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How to Write a Performance Review
Employers and employees find value in performance reviews. The feedback can range from guidance to praise, thus allowing for both parties to engage in discussion regarding what’s working and what isn’t. It’s for that reason leaders need to learn how to write a performance review using these guidelines.
Regular Feedback is Critical
While a performance review typically has a bi-annual schedule, that doesn’t mean regular feedback in-between those dates shouldn’t be happening. Therefore, look up how to write a performance review sample, and use that as your springboard for regular feedback. In doing so, your employees are sure they won’t be hearing about their performance during their first review. When looking up how to write a sample performance review, you’ll find that they’re comprised of many fundamental components including communication, teamwork and collaboration skills, problem-solving, accuracy and quality of work, dependability, and attendance, and meeting deadlines.
Utilize the Employee’s Job Description
When you’re unsure where to begin, utilize the employee’s job description as a springboard for their performance evaluation sample. In doing so, you’ll can determine if they satisfied all the requirements and responsibilities of the job description’s listings. You’ll also be able to determine if there were aspects of the job description where they were lacking. Be sure the job description is up-to-date before working on the performance review. That way, you’re sure the position hasn’t undergone any changes since the job description was written.
Use Key Points
When writing the performance review, focus only on key points. For example, if the review is about whether or not the employee is achieving their goals, focus on those key points. Examples of performance goals samples include that the employee must complete a certain level of tasks before being considered for a promotion. Some sample resolutions if the employee is not achieving their goals would include that they would implement a strategy for meeting their goals and then set up another check-in with you to assess their progress.
Request Feedback from Colleagues
When writing the performance review, it’s essential to solicit feedback from colleagues who have worked closely with them. This action is often referred to as obtaining 360-feedback because you’re receiving feedback for the employee from his coworkers, boss, and any other relevant staff. Use of coworker feedback samples includes asking employees what they like or appreciate about their coworker, when they thought their coworker did a great job, or what they would like to see change about a situation.
Keep Track of Performance
When learning how to write performance reviews, keeping track of an employee’s performance is part of achieving that goal. You’ll be working with sample performance comments from other employees, as well as logging their attendance, following policies, how well their meeting deadlines, and if they’re achieving their goals. When working on these tasks, you may need a logbook sample that includes information about their daily job performance. For example, the ledger sheet sample could consist of information about if accidents occurred if it’s a factory or cash overages if you’re in the retail industry. It’s essential to keep policies on-hand, like a cash management policy sample or sample IT policies, for example, to ensure they’re up-to-date and ready to present during the performance review.
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10 Types of Creative Writing (with Examples You’ll Love)
A lot falls under the term ‘creative writing’: poetry, short fiction, plays, novels, personal essays, and songs, to name just a few. By virtue of the creativity that characterizes it, creative writing is an extremely versatile art. So instead of defining what creative writing is , it may be easier to understand what it does by looking at examples that demonstrate the sheer range of styles and genres under its vast umbrella.
To that end, we’ve collected a non-exhaustive list of works across multiple formats that have inspired the writers here at Reedsy. With 20 different works to explore, we hope they will inspire you, too.
People have been writing creatively for almost as long as we have been able to hold pens. Just think of long-form epic poems like The Odyssey or, later, the Cantar de Mio Cid — some of the earliest recorded writings of their kind.
Poetry is also a great place to start if you want to dip your own pen into the inkwell of creative writing. It can be as short or long as you want (you don’t have to write an epic of Homeric proportions), encourages you to build your observation skills, and often speaks from a single point of view .
Here are a few examples:
“Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.
This classic poem by Romantic poet Percy Shelley (also known as Mary Shelley’s husband) is all about legacy. What do we leave behind? How will we be remembered? The great king Ozymandias built himself a massive statue, proclaiming his might, but the irony is that his statue doesn’t survive the ravages of time. By framing this poem as told to him by a “traveller from an antique land,” Shelley effectively turns this into a story. Along with the careful use of juxtaposition to create irony, this poem accomplishes a lot in just a few lines.
“Trying to Raise the Dead” by Dorianne Laux
A direction. An object. My love, it needs a place to rest. Say anything. I’m listening. I’m ready to believe. Even lies, I don’t care.
Poetry is cherished for its ability to evoke strong emotions from the reader using very few words which is exactly what Dorianne Laux does in “ Trying to Raise the Dead .” With vivid imagery that underscores the painful yearning of the narrator, she transports us to a private nighttime scene as the narrator sneaks away from a party to pray to someone they’ve lost. We ache for their loss and how badly they want their lost loved one to acknowledge them in some way. It’s truly a masterclass on how writing can be used to portray emotions.
If you find yourself inspired to try out some poetry — and maybe even get it published — check out these poetry layouts that can elevate your verse!
Poetry’s closely related cousin, song lyrics are another great way to flex your creative writing muscles. You not only have to find the perfect rhyme scheme but also match it to the rhythm of the music. This can be a great challenge for an experienced poet or the musically inclined.
To see how music can add something extra to your poetry, check out these two examples:
“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
You say I took the name in vain I don't even know the name But if I did, well, really, what's it to ya? There's a blaze of light in every word It doesn't matter which you heard The holy or the broken Hallelujah
Metaphors are commonplace in almost every kind of creative writing, but will often take center stage in shorter works like poetry and songs. At the slightest mention, they invite the listener to bring their emotional or cultural experience to the piece, allowing the writer to express more with fewer words while also giving it a deeper meaning. If a whole song is couched in metaphor, you might even be able to find multiple meanings to it, like in Leonard Cohen’s “ Hallelujah .” While Cohen’s Biblical references create a song that, on the surface, seems like it’s about a struggle with religion, the ambiguity of the lyrics has allowed it to be seen as a song about a complicated romantic relationship.
“I Will Follow You into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie
If Heaven and Hell decide that they both are satisfied Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks Then I'll follow you into the dark
You can think of song lyrics as poetry set to music. They manage to do many of the same things their literary counterparts do — including tugging on your heartstrings. Death Cab for Cutie’s incredibly popular indie rock ballad is about the singer’s deep devotion to his lover. While some might find the song a bit too dark and macabre, its melancholy tune and poignant lyrics remind us that love can endure beyond death.
Plays and Screenplays
From the short form of poetry, we move into the world of drama — also known as the play. This form is as old as the poem, stretching back to the works of ancient Greek playwrights like Sophocles, who adapted the myths of their day into dramatic form. The stage play (and the more modern screenplay) gives the words on the page a literal human voice, bringing life to a story and its characters entirely through dialogue.
Interested to see what that looks like? Take a look at these examples:
All My Sons by Arthur Miller
“I know you're no worse than most men but I thought you were better. I never saw you as a man. I saw you as my father.”
Arthur Miller acts as a bridge between the classic and the new, creating 20th century tragedies that take place in living rooms and backyard instead of royal courts, so we had to include his breakout hit on this list. Set in the backyard of an all-American family in the summer of 1946, this tragedy manages to communicate family tensions in an unimaginable scale, building up to an intense climax reminiscent of classical drama.
💡 Read more about Arthur Miller and classical influences in our breakdown of Freytag’s pyramid .
“Everything is Fine” by Michael Schur ( The Good Place )
“Well, then this system sucks. What...one in a million gets to live in paradise and everyone else is tortured for eternity? Come on! I mean, I wasn't freaking Gandhi, but I was okay. I was a medium person. I should get to spend eternity in a medium place! Like Cincinnati. Everyone who wasn't perfect but wasn't terrible should get to spend eternity in Cincinnati.”
A screenplay, especially a TV pilot, is like a mini-play, but with the extra job of convincing an audience that they want to watch a hundred more episodes of the show. Blending moral philosophy with comedy, The Good Place is a fun hang-out show set in the afterlife that asks some big questions about what it means to be good.
It follows Eleanor Shellstrop, an incredibly imperfect woman from Arizona who wakes up in ‘The Good Place’ and realizes that there’s been a cosmic mixup. Determined not to lose her place in paradise, she recruits her “soulmate,” a former ethics professor, to teach her philosophy with the hope that she can learn to be a good person and keep up her charade of being an upstanding citizen. The pilot does a superb job of setting up the stakes, the story, and the characters, while smuggling in deep philosophical ideas.
Our first foray into nonfiction on this list is the personal essay. As its name suggests, these stories are in some way autobiographical — concerned with the author’s life and experiences. But don’t be fooled by the realistic component. These essays can take any shape or form, from comics to diary entries to recipes and anything else you can imagine. Typically zeroing in on a single issue, they allow you to explore your life and prove that the personal can be universal.
Here are a couple of fantastic examples:
“On Selling Your First Novel After 11 Years” by Min Jin Lee (Literary Hub)
There was so much to learn and practice, but I began to see the prose in verse and the verse in prose. Patterns surfaced in poems, stories, and plays. There was music in sentences and paragraphs. I could hear the silences in a sentence. All this schooling was like getting x-ray vision and animal-like hearing.
This deeply honest personal essay by Pachinko author Min Jin Lee is an account of her eleven-year struggle to publish her first novel . Like all good writing, it is intensely focused on personal emotional details. While grounded in the specifics of the author's personal journey, it embodies an experience that is absolutely universal: that of difficulty and adversity met by eventual success.
“A Cyclist on the English Landscape” by Roff Smith (New York Times)
These images, though, aren’t meant to be about me. They’re meant to represent a cyclist on the landscape, anybody — you, perhaps.
Roff Smith’s gorgeous photo essay for the NYT is a testament to the power of creatively combining visuals with text. Here, photographs of Smith atop a bike are far from simply ornamental. They’re integral to the ruminative mood of the essay, as essential as the writing. Though Smith places his work at the crosscurrents of various aesthetic influences (such as the painter Edward Hopper), what stands out the most in this taciturn, thoughtful piece of writing is his use of the second person to address the reader directly. Suddenly, the writer steps out of the body of the essay and makes eye contact with the reader. The reader is now part of the story as a second character, finally entering the picture.
