to philosophy and human behavior.

2/ Cup of Jo by Joanna Goddard:

Cup of Jo is a lifestyle blog that features thoughtful and relatable content on relationships, parenting, travel, and more. Joanna Goddard’s writing style is warm and inviting.

8/ Songwriting – Creative Writing Examples:

Here are three famous examples of songwriting known for their creative and impactful lyrics:

1/ “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen:

Queen’s epic and operatic “Bohemian Rhapsody” features intricate lyrics that tell a complex narrative and create a timeless rock masterpiece.

2/ “Yesterday” by The Beatles:

“Yesterday” by The Beatles is a classic ballad with introspective lyrics that explore themes of nostalgia and lost love.

3/ “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye:

Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” is a socially conscious song with lyrics that address issues like war, racism, and environmental concerns.

creative writing types and examples

Through the power of words, writers can transport readers to distant worlds, evoke deep emotions, and share profound insights. Throughout this exploration of creative writing examples, we’ve witnessed the diverse tapestry of possibilities, from captivating personal essays to timeless poetry, from gripping screenplays to enchanting song lyrics.

Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting your creative journey, the key lies in unlocking your imagination and letting your ideas flow freely. So don’t forget that AhaSlides provides a dynamic platform for creative writing, offering interactive features that can enhance your storytelling. Whether you’re crafting a captivating presentation, conducting a workshop, or seeking feedback on your work, AhaSlides empowers you to engage with your audience in new and exciting ways.

FAQs About Creative Writing Examples

What is a good example of creative writing.

One famous example of creative writing is the opening paragraph of Charles Dickens’ novel “ A Tale of Two Cities “: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

Is a verse example of creative writing?

Ref: Study.com

Jane Ng

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11 Types of Creative Writing

11 Types Of Creative Writing

What is creative writing? What does it mean to be a creative writer? We often associate creative writing with fictional stories, but there are many more ways of being creative as a writer than this. Here are just a few examples of the different types of creative writing that are available for you to explore.

Writing an essay requires creative thinking. This is especially true for personal or descriptive essays. If you’re trying to create a persuasive argument for the reader, then you’ll need to engage the creative centers of your mind to make that happen.

#2. Journals

A journal is not quite the same as a diary. Diaries help you keep track of the events that happen to you during the day. A journal takes on more of a memoir role. You can choose the types of memories that you write down by keeping everything within a specific topic or heading. Dreams are a common journal, but you could also focus on relationships, contentment, gratitude, or virtually any other emotion.

Poetry might not be a form of creative writing that hits bestseller lists often, but it shouldn’t be ignored by any writer. Poems can be written in any format. You can also write them with specific form and prose if you prefer. If you really want to stretch your creative energies, try to come up with a rhyming story – kids love stories that rhyme. For fun, you could even create a horror rhyming poem for adults to practice your creative skills.

#4. Vignettes

These are short stories that can take on virtually any format that is offered here. Pretty much anything goes from a creative standpoint if you’re writing a vignette – except for the length. This type of creative writing is extremely short. It can even just be a couple of sentences long if you wish, as long as the descriptions used are evocative.

#5. Short Stories

A short story has a natural ABC progression which allows you to tell a full tale that is meaningful to the reader. These stories don’t have to be lengthy either. You can write a solid short story in 1,000-2,000 words and still include character development and plot details.

#6. Letters

Our ability to communicate with one another is relying more and more on the written word these days, so writing letters to someone is a great creative writing skill to develop. You can even have your characters write letters to each other within the context of a story you’re creating.

Some might say that song lyrics are really just a poem set to music, but there is a certain rhythm to song lyrics that is unique to the writing world. If you can play an instrument or like to sing, then consider stretching your creative writing skills into this type of writing to see what happens. If you don’t play an instrument, maybe someone you know does and would be interested in coming up with a collaboration.

#8. Blogging

Think of blogging as a published form of journaling, but without the limitation of purpose. A blog can be a personal diary, a reflection of a spiritual journey, or even be educational in nature.

#9. Free Writing

This might be the most creative type of writing. Just turn on your computer or open up a notebook and start to write. Don’t let anything stop you. Whatever comes to mind gets put onto your screen or that page. Nothing is off-limits. Set a time limit for yourself – say 15 minutes. When you’ve finished, you may have several great ideas that can be turned into larger stories later on.

#10. Reporting

Journalists tend to follow this type of creative writing most often, especially when writing a column or opinion piece. Some journalistic writing only reports facts, events, and actions, but even then there is a certain creative element to the writing that makes it compelling. If you’ve ever read a local article about a city council meeting, then you’ve seen a reporter being creative with some very dry content so it could be interesting.

#11. Speeches

Speeches are a lot like essays, but the goal of a speech tends to be more persuasive or inspirational. The good news about this creative writing type is that virtually any subject matter can be discussed. You do have limits on length in this format – about 100 words can be spoken clearly per minute, so be precise with your key points so a rambling speech isn’t the end result.

These types of creative writing maybe some of the most popular ways to write, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones that are available. You can write memoirs. You can write autobiographies. You can write TV scripts. The goal is simple: to just keep writing. Find your comfort zone, then step outside of it, and your creative energies will thank you for your efforts.

“Find your comfort zone, then step outside of it, and your creative energies will thank you for your efforts. #writetip”

What’s your favorite type of creative writing and why? Share with me on my contact page and if I use your idea, I’ll give you credit and a link to your site!

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Think about your favorite book or poem. What do you like about it?

Creative Writing, a full bookshelf, StudySmarter

Every novel you've ever read or studied was an example of creative writing, which is what this article is all about! We'll look at the different types of creative writing, examples of each, and some prompts and topics that can inspire your creative writing.

By the end of this article, you'll be a pro in all things creative writing!

Types of Creative Writing

Let's start at the very beginning: what are the different types of creative writing?

In literature, there are four key types of creative writing:

Fiction (novels and short stories)

Creative non-fiction

Scriptwriting (plays, films, and TV shows)

Each of these creative writing forms has its own styles and conventions that make them unique and interesting.

Most pieces of fiction have a plot, characters, sense of setting, themes, and a decided narrator or narrative perspective. An example of a work of fiction is F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

Creative non-fiction can vary widely but generally has a sense of setting, some characters (even if these characters are real rather than fictional), figurative and descriptive language, and some sort of plot or purpose. A common example of creative non-fiction is travel writing, such as Bill Bryson's The Road to Little Dribbling.

Poetry has numerous conventions, including lines and stanzas, rhyme, rhythm, and meter; however, not all types of poetry will have all of these. For instance, prose poetry might not rhyme or have a traditional stanza format. Poetry tends to make use of figurative language and other literary devices quite extensively. A poetry example is Langston Hughes' Harlem .

Scriptwriting can vary a lot as well, depending on what type of production the script is intended for (stage, TV, film, etc.). Still, it generally requires a plot, sense of setting, tone, characters, as well as corresponding language styles, stage directions, and signposting. Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is an example of scriptwriting.

Other Creative Writing Types

Literary works are not the only writing forms that can be classed as creative. Some others that often use creative writing include:


Journal entries

Letters and emails

Imagine how boring these forms of writing would be if they didn't have a creative element to them! It is possible to write for a specific purpose (e.g., a political speech) and still be engaging and creative with your language choices.

Can you think of a time when you wrote something for a particular reason (such as an essay or presentation for a class) but tried to make it entertaining as well as factual and informative?

Creative Writing Examples

We'll now look at some examples of creative writing. For simplicity's sake, we'll focus on the four main types of creative writing.

The Great Gatsby is a fictional novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925. Here's an excerpt:

The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier by the minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word.' 1

-F.S. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925

Fitzgerald uses the first-person narrator of Nick to tell the story of the novel and as such, we see the events and relationships in the novel through Nick's eyes.

