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):

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)

Writing Forward

What is Creative Writing?

by Melissa Donovan | Dec 7, 2023 | Creative Writing | 20 comments

what is creative writing

What is creative writing?

Today’s post is an excerpt from the book  Ready, Set, Write: A Guide to Creative Writing . This is the entirety of the first chapter, “What is Creative Writing?” Enjoy!

Creative writing can be difficult to define.

Certainly, fiction and poetry are forms of creative writing, but what about journal writing, articles and essays, memoirs and biographies? What about textbooks and copywriting? Technical writing? Blog posts?

Where do we draw the line between what is creative writing and other types of writing?

Have you ever read the terms and conditions on a website? Ever browsed through an instruction manual? Surely, you’ve suffered through a boring textbook. While these types of writing might require some level of creativity, they are not usually considered creative writing.

It’s easy to glance at a poem and know that it’s a piece of creative writing, and it’s easy to flip through a legal document and know that it’s not.

So what is creative writing?

If a historical textbook is not creative writing, then wouldn’t that exclude other nonfiction works like memoirs and biographies from the creative writing category?

Not necessarily.

While nonfiction indicates that the writing is rooted in fact, it can be written with emphasis on language and craftsmanship and therefore creative. Creative nonfiction is a broad genre that includes memoirs and biographies, personal essays, travel and food writing, and literary journalism.

Ultimately, we each get to decide what is art and what is creative writing. Most of us will know creative writing when we experience it, either as a writer or as a reader.

In the big scheme of things, it may not be that important to go around labeling what is and isn’t creative writing, but it’s certainly worthy of a few brief moments of consideration. You can determine what creative writing is for yourself, but others might see things differently.

Do you differentiate between creative writing and other types of writing? Do you feel that copywriting (ads, commercials, etc.) can be classified as creative writing even though its purpose is strictly commercial? If most textbooks are not considered creative writing, does that mean a textbook can never be written creatively? Is writing creative because of how the writer approaches the project, or how the reader receives it?

What is creative writing to you? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment, and keep writing.

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of  Ready, Set, Write.

Ready Set Write a Guide to Creative Writing



The act of creation, the literal source of the term creative, is an unbounded event that accepts a poorly whittled twig as company to the Mona Lisa. We have weakened that magnanimous gesture by listening to critics and marketers. That is the world, we are told, deal with it. Is it really?

The curse of the moniker “expert” is the finite limitations of experience. An expert can, truly, only judge a thing based on his personal experience. In many fields that is sufficient for a normalized event. You know a balanced perspective, what makes a pleasing composition, what pleases the ear, the pallet and the psyche. When something arises that does not fit the normal patterns, what then? Can you really use normal criteria to weigh it’s value? Experts do, of course, what choice do they have?

I have issue with kind and gracious critiques given so liberally to work the expert didn’t understand; but because the artist was renowned, and popular, it must be so. I read drivel, knowing it has been proclaimed a masterpiece, and laugh to myself. I study paintings that were little more than bovine scratching, and marvel at how highly prized it is, while brilliant groundbreaking work all around is ignored.

Creative writing – creative anything, is literally everything. Marketable work, is the term you are searching for. That has little to do with artistic merit, though some remarkable work does find it’s way to the light.

Melissa Donovan

Caliban, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I believe that a true expert will know when faced with work that is beyond their experience or expertise and will act accordingly. I know nothing about football, so if someone asked me to critique a football player’s performance on the field, I would politely decline.

Having said that, everyone seems to have an opinion. Some may hold more weight than others. For example, I care more about what a well-read person thinks of my work than someone who rarely or never reads any kind of literature. I too have read drivel that has been declared a masterpiece and it’s frustrating to me. It’s difficult to understand, for example, why a shoddy writer is putting out two novels a year and consistently appearing on the bestseller list and receiving rave reviews. Yet it happens all the time (and no, I’m not naming any names!).

You’re right, creative writing or creative anything is literally everything. However, that is subjective. Me? I don’t consider legal, medical, or scientific writing to be creative. I worked as a technical writer and there was nothing creative about it, although it did require considerable skill in terms of language and grammar.

Positively Present

Really great questions here. Creative writing is such a broad category that so many things can fall under it. I personally think that when I’m at work, writing work documents like memos, press releases, contracts, etc., I’m not being creative. When I’m writing on my blog, in my journal, or a story/novel, I’m using my creative writing skills. Now, if only I could get a job where I can use my creative writing all the time…. 😉

Wouldn’t it be exciting to make a full-time living with creative writing? Successful novelists and freelance writers are able to do that, as are screenwriters. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

J.D. Meier

Good stuff.

I think it’s words that make you think, feel, or act. It’s evocative. It’s clever in action. It’s looking at something a new way. I think the most evocative writing can win over the most evocative painting. Of course, it depends on whose eye the apple is in. It’s subjective and some of the most beautiful art is precisely divisive.

Ooh…evocative writing versus evocative painting. That would be quite a fight!


Interesting question! When somebody says “Creative writing,” I DO tend to think FICTION before anything else. Because that’s something that comes entirely from your own head. Whereas with non-fiction, you’re writing to a purpose or from a set of facts.

But the actual act of writing? Creative, either way.

Well, when it’s being done right. Because, of course, you can write a quick promotion on auto-pilot and have it be … fine. Routine. Run-of-the-mill. But the good ones? That give you that glow of satisfaction? Pure creativity, all the way!

I tend to immediately think fiction and poetry whenever people start talking about creative writing, but it turns out there’s a whole genre of nonfiction that is creative (and it has tons of sub-genres). For example, the memoir is quite popular right now. I guess it all has to do with how creative or literary your work is.

Danielle Ingram

Really interesting question, the differentiation between what is creative writing and what is not is extremely subjective.

In some ways I think that all writing is somewhat creative as it has emerged from the mind and the writer has had to think about what they are going to produce and how they are going to do it.

I can appreciate that novels and poems are more likely to be considered creative and perhaps even more worthy to be described as such.

I agree with you – we can bring creativity into just about anything we do (including any type of writing), but some forms of art require a little more creativity than others.

Clara Freeman

Anything that doesn’t make me ‘want’ to read it, is in my mind, non creative as in business manuals, contracts,academic materials, etc. But, written stuff that contains a story line, causes me to reflect, chuckle and ‘want’ to read more of the same would be the creative side of writing for me. Most times, I don’t think about the difference, I just naturally ‘feel’ it:)

Yes, it’s hard to think of the dry writing (business, manuals, contracts) as creative. I do believe there are exceptions, but they are few and far between.

Sarah L. Webb

I agree with everyone in terms of the question itself being worthy of contemplation. I think there’s a difference between noise and music, so I will say there is a distinction between creative writing and other types of writing, just as there is art and non-art.

To use the music analogy again, I think technical documents are like playing perfect scales. Kudos to those who have the skill to do that really well, but it’s not a creative act until someone rearranges those notes into something unique and pleasant.

Thanks for getting me thinking this evening. Give us more to contemplate.

Sarah, this is an excellent analogy. I wish I’d thought of it myself. Your examples of noise vs. music and technical documents being similar to playing scales are spot-on! Thanks so much for adding your ideas to this discussion.

Numanu Abubakar

Completely stunned and baffled! I am dangling in between the two worlds of what is and isn’t on creative writing arena. Does that mean any writing can be said creative and also not, depending how we passive the pieces of works we may come across?

I think it’s just a judgment call. Each of us gets to decide.

Richard Keith

I’m eighty-five years old and have only started writing in the past year or so. My writings have consisted of stories from my own life. My idea of creativity is to make those past experiences interesting. I’ve always been an avid reader of both fact and fiction. I relied heavily on self-help books while struggling with depression during my earlier years. Self-help books aren’t fiction, but I’ve found them to be creatively written.

Creative writing might also be described as, “making myself look pretty darn good” while telling tales of my past.

One of the great things about writing is that we can start it at any time in life. I have always found writing to be calming and therapeutic and a useful tool for self-expression. Thanks for sharing your experiences with writing, Richard.

Emmanuel O. Richard

Creative writing, literally focoses on the imaginative and true skillful arts of bring thoughts into words and actions. Thereby, imbues in readers the ability to critique on the applied skills levelled up by the writer in his or her works of art.

The purpose of creative writings varies. Some works are meant to entertain; others are meant to inform or inspire. While readers can certainly critique, that is actually not the common purpose from an author’s perspective. And most readers don’t get too deep into critiques. Most readers want to be entertained or learn something.

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What is Creative Writing?

what is creative writing considered

Written by Scott Wilson

what is creative writing

Creative writing is any kind of writing that employs creative literary or poetic techniques in the service of either fiction or non-fiction writing. It involves original composition and expressiveness of the individual author.

Ask ten creative writing professors what creative writing is, and you’ll get eleven different answers. Turn to the dictionary and the definition invokes invention and incorporation of imagination. But what are the limits of imagination? Where does invention begin?

Every sentence in every work ever written began as an act of creation in the mind of the writer.

Creative writing may be most easily defined by what it is not…

  • Technical writing
  • Professional or business writing
  • Scholarly or academic writing

Creative writing is the entire body of the writer’s craft that falls outside the boundaries of the ordinary.

Yet you will find many entries in the canon of those fields that might also be considered creative writing. No one would consign Truman Capote’s groundbreaking In Cold Blood to the sterile cells of mere journalism. But that haunting novel is unquestionably also an important work of investigative reporting.

So, what is creative writing, if a non-fiction novel of a horrific quadruple murder falls into the same scope as a classic of American literature like To Kill a Mockingbird ?

It has to do with style and art. Creative writing goes to the heart of the individual expressiveness of the writer. It breaks the boundaries of the typical. That’s an exercise of artistic skill that can happen in any topic, toward almost any goal. And it’s the heart of what it is to be a writer, no matter what you write about.

Defining creative writing isn’t easy. Rooms full of the best authorities routinely disagree. But what is creative writing , isn’t the most interesting question to ask here. Instead, we would be best served by asking another:

Why Is Creative Writing Important?

at peace writing

Storytellers were plying their craft thousands of years before the written word was invented. The creative spark doesn’t belong to words. It may not even depend on language. It draws instead on a deep part of what it is to be human. Invention, imagination, the urge to create… these are all deep and vital parts of the human experience.

Creative writing is important because it is evocative.

That well of creativity flows forth in many arts and forms of expression. But in creative writing it has found a medium where it can be both preserved and shared. It’s a method of human connection that has no expiration date, no geographical or even cultural limit.

Writers touch the souls of their contemporaries first. But like Shakespeare, Wordsworth, and Lady Murasaki, their reach may also span generations.

Creative Writing Fuels Communication in All Forms of Writing

Although fiction is the first refuge of creative writing, that expressiveness serves the purposes of just about any kind of author.

The goals of most other forms of writing are focused on various kinds of literal communication. A journalist seeks to convey the facts and the context of important news stories. Technical writers need to communicate the details of operating programs and machinery, clearly describing all kinds of minute details with zero ambiguity. Business communications are created with a view toward clarity and concision—helping readers get the main points of the piece quickly and without confusion.

Creative writing can also help to serve these purposes.

Creative writing taps into a different level of communication. While it may, and often does, aspire to other goals like offering clarity and detail, it also goes toward developing emotional connection. The reader will take away more than mere words from a piece of creative writing.

Creative Writing is Important For Making Other Kinds of Writing Compelling

Just as importantly, creative writing entertains. In a story about the importance of algorithmic and high-frequency trading, all kinds of technical details must be absorbed to make sense of the issues. Both technological and economic concepts have to be introduced. In a comprehensive article about the subject, readers from outside the field could be expected to nod off about two pages in.

But put the story in the hands of Michael Lewis, and you get Flash Boys , a New York Times Best Seller.

It’s not important that Flash Boys did well because it was entertaining, however. It’s important because the market trends and activities it described have real impacts on many of the readers. Retirement funds, college savings, family investments… all are affected by the story Flash Boys tells. Today, millions of readers who would never otherwise have understood how their investments were being handled can make an informed assessment… thanks to creative writing.

How To Separate Creative Writing From Less Creative Forms of Writing

focused creative writing

In general, it’s safe to say that a piece of writing is creative when it makes use of literary devices such as:

  • Narrative development
  • Imagination and invention

In Cold Blood passes this test due to Capote’s use of characterization, plot development, and world-building. It’s considered today to be a pioneering example of the non-fiction novel, a paragon of the creative writing world.

The original crime reports, local newspaper articles, and subsequent court documents detail the same events with the same participants. Yet they are not works of creative writing. The incident is described in dry, straightforward, technical language. The timeline is linear and offered without consideration of pace or drama.

Both Capote and the authors of those other articles and documents set out to inform. But Capote’s goal was also to captivate.

New Journalism Tells the Story of How Creative Writing Has an Important Role in Non-Fiction

abstract clippings

Books like Wolfe’s The Right Stuff mixed truth and dramatization, documentation and invention, to tell larger stories about serious events. In dramatizing those stories, New Journalism writers also drew more readers and achieved broader awareness of the stories.

At the same time, long-form New Journalism pieces, deeply researched and documented, were able to report stories in depth in a way that traditional journalism often did not. By invoking plot, characterization, and narrative structures, the New Journalists could keep readers involved in long and complex issues ranging from crime to politics to culture.

New Journalism is important in defining what is creative writing because it is clearly an example of both creative and journalistic writing. It demonstrates the ways that creative writing can serve other forms of writing and other kinds of writers.

Of course, it’s also possible to come at the divide from the other shore. Categories of writing that are clearly creative in nature include:

  • Novels and novellas
  • Flash fiction and short stories
  • Plays and film scripts

These works incorporate elements of storytelling that may not always be present in other forms of writing. A newspaper article will often have a setting, action, and characters; creative writing will offer plot, pacing, and drama in describing the same story.

What is Creative Writing Coursework Like in College Degree Programs?

university student on steps at school

All university students are exposed to basic coursework in English language and communication skills. These all go to the elementary aspects of writing—the ability to construct a sentence, a paragraph, a paper. They teach grammatical rules and other elements that make a work readable to any reader of the English language.

Even the general education requirements in college programs touch on creative writing, however. Students may be assigned to write essays that explore creative styles and imagination. They’ll be assigned to read novels and stories that are time-tested examples of the finest kinds of creative writing. And they’ll be asked to explore their impressions and feelings, and to exercise their imaginations and analyze the intent of the author.

Creative writing programs go beyond the basics to touch the imagination of the writer.

Creative writing exists just on the other side of those general English and literature courses. Students in creative writing classes will be asked to take the extra step of creating their own stories using the techniques they have learned.

In fact, they may be encouraged to break the same rules that were so laboriously learned in their regular English writing classes. Creative writing works to allow writers to tap into their own imagination and emotion to forge a deeper connection with readers.

Student Workshops Offer an Interactive Way of Learning What Creative Writing Is All About

Creative writing degrees will go much further into developing a sense of what creative writing is. they continue to include many reading assignments. but instructors also introduce concepts such as:.

Genre is the method used to categorize written works. Creative writing programs explore the tropes and expectations that exist for different genres and deconstruct them for better understanding.

Story structure and form

The structure and form of a novel and a short story are very different. Creative writing programs explore different formats and how they impact creative storytelling.

Plot is not a universal feature of creative writing, but a good plot can make or break a creative work. Classes look at the features and composition of plot, and also teach plotting.

Voice, tone, and creative expression all come out of the narration of a piece of creative writing. Creative writing courses explore both the textbook forms of narrative and show how to use it to serve plot and story.

Style and rhythm

One clear feature of creative writing in all genres is that it rests on a sense of rhythm and of styling that other types of writing ignore. Many courses found in creative writing degree programs explore the ways in which writing style serves story and hooks the reader.

In addition to formal classes, students will better learn why creative writing is important and the purposes it serves through workshops. These informal gatherings are designed to foster discussion, to present examples of different types of writing, and to critique and hone individual creative writing skills .

Through that process, creative writing degrees help students better identify what creative writing is and how to use it effectively.

Creativity is Important No Matter What Your Career Goals in Writing May Be

dedicated student at coffee shop studying

Creative writing training allows writers in any genre to develop more complete, more meaningful, and more memorable ways to get a point across. Using the skills and techniques learned in creative writing courses can inject humor, gravity, and other sensations into any piece of writing. And those very techniques can improve concision and clarity.

Figuring out what creative writing is and what it is not, is the first thing you should leave behind in a writing career. The dry definitions of the dictionary or droning English professors are the last place you should look.

Creative writing is the process of engaging your imagination and talent to serve the purpose of whatever piece of writing you are working on. And that’s why creative writing is important.

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What is Creative Writing?

Discover What Is Creative Writing as we unravel the art of self-expression through words. In this blog, learn the meaning and techniques of creative writing, igniting your imagination and honing your storytelling skills. Unlock the world of literary creativity and learn how to craft compelling narratives that captivate readers.


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Creative Writing is a form of art that allows people to express their thoughts, ideas, and emotions through the written word. It is a mode of self-expression that combines imagination with linguistic skills to create compelling narratives, poems, and other forms of literature. A Statista survey found that 76,300 Authors, Writers and Translators work in the United Kingdom alone in 2023. This shows Creative Writing is a demanding career worldwide.To know more about it, read this blog, to learn What is Creative Writing, how to write captivating narratives, and discover the essence of expressive writing.

Table of Contents  

1) Understanding What is Creative Writing   

2) Key elements of Creative Writing   

3) Types of Creative Writing  

4)  Importance of Creative Writing

5) The Creative Writing process  

6) Tips for effective Content Writing  

7) Conclusion  

Understanding What is Creative Writing

Creative Writing is the art of crafting original content that elicits readers' emotions, thoughts, and imagination. Unlike Academic or Technical Writing, Creative Writing allows for more personal expression and imaginative exploration. It encompasses various forms such as fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and drama, all of which share the common thread of artistic storytelling.    

creative writing training

Key elements of Creative Writing  

Key Elements of Creative Writing

2) Character development: Compelling characters are the heart of any great story. Through careful development, characters become relatable, complex, and capable of driving the plot forward.    

3) Setting and atmosphere: The setting and atmosphere create the backdrop for the story. By skilfully crafting these elements, Writers can enhance the overall mood and tone, allowing readers to feel like they're living within the story's world.    

4) Plot and storytelling: A well-crafted story keeps readers engaged and invested in the narrative's progression. This includes introducing conflicts, building tension, and crafting satisfying resolutions .    

5) Dialogue and voice: Dialogue adds authenticity to characters and provides insight into their personalities. A distinctive narrative voice also contributes to the story's uniqueness and captivates readers.   

Types of Creative Writing  

Creative Writing encompasses various genres and forms, each offering a unique platform for expressing creativity, storytelling, and emotion. As you delve into the world of Creative Writing, it's essential to explore the various types and discover which resonates with you the most. Here are some of the prominent types of Creative Writing:   

Types of Creative Writing

1) Fiction  

Fiction is perhaps the most well-known type of Creative Writing. It involves inventing characters, settings, and plotlines from scratch. Writers have the freedom to create entire worlds and realities, whether they're set in the past, present, future, or even in alternate dimensions.