The short story is the happy medium of fiction writing. These bite-sized narratives can be devoured in a single sitting and still leave you reeling. Sometimes viewed as a stepping stone to novel writing, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Short story writing is an art all its own. The limited length means every word counts and there’s no better way to see that than with these two examples:
“An MFA Story” by Paul Dalla Rosa (Electric Literature)
At Starbucks, I remembered a reading Zhen had given, a reading organized by the program’s faculty. I had not wanted to go but did. In the bar, he read, "I wrote this in a Starbucks in Shanghai. On the bank of the Huangpu." It wasn’t an aside or introduction. It was two lines of the poem. I was in a Starbucks and I wasn’t writing any poems. I wasn’t writing anything.
This short story is a delightfully metafictional tale about the struggles of being a writer in New York. From paying the bills to facing criticism in a writing workshop and envying more productive writers, Paul Dalla Rosa’s story is a clever satire of the tribulations involved in the writing profession, and all the contradictions embodied by systemic creativity (as famously laid out in Mark McGurl’s The Program Era ). What’s more, this story is an excellent example of something that often happens in creative writing: a writer casting light on the private thoughts or moments of doubt we don’t admit to or openly talk about.
“Flowering Walrus” by Scott Skinner (Reedsy)
I tell him they’d been there a month at least, and he looks concerned. He has my tongue on a tissue paper and is gripping its sides with his pointer and thumb. My tongue has never spent much time outside of my mouth, and I imagine it as a walrus basking in the rays of the dental light. My walrus is not well.
A winner of Reedsy’s weekly Prompts writing contest, ‘ Flowering Walrus ’ is a story that balances the trivial and the serious well. In the pauses between its excellent, natural dialogue , the story manages to scatter the fear and sadness of bad medical news, as the protagonist hides his worries from his wife and daughter. Rich in subtext, these silences grow and resonate with the readers.
Want to give short story writing a go? Give our free course a go!
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Perhaps the thing that first comes to mind when talking about creative writing, novels are a form of fiction that many people know and love but writers sometimes find intimidating. The good news is that novels are nothing but one word put after another, like any other piece of writing, but expanded and put into a flowing narrative. Piece of cake, right?
To get an idea of the format’s breadth of scope, take a look at these two (very different) satirical novels:
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
I wished I was back in the convenience store where I was valued as a working member of staff and things weren’t as complicated as this. Once we donned our uniforms, we were all equals regardless of gender, age, or nationality — all simply store workers.
Keiko, a thirty-six-year-old convenience store employee, finds comfort and happiness in the strict, uneventful routine of the shop’s daily operations. A funny, satirical, but simultaneously unnerving examination of the social structures we take for granted, Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman is deeply original and lingers with the reader long after they’ve put it down.
Erasure by Percival Everett
The hard, gritty truth of the matter is that I hardly ever think about race. Those times when I did think about it a lot I did so because of my guilt for not thinking about it.
Erasure is a truly accomplished satire of the publishing industry’s tendency to essentialize African American authors and their writing. Everett’s protagonist is a writer whose work doesn’t fit with what publishers expect from him — work that describes the “African American experience” — so he writes a parody novel about life in the ghetto. The publishers go crazy for it and, to the protagonist’s horror, it becomes the next big thing. This sophisticated novel is both ironic and tender, leaving its readers with much food for thought.
Creative nonfiction is pretty broad: it applies to anything that does not claim to be fictional (although the rise of autofiction has definitely blurred the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction). It encompasses everything from personal essays and memoirs to humor writing, and they range in length from blog posts to full-length books. The defining characteristic of this massive genre is that it takes the world or the author’s experience and turns it into a narrative that a reader can follow along with.
Here, we want to focus on novel-length works that dig deep into their respective topics. While very different, these two examples truly show the breadth and depth of possibility of creative nonfiction:
Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward
Men’s bodies litter my family history. The pain of the women they left behind pulls them from the beyond, makes them appear as ghosts. In death, they transcend the circumstances of this place that I love and hate all at once and become supernatural.
Writer Jesmyn Ward recounts the deaths of five men from her rural Mississippi community in as many years. In her award-winning memoir , she delves into the lives of the friends and family she lost and tries to find some sense among the tragedy. Working backwards across five years, she questions why this had to happen over and over again, and slowly unveils the long history of racism and poverty that rules rural Black communities. Moving and emotionally raw, Men We Reaped is an indictment of a cruel system and the story of a woman's grief and rage as she tries to navigate it.
Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker
He believed that wine could reshape someone’s life. That’s why he preferred buying bottles to splurging on sweaters. Sweaters were things. Bottles of wine, said Morgan, “are ways that my humanity will be changed.”
In this work of immersive journalism , Bianca Bosker leaves behind her life as a tech journalist to explore the world of wine. Becoming a “cork dork” takes her everywhere from New York’s most refined restaurants to science labs while she learns what it takes to be a sommelier and a true wine obsessive. This funny and entertaining trip through the past and present of wine-making and tasting is sure to leave you better informed and wishing you, too, could leave your life behind for one devoted to wine.
Illustrated Narratives (Comics, graphic novels)
Once relegated to the “funny pages”, the past forty years of comics history have proven it to be a serious medium. Comics have transformed from the early days of Jack Kirby’s superheroes into a medium where almost every genre is represented. Humorous one-shots in the Sunday papers stand alongside illustrated memoirs, horror, fantasy, and just about anything else you can imagine. This type of visual storytelling lets the writer and artist get creative with perspective, tone, and so much more. For two very different, though equally entertaining, examples, check these out:
Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson
"Life is like topography, Hobbes. There are summits of happiness and success, flat stretches of boring routine and valleys of frustration and failure."
This beloved comic strip follows Calvin, a rambunctious six-year-old boy, and his stuffed tiger/imaginary friend, Hobbes. They get into all kinds of hijinks at school and at home, and muse on the world in the way only a six-year-old and an anthropomorphic tiger can. As laugh-out-loud funny as it is, Calvin & Hobbes ’ popularity persists as much for its whimsy as its use of humor to comment on life, childhood, adulthood, and everything in between.
From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
"I shall tell you where we are. We're in the most extreme and utter region of the human mind. A dim, subconscious underworld. A radiant abyss where men meet themselves. Hell, Netley. We're in Hell."
Comics aren't just the realm of superheroes and one-joke strips, as Alan Moore proves in this serialized graphic novel released between 1989 and 1998. A meticulously researched alternative history of Victorian London’s Ripper killings, this macabre story pulls no punches. Fact and fiction blend into a world where the Royal Family is involved in a dark conspiracy and Freemasons lurk on the sidelines. It’s a surreal mad-cap adventure that’s unsettling in the best way possible.
Video Games and RPGs
Probably the least expected entry on this list, we thought that video games and RPGs also deserved a mention — and some well-earned recognition for the intricate storytelling that goes into creating them.
Essentially gamified adventure stories, without attention to plot, characters, and a narrative arc, these games would lose a lot of their charm, so let’s look at two examples where the creative writing really shines through:
80 Days by inkle studios
"It was a triumph of invention over nature, and will almost certainly disappear into the dust once more in the next fifty years."
Named Time Magazine ’s game of the year in 2014, this narrative adventure is based on Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. The player is cast as the novel’s narrator, Passpartout, and tasked with circumnavigating the globe in service of their employer, Phileas Fogg. Set in an alternate steampunk Victorian era, the game uses its globe-trotting to comment on the colonialist fantasies inherent in the original novel and its time period. On a storytelling level, the choose-your-own-adventure style means no two players’ journeys will be the same. This innovative approach to a classic novel shows the potential of video games as a storytelling medium, truly making the player part of the story.
What Remains of Edith Finch by Giant Sparrow
"If we lived forever, maybe we'd have time to understand things. But as it is, I think the best we can do is try to open our eyes, and appreciate how strange and brief all of this is."
This video game casts the player as 17-year-old Edith Finch. Returning to her family’s home on an island in the Pacific northwest, Edith explores the vast house and tries to figure out why she’s the only one of her family left alive. The story of each family member is revealed as you make your way through the house, slowly unpacking the tragic fate of the Finches. Eerie and immersive, this first-person exploration game uses the medium to tell a series of truly unique tales.
Fun and breezy on the surface, humor is often recognized as one of the trickiest forms of creative writing. After all, while you can see the artistic value in a piece of prose that you don’t necessarily enjoy, if a joke isn’t funny, you could say that it’s objectively failed.
With that said, it’s far from an impossible task, and many have succeeded in bringing smiles to their readers’ faces through their writing. Here are two examples:
‘How You Hope Your Extended Family Will React When You Explain Your Job to Them’ by Mike Lacher (McSweeney’s Internet Tendency)
“Is it true you don’t have desks?” your grandmother will ask. You will nod again and crack open a can of Country Time Lemonade. “My stars,” she will say, “it must be so wonderful to not have a traditional office and instead share a bistro-esque coworking space.”
Satire and parody make up a whole subgenre of creative writing, and websites like McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and The Onion consistently hit the mark with their parodies of magazine publishing and news media. This particular example finds humor in the divide between traditional family expectations and contemporary, ‘trendy’ work cultures. Playing on the inherent silliness of today’s tech-forward middle-class jobs, this witty piece imagines a scenario where the writer’s family fully understands what they do — and are enthralled to hear more. “‘Now is it true,’ your uncle will whisper, ‘that you’ve got a potential investment from one of the founders of I Can Haz Cheezburger?’”
‘Not a Foodie’ by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell (Electric Literature)
I’m not a foodie, I never have been, and I know, in my heart, I never will be.
Highlighting what she sees as an unbearable social obsession with food , in this comic Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell takes a hilarious stand against the importance of food. From the writer’s courageous thesis (“I think there are more exciting things to talk about, and focus on in life, than what’s for dinner”) to the amusing appearance of family members and the narrator’s partner, ‘Not a Foodie’ demonstrates that even a seemingly mundane pet peeve can be approached creatively — and even reveal something profound about life.
We hope this list inspires you with your own writing. If there’s one thing you take away from this post, let it be that there is no limit to what you can write about or how you can write about it.
