Writing Beginner

What Is Creative Writing? (Ultimate Guide + 20 Examples)

Creative writing begins with a blank page and the courage to fill it with the stories only you can tell.

I face this intimidating blank page daily–and I have for the better part of 20+ years.

In this guide, you’ll learn all the ins and outs of creative writing with tons of examples.

What Is Creative Writing (Long Description)?

Creative Writing is the art of using words to express ideas and emotions in imaginative ways. It encompasses various forms including novels, poetry, and plays, focusing on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes.

Bright, colorful creative writer's desk with notebook and typewriter -- What Is Creative Writing

Table of Contents

Let’s expand on that definition a bit.

Creative writing is an art form that transcends traditional literature boundaries.

It includes professional, journalistic, academic, and technical writing. This type of writing emphasizes narrative craft, character development, and literary tropes. It also explores poetry and poetics traditions.

In essence, creative writing lets you express ideas and emotions uniquely and imaginatively.

It’s about the freedom to invent worlds, characters, and stories. These creations evoke a spectrum of emotions in readers.

Creative writing covers fiction, poetry, and everything in between.

It allows writers to express inner thoughts and feelings. Often, it reflects human experiences through a fabricated lens.

Types of Creative Writing

There are many types of creative writing that we need to explain.

Some of the most common types:

  • Short stories
  • Screenplays
  • Flash fiction
  • Creative Nonfiction

Short Stories (The Brief Escape)

Short stories are like narrative treasures.

They are compact but impactful, telling a full story within a limited word count. These tales often focus on a single character or a crucial moment.

Short stories are known for their brevity.

They deliver emotion and insight in a concise yet powerful package. This format is ideal for exploring diverse genres, themes, and characters. It leaves a lasting impression on readers.

Example: Emma discovers an old photo of her smiling grandmother. It’s a rarity. Through flashbacks, Emma learns about her grandmother’s wartime love story. She comes to understand her grandmother’s resilience and the value of joy.

Novels (The Long Journey)

Novels are extensive explorations of character, plot, and setting.

They span thousands of words, giving writers the space to create entire worlds. Novels can weave complex stories across various themes and timelines.

The length of a novel allows for deep narrative and character development.

Readers get an immersive experience.

Example: Across the Divide tells of two siblings separated in childhood. They grow up in different cultures. Their reunion highlights the strength of family bonds, despite distance and differences.

Poetry (The Soul’s Language)

Poetry expresses ideas and emotions through rhythm, sound, and word beauty.

It distills emotions and thoughts into verses. Poetry often uses metaphors, similes, and figurative language to reach the reader’s heart and mind.

Poetry ranges from structured forms, like sonnets, to free verse.

The latter breaks away from traditional formats for more expressive thought.

Example: Whispers of Dawn is a poem collection capturing morning’s quiet moments. “First Light” personifies dawn as a painter. It brings colors of hope and renewal to the world.

Plays (The Dramatic Dialogue)

Plays are meant for performance. They bring characters and conflicts to life through dialogue and action.

This format uniquely explores human relationships and societal issues.

Playwrights face the challenge of conveying setting, emotion, and plot through dialogue and directions.

Example: Echoes of Tomorrow is set in a dystopian future. Memories can be bought and sold. It follows siblings on a quest to retrieve their stolen memories. They learn the cost of living in a world where the past has a price.

Screenplays (Cinema’s Blueprint)

Screenplays outline narratives for films and TV shows.

They require an understanding of visual storytelling, pacing, and dialogue. Screenplays must fit film production constraints.

Example: The Last Light is a screenplay for a sci-fi film. Humanity’s survivors on a dying Earth seek a new planet. The story focuses on spacecraft Argo’s crew as they face mission challenges and internal dynamics.

Memoirs (The Personal Journey)

Memoirs provide insight into an author’s life, focusing on personal experiences and emotional journeys.

They differ from autobiographies by concentrating on specific themes or events.

Memoirs invite readers into the author’s world.

They share lessons learned and hardships overcome.

Example: Under the Mango Tree is a memoir by Maria Gomez. It shares her childhood memories in rural Colombia. The mango tree in their yard symbolizes home, growth, and nostalgia. Maria reflects on her journey to a new life in America.

Flash Fiction (The Quick Twist)

Flash fiction tells stories in under 1,000 words.

It’s about crafting compelling narratives concisely. Each word in flash fiction must count, often leading to a twist.

This format captures life’s vivid moments, delivering quick, impactful insights.

Example: The Last Message features an astronaut’s final Earth message as her spacecraft drifts away. In 500 words, it explores isolation, hope, and the desire to connect against all odds.

Creative Nonfiction (The Factual Tale)

Creative nonfiction combines factual accuracy with creative storytelling.

This genre covers real events, people, and places with a twist. It uses descriptive language and narrative arcs to make true stories engaging.

Creative nonfiction includes biographies, essays, and travelogues.

Example: Echoes of Everest follows the author’s Mount Everest climb. It mixes factual details with personal reflections and the history of past climbers. The narrative captures the climb’s beauty and challenges, offering an immersive experience.

Fantasy (The World Beyond)

Fantasy transports readers to magical and mythical worlds.

It explores themes like good vs. evil and heroism in unreal settings. Fantasy requires careful world-building to create believable yet fantastic realms.

Example: The Crystal of Azmar tells of a young girl destined to save her world from darkness. She learns she’s the last sorceress in a forgotten lineage. Her journey involves mastering powers, forming alliances, and uncovering ancient kingdom myths.

Science Fiction (The Future Imagined)

Science fiction delves into futuristic and scientific themes.

It questions the impact of advancements on society and individuals.

Science fiction ranges from speculative to hard sci-fi, focusing on plausible futures.

Example: When the Stars Whisper is set in a future where humanity communicates with distant galaxies. It centers on a scientist who finds an alien message. This discovery prompts a deep look at humanity’s universe role and interstellar communication.

Watch this great video that explores the question, “What is creative writing?” and “How to get started?”:

What Are the 5 Cs of Creative Writing?

The 5 Cs of creative writing are fundamental pillars.

They guide writers to produce compelling and impactful work. These principles—Clarity, Coherence, Conciseness, Creativity, and Consistency—help craft stories that engage and entertain.

They also resonate deeply with readers. Let’s explore each of these critical components.

Clarity makes your writing understandable and accessible.

It involves choosing the right words and constructing clear sentences. Your narrative should be easy to follow.

In creative writing, clarity means conveying complex ideas in a digestible and enjoyable way.

Coherence ensures your writing flows logically.

It’s crucial for maintaining the reader’s interest. Characters should develop believably, and plots should progress logically. This makes the narrative feel cohesive.


Conciseness is about expressing ideas succinctly.

It’s being economical with words and avoiding redundancy. This principle helps maintain pace and tension, engaging readers throughout the story.

Creativity is the heart of creative writing.

It allows writers to invent new worlds and create memorable characters. Creativity involves originality and imagination. It’s seeing the world in unique ways and sharing that vision.


Consistency maintains a uniform tone, style, and voice.

It means being faithful to the world you’ve created. Characters should act true to their development. This builds trust with readers, making your story immersive and believable.

Is Creative Writing Easy?

Creative writing is both rewarding and challenging.

Crafting stories from your imagination involves more than just words on a page. It requires discipline and a deep understanding of language and narrative structure.

Exploring complex characters and themes is also key.

Refining and revising your work is crucial for developing your voice.

The ease of creative writing varies. Some find the freedom of expression liberating.

Others struggle with writer’s block or plot development challenges. However, practice and feedback make creative writing more fulfilling.

What Does a Creative Writer Do?

A creative writer weaves narratives that entertain, enlighten, and inspire.