Novels, short stories, novellas, and flash fiction are all forms of fiction that engage readers through compelling characters, intriguing conflicts, and imaginative settings. From fantasy realms to gritty crime dramas, fiction transports readers to new and exciting places.

2) Poetry  

Poetry is the art of condensing language to evoke emotions, provoke thoughts, and communicate complex ideas using rhythm, rhyme, and vivid imagery. Poems' conciseness requires Writers to choose their words carefully, often crafting multiple layers of meaning within a few lines.

Poetry can take various forms, including sonnets, haikus, free verse, and slam poetry. Each form carries its own rules and conventions, allowing Poets to experiment with structure and sound to create impactful compositions. Moreover, poetry delves into the depth of emotions, exploring themes ranging from love and nature to social issues and personal reflections.

3) Creative non-fiction

Non-fiction writing draws from real-life experiences, observations, and research to convey information, insights, and personal perspectives. This form includes genres such as essays, memoirs, biographies, autobiographies, and journalistic pieces.

Non-fiction Writers blend storytelling with factual accuracy, presenting their ideas in a compelling and informative manner. Personal essays offer a glimpse into the writer's thoughts and experiences. At the same time, memoirs and autobiographies share personal journeys and reflections, connecting readers with the author's life story.    

4) Drama and playwriting  

Playwriting is the creation of scripts for theatrical performances. The challenge lies in crafting engaging dialogue and constructing scenes that captivate both the audience and the performers.

Dramatic Writing requires an understanding of pacing, character motivations, and the visual aspects of storytelling. While Theatrical Writing requires a keen sense of the following:    

a) Character dynamics: Building relationships between characters and exploring their motivations and conflicts. 

b)  Stage directions: Providing clear instructions for actors, directors, and stage designers to bring the play to life.

c) Dramatic structure: Crafting acts and scenes that build tension and engage the audience.  

5) Satire and humour  

Satire and humour utilise wit, sarcasm, and clever wordplay to critique and mock societal norms, institutions, and human behaviour. This form of Creative Writing often challenges readers to view the world from a different perspective.

Moreover, it encourages them to question established conventions. Satirical works, whether in literature, essays, or satirical news articles, aim to entertain while also prompting reflection on serious topics. 

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Importance of Creative Writing  

Creative Writing holds a profound significance beyond its role as a literary pursuit. It bridges imagination and reality, fostering personal growth, communication skills, and cultural preservation. Here's a closer look at why Creative Writing is of paramount importance:   

1) Personal expression and catharsis  

Creative Writing is a sanctuary for self-expression. Individuals can voice their innermost thoughts, emotions, and experiences through poetry, stories, and essays. This act of sharing vulnerabilities and joy brings about a cathartic release, offering a therapeutic outlet for emotional expression. Moreover, it cultivates a deeper understanding of oneself, promoting self-awareness and self-acceptance.   

2) Cultivation of communication skills  

The art of Creative Writing cultivates effective Communication Skills that transcend the written word. Writers learn to convey ideas, concepts, and feelings coherently and captivatingly.

This proficiency extends to verbal communication, enabling Writers to articulate their thoughts with clarity and eloquence. As a result, it enriches interpersonal relationships and professional endeavours.   

3) Nurturing empathy and perspective  

Writers develop a heightened sense of empathy as they craft diverse characters and explore multifaceted narratives. Immersing oneself in the shoes of different characters fosters understanding and tolerance for various viewpoints and backgrounds. Readers, in turn, experience this empathy, gaining insight into the complexities of human nature and the diverse tapestry of human experience.    

4) Exploration of social issues  

Writers wield the power to effect change through their words. They can shed light on societal issues, challenge norms, and provoke critical conversations. By addressing topics such as social justice, equality, and environmental concerns, Creative Writing becomes a catalyst for positive transformation and advocacy.   

5) Connection and impact  

Creative Writing builds bridges between individuals by establishing connections on emotional and intellectual levels. Stories resonate across cultures, transcending geographical and temporal boundaries. The impact of a well-crafted story can be enduring, leaving a mark on readers' hearts and minds.

Unlock your creative potential with our Creative Writing Training - register now!  

The Creative Writing process 

The Creative Writing Process

Creating a compelling piece of Creative Writing is a journey that involves a series of steps, each contributing to the evolution of your story. Whether you're crafting a short story, a novel, or a poem, here's a breakdown of the Creative Writing process in eight essential steps:  

1) Finding inspiration  

The process begins with a moment of inspiration—a fleeting thought, an intriguing image, or a powerful emotion. Inspiration can strike anywhere—nature, experiences, dreams, or simple observation.

Keep a journal or digital note-taking app to capture these sparks of inspiration as they occur. Explore your interests, passions, and emotions to identify themes and ideas that resonate with you.  

2) Exploring ideas and brainstorming   

Once you've identified an inspiring concept, delve deeper. Brainstorm ideas related to characters, settings, conflicts, and themes. Jot down all possibilities, allowing your imagination to roam freely. This stage is about generating a wealth of creative options that will serve as building blocks for your story. 

3) Planning and outlining  

Organise your thoughts by creating an outline. Outline your story's major plot points, character arcs, and pivotal moments. This outline acts as a roadmap, guiding you through the narrative's progression while providing flexibility for creative surprises.   

4) Writing the first draft  

Once you are done with your outline, start writing your first draft. Don't worry about perfection—focus on getting your ideas onto paper. Let your creativity flow and allow your characters to surprise you. The goal is to have a complete manuscript, even if it's messy and imperfect.  

5) Revising for content  

Once the first draft is complete, take a step back before revisiting your work. During this stage, focus on revising for content. Analyse the structure of your plot, the development of your characters, and the coherence of your themes. Make necessary changes, add details, and refine dialogue. Ensure that your story's foundation is solid before moving on.  

6) Editing and polishing  

Edit your Manuscript for grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and style. Pay attention to clarity and consistency. Also, focus on enhancing the flow of your writing and creating a polished narrative that engages readers. 

7) Feedback and peer review 

Share your revised work with others—friends, writing groups, or beta readers—to gather feedback. Constructive criticism can highlight blind spots and offer perspectives you might have missed. Use this feedback to refine your work further.  

8) Finalising and proofreading  

Incorporate the feedback you've received and make final revisions. Proofread meticulously for any remaining errors. Ensure that your work is formatted correctly and adheres to any submission guidelines if you plan to publish or share it.  

Tips for effective Creative Writing  

Here are some of the useful tips you should consider incorporating in your process of writing :  

1) Show, don't tell: Instead of directly stating emotions or details, "showing" involves using actions, thoughts, and dialogue to convey information. This technique allows readers to draw their own conclusions and become more immersed in the story.  

2) Use of metaphors and similes: Metaphors and similes offer creative ways to describe complex concepts by comparing them to something familiar. These literary devices add depth and creativity to your writing.  

3) Building suspense and tension: By strategically withholding information and creating unanswered questions, Writers can build suspense and keep readers eagerly turning pages.  

4) Crafting memorable beginnings and endings: A strong opening captures readers' attention, while a satisfying conclusion leaves a lasting impact. These elements bookend your story and influence readers' overall impression.  

5) Experimenting with point of view: The choice of point of view (first person, third person, etc.) shapes how readers experience the story. Experimenting with different perspectives can lead to unique narrative opportunities.  


We hope this blog gave you a clear idea of What is Creative Writing, along with its process and useful tips. The Creative Writing process is not linear; you might find yourself revisiting earlier steps as your story evolves. Embrace the journey, allowing your writing to develop and transform through each phase. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

a) Literary Agent

b) Screenwriter

c) Video Game Story Writer

d) Copywriter

e) Website Editor

f) Creative Director

There are several resources or recommended readings which can help you to hone your Creative Writing skills. Here we have discussed some of such resources:

a) “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft" by Stephen King

b) "Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life" by Anne Lamott

c) "Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within" by Natalie Goldberg

d) Joining book clubs

e) Reading a variety of authors and genre

f) Practicing writing regular prompts and exercises.

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Humanities LibreTexts

1.1: Intro to Creative Writing

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  • Page ID 132138

  • Sybil Priebe
  • North Dakota State College of Science via Independent Published

what is creative writing considered

chapter 1: intro to creative writing:

Creative writing\(^7\) is any writing that goes outside the bounds of “normal”\(^8\) “professional,”\(^9\) journalistic, “academic,”\(^{10}\) or technical forms of literature, typically identified by an emphasis on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes or with various traditions of poetry and poetics. Due to the looseness of the definition, it is possible for writing such as feature stories to be considered creative writing, even though they fall under journalism, because the content of features is specifically focused on narrative and character development. 

Both fictional and nonfictional works fall into this category, including such forms as novels, biographies, short stories, and poems. In the academic setting, creative writing is typically separated into fiction and poetry classes, with a focus on writing in an original style, as opposed to imitating pre-existing genres such as crime or horror. Writing for the screen and stage—screenwriting and playwrighting—are often taught separately but fit under the creative writing category as well.

Creative writing can technically be considered any writing of original composition. 

the creative process: \(^{11}\)

Some people can simply sit down to write and have something to write about. For others, finding something to write about can be the hardest part of creative writing. Assuming that you are not in the first group, there are several things you can do to create ideas. Not all of these will work for all people, but most are at least useful tools in the process. Also, you never know when you might have an idea. Write down any ideas you have at any time and expand on them later.

For stories and poetry, the simplest method is to immerse yourself in the subject matter. If you want to write a short story, read a lot of short stories. If you want to write a poem, read poems. If you want to write something about love, read a lot of things about love, no matter the genre. 

the writing process “reminder”\(^{12}\)

Please Note: Not all writers follow these steps perfectly and with each project, but let’s review them to cover our butts:



Outline\(^{13}\) your entire story so you know what to write.  Start by writing a summary of your story in 1 paragraph. Use each sentence to explain the most important parts of your story. Then, take each sentence of your paragraph and expand it into greater detail. Keep working backward to add more detail to your story. This is known as the “snowflake method” of outlining.

getting started:

Find a comfortable space to write: consider the view, know yourself well enough to decide what you need in that physical space (music? coffee? blanket?).

Have the right tools: computer, notebook, favorite pens, etc.

Consider having a portable version of your favorite writing tool (small notebook or use an app on your phone?).

Start writing and try to make a daily habit out of it, even if you only get a paragraph or page down each day.

Keys to creativity: curiosity, passion, determination, awareness, energy, openness, sensitivity, listening, and observing...

getting ideas:

Ideas are everywhere! Ideas can be found:

Notebook or Image journal

Media: Magazines, newspapers, radio, TV, movies, etc.

Conversations with people

Artistic sources like photographs, family albums, home movies, illustrations, sculptures, and paintings.

Daily life: Standing in line at the grocery store, going to an ATM, working at your campus job, etc.

Music: Song lyrics, music videos, etc.

Beautiful or Horrible Settings

Favorite Objects

Favorite Books

How to generate ideas:

Play the game: "What if..."

Play the game: "I wonder..."

Use your favorite story as a model.

Revise favorite stories - nonfiction or fiction - into a different genre.

writer's block:\(^{14}\)

Writer’s block can happen to ANYONE, so here are some ways to break the block if it happens to you:

Write down anything that comes to mind. 

Try to draw ideas from what has already been written.

Take a break from writing. 

Read other peoples' writing to get ideas.

Talk to people. Ask others if they have any ideas.

Don't be afraid of writing awkwardly. Write it down and edit it later.

Set deadlines and keep them.

Work on multiple projects at a time; this way if you need to procrastinate on one project, you can work on another!

If you are jammed where you are, stop and write somewhere else, where it is comfortable.

Go somewhere where people are. Then people-watch. Who are these people? What do they do? Can you deduce\(^{15}\) anything based on what they are wearing or doing or saying? Make up random backstories for them, as if they were characters in your story.

peer workshops and feedback acronyms: \(^{16}\)

Having other humans give you feedback will help you improve misunderstandings within your work. Sometimes it takes another pair of eyes to see what you “missed” in your own writing. Please try not to get upset by the feedback; some people give creative criticism and others give negative criticism, but you will eventually learn by your own mistakes to improve your writing and that requires peer review and feedback from others. 

If you are comfortable having your friends and family read your work, you could have them\(^{17}\) peer review your work. Have a nerdy friend who corrects your grammar? Pay them in pizza perhaps to read over your stuff!? If you are in college, you can use college tutors to review your work.

Peer Workshop activities can help create a “writing group vibe” to any course, so hopefully, that is a part of the creative writing class you are taking.


The acronyms involved with feedback – at least according to the educators of Twitter – are WWW and TAG. Here’s what they stand for, so feel free to use these strategies in your creative writing courses OR when giving feedback to ANYONE.

Are you open to the kinds of feedback you’ll get using that table above with the WWW/TAG pieces?

What do you typically want feedback on when it comes to projects? Why?

What do you feel comfortable giving feedback to classmates on? Why?

\(^7\)"Creative Writing." Wikipedia . 13 Nov 2016. 21 Nov 2016, 19:39 < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_writing >. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

\(^8\)Whoa, what is normal anyway?

\(^9\)What IS the definition of “professionalism”?

\(^{10}\)Can’t academic writing be creative?

\(^{11}\)"Creative Writing/Introduction." Wikibooks, The Free Textbook Project . 10 May 2009, 04:14 UTC. 9 Nov 2016, 19:39

< https://en.wikibooks.org/w/index.php...&oldid=1495539 >. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

\(^{12}\)It doesn’t really matter who created it; all you need to know is that you don’t HAVE to follow it perfectly. Not many people do.

\(^{13}\)Wikihow contributors. "How to Write Science Fiction." Wikihow. 29 May 2019. Web. 22 June 2019. http://www.wikihow.com/Write-Science-Fiction . Text available under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

\(^{14}\)"Creative Writing/Fiction technique." Wikibooks, The Free Textbook Project . 28 Jun 2016, 13:38 UTC. 9 Nov 2016, 20:36

< https://en.wikibooks.org/w/index.php...&oldid=3093632 >. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

\(^{15}\)Deduce = to reach a conclusion.

\(^{16}\)"Creative Writing/Peer Review." Wikibooks, The Free Textbook Project. 16 Aug 2016, 22:07 UTC. 9 Nov 2016, 20:12

< https://en.wikibooks.org/w/index.php...&oldid=3107005 >. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

\(^{17}\)This textbook we’ll try to use they/them pronouns throughout to be inclusive of all humans.

Creative Primer

What is Creative Writing? A Key Piece of the Writer’s Toolbox

Brooks Manley

Not all writing is the same and there’s a type of writing that has the ability to transport, teach, and inspire others like no other.

Creative writing stands out due to its unique approach and focus on imagination. Here’s how to get started and grow as you explore the broad and beautiful world of creative writing!

What is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is a form of writing that extends beyond the bounds of regular professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature. It is characterized by its emphasis on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes or poetic techniques to express ideas in an original and imaginative way.

Creative writing can take on various forms such as:

  • short stories
  • screenplays

It’s a way for writers to express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas in a creative, often symbolic, way . It’s about using the power of words to transport readers into a world created by the writer.

5 Key Characteristics of Creative Writing

Creative writing is marked by several defining characteristics, each working to create a distinct form of expression:

1. Imagination and Creativity: Creative writing is all about harnessing your creativity and imagination to create an engaging and compelling piece of work. It allows writers to explore different scenarios, characters, and worlds that may not exist in reality.

2. Emotional Engagement: Creative writing often evokes strong emotions in the reader. It aims to make the reader feel something — whether it’s happiness, sorrow, excitement, or fear.

3. Originality: Creative writing values originality. It’s about presenting familiar things in new ways or exploring ideas that are less conventional.

4. Use of Literary Devices: Creative writing frequently employs literary devices such as metaphors, similes, personification, and others to enrich the text and convey meanings in a more subtle, layered manner.

5. Focus on Aesthetics: The beauty of language and the way words flow together is important in creative writing. The aim is to create a piece that’s not just interesting to read, but also beautiful to hear when read aloud.

Remember, creative writing is not just about producing a work of art. It’s also a means of self-expression and a way to share your perspective with the world. Whether you’re considering it as a hobby or contemplating a career in it, understanding the nature and characteristics of creative writing can help you hone your skills and create more engaging pieces .

For more insights into creative writing, check out our articles on creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree and is a degree in creative writing worth it .

Styles of Creative Writing

To fully understand creative writing , you must be aware of the various styles involved. Creative writing explores a multitude of genres, each with its own unique characteristics and techniques.

Poetry is a form of creative writing that uses expressive language to evoke emotions and ideas. Poets often employ rhythm, rhyme, and other poetic devices to create pieces that are deeply personal and impactful. Poems can vary greatly in length, style, and subject matter, making this a versatile and dynamic form of creative writing.

Short Stories

Short stories are another common style of creative writing. These are brief narratives that typically revolve around a single event or idea. Despite their length, short stories can provide a powerful punch, using precise language and tight narrative structures to convey a complete story in a limited space.

Novels represent a longer form of narrative creative writing. They usually involve complex plots, multiple characters, and various themes. Writing a novel requires a significant investment of time and effort; however, the result can be a rich and immersive reading experience.


Screenplays are written works intended for the screen, be it television, film, or online platforms. They require a specific format, incorporating dialogue and visual descriptions to guide the production process. Screenwriters must also consider the practical aspects of filmmaking, making this an intricate and specialized form of creative writing.

If you’re interested in this style, understanding creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree can provide useful insights.

Writing for the theater is another specialized form of creative writing. Plays, like screenplays, combine dialogue and action, but they also require an understanding of the unique dynamics of the theatrical stage. Playwrights must think about the live audience and the physical space of the theater when crafting their works.

Each of these styles offers unique opportunities for creativity and expression. Whether you’re drawn to the concise power of poetry, the detailed storytelling of novels, or the visual language of screenplays and plays, there’s a form of creative writing that will suit your artistic voice. The key is to explore, experiment, and find the style that resonates with you.

For those looking to spark their creativity, our article on creative writing prompts offers a wealth of ideas to get you started.

Importance of Creative Writing

Understanding what is creative writing involves recognizing its value and significance. Engaging in creative writing can provide numerous benefits – let’s take a closer look.

Developing Creativity and Imagination

Creative writing serves as a fertile ground for nurturing creativity and imagination. It encourages you to think outside the box, explore different perspectives, and create unique and original content. This leads to improved problem-solving skills and a broader worldview , both of which can be beneficial in various aspects of life.

Through creative writing, one can build entire worlds, create characters, and weave complex narratives, all of which are products of a creative mind and vivid imagination. This can be especially beneficial for those seeking creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree .

Enhancing Communication Skills

Creative writing can also play a crucial role in honing communication skills. It demands clarity, precision, and a strong command of language. This helps to improve your vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, making it easier to express thoughts and ideas effectively .

Moreover, creative writing encourages empathy as you often need to portray a variety of characters from different backgrounds and perspectives. This leads to a better understanding of people and improved interpersonal communication skills.