In the next part of this guide, we'll drill down into the fascinating world of creative nonfiction.
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Writing Tips Oasis
21 Top Examples of Creative Writing
By Rofida Khairalla
Let’s be practical: anyone can be a writer.
Sure, practicing the skill and perfecting the art takes a certain modicum of natural interest in the profession.
But the thing that so many people can often overlook is that being a “writer” isn’t defined by how much you write.
So many times we can get hung up on trying to write a bestselling novel or groundbreaking book that we can forget that there are so many other types of writing out there.
Take a step back for a moment and think about it this way:
Whether you have a blog, a social media page, or spend all day texting that special someone, there’s probably an inner literary genius inside you waiting to burst out on the page.
Maybe you don’t have the time or the patience to write a novel, and that’s okay. There are plenty of different types of writing out there and you can most likely find one category, or several, that allow you to get your thoughts on paper in a way that works for you.
If you’re curious to know more, or are just interested in trying out a new writing genre, we’ve made it easier for you by compiling a list of the top 21 examples of creative writing.
1. Novel Writing
A novel is probably the most popular example of creative writing out there. When you think “creative writing” an image of Stephen King typing madly at his computer is probably the first thing that pops into your head. And that’s okay. Given that novels have been a popular form of entertainment for centuries, it’s not surprising. Typically what distinguishes a novel from other forms of writing is that novels are usually works of fiction that are longer in length and follow a set of characters and plot structure.
2. Short Stories
When it comes to examples of imaginative writing, not unlike its longer counterpart, the novel, short stories also follow a set plot and typically feature one character or a selection of characters. However, the thing to keep in mind about short stories is that they typically resolve in fewer than 50 pages.
3. Flash Fiction
If you’re up for a real challenge, try your hand at some flash fiction . This type is similar to a short story or novel in the sense that it follows some form of a plot. However, flash fiction usually resolves within a few hundred words or less. There are a few kinds of flash fiction that exist: the six word story, the 50 word story, and the hundred word story. Additionally, flash fiction also has another faction known as sudden fiction, which usually tells a full story in about 750 words.
As an example of imaginative writing, the incredible thing about poetry is that there are so many kinds. From narrative to lyrical and even language poetry there’s so many different ways you can express yourself through a poem. You might be especially interested in pursuing poetry if you enjoy word play or experimenting with the musicality behind words.
Although rap is somewhat of a subcategory of poetry, it’s one of the few forms of poetry that can often get over looked in academic classes. However, it’s probably one of the more contemporary types of poetry available while still sticking to many of the classical rules (or tools) of poetry, including rhyme. Also, it’s one of the areas where the best writers are really produced. The reason for that is because rap forces writers to think on their feet in a way that many other genres don’t.
Playwriting is another great writing style to experiment with, especially if you enjoy the idea of seeing your work come to life. Typically, playwriting involves developing a script that both clearly sets the setting, plot, and characters while also minimizing the amount of description used. One of the key elements of a play is that it’s a collaboration of minds, even though they often don’t work together at the same time. Yet the final product, the performance, is always the end result of work done by the playwright as well as the director, actors and even set designers.
7. Scripts (T.V./Movies)
Like traditional plays, movie or T.V. scripts are often the result of collaboration between a team of people including the cast and crew. However, the big difference is that when you’re writing a T.V. or movie script , you’re often working together with the director and the actors as part of the production team.
Not a fiction writer? No problem! You probably have a unique story worth sharing: it’s called your life. Here’s the deal when it comes to memoirs: the biggest thing to remember is that not everything in your life is considered readership-worthy. In fact, most things probably aren’t. But, most likely, there is a unique angle or perspective that you can take when examining your life.
For example, if you have a really distinctive family history and you’re looking into exploring it, that could be a great subject for a memoir. Maybe you have a really interesting job that exposes you to lots of different people and events on a regular basis; you could write a book about your experiences in that field. The key to writing a good memoir is knowing what angle to take on any subject.
9. Non-Fiction Narratives
Of course, a memoir is just a subsection of a category known as the non-fiction narrative. But not all non-fiction narratives are memoirs. Take for example author Tim Hernandez, who wrote the book Mañana means Heaven . Hernandez writes in a style that is inherently descriptive and interesting, despite the fact that the book’s narrative is mostly based on research and interviews.
Another sector of poetry, songs and lyrics are also a great place where you can express your thoughts and emotions not only through words, but also through music. Whether you’re writing a love ballad or a hymn, there are lots of reasons to enjoy working in this genre. While a lot of this genre is relatively unrestrictive in terms of what you can create, it’s a really good idea to get familiar with the basics of song writing. Especially in an era where so much of the music we hear is impacted by technology, the more you know about the art of song writing, the freer you will be to experiment.
Speech writing is another great way to express yourself and also reach a wider audience. The thing about speeches is that they are both a form of oral and written text, so the key to writing a really good speech is to take into consideration your phrasing, word choice and syntax. More importantly, the way a speech is delivered can really make or break its success. Practice strong enunciation, confident body language and invoking a clear voice.
12. Greeting Cards
You might hear a lot about greeting cards when people talk about how to make easy money as a writer. But the truth is, being a greeting card writer is anything but easy. You have to be able to keep the greeting card expressions short, catchy and, in a lot of cases, funny. However, if you’ve got the chops to try your hand at a few greeting cards, practice writing limericks and other forms of short poetry. More importantly, read lots of greeting cards to get an idea of how the best writers go about creating the really fun cards that you enjoy purchasing.
It used to be that blogs were the place where teenagers could go to express their teenage angst. But nowadays, blogs are also a great place to be if you’re a writer. There are an unlimited amount of topics you can successfully blog on that will garner attention from audiences. You can use your blog as a forum to share your writing or even reflect on current events, the stock market—really anything! The possibilities are endless, but the key is finding a subject and sticking to it. For example, if you decide to start a blog dedicated to rock music, stick to rock music. Avoid long tangents about politics or other unrelated subjects.
14. Feature Journalism
Feature Journalism is a great place to start if you want to get your feet wet if you’re interested in reporting. Why? Because there are a lot more creative aspects to feature journalism compared to news journalism. Feature stories typically allow you more flexibility with the kinds of details you put into the article, as well as more room for creativity in your lede.
15. Column Writing
If you like the idea of journalism but feel you could never be a journalist in light of your strong opinions, column writing is another avenue you can take. The thing about columns is that they’re typically based in ideas and opinions rather than fact. Yet, because columnists are considered experts in their respective fields, their opinion tends to hold more sway with readers.
As part of the non-fiction narrative family, the personal essay, or even the academic essay, has plenty of elements that are creative. Whether you’re writing about personal experiences or a science project, there are lots of opportunities you have to be creative and hook your reader. Even the most mundane reports have the opportunity to become interesting if you know how to present your topic. As with a lot of non-fiction writing, the secret to writing a good essay is all about your framing. When you begin writing, think about explaining the issue in the most engaging way possible. Just because your writing should cut to the chase doesn’t mean that it should be bland, boring or bogged down in technical jargon. Use anecdotes, clear and concise language, and even humor to express your findings.
17. Twitter Stories
With only 140 characters, how can you tell a story? Well, when you use Twitter, that’s exactly what you’re doing. However, a new phenomenon that’s currently taking over the site is a type of flash fiction called Twitterature, where writers tell a full story or write a poem in 140 characters or less.
18. Comic Strips
If you have a knack for writing and drawing, then you might be especially interested in working on a comic strip. Comic strips are harder project to tackle because they require a lot of preplanning before you start writing. Before you begin drafting you need to know the plot and have a strong outline for how the graphics will look.
This is typically a writing exercise that writers do with other writers to expand on their creativity. Essentially the way the exercise works is that one writer will start a story and another will finish it. You might be especially familiar with this kind of work if you’ve ever read the work of an author that was completed AFTER their death. However, collaboration is just another way you can bounce ideas off another person. You can also collaborate with other writers for world building , character development and even general brainstorming.
An example of creative writing, a novella is essentially the love child of a short story and a novel. Although the novella does feature a plot, the plot is typically less complicated compared to that of a novel. Usually novellas are about 50 pages.
21. Genre Writing
Another type of writing that fiction writers can do is genre writing. If you think of popular writers like Stephen King, Nora Roberts and James Patterson, then you’re probably familiar with genre writing. Essentially, genre writing is when a writer explores different stories in one particular genre, like romance, fantasy, or mystery. There’s a huge market out there for genre fiction, which makes it definitely worth pursuing if you a have preference for a particular kind of literature.
The important thing to keep in mind as a writer is that experimentation is never a bad idea. If you’re genuinely curious about one or more items on this list, give it a go! Some of the best literary works were created by accident.
What did you think of our list of 21 creative writing examples? Do you have experience in any of these types of creative writing? Do you know of any other creative writing examples? Please tell us more in the comments box below!
21 Top Examples of Creative Writing is an article from Writing Tips Oasis . Copyright © 2014-2017 Writing Tips Oasis All Rights Reserved
As a graduate from the University of Arizona in English and Creative Writing, Rofida Khairalla’s love for classical literature and post-modern fiction extends beyond the realm of books. She has provided her services independently as a freelance writer, and wrote on the news desk for the student-run newspaper, The Daily Wildcat. As an aspiring children’s book author, she’s refined her craft amongst the grand saguaros of the Southwest, and enjoys playing with her German Shepherd on the slopes of Mount Lemmon.
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FORMATTING + DESIGN
Creative Writing Examples (20 Types for You to Try)
Posted on Mar 6, 2023
by Gloria Russell
“Creative writing” is a simple term which encompasses a huge amount of art. Much of the creative writing you see on a regular basis might not even seem like creative writing at first! You may have even done some creative writing yourself without realizing it.
We’re here today to talk about some different types of creative writing, show you some examples, and give you some pointers if you’re looking to start creative writing yourself.
Today’s guide to creative writing examples covers:
What does creative writing include.
- Short Story
- Flash Fiction
- Personal Essays
How do I start creative writing?