The novel follows a plot, explores different themes (such as The American Dream, love, power, and class disparity), and has a strong sense of setting, which we see in the excerpt above.

Fitzgerald also uses a lot of figurative language, such as anthropomorphism. Examples include describing the earth as ' lurching ' and laughter as ' spilling ' and ' tipping '. There are also many descriptive adjectives ('brighter', 'yellow cocktail music' 'cheerful').

Anthropomorphism is when human characteristics, traits, or behaviors are given to non-human entities. It is a type of figurative language.

Fitzgerald's language is very emotive, and his creative use of descriptions and comparisons makes the writing all the more engaging.

Creative Non-Fiction

Travel writing is a common form of creative non-fiction, and we'll use Bill Bryson's The Road to Little Dribbling as an example. This book is just one of Bryson's many travel guides and was written in 2015.

The village center is much changed too. Nearly all that I remember fondly is gone. The Tudor Rose, the world's most endearingly terrible restaurant, where all the food was black or dark brown, except the peas, which were a pale grey, has long since departed and is missed by me, if no one else.' 2

-B. Bryson, The Road to Little Dribbling, 2015

This travel book is non-fictional, as it is Bryson's own account of his travels across England, but it is still creatively written rather than fact being his only focus. Bryson himself is the 'main character' in the book, and the other characters are the people he interacted with during his travels.

The book's plot is his adventure across England, and the purpose is to entertain and inform, as Bryson provides factual information and creative storytelling.

Throughout the book, he creates a sense of setting by describing the places he visited in great detail. In the excerpt above, we see an example of this detail in how he describes the Tudor Rose as ' the world's most endearingly terrible restaurant' . This line includes hyperbole and juxtaposition , making the description humorous and effective.

Hyperbole refers to extreme exaggeration used to emphasize something. For example, the Tudor Rose probably wasn't literally the most terrible restaurant 'in the world', but using this phrase emphasizes how bad Bryson thought it was.

Juxtaposition is when two things with contrasting meanings are placed together for effect. In the above example, we see 'endearingly terrible'. These words mean very different things, but when put together, they create an altogether new image.

Creative Writing, person pointing to a map, StudySmarter

There are many great and well-known American poets whose poetry illustrates the conventions of creative writing. Here's an example from Langston Hughes' poem Harlem , written in 1951:

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore—

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over—

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

Or does it explode? 3

-L. Hughes, Harlem, 1951

All poetry is a form of creative writing. In this example, we see some common conventions of poetry, such as the poem's structure, and its rhyme scheme (although not all kinds of poetry follow a rhyme scheme).

Hughes uses figurative language consistently throughout the poem, and we can see five examples of similes, which is quite a lot for such a short poem. In some ways, the whole poem is an example of figurative language as it is all describing a 'dream deferred'. This creative use of language also evokes many striking images in the reader's mind.

'Dream deferred' refers to the collective hopes and aspirations e of black people in America during the 40s and up to the time the poem was published. The similes Hughes uses in the poem (e.g., 'like a raisin in the sun', 'like a heavy load') illustrate the uncertainty and tension felt by black people at the time.

There are also multiple examples of enjambment , which creates an almost melodic effect when you read the poem.

Enjambment is when a line of a poem runs over onto the next line. If a line starts with a new sentence and ends with a period, it is not an example of enjambment.


Scriptwriting can take several forms, such as film scripts or scripts for television, but for this example, we'll look at scriptwriting for the stage. This is an excerpt from Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, written in 1959:

LINDA (hearing Willy outside the bedroom, calls with some trepidation): Willy!

WILLY: It's all right. I came back.

LINDA: Why? What happened? (Slight pause.) Did something happen, Willy?

WILLY: No, nothing happened.

LINDA: You didn't smash the car, did you?

WILLY (with casual irritation): I said nothing happened. Didn't you hear me? 4

-A. Miller, Death of a Salesman, 1959

The script for Death of a Salesman is an example of fiction as it is not based on a real story or person. We immediately get a glimpse into the characters' lives , and there is no narrator like there would be in a novel or short story. Instead, we see some stage directions in the excerpt, which give us more information about the manner and tone of voice used by the characters.

The stage directions also give us a sense of setting as we are told that Linda hears Willy 'outside the bedroom'. This suggests that this portion of the play will happen in their bedroom.

This is only the play's opening, but Miller has already created a sense of plot by building tension in Willy and Linda's interaction.

Creative Writing Prompts

Now that you've learned a bit more about creative writing and have seen examples of each type of creative writing, here are some prompts to consider for your writing.

A character is exploring an abandoned building and walks into an empty room, only to discover signs that there has recently been a person living in the room. What do they find? What are their thoughts? Do they encounter the other person?

Imagine a love story. Easy right? Now try to write one without any of the usual love story clichés or tropes. Your story does not have to be about romantic love.

Write a journal entry of a person who has been stranded on a boat without power that has drifted out to see. How long has this person been on the boat? What sorts of experiences have they had? What are their feelings?

Creative Writing, sailboat in the sea, StudySmarter

Creative Writing Topics

If you want to practice your creative writing but don't feel like following a prompt, you might want to try writing about a whole topic rather than a specific idea. Here are some more general topics to get you started on your creative writing journey:

A deserted beach

A childhood memory

100 years in the future

The animal kingdom

The mysteries of space

Cooking something new

A Halloween party

Creative Writing - Key Takeaways

  • There are four key types of creative writing: fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and scriptwriting.
  • Each type of creative writing has its own conventions and features.
  • Most creative writing revolves around some sort of characters, setting, plot, or theme.
  • Figurative language and descriptive language are commonly used in creative writing.
  • Examples of writing such as emails, letters, speeches, and advertisements are also creative writing.
  • F.S. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby , 1925
  • B. Bryson, The Road to Little Dribbling , 2015
  • L. Hughes, Harlem , The Collected Works of Langston Hughes, 2002
  • A. Miller, Death of a Salesman , 1959

Flashcards in Creative Writing 15

What are the four main types of creative writing?

  • creative non-fiction
  • scriptwriting

Define Enjambment.

Enjambment is when a line of a poem continues onto the next line. 

Which of these descriptions refers to 'juxtaposition'?

When two things with different meanings are put together. 

What is 'hyperbole'?

Hyperbole is the use of extreme exaggeration to emphasize something. 

True or false, hyperbole should be taken literally.

What is anthropomorphism?

Anthropomorphism is when human-like characteristics or behaviors are given to non-human entities. 

Creative Writing

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Frequently Asked Questions about Creative Writing

How do you define creative writing?

Creative writing is any kind of writing that tells a story in an engaging and creative way. Creative writing comes in several forms and tends to use a lot of descriptive and figurative language for emphasis.

What are the 4 forms of creative writing? 

The four key forms of creative writing are:

What are some other examples of creative writing? 

Some other examples of creative writing include:

How do I start creative writing?

You do not require any special writing skills to start creative writing. You do need to have a good idea for a story (you need to know what you're going to write about), and you need to ensure that your writing is interesting and engaging so that the reader remains intrigued. 

Is creative writing hard?

Creative writing does not need to be difficult. Some people are more naturally creative than others which does help, however, as long as you can tell a story in an engaging and amusing way, you'll be able to do some great creative writing. Creative writing should be fun!

Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

Which of these descriptions refers to 'juxtaposition'?

True or false, all kinds of poetry are written in stanzas. 

Creative Writing

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Creative Writing

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10 types of creative writing with examples

Do you aspire to be the following voice of your era? If so, you will need to research greater about innovative writing and begin trying to find concepts. In this newsletter, we will discover specific types of innovative writing, from poetry to screenplays, and delve deeper into this world of creativeness and creativity. By the end of this guide, you should have a good understanding of what creative writing is and what field you should specialize in.