Exploring Emotions and Ideas

One of the most profound aspects of creative writing is its ability to provide a safe space for exploring emotions and ideas. It serves as an outlet for thoughts and feelings , allowing you to express yourself in ways that might not be possible in everyday conversation.

Writing can be therapeutic, helping you process complex emotions, navigate difficult life events, and gain insight into your own experiences and perceptions. It can also be a means of self-discovery , helping you to understand yourself and the world around you better.

So, whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, the benefits of creative writing are vast and varied. For those interested in developing their creative writing skills, check out our articles on creative writing prompts and how to teach creative writing . If you’re considering a career in this field, you might find our article on is a degree in creative writing worth it helpful.

4 Steps to Start Creative Writing

Creative writing can seem daunting to beginners, but with the right approach, anyone can start their journey into this creative field. Here are some steps to help you start creative writing .

1. Finding Inspiration

The first step in creative writing is finding inspiration . Inspiration can come from anywhere and anything. Observe the world around you, listen to conversations, explore different cultures, and delve into various topics of interest.

Reading widely can also be a significant source of inspiration. Read different types of books, articles, and blogs. Discover what resonates with you and sparks your imagination.

For structured creative prompts, visit our list of creative writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing.

Editor’s Note : When something excites or interests you, stop and take note – it could be the inspiration for your next creative writing piece.

2. Planning Your Piece

Once you have an idea, the next step is to plan your piece . Start by outlining:

  • the main points

Remember, this can serve as a roadmap to guide your writing process. A plan doesn’t have to be rigid. It’s a flexible guideline that can be adjusted as you delve deeper into your writing. The primary purpose is to provide direction and prevent writer’s block.

3. Writing Your First Draft

After planning your piece, you can start writing your first draft . This is where you give life to your ideas and breathe life into your characters.

Don’t worry about making it perfect in the first go. The first draft is about getting your ideas down on paper . You can always refine and polish your work later. And if you don’t have a great place to write that first draft, consider a journal for writing .

4. Editing and Revising Your Work

The final step in the creative writing process is editing and revising your work . This is where you fine-tune your piece, correct grammatical errors, and improve sentence structure and flow.

Editing is also an opportunity to enhance your storytelling . You can add more descriptive details, develop your characters further, and make sure your plot is engaging and coherent.

Remember, writing is a craft that improves with practice . Don’t be discouraged if your first few pieces don’t meet your expectations. Keep writing, keep learning, and most importantly, enjoy the creative process.

For more insights on creative writing, check out our articles on how to teach creative writing or creative writing activities for kids.

Tips to Improve Creative Writing Skills

Understanding what is creative writing is the first step. But how can one improve their creative writing skills? Here are some tips that can help.

Read Widely

Reading is a vital part of becoming a better writer. By immersing oneself in a variety of genres, styles, and authors, one can gain a richer understanding of language and storytelling techniques . Different authors have unique voices and methods of telling stories, which can serve as inspiration for your own work. So, read widely and frequently!

Practice Regularly

Like any skill, creative writing improves with practice. Consistently writing — whether it be daily, weekly, or monthly — helps develop your writing style and voice . Using creative writing prompts can be a fun way to stimulate your imagination and get the words flowing.

Attend Writing Workshops and Courses

Formal education such as workshops and courses can offer structured learning and expert guidance. These can provide invaluable insights into the world of creative writing, from understanding plot development to character creation. If you’re wondering is a degree in creative writing worth it, these classes can also give you a taste of what studying creative writing at a higher level might look like .

Joining Writing Groups and Communities

Being part of a writing community can provide motivation, constructive feedback, and a sense of camaraderie. These groups often hold regular meetings where members share their work and give each other feedback. Plus, it’s a great way to connect with others who share your passion for writing.

Seeking Feedback on Your Work

Feedback is a crucial part of improving as a writer. It offers a fresh perspective on your work, highlighting areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. Whether it’s from a writing group, a mentor, or even friends and family, constructive criticism can help refine your writing .

Start Creative Writing Today!

Remember, becoming a proficient writer takes time and patience. So, don’t be discouraged by initial challenges. Keep writing, keep learning, and most importantly, keep enjoying the process. Who knows, your passion for creative writing might even lead to creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree .

Happy writing!

Brooks Manley

Brooks Manley

what is creative writing considered

Creative Primer  is a resource on all things journaling, creativity, and productivity. We’ll help you produce better ideas, get more done, and live a more effective life.

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An Introduction to Creative Writing

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“Creative writing is considered to be any writing, fiction, poetry, or non-fiction, that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, and technical forms of literature. Works which fall into this category include novels, epics, short stories, and poems. Writing for the screen and stage, screenwriting and playwriting respectively, typically have their own programs of study, but fit under the creative writing category as well.

It’s clear that Wikipedia does not give a clear definition but only says that it is considered any writing which is outside the bounds. To rephrase that:

In any subject, concepts can only be understood by examples. Fiction, poetry and non-fiction are all examples of creative writing. We’ll look at them in detail in future instalments of this series. For now, let’s see what constitutes creative writing.

The Work Which You Can Recognise as Creative Writing

As said before, fiction, poetry and non-fiction are the examples of creative writing. They are examples because they are obviously creative and not necessarily true (with the exception of non-fiction). Fiction is written to entertain and educate. We love reading stories. Although there are some true stories, most stories are nothing but fiction. Then there is poetry, of which there are many forms. Poetry books, sonnets, haikus, pantoums, etc.

The above examples are obviously creative writing. But now we come to more subjective material. Ever heard of an autobiography or a biography ? I’m sure you have. Then there is its distant cousin the memoir . Famous people make millions by publishing memoirs, and some of them are popular reading material. Famous personalities also write autobiographies or pay someone to write their biography. This is also constituted under creative writing.

The fact is that these types of writing are not written to entertain (and personally I’m bored to sleep by them) but to educate (in some cases) and to inform (in most cases). In bookstores, biographies and autobiographies are sold along with stories. If I may be honest, I have never seen people buy them. Then again, this may be because I’m too busy checking out the latest novels.

And so that is what constitutes creative writing in a nutshell. Now let’s look at the work which you can recognise as not creative writing, and to use its technical term, technical writing.

The Work Which You Can Recognise as Other Professional Forms of Writing

Most of the writing written in the world falls under this category, technical writing. Advertisements. Web copy. Copywriting. Product descriptions. Textbooks. Reference material such as encyclopaedias. Letters (such as formal letters to get an interview etc).

Words which appear everywhere, on your TV screen, on the computer and on the paper. All technical writing. Technical writing is in some ways easier to write than creative writing. But it too is governed by rules, and has its own do’s and don’ts.

A further comparison of creative writing and technical writing will be made in a future post.

Writers which compose the material of books are called authors regardless of the content and style of the material. This is one area where creative writing and technical writing share a similarity.

It goes without saying that technical writing is not written to entertain therefore I find it rather boring to read and so do other people. Surely you’ve read the Terms & Conditions of some website. How boring it is to read. Though you see words that make sense, you are not moved by them. Whereas in creative writing… if it’s really good… you can’t put it down.

Creative Writing Means What You Believe It Means

Is creative writing an art or a craft? Of course, the debate will never finish. But I do believe that it is both. Therefore it is something special of an art and a craft. Forget about definitions. Use your own creativity and find your very own meaning of creative writing. Somebody said that writers have a gift. Especially creative writers. Creative writers have the power to entertain someone, to make someone laugh, to make someone cry. To make someone think .

And so we see that creative writing does not deserve a clear definition, but attention and a special meaning. I love creative writing. I love reading it and I love writing it. Are you like me? If you are, then what are you waiting for? Open that word processor, and start typing. You never know, you might find a hidden masterpiece.

To read more about creative writing, go to Creative Writing 101 , or get free updates to Writers’ Treasure today.

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Further reading:.

  • Creative Writing vs. Technical Writing
  • How to Get Started in Creative Writing in Just Three Steps
  • Creative writing in 2015: here’s what you need to know
  • Creative Non-Fiction: What is it?
  • Four Top-Notch Ways to Polish Your Writing Skills with Creative Writing

29 thoughts on “An Introduction to Creative Writing”

  • Pingback: Creative Writing vs. Technical Writing | Writers Treasure
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I really found this site helpful to me during my studies today in my online class. It was a great help with ideas and guidance.Thanks.

I want to join your class

Thanks for the nice introduction to creative writing! I always thought that autobiography is a form of creative writing. Blogging too is a form of creative writing because it is undisciplined and inspiration-driven.

Of course autobiography is also a form of creative writing. And as for blogging… it depends.

Arę You a writer blogger or autobiographer

Sentence : (wrong)

Of course autobiography is also a form of creative writing. ( dont start a sentence with a conjunction especially AND) And as for blogging… it depends.

Correction: (right)

Of course ( include— an ) an autobiography is also a form of creative writing. As for Blogging, it varies. ( you do not start a sentence with a conjunction cardinal rule my fine english speaking friend )

If you are going to teach me English please take time to understand it yourself . Thank you

This piece was very helpful thanks.

I am a beginner and I want to learn creative writing, can anyone please guide me in this regard. Can you please let me know about any good online course for creative writing?

I know that groupon us a course for $39 that helps you to write an actual novel upon completion.

You cant learn creative writing. It comes from your heart, your soul, at least that’s what I think it is. I am not a very good creative writer but I dont think any kind of course will help you. Creative writing is within you and the only way to improve it is to write. Just get a book and start writing.

If you really want help you can contact me about it, I do write books, unpublished yet but on wattpad, and even though you can’t really teach someone, I can give you tips and guidance. Contact me at [email protected] , [email protected] , or on instagram at halo.universe.

forget about a course and give birth to a creative writer. one day, he will become a great writer. carry on.

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Hello. Love your blogging. I just have one question: what should the structure of creative writing be like?

As the blogger has mentioned that anything written or any literary genre as the product of creative mind is creative writing. There is no specific structure for writing. But especially for writing literary genres the writer should learn it’s features , techniques, acquire command over the language .

Hi Idrees I am a mom I love the explanation of creative writing the reason that I am writing u I need some advice I have a 9yr old son he don’t like writing nor reading but it’s a requirement for school he prefers to watch TV sometimes I feel he has no sense of imagination but I have try classes and everything not one on one but regularly classes can u give me some tips to get him more interested in doing creative writing it very important to me I am not on twitter but facebook Kavita chotilal

It’s important to consider that a 9-year-old still is very young and has a lot of time left to develop creative writing skills. When I was 9-years old, I too had no interest whatsoever in creative writing, and I did not even read books. You have to encourage him step by step, gradually, to read first and then learn the creative writing skills. Adventure and mystery stories are generally preferred by that age group. You can try reading aloud if he doesn’t want to read by himself. Also, don’t forget to be patient – a mindset doesn’t change quickly.

Great stuff man… Very informative. Keep up the great work

Such a simple and clear article to understand what Creative Writing is. ThankYou Sir!

So educative keep on . I enjoyed the teaching on creative writing

Thanks a lot

“Terms & Conditions of some website…” are not written by technical writers. They are written by lawyers. And as a very experienced technical writer, I take exception to your claim that, “Technical writing is in some ways easier to write than creative writing.” Both types of writing are subject to specific skills. Technical writers provide a service for users who would be unable to operate their hardware or sofware application without guidance from a user manual. As most technical manuals deal with hi-tech products, the technical writer is required to have a full grasp of the technology and to be able to explain and instruct users in the use of the product in language that complies with the user’s level of understanding. I also have experience in creative writing, which is the antithesis of technical writing in terms of using rich, vivid language to excite and capture the reader. Please don’t be dismissive of technical writing. It is not something a writer with experience in different authoring fields, would be able to do without training.

thanks a lot

We should enhance creative writing and reading books to develops our public speaking

This website is very helpful for me, durimg my online classes. And I want to learn more about creative writing.

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How to pick out a character for your novel how to pick out a character for your novel.

This is a guest article by James Thompson. If you want to submit a guest article of your own be sure to read the guest article guidelines .

Believe it or not, but the profession of your novel characters play a major role in making your novel a big hit. Using clichéd professions such as doctor, lawyer, detective, or an actor won’t suffice — unless it’s the only relevant choice. The profession of the characters, especially the main character, is what sets the scene for your book. Readers prefer reading something “fresh”.

How often do you read about a wizarding profession? (I’m sure we all clearly remember the famous books with those characters). All right, these aren’t all technically “professions”, but they set the scene and add more flavor to the character. They make a character more memorable.

A character’s profession affects the entire novel. It pinpoints to a personality type.

For example, what kind of a personality would you expect a detective to have? Clever, unsocial, and offensive at times? How about a rich guy? Bold, clever, and slightly arrogant? The profession also affects the plot . Since the profession forms the personality and “role” of a character, it’s bound to alter the plot and the way the character acts and reacts in it.

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This is a guest post by Stewart Agron. If you want to submit a guest post of your own be sure to read the guest post guidelines .

Forming up creative ideas and retaining creativity throughout a write-up is as arduous as trying to figure out how to put a giraffe in a refrigerator . But adding humour to your article, essay or a novel isn’t as difficult as you imagine.

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  • What Is Creative Writing? The ULTIMATE Guide!

Creative Writing Summer School in Yale - students discussing

At Oxford Royale Academy, we offer a range of summer school programmes that have become extremely popular amongst students of all ages. The subject of creative writing continues to intrigue many academics as it can help to develop a range of skills that will benefit you throughout your career and life.

Nevertheless, that initial question is one that continues to linger and be asked time and time again: what is creative writing? More specifically, what does it mean or encompass? How does creative writing differ from other styles of writing?

During our Oxford Summer School programme , we will provide you with in-depth an immersive educational experience on campus in the colleges of the best university in the world. However, in this guide, we want to provide a detailed analysis of everything to do with creative writing, helping you understand more about what it is and why it could benefit you to become a creative writer.

The best place to start is with a definition.

What is creative writing?

The dictionary definition of creative writing is that it is original writing that expresses ideas and thoughts in an imaginative way. [1] Some academics will also define it as the art of making things up, but both of these definitions are too simplistic in the grand scheme of things.

It’s challenging to settle on a concrete definition as creative writing can relate to so many different things and formats. Naturally, as the name suggests, it is all built around the idea of being creative or imaginative. It’s to do with using your brain and your own thoughts to create writing that goes outside the realms of what’s expected. This type of writing tends to be more unique as it comes from a personal place. Each individual has their own level of creativity, combined with their own thoughts and views on different things. Therefore, you can conjure up your own text and stories that could be completely different from others.

Understanding creative writing can be challenging when viewed on its own. Consequently, the best way to truly understand this medium is by exploring the other main forms of writing. From here, we can compare and contrast them with the art of creative writing, making it easier to find a definition or separate this form of writing from others.

What are the main forms of writing?

In modern society, we can identify five main types of writing styles [1] that will be used throughout daily life and a plethora of careers:

  • Narrative Writing
  • Descriptive Writing
  • Persuasive Writing
  • Expository Writing
  • Creative Writing

Narrative writing refers to storytelling in its most basic form. Traditionally, this involves telling a story about a character and walking the readers through the journey they go on. It can be a long novel or a short story that’s only a few hundred words long. There are no rules on length, and it can be completely true or a work of fiction.

A fundamental aspect of narrative writing that makes it different from other forms is that it should includes the key elements of storytelling. As per UX Planet, there are seven core elements of a good story or narrative [2] : the plot, characters, theme, dialogue, melody, decor and spectacle. Narrative writing will include all of these elements to take the ready on a journey that starts at the beginning, has a middle point, but always comes to a conclusion. This style of writing is typically used when writing stories, presenting anecdotes about your life, creating presentations or speeches and for some academic essays.

Descriptive writing, on the other hand, is more focused on the details. When this type of writing is used, it’s focused on capturing the reader’s attention and making them feel like they are part of the story. You want them to live and feel every element of a scene, so they can close their eyes and be whisked away to whatever place or setting you describe.

In many ways, descriptive writing is writing as an art form. Good writers can be given a blank canvas, using their words to paint a picture for the audience. There’s a firm focus on the five senses all humans have; sight, smell, touch, sound and taste. Descriptive writing touches on all of these senses to tell the reader everything they need to know and imagine about a particular scene.

This is also a style of writing that makes good use of both similes and metaphors. A simile is used to describe something as something else, while a metaphor is used to show that something is something else. There’s a subtle difference between the two, but they both aid descriptive writing immensely. According to many writing experts, similes and metaphors allow an author to emphasise, exaggerate, and add interest to a story to create a more vivid picture for the reader [3] .

Looking at persuasive writing and we have a form of writing that’s all about making yourself heard. You have an opinion that you want to get across to the reader, convincing them of it. The key is to persuade others to think differently, often helping them broaden their mind or see things from another point of view. This is often confused with something called opinionative writing, which is all about providing your opinions. While the two seem similar, the key difference is that persuasive writing is built around the idea of submitting evidence and backing your thoughts up. It’s not as simple as stating your opinion for other to read; no, you want to persuade them that your thoughts are worth listening to and perhaps worth acting on.

This style of writing is commonly used journalistically in news articles and other pieces designed to shine a light on certain issues or opinions. It is also typically backed up with statistical evidence to give more weight to your opinions and can be a very technical form of writing that’s not overly emotional.

Expository writing is more focused on teaching readers new things. If we look at its name, we can take the word exposure from it. According to Merriam-Webster [4] , one of the many definitions of exposure is to reveal something to others or present them with something they otherwise didn’t know. In terms of writing, it can refer to the act of revealing new information to others or exposing them to new ideas.

Effectively, expository writing focuses on the goal of leaving the reader with new knowledge of a certain topic or subject. Again, it is predominately seen in journalistic formats, such as explainer articles or ‘how-to’ blogs. Furthermore, you also come across it in academic textbooks or business writing.

This brings us back to the centre of attention for this guide: what is creative writing?

Interestingly, creative writing is often seen as the style of writing that combines many of these forms together in one go. Narrative writing can be seen as creative writing as you are coming up with a story to keep readers engaged, telling a tale for them to enjoy or learn from. Descriptive writing is very much a key part of creative writing as you are using your imagination and creative skills to come up with detailed descriptions that transport the reader out of their home and into a different place.

Creative writing can even use persuasive writing styles in some formats. Many writers will combine persuasive writing with a narrative structure to come up with a creative way of telling a story to educate readers and provide new opinions for them to view or be convinced of. Expository writing can also be involved here, using creativity and your imagination to answer questions or provide advice to the reader.

Essentially, creative writing can combine other writing types to create a unique and new way of telling a story or producing content. At the same time, it can include absolutely none of the other forms at all. The whole purpose of creative writing is to think outside the box and stray from traditional structures and norms. Fundamentally, we can say there are no real rules when it comes to creative writing, which is what makes it different from the other writing styles discussed above.

What is the purpose of creative writing?

Another way to understand and explore the idea of creative writing is to look at its purpose. What is the aim of most creative works of writing? What do they hope to provide the reader with?