Writers explore both the world they create and the emotions they wish to evoke. Their tasks are diverse, involving more than just writing.

Creative writers develop ideas, research, and plan their stories.

They create characters and outline plots with attention to detail. Drafting and revising their work is a significant part of their process. They strive for the 5 Cs of compelling writing.

Writers engage with the literary community, seeking feedback and participating in workshops.

They may navigate the publishing world with agents and editors.

Creative writers are storytellers, craftsmen, and artists. They bring narratives to life, enriching our lives and expanding our imaginations.

How to Get Started With Creative Writing?

Embarking on a creative writing journey can feel like standing at the edge of a vast and mysterious forest.

The path is not always clear, but the adventure is calling.

Here’s how to take your first steps into the world of creative writing:

  • Find a time of day when your mind is most alert and creative.
  • Create a comfortable writing space free from distractions.
  • Use prompts to spark your imagination. They can be as simple as a word, a phrase, or an image.
  • Try writing for 15-20 minutes on a prompt without editing yourself. Let the ideas flow freely.
  • Reading is fuel for your writing. Explore various genres and styles.
  • Pay attention to how your favorite authors construct their sentences, develop characters, and build their worlds.
  • Don’t pressure yourself to write a novel right away. Begin with short stories or poems.
  • Small projects can help you hone your skills and boost your confidence.
  • Look for writing groups in your area or online. These communities offer support, feedback, and motivation.
  • Participating in workshops or classes can also provide valuable insights into your writing.
  • Understand that your first draft is just the beginning. Revising your work is where the real magic happens.
  • Be open to feedback and willing to rework your pieces.
  • Carry a notebook or digital recorder to jot down ideas, observations, and snippets of conversations.
  • These notes can be gold mines for future writing projects.

Final Thoughts: What Is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is an invitation to explore the unknown, to give voice to the silenced, and to celebrate the human spirit in all its forms.

Check out these creative writing tools (that I highly recommend):

Read This Next:

  • What Is a Prompt in Writing? (Ultimate Guide + 200 Examples)
  • What Is A Personal Account In Writing? (47 Examples)
  • How To Write A Fantasy Short Story (Ultimate Guide + Examples)
  • How To Write A Fantasy Romance Novel [21 Tips + Examples)
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Writing Tips Oasis

Writing Tips Oasis - A website dedicated to helping writers to write and publish books.

21 Top Examples of Creative Writing

By Rofida Khairalla

examples of creative writing

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.

creative writing examples

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.

10. Songs/Lyrics

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.

11. Speeches

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.

19. Collaboration

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.

20. Novella

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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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.  

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. 

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.”

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. 

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.”’

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: 

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)

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: 

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!

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.

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: ‘Sure.’

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. 

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… ” 

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.”

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? 

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…. “

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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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? 

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.)” 

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.

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…. “

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?…. “

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. 

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…. “ 

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. 

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.”  

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. 

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? 

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The Write Practice

The Only 10 Creative Writing Prompts You Need

by Joe Bunting | 55 comments

You get better at any skill through practice. Prompts are a great way to practice writing (as you might imagine, we're really into practice here), and in this post, I have ten of our best creative writing prompts.

Try a few out, and if you're ready to take the next step in your writing, check out our 100 Best Short Story Ideas .

10 Best Creative Writing Prompts

How To Use These Creative Writing Prompts

At the end of every article on The Write Practice , we include a writing prompt so you can put what you just learned to use immediately. And we invite you to share your writing with our community so you can get feedback on your work.

The Write Practice is more than just a writing blog. It's a writing  workbook , and we think it's the best one on the Internet (of course, we're a bit biased).

One of the most important parts of practice is getting feedback, and we want to help YOU get feedback on your writing. To do that, choose one of the prompts, write for 15 minutes, and then copy and paste your practice into the box at the bottom to post your practice in our forum for feedback. You'll be able to read others' practice and give feedback too.

And if you want even more prompts, you can download our workbook,  14 Prompts , for free here (it's normally, $5.99).

Our Most Popular Creative Writing Prompts

Why not try using two or three of these creative writing prompts in your writing today? Who knows, you might even begin something that becomes your next novel to write or short story. It's happened to Write Practicers before!

Enjoy the writing prompts!

My 3 Favorite Writing Prompts

Write about a time you felt out of place, awkward, and uncomfortable. Try not to focus on your feelings, but project your feelings onto the things around you.

Write about a ghost. How do they feel about the world? What do they see and hear? How did they become a ghost?

  • Your characters haven’t gotten any sleep. Write about why, and how they respond to being sleepless.

Now, let's look at the rest of our favorite prompts! 

1. Grandfathers

Write about a grandfather, maybe your grandfather or your character's grandfather. What memories do you/does your character associate with him?

See the prompt: Grandfathers

Creative Writing Prompts

2. Sleepless

Your characters haven’t gotten any sleep. Write about it.

See the prompt: Sleepless

Creative Writing Prompts

3. Out of Place

See the prompt: Out of Place

Creative Writing Prompts

Write about longing. How does it feel to go about a normal day when your character wants something else?

See the prompt: Longing

Creative Writing Prompts

5. Write About Yourself

Write about yourself.

See the writing prompt: Write About Yourself

Creative Writing Prompts

See the prompt: 3 Reasons to Write About Ghosts

Creative Writing Prompts

7. Road Trip

Write about a road trip. Is your character escaping something? Is your character looking for something? Hint at the thing without telling us while describing what the character sees.

See the writing prompt: Road Trip

Creative Writing Prompts

Write about the morning. What are your character's morning routines? What is special about this  morning?

See the prompt: Morning

Creative Writing Prompts

9. The Beach

Write about the beach. Is your character reflecting on something important that has happened to them? Describe the memory while overlaying the sights, sounds, and smells of the beach onto them.

See the prompt: The Beach

Creative Writing Prompts

Write about autumn. Natural surroundings can bring up old memories and odd feelings. Describe what your character sees, feels, and most of all does.

See the prompt: Autumn

Creative Writing Prompts

Do you use writing prompts in your writing? What is your favorite prompt for ideas? Share in the comments .

For today's practice, choose one of these prompts and write for fifteen minutes . When you're finished with your practice, share it in the Pro Practice Workshop . Don't forget to leave feedback for three other writers. Not a community member yet? Join us ! 

Happy writing!

How to Write Like Louise Penny

Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris , a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.

Top 150 Short Story Ideas



It usually takes the living to confirm you’re dead. That’s why Saginaw didn’t know for months he’d passed. He was a hermit, had lived alone out in the woods for years. He still isn’t sure how or when he died.

After it happened, he continued to get up every morning and head out to the woodpile. Chopping was his release, his balance, his yoga. The repetitive grabbing and swinging and cracking and discarding brought him harmony.

Until the day he realized nothing was happening.

Like every other morning, he grabbed for the axe handle. This time, he noticed his hand passed right through it.

“What the hell?” he said to himself.

He looked down and saw the log cabin through his body, and knew he was dead. Thinking back, he realized he’d probably been dead for awhile. The familiar weight of the axe was a distant memory. He’d been grabbing and swinging and cracking and discarding nothing. He was going through the motions because they brought him peace.

Saginaw wasn’t sure what a ghost was supposed to do with his free time. He tried strolling through the woods and watching animals. They never spooked like he expected. It was boring.

Within days, he realized how much he missed his chopping. He returned home and tried doing it like a mime – empty hand reaching up and striking down on nothing. But now it made him feel useless.

According to the books he’d read during his life, the dead had the ability to interact with the real world. He practiced, trying to control things with his translucent body. He found that he could create a type of wind with his movements. Grass would sway as he ran by and dandelions would shed their cotton if he swooshed his hand over them.