Table of Contents

What is Creative Writing

creative writing

Creative writing is a form of artistic expression. It evokes writers to use their creativity to deliver personality and aptitude to their work. It does not consciousness entirely of greater conventional, technical kinds of writing along with journalistic and academic patterns, but alternatively presentations of imagination and invention.

It offers a platform for writers to specify themselves and attention to regions which include man or woman improvement, narrative, and story. When it comes to innovative writing, you can break free from traditional writing norms and let your imagination roam freely. There is an extensive range of different patterns and genres that you can concentrate on, which we will discuss in element under.

Also Read- What Does Copywriting Mean in Marketing?

Types of Creative Writing

There are various forms of creative writing to explore. Let’s delve into the ten most popular types, helping you choose the one where you can fully express yourself.

The artistic area of poetry is one of the greater popular sorts of creative writing that you could specialize in. There are many exceptional kinds of poetry, inclusive of free verse, haiku, sonnet, limerick, and more. If you are just beginning to test with formative writing, poetry is an outstanding location to start. You can set the length, writing style, and complexity of your poems, tailoring your work to your selected fashion.

It also encourages you to play with different literary techniques, including alliteration, simile, imagery, and irony. Poetry serves as an excellent gateway to grasp the effective use of literary devices and when to employ them. Whether you prefer long-winded prose or short, concise rhymed poems, this serves as a great opportunity to get in touch with your creative side and begin some highly imaginative written work.

Song Lyrics

If poetry floats your boat, chances are you also enjoy writing song lyrics. When you’re learning to write creatively, lyrics can be an excellent introduction to this world, especially if you’re interested in music. Although matching your lyrics to music can be a lot of fun, it can also be very challenging. You not only have to think about the written side of song creation but also the genre of music you’re writing for. This can also be a great group exercise with friends. Especially if you are not particularly interested in music and want to hear how your songs are performed during a performance. 

Also Read- What is Article Writing Meaning, Types, and Formats

Journals and Diaries

Written accounts of one’s experiences and feelings, journals, and diary entries are great ways to express yourself and document your life. It qualifies as a type of creative writing if you’re doing more than just keeping a log of events, and instead focusing more on emotions and storytelling. 

Whether you decide to keep your work private or publish it is entirely your choice. Either way, journaling can be a great way to use your writing skills and experiment with different techniques like imagery, foreshadowing, and flashbacks. Keeping a journal or diary can also be great for your mental health, helping you express how you feel without having to do it verbally.

Plays and screenplays

If you’ve always dreamed of a career in the dramatic arts, exploring your originative writing talents through plays and screenplays might be the perfect fit for you. Plays have been written for centuries and remain an extremely popular art form today. If you want to have your written work brought to life and performed on a stage near you, creating a play is a great way to get your story heard and show off the characters. Writing a script encourages you to think outside the box, create character dialogue, and stage direction, and bring ideas together.

Personal Essays

Focusing on the writer’s life and experiences, a personal essay is a form of creative non-fiction that functions almost as an autobiography. A personal essay focuses on a message or theme, with the writer using his or her personal experience to communicate his or her story. However, the main elements of the story must be true, otherwise it will become a piece of short fiction. If you have a personal story you wish to share, personal essays provide an ideal entry point into creative writing, allowing your narrative to resonate with others.

Short Fiction

If you don’t have time to write a novel but have lots of wonderful, imaginative ideas that you want to combine into fiction writing, short stories are for you. By using short stories, you can create an engaging piece that won’t take the reader long to digest.

In a constantly changing world where people are short of time and are always in a hurry, short stories provide a great alternative to novels and are becoming popular on a large scale. If you have ambitions to write novels then this is a good place to start, as it can help you hone your writing, develop your storytelling abilities, and develop the right literary techniques like imagery and foreshadowing.

Also Read- Copywriting vs Content Writing: Understanding the main Differences

Letters differ from journal and diary entries in that they focus specifically on a target reader. Again, this is a great example of originative writing where you can create a personal account of a particular event or examine in depth the relationship between two people. 

With letters, you can use hyperbole, flashbacks, and motifs to creatively reveal the dynamics of sender and recipient, which can make for an excellent story in its own right. Many famous writers publish their letters, as it allows them to showcase a different side of their personality and experiment with a completely different written format.

As soon as someone mentions creative writing, the first thing that often comes to mind is writing novels. One of the maximum famous styles of creative writing, novels are fictional works that inspire you to imaginatively inform a story to communicate with your reader. Usually divided into chapters, novels are a longer form of creative writing that takes time and commitment to get right. To write the best novel you’ll need to be patient and notably prompted.

Writing an e-book may be pretty worthwhile, which is why such a lot of innovative writers decide to take this, to begin with a difficult venture. It permits you to work with an entire range of literary devices, from metaphors and personification to imagery and symbolism.

Free Writing

If you need to allow your creativeness run wild and get the creative juices flowing speedy, freelance writing ticks all of the right boxes. This type of innovative writing lets you write without any consideration of common sense, sentence shape, or grammar. Freewriting is something to do with, encouraging you to place phrases and snapshots onto a web page as you spot healthy. Freelance writing may be a remarkable exercise when you first start writing, as it gives you complete freedom to experiment and test many special writing techniques without putting any stress on the final results.

An iconic speech will spring to thoughts for everybody analyzing this. Good speeches are usually remembered, but handing over them effectively can be very hard. Whether they’re motivational, inspirational, or instructional, speeches let you hook up with your target audience and explicit yourself. Skilled speechwriters are always sought after, whether it’s for a corporate function, wedding, award ceremony, or any other public event. That’s why speechwriting can be an invaluable ability and one worth gaining knowledge of. Ultimately, the motive of a speech is to inspire and motivate the target market, so as soon as you have mastered speech writing, you will be able to turn your hand to most other forms of innovative writing.

Creative writing serves as a medium of inventive expression. This can come in many bureaucracy, from screenplays and speeches to poetry and flash fiction. But what businesses these kinds of exceptional sorts of creative writing below the “innovative” umbrella is the display of a writer’s imagination, creativity, and linguistic abilities.

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17 Tone Examples (+ Definition & the 7 Types of Tone)

by Ali Luke

on Jun 12, 2024

Are you struggling to find good tone examples?

Perhaps the tone of your own internal narrative, right now, might be best described as worried or confused .

Don’t worry. We’re here to cut through the confusion.

So what’s tone?

It’s not quite the same as a writer’s voice or style .

Instead, tone conveys how the narrator or author feels about their subject matter. The tone of a piece might be upbeat, funny, sorrowful… or something else entirely.

With that in mind, let’s drill down further…

creative writing types and examples

Tone Definition

Tone, in writing, is a literary device that shows us how the writer feels about the subject matter — or, in some cases, their target audience .

In fiction, the right tone word can also convey the feelings of the narrator or a viewpoint character: in this case, it’s important to distinguish between the writer’s attitude and the character’s attitude.

(Be careful not to ascribe views to the writer that they may not actually agree with.)

Tone is conveyed through careful word choice, often including figurative language such as imagery and personification . Punctuation, as well as sentence structure and sentence length, can also affect the tone.

Why Use Tone in Writing?

Every piece of writing has a tone — even if that tone is dry and factual. Writers usually deliberately create a writing tone, in order to:

  • Craft a more compelling piece of creative writing: one that reaches the target audience on an emotional level, making a connection between the writer and the reader.
  • Add layers of meaning to their work: the tone of a piece could say a lot more than the mere subject matter at hand.
  • Position themselves, as authors, in a particular way. A nonfiction author might adopt a gently humorous tone to seem more approachable, for instance.
  • Create an emotional effect. Although this is usually done by the mood of a piece, the tone can also cause the reader to feel something. A dissonant tone — something serenely calm about the horrors of the subject matter — can be unnerving or poignant.

