What Is Creative Writing? Types, Techniques, and Tips - TCK Publishing (2022)

What Is Creative Writing? Types, Techniques, and Tips - TCK Publishing (1)

Even if you’re not a big reader of fiction, you’ve more than likely encountered creative writing—or at least, the outcomes of creative writing—at some point. In fact, you can thank creative writing for your favorite films, songs, musicals, and much more.

But what exactly makes writing “creative?”

Simply put, creative writing is any writing that falls outside of technical, journalistic, or academic writing.

You can think of it as classic storytelling. It can be written with a number of intentions: to entertain us, comfort us, or teach us a lesson; most importantly, good creative writing speaks to our shared human experience. It shouldn’t just tell us something—it should make us feel something new.

Creative Writing: An Overview

We’re all familiar with school-required “creative writing exercises.” Maybe you had a traumatizing experience when your eighth grade teacher forced you to write a story and read it aloud for the class (no? just me?).

Or maybe you think creative writing is reserved for the artsy free spirits who churn out novels in coffee shops or on sunny farms in Tuscany.

In reality, creative writing is much more than something for your great aunt to scoff at when discussing your major at Thanksgiving dinner.

In this post, we’ll break down creative writing and explain everything you need to know, including:

• Types and examples
• Techniques
• Who should practice creative writing?
Creative writing exercises to get started

Types of Creative Writing

Examples of creative writing can be found pretty much everywhere. Some forms that you’re probably familiar with and already enjoy include:

• Fiction (of every genre, from sci-fi to historical dramas to romances)
• Film and television scripts
• Songs
• Poetry
• Plays
• Vignettes

(Video) Creative Writing Exercise

But creative writing doesn’t have to be limited to fictitious content. It can also include:

• Personal essays
• Memoirs
• Journals and diaries
• Letters

As we can see from this list, some works of nonfiction can also constitute creative writing. After all, many books and films tell stories of real people and real events.

Take, for example, the 2010 film The King’s Speech. The film tells the story of real people and real events, but the script can be considered creative writing as much as the script for Jurassic Park, because it charges historical events with emotion and makes the audience feel invested in the characters.

Writing about your own life is no different. Journals and diaries—when they contain personal thoughts, experiences, or emotions—can also constitute creative writing. Even letters can be included, when they do more than stating facts (not just “today I went to the store” or “today it rained.”)

Creative writing doesn’t require you to make up names or inject unicorns into your manuscript. It just requires a bit of storytelling through more imaginative techniques.

Techniques Used in Creative Writing

You’ll want to make your story one that resonates with people, since creative writing is ultimately telling stories about the human experience. To achieve this, you can apply some of these techniques and literary devices:

Dialogue

Including conversations between characters can help bring them to life, while also moving the plot along without relying solely on the narrator.

This was a favorite technique of Ernest Hemingway. Famous for his simple, straightforward style, he let his characters do most of the talking, which also helped to make them more accessible and relatable.

One great example of character development through dialogue can be found in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice:

“A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!”

“How so? How can it affect them?”

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“My dear Mr. Bennet,” replied his wife, “how can you be so tiresome! You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them.”

“Is that his design in settling here?”

“Design! Nonsense, how can you talk so! But it is very likely that he mayfall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he comes.”

Without Austen telling us anything directly, we as readers can get a feel for Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, their relationship, and what they each prioritize.

Good dialogue should sound realistic, but also carry a purpose so that the story can progress in a natural way.

Metaphors and similes

Alternatively, writers can choose to pack their prose with imaginative language, offering the reader vivid descriptions to evoke emotion. This is typical in many forms of creative writing, and it is often achieved through literary devices, like similes and metaphors.

For example, in “A Red, Red Rose,” Robert Burns writes:

“O my Love is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Love is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.”

Similes create images for the reader by using comparisons, rather than simple adjectives. (What kind of poem would the example above be if Burns just told us his love is “beautiful”?)

While similes can help us to imagine a scene more vividly, they can also be open to interpretation. Because similes rely on association, one word might carry different connotations for different readers (this may very well be the author’s intention).

Metaphors, instead, draw parallels and can take up a few lines, like this famous excerpt from Romeo and Juliet:

“But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!”

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Or sometimes, metaphors can be recurring elements in a text, like in Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, where the desert setting serves as a metaphor for life itself.

Good metaphors can serve as a shortcut to understanding a text because they can convey something complex in terms that are more concise, yet universal. For this reason, metaphors can add extra depth to your story.

Point of view

Deciding which point of view you want to tell your story from is an essential step because it will determine the story’s voice.

Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, for example, is written in the first-person limited perspective—but imagine how different the story would be if Daisy were narrating instead of Nick! Changing the point of view can change the entire story.

Anecdotes

Anecdotes are like small stories within the big story. When used in creative writing, they offer readers a chance to learn more about a character without simply stating it directly. They can be used to evoke empathy, to entertain, to teach a lesson, or simply to reveal other dimensions of a character.

We can turn to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for one such example:

“Justine, you may remember, was a great favorite of yours; and I recollect you once remarked, that if you were in an ill-humor, one glance from Justine could dissipate it, for the same reason that Ariosto gives concerning the beauty of Angelica—she looked so frank-hearted and happy. My aunt conceived a great attachment for her, by which she was induced to give her an education superior to that which she had first intended.”

This anecdote, delivered by Elizabeth to Victor Frankenstein, provides background for Justine’s character and reveals the history between the characters’ families. By testifying to Justine’s “frank-hearted and happy” nature, readers are led to sympathize with the character even more, especially in light of her tragic fate (she confesses to a crime she did not commit and is promptly executed).

Making proper use of the right techniques can make any writing better, but it’s especially important in creative writing if you want a well-developed story that resonates with readers and doesn’t feel forced.

Who Should Practice Creative Writing?

Now that we’ve gone over what exactly creative writing is and the techniques used to compose it, you might be wondering what exactly you can do with this information.

Yes, you!

Because creative writing isn’t just for English majors and best-selling authors. We all have stories to tell, and even if you never show your work to anyone, practicing creative writing can be beneficial to just about everyone.

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Aside from proven therapeutic benefits, creative writing exercises can help to:

Build your imagination and creativity: By stimulating the parts of your brain responsible for creativity, you’ll train your mind to think “outside the box” to find new, innovative solutions.

Organize your thoughts: Developing a plot requires the ability to think logically, since you’ll want to make the underlying point clear. This kind of thinking can of course be helpful in the workplace and many other parts of your life.

Grow your confidence: Putting your thoughts down on paper takes guts. Expressing yourself through writing and seeing your ideas translated to words can help build self-confidence.

Improve your communication skills: By refining your writing skills, you’ll be able to communicate more effectively, both in speech and on paper.

Give your mind a break: Like reading, creative writing offers the perfect escape from everyday life. You’re in complete control of everything that happens, so let yourself go and see the wonderful things your mind builds when you set it free.

How Can You Get Started?

If you’re new to creative writing, there are a number of ways to get started. Keeping a diary to write down your thoughts and ideas can be extremely helpful. Or, check out our many great writing prompts to get your creativity flowing!

What do you love to write about? Feel free to share with us in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:

  • 70 Creative Writing Prompts to Inspire You to Write
  • 10 Creative Writing Exercises for Beginners and Writers
  • How Writing Prompts Can Boost Your Creative Writing Skills
  • Fast and Loose: 3 Ways Freewriting Will Upgrade Your Creative Career

What Is Creative Writing? Types, Techniques, and Tips - TCK Publishing (2)

Kaelyn Barron

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As a blog writer for TCK Publishing, Kaelyn loves crafting fun and helpful content for writers, readers, and creative minds alike. She has a degree in International Affairs with a minor in Italian Studies, but her true passion has always been writing. Working remotely allows her to do even more of the things she loves, like traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family.

FAQs

What is creative writing and types of creative writing? ›

Creative writing can include facts about the world but must use them in a made-up fashion to create a unique message. The primary four forms of creative writing are fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and screenwriting.

What is the importance of techniques in creative writing? ›

Creative writing techniques can help make your story more fun and interesting. Learning how to use these different techniques is important if you want to create an effect on your reader. You might also be likely to use them if you want to: Hook the reader.

What is creative writing explain? ›

Creative writing is an expressive form of literature; one which demands you to use your own creativity, imagination and story to portray a particular message, emotion, or plot. It defies the traditional bounds of other forms of writing and is completely subjective to our own preferences and experiences.

What is a technique in writing? ›

A writing technique is a style an author uses to convey their message in a manner that is effective and meaningful to their audience. Understanding the different types of writing techniques is important to professionals because you will need to change your style of writing to make a connection with your audience.

What is the most important technique that you need to consider while writing? ›

A clear and logical flow of ideas is crucial to effective writing. To make sure you stay on topic, stay concise, and cover all of your bases completely, make an outline before you start writing.

What are the 4 types of creative writing? ›

While there are many reasons why you might be putting pen to paper or tapping away on the keyboard, there are really only four main types of writing: expository, descriptive, persuasive, and narrative. Each of these four writing genres has a distinct aim, and they all require different types of writing skills.