We can look at the words of Bryanna Licciardi, an experienced creative writing tutor, to understand the purpose of creative writing. She writes that the primary purpose is to entertain and share human experiences, like love or loss. Writers attempt to reveal the truth with regard to humanity through poetics and storytelling. [5] She also goes on to add that the first step of creative writing is to use one’s imagination.

When students sign up to our creative writing courses, we will teach them how to write with this purpose. Your goal is to create stories or writing for readers that entertain them while also providing information that can have an impact on their lives. It’s about influencing readers through creative storytelling that calls upon your imagination and uses the thoughts inside your head. The deeper you dive into the art of creative writing, the more complex it can be. This is largely because it can be expressed in so many different formats. When you think of creative writing, your instinct takes you to stories and novels. Indeed, these are both key forms of creative writing that we see all the time. However, there are many other forms of creative writing that are expressed throughout the world.

What are the different forms of creative writing?

Looking back at the original and simple definition of creative writing, it relates to original writing in a creative and imaginative way. Consequently, this can span across so many genres and types of writing that differ greatly from one another. This section will explore and analyse the different types of creative writing, displaying just how diverse this writing style can be – while also showcasing just what you’re capable of when you learn how to be a creative writer.

The majority of students will first come across creative writing in the form of essays . The point of an essay is to present a coherent argument in response to a stimulus or question. [6] In essence, you are persuading the reader that your answer to the question is correct. Thus, creative writing is required to get your point across as coherently as possible, while also using great descriptive writing skills to paint the right message for the reader.

Moreover, essays can include personal essays – such as writing a cover letter for work or a university application. Here, great creativity is needed to almost write a story about yourself that captivates the reader and takes them on a journey with you. Excellent imagination and persuasive writing skills can help you tell your story and persuade those reading that you are the right person for the job or university place.

Arguably, this is the most common way in which creative writing is expressed. Fictional work includes novels, novellas, short stories – and anything else that is made up. The very definition of fiction by the Cambridge Dictionary states that it is the type of book or story that is written about imaginary characters and events not based on real people and facts. [7] As such, it means that your imagination is called upon to create something out of nothing. It is a quintessential test of your creative writing skills, meaning you need to come up with characters, settings, plots, descriptions and so much more.

Fictional creative writing in itself takes on many different forms and can be completely different depending on the writer. That is the real beauty of creative writing; you can have entirely different stories and characters from two different writers. Just look at the vast collection of fictional work around you today; it’s the perfect way to see just how versatile creative writing can be depending on the writer.

Similarly, scripts can be a type of creative writing that appeals to many. Technically, a script can be considered a work of fiction. Nevertheless, it depends on the script in question. Scripts for fictional television shows, plays or movies are obviously works of fiction. You, the writer, has come up with the characters and story of the show/play/movie, bringing it all to life through the script. But, scripts can also be non-fictional. Creating a play or movie that adapts real-life events will mean you need to write a script based on something that genuinely happened.

Here, it’s a perfect test of creative writing skills as you take a real event and use your creative talents to make it more interesting. The plot and narrative may already be there for you, so it’s a case of using your descriptive writing skills to really sell it to others and keep readers – or viewers – on the edge of their seats.

A speech is definitely a work of creative writing. The aim of a speech can vary depending on what type of speech it is. A politician delivering a speech in the House of Commons will want to get a point across to persuade others in the room. They’ll need to use creative writing to captivate their audience and have them hanging on their every word. A recent example of a great speech was the one by Sir David Attenborough at the recent COP26 global climate summit. [8] Listening to the speech is a brilliant way of understanding how creative writing can help get points across. His speech went viral around the world because of how electrifying and enthralling it is. The use of many descriptive and persuasive words had people hanging onto everything he said. He really created a picture and an image for people to see, convincing them that the time is now to work on stopping and reversing climate change.

From this speech to a completely different one, you can see creative writing at play for speeches at weddings and other jovial events. Here, the purpose is more to entertain guests and make them laugh. At the same time, someone giving a wedding speech will hope to create a lovely story for the guests to enjoy, displaying the true love that the married couple share for one another. Regardless of what type of speech an individual is giving, creative writing skills are required for it to be good and captivating.

Poetry & Songs

The final example of creative writing is twofold; poetry and songs. Both of these formats are similar to one another, relying on creativity to deliver a combination of things. Poetry can take so many forms and styles, but it aims to inspire readers and get them thinking. Poems often have hidden meanings behind them, and it takes a great deal of imagination and creativity to come up with these meanings while also creating a powerful poem. Some argue that poetry is the most creative of all creative writing forms.

Songwriting is similar in that you use creativity to come up with lyrics that can have powerful meanings while also conjuring up a story for people. The best songwriters will use lyrics that stay in people’s minds and get them thinking about the meaning behind the song. If you lack imagination and creativity, you will never be a good songwriter.

In truth, there are so many other types and examples of creative writing that you can explore. The ones listed above are the most common and powerful, and they all do a great job of demonstrating how diverse creative writing can be. If you can hone your skills in creative writing, it opens up many opportunities for you in life. Primarily, creative writing focuses on fictional pieces of work, but as you can see, non-fiction also requires a good deal of creativity.

What’s needed to make a piece of creative writing?

Our in-depth analysis of creative writing has led to a point where you’re aware of this style of writing and its purpose, along with some examples of it in the real world. The next question to delve into is what do you need to do to make a piece of creative writing. To phrase this another way; how do you write something that comes under the creative heading rather than another form of writing?

There is an element of difficulty in answering this question as creative writing has so many different types and genres. Consequently, there isn’t a set recipe for the perfect piece of creative writing, and that’s what makes this format so enjoyable and unique. Nevertheless, we can discover some crucial elements or principles that will help make a piece of writing as creative and imaginative as possible:

A target audience

All creative works will begin by defining a target audience. There are many ways to define a target audience, with some writers suggesting that you think about who is most likely to read your work. However, this can still be challenging as you’re unsure of the correct demographic to target. Writer’s Digest makes a good point of defining your target audience by considering your main motivation for writing in the first place. [9] It’s a case of considering what made you want to start writing – whether it’s a blog post, novel, song, poem, speech, etc. Figuring out your motivation behind it will help you zero in on your target audience.

Defining your audience is vital for creative writing as it helps you know exactly what to write and how to write it. All of your work should appeal to this audience and be written in a way that they can engage with. As a simple example, authors that write children’s stories will adapt their writing to appeal to the younger audience. Their stories include lots of descriptions and words that children understand, rather than being full of long words and overly academic writing.

Establishing the audience lets the writer know which direction to take things in. As a result, this can aid with things like character choices, plot, storylines, settings, and much more.

A story of sorts

Furthermore, great works of creative writing will always include a story of sorts. This is obvious for works such as novels, short stories, scripts, etc. However, even for things like poems, songs or speeches, a story helps make it creative. It gives the audience something to follow, helping them make sense of the work. Even if you’re giving a speech, setting a story can help you create a scene in people’s minds that makes them connect to what you’re saying. It’s a very effective way of persuading others and presenting different views for people to consider.

Moreover, consider the definition of a story/narrative arc. One definition describes it as a term that describes a story’s full progression. It visually evokes the idea that every story has a relatively calm beginning, a middle where tension, character conflict and narrative momentum builds to a peak and an end where the conflict is resolved. [10]

Simplifying this, we can say that all works of creative writing need a general beginning, middle and end. It’s a way of bringing some sort of structure to your writing so you know where you are going, rather than filling it with fluff or waffle.

A good imagination

Imagination is a buzzword that we’ve used plenty of times throughout this deep dive into creative writing. Every creative writing course you go on will spend a lot of time focusing on the idea of using your imagination. The human brain is a marvellously powerful thing that holds the key to creative freedom and expressing yourself in new and unique ways. If you want to make something creative, you need to tap into your imagination.

People use their imagination in different ways; some will be able to conjure up ideas for stories or worlds that exist beyond our own. Others will use theirs to think of ways of describing things in a more creative and imaginative way. Ultimately, a good imagination is what sets your work apart from others within your genre. This doesn’t mean you need to come up with the most fantastical novel of all time to have something classified as creative writing. No, using your imagination and creativity can extend to something as simple as your writing style.

Ultimately, it’s more about using your imagination to find your own personal flair and creative style. You will then be able to write unique pieces that stand out from the others and keep audiences engaged.

How can creative writing skills benefit you?

When most individuals or students consider creative writing, they imagine a world where they are writing stories for a living. There’s a common misconception that creative writing skills are only beneficial for people pursuing careers in scriptwriting, storytelling, etc. Realistically, enhancing ones creative writing skills can open up many windows of opportunity throughout your education and career.

  • Improve essay writing – Naturally, creative writing forms a core part of essays and other written assignments in school and university. Improving your skills in this department can help a student get better at writing powerful essays and achieving top marks. In turn, this can impact your career by helping you get better grades to access better jobs in the future.
  • Become a journalist – Journalists depend on creative writing to make stories that capture audiences and have people hanging on their every word. You need high levels of creativity to turn a news story into something people are keen to read or watch.
  • Start a blog – In modern times, blogging is a useful tool that can help people find profitable and successful careers. The whole purpose of a blog is to provide your opinions to the masses while also entertaining, informing and educating. Again, having a firm grasp of creative writing skills will aid you in building your blog audience.
  • Write marketing content – From advert scripts to content on websites, marketing is fuelled by creative writing. The best marketers will have creative writing skills to draw an audience in and convince them to buy products. If you can learn to get people hanging on your every word, you can make it in this industry.

These points all demonstrate the different ways in which creative writing can impact your life and alter your career. In terms of general career skills, this is one that you simply cannot go without.

How to improve your creative writing

One final part of this analysis of creative writing is to look at how students can improve. It begins by reading as much as you can and taking in lots of different content. Read books, poems, scripts, articles, blogs – anything you can find. Listen to music and pay attention to the words people use and the structure of their writing. It can help you pick up on things like metaphors, similes, and how to use your imagination. Of course, writing is the key to improving; the more you write, the more creative you can get as you will start unlocking the powers of your brain.

Conclusion: What is creative writing

In conclusion, creative writing uses a mixture of different types of writing to create stories that stray from traditional structures and norms. It revolves around the idea of using your imagination to find a writing style that suits you and gets your points across to an audience, keeping them engaged in everything you say. From novels to speeches, there are many forms of creative writing that can help you in numerous career paths throughout your life.

[1] SkillShare: The 5 Types of Writing Styles with Examples

[2] Elements of Good Story Telling – UX Planet

[3] Simile vs Metaphor: What’s the Difference? – ProWritingAid

[4] Definition of Exposure by Merriam-Webster

[5] The Higher Purpose of Creative Writing | by Terveen Gill

[6] Essay purpose – Western Sydney University

[7] FICTION | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

[8] ‘Not fear, but hope’ – Attenborough speech in full – BBC News

[9] Writer’s Digest: Who Is Your Target Reader?

[10] What is a Narrative Arc? • A Guide to Storytelling Structure

Become a Writer Today

What is Creative Writing?

Explore eight forms of creative writing, with tips and creative writing exercises to get you started. 

You can bring a creative approach to any kind of writing—a recipe, a textbook, or an email, for example—but “creative writing” means something more specific. The creative writing category can be defined both by what it includes and excludes.

Creative writers are usually not aiming to transmit factual information to people who can use it (as in a recipe, technical writing, academic writing, or even an email). Rather, creative writers tend to have two primary goals that set their writing apart from other forms. Specifically, creative writers aim to: (1) express their unique imaginative perspective and (2) evoke an emotional response in the reader. 

4. Creative Nonfiction

1. stand-up comedy, 2. speeches, 3. musical lyrics, 4. journaling, the bottom line on creative writing forms, the four primary categories of creative writing.

What is creative writing?

Suppose you study creative writing in the academic context, particularly in an MFA program. In that case, you will typically choose one or more of four big categories of writing: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and drama (plays and screenplays). 

In the context of creative writing, fiction is generally defined to include novels, novellas, and short stories. Fiction is imaginative (generally non-factual) storytelling constructed to take the reader on an emotional journey. Some of the essential literary devices that define fiction writing are setting, character development, point of view, linear cause and effect, a structure with a beginning/middle/end, dialogue, and exposition. 

Some experimental fiction writers deliberately play with or even omit some of these conventions (for example, Kurt Vonnegut experiments with non-linearity in Slaughterhouse Five). However, they are present in nearly all fiction to one degree or another. 

Because fiction is, by definition, not factual, it requires the reader to suspend their disbelief to one degree or another. Of course, some fiction is realist, meaning that it includes places, people, and events that either are real or could have been real. For example, in Harper Lee’s classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird, the town of Maycomb, the character Scout, and the plot events were made up. However, Lee’s writing was inspired by her childhood, and it is easy to imagine that it could have happened.

Non-realist fiction (such as science fiction, fantasy, or fabulism) uses settings, characters, or events that would be implausible if published as nonfiction but are believable in the context of the author’s fictional world. For example, Karen Russell’s short story “Orange World ” is about a new mother who makes a deal to breastfeed the devil in exchange for her baby’s safety. It would not be plausible as nonfiction, but the emotional urgency parents feel when it comes to protecting their children makes the story emotionally plausible within a fictional world in which the devil exists and makes deals.

Flash fiction (short stories under 1,000 words) are an excellent entry-point for experimenting with writing fiction. If brevity isn’t your strong suit, you can start writing fiction by creating an outline for a story or novel, or writing a detailed character sketch.

Poetry can take many forms, but generally, it is a style of creative writing that is: (1) focused on the aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language, (2) condensed into a tight form with no inessential words, and (3) striving to express an idea or evoke an emotion that is difficult to put into words. Poetry can be fictional (referring to an imagined situation) or essentially nonfiction, based on the poet’s real experiences.

Some forms of poetry are much longer and denser (such as prose poems), while others are brief and leave lots of white space on the page. Some poetry is structured based on rules of rhyme and meter (such as a sonnet), while others are more anarchic (free verse). 

Often poetry uses figurative language, such as similes, metaphors, and allegory, operates on multiple levels at once (the literal and the symbolic), or juxtaposes two unexpected elements. For example, Robert Frost’s short poem “The Road Not Taken” uses the metaphor of a walk in the woods to inspire the reader to think about how they choose the path they take through life. 

To explore the possibilities that poetry has to offer, try choosing a subject and writing three poems about it using three different forms, such as free verse, a sonnet, and an erasure poem. An erasure poem is where you take a page of writing, such as a book page, and strategically redact most of the words with a pen or razor blade, so that the remaining words comprise the poem. 

Have you seen our article on the 15 types of poetry every writer should know .

What is creative writing?

Although we usually think of creative writing being consumed directly via reading, other forms are consumed indirectly. Such as by observing performers who are enacting the writing. Common forms include theatrical plays, film screenplays, television scripts, and even operas. 

Most drama uses a three-act structure similar to fiction. While drama is usually fiction, some (like the musicals Hamilton and Evita ) are based on a true story and fleshed out using fictional details.

Although these forms of creative writing tell a narrative story, much like fiction, they can use visual and auditory tools that aren’t available on the page. For example, in an early scene in Jordan Peel’s screenplay for the film Get Out , the protagonist and his girlfriend are driving and chatting when “A shadow darts across the road in front of the hood of the car. Its hind legs SMACK the hood of the car with a loud THWAT-THWAT.” Reading that description does not evoke fear, but the film’s audiovisual representation of the car hitting a deer is an effective jump-scare.

Plays and screenplays tend to use a specific format, which consists almost entirely of dialogue, along with very brief passages describing what the actors should do and how the setting should look. If you want to write this form, it is a good idea to watch lots of plays and movies and read plays and screenplays. You can find many film screenplays online with a simple Google search. 

Creative nonfiction differs from fiction, poetry, and drama in that it transmits factual information to the reader. However, its purpose is generally to impact the reader’s thoughts or feelings rather than to provide actionable information (as in the case of other nonfiction, such as a recipe or self-help book). Creative nonfiction can be long-form (such as a memoir) or short form (such as a personal essay) and is virtually always in the first person.

What makes a piece of writing creative nonfiction, as opposed to other forms of nonfiction (such as journalism), is that creative nonfiction borrows the tools of other forms of creative storytelling (particularly fiction and poetry) to tell a true story in an emotionally compelling way. A creative essay might combine the lyricism of poetry, the deep characterization of a novel, and the three-act structure of a play, for example. 

Creative nonfiction can also borrow elements of other nonfiction forms. For example, this excerpt from Maggie Nelson’s memoir Bluets combines poetic phrasing, the dramatization of a scene in prose, and an exploration of the theoretical writings of Goethe and Wittgenstein.

According to expert Phillip Lopate, one of the key concepts in creative nonfiction is the “double-perspective.” This is how personal essays and memoirs allow a writer to show not only their perspective when an event happened but their wiser retrospective understanding of that event. To practice creative nonfiction, try identifying an event that you’ve come to understand differently over time and write about that shift in your mindset.

Four Additional Forms of Creative Writing

While fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting/screenwriting are the most common genres included in academic creative writing programs, many other forms of writing fall into that category. Four examples are stand-up comedy, speech-writing, songwriting, and journaling.

Of course, any form of creative writing can include jokes, comedic scenes, or can have a comedic structure in the classical sense (Aristotle defined comedy as a story in which a ridiculous character starts low and ends high, in a happy ending). However, a stand-up comedy set is its own beast. 

Stand-up comedy sets are inarguably a form of creative writing. A comedian’s primary objectives are to express the comedian’s unique perspective and create an emotional response in the audience. Like drama, comedy combines both writing and performance. Like poetry, stand-up sets are very tightly written, with the mindset that every word matters.

Most stand-up sets are written as narrative nonfiction, and many contain elements of social commentary. Two of the most impactful comedy sets in the last decade, for example, were Hannah Gadsby’s Peabody and Grammy Award-winning show Nanette , which addressed the prejudice she’d experienced as a lesbian, and the album Tig Notaro Live , a Grammy-nominated comedy album about Notaro’s cancer diagnosis that topped the Billboard charts.

While stand-up sets typically describe things that happened to the comedian, they are not limited to truthfulness like other nonfiction. It is not considered unethical to exaggerate, fictionalize, or even fabricate events described in a stand-up set, as long as it improves the jokes.

As in Gadsby and Notaro’s sets, sometimes the best comedy has an edge and addresses very serious subjects. If you want to try writing comedy, a good exercise is to identify an extremely negative experience in your life and look for a comedic perspective on it. 

For more help on writing comedy, we can recommend six great comedy writing books .

Stand-up comedy and dramatic monologs are essentially speeches, and it is only fair to characterize other forms of speech-writing as creative writing. Of course, some speeches are improvised. Many, however, are the result of creative writing, revision, and memorization. 

Speeches falling under the rubric of creative writing could include anything from the president’s congressional State of the Union address to the best man speech at your friend’s wedding. In either case, the writer of the speech typically aims to express a unique perspective and generate a particular emotional response in the listener (persuading them to trust the president or to believe that the bride and groom are soulmates, for example).

