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What is Creative Writing?

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September 2009
    Oct »

A Definition

Creative writing is writing that expresses thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It is writing that is authentic or original. It is writing that requires the writer to use his or her imagination. It is writing that often requires the writer to use poetic devices, such as metaphor, simile, and imagery. It is writing that contains words that delight and stimulate, and sentences that are constructed in a unique way, such as periodic or cumulative sentences.

 You can find various types of creative writing everywhere—on the web, in magazines or newspaper, and in books. Some popular types of creative writing include:

  • Personal journal
  • Poetry
  • Fiction
  • Creative non-fiction (personal essay, memoir, article)
  • Screenplay
  • Drama

Many popular magazines publish all types of creative writing. For instance, “The New Yorker “( )magazine publishes articles, poetry, fiction, book reviews, short stories, movies reviews each week.

The following poem by Charlies Simic, a well-known contemporary poet, is a good example of creative writing:

In the Library

By Charles Simic

for Octavio

There's a book called
"A Dictionary of Angels."
No one has opened it in fifty years,
I know, because when I did,
The covers creaked, the pages
Crumbled. There I discovered

The angels were once as plentiful
As species of flies.
The sky at dusk
Used to be thick with them.
You had to wave both arms
Just to keep them away.

Now the sun is shining
Through the tall windows.
The library is a quiet place.
Angels and gods huddled
In dark unopened books.
The great secret lies
On some shelf Miss Jones
Passes every day on her rounds.

She's very tall, so she keeps
Her head tipped as if listening.
The books are whispering.
I hear nothing, but she does.

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