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Creative Writing

Creative Writing

Author: Katie Hannas

1. Student will be able to identify the techniques used in creative writing.

2. Student will be able to identify the purpose of creative writing.

3. Student will be able to compose a creative writing entry.


This lesson is designed for students to gain knowledge about what creative writing is and the techniques used in creative writing. 

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Write with your heart

As you watch this video I want you to focus on the demeanor of the professor. Pay attention to the body language of both characters as well as the views each character shares on writing. How do you write your first draft? Your second draft?

Source: YouTube

What is creative writing?

Defining Creative Writing:

You might have heard it called different things. Traditionally referred to as literature, creative writing is an art of sorts--the art of making things up. It's writing done in a way that is not academic or technical, but still attracts an audience. Though the definition is rather loose, creative writing can for the most part be considered any writing that is original and self-expressive. A news article, for example, cannot be considered creative writing because its main goal is to present facts and not to express the feelings of the writer. While a news article can be entertaining, its main purpose is to present the facts. 

The purpose of creative writing is to both entertain and share human experience, like love or loss. Writers attempt to get at a truth about humanity through poetics and story telling. If you'd like to try your hand at creative writing, just keep in mind that whether you are trying to express a feeling or a thought, the first step is to use your imagination. 

Types of Creative Writing:

Movie and television scripts 
Fiction (novels, novellas, and short stories) 
Personal essays 

Note: Some nonfiction types of writing can be considered creative writing. Memoirs and personal essays, for example, can be written creatively to inform your readers about your life in an expressive way. Because these types are written in first person, it's easier for them to be creative. 

Techniques Used in Creative Writing:

The following is a list of literary devices and writing elements often used in creative writing. Consider this list to spot creative writing, or to give it a try yourself. 

Character development 
Plot development 
Vivid setting 
Underlying theme 
Point of view 
Metaphors and similes 
Figures of speech 
Imaginative language 
Emotional appeal 
Heavy description

Creative Writing: Is It Fun or Is It Work?

Is creative writing a lot of fun, a lot of work, or both?

Creative writing belongs to the arts, and the arts are an odd bunch.

People pursue artistic endeavors for  different reasons. For some, it’s a hobby. For others, a livelihood. For most, it’s a hobby they dream of turning into a livelihood.

It’s a worthwhile dream and a lofty one too. But what does it take to get there? How much fun are you allowed to have, and just how much work must you do to turn your passion into a full-time job?

And if you do manage to make a career out of creative writing, will it still be as fun as it was when it was just a hobby?

Creative Writing is Fun


Young and new writers often come to creative writing because they find it enjoyable. Many are avid readers, so inspired by their love of literature that they want to create it. Others are compelled to express themselves on the page or to have their voices heard by an audience of readers.

Most of us have experienced sudden inspiration. You’re sitting there and a poem comes to you fully formed. It’s finished within minutes and it just might be brilliant. It feels more like the poem came through you from some source outside of yourself. It’s pure magic. It’s exciting. It’s fun.

When we are being creative, and especially when we’re tapped into that magical kind of creativity, it’s an extremely pleasurable experience. From the instant we start writing until our work is completed, we’re on a wild ride, exciting but dangerous too. Because if we rely on having fun, we may start to believe the many misconceptions about creative writing as a career or lifestyle.

Misconceptions About Creative Writing

It’s not uncommon for novice writers who have experienced the magic of sudden inspiration to wait for it to strike again. It’s likely that it will strike again, eventually. But waiting for this type of inspiration to hit you is a bad habit. You’re simply fostering an addiction to the adrenaline-like rush that the magical muse evokes.

This idea that creativity magically happens is just one of the many misconceptions that inexperienced writers have about the craft. These misconceptions are dangerous because they are beliefs that direct writers away from their work. And sometimes, being creative is hard work indeed.

Here are a few of the most notorious misconceptions that surround creative writing:

Myth: You shouldn’t read much because other writers’ styles might leak into your own work and it won’t be original. That’s like saying you shouldn’t interact with other people because you might adopt their personalities. Trust that your own unique style will emerge, even if it is influenced by other writers.
Myth: Good grammar is unnecessary if you want your writing to be raw and edgy. Writing is raw and edgy because of what it communicates, not because it’s peppered with typos and poorly structured sentences.
Myth: Why work at writing when you can just sit around and wait for inspiration to happen? Um, because you’ll produce almost nothing.
Myth: Artistic success is borne of pure talent. Talent is a booster, not the foundation upon which a successful artistic career is built.
Myth: You don’t need to hone your creative writing skills because you have natural talent. No matter how talented you are, you are not born knowing how to read and write. There is work to be done!

See? Dead wrong on all counts.

Creative Writing is Fun, Hard Work

Like anything, if you want to succeed in creative writing, you’ve got to work at it. I’ve tried many creative endeavors over the years, and writing is one of the most challenging pursuits you can choose. It requires a vast skill set, intense determination, and a willingness to work. It also requires a good measure of creativity, and you need business skills too. Talent is just the icing on the cake, something you’re born with if you’re lucky.

People have all kinds of funny ideas about hard work and creativity, many of which are nothing more than idle fears. A common one is avoiding a career path in creative writing because then it will become a job and that would take all the fun out of it. Another is that if you have to work hard at creative writing, then you must be talentless.

Misconceptions about the arts are rampant. It’s no wonder artistic people are so misunderstood by the rest of the world. We tend to be an unusual bunch, and many of these misconceptions come from artists themselves.

The truth is that hard work and fun are not necessarily separate from one another. Hard work can be fun and good fun can also be hard work. Going to Disneyland might sound like fun, but even that takes hard work – the work you have to do to pay for your trip, making reservations, packing, getting there, standing in line. If people will do all that for a few minutes of thrills on some theme park rides, why can’t they work just as hard to make their dreams come true instead of sitting around waiting for that magic, that talent, to manifest?

If you work hard at your creative writing, that magic will happen. In fact, the harder you work, the more frequently the magical inspiration will appear. There’s no real benefit in waiting for the muse to honor you with her presence. So stop waiting. Stop looking for an easy way to compose a poem, draft a short story, or write a novel. Sit down and get to work. And have fun while you’re doing it.

Keep working, and keep writing.

5 great tips for creative writing

Source: YouTube

Your Turn!

Your turn! Chose one of the following prompts and make a creative writing entry in your journal.

1. You’re digging in your garden and find a fist-sized nugget of gold. What do you do?

2. Write about something ugly — war, fear, hate, or cruelty–but find the beauty (silver lining) in it.

3. An asteroid was heading straight for Earth when...