What is Creative Writing, What Are Some Types of Creative Writing, and Why You Should Write Creatively
Are you a complete beginner to the world of creative writing? Not sure what it is, or where to start?
Maybe you’re just looking for something quick, easy, and digestible to start your creative writing journey.
Well, today I’m going to go over the basics of what is creative writing, what are some types of creative writing, and why you should write creatively.
I know when I started out, I wanted any tiny bit of information I could get. So I figured I’d do a creative writing blog post on the most basic of basics.
So let’s start from the beginning.
What is the definition of creative writing?
Well, Merriam-Webster defines the word “creative” as a word that is “marked by the ability or power to create.”
While the definition of “writing” is “the act or process of one who writes: such as . . . forming visible letters or characters[, . . . or] the act or practice of literary or musical composition.”
“Prose” is another good word to learn, but has a slightly more specific meaning.
In a MasterClass article about the difference between prose and poetry, the explanation of prose is:
“In writing, prose refers to any written work that follows a basic grammatical structure (think words and phrases arranged into sentences and paragraphs). This stands out from works of poetry, which follow a metrical structure (think lines and stanzas). Prose simply means language that follows the natural patterns found in everyday speech.”
Put simply, creative writing is the act of creating words in a form you enjoy.
It’s making art from the letters you put to paper or a screen.
You don’t have to define it only by published novels, it can just be writing that you do for fun or self-exploration.
So what kinds of creative writing can you do?
There are several types. Let’s look at a few of them:
Fiction is a very broad term to categorize as a single type, but it’s basically any work of writing that you’ve made up yourself.
The stories can include real-world events, places, or people; but aren’t necessarily based on facts or events that actually happened.
For example, you can write a piece of fiction based around, say, Abraham Lincoln (like the 2012 film “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”), but you’d still create the events or characters yourself.
Fiction has many genres and sub-genres you can follow (e.g. gothic horror, sci-fi, romance, etc.), and can come in several formats (novel, novella, flash fiction, etc.).
Regardless, whether it’s a novel, a movie, a video game, or a play; fiction writing can be a fun way to write creatively.
Poetry can be a more condensed and metaphorical form of writing for either self-expression, self-exploration, or story-telling.
Wikipedia defines it as “. . . a form of literature that uses aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language—such as [phonesthetics], sound symbolism, and [meter]—to evoke [more] meaning in . . . [natural, everyday speech] . . . .”
There are many forms of poetry (such as, sonnets or haikus) that follow specific patterns or sounds.
BUT you can also write in free form (or free verse), where you can focus on, say, exploring a topic or telling a story (like in prose poetry).
If you’re looking to write something shorter or concentrated, poetry might be your kind of creative writing.
Nonfiction is a piece of writing about, well, anything really.
Nonfiction can be memoirs and self-help books, but it can also be about botany or cooking or marketing or history.
Nonfiction is any book talking about facts or real-life events.
For example, fiction vs nonfiction is like a sci-fi movie vs a space documentary.
Again, from the fiction section above, I mentioned the “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” movie. I talked about how it is a work of fiction based around a real person.
BUT, just because it’s about a real-life figure, doesn’t make it an accurate representation of said person and events.
A piece of nonfiction would be about the real events surrounding Abraham Lincoln and his life.
Maybe your creative writing can be about parts of your own life, or events and people that affected you.
Or maybe you just really like writing about a super-specific bug.
Whatever it is, nonfiction is another way to write creatively and self-express.
Journaling is a form of documenting your life or expressing yourself.
You could say journaling is like all the previous three forms of creative writing combined, but then also a personal log of sorts.
It can include stories or poetry, be a document of your day-to-day life, or a tool to work through your feelings
You can keep a log of your hobbies, chat about the day you saw a cool lizard, or even put all of the above in your journal!
There are no rules, and it’s completely up to you!
The point is you’re expressing yourself in a safe space.
“But why should I do creative writing?
I hear you ask.
And to that, I answer: you don’t have to.
Yes, I realize that’s confusing after I wrote an entire post about creative writing.
But you don’t have to write.
The point I want to make in this post is you should write creatively if that’s how you express yourself.
I write because it’s how I express my thoughts, feelings, and various topics.
If writing isn’t your cup of tea, that’s fine, too. Find what best works for you.
But if you enjoy how it feels to write, and find it’s the best way you express yourself: go for it!
The important thing here is to find a creative outlet.
Creative writing can be fun, and freeing, and help you find community or yourself.
Creative writing is stringing a bunch of words together, and creating something that didn’t exist until you put pen to paper or hands to keyboard.
Creating writing is something that can capture your personal human experience.
Creative writing is a form of self-expression.
And I think that’s magical.
So go out and create something!
‘Cause it’s important, and you deserve it.
Thanks for reading, and happy writing!