Most speeches have a higher expectation of truthfulness than comedy sets and certainly more than dramatic monologs. However, they also integrate elements of poetry and fiction, such as the use of themes and motifs. 

Many people learn how to write speeches by participating in high school or college-level speech and debate or joining groups like Toastmasters. You could also find opportunities to practice by volunteering in the context of activism or community education. You might also be interested in these essays about creative writing .

The overlap between theater and opera makes it evident that writing music with lyrics should be included in the umbrella category of creative writing. However, any argument that creative writing shouldn’t include song lyrics was demolished in 2016, when Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. 

The overlap between lyrics and poetry is obvious. Both are short, efficient forms, which are always focused on the rhythm of language and often on rhyme. However, it is also common for lyrics to tell a fictional story, such as in Dylan’s song “Tangled Up in Blue,” or even nonfictional stories, as in his song “Hurricane,” about boxer Rubin Carter being framed for murder. Song lyrics may also include jokes. Like drama, lyrics are usually consumed by observing performers, rather than by reading.

Notwithstanding these overlaps, what sets lyrics apart from other creative writing categories (other than opera or musicals) is that lyrics are set to music. This requires a high level of skill in handling rhythm because not only must the internal rhythm of the lyrics work (as in a poem), they must resonate well with the music supporting them. If you don’t have a band, look for a karaoke version of a song you know and love to practice writing song lyrics. Then write your own new lyrics for it. 

Journal writing is a little harder to fit in the creative writing category, as we’ve defined it. Although it is the ultimate form of self-expression, journals are typically not meant to be read by others. But, of course, if you become famous enough, your diary might one day become of interest to the public and publishable (such as Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl ).

Freewriting about your own life and experience is a valuable training technique for creative writers. The popular book and methodology The Artist’s Way , by Julia Cameron, advises hand-writing three pages every day, regardless of the content, in order to increase and enhance the creative drive for all artists, not just writers. As Virginia Woolf put it, “The habit of writing for my eye is good practice. It loosens the ligaments.” 

However, a personal diary describing your secrets and feelings about your life is only one way to use a journal. Some people use journaling to brainstorm and pre-write in preparation for writing fiction or other forms. You can even take diary entries and revise them into m a memoir or poetry. 

There is enormous overlap between the different types of creative writing, and practicing any of them will improve your writing skills, so there’s no reason to silo yourself. For example, poets can deepen their sense of meter by writing lyrics, journaling fans can write personal essays to share their insights with readers, and fiction writers can improve their dialogue by experimenting with writing drama. So stop pigeonholing yourself as a creative writer, and you may find your creativity far exceeds your expectations.

what is creative writing considered

Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.

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What is Creative Writing?

A woman wearing glasses reading a creative writing piece in a notebook.

Creative writing is any form of writing that exists outside of journalism, business writing, or academic writing. It expresses an author's unique voice, writing style, thoughts, and ideas in an engaging and imaginative manner, said Christopher Sullivan , MFA, an adjunct instructor in the creative writing and English program at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).

“Creative writing has no boundaries. It gives the writer permission to flex his or her creative muscles and utilize infinite amounts of imagery and imagination within their writing," he said.

What Makes a Good Piece of Creative Writing?

Marcella Prokop and the text Marcella Prokop.

These include:

  • Theme – The main idea or moral of a story.
  • Setting – The time and geographic location within a narrative.
  • Character and plot development – Usually intertwined, the author’s ability to grow a character’s ability to take action, which leads to conflict and the rising progression of the plot.
  • Point-of-view – Told in the first, second, or third person, this is the way in which authors express the views of themselves or their characters.
  • Voice – The way in which the author tells the story; for example, anxious, sparse in detail, looking back through time, etc.
  • Tone and style – Style refers to the author's choice of diction, sentence structure, literary techniques, and use of rhythm, while style refers to the author’s attitude toward the story and the reader.

Within each of these areas of craft, authors use tools such as figurative language, dialogue, description, and conflict to give color and dimension to their characters and plot,  she said.

What is Creative Writing and its Types?

In addition to fiction writing, creative writing includes the genres of poetry, creative nonfiction (such as memoir, autobiography, or personal essay), screenwriting, plays, and/ or graphic novels. Blogs and other digital media could also be considered forms of creative writing.

  • Fiction – This type of prose is based on imaginary events and people, usually in the form of a novel or short story.  Good novels appeal to the senses, embrace idiosyncrasies, and make people laugh or cry, wrote author Elizabeth Sims in a recent Writer's Digest blog post .
  • Poetry – Much more than rhyming stanzas, poetry aims to “tell a story, enact a drama, convey ideas, offer vivid, unique description or express our inward spiritual, emotional, or psychological states,” according to poet Dan Rifenburgh, who wrote about the definition of poetry in an article published on the National Endowment for the Arts website. 
  • Memoirs – Memoirs not only recount the actual events of an author’s life from his or her perspective, they often serve as inspirational pieces that challenge readers to take action or make change. Jeff Goins, author of Wrecked and The In-Between, shares three basic rules for writing a good memoir on the blog, The Write Practice. Authors should also be prepared to show vulnerability and aspire to move the reader to a new way of thinking in search of the truth, he said. 
  • Screenwriting – Without a strong script, actors in our favorite movies would not follow a plot, engage in conflict, or participate in any kind of dialogue. Unlike other types of writing, a screenplay has to perform two jobs: it must be entertaining to the viewer and provide instructions to actors and directors, according to Ant Jackson, a blogger for The Writing Cooperative . 
  • Graphic novels – Similar to comic books, graphic novels combine words and images to tell a longer story. A blend of text and art, authors can provide visual punch to their dialogue in this format. Popular with both children and adults, graphic novels can better convey complex subject matter, thanks to a blend of both literary devices and pictures, according to Gal Beckerman , an editor for the New York Times Book Review.
  • Blogs – Blogging itself isn’t a literary genre—it’s a platform that allows writers to share a variety of creative writing—poetry, short stories, or multimedia projects that combine words and images – with audiences on the internet.

Writers often spend years practicing their craft, and learned the basics in degree programs specifically focused on creative writing.

Explore Creative Writing Programs

Pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing and English can help you hone your craft and experiment with different genres and forms, while you also focus on a specific type of writing, said Prokop.

Undergraduate creative writing programs typically include a mix of general education classes and courses in the humanities, in addition to creative writing classes. Introductory writing classes typically cover genre basics and explore some of the tools writers use to craft an engaging story. 

"This is a perfect class for beginners or those looking to hone a basic skill, such as developing a plot," Prokop said.

Chris Sullivan and the text Chris Sullivan

Such programs also help writers build upon their foundational skills, too. For example, most students take English composition classes that utilize a variety of rhetorical modes (narration, description, cause and effect, and persuasion and argument, to name a few) that help them perfect their skills before they focus on a specific genre, Sullivan said.

“Most students interested in applying to the creative writing program typically have a solid foundation with writing mechanics. However, that doesn’t mean their mechanics have to be perfect—they are here to learn,” he said.

Some programs also allow students to concentrate on a specific genre (fiction writing, nonfiction writing, poetry, or screenwriting) and develop portfolios of work that can help them apply for MFA programs or promote themselves as writers.

What Jobs Can You Get with a Creative Writing Degree?

If you decide to major in creative writing, it doesn't automatically mean you'll become a published author—but it will give you the tools you need for job roles that require strong writing and communication skills.

Graduates who are serious about pursuing writing careers are encouraged to practice their craft, obtain feedback, and submit their work to publishers, Sullivan said.

“Throughout the creative writing program, students are given tools, resources, and lots of valuable feedback to strengthen their writing skills,” he said. “However, writing is a process. It takes a lot of hard work, networking, humility, and dedication to become a published author.”

Here are some jobs creative writing and English majors might also consider pursuing.

Writer or Author

Use your storytelling skills to pen children’s books, novels, biographies, essays, or memoirs. A bachelor’s degree is generally required for a full-time position as a writer or author, and additional experience gained through internships or any writing that improves skill--such as blogging—can help, too. Although it’s a highly competitive field, successful authors earned a median annual salary of $62,170 in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Editors aren’t just grammar experts who correct mistakes. Publications rely on them to plan, review, and evaluate publications. Whether they work in a corporate environment or for print or digital publications, editors must be imaginative, curious, and knowledgeable in a broad range of topics in order to add value. Most editors have a bachelor’s degree and gain experience through internships, according to BLS. In 2018, editors earned a median annual salary of $59,480 , BLS reports.

Reporters, news correspondents, and broadcast news analysts use their research and storytelling skills to inform the public about news and events. They can work for news publications, digital publications, TV, or radio stations. Journalists typically hold a bachelor’s degree and gain work experience through college internships. The average annual wage for broadcast news analysts in 2018 was $66,880, while the average annual wage for reporters and correspondents in 2018 was $41,260, according to BLS .

Advertising, Promotions and/or Marketing Managers

Whether they are creating ad campaigns, promotional events, or looking at pricing strategies, professionals in advertising and marketing roles use their creativity and communication skills to generate interest in their organization’s products or services. A bachelor’s degree is required for most advertising, promotions, and marketing management positions. A creative writing degree can be particularly helpful to media directors who use radio, television, newspapers, magazines, the internet, or outdoor signs to create messages that effectively reach customers. The average annual salary for advertising and promotions managers was $117,130 in 2018; while the average annual salary for marketing managers was $134,290, according to BLS .

With a bachelor's degree in creative writing and English, you can polish your storytelling skills and position yourself for a variety of jobs that require imagination and solid communication skills.

Krysten Godfrey Maddocks ’11 is a writer and marketing/communication professional. Connect with her on LinkedIn .

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About southern new hampshire university.

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SNHU is a nonprofit, accredited university with a mission to make high-quality education more accessible and affordable for everyone.

Founded in 1932, and online since 1995, we’ve helped countless students reach their goals with flexible, career-focused programs . Our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH is home to over 3,000 students, and we serve over 135,000 students online. Visit our about SNHU  page to learn more about our mission, accreditations, leadership team, national recognitions and awards.

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Exploring the Different Types of Creative Writing

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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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Chinese Creative Writing Studies pp 145–157 Cite as

Creative Writing Research: What, How and Why

  • Graeme Harper 2  
  • First Online: 23 July 2023

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Creative writing research is actively moving us further toward knowing what creative writing actually is—in terms of our human actions and our responses when doing it. It is approaching such things as completed literary works and author recognition within the activities of creative writing, not mostly as representatives of that practice, and it is paying close attention to the modes, methods and functions of the writerly imagination, the contemporary influence of individual writer environments on writers, to writerly senses of structure and form and our formation and re-formation of writing themes and subjects. We certainly understand creative writing and creative writing research best when we remain true to why creative writing happens, when and where it happens, and how it happens—and creative writing research is doing that, focusing on the actions and the material results as evidence of our actions. Creative writing research has also opened up better communication between our knowledge of creative writing and our teaching of creative writing, with the result that we are improving that teaching, not only in our universities and colleges but also in our schools.

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Harper, G. (2023). Creative Writing Research: What, How and Why. In: Rebecca Leung, ML. (eds) Chinese Creative Writing Studies. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-99-0931-5_12

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Creative Writing: What It Is and Why It Matters

By: Author Paul Jenkins

Posted on Published: January 13, 2023  - Last updated: January 15, 2023

Categories Writing

Writing can be intimidating for many people, but creative writing doesn’t have to be. Creative writing is a form of self-expression that allows writers to create stories, characters, and unique settings. But what exactly is creative writing? And why is it important in today’s society? Let’s explore this further.

How We Define Creative Writing

Creative writing is any form where writers can express their thoughts and feelings imaginatively. This type of writing allows authors to draw on their imagination when creating stories and characters and play with language and structure. While there are no boundaries in creative writing, most pieces will contain dialogue, description, and narrative elements.

The Importance of Creative Writing

Creative writing is important because:

  • It helps us express ourselves in ways we may not be able to do with other forms of communication.
  • It allows us to explore our creativity and think outside the box.
  • It can help us better understand our emotions by exploring them through storytelling or poetry.
  • Writing creatively can also provide much-needed escapism from everyday life, allowing us to escape into a world of our creation.
  • Creative writing helps us connect with others by sharing our experiences through stories or poems they can relate to. This way, we can gain insight into other people’s lives while giving them insight into ours.

Creative Writing: A Path to Mental and Emotional Wellness

Writing is more than just a way to express your thoughts on paper. It’s a powerful tool that can be used as a form of therapy. Creative writing has been shown to improve emotional and mental well-being.

Through creative writing, we can gain insight into our emotions, develop self-expression and communication skills, cultivate empathy and understanding of others, and boost our imagination and creativity.

Let’s examine how creative writing can relieve stress and emotional catharsis.

Stress Relief and Emotional Catharsis

Writing has the power to reduce stress levels significantly. Writing about our experiences or about things that are causing us anxiety or distress helps us to release those complicated feelings constructively. By expressing ourselves through creative writing, we can work through the emotions associated with stressful situations without having to confront them directly.

This is especially helpful for people who struggle to share their emotions verbally or in person.

Improved Communication and Self-Expression

Creative writing is also beneficial for improving communication skills. Through creative writing, we can explore our thoughts and feelings more intensely than by speaking them aloud. This allows us to think more clearly about what we want to say before actually saying it out loud or in written form, which leads to improved self-expression overall.

Additionally, writing out our thoughts before speaking aloud allows us to articulate ourselves better when communicating with others—which is essential for healthy personal and professional relationships.

Increased Empathy and Understanding of Others

Through creative writing, we can also increase our empathy towards others by exploring different perspectives on various topics that may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable for us—such as racism, homophobia, sexism, etc.—and allowing ourselves the opportunity to see the situation from someone else’s point of view without judgment or bias. This helps us become better communicators and more understanding individuals overall.

The Professional Benefits of Creative Writing

Creative writing is a powerful tool that can help you communicate better and more effectively in the professional world. It can also help you develop various skills that prove invaluable in many industries. Whether you’re looking to build your résumé or improve your communication, creative writing can effectively achieve both.

Let’s take a closer look at how creative writing can benefit your career.

Preparing Students for Careers in Writing, Editing, and Publishing

Creative writing is the perfect foundation for anyone interested in pursuing a career in writing, editing, or publishing. It teaches students the basics of grammar and composition while allowing them to express their ideas in imaginative ways.

Creative writing classes also allow students to learn from professionals who have experience as editors, agents, and publishers. They can use this knowledge to learn creative writing, refine their craft and gain valuable experience before entering the job market.

Improving Skills in Storytelling and Marketing for Various Careers

Creative writing teaches students to think critically about stories and craft compelling narratives that draw readers in. This skill is precious for those who wish to pursue careers outside traditional writing roles—such as marketing or advertising—where storytelling is key.

People who understand the fundamentals of creative writing will be able to create persuasive copy that resonates with readers and effectively conveys a message.

Enhancing Team Collaboration and Leadership Skills

Creative writing isn’t just about expressing yourself through words; it also provides an opportunity to practice working collaboratively with others on projects. Many creative writing classes require students to work together on group projects, which helps them develop essential teamwork skills such as communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.

As they work together on these projects, they will also gain confidence in their ability to lead teams effectively—an invaluable asset no matter what industry they pursue after graduation.

Uncovering the Power of Creative Writing

Creative writing has become an increasingly powerful force in shaping our society. Creative writing has many uses, from preserving cultural heritage to promoting social change.

Preserving Cultural Heritage with Creative Writing

Creative writing has long been used to preserve and share cultural heritage stories. This is done through fictional stories or poetry that explore a particular culture or group’s history, values, and beliefs. By weaving these stories in an engaging way, writers can bring a culture’s history and traditions to life for readers worldwide. This helps bridge cultural gaps by providing insight into what makes each culture unique.

Promoting Social Change & Activism with Creative Writing

Creative writing can also be used for activism and social change. Writers can craft stories that help promote awareness about important issues such as poverty, race relations, gender equality, climate change, and more.

With the power of words, writers can inspire readers to take action on these issues and work towards creating positive change in their communities.

Through creative writing, writers can raise awareness about important topics while fostering empathy toward individuals who may be facing difficult or challenging situations.

Fostering Creativity & Innovation with Creative Writing

Finally, creative writing can foster creativity and innovation in various fields. For example, businesses can use creative copywriting techniques to create compelling content that captures the attention of customers or potential investors.

Aspiring entrepreneurs can use storytelling techniques when pitching their ideas or products to potential partners or investors to make their cases more persuasive and memorable.

By harnessing the power of words through creative writing techniques, businesses can create content that resonates with their target audience while inspiring them to take action on whatever message they’re trying to convey. It often aids the overall creative process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of creative writing.

Creative writing has many benefits, both for the writer and the reader. For the writer, it can be therapeutic, helping them to explore their emotions and better understand themselves. It can also be used as entertainment or communication, allowing them to share their ideas with the world. For the reader, creative writing can provide enjoyment, escapism, and insights into the human condition.

How can I improve my creative writing skills?

There are several ways you can improve your creative writing skills. Firstly, make sure you allow yourself time to write regularly. Use a writing prompt to inspire a short story. Secondly, read as much as you can; great writers are also great readers. Thirdly, experiment with different styles and genres to find one that suits you best. Fourthly, join a writers’ group, writing workshop, or creative writing program to get feedback from other writers. Finally, keep a journal to track your progress and reflect on your work as a creative writer.

What is the importance of imagery in creative writing?

Imagery is an important element of creative writing, as it helps to create a more vivid picture for the reader. By using sensory and descriptive language, writers can transport readers into their stories and help them relate to their characters or themes. Imagery can bring a scene alive with detail and evoke emotion by helping readers create strong visual images in their minds. Furthermore, imagery can help make stories more memorable by giving readers a deeper connection with the characters or setting.

What are the elements of creative writing?

The elements of creative writing include plot, character, dialogue, setting, theme, and point of view. The plot is the structure or main storyline, while the character is the personage involved in this story. Dialogue includes conversations between characters to give insight into their emotions and relationships. Setting refers to the place or time in which a story takes place, while theme explores deeper meanings behind a story’s narrative. Finally, point of view defines how readers experience a story through first-person or third-person omniscient narration.

What’s the difference between creative writing and other types of writing?

The main difference between creative writing and other types of writing is that it allows the writer to create their own story, characters, settings, and themes. Creative writing also encourages writers to be inventive with their style and use descriptive language to evoke emotion or bring stories alive in readers’ minds. Other academic or technical writing types typically involve more research-based information and are usually more objective in their presentation. Additionally, most forms of non-creative writing will have stricter rules regarding grammar, structure, and syntax.

What is the golden rule of creative writing?

The golden rule of creative writing is to show, not tell. It’s the core creative writing skill. When it comes to creative writing, it’s essential to use descriptive language that immerses readers in the story and allows them to experience the events through their emotions and imaginations. This can be done through metaphors, similes, sensory language, and vivid imagery.

How important is creativity in writing?