Let’s take a look at some different types of creative writing, as well as some examples:
A novel is a fictional story which is about the length of a book, and it follows a narrative. Books are generally around 90,000 words, but they can be hundreds of thousands of words long depending on the author and publisher. Novels come in many different genres and subgenres, including mystery, fantasy, science fiction, contemporary, literary fiction, horror, and romance.
- The Secret History by Donna Tartt
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
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A short story is a complete fictional narrative, but it is, as the name implies, much shorter than a novel. Short stories range between 1,000 and 10,000 words, and like novels, they appear in a variety of genres.
- “Passing Ghosts” by Hannah Lee Kidder (from her collection Starlight)
- “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gillman
- “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe
Flash fiction is a subtype of short fiction and usually refers to stories which are 1,000 words or less. The focus of flash fiction is usually much smaller than in short fiction, novellas, or novels, and the author will describe a very specific moment, character, or scene instead of following a character through a long quest or journey.
- “Dear Emma” by Hannah Lee Kidder (from her collection Little Birds)
- “Curriculum” by Sejal Shah
- “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury
Microfiction is a subtype of flash fiction. The term ‘microfiction’ is often used interchangeably with ‘flash fiction,’ and there are ongoing debates about the definitive length of microfiction. Depending on who you ask, it ranges between a handful of words up to 1,000 words.
- “Ignorance” by Hannah Lee Kidder (from her collection Little Birds)
- “Chapter V” by Ernest Hemingway
- “Give it Up!” by Franz Kafka
A novella is essentially a short novel or a very long short story. They range between 10,000 and 40,000 words, and they follow a fictional narrative much in the same way that novels or short stories do. The plot of a novella is compact and short because of its word count.
- Home by Toni Morrison
- The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Prose poetry is poetry that isn’t broken up into the sort of lines you see in verse poetry, but which contains many of the same elements as poetry, like symbolism, metaphor, and imagery.
- “Spring Day” by Amy Lowell
- “Information” by David Ignatow
- “Year of the Dig” by Danielle Mitchell
A poem is a piece of writing which relies heavily on metaphor and symbolism to convey meaning. Poetry often takes on a songlike quality. The term ‘poetry’ encompasses an enormous variety of structures and forms. There’s no word limit for poetry—poems can be thousands of words long, or they can take up only one line or two lines.
- “The Lady of Shalott” by Alfred Tennyson
- “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allen Poe
- “Because I could not stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson
Sonnets are a form of Italian poetry . They’re generally fourteen lines long, with those lines being broken up into four subgroups. The first three groups of lines appear in sets of four, or “quatrains,” and the sonnet ends with a group of two lines.
- “There is another sky” by Emily Dickinson
- “Silence” by Edgar Allen Poe
- “Sonnet 18” by William Shakespeare
A haiku is a poem with three lines. The first line contains five syllables, the second line contains seven syllables, and the final line contains five syllables. These are often used to focus on a specific image, emotion, or scene.
- “The Old Pond” by Matsuo Bashō
- “Haiku [for you]” by Sonia Sanchez
- “The Taste of Rain” by Jack Kerouac
Limericks are made up of three long and two short lines which follow the rhyming sequence AABBA. These are often rowdy or lewd, and almost always intended to be funny.
- “There’s a Ponderous Pundit MacHugh” by James Joyce
- “A Wonderful Bird is the Pelican” by Dixon Lanier Merritt
- “There Was a Young Lady of Station” by Lewis Carroll
A play is a script intended to be performed by actors on a stage in front of a live audience. Plays come in as many genres as films or novels do—comedies, romances, tragedies, and murder mysteries have all been written for the stage. Since plays are written in script form instead of in prose form, the focus is on stage direction and character dialogue—there’s not really a narrator in the way there is for a novel.
- The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
- Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare
- A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
Movie & T.V. Scripts
Scripts for movies and television follow a format similar to scripts for the stage, but they take the different medium into account. Scripts tend to account for about one minute of screen time per page, and they’ll often include specific directions for the crew to follow while filming.
- Shrek dir. Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson
- Pride & Prejudice dir. Joe Wright
- Steel Magnolias dir. Herbert Ross
Personal essays are autobiographical accounts of events, but they’re told casually. Instead of feeling like an autobiography or an encyclopedia entry, these feel more like the author’s sitting down with you at coffee and telling you about something which happened to them.
- “Barrel Fever” by David Sedaris
- “Julius: The Story of a Premature Birth” by Jon Michaud
- “The Sordid Necessity of Living for Others” by Justin Torres
A song is a type of verse poetry which is intended to be performed musically. There are tons of different songwriting methods and patterns and there aren’t any hard rules, but generally, they include some sort of verse, some sort of repeating chorus, and a bridge towards the end of the song, usually before the last iteration of the chorus.
- “Love Story” by Taylor Swift
- “I’m Not Okay” by My Chemical Romance
- “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga
Blogs aren’t always creative writing endeavors, but they can be! These are basically online personal essays, usually updated regularly for an audience. Authors will often use creative storytelling or creative writing skills to tell engaging, interesting stories, or to convey information in an interesting manner.
- The Creative Pen by Joanna Penn
- The Artist’s Road by Patrick Ross
- terribleminds by Chuck Wendig
Diaries are a personal recording of one’s thoughts and feelings. These can be very therapeutic, as they help the writer get their private concerns and anxieties out on paper, and it can be a great way to practice writing creatively without worrying if someone else will see it. These are written without the intent to show anyone, but lots of diaries have made it to print.
- The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
- Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela
- A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe
A memoir describes a specific period of time in one’s life. Unlike an autobiography, a memoir might twist information to make a more poignant metaphorical or symbolic point. The focus is more on artistic expression than the strict cataloguing of facts.
- The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green
- Just Kids by Patti Smith
- In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
Letters are a form of communication written from one person to another. While these are often simple and without embellishment, it’s very common for people to include creative elements in their letter writing. Love letters, for example, are often painstakingly written with imagery and metaphor to convey the depths of the sender’s affection.
- Letters from an American Farmer and Sketches of Eighteenth-Century America by J. Hector St. John De Crevecoeur
- The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor by Flannery O’Connor
- Essays and Letters: Friedrich Holderlin by Friedrich Holderlin
Columns are written for newspapers. While journalism is focused on conveying factual information to the reader (and therefore would be considered non-fiction), columns often leave more room for the writer’s personal opinions, and for the use of more creative language. Think of a column like a blog, but printed instead of online.
- “A Short Story about the Vietnam War Memorial” by Molly Ivins for Dallas Times Herald
- “Gamalielese” by H.L. Mencken for Baltimore Sun
- “Pithy into the Wind” by Dave Barry for The Miami Herald
Comics are strips of illustration accompanied by dialogue and some narrative text. Usually, comics are written out like scripts before they’re put down in the comic strip format. A comic might be a graphic novel, which is the length of a book, or it might be a single strip in a newspaper.
- The Essential Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
- Hulk: the End by Peter David
- Maximum Ride: 1 by NaRae Lee
If you’re looking to give creative writing a try, here are a few tips to help you get started and stay motivated while you’re learning!
Step 1 – Pick a type of creative writing
Read a few of the types of creative writing on this list and find one that speaks to you or that you’d like to try. Read some more to get a feel for the form and how it works. Knowing what kind of creative writing you’d like to make will make it much easier for you to get your thoughts on paper.
And you don’t have to stick to one type forever! Practicing in different forms will actually strengthen your writing skills overall, so don’t be afraid to branch out.
Step 2 – Set a goal
As with any new skill, creating a goal will help you practice and improve. Your goal might be project-oriented (complete a short story) or routine-oriented (write every day for five days), but whatever it is, it should be quantifiable and actionable. “Write a story” is a little vague. “Write a short story by the end of the month” is specific.
Step 3 – Make a writing routine and stick to it
To help you achieve your goal, carve out a little space in your day for writing . This doesn’t have to be a massive time commitment, and it doesn’t need to be anything fancy. If you can, write at the same time every day and create some kind of ritual around it (making tea beforehand, changing into comfy clothes, whatever works). This will help train your brain to know when it’s time to write, and it’ll get those creative gears turning automatically.
Step 4 – Practice, practice, practice
The most important thing a new writer can do is practice. Don’t get caught up worrying about publishing or perfectionism—you just learned this skill, and now you need to hone it. Practice as often as you can, and focus more on working consistently than putting out a ton of work. The more you practice, the better you’ll get overall!
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27 Creative Writing Examples To Spark Your Imagination
With all the types of creative writing to choose from, it’s hard enough to focus on just one or two of your favorites.
When it comes to writing your own examples, don’t be hard on yourself if you hit a wall.
We’ve all done it.
Sometimes, all you need is a generous supply of well-crafted and inspirational creative writing examples.
Good thing you’re here!
For starters, let’s get clear on what creative writing is.
What Is Creative Writing?
How to start creative writing , 1. novels and novellas, 2. short stories and flash fiction, 3. twitter stories (140 char), 4. poetry or songs/lyrics, 5. scripts for plays, tv shows, and movies, 6. memoirs / autobiographical narratives, 7. speeches, 9. journalism / newspaper articles, 11. last wills and obituaries, 12. dating profiles and wanted ads, 13. greeting cards.
Knowing how to be a creative writer is impossible if you don’t know the purpose of creative writing and all the types of writing included.
As you’ll see from the categories listed further on, the words “creative writing” contain multitudes:
- Novels, novellas, short stories, flash fiction, microfiction, and even nanofiction;
- Poetry (traditional and free verse);
- Screenplays (for theatrical stage performances, TV shows, and movies)
- Blog posts and feature articles in newspapers and magazines
- Memoirs and Testimonials
- Speeches and Essays
- And more—including dating profiles, obituaries, and letters to the editor.
Read on to find some helpful examples of many of these types. Make a note of the ones that interest you most.
Once you have some idea of what you want to write, how do you get started?