Why is creative writing important for students? ›

Creative writing encourages kids to exercise their creative minds and practice using their imaginations. It improves their ability to come up with alternatives. This broadens their thought processes, which can lead to success in many areas, including problem solving and analysis.

Why are techniques important? ›

Techniques are necessary and important; in fact, nothing could be evolved in any field without knowledge of how to do things. Both techniques and principles are necessary, but principles are more fundamental. Principles not only govern the operation of technique but also make possible its extension and perfection.

What are the 5 types of creative writing? ›

there are only five main kinds of writing: expository, descriptive, persuasive, narrative, and journal or letter writing. Each writing genre has its own unique purpose and requires different skills.

How do you start creative writing? ›

Try one or more of these strategies.
  1. Strategy 1: Begin with action or dialogue. ...
  2. Strategy 2: Ask a question. ...
  3. Strategy 3: Describe the setting. ...
  4. Strategy 4: Begin with background information. ...
  5. Strategy 5: Have the main character introduce himself or herself.

How do you introduce creative writing? ›

One way to teach and promote creative writing is to do an informal publication of your students' stories. This way, your students will not only be able to be proud that their work is printed for others to read, but they'll be able to read each others' work and get ideas for their own future stories.

What writing technique is used in writing story? ›

Common techniques relevant to style, or the language chosen to tell a story, include metaphors, similes, personification, imagery, hyperbole, and alliteration. Techniques relevant to plot, which are the sequence of events that make up a narrative, include backstory,flashback, flash-forward, and foreshadowing.

What are the types of writing? ›

The four main types of writing styles are persuasive, narrative, expository, and descriptive.

What are the 7 types of writing? ›

  • Expository Writing.
  • Narrative Writing.
  • Persuasive Writing.
  • Descriptive Writing.
  • Technical Writing.
  • Diary Writing.
  • Business Writing.
  • The Final Word on Types of Writing.

What do you think is the most important technique that you need to consider while writing nonfiction stories? ›

One of the most important techniques of creative nonfiction is writing in scenes. A scene recreates the experience of the writer for the reader. A scene evokes. To write a scene, you must show the reader what is happening.

What makes writing good and effective? ›

Effective writing is readable — that is, clear, accurate, and concise. When you are writing a paper, try to get your ideas across in such a way that the audience will understand them effortlessly, unambiguously, and rapidly. To this end, strive to write in a straightforward way.

What are the tips in using effective words in writing explain each? ›

When it's time to write, you have to carefully choose words that can clearly express the idea and then decide how you will rearrange those words into phrases, sentences, and even paragraphs. A strong word choice makes it easier for readers to understand the concept. It clarifies, explains, and expands ideas.

What are the 6 types of writing? ›

There are six types of writing. The six types of writing are Narrative, Descriptive, Persuasive, and Expository plus nonfiction writing and fiction writing.

What are the four purpose of creative writing? ›

There are four purposes writers use for writing. When someone communicates ideas in writing, they usually do so to express themselves, inform their reader, to persuade a reader or to create a literary work.

What is the most creative form of writing? ›

Poetry: Poetry is a popular but under-appreciated type of writing, and it's easily the most artistic form of writing.

What I learned about creative writing? ›

Creative writing is a form of writing that encompasses a number of different genres and styles outside the more formal scope of technical writing or academic writing. Creative writing focuses on elements such as character development, narrative, and plot, infusing its structure with imagination and story.

What are 5 important benefits of creative writing? ›

  • Imagination. Creative writing boosts your imagination as you create new worlds, situations and characters in your work. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Better Thought Clarification. ...
  • Broader Vocabulary. ...
  • Critical Review.

What is a technique called? ›

A technique is a particular method of doing an activity, usually a method that involves practical skills. ... tests performed using a new technique. Synonyms: method, way, system, approach More Synonyms of technique.

What is technique with example? ›

Technique is the method, procedure or way something is done. An example of technique is only using one finger while finger painting. noun.

Why do we need to consider the medium and technique before creating an artwork? ›

Artists often use a particular medium because it affects the texture or color of the work of art. Other times, the artist will choose a medium because it helps the audience interpret the art in a specific way.

Is creative writing a skill? ›

Creative writing as a skill that needs constant practice to become a more effective communicator. Although challenging, there are a number of ideas to keep in mind in order to achieve consistency and improvement.

What are creativity skills? ›

Creative thinking is the ability to consider something in a new way. Creative thinking includes analysis, open-mindedness, problem-solving, organization, and communication. Many employers value creative thinkers, so consider highlighting your creative thinking skills on your resume and in interviews.