Creativity is essential in writing as it allows writers to craft a unique story and evoke emotion from the reader. Creativity can bring stories alive with fresh perspectives and exciting plot lines while creating an escape for readers and giving them more profound insights into the human condition. Writers who combine creativity with technical aspects such as grammar, structure, language usage, and flow will create pieces that capture their audience’s attention and provide an enjoyable reading experience.


A Look Into Creative Writing | Oxford Summer Courses

Exploring the magic of creative writing with oxford summer courses.

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Defining Creative Writing

Creative writing , as taught at Oxford Summer Courses, is the process of crafting original and imaginative works of literature, poetry, prose, or scripts. It transcends conventional writing, encouraging individuals to explore language, structure, and narrative. Whether it's a heartfelt poem, a captivating short story, or a thought-provoking novel, creative writing allows us to communicate our unique perspectives and experiences with the world.

The Magic of Imagination

Creative Writing is a catalyst that sparks our creativity and empowers us to breathe life into our ideas on the page. With Oxford Summer Courses, aspiring writers aged 16-24 can embark on an extraordinary journey of creative expression and growth. Immerse yourself in the captivating realms of Oxford and Cambridge as you explore our inspiring creative writing programs. Teleport readers to distant lands, realms of fantasy and creation, introduce them to captivating characters, and craft new worlds through the transformative art of storytelling. Discover more about our creative writing course here . Unleash your imagination and unlock the writer within.

What Are the Different Types of Creative Writing?

Creative Writing comes in many forms, encompassing a range of genres and styles. There are lots of different types of Creative Writing, which can be categorised as fiction or non-fiction. Some of the most popular being:

  • Biographies
  • Fiction: novels, novellas, short stories, etc.
  • Poetry and Spoken word
  • Playwriting/Scriptwriting
  • Personal essays

At Oxford Summer Courses, students have the opportunity to delve into these various types of Creative Writing during the Summer School.

The Benefits of Creative Writing with Oxford Summer Courses

Engaging in Creative Writing with Oxford Summer Courses offers numerous benefits beyond self-expression. By joining our dedicated Creative Writing summer school programme, you would:

  • Foster self-discovery and gain a deeper understanding of your thoughts, emotions, and personal experiences.
  • Improve your communication skills, honing your ability to express yourself effectively and engage readers through refined language and storytelling abilities.
  • Enhance empathy by exploring diverse perspectives and stepping into the shoes of different characters, broadening your understanding of the world around you.
  • Gain new skills for further education or work, expanding your repertoire of writing techniques and abilities to enhance your academic or professional pursuits.
  • Nurture your creativity, encouraging you to think outside the box, embrace unconventional ideas, and challenge the status quo, fostering a life-long mindset of innovation and originality.

Embracing the Journey

To embark on a journey of creative writing, embrace curiosity, take risks, and surrender to the flow of imagination. Write regularly, read widely, embrace feedback from tutors and peers at Oxford Summer Courses. Begin to experiment with styles and genres, and stay persistent in your course of action. The path of creative writing requires dedication, practice, and an open mind. Join us as we provide tips to help you start your creative writing journey and unleash your full creative potential under the guidance of industry professionals.

Creative Writing is a remarkable voyage that invites us to unleash our imagination, share our stories, and inspire others. It offers countless personal and professional benefits, nurturing self-expression, empathy, and creativity. So, grab a pen, open your mind, and embark on this enchanting journey of creative writing with Oxford Summer Courses. Let your words paint a vivid tapestry that captivates hearts and minds under the guidance of experienced tutors from Oxford and Cambridge. Join us as we explore the magic of creative writing and discover the transformative power it holds within through the renowned Oxford Summer Courses summer school.

Ready to study Creative Writing? Apply now to Oxford Summer Courses and join a community of motivated learners from around the world. Apply here .

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Discover the enchantment of creative writing with Oxford Summer Courses. Unleash your imagination, explore different genres, and enhance your communication skills. Nurture self-expression, empathy, and creativity while gaining valuable writing techniques.

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What is creative writing

What is Creative Writing? 11 Forms to Explore

Table of contents show, 1. what is creative writing, 2.1) novels, 2.2) short stories, 2.3) poetry, 2.4) speeches, 2.5) tv scriptwriting and playwriting, 2.6) memoirs, 2.7) personal essays, 2.8) graphic writing, 2.9) literary journalism, 2.10) humor writing, 2.11) autobiography and biography, 3.1) consider the audience, 3.3) character development, 3.4) plot development, 3.5) underlying theme, 3.6) dialogue, 3.7) literary devices, 4.1) reading, 4.2) write, write, and write, 5. what is creative writing can creative writing be taught, 6. study creative writing at oxford and cambridge, 7. conclusion.

Creative writing is a piece of writing that is written using our thoughts and imagination. It is a way to express your views and ideas in words. Creative writing is different from technical and academic writing as it has no defined rules. Anything beyond the traditional realms of normal, professional, academic, and technical writing is considered creative writing.

Creative writing has no boundaries, and one can write using the best of their imagination. It aims to evoke emotions in readers and connect with them. Creative writing is an artistic form to share your emotions with your reader. Read the article to learn more about creative writing and the 11 types of creative writing.

Creative writing is an expressive and creative form of literature. Creative writing consists of different genres and style that relies heavily on your interpretation. It is an original form of writing presenting your expressions based on a true story. The more creative and imaginative you are, the better will be your creative writing.

Anything that is told from a specific point of view to express your feelings and emotions is called creative writing. It is interesting that the free literary devices keep the reader engaged. Various types of creative writing have a narrative structure to attract people.

A useful tool that many writers use in the creative process is a free paraphrasing tool . This allows them to reword and rephrase ideas while maintaining the original meaning. Using a paraphraser can help writers avoid plagiarism while coming up with fresh new ways to express concepts. Overall, creative writing relies on originality and imagination, which can be enhanced through tools like paraphrasing.

2. 11 Best Types of Creative Writing

Creative writing is associated not only with fiction and poetry, but creative nonfiction is also an important element of creative writing.

Check out 25 Creative Writing Examples to Inspire You Today (reedsy.com) .

All forms of nonfiction or fiction writing are considered creative writing. Fiction is anything that is not real and based on imaginary events and people, usually in the form of novels, poetry, or short stories. Nonfiction can be a memoir, autobiography, or personal essay.

There is no limit to writing with infinite ways to convey human experience using words. It can be done in varied genres and styles to classify and organize literature. Here, I have described the most common types of creative writing.

Novels originated in the 18th century and have been appealing to large populations since that era. The skills of storytelling have improved with age. Novels are the longest form of fictional work. It is a fictional story, usually written in 60000 words, and can go beyond 100000 words. Novels can be based on fantasy or reality and can be of any genre. Create a proper outline and first draft of your story before writing a novel.

When a story has less than 40000 words, it is called a novella. Novellas are stories or prose consisting of 10000- 40000 words. When words clock in between 7500- 19000, it is referred to as a “novelette.” They are too long to be called a short story and short enough to be considered a novel, so they are given different terms.

Short stories are fictional prose written in 5000-10000 words. Short stories with fewer characters and a single theme, so they cannot be compiled into a novel, are called short stories. Like novels, they are complete stories with characters, plots, and themes. It would be best if you had a good plot, a climax, and a resolution to make your short story stand out. Short stories can be narrative, humorous, or based on fantasy.

When the length of the short story is fewer than 1000 words, it is termed flash fiction. Flash fiction is brief stories that offer a plot and characters in brevity. It is one of the fascinating creative mediums and requires incredible writing talent.

Poetry is the most multifaceted form of literature that uses aesthetic qualities of language to express ideas and emotions. Poems like sonnets, haikus, blank verse limericks, free verse, or sestinas can be written in different forms. The rules to write poetry are generally flexible and do not require any perfect grammar. Though haikus and sonnets demand a specific length, you are free to write whatever your heart desires. Pouring out your emotions and feelings and giving them words is what is termed poetry.

Poetry writing is the most enchanting form of creative fiction writing. Poems do not follow any narrative structure and use mostly aesthetic and rhythmic language. It is so open-ended and can also be written without a rhyme. The poems should have fancy words and various figures of speech to appeal to your audience’s emotions. The main theme of the poetry should be focused on addressing your audience.

Speech is a form of creative writing that is spoken before an audience. It is used to express our words through loud spoken words. It is a public talk, basically a communication with the audience. Speech means delivering a message to your audience. It should be perfectly written and loud and spoken. The main focus of speech writing should be to keep the audience engaged and persuade them to act accordingly.

When screenwriters do the writing work for any film, television, or video, it is called scriptwriting or screenplays. A strong and flawless script is needed for actors to perform well with effective dialogue delivery. The script should be entertaining to keep the viewers engaged till the end. The writers, actors, and directors all play an important role in making the script effective .

When the dialogues in the story are designed for theatrical performance, it is called playwriting. It is written in drama with more dialogue and little narration. Successful playwriting depends on effective dialogues a strong plot, interesting themes, and credible characterization. It is one of the most exciting forms of writing greatly enjoyed by creative writers.

what is creative writing considered

Memoirs are the collection of memories that help in reminiscing the past events in the author’s life. They are the nonfiction form of creative writing. They are an emotional form of writing written in the first person. Memoirs describe the events that brought changes in the author’s life, so the author shares those messages and lessons with their readers.

Memoirs are inspirational pieces that bring changes in the reader. They are writings based on a person’s personal life that inspires and motivates readers. It is a friendly form of writing and less structured than an autobiography.

It is the most common form of creative nonfiction writing. A personal essay is your personal experience, which is taught to write in schools, written for entertainment.

Personal essays are based on personal perspectives and can be narrative or persuasive. It expresses the person’s thoughts and feelings in a personal manner. Personal essays should be written as interestingly as possible to attract your reader easily. It should be attractive and interesting to catch the reader’s eye easily. A personal essay can also be your introduction describing your personality.

A combination of words and images to tell a long story is called expressive writing. Being the blend of image and text, graphic novels are similar to comic books . Creative writers provide a visual punch to their dialogues while writing graphic novels. Graphic novels are popular among both adults and children.

Literary journalism is one of the forms of creative nonfiction. It often requires interviews and research. It is becoming increasingly popular and comes close to news writing and writing for literary magazines. Creative journalism is called literary journalism. The journalist informs us about events and affects our aesthetic feelings. The reporting is done using a narrative structure that is interesting to read.

what is creative writing considered

Any form of writing that is used to evoke the emotion of laughter and provide amusement to the reader is called humor writing. The main focus of humor writing is to make the audience laugh and add fun facts to the stories. The primary goal of writers is to build humor to produce delight in the audience. Writers require special skills to surprise the audience with funny storytelling. It is the most simple form of writing but takes tremendous effort to entertain the reader.

An autobiography is another form of creative nonfiction writing. It is a narrative writing that narrates the life of an author. Writers usually write the story of their lives based on personal experience. The writers describe their lives the most interestingly and attractively to keep the reader engaged.

A bA writer on the life of some famous personality writes the biography. It is a detailed description of someone’s life describing the incidents and events that took place in their life. It portrays the personal experience of the person interestingly. The other writers describe the real and true story most engagingly.

3. Creative Writing Techniques

The elements of creative writing bring symbolic meaning to your work. There are several techniques to help you get more creative, and they are important components of good writing. Learning and understanding these creative writing techniques will help make your writing flawless and different from others.

These storytelling elements and creative writing techniques are universal but differ with different forms of writing. You must combine these elements efficiently to produce the best results in your work. This will make your writing flow like a waterfall, abundant and breathtaking to those who behold it.

The audience is the main factor to be considered before creating writing. It would be best if you kept in mind the target audience to give direction and natural flow to your writing. It is very important to connect with your audience through your creativity. Your piece of writing should meet the expectations of your readers. Express your feelings meaningfully to make your writing unique and interesting.

The genres are used to make your writing more interesting. Think and decide the genre clearly before you start creative writing. The technique and tone used in writing should fulfill your genre’s requirements.

Character development is very important for the smooth progress of the plot. The character should be realistic with clear goals. The stronger the character, the better your plot will be. Character development is the base of your story.

Plot means the sequence in which the events in the story will progress. The way it develops, unfolds, and moves along in time is another important factor to consider while writing.

Your theme should be clearly decided before you progress in writing. The main message or the basic idea that the author wants to give the readers is the story’s theme. It is the story’s central idea, where short stories have one theme while novels can have many themes.

Dialogue means communication between the characters of your story. Dialogues should be very powerful, creating an impact on your readers. Heavy dialogue helps in building convincing characters and a compelling plot. Dialogue is the verbal exchange between characters. Dialogue are conversations between characters that help in defining their personality.

Using figures of speech like metaphors, similes, rhymes, and anecdotes can make your creative writing piece more appealing. The figurative language helps you to write more clearly and creates vivid and imaginative scenes in the reader’s mind. The fancy words and descriptive language can easily grab the reader’s attention.

The choice of words should be unique, with perfection in grammar to create an impact on your stories. The manner of expression helps make your creative writing appealing and attractive. Literary devices make your writing more compelling, giving a rhetorical and vivid effect. The literary devices will make your writing flourish, adding more creativity to your work. They are used in a myriad of ways to make your writing more interesting and engaging.

what is crreative writing

4. Tips to Become an Effective Creative Writer

Here are some tips and ways that will help you improve and strengthen your writing skills. Learn and master the various skills and focus on any specific genre to start creative writing.

Reading is one of the most crucial ways to polish your writing. Reading will make you aware of figurative language and literary devices and build your imaginative power. This will enhance your creativity in you and allow you to express your words fascinatingly. It is rightly said if you are a good reader, you will naturally become a good writer. So, develop the habit of reading to become an imaginative writer.

Pick up your pen and start to write. Write whatever the first thought comes to your mind. Write rubbish, but write as it will inculcate the habit of writing in you, and gradually, you will become better with your words. To become flawless with your words, you need to practice the art of writing. Write your personal experience to make your writing original and authentic. The best stories are often based on real experiences, making them unbelievably beautiful. Practicing the art of writing will unleash your inner creativity and boost confidence in you. Writing journals will help you know your strengths and weaknesses in writing.

Literature has become more competitive than ever before and is taught to students in schools and universities. It is one of the most important subjects taught to students in school. Students are taught different genres and styles of creative writing. The main skill of creative writing is the power of your imagination. Only with a strong imagination can you be an expert in creative writing. Creative writing is an art that can be taught and help the students to tailor their writing skills. Creative writing helps not only in polishing the writing but also improves their communication skills.

Writers spend years practicing their craft and learning in a creative writing program to specialize themselves. The creative writing programs will help you to combine the different elements of creative writing in the best manner and give a natural glow to your work. It helps young and beginner creative writers to write an engaging craft and perfect their skills. All aspiring creative writers should go ahead and explore these creative writing programs.

You can take English Literature and Creative Writing with the best tutors at Oxford and Cambridge. The creative writing program at Oxford and Cambridge will help you to advance your skills and develop your own writing voice and style. In Oxford and Cambridge, creative writing students learn creative writing in an influential learning environment under the most inspiring tutors.

Writers’ attempt to learn humanity and literature, along with creative writing, will help them build their foundation skills. You can become an author, writer, editor, or journalist after taking these creative writing programs.

what is creative writing considered

Creative writing is an art that needs a peaceful environment to pour out your ideas and emotions. Look out for a calm place like a coffee shop or your study that is free from disturbance so that you can easily collect your thoughts and give them words. Creative writing is written based on your own preferences and experiences with no predefined rules.

Through your meaningful and emotional words, you can make your readers understand the depth of your words and develop a connection. There are many forms of writing, and writers use different genres, styles, techniques, and elements. So, there is never a perfect way to write. You can only get better with the above-mentioned ideas, but it is your imagination and inner creativity that bring out the best in you. The best piece of writing is the one that brings your readers to your world through the power of words.

Last Updated on December 14, 2023 by riyaspeaks

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What is Creative Writing?

I can tell you the definition of creative writing, but it’s going to hurt. If you want to settle for the book definition, I’ll tell you where to stop.

What is creative writing?

The academic definition (to be said with a snooty British accent):

“Creative writing is considered to be any writing, fiction or non-fiction that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, and technical forms of literature. Works which fall into this category include most novels and epics, as well as many short stories and poems. Writing for the screen and stage, screenwriting and playwriting respectively, typically have their own programs of study, but fit under the creative writing category as well. -  Wikipedia   Alright, if you have gotten what you came for, feel free to exit stage right. If you are interested in getting the definition with balls, continue on.

What is creative writing to me?

Creative writing is writing from the heart. It’s the real stuff that doesn’t rely on college tricks and complex sentence structure; it relies on you!

I have a “Creative Writing Minor” from  college  , so that means I must have improved my capacity for creative writing throughout my four years there. Right? Wrong.

I started out with my strongest story: a dystopia centered on malfunctioning cell phones called “Hellular.” It was my most ambitious work of my entire college career and it was out of my system by my freshman year. What happened then? Why didn’t I grow? I got self-conscious about how creative writing was supposed to be. It was all downhill from there.

Consciously or unconsciously, my stories began to resemble the other students’ in the class. The stories had lost their uniqueness. Or perhaps, I was dragged down by the constant rush of my normal academic life. Either way, my stories had lost their flavor. What was I missing?

I wasn’t listening to myself. I wasn’t expressing my feelings. I was writing to impress or to improve my style or to get an A. But I should have been writing to let my soul breathe a little bit.

Creative writing is an expression of who you are. If you are closed off from yourself, if you hide the person that you are for fifteen to twenty four hours per day, and if you have locked yourself in to a dream that is no longer yours, you will be hard pressed to write creatively.

My philosophy about creative writing is that in order to truly do it justice, you must become a more open person who is really able to get in touch with the raw parts of yourself. You need to remove from your life all of the things that are clogging you up emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It is only then that you can express what you are meant to.

And if you aren’t bogged down by the outside world, what should you write about? If you are oppressed, you need to write about your tyrant. If you are in pain, you need to put your pain on the page. If you are in love with all of your heart and soul, then put all of that into a poem that can be used for all of eternity. Or at least, put most of it in there. Save a little for yourself :).

Build Creative Writing Ideas dot Com is a site devoted to opening you up to the writing that you can truly accomplish. We believe that if you can lead a better life, you can write a better book.

So,  what is creative writing?  Creative writing is in you. Are you going to let it out? 

Related Articles to "What Is Creative Writing" Free Creative Writing Prompts #2: Love Free Creative Writing Prompts from the Heart, Part 1 Creative Writing Exercises #2: Relaxation

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Creative Writing, Bachelor of Arts Degree

Train to effectively communicate innovative ideas in poetry and prose.

About Creative Writing at Young Harris College

Creative writing trains students to effectively communicate innovative ideas in poetry and prose. Students develop their writing technique and practice, gaining an understanding of their place in the literary tradition.

The Humanities majors are all built on the same liberal arts core. Creative writing offers a foundation in literature as well as courses in the craft and theory of writing. Through its rigorous, diverse curriculum, which includes craft classes, workshops, and seminars, the major is designed to introduce students to the genres, then allow for individual growth and mentorship as students come into their own as thinkers and writers.