Allow us to suggest some ideas that have worked for many of our readers and us:
- Keep a daily journal to record and play with your ideas as they come;
- Set aside a specific chunk of time every day (even 5 minutes) just for writing;
- Use a timer to help you stick to your daily writing habit ;
- You can also set word count goals, if you find that more motivating than time limits;
- Read as much as you can of the kind of content you want to write;
- Publish your work (on a blog), and get feedback from others.
Now that you’ve got some ideas on how to begin let’s move on to our list of examples.
27 Creative Writing Examples
Read through the following examples to get ideas for your own writing. Make a note of anything that stands out for you.
Inspiring novel-writing examples can come from the first paragraph of a well-loved novel (or novella), from the description on the back cover, or from anywhere in the story.
#1: From Circe by Madeline Miller
““Little by little I began to listen better: to the sap moving in the plants, to the blood in my veins. I learned to understand my own intention, to prune and to add, to feel where the power gathered and speak the right words to draw it to its height. That was the moment I lived for, when it all came clear at last and the spell could sing with its pure note, for me and me alone.”
#2: From The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin:
“‘I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination…. ”
The shorter your story, the more vital it is for each word to earn its place. Each sentence or phrase should be be necessary to your story’s message and impact.
#3: From “A Consumer’s Guide to Shopping with PTSD” by Katherine Robb
“‘“Do you know what she said to me at the condo meeting?” I say to the salesman. She said, “Listen, the political climate is so terrible right now I think we all have PTSD. You’re just the only one making such a big deal about it.”
“The salesman nods his jowly face and says, “That Brenda sounds like a real b***h.”’
#4: From Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (collection of short stories)
“Something happened when the house was dark. They were able to talk to each other again.” (From ‘A Temporary Matter’)
Use the hashtag #VSS to find a generous sampling of short Twitter stories in 140 or fewer characters. Here are a few examples to get you started:
#5: From Chris Stocks on January 3rd, 2022 :
“With the invention of efficient 3D-printable #solar panels & cheap storage batteries, the world was finally able to enjoy the benefits of limitless cheap green energy. Except in the UK. We’re still awaiting the invention of a device to harness the power of light drizzle.” #vss365 (Keyword: solar)
#6: From TinyTalesbyRedsaid1 on January 2nd, 2022 :
“A solar lamp would safely light our shack. But Mom says it’ll lure thieves. I squint at my homework by candlelight, longing for electricity.” #vss #vss365 #solar
If you’re looking for poetry or song-writing inspiration, you’ll find plenty of free examples online—including the two listed here:
#7: From “I’m Nobody! Who are you?” by Emily Dickinson
“I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!
“How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!
#8: From “Enemy” by Imagine Dragons
“I wake up to the sounds
Of the silence that allows
For my mind to run around
With my ear up to the ground
I’m searching to behold
The stories that are told
When my back is to the world
That was smiling when I turned
Tell you you’re the greatest
But once you turn they hate us….”
If you enjoy writing dialogue and setting a scene, check out the following excerpts from two very different screenplays. Then jot down some notes for a screenplay (or scene) of your own.
#9: From Mean Girls by Tina Fey (Based on the book, Queen Bees and Wannabes” by Rosalind Wiseman
“Karen: ‘So, if you’re from Africa, why are you white?’
“Gretchen: ‘Oh my god, Karen! You can’t just ask people why they’re white!’
“Regina: ‘Cady, could you give us some privacy for, like, one second?’
Cady makes eye contact with Janis and Damien as the Plastics confer.
“Regina (breaking huddle): ‘Okay, let me just say that we don’t do this a lot, so you should know that this is, like, a huge deal.’
“Gretchen: ‘We want to invite you to have lunch with us every day for the rest of the week.’
“Cady: ‘Oh, okay…’
“Gretchen: Great. So, we’ll see you tomorrow.’
“Karen: ‘On Tuesdays, we wear pink.’”
#10: From The Matrix by Larry and Andy Wachowski
“NEO: ‘That was you on my computer?’
“NEO: ‘How did you do that?’
“TRINITY: ‘Right now, all I can tell you, is that you are in danger. I brought you here to warn you.’
“NEO: ‘Of what?’
“TRINITY: ‘They’re watching you, Neo.’
“NEO: ‘Who is?’
“TRINITY: ‘Please. Just listen. I know why you’re here, Neo. I know what you’ve been doing. I know why you hardly sleep, why you live alone and why, night after night, you sit at your computer. You’re looking for him.’
“Her body is against his; her lips very close to his ear.
“TRINITY: ‘I know because I was once looking for the same thing, but when he found me he told me I wasn’t really looking for him. I was looking for an answer.’
“There is a hypnotic quality to her voice and Neo feels the words, like a drug, seeping into him.
“TRINITY: ‘It’s the question that drives us, the question that brought you here. You know the question just as I did.’
“NEO: ‘What is the Matrix?’
Sharing stories from your life can be both cathartic for you and inspiring or instructive (or at least entertaining) for your readers.
#11: From The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
“It was in fact the ordinary nature of everything preceding the event that prevented me from truly believing it had happened, absorbing it, incorporating it, getting past it. I recognize now that there was nothing unusual in this: confronted with sudden disaster, we all focus on how unremarkable the circumstances were in which the unthinkable occurred: the clear blue sky from which the plane fell, the routine errand that ended on the shoulder with the car in flames, the swings where the children were playing as usual when the rattlesnake struck from the ivy. ‘He was on his way home from work—happy, successful, healthy—and then, gone,’ I read in the account of the psychiatric nurse whose husband was killed in a highway accident… ”
#12: From Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt:
“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”
#13: From Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s by Jennifer Worth:
“Nonnatus House was situated in the heart of the London Docklands… The area was densely-populated and most families had lived there for generations, often not moving more than a street or two away from their birthplace. Family life was lived at close-quarters and children were brought up by a widely-extended family of aunts, grandparents, cousins, and older siblings.
The purpose of most speeches is to inform, inspire, or persuade. Think of the last time you gave a speech of your own. How did you hook your listeners?
#14: From “Is Technology Making Us Smarter or Dumber?” by Rob Clowes (Persuasive)
“It is possible to imagine that human nature, the human intellect, emotions and feelings are completely independent of our technologies; that we are essentially ahistorical beings with one constant human nature that has remained the same throughout history or even pre-history? Sometimes evolutionary psychologists—those who believe human nature was fixed on the Pleistocene Savannah—talk this way. I think this is demonstrably wrong…. “
#15: From “Make Good Art” by Neil Gaiman (Keynote Address for the University of Fine Arts, 2012):
“…First of all: When you start out on a career in the arts you have no idea what you are doing.”
“This is great. People who know what they are doing know the rules, and know what is possible and impossible. You do not. And you should not. The rules on what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them. And you can.”
“If you don’t know it’s impossible it’s easier to do. And because nobody’s done it before, they haven’t made up rules to stop anyone doing that again, yet.”
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#16: From “The Danger of a Single Story” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (TEDGlobal)
“…I come from a conventional, middle-class Nigerian family. My father was a professor. My mother was an administrator. And so we had, as was the norm, live-in domestic help, who would often come from nearby rural villages. So, the year I turned eight, we got a new house boy. His name was Fide. The only thing my mother told us about him was that his family was very poor. My mother sent yams and rice, and our old clothes, to his family. And when I didn’t finish my dinner, my mother would say, “Finish your food! Don’t you know? People like Fide’s family have nothing.” So I felt enormous pity for Fide’s family.
“Then one Saturday, we went to his village to visit, and his mother showed us a beautifully patterned basket made of dyed raffia that his brother had made. I was startled. It had not occurred to me that anybody in his family could actually make something. All I had heard about them was how poor they were, so that it had become impossible for me to see them as anything else but poor. Their poverty was my single story of them.”
Essays are about arguing a particular point of view and presenting credible support for it. Think about an issue that excites or angers you. What could you write to make your case for a specific argument?
#17: From “On Rules of Writing,” by Ursula K. Le Guin:
“Thanks to ‘show don’t tell,’ I find writers in my workshops who think exposition is wicked. They’re afraid to describe the world they’ve invented. (I make them read the first chapter of The Return of the Native , a description of a landscape, in which absolutely nothing happens until in the last paragraph a man is seen, from far away, walking along a road. If that won’t cure them nothing will.)”
#18: From “Fairy Tale is Form, Form is Fairy Tale ” by Kate Bernheimer (from The Writer’s Notebook) :
“‘The pleasure of fairy tales,’ writes Swiss scholar Max Lüthi, ‘resides in their form.’ I find myself more and more devoted to the pleasure derived from form generally, and from the form of fairy tales specifically, and so I am eager to share what fairy-tale techniques have done for my writing and what they can do for yours. Fairy tales offer a path to rapture—the rapture of form—where the reader or writer finds a blissful and terrible home…. “
Picture yourself as a seasoned journalist brimming with ideas for your next piece. Or think of an article you’ve read that left you thinking, “Wow, they really went all out!” The following examples can inspire you to create front-page-worthy content of your own.
#19: From “The Deadliest Jobs in America” by Christopher Cannon, Alex McIntyre and Adam Pearce (Bloomberg: May 13, 2015):
“The U.S. Department of Labor tracks how many people die at work, and why. The latest numbers were released in April and cover the last seven years through 2013. Some of the results may surprise you…. “
#20: From “The Hunted” by Jeffrey Goldberg ( The Atlantic: March 29, 2010)
“… poachers continued to infiltrate the park, and to the Owenses they seemed more dangerous than ever. Word reached them that one band of commercial poachers had targeted them for assassination, blaming them for ruining their business. These threats—and the shooting of an elephant near their camp—provoked Mark to intensify his antipoaching activities. For some time, he had made regular night flights over the park, in search of meat-drying racks and the campfires of poachers; he would fly low, intentionally backfiring the plane and frightening away the hunters. Now he decided to escalate his efforts….. “
It doesn’t have to cost a thing to start a blog if you enjoy sharing your stories, ideas, and unique perspective with an online audience. What inspiration can you draw from the following examples?
#21: “How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise, and Get Paid to Change the World” by Jon Morrow of Smart Blogger (Problogger.com):
“After all, that’s the dream, right?
