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What is Creative Writing?

What is Creative Writing?

Content Writing Creative Writing Writing Courses Writing Tips
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Whether you’re writing a short story, long-fiction, poetry, or non-fiction, at some point in your education, you will likely be faced with the challenge of creative writing. You may do it because it’s required in your English or literature classes, or you may do it simply because you enjoy it.

Creative writing is a form of writing where creativity is at the forefront of its purpose through using imagination, creativity, and innovation in order to tell a story through strong written visuals with an emotional impact, like in poetry writing, short story writing, novel writing, and more.

It’s often seen as the opposite of journalistic or academic writing.

When it comes to writing, there are many different types. As you already know, all writing does not read in the same way.

Creative writing uses senses and emotions in order to create a strong visual in the reader’s mind whereas other forms of writing typically only leave the reader with facts and information instead of emotional intrigue.
Unique Plot

What differentiates creative writing and other forms of writing the most is the fact that the former always has a plot of some sort – and a unique one. 

1. Characters are necessary for creative writing. 

While you can certainly write a book creatively using the second person point of view (which I’ll cover below), you still have to develop the character in order to tell the story.
Underlying Theme

Almost every story out there has an underlying theme or message – even if the author didn’t necessarily intend for it to. But creative writing needs that theme or message in order to be complete. 

That’s part of the beauty of this form of art. By telling a story, you can also teach lessons.

2 Visual Descriptions

When you’re reading a newspaper, you don’t often read paragraphs of descriptions depicting the surrounding areas of where the events took place. Visual descriptions are largely saved for creative writing.

You need them in order to help the reader understand what the surroundings of the characters look like. 

Show don’t tell writing pulls readers in and allows them to imagine themselves in the characters’ shoes – which is the reason people read.

3 Point of View

There are a few points of views you can write in. That being said, the two that are most common in creative writing are first person and third person.

First Person – In this point of view, the narrator is actually the main character. This means that you will read passages including, “I” and understand that it is the main character narrating the story.
Second Person – Most often, this point of view isn’t used in creative writing, but rather instructional writing – like this blog post. When you see the word “you” and the narrator is speaking directly to you, it’s second person point of view.
Third Person – Within this point of view are a few different variations. You have third person limited, third person multiple, and third person omniscient. The first is what you typically find.

Third person limited’s narrator uses “he/she/they” when speaking about the character you’re following. They know that character’s inner thoughts and feelings but nobody else’s. It’s much like first person, but instead of the character telling the story, a narrator takes their place.
Third person multiple is the same as limited except that the narrator now knows the inner thoughts and feelings of several characters.
The last, third person omniscient, is when the narrator still uses “he/she/they” but has all of the knowledge. They know everything about everyone.

While non-creative writing can have dialogue (like in interviews), that dialogue is not used in the same way as it is in creative writing. Creative writing (aside from silent films) requires dialogue to support the story.

Your characters should interact with one another in order to further the plot and develop each character other more.

4. Imaginative Language

Part of what makes creative writing creative is the way you choose to craft the vision in your mind. 

And that means creative writing uses more anecdotes, metaphors, similes, figures of speech, and other figurative language in order to paint a vivid image in the reader’s mind.

5. Emotional Appeal

All writing can have emotional appeal. However, it’s the entire goal of creative writing. Your job as a writer is to make people feel how you want them to by telling them a story.

5. Read More, Understand skills and then Write 

If you really want to write, you need to read. Sure, at any time you could sit down and, having never read a poem, write a book of poems, or having never read a novel, write your own out of thin air, but here’s the thing: they would probably be awful. If you want to be a great writer, or even just a marginally good writer, you have to read. You have to know what has been done and what people are doing now to gain any sense of what you should be doing.

6. Don’t mistake mystery with obscurity

Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that just because something is difficult to understand, it will create an air of mystery that will draw the reader in. This is rarely true. Don’t sacrifice clarity for cleverness. People generally don’t enjoy reading things that are obscure, whether this effect was achieved on purpose or accidentally. Resist the urge to be complicated for the sake of being complicated.

Know your audience

All writing is writing to someone (even if that someone is just you). You need to keep this in mind when writing. Really consider the question: who is your audience? How can you expect them to handle certain narrative decisions, plot devices, or characters? What is their goal in reading your piece? What is your goal in speaking to the audience? If you don’t have a readily defined audience, make one up and work from there.

Revise. Revise. Revise.

Rarely (super rarely) will your writing be “right” the first time. Sometimes you fail, but much more often, you simply need to revise… again and again. Yes, it can be tedious, but it’s a necessary part of the craft that separates writers from hobbyists and angst-filled teenagers. Learn to revise. Take a step back from your work and approach it with a critical eye. Take advice and input from others. Be ready to make substantial (and sometimes painful) revisions in the pursuit of great literature.

9. Kill your darlings

This is classic writing advice. Your darling could be a line, a scene, a poem or even a whole story. Sometimes you can become emotionally attached to a piece of writing that you are absolutely sure can be brilliant, but for one reason or another just doesn’t work. A lot of times, the reason it doesn’t work is because it’s not that good. It’s not. Really. Cut it and get on with your life. Your efforts are better spent working on something new.

10. Don't Plagiarise, Be Original 

If you write good and original fiction then new readers will enjoy reading and you can earn a lot of name of fame if readers start liking your writing and you can also start earning from your creative work. 
Many publication houses and famous authors look for new budding creative writing and hire them as ghostwriter for writing in their name and they pay a lot to you. 

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