Division of Humanities

Creative Writing is offered as a major and minor .

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Creative Writing degree requirements

To graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from YHC, you’ll take 120 hours of coursework.

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Some of our most popular Creative Writing classes include:

CRWT 2601 Creative Writing across the Genres

CRWT 3603 Creative Writing in Drama

CRWT 4602 Advanced Prose Workshop

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Writing Studio

2024 undergraduate creative writing symposium program, schedule-at-a-glance: undergraduate creative writing symposium (wednesday, april 10).

When: Wednesday, April 10, 3:00-6:00 PM | Where: Alumni Hall, 2nd Floor

Follow the links in the schedule below or scroll down for the full program of  presenters, which includes their bios and abstracts.

  • 3:00-3:15: Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • 3:15-4:10: Spotlight Panel (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry)
  • 4:15-5:00: Session 1 – Panel A (fiction) and Panel B (nonfiction)
  • 5:15-6:00:   Session 2 – Panel C (poetry)

From 3:00-6:00 pm. all attendees are encouraged to make time to peruse the adjoining Vanderbilt Undergraduate Arts Showcase .

Additional Event Links

  • Coming Soon! Read all featured creative writing pieces on the UCWS 2024 Online Creative Writing Gallery
  • Coming Soon! Visit the Arts Showcase’s portfolio page to view the incredible works created by undergraduate students.

Full Schedule: Undergraduate Creative Writing Symposium (Wednesday, April 10)

3:00-3:15 : opening remarks by major jackson , professor of english & director of creative writing gertrude conaway vanderbilt chair in the humanities, 3:15-4:10 : spotlight panel (alumni hall, room 206).

  • Faculty Panel Chair: Justin Quarry (English)
  • Panelists: Liam Betts  ’24  (poetry), Elyse Sparks  ’24  (nonfiction), Avery Fortier  ’24  (fiction)

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Spotlight Panel - Abstracts and Author Bios

Liam betts ’24:  the waves of light.

  • Presenter Bio :  Liam Betts is a senior double majoring in computer science and english. He is originally from Portugal, but now lives in Pleasanton, California. He is the president of VandyWrites and prose editor for The Vanderbilt Review. His story The Waves of Light was selected as First Runner-Up for The Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing in 2024.
  • Abstract: The Waves of Light is a neo-Victorian story that reimagines Charles Darwin’s voyage aboard The Beagle to include his two young children, William and Anne. When circumstances thrust both siblings into an odyssey from the Atlantic to London, Anne is forced to reckon with a strange metamorphosis. While William performs street magic to keep them alive, Anne studies and experiments, dreaming of becoming a natural philosopher in nineteenth century England, a world where every door is closed to her. The story is told in the form of a letter from Anne to her father.

Elyse Sparks ’24:  The Golden Child

  • Presenter Bio : Elyse Sparks in a member of the class of 2024.
  • Abstract: The Golden Child is centered around my mental health struggles, sexuality, and my relationship with my pastor parents. I explore how my mom, despite her religious views that seemingly contradict loving a gay child, has stood by my side in a decade-long fight with major depression. Through coming out and hospitalizations and hard conversations, I have watched my mother grow into my biggest advocate.

Avery Fortier ’24: A Clean Mind

  • Presenter Bio: Avery is a member of the class of 2024.
  • Abstract: This is a piece of fictional prose meant to prompt consideration of mental health experiences across contexts and roles. I wanted to reflect the importance of protecting those responsible for treating others’ health as well as those who more obviously fall into the role of “patient.”

4:15-5:00 : Session 1

  • Faculty Panel Chair: Fatima Kola (Medicine, Health, and Society)
  • Panelists: Sawyer Sussner  ’24 , Shadhvika Nandhakumar  ’24 , Claire Marie Tate  ’24 , Sanat Malik  ’24
  • Faculty Panel Chair:  Sandy Solomon (English)
  • Panelists: Molly Buffenbarger  ’24, Franklin Udensi ’27 , Sarah Wermuth ’27 , and TaMyra Johnson ’27

Panel A - Abstracts and Author Bios

Sawyer sussner ’24: power to the players.

  • Presenter Bio : Sawyer is a member of the class of 2024.
  • Abstract: On her last shift as an employee at the failing gaming giant Game Stop, seventeen year old Twitch streamer Cass must navigate uncomfortable conversations with leering customers along with the impossible expectations of her boss, the washed up manager known to customers only as “The Bobcat,” determined to save his failing store. In a reflection of the gaming world’s treatment of women, Power to the Players explores misogynistic cycles of behavior and how to leave them behind.

Shadhvika Nandakumar ’24:  circles

  • Presenter Bio:  Shadhvika is a member of the class of 2024.
  • Abstract: This realistic fiction short story discusses the experiences of a young girl who finds out that her dad has had a heart attack. Told from the perspective of someone looking back over time, it is filled with various musings about the nature of life and relationships.

Claire Marie Tate ’24: Ocular Mistrust

  • Presenter Bio: Claire Marie Tate is a member of the class of 2024 from Baton Rouge, LA. She is studying Neuroscience and Medicine, Health, and Society and will begin medical school this fall. In her free time, she enjoys running, dancing, discovering new music, reading, and, more recently, writing as a creative outlet.
  • Abstract: “Ocular Mistrust” is a short piece which was inspired by the notion of the eye as the window to the soul and the unreliable nature of the visual pathway. This piece puts artistic themes of eyes in conversation with the physiology of visual processing.

Sanat Malik ’24:  Ishak’s

  • Presenter Bio:  Sanat Malik is a Senior at Vanderbilt University. He was born in Hong Kong, spent some years in his native India, but primarily grew up in Singapore. Sanat is an Economics and English double major who has a passion for short story writing and journalism. He writes mainly about cultural topics with which he has personal experiences and perspectives. After college, Sanat will be working in an Investment Bank as a Raid Defense Consultant. He hopes to continue to grow in his career as a writer beyond college, and ideally would like to pursue investigative journalism in the future.
  • Abstract: Ishak’s is a fictional piece about Ishak, an Indian Immigrant who has recently moved to New York to start an Indian fine-dining restaurant with his friend, Jai. Vying to win customers, Ishak creates an open kitchen in hopes that the smells spill onto the streets and draw in customers. In exploring Ishak and Jai’s pursuit of success in the culinary world, the story explores themes of immigration, assimilation, the pursuit of excellence, and the relationship between meticulous Ishak and laid-back Jai.

Panel B - Abstracts and Author Bios

Molly buttenbarger ’24:  night watch.

  • Presenter Bio:  Molly is a member of the class of 2024.
  • Abstract: I wrote this memoir about the night I spent alone in the hospital with my mother, when I was in sixth grade. After my mother completed chemotherapy for breast cancer, she underwent a double mastectomy and reconstruction. However, her reconstructed implant got infected, which meant she ended up hospitalized after emergency surgery.

Franklin Udensi ’27: The Igbo Anglican Church

  • Presenter Bio: Franklin Udensi, a budding author from Lagos, Nigeria, finds deep inspiration in the works of his favorite author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and his piece, “The Igbo Anglican Church,” reflects this influence. Beyond literature, Franklin enjoys diving into the immersive worlds of anime and manga, getting swept in the melodies of Jon Bellion, and delighting in the ever-changing landscape of construction sites, where the promise of unfinished structures sparks his imagination. With each stroke of his pen, he blends his varied influences into narratives that speak to the human experience.
  • Abstract: This essay explores the author’s encounter with the Igbo Anglican church, unraveling the intricacies of cultural pride, identity, and the pursuit of connection in a diasporic community. Through reflections on language, tradition, and the clash of two worlds, the piece captures a unique narrative that invites readers to contemplate the dynamics of immigrant experiences and the dialogue between belonging and the complexities of assimilating to a new cultural landscape.“The Igbo Anglican Church” is a piece I wrote based on my own experiences navigating the United States upon my arrival during the summer before Vanderbilt. What began as pent-up emotions that I couldn’t quite explain ended up as a short story narrating my observations and cultural clashes with a segment of the Igbo (an ethnic group in Nigeria) diaspora in the US. Writing this piece showed me that my unique perspective as a literary observer could serve as a platform to explore fresh ideas surrounding cultural crossroads, immigrant perspectives, and the complexities of belonging while strengthening confidence in my storytelling abilities. This process enabled me to think critically about my own sentiments and express these thoughts in both personal and universally relatable ways. The piece engages in dialogue by presenting a narrative that resonates with individuals with similar experiences within immigrant communities. It figuratively converses with the present by exploring contemporary themes like cultural integration and identity. Additionally, it contributes to a broader discourse on the immigrant experience, belonging in a foreign land, and the intricate dance between tradition and assimilation, inviting readers to reflect on their encounters with such cultural crossroads.

Sarah Wermuth ’27: I’m Not (Wilmeth) Smart

  • Presenter Bio: Sarah is a member of the class of 2027 majoring in Political Science with minors in Gender Studies and Creative Writing.
  • Abstract: In 2023, I took a creative nonfiction English class at Vanderbilt, and an essay prompt was: “Write a personal essay exploring one way your identity has developed in opposition to your family of origin.” As a result, I wrote “I’m Not (Wilmeth) Smart.” It tells the story of how growing up in a family of brilliant individuals while simultaneously struggling in school made it hard for me to see myself as smart despite getting into Vanderbilt, one of the top universities in America.

TaMyra Johnson ’27: Racial Imposter Syndrome: Personal Experience + Interviews

  • Presenter Bio: TaMyra Johnson is a part of the class of 2027 from Louisville, Kentucky. She plans on double majoring in Communications and Culture Advocacy Leadership with a minor in film.
  • Abstract: This piece talks about my personal experience with racial imposter syndrome. Racial imposter syndrome can be described as being unconnected or feeling inauthentic to parts of their racial identity and culture or as when a person feels internally connected to a racial identity that is not perceived by others which causes doubt in their racial self perception.

5:15-6:00: Session 2

  • Faculty Panel Chair:  Mark Schoenfield (English)
  • Panelists:  David Lemper ’27 , Nicole Reynaga ’26 , Ilana Drake ’25 , and Eli Apple ’24

Breakout Panel C - Abstracts and Author Bios

David lemper ’27: shakespeare rap.

  • Presenter Bio: David is a member of the class of 2027.
  • Abstract: This rap was written for an assignment in which students had to cast a scene of a Shakespeare play into rap lyrics. The concept was inspired by Shakespearean rap lyrics from Margaret Atwood’s “Hagseed,” a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” Rap as a genre—specifcally an African-American born genre—calls back to the theme of freedom, which is a very prominent theme within both Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and “Romeo and Juliet,” so using this genre to express these narratives evokes the theme of freedom.

Nicole Reynaga ’26:  In one breath, we escaped together

  • Presenter Bio:  Nicole is a member of the class of 2026.
  • Abstract:  For this workshop’s penultimate poem, we were tasked with writing a prose poem (a poem not split into verse lines). As prose poems typically lack any rules of poetic form and do not visually appear as poetry, they heavily rely on the use of other poetic elements and metaphorical language. The theme of my piece falls into a more personal/self-aware realm.

Ilana Drake ’25: on rapid decline

  • Presenter Bio: Ilana Drake is a junior studying Public Policy Studies and English, and she is a student activist and writer. She serves as a United Nations UNA-USA Global Goals Ambassador for SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities), and she was selected as a Clinton Global Initiative University Fellow in 2023. This year, Ilana was appointed to the Inaugural Student Advisory Board for the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy. Ilana was recognized as one of the forty undergraduate changemakers on Vanderbilt’s campus last year, and she is a Delegate for the 68th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Ilana’s writing has been published in Insider ,  Ms.  Magazine, and  The Tennessean , among others, and she has been quoted in  The New York Times ,  The Washington Post , and  Teen Vogue . Her poetry has been published internationally in literary magazines and zines. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, exploring Nashville with friends, and searching for the best iced coffee.
  • Abstract: This poem is about the importance of time and health. I wrote this piece following my grandmother’s death in November 2023.

Eli Apple ’24:  Autoimmune (Selected Poems)

  • Presenter Bio: Eli Apple is a writer of fiction and poetry. He has lived his whole life in Tennessee and is currently a senior at Vanderbilt University, where he is studying English, Spanish, and Portuguese. In addition to writing, he loves reading, traveling, and going on walks with his dog.
  • Abstract: My submission includes eight poems that will appear in my English Honors thesis. My thesis, entitled Autoimmune, is a poetry collection that investigates literal and metaphorical illnesses and their effects on the body. These poems belong in Part Two of the collection, which examines homosexuality and internalized homophobia as illnesses together with the continuing effects of the AIDS epidemic on American society.

Access the UCWS 2024 Online Gallery

Coming Soon! Visit the UCWS 2024 Online Gallery of Creative Writing to read each of this year’s featured works along with a reflection from its author.

Special Thanks and Acknowledgements

The Writing Studio offers special thanks to all those who helped make our event possible and have contributed to its success.

Our Event Co-Host and Partner

The Office of Experiential Learning and Immersion Vanderbilt

Our Event Co-Sponsors

The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons

The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries

Our Invited Creative Writing Reviewers from the MFA Program in Creative Writing

Langston Cotman

Ajla Dizdarević

Sydney Mayes

Our Writing Studio and Tutoring Services team members

Beth Estes (Assistant Director), Lead Symposium Coordinator

Lucy Kim (Academic Support Coordinator), Assistant Symposium Coordinator

Drew Shipley (Academic Support Coordinator), Assistant Symposium Coordinator

Cameron Sheehy (Peabody), Graduate Assistant Symposium Coordinator

Tim Donahoo, Administrative Specialist for the Writing Studio and Tutoring Services

all Writing Consultants Events Committee Members and all consultants present to support the event today

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what is creative writing considered

No one knows what ‘creative nonfiction’ is. That’s what makes it great.

In the first paragraph of “ The Fine Art of Literary Fist-Fighting ,” Lee Gutkind, the “Godfather” of the creative-nonfiction genre (a title used once to describe him in Vanity Fair in 1997 and since taken up repeatedly over the years, mostly by Gutkind himself, including in the bio on this book jacket), begins with a question he often receives: “‘What is creative nonfiction?’ Or, in some cases, ‘What the hell is creative nonfiction?’”

It’s a fitting sentiment for the genre, and for its longtime champion. This term, which others forgo in favor of “literary nonfiction” or “narrative nonfiction,” or simply “the essay,” as Gutkind writes, is a blanket that seeks to cover works from Joan Didion’s stylized journalistic chronicles of the ’60s to Mary Karr and the memoir boom of the ’90s to Annie Dillard’s nature writing, and everything in between that isn’t made up but also probably wouldn’t run in the newspaper. To practice or teach creative nonfiction (or whatever else you might want to call it) has been to operate from a defensive position. As Gutkind shows, this is a genre whose inception and growth were met with uncertainty, skepticism and in many cases disdain.

In trying to name, categorize, legitimize creative nonfiction, it’s hard not to feel that you’re being defined by what you are failing to do — it’s not creative in the eyes of fiction writers, or rigorously factual in the eyes of journalists, or properly literary in the eyes of academics. Here, Gutkind attempts to narrate the history of the genre, and that story is inevitably one of contestation and conflict — about what “creative nonfiction” even is, above all else, and just how “creative” writers can be before they’re no longer writing nonfiction. Those are familiar debates for some of us, and they haven’t stopped. I was in graduate school more than a decade ago, at one of the creative-nonfiction programs that Gutkind describes, and I was constantly getting into “Literary Fist-Fights,” though I imagine most of the people around me wanted to punch me for real.

Gutkind has been out there on those self-drawn front lines since the early ’70s. He’s a writer of numerous creative-nonfiction books (for which he immersed himself in topics ranging from the lives of those awaiting organ transplants, to the cutting-edge robotics program at Carnegie Mellon, to the ecosystem of a children’s hospital), a professor and an editor, all of these identities working toward a final form somewhere between evangelist and carnival barker. “I know that all of this scheming, all of these machinations, seem pretty crass and certainly not literary,” he writes about his efforts to get sustained funding for his seminal magazine, Creative Nonfiction. “I got a lot of heat from colleagues and other writers for being an unabashed promoter and even a self-promoter. Okay, maybe that was true — or partly true. But so what? It might work.”

It did work, and those of us who love the genre — many first drawn in by Gutkind’s magazine or his edited anthology — are grateful for it. These days, I don’t know if anyone would knock the hustle. Doomed hustling is the only literary mode left available, as so many great magazines, especially the kind that published the inventive, diverse work that we might call creative nonfiction, have fallen by the wayside — cut from shrinking university budgets, bought and gutted by venture-capital goons, scrubbed from the internet. The latest issue of Creative Nonfiction came out in 2022; there doesn’t seem to anything coming down the pike.

To look back, in these times of true literary and academic scarcity, the “fist-fighting” of grad program expansion and barbs exchanged between the tenured and endowed can seem like pretty enviable brawls. As much as anything, “The Fine Art of Literary Fist-Fighting” is a book about academia, a version of it that’s nearly extinct. Multiple scenes take place in panels at academic conferences, or during contentious department meetings; enemies are blazered, bloviating, Faulkner scholars who pound the table and refuse to let nonfiction writers into their ivory tower.

In the midst of all this, Gutkind, in his own telling, is the perma-rebel: a former hippie motorcycle man without a graduate degree, who doesn’t belong. He’s the scrappy kid from the real world, pushing himself through every door the fancier folk might want to slam in his face. But for most of the book, he’s ensconced within the literary and academic establishment, ultimately moving comfortably through the tenure track at a major research university in the city where he was born. I don’t mean to downplay Gutkind’s enormous accomplishments; only to say, as a fellow academic, that it’s easy to get caught up in the perceived intrigue of a meeting, to frame yourself only against those in your bubble, to lose sight of the fact that the art being discussed is a far more compelling subject than the minutiae of the discussion about it.

Gutkind is at his best in this book when he grudgingly becomes the type of memoirist that he usually writes about. The moments when he stops to look back on his own evolving perspective and investment are truly compelling — reflecting the continuing intellectual curiosity of someone who cares enough about this field to allow himself to change with it. He thinks back on essays that he rejected from the magazine that he might accept now, and shows us how dogmas seem indispensable until suddenly they’re old fashioned.

Most compellingly, he reflects upon his writing career, the choices he made within the murkily defined borders of creative nonfiction. He describes a scene from his second book, in which he sits outside a motel room to eavesdrop on a fight between two White baseball umpires and their crewmate, the first Black umpire in the National League. Decades on, he delves into not only what happened in the scene but his place as eavesdropper, the context leading up to the moment, the stylistic choices in not making up but certainly emphasizing the cruel language, and most of all, whether “in the end I actually hurt the man I was trying to help.” He puts himself, and us, right back in the moment — and the results are vivid, ambiguous, emotionally resonant, fascinating.