“Forget the mansions and limousines and other trappings of Hollywood-style wealth. Sure, it would be nice, but for the most part, we bloggers are simpler souls with much kinder dreams.
“We want to quit our jobs, spend more time with our families, and finally have time to write. We want the freedom to work when we want, where we want. We want our writing to help people, to inspire them, to change them from the inside out.
“It’s a modest dream, a dream that deserves to come true, and yet a part of you might be wondering…
“Will it?…. “
#22: From “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” (blog post) by Mark Manson :
Headline: “Most of us struggle throughout our lives by giving too many f*cks in situations where f*cks do not deserve to be given.”
“In my life, I have given a f*ck about many people and many things. I have also not given a f*ck about many people and many things. And those f*cks I have not given have made all the difference…. “
Whether you’re writing a tribute for a deceased celebrity or loved one, or you’re writing your own last will and testament, the following examples can help get you started.
#23: From an obituary for the actress Betty White (1922-2021) on Legacy.com:
“Betty White was a beloved American actress who starred in “The Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
“Died: Friday, December 31, 2021
“Details of death: Died at her home in Los Angeles at the age of 99.
“A television fixture once known as the First Lady of Game Shows, White was blessed with a career that just wouldn’t quit — indeed, her fame only seemed to grow as she entered her 80s and 90s. By the time of her death, she was considered a national treasure, one of the best-loved and most trusted celebrities in Hollywood…. “
#24: From a last will and testament using a template provided by LegalZoom.com :
“I, Petra Schade, a resident of Minnesota in Sherburne County — being of sound mind and memory — do hereby make, publish, and declare this to be my last will and testament…
“At the time of executing this will, I am married to Kristopher Schade. The names of my (and Kristopher’s) four children are listed below…
“I hereby express my intent not to be buried in a cemetery. I ask that my remains be cremated and then scattered at the base of a tree.
“None will have any obligation to visit my remains or leave any kind of marker. I ask that my husband honor this request more than any supposed obligation to honor my corpse with a funeral or with any kind of religious ceremony.
“I ask, too, that my children honor me by taking advantage of opportunities to grow and nurture trees in their area and (if they like) beyond, without spending more than their household budgets can support…. “
Dating profiles and wanted ads are another fun way to flex your creative writing muscles. Imagine you or a friend is getting set up on a dating app. Or pretend you’re looking for a job, a roommate, or something else that could (potentially) make your life better.
#25: Example of dating profile:
Headline: “Female 49-year-old writer/coder looking for good company”
“Just moved to the Twin Cities metro area, and with my job keeping me busy most of the time, I haven’t gotten out much and would like to meet a friend (and possibly more) who knows their way around and is great to talk to. I don’t have pets (though I like animals) — or allergies. And with my work schedule, I need to be home by 10 pm at the latest. That said, I’d like to get better acquainted with the area — with someone who can make the time spent exploring it even more rewarding.”
#26: Example of a wanted ad for a housekeeper:
“Divorced mother of four (living with three of them half the time) is looking for a housekeeper who can tidy up my apartment (including the two bathrooms) once a week. Pay is $20 an hour, not including tips, for three hours a week on Friday mornings from 9 am to 12 pm. Please call or text me at ###-###-#### and let me know when we could meet to discuss the job.”
These come in so many different varieties, we won’t attempt to list them here, but we will provide one upbeat example. Use it as inspiration for a birthday message for someone you know—or to write yourself the kind of message you’d love to receive.
#27: Happy 50th Birthday card:
“Happy Birthday, and congratulations on turning 50! I remember you telling me your 40s were better than your 30s, which were better than your 20s. Here’s to the best decade yet! I have no doubt you’ll make it memorable and cross some things off your bucket list before your 51st.
“You inspire and challenge me to keep learning, to work on my relationships, and to try new things. There’s no one I’d rather call my best friend on earth.”
Now that you’ve looked through all 27 creative writing examples, which ones most closely resemble the kind of writing you enjoy?
By that, we mean, do you enjoy both reading and creating it? Or do you save some types of creative writing just for reading—and different types for your own writing? You’re allowed to mix and match. Some types of creative writing provide inspiration for others.
What kind of writing will you make time for today?
Western Technical College
Student life, you are here, creative writing samples.
- A Substance-Free High , by Grace Asher a poem (Creative Writing, Tracy Helixon)
- Savage Beauty , by Caleb Brown a poem (Creative Writing, Tracy Helixon)
- Everything , by Jamie Holweger a poem (Creative Writing, Tracy Helixon)
- Journey Through Meter , by Naomi Miicke a poem (Creative Writing, Tracy Helixon)
- Whispering Pines/Fear , by Lori Pipkin a poem (Creative Writing, Tracy Helixon)
- I Thought I'd Write A Poem Today, by Justin Sagler a poem (Creative Writing, Tracy Helixon)
- Fast Food Generation , by John Schmidt a poem (Creative Writing, Tracy Helixon)
- Loneliness , by Kelsey Shutter a poem (Creative Writing, Tracy Helixon)
- Floating Away , by Jamie Holweger a short story (Creative Writing, Tracy Helixon)
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When was the last time you read a good book? The type of book that transports you into another world and immerses you in a story that isn't your own, but you still feel like you're a part of it.
Think about your favorite book or poem. What do you like about it?
Every novel you've ever read or studied was an example of creative writing, which is what this article is all about! We'll look at the different types of creative writing, examples of each, and some prompts and topics that can inspire your creative writing.
By the end of this article, you'll be a pro in all things creative writing!
Types of Creative Writing
Let's start at the very beginning: what are the different types of creative writing?
In literature, there are four key types of creative writing:
Fiction (novels and short stories)
Scriptwriting (plays, films, and TV shows)
Each of these creative writing forms has its own styles and conventions that make them unique and interesting.
Most pieces of fiction have a plot, characters, sense of setting, themes, and a decided narrator or narrative perspective. An example of a work of fiction is F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.
Creative non-fiction can vary widely but generally has a sense of setting, some characters (even if these characters are real rather than fictional), figurative and descriptive language, and some sort of plot or purpose. A common example of creative non-fiction is travel writing, such as Bill Bryson's The Road to Little Dribbling.
Poetry has numerous conventions, including lines and stanzas, rhyme, rhythm, and meter; however, not all types of poetry will have all of these. For instance, prose poetry might not rhyme or have a traditional stanza format. Poetry tends to make use of figurative language and other literary devices quite extensively. A poetry example is Langston Hughes' Harlem .
Scriptwriting can vary a lot as well, depending on what type of production the script is intended for (stage, TV, film, etc.). Still, it generally requires a plot, sense of setting, tone, characters, as well as corresponding language styles, stage directions, and signposting. Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is an example of scriptwriting.
Other Creative Writing Types
Literary works are not the only writing forms that can be classed as creative. Some others that often use creative writing include:
Letters and emails
Imagine how boring these forms of writing would be if they didn't have a creative element to them! It is possible to write for a specific purpose (e.g., a political speech) and still be engaging and creative with your language choices.
Can you think of a time when you wrote something for a particular reason (such as an essay or presentation for a class) but tried to make it entertaining as well as factual and informative?
Creative Writing Examples
We'll now look at some examples of creative writing. For simplicity's sake, we'll focus on the four main types of creative writing.
The Great Gatsby is a fictional novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925. Here's an excerpt:
The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier by the minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word.' 1
-F.S. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925
Fitzgerald uses the first-person narrator of Nick to tell the story of the novel and as such, we see the events and relationships in the novel through Nick's eyes.
The novel follows a plot, explores different themes (such as The American Dream, love, power, and class disparity), and has a strong sense of setting, which we see in the excerpt above.
Fitzgerald also uses a lot of figurative language, such as anthropomorphism. Examples include describing the earth as ' lurching ' and laughter as ' spilling ' and ' tipping '. There are also many descriptive adjectives ('brighter', 'yellow cocktail music' 'cheerful').
Anthropomorphism is when human characteristics, traits, or behaviors are given to non-human entities. It is a type of figurative language.
Fitzgerald's language is very emotive, and his creative use of descriptions and comparisons makes the writing all the more engaging.
Travel writing is a common form of creative non-fiction, and we'll use Bill Bryson's The Road to Little Dribbling as an example. This book is just one of Bryson's many travel guides and was written in 2015.
The village center is much changed too. Nearly all that I remember fondly is gone. The Tudor Rose, the world's most endearingly terrible restaurant, where all the food was black or dark brown, except the peas, which were a pale grey, has long since departed and is missed by me, if no one else.' 2
-B. Bryson, The Road to Little Dribbling, 2015
This travel book is non-fictional, as it is Bryson's own account of his travels across England, but it is still creatively written rather than fact being his only focus. Bryson himself is the 'main character' in the book, and the other characters are the people he interacted with during his travels.
The book's plot is his adventure across England, and the purpose is to entertain and inform, as Bryson provides factual information and creative storytelling.
Throughout the book, he creates a sense of setting by describing the places he visited in great detail. In the excerpt above, we see an example of this detail in how he describes the Tudor Rose as ' the world's most endearingly terrible restaurant' . This line includes hyperbole and juxtaposition , making the description humorous and effective.
Hyperbole refers to extreme exaggeration used to emphasize something. For example, the Tudor Rose probably wasn't literally the most terrible restaurant 'in the world', but using this phrase emphasizes how bad Bryson thought it was.
Juxtaposition is when two things with contrasting meanings are placed together for effect. In the above example, we see 'endearingly terrible'. These words mean very different things, but when put together, they create an altogether new image.
There are many great and well-known American poets whose poetry illustrates the conventions of creative writing. Here's an example from Langston Hughes' poem Harlem , written in 1951:
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode? 3
-L. Hughes, Harlem, 1951
All poetry is a form of creative writing. In this example, we see some common conventions of poetry, such as the poem's structure, and its rhyme scheme (although not all kinds of poetry follow a rhyme scheme).
