What Is Creative Writing? Unleash Your Imagination

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Julia McCoy

Creator and Co-founder

what is creative writing

You’ve always had a wild imagination, and now you’re ready to let it run free on the page. But what is creative writing exactly?

It’s more than just putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Think of creative writing as your magic power – it transforms abstract ideas into vivid narratives that connect heart-to-heart with people.

Crafting tales, spinning poems, or unfolding novels – they’re all ways for writers like us to bare our souls and offer up our unique takes on life’s canvas. This approach lets us dig into the depths of being human, stirring up emotions and leaving an unforgettable impression on people.

Table Of Contents:

What Is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is an art form that goes beyond traditional blog writing, allowing individuals to express their thoughts, emotions, and ideas through the power of words.

It transcends conventional writing, encouraging individuals to explore language, structure, and narrative.

Creative writing is writing meant to evoke emotion in a reader by communicating a theme.

In storytelling (including literature, movies, graphic novels, and even video games), the theme is the central meaning the work communicates.

Creative writing typically uses literary devices like metaphors and foreshadowing to build a narrative and express the theme, but they are not a requirement.

Neither is dialogue, though you’ll find it used in most works of fiction.

It doesn’t just focus on more traditional, technical forms of writing, like journalistic and academic styles, but instead displays imagination and invention.

Forms of Creative Writing

Creative writing comes in many forms, encompassing a range of genres and styles.

There are lots of different types of creative writing, which can be categorized as fiction or non-fiction.


Creative writing offers writers a platform to express themselves and focus on areas like character development, narrative, and storylines.

Some of the most popular forms of fiction writing include short stories, novels, novellas, etc.


Creative writing doesn’t have to be fictional, either. Dramatized presentations of true stories, memoirs, and observational humor pieces are all types of creative writing.

Creative nonfiction encompasses a wide range of forms, including personal essays, biographies, and more.


Whether it’s a heartfelt poem, a captivating short story, or a thought-provoking novel, creative writing allows us to communicate our unique perspectives and experiences with the world.

Poetry and spoken word are powerful forms of creative expression that play with language, rhythm, and imagery.


Playwriting is a form of creative writing focused on crafting scripts intended for performance on stage. It involves creating dialogue, characters, settings, and plots that unfold through spoken words and actions.

Unlike other forms of writing, playwriting requires consideration for the visual and auditory aspects of storytelling, as it is meant to be performed live in front of an audience.

Playwriting offers a unique opportunity for writers to engage with audiences in a dynamic and immediate way. It requires a blend of creativity, craft, and understanding of theatrical conventions to create compelling stories that resonate with viewers.


Scriptwriting, often referred to simply as “screenwriting,” is the art and craft of writing scripts for films, television shows, web series, and other visual media.

While similar to playwriting in some aspects, such as crafting dialogue and developing characters, scriptwriting has its own distinct characteristics and requirements tailored to the screen.

Scriptwriting is a specialized form of creative writing that combines storytelling skills with an understanding of the unique requirements of visual media. It offers writers the opportunity to craft compelling narratives that entertain, inspire, and provoke thought on both the big and small screen.

what is creative writing

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Techniques Used in Creative Writing

Creative writers employ a variety of techniques to make their work more engaging, evocative, and memorable.

These writing techniques help to develop characters, create vivid settings, and convey emotions and ideas effectively.

Descriptive Language

Descriptive language refers to the use of vivid and detailed language to create rich and sensory experiences for the reader. It involves painting a picture with words, engaging the reader’s senses, emotions, and imagination to bring the narrative to life.

Descriptive language is a powerful tool in creative writing, enabling writers to create immersive and engaging narratives that resonate with readers long after they’ve finished reading.

Figurative Language

Figurative language involves the use of words and phrases in a way that goes beyond their literal meaning. It adds layers of meaning and depth to creative writing, allowing writers to convey complex emotions, create vivid imagery, and engage readers on a deeper level.

Figurative language is an essential tool for crafting compelling stories, poems, and other forms of literature.

Point of View

Choosing the right point of view is crucial in creative writing, as it determines the perspective from which the story is told.

Whether it’s first-person, second-person, or third-person, the point of view can greatly impact the reader’s connection to the characters and their understanding of the narrative.


Dialogue is a key element in many forms of creative writing, particularly in fiction and scriptwriting.

Well-crafted dialogue can reveal character traits, advance the plot, and create a sense of authenticity and realism in the story.

