Definition of Creative Writing

The definition of creative writing is writing that expresses ideas and thoughts in an imaginative way. The writer gets to express feelings and emotions instead of just presenting the facts.

Creative Writing: Ideas and Imagination

The best way to define creative writing is to give a list of things that are and that are not considered creative writing. Things that are would be:

novels, poems, epics, short stories, screenplays, songs, television scripts, etc.

Things that are usually not creative writing include:

academic writing, textbooks, journalism, and technical writing

Your creative juices flow when you engage in creative writing. The majority of writing, by far, is creative writing. Not only can it be a creative outlet, but creative writing can be therapeutic as well. Many psychologists recommend creative writing to express feelings and perhaps examine them. In creative writing, you can use your imagination and pretend anything you want and help the reader to do the same.

Examples of Creative Writing

This kind of writing entertains the reader and there are many places where you can find it. Examples need to be included in any definition of creative writing.  Following are some of the forms and examples.

Poems are great examples of creative writing. Here is an excerpt from Lewis Carroll’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter” from Through the Looking-Glass.

“If seven maids with seven mopsSwept it for half a year.Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,”That they could get it clear?””I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,And shed a bitter tear.

Short stories can be narrative, funny, mysterious, satirical, fantasy, or historical. Aesop’s Fables are very short stories that include a lesson for the reader. Here is the “Hare and the Tortoise.”

A Hare one day ridiculed the short feet and slow pace of the Tortoise, who replied, laughing: “Though you be swift as the wind, I will beat you in a race.” The Hare, believing her assertion to be simply impossible, assented to the proposal; and they agreed that the Fox should choose the course and fix the goal. On the day appointed for the race the two started together. The Tortoise never for a moment stopped, but went on with a slow but steady pace straight to the end of the course. The Hare, lying down by the wayside, fell fast asleep. At last waking up, and moving as fast as he could, he saw the Tortoise had reached the goal, and was comfortably dozing after her fatigue.  The moral is: Slow but steady wins the race.

Novels are always creative but some are more so than others. Here is an example of creative writing from the opening of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.

In a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire to call to mind, there lived not long since one of those gentlemen that keep a lance in the lance-rack, an old buckler, a lean hack, and a greyhound for coursing. An olla of rather more beef than mutton, a salad on most nights, scraps on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, and a  pigeon or so extra on Sundays, made away with three-quarters of his income. The rest of it went in a doublet of fine cloth and velvet breeches and shoes to match for holidays, while on week-days he made a brave figure in his best homespun.

Story Starters

Want to try your hand at it or sharpen your writing skills? Some things that can help you get started are:

  • Imagine that..
  • Have you ever wondered …
  • Pretend that …
  • What if …
  • A funny thing happened…
  • Why do you think that …
  • Once upon a time …
  • It was a dark and stormy night …

Maybe those will help you use your imagination and express your feelings. Being creative and pretending is part of being human. Why else would there be so many books, plays, movies, and songs? So grab a pen, some paper, and start creating.

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