Difference Between Tone and Mood

It’s easy to get confused between the tone and the mood of a piece of writing. Here’s how they compare:

  • Tone tells us how the author (or the narrator or viewpoint character) feels about the subject matter. They might be lighthearted, serious, angry, laid-back, or something else entirely.
  • Mood is the atmosphere or ambiance of a piece of writing. It’s how the author wants the reader to feel. The mood of a piece might be scary, funny, uplifting, or tense.

Often, the tone and mood will work together in harmony, so it’s easy to confuse them. The character might be frightened and the author wants the reader to feel a sense of dread, too.

But tone and mood can also create a contrast.

Perhaps a light, friendly tone, but the reader is aware of something much darker beneath the surface, creating a suspenseful mood.

7 Different Types of Tone in Writing (+ Examples)

While there are lots of possible tones for a piece of creative writing , there are certain tones that are particularly common.

Let’s take a look at seven of those different types — with examples.

1. Humorous

4. matter-of-fact, 10 more examples of tone in literature, poetry, and pop culture.

Next, we’ll dig into some examples of tone from literature, poetry , and pop culture, so you can see exactly how writers create the right tone of a piece.

Examples of Tone in Literature

creative writing types and examples

8. The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkein (1937)

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to it: it was a hobbit-hole and that means comfort. It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle.

In The Hobbit , Tolkein adopts a leisurely, conversational tone , as if talking to a child. This is no great surprise: the stories began as bedtime stories told to his own children.

9. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin (1968)

The name he bore as a child, Duny, was given him by his mother, and that and his life were all she could give him, for she died before he was a year old. His father, the bronze-smith of the village, was a grim unspeaking man, and since Duny’s six brothers were older than he by many years and went one by one from home to farm the land or sail the sea or work as smith in other towns of the Northward Vale, there was no one to bring the child up in tenderness.

Here, Le Guin uses a factual but slightly archaic tone, which creates a sense of distance between the reader and the story — but also presents her fantasy world (Earthsea) in a realistic way.

10. Chocolat, Joanne Harris (1999)

We came on the wind of the carnival. A warm wind for February, laden with the hot greasy scents of frying pancakes and sausages and powdery-sweet waffles cooked on the hotplate right there by the roadside, with the confetti sleeting down collars and cuffs and rolling in the gutters like an idiot antidote to winter.

The unique overall tone of Chocolat — magical, sumptuous, and rich — is one of the things Joanne Harris is rightly praised for.

11. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins (2008)

[Buttercup] hates me. Or at least distrusts me. Even though it was years ago, I think he still remembers how I tried to drown him in the bucket when Prim brought him home. Scrawny kitten, belly swollen with worms, crawling with fleas. The last thing I needed was another mouth to feed. But Prim begged so hard, cried even, I had to let him stay.

Katniss’s narrative voice quickly gives us a no-nonsense, negative tone. There are hints of something rather jaded here: “the last thing I needed was another mouth to feed.”

Examples of Tone in Poetry

creative writing types and examples

Poetry can take on a wide range of tones, conveying these through careful and precise choice of tone words, and even through literary devices like line breaks and the rhyme scheme.

12. The Octopus, Ogden Nash (1902-1971)

Tell me, O Octopus, I begs Is those things arms, or is they legs? I marvel at thee, Octopus; If I were thou, I’d call me Us.

The playful humor of Ogden Nash’s poetry is evident in the tone of The Octopus , which combines an archaic, formal tone (“I marvel at thee”) with a distinctly informal tone (“is those things arms or is they legs?”)

13. William Blake, The Tyger (1794)

Tyger Tyger, burning bright In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

There’s an awestruck tone in The Tyger, as well as a hint of danger (“burning bright” and the “forests of the night”) and of fear.

14. The Hero, Siegfried Sassoon (1917)

Quietly the Brother Officer went out. He’d told the poor old dear some gallant lies […] He thought how ‘Jack’, cold-footed, useless swine, Had panicked down the trench that night the mine Went up at Wicked Corner; how he’d tried To get sent home, and how, at last, he died, Blown to small bits. And no one seemed to care Except that lonely woman with white hair.

The tense tone here is biting and cold, starkly exposing the horrors and truths of war — Siegfried Sassoon was one of the leading poets of World War 1.

Examples of Tone in Pop Culture

creative writing types and examples

Tone isn’t limited to written work. Let’s take a look at some examples of tone from TV and film.

15. Brooklyn 99 (2013 – 2021)

YouTube video

Brooklyn 99 has a silly, lighthearted, optimistic tone, primarily provided by the dialogue — but also by the visuals (like the photos that Holt shows Peralta in this clip).

16. Firefly (2002 – 2003)

YouTube video

Firefly’s consistent tone can be gritty and dark at times — but there’s also a strong strand of irreverent humor running through the series.

Serious, dramatic moments are often undercut with humor, like when Captain Malcolm Reynolds kicks Crow into the — running — engines.

17. The Sims (2000 onwards)

Quadpod Grill description, from The Sims 4:

A high-tech heat ray in the hood of the Quadpod ensures an even cook every single time. That’s not to say that you won’t burn your hot dogs … just rest assured that the problem lies with you.

The Sims’ playful tone (and refusal to take itself too seriously) shows up in item descriptions — as well as in the general gameplay.

Use These Tone Examples to Deepen Your Understanding

If you don’t quite have a handle on tone yet, go back over the different tone examples above.

You might want to compare two different tone examples, looking closely at your tone words, sentence structure, and more, to see how exactly they create such different tones.

Next time you read something — whether it’s a blog post , email , or book — pay attention to the writing style and specific tone.

What’s the author or character telling you about their attitude to the subject matter?

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The Most Important Writing Skills (With Examples)

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Strong writing skills are necessary for any career. Being able to write clearly, concisely, and effectively are skills that will serve you well for your entire career. Getting your thoughts down clearly can help with emailing, note taking, and record keeping. Writing is also a major form of communication in most workplaces.

Even if writing has never been your forte, there are certain writing skills that you can focus on to improve it. And if you write for a living, then there afre always opportunities to get better. If you’re looking to improve your writing skills, then this article will highlight important skills and give suggestions to improve them.

Key Takeaways

Some of the most important writing skills include correct grammar, conciseness, and writing for your audience and platform.

Outlining, good organization, and research skills are also important writing skills to have.

You can improve your writing skills by practicing, working with others, and reading.

The Most Important Writing Skills

The top 10 most important professional writing skills

How to improve your writing skills, how to demonstrate your writing skills to a potential employer, writing skills faq, references:.

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While there are many valuable writing skills, these are some of the most important ones to develop.

Grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Grammatical or spelling errors can be caught by anyone, and will make you look lazy or incompetent. A strong understanding of grammar and spelling are important, but so is the ability to make use of spellcheckers and grammar checking tools.

Poor grammar and spelling can lose you opportunities. Many employers will reject resumes out of hand if they have too many spelling or grammatical errors because it shows a lack of attention to detail. Clients are also less likely to work with business that have typos or grammatical mistakes in their communications.

How to improve: For grammar, style guides are an excellent way to get better with it. Many of them will cover grammar, parts of speech, and how to use punctuation properly — even more obscure ones like semicolons and dashes. Reading and listening to the way that people structure sentences can also help.

For spelling, practice is the best way to get better. English spelling is anything but intuitive, but making use of dictionaries and knowing the roots of words can make it easier. Spellcheckers are also invaluable, as they’ll catch errors and typos.

Outlining. Drawing up an outline can be invaluable in a longer piece of writing, but it can help you organize your thoughts for a piece of any length. Outlines can have many benefits, including helping you organize your thoughts, allowing you to focus on the writing process when you write, and giving your writing structure.