That was the most he could do; wind would never carry his axe. Ghosts couldn’t shed tears but it didn’t stop Saginaw from crying.

He cried until he was angry. In a rage, he jumped up and, growling, grabbed the axe. It flew up with his hands.

“Oh my God!”

His anger vanished and the axe slipped through his fingers. He tried picking it up again, but it refused. Saginaw grew furious at his futility and kicked at the handle. His foot caught the wood and Saginaw realized what was happening.

His raw anger fueled the power to move objects. The only way to do what calmed him was to lose his calm. A total catch-22.

Sag fell to the ground. He’d never thought much about the afterlife. Glancing at the axe, he wondered, as dread lit fire to his insides, exactly where he was.

Giulia Esposito

I like this piece a lot. It’s like a little story. That line, “Chopping was his release, his balance, his yoga.” is very telling, the yoga bit completing it beautifully. Thanks for sharing.

Adelaide Shaw

An interesting take on life after death. What is it? Even when dead, the dead don’t know. A question to be never answered. Adelaide

Dawn Atkin

Brilliant post. I love just starting with a prompt and letting my muse find her way. I could pick any one of these starters and write a series of short pieces. And then voile I have a mini collection to create into a mini e-book. Wow. You’ve just experienced my ‘light-bulb’ moment. I now have an idea for some free giveaways to my potential readers.

After a couple of weeks of dull creative urge, this post has just put a surge of creative current back in my circuit. Thank goodness for that. Thanks Joe for the inspiration.

Joe Bunting

Thanks so much, Dawn. So glad this got your creative juices flowing! 🙂

I’m book marking this page, what a great post.

Here’s what I wrote.

The beach is empty. On a beautiful, perfect day, with a sky of crystal blue, the beach is empty. You can hear the surf slap against the sand, and the cry of gulls overhead. The white, fine sand stretches before you, so bright you have to squint against it. The day is hot, but not sweltering, and you marvel at the privilege of having the beach all to yourself. There is nothing here but, you, the gulls and the sound of the waves. The coconut smell of the lotion you are applying, the red of the beach towel laid down. You wonder if you should have brought a book, if you ought have left the ipod in the car, but then you sit down, watch the waves ebb and tide against the wet sand, and let the song of the sea lull you. A fleeting thought of awe wanders into your mind, at the quiet, extraordinary way that nature has, going on without human observation. The sea will always lap against the shore. The gulls will nest in the brush and seek their dinner from the sea. Even the fish, unseen, will make their homes and hatch eggs, all without anyone watching. It all continues without human eyes upon them, and it is marvellous. And then, in a moment like this, a perfect bubble in time, you might be allowed to witness it. Watch the gull walk along the rocks, its black shiny eye on you, watch the rhythmical way the waves roll and turn. See the crab burrow out from the sand, crawling along the shore.

And then in an instance, the bubble is broken. The moment shattered as the high voice of a child comes laughing into the sand. A couple follows close behind, their voices low. They make their place a distance away from you, but it is too late. The moment of grace with nature is over, the human world has once again inserted itself and the beach is no longer empty.

I love the beach. And I totally appreciate those moments/ times of immersion into the whole wonder of life at lands edge.

And then being slapped back into the moment by the sound and presence of humans.

Nice writing. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for the feedback.


I loved this piece! Your wonderful word choice and clever phrasing helped to create a very vivid image of this gem of a beach, in my mind. It really sucked me in, so much so that I couldn’t help but feel a sharp twinge of sadness and disappointment when the human presence disrupted it all and popped the “perfect bubble in time”. Thank you for sharing such a lovely piece.

Thank you Catherine! That certainly is encouraging, and I appreciate the feedback.

You’re very welcome! I’m glad I could be of some help. Best of luck in all your writing endeavors!

Gregory Walsh

No idea if you will find this a year later.

I was reading this and at first I was like thinking. I have read this before. Crystal blue sky. Generic.

And then I hit the line, “you ought have left the ipod in the car”. And it suddenly became personal.

In Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, the author talks about how children draw symbols. You say draw a person and they draw a stick figure. For an adult it is generic. They don’t actually look at what they are drawing.

The first part of that you write is like that and then suddenly small details, personal details, start to appear and the piece becomes much more powerful. In my opinion you drop out of the generic symbols of a beach and into your personal subjective view point, and the writing gets much better. More visceral.

For me I would encourage you to go back and either drop or rewrite all the generic parts like crystal blue sky, which sounds symbolic, to something personal.

Leslie Hawthorne

I love this…..

I picked beach.

Soft morning mist Gently rises to kiss Fan of dawn’s rays And slicing through silky southern teal Nullakai’s finger, long dark green Invites me in. Briney effervescence clings To salty diamond necklace Criss-crossing my Summer freckled chest And aquamarine mesmerised My sleepy sea stained eyes Sting to a blur As swollen turquoise curve Breaks this office face Drowning the frown Before it begins I am fresh again fresh This Monday morning.

I’ve been intending to post a comment, but I don’t know much about blank verse or any other poetry other than Japanese short-form poetry such as haiku. What I notice about this poem is that some of the lines read awkwardly because of the lack of an article: a .

“Fan of dawn’s rays,” I think would read better if it were “A fan of dawn’s rays.” Same with “To salty diamond necklace” which would be better as “To a salty diamond necklace.” Again, a missing “a” with “As swollen turquoise curve.” Also, I don’t understand “And aquamarine mesmerised.” .

Otherwise, it’s a beautiful scene and a wonderful way to greet a Monday morning. Adelaide

Thanks Adelaide. Great feedback. Aquamarine should have been two words – aqua marine. I guess I was trying to imply ocean water in a sparklier, gem like way, and taking poetic licence/ freedom by playing with the two words.

Much appreciated. Dawn 🙂

… And I picked ‘morning’.

Dewey pearls lace the graceful dance of understory and spider webs weep fine filaments between sleeping boughs and awakening flowers. In hushed light creamy tones, sun softly shines awake dancing through curls of morning mist. And my body slips into the day, barefoot upon the forest floor.

Early birds sing through the dawning light, their excitement bouncing from leaf to branch. They pause to consider my gaze then flutter on their busy way.

This flesh of mine in autumn beige seeks a deeper walk, into the maze of awakening trees with liquorice trunks black and damp with dew.

Only the forest is talking; the world is yet to yawn and stretch it’s sleepy limbs out of night warmed sheets. I am alone in full company of the promise of a new day.

Strings of purple Hovea buds embrace my passing by, an ephemeral bracelet for one tiny moment, and leave a trace of sparkling silver pearls moist across my wrist. This freshness I bring to my lips. This gift I gently kiss. And I love myself awake.

This sort of reads like a poem, in fact a re-read proves it is! I almost missed that, I was reading too fast. Thank you for sharing.

Hi Giulia It was just a quick 15 minute muse, but yes, now that you’ve pointed it out it does read like poetry. Thanks for that feedback, I can have a play with it and offer it some shape.

Did you like it? Or was it a bit to poetic and slow? I’d appreciate your feedback. Thanks Dawn

Oh, I did like it! I think the structure shape of the poem needs a bit of polish, it might read more smoothly if the lines were shorter. I actually like the languid feel it has, it expresses morning and nature well, how everything seems expanded and slower when you’re really looking at the tiny marvels found in the natural world.

Tea, the Spirit, and a Pen


He’s not a grandfather and I’m terrified he won’t become one. He’s be a great one. I’m positive.

