What is creative writing?
In a very general definition, creative writing is any form of writing that is written more from the idea of entertaining the reader rather than informing them. Wikipedia defines creative writing as to any form of writing that goes out of the boundaries of professional, journalistic, academic, and technical writing.
In my personal opinion and as someone who loves reading, I think creative writing is anything that helps you put your thoughts and expression on paper. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, for autobiography, memoirs, prose, novels, all this and many more forms of writing take shape as creative writing. You can even be creative at technical writing though it is an entirely different field (technical writing is the writing done solely for information gathering, used in technical and occupational fields). Creativity abounds in all spheres of your life, to bring this to paper with clarity and structure to express yourself in a way that others can read it is chiefly what creative writing is about.
Types of creative writing
Poetry is one of the most popular forms of creative writing. It includes many other forms under it, haiku, sonnets, limericks, and micro-poetry. It is also the chief form used by a lot of writers on social media. You can see examples of this in Instagram posts.
Songwriting is also a kind of poetry turned into music. It follows more like a melody and rhymes, while poetry, in general, works well without rhyme too.
Fiction is any narration where the events and actions are made out of your imagination. It’s a term that takes under it forms like novels, short stories, novellas, or any prose.
Novels and stories are the most read forms of creative writing. The art of storytelling and the ability to conceive life-like characters plays a major part in the writing process. Fiction then can be presented in many genres, such as adventure, fantasy, children's books, and realism etcetera.
Non-fiction is written as a true and accurate account of something, some examples of this are memoirs, autobiographies, journals, history, travel writings, and many other such genres. On the surface, it might look like there isn’t much creativity involved in this type of writing. However, to arrange these factual accounts and truths in a way that makes sense and appeals to the reader requires a great deal of thinking and imagination.
Scriptwriting is another form of writing done for feature films, television shows, or video games. It is often a freelance profession. Scriptwriters or screenwriters are often paid by producers to write scripts for a certain concept or idea, screenwriters also come up with original plots for their scripts and approach producers in the hopes that they will be optioned or sold.
Copywriters help create content for various marketing communications. Copywriting is the art of writing the text for advertising and marketing purposes. It helps create billboards, brochures, catalogs, jingles, magazine advertisements, scripts for commercial, social media posts, and other marketing communications.
A blog is a website published online to impart information, share opinions, or even write personal stories. Blogging is a popular medium to gather and impart information. It takes on many different genres, it could be about your business or profession or your hobby (handmade crafts, cooking, etc.), and blogs are also a platform for discussions on particular topics.
Tips and practices to improve your writing skills
- Read. A lot.
Reading is the most fun and entertaining exercise you can do to help you write, it will help you know different styles, genres, ways of expression. It definitely helps vocabulary. It might even help you with ideas; you might come up with an original idea while reading another’s ideas.
- Carry a pen and paper. Always.
Carry a diary, notebook, and a gadget if you prefer typing. An immediate means to pen down your thoughts can be very helpful in retaining ideas that might come to you as a passing thought. So put them to use whenever you find anything to write about in your head, don’t just rely on your memory always, you’ll find out that words leave it very easily and quickly. You can make rough notes and outline of your ideas and work on them later when you are sitting down to write.
- Practice writing. Write, write, and write.
Write. When you have words floating in your head put them to paper. It could be a poem, a paragraph, or even just two lines, I know writers who write haikus or short poems as a warm-up exercise before delving into the extensive serious work. As a beginner, it is your best exercise; it makes you patient and open to criticism and obviously improves your writing. Write about anything to everything and do not hesitate to think that you’re not good enough, don’t be too harsh on yourself from the very beginning.
- Go for a professional course
Creative writing is a very natural and purely imaginative concept. You can only master it you read a lot. Reading makes you think about how to actually write. To perfect your skills you should opt for any creative writing course. They will teach you how to master a make your story look professional. No one can teach you creative writing because it is purely your imagination but good institutes can teach you proper skills and techniques.