It’s important to note that not every writer is an outliner. Some writers prefer to leave that to the editing process rather than creating an outline up front. If you struggle with organization, then making outlines could help tremulously. Even if you don’t, it’s likely worth trying — it could improve your writing. How to improve: Most people work on an outline from top down. Put in the big ideas first, then flesh out the sub-topics. However, there are many different ways to create an outline, and you should experiment until you find one that works for you.

Conciseness. Being direct and getting to the point are good skills to learn to be an effective writer. Remember that the person you’re communicating with has other demands on their time, and will likely be annoyed if your writing is too circuitous.

That being said, being too brief can make you seem laconic. There’s a balance between excessive wordiness and being brusque. It takes practice to get it right, but reading what other people write and reading back what you wrote to yourself can help you get the sense of how it comes off.

How to improve: The best thing to do to avoid being overly wordy is to focus on what it is you want to say. If your natural tendency is to add a lot of unnecessary words, you can cut those out. If you tend to be so direct that you leave out information, add some extra when you read over it again.

As with all communication, context matters. Who you’re talking to can change the way you’d put something, as well as the sort of news you want to convey. Sometimes being less direct is preferable. For most business communications, however, it’s considered polite to take up as little of the other person’s time as possible.

Word choice. While this may seem obvious, word choice is a key writing skill. The words you choose convey different tones and meanings, even if they’re synonyms. There are noticeable differences between:

I apologize for the inconvenience.

I didn’t mean to put you out.

Sorry about the hassle.

The delay was my mistake.

I’m sorry for the trouble.

While all of these sentences convey an apology for a minor problem, the tone and connotation of the words make them all feel different. Some are less formal, some less genuinely apologetic.

How to improve: This largely boils down to practice. People typically have a particular voice when they write, just as when they speak. However, if you consider how you alter your speech patterns depending on the situation, that gives you a major clue as to how to alter your writing to fit the occasion.

Dictionaries and thesauruses are wonderful resources for this. If you want to find a different way to say a word, then the thesaurus will give you a list of synonyms — but each word has its own unique connotation. That means you can say exactly what you want to say.

Editing. Being able to edit is arguably the most important skills writers need to learn. Every writer will tell you that first drafts aren’t fit to put out there. How do you get a first draft to become a polished pice of writing? Editing!

If possible, it’s best to return to edit your writing after letting it sit for a while. Of course that isn’t always possible, but at the very least you’ll need to reread what you’ve written. And if you make chances, you should read it again, as you can end up with some very peculiar sentence structures that way.

How to improve: Again, practice is the best way to improve your editing skills. That being said, reading is another excellent way to get better at it. Knowing how others phrased things or got their point across is a great way to learn.

Having someone else read your writing can also be invaluable, particularly if they’re a proficient writer themselves. But even if they aren’t, they can point out issues in your sentence structure or will notice phrasing or word choice that doesn’t come of the way you intended it to.

Tailor your writing to your audience. Always keep in mind your audience when writing anything for work.

This is important not just for maximizing the clarity of your writing, but also for making clients, managers, and stakeholders feel that you understand them and their needs.

Depending on the audience, consider the appropriate:

Tone. The proper tone to use depends on the audience and type of document.

For example, when writing to consumers, you typically want to communicate with a conversational tone that makes them feel like they’re talking to a real person.

If you’re writing to business-to-business clients or creating project proposals , on the other hand, then you should adopt a more professional tone.

Terminology. Consider whether all parties reading any document you’re writing will understand all the contained terminology.

If you’re an engineer writing a training guide for a piece of software, you’ll want to use more general language if the guide is meant for new hires than if it’s for existing team members.

How to improve: Spend time reading writing that is aimed at a particular audience. Work to imitate it, making sure that your writing feels genuine. The more you read and write to this particular audience, the more natural it’ll become.

Research. Being able to do research is another important writing skill. It’s important to establish credibility in your writing by knowing what you’re talking about — and not being caught using incorrect information. If you do your research, too, you can make use of:

Numbers. Statistics and numbers are highly meaningful and memorable, making them great rhetorical tools for conveying your points to others. Being able to quote numbers and percentages also makes you appear knowledgable and like you’ve done your research.

Testimonials. Human brains are wired to highly-value social proof. If you can demonstrate that your boss , colleagues, or previous clients trust you, that’ll make a strong, positive impression on the party you’re currently dealing with.

Citations. If you’re serious about your research, you should include citations to your research materials. While this won’t be necessary for most communications, if you’re trying to prove a point or sell an idea, citing reputable sources strengthens your position.

How to improve: Being good at research is another skills that takes practice, And, believe it or not, research. You need to gain the skills and knowledge to recognize a reputable source, and take information you’ve obtained and turn towards the point you’re trying to make.

Knowing when to stop. One of the hardest things for many writers is letting go. There’s only so much editing you can do before you’re no longer improving what you wrote, and instead just changing it.

How to improve: Take breaks from your writing. Many people will get stuck in a cycle of reading and rereading what they wrote and seeing anything that could be perceived as a flaw. Chances are when you return to it, it’ll be better than you thought it was.

Adapting for the platform. The writing techniques you use don’t just vary by audience, but by the platform as well.

If you’re tasked with writing an email, social media post, or blog post, make sure to research strategies and writing samples for that particular platform before you begin.

How to improve: Different platforms have different ways that their text is presented. Some have different styles as well, due to either limitations or legacy. Using the platform is a good way to learn about the differences in style and writing. Then you work to imitate it.

Organization and structure. Most people tend to dedicate 80% of their attention to the first 20% of any piece of writing they read.

This means that for business emails and documents, a disorganized and illogical structure could cause readers to miss important language.

A few helpful tips for structuring your writing are:

Put the important information at the front. Especially for business emails, most people will appreciate it if you get straight to the point.

Separate different thoughts. The smaller your walls of text, the more legible it’ll be and the more willing people will be to do more than just skim it.

After you write an email or document, read over it and identify where cohesive thoughts start and end, then simply separate them with blank lines.

How to improve: Improving the structure of your writing boils down to putting time into the structure. Remember how essays had a format you had to follow? Most professional writing is the same way. Making use of outlines and making sure that your thoughts are ordered is an excellent start. And don’t be afraid to rearrange things in an edit to make it more organized.

If, after reading this article, you feel that some of your writing skills aren’t up to par, there are a few ways you can improve them, including practicing, working with others, and reading.

Practice, practice, practice. The more you write, the better you get. If you have an idea for an article — even if it’s just a paragraph — write it down. Say yes to projects that involve writing, and keep a journal of your ideas or random writing projects. No one has to read it, so take the pressure off and just write.

Read your work out loud. Before you publish, submit, or send anything you’ve written, read it out loud first. This will help you see errors and awkward sections that your eye would’ve skimmed over otherwise, and it’ll help you start to notice your voice, bad habits, and strong points.

Involve someone else in your writing. Whether it’s asking someone to edit your work, taking a class, or finding a writing partner , getting someone else’s feedback on your work is invaluable. Even if they aren’t necessarily a writing expert , they can tell you where they’re confused or fully engaged, which is valuable in itself.

Read all you can. The more good writing you read, the better writer you become. You’ll start to subconsciously incorporate what you read into your own writing, and you’ll get a better idea of what voice and style you want to emulate. Even if it’s just 30 minutes a day, set aside time to read well-written articles and books.

Claiming to have excellent writing skills and showcasing them are two different things. However, if you’re looking to do so professionally, there are several different ways that good writers can showcase their skills.

Resume. If you’re saying that you’re a good writer, you’d better write a good resume. Resumes are how employers are introduced to prospective employees, meaning that they’re how you make a good first impression.

Cover letter. Be sure to include a cover letter when you apply for a job. As cover letters shouldn’t be any longer than a page , it’s an excellent way to show that you can convey the needed information concisely and clearly.

