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Types of Creative Writing


Creative writing encompasses a wide array of writing types. Everything from poetic works to works of nonfiction can be found in the creative writing genre. The style of creative writing focuses on writing from emotions and thoughts rather than just giving information. Any writing that expresses emotions or expresses free thinking falls into the category of creative writing.

Poetry, Limericks and Song
Quill Pen

Among the most simple form of creative writing types are poetry, limericks and song. Poetry comes in all forms including rhyming, non-rhyming and sonnet form. Other forms of poetry include free-form poetry, ballads, couplets and epic poems. Limericks are a creative-writing type that is written like a poem but with very strict guidelines. A limerick is a five-line poem that has humorous, witty or even obscene intent. Songs that we listen to every day on the radio, television and on CDs once started out as a creative-writing piece. Songs also follow guidelines, although they are less strict than a limerick. Most songs include verses, chorus and refrains to keep the listener entertained.

Flash Fiction, Micro-Fiction and Fan Fiction
Michael Steiner, Wikimedia Commons

Flash fiction, which also goes by the names micro-fiction and fan fiction, is a type of creative writing that is shorter than short stories run. A fictional story is a whole story that is told between 250 words and 2,000 words. The best examples of flash fiction tell the story in as little words as possible, yet give a complete picture of the story. Ernest Hemingway is among the many authors who have done flash fiction as creative writing throughout history. Other authors that have dabbled in this form of creative writing are H.P. Lovecraft, Franz Kafka and Ray Bradbury.

Free-Form and Journaling
Ball Point, Brandon Irwin, Wikimedia Commons

Creative writing comes from simple thoughts and emotions that the writer is feeling or thinking before she places pen to paper. Free-form writing is a common type of creative writing taught in creative-writing classes. A time is set for 15 minutes to a half an hour, and the writer must write on the paper. There should be no fear or censorship as the thoughts and feelings are transferred to the paper. Many writers use this practice to ease writer's block and also to keep thoughts and ideas fresh. Journaling is another type of creative writing similar to free-form, except that it is about you instead of just random thoughts, although those can be placed in a journal also. Journaling does not have to be linear with a beginning, middle and end, which sometimes helps writers gain clarity and insight about personal experiences.

Novels, Novellas and Short Stories
Per, Wikimedia Commons

Creative writing is most commonly known in fiction form when it is written as a novel, novella or short story. Novels are stories that have a beginning, middle and end. Novels are usually thousands of words long. Many novels are considered creative writing--even some that are nonfiction. Memoirs, autobiographies and genre stories are all considered novels. Novellas are like a novel, but are shorter in length yet longer than short stories. Short stories are usually in a word count of 1,000 to 7,500 words. Many places consider writing under 20,000 words to be in the short-story category of creative writing. Anything less than 1,000 words falls into the flash fiction category.

Scripts and More
Goethe JW v Schribzeug, Wikimedia Commons

Creative writing can also be found in theater, television and even on the radio. Writers who specialize in script writing or screen plays write the way a play or movie should be performed or acted out. Actors use these scripts when auditioning for parts, and then study them to remember their lines. Ads, jingles and radio dialogues are considered types of creative writing. Many writers specialize in certain fields of this type of creative writing. Soap operas, television dramas and even big theatrical plays will all have a creative writer at the heart of the show or play.

About the Author

Linda St.Cyr is a published author and freelance Web writer. Samples of her work can be found at Demand Media, Examiner, Associated Content and Helium. Her short stories will be appearing in anthology collections including Elements of Time, Relationships: Good, Bad and Funny, and a Halloween anthology collection.

Photo Credits
  • Paul Hoecker-Vally, Wikimedia Commons