Hughes uses figurative language consistently throughout the poem, and we can see five examples of similes, which is quite a lot for such a short poem. In some ways, the whole poem is an example of figurative language as it is all describing a 'dream deferred'. This creative use of language also evokes many striking images in the reader's mind.
'Dream deferred' refers to the collective hopes and aspirations e of black people in America during the 40s and up to the time the poem was published. The similes Hughes uses in the poem (e.g., 'like a raisin in the sun', 'like a heavy load') illustrate the uncertainty and tension felt by black people at the time.
There are also multiple examples of enjambment , which creates an almost melodic effect when you read the poem.
Enjambment is when a line of a poem runs over onto the next line. If a line starts with a new sentence and ends with a period, it is not an example of enjambment.
Scriptwriting can take several forms, such as film scripts or scripts for television, but for this example, we'll look at scriptwriting for the stage. This is an excerpt from Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, written in 1959:
LINDA (hearing Willy outside the bedroom, calls with some trepidation): Willy!
WILLY: It's all right. I came back.
LINDA: Why? What happened? (Slight pause.) Did something happen, Willy?
WILLY: No, nothing happened.
LINDA: You didn't smash the car, did you?
WILLY (with casual irritation): I said nothing happened. Didn't you hear me? 4
-A. Miller, Death of a Salesman, 1959
The script for Death of a Salesman is an example of fiction as it is not based on a real story or person. We immediately get a glimpse into the characters' lives , and there is no narrator like there would be in a novel or short story. Instead, we see some stage directions in the excerpt, which give us more information about the manner and tone of voice used by the characters.
The stage directions also give us a sense of setting as we are told that Linda hears Willy 'outside the bedroom'. This suggests that this portion of the play will happen in their bedroom.
This is only the play's opening, but Miller has already created a sense of plot by building tension in Willy and Linda's interaction.
Creative Writing Prompts
Now that you've learned a bit more about creative writing and have seen examples of each type of creative writing, here are some prompts to consider for your writing.
A character is exploring an abandoned building and walks into an empty room, only to discover signs that there has recently been a person living in the room. What do they find? What are their thoughts? Do they encounter the other person?
Imagine a love story. Easy right? Now try to write one without any of the usual love story clichés or tropes. Your story does not have to be about romantic love.
Write a journal entry of a person who has been stranded on a boat without power that has drifted out to see. How long has this person been on the boat? What sorts of experiences have they had? What are their feelings?
Creative Writing Topics
If you want to practice your creative writing but don't feel like following a prompt, you might want to try writing about a whole topic rather than a specific idea. Here are some more general topics to get you started on your creative writing journey:
A deserted beach
A childhood memory
100 years in the future
The animal kingdom
The mysteries of space
Cooking something new
A Halloween party
Creative Writing - Key Takeaways
- There are four key types of creative writing: fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and scriptwriting.
- Each type of creative writing has its own conventions and features.
- Most creative writing revolves around some sort of characters, setting, plot, or theme.
- Figurative language and descriptive language are commonly used in creative writing.
- Examples of writing such as emails, letters, speeches, and advertisements are also creative writing.
- F.S. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby , 1925
- B. Bryson, The Road to Little Dribbling , 2015
- L. Hughes, Harlem , The Collected Works of Langston Hughes, 2002
- A. Miller, Death of a Salesman , 1959
Frequently Asked Questions about Creative Writing
--> how do you define creative writing.
Creative writing is any kind of writing that tells a story in an engaging and creative way. Creative writing comes in several forms and tends to use a lot of descriptive and figurative language for emphasis.
--> What are the 4 forms of creative writing?
The four key forms of creative writing are:
--> What are some other examples of creative writing?
Some other examples of creative writing include:
--> How do I start creative writing?
You do not require any special writing skills to start creative writing. You do need to have a good idea for a story (you need to know what you're going to write about), and you need to ensure that your writing is interesting and engaging so that the reader remains intrigued.
--> Is creative writing hard?
Creative writing does not need to be difficult. Some people are more naturally creative than others which does help, however, as long as you can tell a story in an engaging and amusing way, you'll be able to do some great creative writing. Creative writing should be fun!
Final Creative Writing Quiz
What are the four main types of creative writing?
- creative non-fiction
Enjambment is when a line of a poem continues onto the next line.
Which of these descriptions refers to 'juxtaposition'?
When two things with different meanings are put together.
What is 'hyperbole'?
Hyperbole is the use of extreme exaggeration to emphasize something.
True or false, hyperbole should be taken literally.
What is anthropomorphism?
Anthropomorphism is when human-like characteristics or behaviors are given to non-human entities.
True or false, travel writing is an example of fiction.
False, travel writing is an example of creative non-fiction.
List five other types of writing that can fall under the 'creative writing' umbrella.
Any from this list:
- journal entries
What five things will fiction always have?
True or false, all kinds of poetry are written in stanzas.
Which of these is not an example of scriptwriting in use?
Stage directions are characteristic of what type of creative writing?
List two things to look for when editing your creative writing.
- spelling errors
- grammatical errors
- things that don't make sense
- things that aren't necessary
List three common features of scriptwriting.
Any of these:
- stage directions
The characters in creative non-fiction are:
usually real people
- Research and Composition
- Lexis and Semantics
of the users don't pass the Creative Writing quiz! Will you pass the quiz?
More explanations about Research and Composition
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Writing advice for small business
How to Jazz Up Any Writing: 5 Creative Writing Techniques
by Henneke | 35 enchanting opinions, add yours? :)
When writers talk about creative writing, they only refer to fiction.
As if non-fiction can’t be creative …
What a crazy idea.
Of course, non-fiction can be creative. Any creative writing technique can be used to improve any kind of writing.
Shall I show you?
Creative writing examples in non-fiction
When reading non-fiction, I often find myself speeding up. I try to grasp ideas quickly, and I do not pay much attention to words and sentences.
The ideas feel worthy of my time, the writing not.
I’m currently read Fathoms by Rebecca Giggs. It’s a book about whales, and the relationship humans have with whales. It’s half science, half philosophy. You may think that’s a recipe for boring writing.
I find myself slowing down, paying attention, savoring the words like a good wine. This is especially true for the first chapter.
What makes Giggs’ writing so enjoyable?
She knows how to captivate her readers; she knows how to choose words; and she’s added a large dollop of creativity to her writing.
Let me show you …
In her first chapter of Fathoms , Giggs describes how whales remain part of the ecosystem after they die.
But she starts by zooming into the story of one specific whale—a beached humpback whale:
I put one hand briefly on the skin of the humpback and felt its distant heartbeat, an electrical throbbing like a refrigerated truck, sealed tight. I wanted to tap on the outside of the animal and whisper to it: Are you in there, whale? Neighbour, is that you? Life on that scale — mammalian life on that scale — so unfamiliar and familiar in turns. Oh, the alien whale. The world-bound whale. A stranger inside. I hated to watch it.
Non-fiction writing is often abstract . We want to explain trends or general tips. But such writing is hard to grasp and easy to forget.
So, the trick to writing engaging non-fiction is to zoom into specific stories that illustrate your points.
For instance, when writing a blog post with tips, share a story—real or imagined—of someone who implemented those tips. On a sales page, a testimonial can take the shape of a miniature story demonstrating how a product or service has changed one person’s life.
Stories belong everywhere, in fiction and non-fiction.
2. Paint vivid imagery
Giggs paints vivid imagery, making me feel like I’m looking over her shoulder:
The whale was black like piano wood, and, because it was still young, it was pink in the joints under its fins. Waves burst behind it, sending spray over its back. Every few minutes, the whale slammed its flukes against the wet sand and exhaled loudly — a tantrum or leverage. Its soft chest turned slack, concertinaed by the pull of the swell.
Can you picture the beached whale and hear it exhaling?
Vivid writing makes readers feel like they’re present in the story. Readers look through the author’s eyes, seeing what the author sees. They listen with the author’s ears, hearing what the author hears.
Readers experience stories and that’s what makes stories memorable.
In non-fiction writing, you have several opportunities for painting vivid imagery . First, on a sales page, let readers imagine what it’s like to use your product or to work with you. How will you improve their lives? How will that make them feel?
Secondly, make testimonials more like real life. Ask clients to describe in more detail what it was like to work with you. What specifically did they enjoy? And how has your service changed their lives?
Lastly, tell your own stories. For instance, on an about page or in a blog post, explain why you do what you do. What drives you? What makes your heart sing?
3. Hook readers
Straight from the first sentence in Fathoms , Giggs hooks her readers.
Here’s how her book starts:
A few years ago, I helped push a beached humpback whale back out into the sea, only to witness it return and expire under its own weight on the shoreline.
That sentence makes me want to learn more. Why did the humpback whale return? How did it expire under its own weight?!!???
I read on to the second sentence, which is even more intriguing:
For the three days that it died, the whale was a public attraction.
So much drama is in that one sentence. How could it take the whale 3 days to die? And how could that be a public attraction? There’s so much tension in the contrast between dying and being an attraction.
You may think your task as a writer is to explain, to educate, to inspire, or to sell. But if you don’t hook your readers first, you won’t get an opportunity to share your ideas or to communicate your sales pitch.
4. Show and tell
The official advice in creative writing is to “ show, don’t tell .”
But in practice, we often show AND tell.
Telling means giving a brief, factual statement. Showing means using sensory details and describing actions to direct a mental movie in your reader’s mind.
For instance, here’s how Giggs tells us how oceans were feared in the past:
People once feared there was a terrible, existential emptiness in the ocean, an unpeopled and unending openness.
It’s an example of telling because we can’t visualize it. It’s simply a statement of people’s existential fear of the emptiness in the ocean.
Here’s how Giggs finds a way to show this is true:
In antiquity, cartographers populated the seaward frontiers of their maps with drolleries. Hand-drawn pictograms, drolleries are whales hybridised with sea serpents; monsters adorned with antlers and tusks, scales and sprigs of feathers.
Showing requires a writer’s ingenuity to find an example that can demonstrate that a statement is true. It not only increases credibility, but also makes the writing more interesting.