I really shouldn’t be afraid of hospitals. I grew up in one–Dad’s a doctor. I’m familiar with the tile floors and nurses knowing my name and my nickname. But now I’m afraid. He’s not in scrubs but instead in a gown. A nasty butterfly needle is digging into his skin. They always say it’s a small needle and won’t hurt. Don’t believe them. I’ve had nightmares about this. About driving from Mississippi back home because he’s had a heart attack. He’s never had any heart problems so that fear should be irrational. I should have been praying a seemingly ridiculous prayer. It’s a good thing I was praying even though I didn’t know why. Unknown prayer saved his life. As I sat with him on the hospital bed I felt so strange. I felt 7 and still desperately needing my dad. I can’t do anything without him. I don’t know how to be me without him. At the same time I felt grief for my future children. If he’s not better then those make believe kids will only have my stories to go on. They’d never believe me when I told them their grandfather was the greatest man to ever live.

My brothers have stories. Absolutely hilarious stories of my dad that they both recounted on the way to the hospital room. As they did I realized I don’t have stories. I have facts, subjects, events. I have moments.

-Reading Harry Potter together and standing in line for each book release.

-Agatha Christie -Keeping Up Appearances -“I think I’ll go pay that bill.” “You know what I think you should do?” “What?” “Go pay that bill.” “Oh my gosh you’re brilliant!” -We are both left handed.

-How to swing a bat.

-How to replace a door.

-How to drive.

-Telling me his “M.D.” stood for “My Daddy.” -His Martin acoustic guitar -The smell of cedar wood and rain when he made duck calls in the basement.

I don’t have hilarious stories of my dad I just have a lot of lessons. He taught me in every moment we spent together. Those moments were hilarious but I don’t think I could recreate them to become stories.

I want him to be a grandfather because I didn’t know mine. He has to show my children how amazing he is because how could I possibly put that into words? He’s my very best friend. He thinks I can do absolutely anything. I know that I can because a quick phone call to him clears up any questions.

He always has the answers.

I need him to be a grandfather because I need him to keep being my dad.


That was wonderful, simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking. I love it

Thank you!!!

A warm tribute to your father. I hope he got well. adelaide

Jenna Orchard

I really love this piece.

I chose morning as it was a few weeks ago up here in upstate NY.


Spring is gearing up. At the far end of the front yard, where it rises to meet the road, crocus splash yellow, white and purple. Stems on the lilac bushes are knobby with green tipped leaf buds. Daffodils, some just poking through the soil, some already at their full height with swollen flower buds ready to burst. Through the open window the breeze is damp,ripe with the fragrance of wet dirt, last year’s leaves and manure from the field around the bend. There are busy calls from unseen birds and announcing honks from another gaggle of geese. There is, in this moment, everything that there is.

coffee brewing the anticipation before the first sip

Lovely. I can almost feel myself standing beside you at the window. Great use of all the senses Adelaide. Thanks for sharing. Dawn

This post is in response to OUT OF PLACE

A sorority beach house. Full of surging hormones and testosterone from the young women and the visiting frat boys who have a house down the road. Some girls have wandered there to see what’s going on. Most likely the same things that are going on here.

It’s Easter Break at Laguna Beach. A week of fun, fun, fun! For some. For most. But not for the dark haired girl trying to play poker with two other girls and three guys. Trying to play because she is new at the game and loses every hand. She also loses at the witty, sexually laced repartee between the other five players. After four games and down to her last 10 pennies, she quits. It is not for her this game. The entire experience is not for her. She looks over the party goers. Beer, kisses and gropes are exchanged in corners. What goes on in the closed bedrooms is better not seen.

She takes a beer, her first, and her cigarettes and goes out to the beach. This is what she came for: the beach, swimming during the day, reading what she didn’t have time for when crushed with class assignments, girl talk with a few friends. Even that is a disappointment as the girl talk usually turns to boys, a topic which is foreign to her experience.

She’ll lie when she goes back to her classes. She’ll say the week was fun, a blast. Yeah. Partying every night. At least, she’ll have a tan to prove she was there.

Lovely demonstration of the odd teen, who out of place cannot even bare to bow to peer pressure. I liked the ending where she decided to lie to fit in.

Can you please tell me what a ‘sorority’ house is exactly. (I’m not from the USA.)

Thanks for sharing Dawn

Many colleges have sororities, a club of sorts to which candidates are invited to be a member. In some colleges they can be very snobbish, at least that was the situation when I was in college. My college, a small woman’s college, was more democratic, in that a student chose the soriety she wanted and was accepted in it. There was no voting on who could come in and who could not. Bigger colleges have special housing for sororities and fraternities (the male equvilent of sororities).I don’t know what other sororities did, but the ones at my college, in addition to organizing teas, parties, picnics, etc., had a commitment to do some social work for the community. Being a Catholic college we gave Catechism lessons to young childdren in poor parishes where there was a shortage of teachers to give these lessons after school

A sororiety beach house is just that: a house at the beach which the sorority rents for a time, the rent being paid for by charging a fee for each girl who wants to spend the week there. Easter week was usually a time of letting loose

I hope this answers your question. Adelaide

Thanks again Joe Due to the inspiration of this post and it’s kickstarting my creative flow (I’ve been editing my first novel), I have decided to do the NaNo July Camp.

Using some of the above prompts I am aiming to complete a collection of short stories, prose and poetic interludes. My goal is only 10,000 words. This will give me time to edit, shape and tease out detail. It’s winter in my part of the world. A cosy time to write beside the fireplace.

A brief synopsis: A collection of short stories, prose and poetic interludes that reflect on the shadows, woods, winds and ocean waves of a south coast winter.

Where nature walks deep into the rhythm of this human’s hibernating season and beckons her into conversation with looming clouds, long shadows and the low breathing reach of winter sun.

That she may see the beauty that dances between the tempest winter weather sweeping the landscape and her quiet resting inner world.

Of course I’ll still be visiting TWP daily. For ongoing inspiration and community to share with. Cheers Dawn 🙂

What a great, stimulating post! I chose the ‘Morning’ prompt.

My eyes slowly creaked open, only to squint in the sun beam that had smacked my face, arousing me from sleep. But I hadn’t been asleep…had I? I couldn’t be sure. As I groggily sat up in bed, a chill ran down my spine as the air conditioning kissed my back-drenched with sweat. The next thing I took notice of was the pounding in my chest. It seemed that my heart had been beating wildly only moments ago, and now it was doing its best to resume normality. Yet that wasn’t all. There was a dull, aching that had come with the wild beating. In my mind’s eye, I could see a face, slowly fading from sight. It’s features were slowly becoming more and more obscure. Who was he? Why did I care? Hardly a minute had passed before the man’s face vanished from my mind entirely. Birds began to chirp cheerily outside my window, and without knowing why- a tear slipped down my face and darkened the baby blue sheets. I struggled to search my mind for the image of his face once more, but there was nothing. There never would be- except for the lone tear that spotted my sheets.


Great start that draws your readers in; beginning of the day, mysterious dream image evoking intense emotion, loved it Catherine!


This is amazing.


I chose the sleepless prompt. I kind of went deeper than I was trying to.

She tossed. She turned. Her eyes wouldn’t stay shut. They would stay open either. She blinked. The dark of the night filled the room, and the smell of dust covered everything. The blankets on the bed were everywhere, and one the pillows had been thrown on the floor. The rest of the bedroom looked neat, beside the dark and glooming aroma.

She had a specific person on her mind. Someone she had been wondering about for awhile. She didn’t have a crush, nor were they enemies. The person was just very… normal. She tried getting her mind on something else, only to be reminded on him somehow. The smell was like him, the smell of the room.

She turned again, thinking of what happened that day. He had asked her a strange question; one that’s wasn’t like trying to know someone. It was just strange. “Do you like country music?” His words echoed in her mind. She had said no, and then he had left, without any sign.