Thank you for your consideration email. While thanking recruiters for taking the time to meet with you is always a good idea, sending a well written thank you will up your stock as a competent writer.

What are good writing skills?

Good writing skills are the ability to be clear, concise, and engaging with your writing. Having proper spelling and grammar are also a must. Good writers need to be able to:

Get a point across clearly.

Edit their work.

Make use of research.

Choose the right words.

How do you demonstrate writing skills?

When applying for a job, writing skills can be demonstrated by the resume and cover letter. However, writing skills often don’t need to be directly demonstrated, as they’re shown in day to day communications.

MasterClass — 9 Crucial Skills for Professional Writers

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Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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American Psychological Association

Reference Examples

More than 100 reference examples and their corresponding in-text citations are presented in the seventh edition Publication Manual . Examples of the most common works that writers cite are provided on this page; additional examples are available in the Publication Manual .

To find the reference example you need, first select a category (e.g., periodicals) and then choose the appropriate type of work (e.g., journal article ) and follow the relevant example.

When selecting a category, use the webpages and websites category only when a work does not fit better within another category. For example, a report from a government website would use the reports category, whereas a page on a government website that is not a report or other work would use the webpages and websites category.

Also note that print and electronic references are largely the same. For example, to cite both print books and ebooks, use the books and reference works category and then choose the appropriate type of work (i.e., book ) and follow the relevant example (e.g., whole authored book ).

Examples on these pages illustrate the details of reference formats. We make every attempt to show examples that are in keeping with APA Style’s guiding principles of inclusivity and bias-free language. These examples are presented out of context only to demonstrate formatting issues (e.g., which elements to italicize, where punctuation is needed, placement of parentheses). References, including these examples, are not inherently endorsements for the ideas or content of the works themselves. An author may cite a work to support a statement or an idea, to critique that work, or for many other reasons. For more examples, see our sample papers .

Reference examples are covered in the seventh edition APA Style manuals in the Publication Manual Chapter 10 and the Concise Guide Chapter 10

Related handouts

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Textual Works

Textual works are covered in Sections 10.1–10.8 of the Publication Manual . The most common categories and examples are presented here. For the reviews of other works category, see Section 10.7.

  • Journal Article References
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Data sets are covered in Section 10.9 of the Publication Manual . For the software and tests categories, see Sections 10.10 and 10.11.

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Audiovisual media are covered in Sections 10.12–10.14 of the Publication Manual . The most common examples are presented together here. In the manual, these examples and more are separated into categories for audiovisual, audio, and visual media.

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Online media are covered in Sections 10.15 and 10.16 of the Publication Manual . Please note that blog posts are part of the periodicals category.

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15 LinkedIn Summary Examples You Need to Read in 2024

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You might not realize it, but your LinkedIn summary section is one of the most important parts of your profile. 

Why? Because after the headline, the summary is the first thing visitors read when they check out your profile on LinkedIn. 

Think of your summary as an elevator pitch – you only have a few seconds to present yourself, so you need to make it count!

In this article, we will unpack everything you need to know about the LinkedIn summary section. 

We’ll also provide you with tips, strategies, and examples to help you create a powerful summary that will land you more job interviews.

In this article

What is a linkedin summary, how to write a linkedin summary that will get you noticed, linkedin summary examples, why is your linkedin summary so important, linkedin summary vs resume summary, linkedin summary faqs, key takeaways.

The LinkedIn summary, which is also called the “LinkedIn Bio” or “About Me” section, appears right underneath your photo on your profile page. 

A LinkedIn profile featuring the summary section

The goal of your summary is to present a concise, yet compelling, snapshot of your professional identity.

With its 2,600 character limit , the summary gives you approximately 370 words to explain who you are, what you do, and what makes you unique.

Your summary is your best opportunity to make a good first impression on anyone who visits your LinkedIn profile , so don’t waste it!

A great LinkedIn summary can help you get noticed by potential employers and clients.

Here’s how to write a summary that will help you stand out.

1. Tell your story

Before you start writing your summary, remember that you want it to read more like a story than a resume.

This means you should try to avoid excessive bullet points and detailed work history and instead try to craft an engaging narrative that grabs the reader’s attention. 

People sitting around a campfire telling stories.

2. Be conversational

Your writing style in your summary should be conversational. A conversational writing style is one that mimics the way people speak to each other in everyday life.

Conversational writing is meant to be easy to read and understand, as well as interesting and entertaining.

3. Hook the reader right away

Visitors to your profile page will only see the first 3 lines of your summary. Then they have to click “read more” to see the rest.

This means the first 3 lines are the most important part of your summary!

If you can hook readers with your first three lines, it’s much more likely they’ll want to read the rest of your summary and profile. 

“ Hook readers with the first 3 lines of your summary and they’ll want to read more .”

How do you hook your reader? Generally speaking, your opening should convey the number one thing you want your readers to know about you. 

What sets you apart from everyone else? What combinations of skills help you achieve results? Why do you love your work? What outstanding accomplishments do you have? 

Answering these questions can help you uncover a compelling opening statement.

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4. Be concise

Hiring managers and recruiters are busy people; they don’t have time to read a long, rambling essay. 

Keep your summary short and to the point. Try to focus on the most important information and leave out any fluff.

5. Write in the first person

When you write in the first person, you use pronouns such as “I,” “me,” and “my.” This gives your writing a more personal, authentic feel. 

For example, instead of saying “John Smith is a marketing professional with 10 years of experience,” you would say, “I am a marketing professional with 10 years of experience.”

Writing in the first person allows you to share your story in your own words. 

This can be especially powerful if you have a unique or inspiring story to share about your career journey.

6. Use the right keywords

When recruiters search for candidates on LinkedIn, they type in certain job-related keywords. These keywords can be skills, job titles, or industry jargon.

Try to include as many of these keywords in your summary as possible!

Why? Because using the right keywords will ensure that your profile shows up more often when recruiters type those keywords into the LinkedIn search bar. 

How do you find the right keywords to use? Simply scan the descriptions of the jobs you’re applying to and see what words appear most frequently. 

The quickest and easiest way to find relevant keywords is to use Jobscan’s LinkedIn Optimization Tool .

This tool uses intelligent technology to analyze your LinkedIn profile against jobs you’re interested in. 

It will show you exactly which keywords you should include in your LinkedIn summary and profile, and where to use them.

7. Focus on your strengths

When writing your summary, focus on your strengths and accomplishments. 

What are the initiatives that you’ve taken charge of? What have you done that you’re proud of? What accomplishments can you share that will impress others? 

As you talk about your accomplishments, weave in how your strengths helped you achieve them. This will show employers how you can help them and why they should choose you.

If you’re not sure what your strengths are, try asking other people what they think your strengths are. This can be done informally by asking friends, family, and colleagues for their input. 

You can also take a free personality test to find your true strengths. 

Learn more about how to discover your strengths and accomplishments:

  • 39 Accomplishment Examples
  • Simple Formula for Identifying Key Achievements

8. Discuss your background

While the LinkedIn summary is not the place to publish your autobiography, you do want to include enough information to give readers a good sense of your professional background.

If you have an extensive work history, you may want to focus on your most recent positions and highlight your key responsibilities in each role.

If you’re just starting out in your career, you can use your summary to discuss your educational background and any relevant internships or work experience you have.

9. Describe your current position

The simplest way to describe your current position in your LinkedIn summary is to just state your title and company. For example: “I am currently a software engineer at Google.”

If you want to elaborate further, you can include a brief description of your role or responsibilities. For example…

“My current position is as a Communications Strategist at an ad agency. I help develop and execute communications plans for our clients that help them achieve their business goals. I also manage a team of communication specialists who work on various accounts.

