When we talk about creative writing, we tend to focus on fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. But there are many other types of creative writing that we can explore.
No matter what you write, it’s good practice to occasionally dip your pen into other waters. It keeps your skills sharp and your writing fresh. Plus it’s nice to take a break from writing the same thing all the time.
Let’s look at fourteen types of creative writing. As you read through the list, identify the types of writing you’ve experimented with and the types you’d still like to try.
Types of Creative Writing
- Journals: Journals are often confused for diaries. Technically, a diary is a type of journal, but a journal is any written log. You could keep a gratitude journal, a memory journal, a dream journal, or a goals journal.
- Diaries: A diary is a specific kind of journal where you write down the events of each day, resulting in a chronicle of your life.
- Essays. Not all essays are creative, but plenty of essays flow from creative thinking. Some examples include personal essays, descriptive essays, and persuasive essays.
- Storytelling: One of the most popular types of creative writing is storytelling. Storytelling lends itself to both fiction and nonfiction. Popular forms include flash fiction, short stories, novellas, and full-length novels. But stories can also be firsthand or secondhand accounts of real people and events.
- Poetry: Another popular but under-appreciated type of writing is poetry, which is easily the most artistic, creative form of writing. You can write form poetry, free-form poetry, and prose poetry. Or try writing a story in rhyme (perfect for kids).
- Memoir: Memoirs are personal accounts (or stories) with narrow themes and specific topics. They are usually the length of novels or novellas; shorter works of this kind would be considered essays. Memoir topics focus on specific experiences rather than providing a broad life story (which would be a biography). For example, one might write a travel or food memoir, which is an account of one’s personal experiences through the lens of travel or food (or both).
- Vignettes: A vignette is defined as “a brief evocative description, account, or episode.” Vignettes can be poems, stories, descriptions, personal accounts…anything goes really. The key is that a vignette is extremely short — just a quick snippet.
- Letters: Because the ability to communicate effectively is increasingly valuable, letter writing is a useful skill. There is a long tradition of publishing letters, so take extra care with those emails you’re shooting off to friends, family, and business associates. In fact, one way to get published if you don’t have a lot of clips and credits is to write letters to the editor of a news publication.
- Scripts: Hit the screen or the stage by writing screenplays (for film), scripts (for plays), or teleplays (for TV). You can even write scripts for video games! As a bonus, scripts have the potential to reach a non-reading audience.
- Song lyrics: Close cousin of poetry, song lyrics are a fun and creative way to merge the craft of writing with the art of music. Writing lyrics is an excellent path for writers who can play an instrument or who want to collaborate with musicians.
- Speeches: Whether persuasive, inspirational, or informative, speech writing is a discipline that can lead to prosperous and interesting career opportunities in almost any field ranging from science to politics to education.
- Journalism: Some forms of journalism are more creative than others. Traditionally, journalism was a straightforward, objective form of reporting on facts, people, and events. Today, journalists often infuse their writing with opinion and storytelling to make their pieces more compelling. For good or bad, this new practice opens journalism to more creative approaches.
- Blogging: A blog is nothing more than a publishing platform — a piece of technology that displays content on the web or an electronic device. A blog can be just about anything from a diary to a personal platform to an educational tool. In terms of creative writing, blogs are wide open because you can use them to publish any (or all) types of creative writing.
- Free writing: Open a notebook or a document and just start writing. Let strange words and images find their way to the page. Anything goes! It’s the pinnacle of creative writing.
Which of these types of creative writing have you tried? Are there any forms of writing on this list that you’d like to experiment with? Can you think of any types of creative writing to add to this list? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment, and keep writing.