He wasn’t exactly a normal boy, but he wasn’t weird either. He wears black often, but sometimes he’ll wear pink. His hair is often messy, but sometimes, for no reason, it’s perfectly neat. He manly sticks to keeping quiet, but sometimes, he’s the most active in class.


Thank’s, it is very creative! Besides I found this writing prompts tool http://youressayhelper.com/writing-prompt-generator.html very helpful!

Found this post and took a stab at the grandfather prompt.

I never knew my grandfather.

A man walks towards me. Top hat, suit. Black against white mist. He is smiling. He is a handsome man. He does not take a step but if he did they would be long strides. Purposeful, directed. He is tall but does not tower over me. And he is looking at me. Not at me, not through me. At me. At the deep sliver of me before the echoes of memory. And smiling. A smile that reaches from ear to ear. A smile that starts in the gut and ends in the eyes. A smile that leaves me quivering inside my own skin. He knows my secret.

How does he know. What if he tells someone.

He sees me. No, he sees him. The lie of lies. He sees past the lies. He sees the lies I tell myself and he laughs. A laugh from the belly that shakes the mists he reaches out from.

Small lies. Self-pity. Worthlessness. Fear. His eyes move past them, not even bothering to swat them aside.

Something rests on my heart.


I was inspired when I read this post and I immediately made a story. However, I came up with my own prompt: Jealousy.

I keep finding the wrong in her brown capturing eyes, hoping to see the darkness she has yet to reveal. I keep finding the treason in her refined movements, the plan in her bright smile, the sting in her sweet words yet I couldn’t find any. She is the sun, and everyone is flocking around her warmth but I am blinded. My eyes sting and my breath caught within my throat, afraid they will notice the insecurities blowing in and out of my lungs. Afraid to move for they might see the urge to block their words worshiping her, slowly pressing my stomach, burying me into the depths of the dark place I wouldn’t want to be in but I’m still falling, falling, and falling. I have to avoid the mirror and the vision of myself beside her, comparing and losing. I have to refrain from looking as it would pour fuel into the fire and I have to stay away, far away from her. She pleaded why am I keeping distance, as I remember how my stomach churns every time they prefer her, how I’m always in the shadow of her glow, and I retreated leaving her groping in the dark for an answer, like how I’m pathetically groping for salvation. I cry that night chanting apologies; I am lost and I have to find myself, hoping to be stable and solid so my molecules will not easily drown in hers. I am me and she is her as they point my parts apart from her. A heterogeneous system, as one, as sisters, as best friends. But not today. Today I’m lying on the thorns of my selfish inexcusable reasons devoid of any strength to get up. Today, I’m still avoiding the traces of her on my notebook and my map. I’m sorry, you are the best and the worst that has happened to me and for that pitiful reason, today at 10 am in our small warm coffee shop I will not be there. I will be somewhere else, a place cowards run off to, somewhere you wouldn’t have to go.

——-your undeserving best friend: jealousy


I just re-posted a post on my FB page about using images to help you write! https://www.facebook.com/A-Page-A-Day-Lets-all-write-just-one-page-a-day-103970129720405/?fref=ts I used many images to write my novel. El Salvador’s civil war was the most photographed war in history. I bet it still is! Thanks for a great post! Sherrie Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador: http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P11Ch5chkAc



The sun shone through a small gap where the panels of curtains met. Usually the curtains did their job and blacked out any light, but the angle she laid in bed today was the perfect place for the sun to shine right on her face. It beamed like a laser through her eyelids. She turned over in bed attempting to evade the warm light. Her subconscious knew something wasn’t right. She bolted upright and scrambled to find her phone which served as her alarm clock. Dead. What time is it? She ran to the kitchen to look at the clock on the oven. It was blinking 3:38. This can’t be right, the sun is shining bright as noon. The power must have gone off sometime during the night. She hurried back to her room to plug in her phone. It seemed like hours as she waited for it to charge enough to turn on. Panic started to set in. Finally! The iPhone beamed back to life. The clock on the home screen read 7:22. She was late. Late for her first day at her new job.


I really enjoy creative writing and I hope to get better at it. I always have different ideas running through my head but I never actually put them on paper. I chose the “Morning” prompt and I feel like this is actually pretty good! Morning The warm rays of the sun filled the room as Vaughn lay their asleep. It was about 10:45 in the morning, and Vaughn was still exhausted from yesterday’s job searching. He had been fired about three months ago and has been budgeting his money the best he can. Natalie, his girlfriend, has been giving him small amounts of money here and there. Bzzz, Bzzz…his phone starts ringing, causing him to wake up from his deep sleep. His violet eyes scan the screen of the phone. Vaughn sighs, noticing it’s a text from Natalie. He puts the phone back where it was and snuggled back under the warm covers. As soon as his platinum hair hit the pillow- bzzz, bzzz, bzzz…this time it was a call. Vaughn released a sigh of annoyance, noticing it was Natalie again. “Hello”, he answered. “Vaughn I cannot believe you forgot again, you know as much as I help you, you could be a little better at remembering things”, Natalie yelled through the speaker. “What are you talking about, Natalie, we didn’t plan anything today! You said you were tired” Vaughn explained, his patients wearing thin. “I just texted you and said ‘Meet me at the new café’, I’ve been waiting here for thirty minutes and you’re still not here!”, Natalie whined. “Okay, okay, I’m on my way Naty” Vaughn threw the covers off himself and started getting ready. He wouldn’t have heard the end of it if he didn’t go. While he was pacing through his apartment, he knocked down a picture frame. He bent down and froze when he saw the picture it displayed. It was him standing beside a girl with brown hair and tan skin. Her smile was gentle and calming and her violet eyes sparkled with joy. Vaughn gently held the frame and whispered,” Cerene…”. *Flashback to High School* “Will we still talk like we are now, Florida seems like its pretty far”, Vaughn asked nervously. “Of course we will, silly, you’re my best friend!” Cerene Exclaimed. Vaughn and Cerene had been friends since elementary school. They were always together. Unfortunately, Cerene’s family traveled a lot. Her father’s job required them to move from time time. Vaughn didn’t like this at all, sure he had other friends, but they weren’t his best friends like Cerene was. She was always there for him, even when he was sick, she would bring tea, movies, or just sit and talk with him. Everyone at school thought the two liked each other. It was true Vaughn liked Cerene but he never knew how she felt about him. Cerene was leaving a week after graduation. As the day grew closer, Vaughn noticed that Cerene just wasn’t her cheery self anymore. Instead she seemed depressed and disconnected from the world. He’d find her staring off into the distance a lot like she was thinking. Three days before she was supposed to leave, Vaughn got a call from Cerene. “Hey, Cerene, how’s it goin’”, Vaughn answered. “Hey Vanya…I..um..I have some bad news” Cerene explained. Her voice was shaking, Vaughn wondered if she was about to cry. “What is it, Cerene” he asked, worried. “I’m…leaving earlier than I thought”, she said sadly. “But why, what happened to te week after graduation” he pleaded. “I’m sorry, Vanya, I tried to get extra time but my father said we have to leave earlier than expected!” she exclaimed. “Its okay, Cerene, its not your fault, but can I see you before you leave, please”, Vaughn asked with hope. “Of course, silly, you’re my best friend!” Vaughn snapped out of day dream when his phone started vibrating again.


Today was a fresh day, leaves crunching beneath my boots and the sun beams stretching out for a new morning. I usually had these walks by myself, oftenly I’d get looks from my friends of concern and they had always questioned me as to why I never invited them along. But me and the Autumn season are meant to be alone, we’re meant to be one.