That is the enduring thrill of creative nonfiction — tiptoeing along the border between art and fact. It requires turning a critical eye on your own ambition, your care for others, the literal truth of what happened and the style with which you might express how it felt, as well as the question of whose story is being told and who has the right to tell it. It’s one that Gutkind chronicles as a reader, too, capturing the experience that we who love the genre have all had, coming upon a work that feels epiphanic with all these tensions and intimacies, even if you didn’t have the language to call what you were reading “creative nonfiction.” He writes of what it meant to a young journalist to encounter a piece that broke the rules, as he did when he first read Gay Talese’s “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold.” And he describes the awe he felt upon reading James Baldwin’s “Notes of a Native Son,” an essay that achieved so much . He captures this experience as an editor, too, when a then-unknown writer sent him her first manuscript and, decades into his career, he discovered that he could still be surprised.

This is, I think, what so often gets buried in discussions about creative nonfiction — including many of those documented in this book. The more one zeroes in on defining and defending, the more the writing can move away from whatever it is that makes the genre meaningful to so many people. Gutkind has given his life to this genre; I wish I knew more about what it means to him.

The Fine Art of Literary Fist-Fighting

How a Bunch of Rabble-Rousers, Outsiders, and Ne’er-Do-Wells Concocted Creative Nonfiction

By Lee Gutkind

Yale University Press. 292 pp. $35

No one knows what ‘creative nonfiction’ is. That’s what makes it great.

Books | Jami Attenberg on her book ‘1000 Words: A…

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Books | jami attenberg on her book ‘1000 words: a writer’s guide to staying creative, focused, and productive all year round’.

what is creative writing considered

Writing this sentence was hard.

There were so many other things I could have gone with. That set of words seemed right at the time, roughly 90 seconds ago. Now I’m not so sure. Joan Didion once said that writing the first sentence of anything is difficult but by the time you’ve written two, you’re committed and should just keep plowing ahead. The problem is, self-doubt is part of the process. If you began January certain this would be the year you finally wrote a book, and now it’s late March and you’re still frozen in fear, you understand. You need motivation. You need someone like Jami Attenberg, of Buffalo Grove, in your head. She has this new book, “1000 Words: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Creative, Focused and Productive All Year Round,” which is sort of the advice book equivalent of that friend who cheers beside a marathon route, tossing out enthusiasm and Gatorade.

It’s intended that way, Attenberg told me. She imagines people leaving her book on their desks and, whenever they can’t get started, reaching for words of unabashed support.

Better her than me.

I hate writing. I mean, I do it for a living, and I love it much of the time; there are those days when it brings a buoyant flush of confidence. But I also hate writing much of the time, too. Because it never gets easier. I once assumed it would. Years ago, when I was in college, on a whim, eager for advice, I called Roger Ebert at the Sun-Times and he answered his phone and I asked him how he was able to write so much, and he said he had a deadline right now and he didn’t have time to talk — which itself was an answer.

Writing advice arrives in many forms. The diaries of famous authors are windows into the struggle. Biographies, too. Chicago’s popular StoryStudio offers classes that guide you through finishing a book in one year. Rebecca Makkai, the acclaimed Chicago-based novelist, is its artistic director. During one of the many pitstops in Attenberg’s book, Makkai notes that her own first book took 10 years to finish, partly because she had children, and partly because she lost faith in what she was writing. Which is less than comforting. There are also classics on writing, full of practical advice both comforting and harrowing — Stephen King’s “On Writing,” William Zinsser’s “On Writing Well,” Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird.”

Attenberg, though, has never read a book of writing advice. When she began this one, she imagined she was writing something motivational and repetitive, like the self-help book she once read to stop smoking. Sometimes you need encouragement. So six years ago, Attenberg was sitting with a writer friend, talking about the difficulty of staying motivated. They decided to put themselves through a self-invented two-week boot camp of sorts. The goal was to write 1,000 words a day. After two weeks they’d have 50 pages of a book. Attenberg went online, tweeted about the project and soon, hundreds of strangers were joining them, committed to finishing 1,000 words every day for two weeks. Understand: At this point in her career, Attenberg had already written six books, including the bestselling novel “The Middlesteins.” She still needed motivation.

That’s how awful writing is.

Yet — get this — she loves writing.

Jami Attenberg, a Buffalo Grove native, is the author of several best-selling novels, including "The Middlesteins." Her latest book, "1000 Words: A Writer's Guide to Staying Creative, Productive and Focused All Year Round," is her first self-help title. (Bryan Tarnowski/Simon & Schuster)

“It’s fun,” she said. “I always felt this way. When you don’t have a lot of friends as a kid, it’s a way of making them. In Illinois, growing up, I was a nerdy bookworm. It felt natural to create playgrounds in my head. I’m 52 now and it’s still the most joyful thing — a great way to know yourself. I am writing books I want to read. I don’t hate writing like you say.”

In my defense: The euphoria you get from writing something you can stand is fleeting. James Baldwin, who said many smart things about so many things, has one of the smartest lines ever about the pain of writing: “Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.” He said the most important thing for a writer starting out is having someone who reads their work and says, “The effort is real.”

But how do you start?

Arthur Miller skipped spring break at the University of Michigan to write a play in six days. Norman Mailer flexed his skills by writing sci-fi that starred a shameless stand-in for Buck Rogers. Eudora Welty would dive right in, knocking out terrible first lines such as: “Monsieur Boule inserted a delicate dagger in Mademoiselle’s left side and departed with a poised immediacy.”

Attenberg was editor of the school newspaper at Buffalo Grove High School and a member of an after-school creative writing workshop. And like any writer at any age who is worth their stuff, she read constantly. (“I don’t know how far you can go if you don’t.”) She created story-filled zines and released them, one by one. These became her first book, a story collection. “I didn’t realize I was writing a book for a while there. I was just writing about dark visions of modern romance and putting them out, then a friend said I should do a book. But I struggled with what it meant to be a writer, and finding time to be one. Learning (story) structure was hard. I’m character driven and would happily have characters chit-chat. I struggled figuring out how to ‘make things happen.’

“The thing is, to start, you don’t go out Friday night. Write at lunch. Bring a notebook on public transportation. This writer, Deesha Philyaw, said be prepared to disappoint people. She meant her family. You carve from your life to support your creative self.”

And what if you suspect your idea is dumb?

Take heart. Dostoevsky said, “There is no subject so old that something new cannot be said about it.” When beginning a new book, John le Carré would remind himself: “‘The cat sat on a mat’ is not the first line… But ‘The cat sat on the dog’s mat’ could work.”

"1000 Words: A Writer's Guide to Staying Creative, Productive and Focused All Year Round," by Jami Attenberg. (Simon & Schuster)

Attenberg knows she has something if she wants to go back to something she wrote. If she is hearing her characters days later, that’s a positive sign. “Usually, I will start to see scenes in the future. So I will write towards those scenes. I will see an ending and write towards it. But the ending is never the real ending, and it becomes a north star. I also have friends and editors who are great advisors, but you should never write towards a marketplace. It always changes. Write the thing you love and it’ll come across to others.

“I also don’t keep a list of ideas. I keep a list of titles. There’s always an idea in a great title. I keep tons of notebooks but I rarely go back to them. For new ideas, I might go to a mall and eavesdrop. You probably won’t find a great story on Twitter, but I do look at vintage clothing on Etsy. You imagine: Who might have owned this clothing? It’s a start.”

Terrific, now how do I stay focused?

Silence is helpful, but, you know, a lot of silence becomes distractingly surreal.

Attenberg listens to music, “but only sung in a foreign tongue or all instrumental.” I can’t write if there are lyrics at all in a piece of background music. Brian Eno’s dreamy soundscapes, such as the perfectly titled “Ambient 1: Music For Airports,” are ideal.

“Good one,” Attenberg said. “Movie soundtracks, too.”

Maya Angelou would rent a hotel room for a few months and leave her home at 6 a.m. every day and write on the hotel bed until 1:30 p.m. or so, then return the next day. Tennessee Williams would wake up before dawn and write with a glass of wine.

Yeah, but that sounds like people with money and time to stay focused.

I asked Attenberg how she figured out how to make money and stay a writer.

“I don’t know if I did,” she said.

Dear reader, if you still have dreams of being a writer but have a weak constitution for humility and struggle, stop reading here. Attenberg worked some in advertising, she was a temp, she would take off more time than allowed. “I went broke a bunch of times. For the first books, I was basically going back and forth between writing and another job. My family worried about me, but they also thought I made these decisions myself. I’d decided to focus on writing even if I didn’t become a bestseller. My fourth book was my breakthrough (“The Middlesteins”), but right before, I had no money in a bank, I had a lot of credit card debt, I didn’t have another career to go into and I had just been dropped by my publisher. Also, I was now 40 and couch surfing for long periods of time.”

For many, sleeping on couches at 40 would be a hard out.

Entire finished novels were scrapped. Advice from agents was left unheeded. None of this is remarkable or unusual for this profession. “Yet all along, I was making decisions to get me to this place,” she said. All of it — good, bad, soul-crushing — was part of becoming a writer. “It didn’t feel like a waste,” she said about the junked books, though the words sounded broader. “Sometimes you do something to get you to somewhere else. You go through the bad to get you to next thing. It’s all part of a bigger picture.”

Now start writing.

[email protected]

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Publications, unlocking your creative potential with ai: an ethical guide for college students.

Unlocking Your Creative Potential with AI: An Ethical Guide for College Students

You live in the Age of AI. Accept it. Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn't just a buzzword — it's a tool at your fingertips, ready to propel your creativity into new dimensions. As college students, you're at the forefront of this exciting frontier, where AI can serve as a muse, a mentor, and a collaborator. But, to steal from Stan Lee, “with great power comes great responsibility.” AI adds new capabilities all the time. Just last month, OpenAi announced the ability to create high-quality, professional-level video from text prompts. If not now, very soon every one of you will use these tools in your daily life, and it is imperative that you understand how to do so ethically. I suggest starting with one of the most exciting uses for AI - to inspire your creativity. Here’s how you can ethically harness AI to ignite your creativity, both within the hallowed halls of academia and beyond.

Understanding the Ethical Use of AI

Before we jump into the creative uses of AI, let's set the stage for what constitutes ethical usage. Ethically using AI means respecting copyright laws, giving credit where it’s due, and ensuring that the AI’s actions align with your personal, institutional, and societal values and norms. It's about using AI to enhance human capabilities, not replace them, and ensuring that AI's application doesn't harm individuals or communities. Remember, AI does not and cannot replace the human element of our work or absolve us of responsibility for the work we create using it. Enough of the preaching, here are some fun uses of Ai to spark your creativity.

AI as Your Creative Assistant

Writing and literature:.

Illustration of GPT Prompt Outlining A Story About the End of World Image

AI-Powered Brainstorming : Use AI writing assistants to overcome writer's block or jumpstart a writing project. Input your theme or topic, and let the AI generate ideas, prompts, or even storylines. Remember, these suggestions are starting points — the real creative work is in how you expand and build on them.

Example : I was playing with ChatGPT and exploring different authorial voices (“pretend you are” prompts) and got to a point where I was mashing together Cormac McCarthy and T.S. Eliot and asked ChatGPT to tell me a story about how the world ends with both a bang and a whimper. Here’s the link to a similar outline that could be used as a prompt for a pretty interesting story .

Language Learning with AI Image

Language Learning : Harness AI language tools to learn new languages, broadening your cultural horizon and literary understanding, thus enriching your writing with diverse perspectives.

Example : While this may not seem “creative” at the surface level, learning a new language and about the cultures that speak that language is an amazing gateway to understanding new ideas, new perspectives and expanding your own creative horizons. Here is what ChatGPT proposes as a starting place .

Art and Design:

Design Exploration : AI can quickly generate design alternatives – from graphic art to architectural models. Use these as inspiration to develop your unique creations. Creative Collaboration : Engage with AI art programs that evolve your input in unexpected ways, merging AI's computational power with your artistic vision.

Example : I was bored one day so I began feeding lines of my favorite poems into one of the AI image generators. Here are some lines from Robert Browning’s Childe Roland with accompanying Ai images. This was a nice way to bring the poem to life and give me a different perspective on it.

First AI Illustration of Robert Browning’s Childe Roland Poem

My first thought was, he lied in every word, That hoary cripple, with malicious eye Askance to watch the working of his lie On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby.

Second AI Illustration of Robert Browning’s Childe Roland Poem

There they stood, ranged along the hill-sides, met To view the last of me, a living frame For one more picture! in a sheet of flame I saw them and I knew them all. And yet Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set, And blew. "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came."

Ai and Audio Generated Music Image

Music and Audio:

Composition Aids : Experiment with AI that suggests chord progressions, melodies, or beats based on the mood or genre you're exploring. Use these ideas as the foundation for your musical composition.

Example : I am not a musician or composer, so make of this what you will. Prompt: “Write a new musical composition suggesting cord progressions and melodies and beats based on the collaborative work of David Bowie and Brian Eno .”

Example 2: “Write the lyrics to accompany the song just outlined.”

Research and Academia:

Research and Academia Image

Idea Generation : Use AI to explore research topics, summaries, or literature reviews. AI can help you identify gaps in current research, which you can aim to fill with your work. Data Analysis : Implement AI tools for complex data analysis, allowing you to focus on interpreting the results and crafting innovative solutions to research problems.

Example : I’m taking this example outside the realm of my own scholarship (technological literacy) to a more personal example of one of my other interests – horror literature. I mentioned a play session earlier when I was having ChatGPT act like famous people. One of those was my favorite author, Stephen King. I’m an avid “Constant Reader” and have recently been going back through King’s entire catalogue accompanied by the Loser’s Club . When I recently got to Pet Sematary, I started to think about a particular idea related to the story that moves it into an area even darker and more ominous than the book already is. That conversation prompted me to start thinking about all of the other ambiguities in King’s work that provide different interpretations of the stories if read through another lens. This led to me outlining my own podcast, Kinspiracy Theories, pursuing these darker interpretations of some of Kings work. Stay tuned for the first episode talking about Pet Sematary later this year.

The Creative Ethos of AI Usage

While AI can open doors to new creative realms, ethical use is paramount. Here are some tips for making sure you are using these tools in ways that enhance your capabilities while also remaining true to the spirit of integrity that defines academia.

  • Attribution : Always credit the AI tools and platforms you use. Transparency about the role of AI in your creative process is crucial.
  • Originality : AI should support your original work, not replace it. Use AI-generated ideas as a springboard for your creativity, not the final product.
  • Privacy : Be mindful of privacy concerns. When using AI that learns from user input, ensure that no sensitive personal data is shared.
  • Bias Awareness : Understand that AI models can have built-in biases. Strive to recognize these biases and avoid perpetuating them in your creative work.
  • Legal and Academic Standards : Adhere to legal and academic standards, especially regarding plagiarism. AI can help you learn and explore, but your submissions should always be your own work.

AI is like a new color on the palette of your creativity — one that can bring depth and vibrancy to your canvas. As you navigate your intellectual journey, let AI be the wind beneath your creative wings, pushing you towards innovation and exploration. But remember, you are steering the boat!

  • Instructional Design and Delivery IDD

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Any faculty member who wants to produce a video needs to really think about how they are coming across to their audience and what harm they may be doing to the image of academics with a poor production. A Nov. 12, 2012 article by Jenny Rogers in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Old, Boring, White, and Mean: How Professors Appear on the Small Screen, further illustrates this point and cites the rapid proliferation of flipped classrooms, screencast lectures, and academics on every possible social media outlet as a potential detriment to the future of web-based teaching. That said here are some tips for crafting an online educator persona using Salman Khan and the Plaid Avenger as role models.

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A Brave New World of Higher Education

Welcome to 2024. If 2023 ushered in the dawn of the era of AI, then I suspect 2024 will see a deeper embrace of AI as a tool that we start to develop an understanding of how best to use to make our lives easier, make our work more efficient, and to expand our capabilities as educators.

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Stop College Students from Entering the Age of Ultron

Welcome to the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) everyone! Imagine Tony Stark, the iconic Iron Man from the Marvel Universe, in his high-tech lab, crafting his advanced suit with a blend of engineering prowess, creative genius, artificial intelligence, and unparalleled adaptability. This is an apt metaphor for the current landscape of higher education, particularly as students prepare to enter a world increasingly shaped by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and all of its potential and possible peril.

The Heart of Stark:13 Stark teams shine at Power of the Pen creative writing tournament

Heart of Stark

In partnership with The Repository, every Monday, Stark Community Foundation highlights positive happenings in our community. Here’s to Good News Mondays!

For many young students, creative writing skills are powerful tools to have during the formative years of their education and throughout the rest of their lives.

Power of the Pen is a local nonprofit providing middle school students in Stark County and beyond with opportunities to strengthen their writing skills, improve their confidence, enhance their leadership skills and experience teamwork. 

More: The Heart of Stark: Program aims to train leaders in Stark County neighborhoods

Power of the Pen empowers students across Ohio to find and develop their own unique creative voice through participating in district, regional and state-level writing tournaments. Nearly 300 schools statewide currently compete, and 13 are located in Stark County.

Each school selects a coach, registers in the fall for tournaments and forms teams through creative writing clubs to prepare for competition in the winter and spring.

Across the state, 259 teams and 2,271 seventh and eighth grade students competed at the District Tournament level for the 2023-2024 season. Regional qualifiers were selected from these competitions to move on to the next level and continue their competitive writing journeys. 

Thirteen teams from Stark County competed in the Eastern Region's District Tournament, and all of the local teams advanced to the regional tournament.

These teams represented Alliance Middle School, East Canton Middle School, Edison Middle School, Fairless Middle School, Jackson Memorial Middle School, Lake Middle High School, Marlington Local Middle School, Massillon Junior High, Northwest Middle School, Oakwood Middle School, St. Joan of Arc School, St. Mary's Catholic School and St. Michael School. 

“The mission of Power of the Pen is helping young people find and develop a creative voice that is uniquely their own,” said Julie Lyberger, Power of the Pen board president. 

“It helps inspire every teacher and challenge every student to truly embrace the art of creative expression through writing as a life skill. Power of the Pen enhances the quality of life in the community by supporting and celebrating the work of young writers, enabling them to acquire the communication skills and confidence to thrive in adulthood.”

As the regional tournaments conclude, an even more refined list of students will soon continue the competition at the state tournament. Even for those who aren’t continuing in the tournament, the lessons they have learned participating in Power of the Pen will continue to be applicable in their writing endeavors and everyday life. 

“We are proud of the successes that our mission-driven programs have achieved,” said Lyberger. “Including Power of the Pen alumni who have pursued professional careers in writing, those who have entered the profession of teaching language arts, those who have become Power of the Pen writing team coaches and those who have expressed a strong interest in establishing chapters of Power of the Pen in other states where they now reside.”

Middle school students interested in participating are encouraged to talk to the Power of the Pen coach at their school to learn more about the program. If attending a school that does not already have an established team, email  [email protected]  or call 330-672-0537.

Stark Community Foundation helps individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits achieve their philanthropic goals. Learn more at  www.starkcf.org .


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