Show vs. Tell

One of the most important techniques in creative writing is “showing” rather than “telling.”

Instead of simply stating facts or describing events, skilled writers use vivid descriptions, actions, and dialogue to allow readers to experience the story for themselves.

How to Start Creative Writing

So you want to start a career in creative writing? That’s awesome. But where do you even begin?

I remember when I first started, I was overwhelmed with all the different techniques and styles. It felt like I was staring at a blank page, waiting for the words to magically appear.

But here’s the thing: starting is the hardest part. Once you get those creative juices flowing, the rest will follow.


One of my favorite ways to start writing is through freewriting. It’s a technique where you set a timer for a specific amount of time (I usually do 10-15 minutes) and just write whatever comes to mind, without stopping to edit or second-guess yourself.

The goal is to keep your pen moving (or your fingers typing) and let your thoughts flow freely. You might be surprised at what comes out.


Another great way to start creative writing is through journaling. I’ve been keeping a journal for years, and it’s been a game-changer for my writing. It allows me to explore my thoughts and feelings and often leads to new ideas for stories or characters.

Plus, it’s a great way to practice writing regularly and build that writing muscle.

“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.” – Christina Baldwin

Writing Exercises

If you’re feeling stuck or need a little extra inspiration, writing exercises can be a great way to get those creative juices flowing. There are tons of writing prompts out there that can help you start writing, whether it’s a character sketch, a scene description, or a dialogue exchange. The key is to have fun with it and not put too much pressure on yourself.

Stuck staring at a blank paper or screen? Check out these tips on how to overcome writer’s block.

Read Widely

One of the best ways to improve your creative writing is to read widely. Read books in different genres, from different authors, and different periods.

Pay attention to how they craft their stories, develop their characters, and use language to create mood and tone. The more you read, the more tools you’ll have in your writing toolbox.

Attend Workshops

Finally, attending writing workshops or classes can be a great way to start creative writing. Not only will you learn new techniques and get feedback on your work, but you’ll also meet other writers who are on the same journey as you.

Writing can be a solitary pursuit, but having a community of fellow writers can make all the difference.

Developing Your Creative Writing Skills

Okay, so you’ve started writing – congrats. But now what? How do you take your writing to the next level and really develop your skills?

As someone who’s been writing for years, I’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes to improve your craft.

Practice Regularly

First and foremost, the key to developing your creative writing skills is to practice regularly.

I know, I know – easier said than done.

But here’s the thing: writing is a muscle, and like any muscle, it needs to be exercised regularly to grow stronger.

Set aside time each day (even if it’s just 15-30 minutes) to write, and stick to it. The more you write, the better you’ll get.

Seek Feedback

Another important aspect of developing your creative writing skills is seeking feedback. Share your work with other writers, whether it’s through a writing group, workshop, or online forum.

Getting constructive criticism can be tough, but it’s essential for growth. Listen to what others have to say, and use their feedback to improve your writing.

Revise and Edit

Once you’ve gotten feedback on your work, it’s time to revise and edit. This is where the real magic happens.

Go through your written work with a fine-toothed comb, looking for ways to tighten your prose, develop your characters, and strengthen your plot.

Don’t be afraid to cut or change things that aren’t working – remember, writing is a process, and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.

Experiment with Different Styles

As you develop your creative writing skills, don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and genres.

Try writing a poem, a screenplay, or a personal essay. Play with different points of view, tenses, and structures.

The more you experiment, the more you’ll discover what works for you and what doesn’t.

Find Your Voice

Finally, the most important thing you can do to develop your creative writing skills is to find your voice. This means discovering what makes your writing unique and what sets you apart from other writers. It might take time and a lot of experimentation, but once you find your voice, your writing will truly shine.

So there you have it – my top tips for developing your creative writing skills. Remember, writing is a journey, not a destination. Keep practicing, keep learning, and most importantly, keep writing. With time and dedication, you’ll be amazed at how far you can go.


Creative writing is a powerful tool for self-expression and connecting with others. Learning every trick in the book about this art form allows you to broadcast your distinct flair and viewpoint far and wide.

Remember, creative writing is a journey of exploration and discovery. Don’t be afraid to experiment, take risks, and let your imagination run wild. With practice and dedication, you can unleash your full potential as a writer and create stories that resonate with readers on a profound level.

So grab your pen or fire up your keyboard. There’s a story inside you, just waiting to jump out.

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