My nose was red, and I had an occasional case of the sniffles not that I was really bothered about it. Nevertheless it might not be winter but the whispy breeze, and the coldness of the astomophere was indicating that it was near. I paused at the tree, in the middle of a meadow. A meadow packed with tall soft grass, flowers that were in the process of blooming and the silent birds that peacefully flew on by in the bright clear sky. I parked myself down, my back resting on the bark of the old tree my knees tucked into my chest while my arms rested on top of my knees.

I felt my hair blow with the sudden blast of wind, like waves of an ocean as I felt tears prick in the corners of my eyes. Truth is, Autumn was the sad season. The season where I lost my younger brother, Despite his falling sand the countless times he was called names and picked on by the other children, he always managed to smile and laugh with me, which you wouldn’t expect from a brother and sister. After he passed I always came here, somehow his presence lingered near. My eyelids eventually gave away to the tiredness from my sobs, my throat was sore, so just as I fell asleep, a small murmered whispered in my ear, “Sweet dreams, Sis.” And a small smile creeped onto my face, as well as the last falling tear.

This is lovely. I believe it to be true.


Beach Do you remember the last year when I called you and requested to see me at Clifton beach in the evening. You might have forget that call but tell me have you forgot that last meeting also? You might have forgot that meeting but tell me have you forgot our last dance on the sand. The sun was setting and the sky turned red as if it had not slept since many last nights. Do you remember when your left foot was kissing my right foot and your right my my left. Do you remember when we danced on the music of sew waves. Do you remember when a wave touched our feet took the sand from beneath our feet away with it. Since that day I am hanging in the air. I don’t have anything to place my feet on.

John Rodgers

Using the prompt, “Road trip” and this is what I came up with.

11:00 in the morning, my wheelchair is securely locked in the mechanism. I’m semi nervous and excited, watching out the window as the bus pulls away from the depot. Out the corner of my eye, I notice one seat up and over, a young boy is looking back at me. I give him a quick smile before he turns to his mother. She looks back to me then nudges his shoulder. A scolding expression on her face and speaking quietly to him him. I don’t hear what is said but I’m sure I can imagine her words. Parents, how they stifle a child’s curiosity. 2:45 in the afternoon, the lift is shaky as I ride it down off the bus. I’m glad to have all four wheels on the ground. I have a couple of minutes before I have to board the next bus. Just enough time for a quick bathroom break. I’m passing the young boy again. We make eye contact. His mother is busy scrounging through her purse. Oops, I bet she lost her tickets. I pop a wheely as I ride pass the boy and a bright smile lights up his young face as he watches. I turn back around, looking at him and smile. Catching a glimpse of me, his mother grabs his hand and pulls him along toward a customer desk. My eyes are still on the little boy as he looks back to me once more. I quickly give him a thumbs up, then ride off toward the rest room, wheeling on my back tires. 3:00, I’d just exited the bathroom. Time to board. The bus will be leaving in 10 minutes bound for Philadelphia. I see the boy and his mother once more as I wheel myself toward the bus’s lift. Catching the mother’s eye, I remark, “He’s a bright young boy. He’s very inquisitive, nurture him well.” She manages a curt smile and hurriedly walks toward her destination and I can’t help to watch them as the lift raises me up to enter the bus. I can’t help but wonder about the man he’ll grow up to be.


this story really made my day and i would honestly consider you to become an author. I will forever cherish this story as i can relate being wheelchair bound and now have been inspired to “pop a wheely” which i will continue to do in my every day life.You are the reason i wake up in the morning


Robert i take a massive offence to this as i am also “wheelchair bound” and like to “pop a wheely” from time to time and would highly recommend deleting your comment


As a fellow wheeler, I too take great pride in ‘popping wheelies’ whenever free time shows face in my schedule. The W.A. society (wheelers anonymous) are a faction of like minded individuals who all have a great passion for the art that is ‘paralytic parkour’. I come from a long line of wheelers, must be in my genes-sorry future kids L0L! Not a singe soul has stood tall in my family for many of years now, everyday’s a struggle, all worse than the last, but my strong will and high admiration pulls me through with a little grass from my friends if you get what i mean 😉 anyway, maybe we could arrange a date sometime soon, ill send you my details for future reference.


Hey AJ, how you doing? cause im doing swell BUT i couldn’t help wondering about this faction im hearing of, i have some gnarly brain storms about a new stunt wheelchair as ive been having a lot of trouble going down the half pipe at my local skate park, i seem to be falling out my wheelchair every time i go down and cant get back up. approximately 1/3 paralytic parkourers die due to faulty wheelchairs, i hope you take my brain storms into deep consideration.

sincerely Lance.

Angus IV

WOW lance you seem to have caught my attention because this is a everyday common struggle of most wheelers. We wheelers have to stick together and have each others backs even when we are both struggling to find our feet quite literally! the only thing i have to live on is hope and you know what they say about hope ‘breeds eternal misery’ .

Rebecca Alcozer

I found myself choosing the Grandfather Prompt. I felt my eyelids getting heavier as I placed my head on the car window. It was a quiet day. Even the sound of my mother and Grandmother talking seemed soothing. I was quickly brought back to reality by a voice message on my mother’s phone, from my grandfather. “I need..help…a hospital. Please come..” ,he whispered, then silence. I felt my heart drop to my stomach as his voice echoed in my head. I froze. I didn’t move. I couldn’t move… All I could do was sit there, listening to my mother trying to hold back her tears as she was speeding on a busy street. Only my younger sister shaking my arm snapped me back. “What’s going on? Why are they crying?”, she desperately asked. In that second, it hit me. We might not get there in time. I tried to hold back my tears, I tried to be strong, but I couldn’t. I could hear my heart pounding louder than my thoughts. I felt my temperature rising by the second. My tears sliding down my chin. The only thing I resorted to doing was pray. “Please, not today. I’m not ready. Not this soon, let me hug him one more time. Don’t take him from me yet.”,I prayed in silence. Then the thoughts began to come. What was the last thing I said to him? When is the last time I told him I loved him? My thoughts were interrupted as my mother slammed the breaks on my grandparents driveway. “Stay in the car.” ,my mother snapped as she ran out. The wait seemed endless. Everything felt unreal. I felt helpless. Was he dead? This can’t be how he leaves. I didn’t get to say goodbye. No more fighting over the t.v controller with him again. We would never share a piece of cherry pie again. I’ll never get another poem from him. My attention quickly turned to the door as my sister began to cry, as she realized the situation. My mother and grandmother came out struggling to carry my grandfather. I didn’t know what to think. “Where’s the nearest E.R?” , I hear my grandma yell. We made it on time. There seemed to be a weight off my chest. My grandfathers even SLIGHT breathing, was prayers answered.

john sefcik

After high school graduation we begin our journey, going to college; going here and there on vacations; work and exactly where we’re going isn’t clear. We can see down the road aways, sometime to the next turn, but our destination remains obscure. Often there are intersections and we glare down the different routes and make a choice and we’re off again. Job offers come and we change directions. We meet people and that may take is off in yet other directions. Then we start a family and the road seems to be long and hard. We wonder if we’re going down the right road. Will we get to nice place in the end? Will there be food and shelter waiting for us? Or will we run out of gas and be stranded, walking down the road? But we keep moving. Eventually the kids grow up and are in college and the road seems to open up and the scenery gets better. We start seeing what we think is our destination in the distance and our focus lands there. Are we going to make it – or can’t wait to make it. More intersections seem to keep the goal at bay, but we continue on. Kids are on their own road and we see them taking some of the same roads we travelled. But we make a turn and the goal is in view. We think back about the trip and how frustrating it was at the time and realize that it went by way too quickly. We long to be able to keep the trip going, taking in more sights and doing things that we didn’t stop and bother with previously. But we arrive as the sun sets. Out of gas. Cold. Hungry. Tired. And waiting for us is a huge lodge with a warm fireplace burning. A huge meal has been prepared. There is laughter, music and lots of people, many of whom we’ve known along the trip. It’s been a wonderful experience. And the talk is about the next road trip.