What are the 3 genres of creative writing? ›

Three Genres gives students a basic introduction to fiction/ literary nonfiction, poetry, and drama and helps them to develop their creative skills in each area.

What are the 5 types of writing PDF? ›

  • Expository essays: An expository essay is an informative piece of writing, ...
  • Narrative essays: A narrative type of essay refers to a written composition. ...
  • Descriptive essays: A descriptive writing is a style of writing which focuses on. ...
  • Persuasive essays: Persuasive writing is a type of writing which contains.

What is a plan in creative writing? ›

A plan is an outline of your ideas. You could use the five-part story arc or a timeframe to help structure your narrative. You could also use your plan to remind you of key features you want to include (figurative language, variety of sentence structures, TiPToP paragraphs).

What is the structure of creative writing? ›

Five levels of writing structure are referred to: incoherent, linear, conventional, integrated, and metaphoric. Samples of creative writing of high school students are selected to illustrate each level.

What should be included in GCSE creative writing? ›

GCSE English language: 9 tips for creative writing
  1. Actually read the question. Let's start at the very beginning: The question. ...
  2. Make a plan. ...
  3. Don't leave the ending to the, well, end. ...
  4. Keep it relatively simple. ...
  5. Write from real life. ...
  6. Take things out of this world. ...
  7. Be descriptive. ...
  8. Show, don't tell.
9 Jun 2019

What techniques can you use in writing informative essay? ›

Note: You can practice these strategies for writing about any informational text students read.
  • Turn a Writing Prompt into a Topic Sentence. ...
  • Identify and Order Key Ideas. ...
  • Connect Ideas with Transitions. ...
  • Write Successful Conclusions. ...
  • Improve Writing with Revision. ...
  • Add Text Features and Graphics.

Are techniques that the writers creatively present the events in the story? ›

To present the events, writers use backstory, flashback, flash-forward, and foreshadowing.

How do I prepare for a creative writing exam? ›

Eleven Plus English Creative Writing Tips - YouTube

How do you start creative writing? ›

Try one or more of these strategies.
  1. Strategy 1: Begin with action or dialogue. ...
  2. Strategy 2: Ask a question. ...
  3. Strategy 3: Describe the setting. ...
  4. Strategy 4: Begin with background information. ...
  5. Strategy 5: Have the main character introduce himself or herself.

How do you answer creative Questions GCSE? ›

Creative Writing: How To Get 40/40 In Question 5 Explained in 8 Mins!

What are good creative writing topics? ›

Creative Writing
  • A cozy spot at home.
  • A dark hallway.
  • A story about a holiday.
  • A trip on a rocket ship.
  • A walk in the woods.
  • Dear George Washington.
  • Donuts for dinner.
  • Funny things my pet has done.

What kind of writing technique that deals with facts and information? ›

Argumentative essays and informative essays are two types of essays that deal with facts and information.

Which one is example of a creative writing output? ›

A novel is probably the most popular example of creative writing out there.

What are the three writing techniques? ›

As explained in the USC Rossier infographic, “There are three writing capacities: writing to persuade, writing to explain, and writing to convey real or imagined experiences.” These three types of writing are usually called argument, informative, and narrative writing.

What is the purpose of informative writing techniques? ›

The Informative Writing Style. The purpose of informative writing is to inform the audience about a certain topic. This type of writing is also called explanatory or expository writing. It relies on the use of credible sources and factual evidence that explains the topic and supports the author's perspective.

What is the purpose of informative writing? ›

An informative essay educates your reader on a topic. They can have one of several functions: to define a term, compare and contrast something, analyze data, or provide a how-to. They do not, however, present an opinion or try to persuade your reader. Examples are; animals, a country, a sport or club, cooking.

What are the 5 techniques to writing? ›

The 5 Types of Writing Styles and Why You Should Master Each
  • Narrative Writing. Narrative writing is storytelling at its most basic: it's all about sharing something that happens to a character. ...
  • Descriptive Writing. ...
  • Persuasive Writing. ...
  • Expository Writing. ...
  • Creative Writing.
19 Apr 2021

Why is it important to teach creative writing students? ›

Introduction. Creative writing has been shown to help improve grades in many different subjects. This is because such writing helps improve thinking skills, and it also helps students learn more about themselves as writers.

How Can creative writing be used as a method in teaching literature? ›

It encourages them to think beyond the ordinary, and to use their imagination to express their ideas in their own way. Learning about creative writing also makes students familiar with literary terms and mechanisms such as sound patterns or metaphors.

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