In my role, I often collaborate with account managers, creatives, and media teams to ensure that our client’s messages are effectively communicated to their target audiences.”

10. Detail your accomplishments

Don’t just list your accomplishments in the summary. There’s a separate section in LinkedIn for doing that. 

Remember, your LinkedIn summary should be an engaging narrative that tells the story of your professional life. So do your best to make it interesting and exciting to read!

When writing about your accomplishments, highlight those that are most relevant to the type of job or industry you are targeting. 

If you have a long and impressive list of accomplishments, mention only those that demonstrate your skills and abilities in the most positive light. 

11. Include numbers and data

Whenever possible, try to include numbers and data in your summary. 

Numbers not only attract attention, but they can give your readers a more concrete understanding of your skills and experience. 

You might tell readers how many years you’ve been working in your field, or highlight specific projects you’ve worked on that were particularly successful.

For example, you could say “Managed a team of 12 people” or “Increased sales by 20%”.

Whatever numbers and data you choose to include, make sure they’re relevant and interesting – otherwise, you risk boring your reader!

Data and numbers for a LinkedIn summary.

12. Highlight relevant skills and talents

Try to add as many relevant skills and talents to your summary as possible, while still keeping it interesting and readable.

This is important because skills and talents serve as the primary source of keywords that recruiters are searching for. 

You can incorporate these keywords into your summary with examples of how you utilized your skills and talents to excel in your current role, as well as in previous roles. 

However, try to avoid skills that are too basic for your current professional level. For example, if you’re an IT specialist, mentioning MS Office would be strange.

One way to find the most relevant keywords for your summary is to use Jobscan’s LinkedIn Optimization Tool.

It works by analyzing your LinkedIn profile against jobs you’re interested in. This tool is super easy to use and will help you land more job interviews!

13. Show some personality

As mentioned earlier, your LinkedIn summary is one of the most important aspects of your profile because it’s an opportunity for you to show off your personality. 

To do this, make sure you write conversationally, which means using language that sounds natural and human. 

In addition, try to feature some personal details and interests so that people can get to know you better and decide whether you’d fit within a company’s culture.

Most importantly, be yourself! Don’t try to copy someone else’s style or tone.

“ Be yourself! Don’t try to copy someone else .”

However, it’s important to strike the right balance. You want to come across as genuine and likable, but you also don’t want to overshare or seem unprofessional. 

A little bit of personality goes a long way on LinkedIn!

14. State your future ambitions

Sharing your professional ambitions on your LinkedIn summary can help recruiters decide whether you’d be a good fit for their organization.

You can do this by:

  • Being clear and concise about what you want to achieve.
  • Making sure your goals are realistic and achievable.
  • Connecting your ambitions to your overall career strategy. 

Stating your future ambitions like this will help you to stand out from the competition and increase your chances of being hired for the role.

15. Include a call to action

The final lines of your summary should include a call to action (CTA). The purpose of the CTA is to urge readers to connect with you in some way. 

Here’s an example of a CTA:

“If you’re interested in learning more about my professional journey, connect with me on LinkedIn!”

Pretty simple, isn’t it? Your CTA can also prompt readers to visit your website or contact you for more information.

Including a call to action in your LinkedIn summary is a great way to encourage readers to take a specific, desired action that will help you achieve your objectives.

Call to action for a LinkedIn summary.

16. Make use of whitespace

Your LinkedIn summary should NOT be one big block of text. That’s visually unappealing and hard to read.

Instead, use whitespace to break up your text. 

You can do this by using short paragraphs . Breaking your text up into small chunks like this makes it easier for readers to digest. 

“ Break up your text into small chunks to make it easier to digest .”

Another way to use whitespace effectively is by including relevant images and videos. This can help break up your text and add visual interest. 

Just make sure that any images or videos you include are high-quality and relevant to your content.

Overall, using whitespace effectively can help make your LinkedIn summary more engaging and easier to read. So don’t be afraid to use it!

17. Add relevant attachments

Adding attachments to your LinkedIn summary can help you stand out and showcase your work in a more professional light.

By including links to PDFs, slideshows, or even video clips, you can give potential employers or clients a more well-rounded view of your skills and experience. 

Plus, it can help demonstrate your ability to use technology to your advantage, which is helpful for most jobs these days.

Infographic showing top 10 tips for writing a LinkedIn summary.

We just went over some important tips and strategies that can help you create a powerful LinkedIn summary. 

Now let’s look at some actual real-life LinkedIn bio examples !

NOTE : Take inspiration from these sample LinkedIn summaries but DO NOT copy them.

LinkedIn summary examples for students

Linkedin summary examples for recent graduates, linkedin summary examples for career changers, linkedin summary examples for entrepreneurs, linkedin summary examples for professionals and job seekers.

A good LinkedIn summary is not only important for experienced professionals, it’s also important for students who are not yet in the workforce, still working on a college degree, or applying for internships. 

Here are three examples of how to “work with what you’ve got” and make a great first impression on LinkedIn.

Daniel R., Public Policy Analysis Student

LinkedIn summary example for students

Why this works : This summary is clear and concise , easy to read, and outlines both the skills gained from classwork and an internship.  

Sarah T., Arts and Culture Management Student

LinkedIn summary example for students

Why this works: This is an excellent example of leaning on your personal character qualities and providing clear examples of how they will enhance your ability to do the job well. 

At the internship level, you don’t have to provide a ton of experience to be well-suited for the roles. Sharing about your personality and values can be equally important.

Kelly L., Digital Arts & Sciences Student

LinkedIn summary example for students

Why this works: Another clever strategy is to expound on the unique learning opportunities you’ve experienced in college. 

Study abroad experiences, volunteer work, and personal passion projects can all be useful ways to express the value you have to offer.

As a recent graduate, you should focus on your academic achievements, internships or other relevant experience, and extracurricular activities that demonstrate your skills and interests. 

Keep your summary concise and clear, and try to convey your personality. The goal is to present yourself as someone people would want to connect with.

Tiffinni S., International Finance and International Economics

LlinkedIn summary example for recent graduates

Why this works: This is a very concise, yet detailed, summary. Tiffinni starts off by injecting some personality, then quickly outlines her academic career, her skills and talents, and her work experience. 

Megan M., Criminal Justice

LlinkedIn summary example for recent graduates

Why this works: While this summary could have used whitespace more effectively, Megan does a great job conveying her passion and focusing on the strengths that will make her an excellent asset for any organization.

Anthony F, Accounting and Finance

LlinkedIn summary example for recent graduates

Why this works: Anthony does a great job of expressing his personality in the first couple of lines. He then discusses his academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and his ambitions for the future. 

He not only tells his story , but he makes it appealing to read by breaking up the text and keeping things concise.

If you’re changing your career, your LinkedIn profile summary should highlight any transferable skills , relevant coursework, or volunteer experiences that show you have what it takes to succeed in your new chosen profession. 

You can also include a sentence or two about your professional goals to give your profile some direction.

Jacob H., Airline Pilot to Aviation Technical Writer

LinkedIn summary example for career changers

Why this works: The first 3 lines of this summary tell the reader exactly who Jacob is and what his career change involves. It’s a perfect elevator pitch!

He also provides specific examples of how his previous experience is relevant to his new dream job, and the efforts he’s making to close any gaps in his education or training.

Michael R., Staffing/Recruiting Account Manager to Software Sales Account Executive

LinkedIn summary example for career changers

Why this works:  This is a good LinkedIn summary outline to follow for a career change , particularly if you’re looking to stay in the same general line of work but shifting industries or niches. 

Michael also does a great job of highlighting his experience and skills that are relevant to his new career direction.

Every entrepreneur is unique, but there are a couple of things that all great LinkedIn summaries for entrepreneurs have in common. 