I absolutely love these! I just read a post about the benefits of using creative writing prompts and went looking for some to get started. Thanks so much for these!


Its been days since Ronda landed, maybe tonight she will get some sleep. Jet Lag has been a nightmare. Started the night befor the flight, woke up every 2-3 hours and could not fall back to sleep. Ronka always stresses before trips. Really she stresses before everything. The 13 hours on the plane were completely sleepless as well. Ronka rarely ever can sleep on a plane. She brought a book but did not read. She had some podcasts but didnt listen. Her focus was not good enough for any of those. Not even for random thoughts. She watched a few movies but probably doesnt remember much. At the last 2 hours she found Remi Cube on the airplane entertainment system and thats where she finally found solace. Went into a frenzy of playing until the plane landed. Ronda does most things in a frenzy. Now she’s in her parents home. Day 3 and she hasnt got much sleep. On the surface things are ok. She hasnt spiraled out of control yet. But deep inside she can feel the shift… She is not fully ok. Getting a little more grumpy and restless by the minute. A big total eclipse is happening in a few hours. The energies must be affecting. Ronda is always greatly affected with the universe arround her. The weather, The full Moons, the astrological signs. Ronda needs a good night sleep. A few good night sleeps. She needs to get back on track. She’s been doing relatively good lately.


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Last updated on Dec 23, 2022

Creative Writing: 8 Fun Ways to Get Started

Creative writing is a written art form that uses the imagination to tell stories and compose essays, poetry, screenplays, novels, lyrics, and more. It can be defined in opposition to the dry and factual types of writing found in academic, technical, or journalistic texts.

Characterized by its ability to evoke emotion and engage readers, creative writing can tackle themes and ideas that one might struggle to discuss in cold, factual terms.

If you’re interested in the world of creative writing, we have eight fantastic exercises and activities to get you started.

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1. Use writing prompts every week

Illustration of a writer getting ready for a creative writing contest

Coming up with ideas for short stories can be challenging, which is why we created a directory of 1700+ creative writing prompts covering a wide range of genres and topics. Writing prompts are flexible in nature, they are meant to inspire you without being too constrictive. Overall, they are a great way to keep your creative muscles limber.

Example of Reedsy's Creative Writing Prompts

If you’re struggling for motivation, how does a hard deadline and a little prize money sound? Prompts-based writing contests are a fantastic way to dive into creative writing: the combination of due dates, friendly rivalries, prize money, and the potential to have your work published is often just what’s needed to propel you over the finish line. 

We run a weekly writing contest over on Reedsy Prompts, where hundreds of writers from all around the world challenge themselves weekly to write a short story between 1,000 and 3,000 words for a chance to win the $250 prize. Furthermore, the community is very active in providing constructive feedback, support, and accountability to each other 一 something that will make your efforts even more worthwhile.

Take a peek at our directory of writing contests which features some of the most prestigious open writing competitions in the world. 

2. Start journaling your days

Illustration of a writer journaling in autumn

Another easy way to get started with creative writing is to keep a journal. We’re not talking about an hour-by-hour account of your day, but journaling as a way to express yourself without filters and find your ‘voice in writing’. If you’re unsure what to journal about, think of any daily experiences that have had an impact on you, such as… 

Special moments . Did you lock yourself out of your house? Or did you catch a beautiful sunset on your way back from groceries? Capture those moments, and how you felt about them.

People . Did you have an unusual exchange with a stranger at the bar? Or did you reconnect with someone you haven’t seen in years? Share your thoughts about it.

World events . Is there something happening in the world right now that is triggering you? That’s understandable. You can reflect on it (and let some steam off) while journaling.

Memories . Did you go down memory lane after a glass of wine? Great, honor those memories by trying to recollect them in detail on paper so that they will always stay vivid in your mind.

Life decisions . Are you having an existential crisis about what to do with your life? Write down your thought process, and the pros and cons of the possible decisions in front of you. You’ll be surprised to discover that, not only is it a great creative writing exercise, but it can also actually help you sort your life out! 

If you struggle to write consistently, sign up for our How to Write a Novel course to finish a novel in just 3 months.  



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3. Create an anonymous social media account

Illustration of a writer thinking

Like anonymous blogging, an incognito Twitter account sidesteps the pressure that comes with attaching your name to your work. Anonymously putting tiny stories out into the ether gives you the freedom to create without worrying about the consequences — which is great, so long as you don’t use it as an opportunity to troll people or spread conspiracy theories. 

You could use the anonymous account in different ways. For example, you could…

  • Tweet from unique points of view (e.g. a dog observing human behavior );
  • Create a parody account of real or fictional people (e.g. an English poet from the Middle Ages );
  • Challenge yourself to write tiny flash fiction stories that fit into Twitter threads.

Just remember, you’re not doing this to fool anyone into thinking that your account is real: be a good citizen and mark yourself a fiction account in your bio. 

How to Start Creative Writing | Screenshot of a tweet by the Twitter account

But if you’re not really a social media kinda person, you may enjoy our next tip, which is a bit more on the analog side.



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4. Find an old photo and tell its story

Illustration of a photo-inspired journaling exercise

Find a random old photo — maybe on the web, maybe from a photo album in a yard sale — and see what catches your attention. Look closely at it and try to imagine the story behind it. What was happening? Who are the people in it and how are they really feeling? Do they share a relationship, and of what kind? What are their goals and dreams?

In other words, bring the photo to life with your imagination. Don't be afraid to take artistic license with your story, as the goal is to be creative and have fun while writing. 

How do you know it’s creative writing?

Creative Writing | info card listing 5 headers below

5. Create a character from a random name

Illustration of a young poet and a warrior back to back

Just as our universe started from a few simple elements, you can create a character from a few basic information, like their name, culture, and gender. Reedsy’s handy character name generator can help you with that, offering random names based on archetypes, Medieval roots, fantasy traits and more. A few examples? A Celtic heroine named Fíona O'Keefe, a hero’s sidekick named Aderine, or a Korean track star named Park Kang-Dae.

Once you've chosen their name, begin to develop their personality. Set a timer for 5–10 minutes and write anything that comes to mind about them. It could be a page from their FBI dossier, a childhood diary entry, or simply a scene about them boiling an egg.

Just ‘go with the flow’ and don’t stop writing until your time is up. Repeat the process a few times to further hone the personality. If you like what you end up with, you can always go deeper later with our character profile template . 

If a stream-of-consciousness exercise is not your thing, you can try to imagine your character in a specific situation and write down how’d they respond to it. For example, what if they were betrayed by a friend? Or if they were elected in power? To help you imagine situations to put your character in, we made a free template that you can download below. 



Reedsy’s Character Questionnaire

40 questions to help you develop memorable characters.

6. Construct a character by people-watching

A writer observing a person and taking notes

People watching is “the action of spending time idly observing people in a public place.” In a non-creepy way, ideally. Sit on a bench on a public square or on a road-side table at your favorite café, and start observing the people around you. Pay attention to any interesting quirks or behaviors, and write it down. Then put on your detective’s hat and try to figure out what that tells you about them.

For example, the man at the table next to you at the restaurant is reading the newspaper. His jacket and hat are neatly arranged next to him. The pages make a whipping sound as he briskly turns them, and he grimaces every time he reads a new article. Try to imagine what he’s reading, and why he’s reacting the way he is. Then, try to build a character with the information you have. It’s a fun creative exercise that will also, hopefully, help you better empathize with strangers. 

