Creative Writing

You might have heard it called different things. Traditionally referred to as literature, creative writing is an art of sorts – the art of making things up. It’s writing done in a way that is not academic or technical but still attracts an audience. Though the definition is rather loose, creative writing can for the most part be considered any writing that is original and self-expressive. A news article, for example, cannot be considered creative writing because its main goal is to present facts and not to express the feelings of the writer. While a news article can be entertaining, its main purpose is to present the facts.

The purpose of creative writing is to both entertain and share human experience, like love or loss. Writers attempt to get at a truth about humanity through poetics and storytelling. If you’d like to try your hand at creative writing, just keep in mind that whether you are trying to express a feeling or a thought, the first step is to use your imagination.

Types of creative writing include:

  • Poetry
  • Plays
  • Movie and television scripts
  • Fiction (novels, novellas, and short stories)
  • Songs
  • Speeches
  • Memoirs
  • Personal essays

As you can see, some nonfiction types of writing can also be considered creative writing. Memoirs and personal essays, for example, can be written creatively to inform your readers about your life in an expressive way. Because these types are written in first person, it’s easier for them to be creative.

Techniques used in creative writing include:

  • Character development
  • Plot development
  • Vivid setting
  • Underlying theme
  • Point of view
  • Dialogue
  • Anecdotes
  • Metaphors and similes
  • Figures of speech
  • Imaginative language
  • Emotional appeal
  • Heavy description

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