  • The summary should show off the entrepreneur’s personality and give readers a sense of what it would be like to work with them. 
  • The summary should demonstrate why the entrepreneur is an expert in their field and why someone should consider doing business with them.

Here are some examples:

Cassandra C., Online Business & Marketing Mentor

LinkdedIn summary example for entrepreneurs

Why this works: Cassandra’s summary clearly conveys two things – her passion for helping people grow their business and her many years of experience . 

Her summary brims with energy and confidence, and clearly demonstrates why she is an expert in her field. 

Gillian H., Content And Copywriting Strategist

LinkdedIn summary example for entrepreneurs

Why this works: Entrepreneurs can also craft a summary that reads more like a sales pitch .

This type of summary should clearly explain what you do and how you can help people. Make sure you’re not being overly sales-y!

Michelle G., Photographer And Graphic Designer

LinkdedIn summary example for entrepreneurs

Why this works: It’s especially important for entrepreneurs to stand out from the crowd, and a good way to do this is to write a summary with a unique voice .

In this summary, Michelle showcases her playful personality while still providing evidence of her expertise. 

If you decide to create a summary like this, make sure that you don’t forget to include important keywords and that your style aligns with your audience’s sensibilities.

If you’re a professional, the LinkedIn summary is a great opportunity to showcase your unique value proposition , which shows prospective employers what you can bring to the table and what sets you apart from everyone else. 

Daniel C., Customer Experience Specialist

LinkedIn summary example for professionals and job seekers

Why this works: Daniel’s personality shines through his summary, but most importantly he demonstrates his process , which allows prospective employers to see exactly how he would approach the work.

Jessica L., Software Engineer

LinkedIn summary example for professionals and job seekers

Why this works: Not everyone is a writer and not every job will care if you can craft a narrative in your summary. 

If you’re not sure what else to do, use the summary to clearly lay out your skills, tech proficiencies, and certifications .

Alaina C., Social Media Director

LinkedIn summary example for professionals and job seekers

Why this works: Short, easy-to-read sentences keep this summary moving while still providing important information about who the writer is beyond just a description of their job. 

This is an excellent example of providing a holistic viewpoint of an individual, beyond just the hard skills.

Alison H., SEO Content Writer

LinkedIn summary example for professionals and job seekers

Why this works:  Alison’s summary uses numbers in the opening line, which is a great way to grab the reader’s attention and entice them to learn more. 

Presenting the results of her personality test provides a different perspective to not only her skills, but how she might approach different situations in the workplace.

LinkedIn is one of the first places recruiters and hiring managers go to learn about and find prospective employees. 

In fact, studies show that 6 people are hired on LinkedIn every minute !

That’s why it’s so important to create a strong, compelling LinkedIn summary that highlights your professional accomplishments and skills.

“ Six people are hired on LinkedIn every minute, so try to create a strong, compelling summary. “

But your LinkedIn summary is important for another reason – it’s a great way to set yourself apart from everyone else. 

LinkedIn has over 800 million users. That’s a lot of competition! A compelling summary can help you stand out from the crowd. 

The summary section is also important because it allows you to inject a little personality into your profile. It’s where you can truly express yourself and tell your story. 

What motivates you? What kind of experiences have you had? What are you passionate about? 

Adding some non-professional details about yourself can breathe life into your summary, making you more attractive to prospective employers.  

Finally, your LinkedIn summary is important because you can include keywords that recruiters are searching for. 

These keywords are usually related to:

  • Hard skills
  • Soft skills
  • Industry keywords

Having these keywords in your summary strengthens the searchability of your profile, giving you a leg up on the competition.

Even if you’ve uploaded a great profile photo , customized your LinkedIn headline , created a cover story video , and listed all your work and education history , leaving the summary section blank or just typing a short tagline that’s better suited for a headline is a huge missed opportunity .

If you need help fully optimizing your LinkedIn summary and profile for searchability, try Jobscan’s LinkedIn Optimization Tool . 

This tool will analyze your LinkedIn profile against jobs you’re interested in to show you exactly which keywords you should be including in your profile. 

Many job seekers make the mistake of writing their LinkedIn summary the same way they write their resume summary.

A resume summary is a short, clear statement at the top of your resume that highlights your most relevant qualifications and experiences.

Resume summaries should be formal and AVOID using casual and overly personal language. 

LinkedIn summaries , on the other hand, should be informal and INCLUDE casual and personal language (while still remaining professional).

LinkedIn summaries give you a chance to tell your story in a personal way .

Your story is what makes you unique and interesting , so don’t be afraid to share it!

How long should a LinkedIn summary be?

Most recruiters and hiring managers agree that a LinkedIn summary should be around three paragraphs , or approximately 300 words. 

This length allows you to provide enough information to give readers a good sense of who you are and what you do, without overwhelming them or causing them to lose interest.

Can your LinkedIn summary be the same as your resume summary?

No, your LinkedIn summary should NOT be the same as your resume summary.

Both summaries should feature your skills, qualifications, and experience, but your LinkedIn summary should be more informal in tone and style than your resume summary.

Remember, your LinkedIn summary should offer a taste of your personality while telling your story. It should also show businesses how you can help them achieve their goals.

How do I write a LinkedIn summary if I have no experience?

If you have no experience, your best bet is to focus on what skills and qualities you DO possess that could make you a valuable asset to a potential employer.

In your summary, highlight any relevant coursework, volunteer work, internships, or extracurricular activities that demonstrate your ability to perform well in a professional setting. 

Be sure to include any skills that could be transferable to a new job, such as excellent communication or writing abilities. 

Also mention anything else that makes you stand out, such as foreign language fluency or computer proficiency. 

What should I write in my LinkedIn summary if I am unemployed?

If you’re unemployed, your LinkedIn summary should focus on what kind of job you’re looking for and what kinds of skills and experience you have that make you a good fit for that type of job.

You don’t need to include the fact that you’re unemployed on your LinkedIn summary. You could just say you’re currently looking for new opportunities .

You can also use your summary to highlight any volunteer work or other activities you’ve been involved in that show you’re still active and engaged, even if you’re not currently employed.

What do most people put in their LinkedIn summary?

Most people include their current and previous job titles, as well as a brief overview of their work experience and skills. Some also choose to include their education, volunteer work, or other relevant information. 

In general, your LinkedIn summary should give potential employers or business connections a snapshot of who you are professionally and what you have to offer. 

  • The summary is also called the “LinkedIn Bio” or “About Me” section. 
  • It’s a concise, yet compelling, snapshot of your professional identity.
  • Open with the number one thing you want your readers to know about you.
  • Your summary should read more like a story than a resume.
  • Try to inject a little of your personality into your summary. 
  • Include keywords that recruiters are searching for. 
  • Be concise and write in the first person.
  • Focus on your strengths – if you’re not sure, ask people you know.
  • Highlight relevant accomplishments and experience.
  • Whenever possible, try to include numbers and data .
  • Include a simple call to action at the end of your summary. 
  • Use whitespace to make your summary more inviting and easier to read.

Finally, try to use a little creativity and have fun when creating your LinkedIn summary! 

Not only will your summary help you network and connect with potential employers, but it will also give you a chance to show off your personality and highlight your unique skills and experience.

For more information about writing a strong LinkedIn profile check out our LinkedIn Profile Writing Guide . 

And if you really want to take your LinkedIn profile to the next level, try Jobscan’s LinkedIn Optimization Tool .

This tool is easy to use and will increase the searchability of your profile so that recruiters and hiring managers are more likely to find it – resulting in more job opportunities!

Related articles:


28 LinkedIn Profile Tips to Supercharge Your Job Opportunities


27+ Free Certifications to Add to Your Resume in 2024


What Is An ATS? 8 Things You Need to Know About Applicant Tracking Systems

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Robert Henderson, CPRW, is a career advice writer and a resume expert at Jobscan.

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