So, each time you make a generic or abstract statement, ask yourself: How can I demonstrate this is true? Can I share an example or two?
5. Play with your words
The usual writing advice is to use the words everyone else is using, right?
Yes, plain language helps make your writing easy to read.
But your writing doesn’t need to sound like everyone else. You can add a little flourish here or there to let your personality shine through.
For instance, Giggs uses sensory language to help us imagine what it’s like to hear a whale breathe:
Stood ankle-deep on the beach at night, you hear them. That is, you hear the whales breathing. How the sound carries across the water, I do not know. A whale sneezes: you jump. It sounds like a roller-door slamming.
And note the strong verbs Giggs uses to describe the sociable noises that humpback whales make:
The whales grunt, rasp, thwop, and moan; they shriek, whine, bubble, gurgle, and fin-slap on the sea’s topside, as well as generating what are called ‘pulse trains’: subsonic resonances, only recently discovered, that thump across the lower thresholds of human hearing like rain drubbing a tarp.
The words you choose help create your writing voice so readers can recognize your writing and look forward to hearing from you again.
So, when you’ve finished a blog post or a sales page, look for two or three important sentences, and then play with the words. How can you make your words more powerful?
Imagine your reader …
It’s Monday morning 8 A.M.
She feels tired, a slight headache. The weekend was far too short.
She switches on her computer and checks her inbox, while sipping green tea.
There’s your email …
Will she click away, uninterested in more dry advice?
Or is there a story to engage her?
Are her eyes lighting up because she’s delighted to hear from you?
Book mentioned in this post:
- Fathoms: The World in the Whale by Rebecca Giggs
More creative writing examples:
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August 5, 2022 at 4:54 pm
Another fabulous writing course within a post Henneke. Every time a whale dies on a beach, it is such a sad event. However, even in death they provide us with the opportunity to practice our story telling, engaging emotions that add so much to the reading experience. Thank you. PS. The list of links are a very generous bonus!
August 5, 2022 at 7:06 pm
Thank you, Barry. I sometimes surprise myself how much I’ve shared on this site already!
August 2, 2022 at 10:47 am
Awesome article. It was delightful to read the blog post,
August 2, 2022 at 11:07 am
Thank you, Mariella. I’m glad you enjoyed it!
July 19, 2022 at 1:29 am
Hi Henneke. I really enjoy your blog posts. They are both engaging and comforting. You transmit a sense of calm and peace. Thank you.
July 19, 2022 at 3:17 pm
That’s such lovely feedback. Thank you, Marta.
July 13, 2022 at 8:37 pm
I have to say, “concertinaed” is an inventive word. Took me a couple of moments to get the full meaning there, but they were fun moments. “Drubbing” I had to look up, haha. But I can’t wait to use it in a story, now. I attempt using such writing in my stories. I also try keeping it short, interspersed with a long sentence, now and then, providing variation. Thanks for much-needed reminders that non-fiction writers need ot study fiction and use the genre’s best devices! 🙂
July 14, 2022 at 11:28 am
I didn’t know concertina as a verb either but I like it. I only knew drubbing as a bad defeat (in a football game or other sports) but that might be British English? I don’t know. Rebecca Giggs is Australian, so I’m not sure whether her word choice at times may sound slightly unusual for Americans. As I’m not a native speaker, I find it quite hard to keep track of differences in English usage! 🙂
July 14, 2022 at 1:20 pm
You and me both! Imagine all the differences, here, in the US, where everyone has a language heritage from someplace else. I can remember my grandmother’s frail “Ach ja!” which unknown to me, was not English. First time I use “ja” in school, to give an affirmative answer, I was corrected. Teacher thought I was making the sloppier “yeah” slang for “yes”. It’s a very small world. By the way, and as always, your quick mastery of English always astonishes me. <3
July 14, 2022 at 5:00 pm
“Ach ja” would work in Dutch 🙂
July 16, 2022 at 5:53 am
I kind of thought so and hoped it. 😉
July 13, 2022 at 5:08 pm
I love reading your blogs. They are so fresh and fruity. The language and structure are delicious. I just devour each word. You seemlessly transmit your knowledge and i learn so much each time i read what you write. Thank you! I literally took a deep breath and moved into a place of calm with your words,”I find myself slowing down, paying attention, savoring the words like a good wine.” I dream of writing like you. Take care.
July 13, 2022 at 7:01 pm
What a lovely compliment, Michael. Thank you so much.
July 13, 2022 at 4:08 am
Please dont take this wrong, but i fall asleep when I read most of these, my brain dont operate the same as yours, lol. Seriously, Im a very type-A personality and when I read stuff like this I skip to get to the point. It drives me crazy, lol…sorry but it’s the truth.
July 13, 2022 at 9:29 am
It makes me wonder whether there are texts or books that you do enjoy reading? What kind of texts are they? I imagine most of my blog would sent you to sleep.
July 12, 2022 at 8:16 pm
Hi, Henneke …
Great article about Show and Tell and how to transform boring copy into lively writing! And the way you write always demonstrates the process. I wrote something similar in a post. Of course, your writing is much more detailed than what I wrote. Mine was more about the practice. Thanks so much for always sharing great content.
July 12, 2022 at 8:46 pm
Thank you for your lovely comment, Sheronda. I’m glad you enjoyed this article 🙂
July 12, 2022 at 7:23 pm
Memoirs are non-fiction too! I’m working on my memoir and the most important one is taught is “show don’t tell”. I’ll print out your blog post as yet another reminder/ way to “show don’t tell.” Thanks Henneke!
July 12, 2022 at 7:39 pm
I agree with you—memoirs are non-fiction, even if many seem to prefer categorizing memoirs as creative writing. But how people want to categorize it doesn’t really matter to me. Memoirs can, as you suggest, be creative, too, and all the same writing techniques can be used.
Happy writing, Trudy. Thank you for stopping by.
July 12, 2022 at 4:02 pm
Content plays a great role in engaging users to your blog and increasing the dwell time. Writing is an art and we need to practice it to make it perfect. You have shared some helpful tips for creative writing.
Regards, Vishwajeet Kumar
July 12, 2022 at 4:05 pm
I’m glad you found the tips helpful, Vishwajeet. Thank you for stopping by, and happy writing!
July 12, 2022 at 2:54 pm
What did the fish say when he hit his head on cement?
“SHOWING requires a writer’s ingenuity to find an example that can demonstrate that a statement is true. It not only increases credibility, but also makes the writing more interesting.”
That sentence was like hitting my head on cement. It made me say, “Damn!” As in write this tasty morsel out with a red Sharpie on a Post-It Note. Stick it on the top left side of my laptop. Look at it every time I sit down to write. Let it burn into my mental screen.
Actually this post is so good I’m thinkin’ probably, no definitely, good idea to reread it any time you’re stuck, unmotivated, and/or writing anything.
As far as too many book to read and so little time. My attitude, which applies to a lot of things in this short spin on the planet,
Sworn to fun and loyal to none.
July 12, 2022 at 3:16 pm
I agree with your point about reading. Life is too short for reading boring books. When a non-fiction book has good ideas but the writing is a bit boring, I speed up my reading so I can still grasp (and benefit from) the ideas. But when even the writing is boring me, I put a book away and read something else instead. Any fiction has to be gripping, otherwise I won’t read it.
There are so many good books to read. Why waste time on bad books?
Always appreciate your stopping by. Thank you, Phil.
July 12, 2022 at 2:22 pm
Whenever I read your sound writing tips, I get drawn in due to your own writing exemplifying the exact technique you are outlining, it feels like slight of hand magic! You encourage the senses to get involved in creating the word picture, and you teach & encourage the writer’s voice to stand tall, true and whole. I thank you for the encouragement and permission you grant it. Great writing takes courage, and your support and understanding of that and it’s process is extraordinarily appreciated and valued. Thanks for taking the time to extend such honest, helpful, thoughtful tips and advise.. xx
July 12, 2022 at 3:13 pm
Thank you so much for your lovely compliment, Jo. I especially like your point about great writing requiring courage. It’s so true. And your encouragement helps me keep going! xx
July 12, 2022 at 1:53 pm
Wow…especially the difference between show, don’t tell & show and tell!
Have already read the article twice, and bookmarked for later too.
I write lots of fiction as well as non-fiction, and try to use fiction writing techniques in non-fiction too. Makes my books and articles much more readable and interesting.
Thanks for this article! It’s something like a cheat sheet for me!!
July 12, 2022 at 3:07 pm
I’m so glad you’re using fiction writing techniques when writing non-fiction, too. I don’t know why people think fiction and non-fiction are so different. I learn as much about writing from reading fiction, perhaps even more, than from reading non-fiction.
Happy writing, Shweta. And thank you for stopping by. I much appreciate it.
July 12, 2022 at 1:29 pm
Always delighted to hear from you!
July 12, 2022 at 3:05 pm
Thank you, Margie. I appreciate that.
July 12, 2022 at 12:25 pm
This cannot continue.
Every time I open your emails, I find myself wanting to add another book to an already long list of ‘to read’ collection while full boxes (of books) piled high are waiting their turn to be enjoyed.
I look forward to finding out all the new talents you spot and how with great insight you demystify the art of writing.
Have a wonderful summer sipping a cool glass of wine (or two), Kindle in hand.
July 12, 2022 at 12:46 pm
I’m so sorry!
I know both the burden and the pleasure of having too many books on my to-read list.
I once heard about the idea to see book recommendations as floating down a river. You don’t need to read them all, some you can just let float by. Just pick the one that attracts your attention most when you pick your next book to read. Also, some books will pass by more often. Those are the ones to pick first.
This idea helps me make the reading list less of a burden and more of a pleasure.
Wishing you much reading joy!
July 12, 2022 at 11:26 am
Your reader definitely does, girlfriend! 😉
July 12, 2022 at 11:56 am
I hope you mean she does feel delighted? And not that she does click away?
July 12, 2022 at 12:04 pm
Yes. of course!
July 12, 2022 at 12:07 pm
Phew. Thank you!
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