7. “Map” something you feel strongly about into a new context

Illustration of a young romance writer

Placing your feelings into new contexts can be a powerful creative writing exercise. The idea is to start from something you feel strongly about, and frame it into a completely different context. 

For example, suppose your heart is torn apart after you divorce your life-long partner: instead of journaling or crafting an entire novel  about it, you could tell a story about a legendary trapeze duo whose partnership has come to an end. If you’re struggling with politicking and petty power dynamics at the office: what if you “mapped” your feelings onto an ant who resents being part of a colony? Directing your frustration at a queen ant can be a fun and cathartic writing experience (that won’t get you in trouble if your co-workers end up reading your story).   

8. Capture the moment with a haiku

Illustration of a haiku poet inspired by the four seasons

Haikus are poems from the Japanese tradition that aim to capture, in a few words, daily moments of insight (usually inspired by nature). In a nutshell, it’s about becoming mindful of your surroundings, and notice if you can see something in a new or deeper way 一 then use contrasting imagery to express whatever you noticed. 

Here’s an example:

Bright orange bicycle

Speeding through the autumn leaves

A burst of color waves

It may sound a bit complicated, but it shouldn’t be 一 at least not for the purpose of this exercise. Learn the basics of haiku-writing , then challenge yourself to write one per day for a week or month. At the end, you’ll be able to look back at your collection of poems and 一 in the worst case scenario 一 revisit small but significant moments that you would have otherwise forgot about.   

Creative writing can be any writing you put your heart and soul into. It could be made for the purpose of expressing your feelings, exploring an idea, or simply entertaining your readers. As you can see there’s many paths to get involved with it, and hundreds of exercises you can use as a starting point. In the next post, we’ll look more in detail at some creative writing examples from some fellow authors. 

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50 Creative Writing Ideas to Combat Writer’s Block

best creative writing pieces

A lack of creative writing ideas often leads to a writer’s worst fear: writer’s block.

It’s so easy to fall into its clutches, spending hours at your laptop (or notebook or typewriter) writing sentence after sentence only to cross every one out. Or even worse—to sit an an empty page and write nothing at all. Sometimes it takes time and hard thinking to get out of the rut once you become stuck. Sometimes, however, it takes a little more than that. Sometimes it just might take some outside help.

It can be exceedingly difficult to find solid, mature creative writing ideas on the internet. If you Google “creative writing ideas,” most of what comes up is directed at children or casual writers looking to practice a hobby. But what about creative writing ideas for adults? What about when you have the dedication, passion, and experience with writing, but you just don’t have the  ideas ?

And if these don’t work, check out my other two posts on Writer’s Block (and second Writer’s Block article ).

The next time you’re at a loss for what to write about, try using these creative writing ideas and prompts below. Maybe you’ll be inspired enough to propel you straight out of your writer’s block, or maybe it’ll just be enough to get the gears turning in your head again.

50 Creative Writing Ideas (with Prompts) to Boost Your Inspiration

1. Try Writing Magical Realism

Write a story from a universe similar to this one but possessing one specific magical quality.

1. Write about two people who grow up together, eventually part ways, move to different sides of the country, and somehow still end up unintentionally running into each other very frequently for the rest of their lives.

2. Write about someone who is reincarnated over and over again and remembers all of his/her past lives, but no one else on earth remembers theirs.

3. Write about two people who are physically unable to be awake at the same time.

4. Write about a contract killer literally haunted by his first hit.

5. Write about a prophet who knows the exact day, time, and occurrence of his death years in advance.

6. Write about a character who can taste people’s emotions through the food they prepare.

7. Write about two people who dream about each other before they actually meet.

8. Write a post-apocalyptic story and explain only your main character’s coping mechanism: creating a fantasy world in his/her head and living there.

9. Write about a person who goes to the theater with friends multiple times but always sees a different movie than his/her friends see on the same screen.

10. Write about a person who grows a new finger every time he/she acts cruelly to someone.

If you want help writing your novel, I’ve got the best novel-writing guide in the universe:

12 Steps to Write a Bestselling Novel.

That link will give you advice on characters, plotting, point of view, and more.

2. Write from a Different Perspective

Use a voice and background different from your own to write something unfamiliar and fresh.

1. Write from the perspective of an advanced AI.

2. Write from the perspective of a person in the year 2550.

3. Write from perspective of a mythological siren stuck on the rocky shore of an ocean, trying to lure sailors to their deaths.

4. Write from the perspective of an “inside guy” (jury member, lawyer, judge, etc) during an important court case.

5. Write from the perspective of a family pet whose fate is decided when its owners split up.

6. Write from the perspective of a different gender when subjected to explicit sexual objectification.

7. Write from the perspective of an inanimate object in nature, like a rock or the wind.

8. Write from the perspective of someone with a chronic but not fatal illness (diabetes, OCD, Lyme disease, etc).

9. Write from the perspective of a blind person who comes home to find all the furniture in his/her apartment rearranged.

10. Write from the perspective of a fed-up guardian angel whose designated human is prone to self-sacrificial acts.

3. Write About What’s Around You

Get inspired by ordinary objects in your home.

1. Find a small object in your junk drawer (stapler remover, chewed-up pen cap, paperweight, etc) and write about how it could be used as a weapon to kill.

2. Imagine you have to hide documents essential to national security somewhere in your office or bedroom and write a story about wherever you think is the best place.

3. If the room you’re in has windows, write a story in which the room is exactly the same but with no windows, and vice versa.

4. Imagine you’re cleaning out your desk and find a secret message carved or written on the bottom of one drawer.

5. Open a book in your office, turn to a random page, blindly point to a word, and use it as the very first word of your story.

6. Find a photo of yourself and write a narrative about the photographer in that moment.

7. Pick a room in your house and recount a story, real or fictional, about how a particular object in that room came to be there.

8. Mentally (or physically, if you want to) rearrange all the furniture in your office or bedroom and write about how that changes the overall mood of the room.

9. Search your coat pockets for old recipes, notes, or trinkets and write a story centered around something you find. (If you find nothing, write about why you empty your pockets so frequently.)

10. Pick a small item from your desk drawer and write about a character who carries it around as a talisman.

4. Let Your Reading Inspire Your Writing

Use your favorite books as a launching pad to create something original.

1. Write a scene borrowing the protagonist of a book you’ve read, but cast as a different gender.

2. Research an author you enjoy, then combine his/her life with the life of a character from one of his/her books to create a new character.

3. Take a familiar scene from a book and rewrite it, adding yourself in as a character (spectator, narrator, background figure, etc).

4. Reset a scene from a book in a drastically different time period.

5. Write a different story using the same title as a familiar book.

6. If the book you’re using has a first person narrator, rewrite a scene either from the perspective of another character or in the third person.

7. Write about a fictional person who has an intense reaction (either positive or negative) to a book you’ve read.

8. Write a story using only words found in the first and last sentences of each chapter of a book.

9. Take a book you know well and write an alternate ending that is the exact opposite of the real ending (whatever you think “opposite” means).

10. If the book you’re using has a third person narrator, rewrite a scene in the first person (as one of the author’s characters or a new character).

5. Take a Plot and Write It Multiple Ways

Take a well-defined prompt and write it multiple times, each with a different ending.

1. Write about a Japanese steakhouse chef who accidentally cuts him/herself while cooking in front of a family.

2. Write about a painter who is commissioned by a family member to paint a dead man/woman using no pictures, only descriptions from other people.

3. Write about a group of truckers who all frequent the same truck stops and form a book club for when they see each other again.

4. Write about a seasoned model who shows up to her agency one day with inexplicable cuts all over her legs.

5. Write about two strangers who each grab one end of extremely rare record at the same time in a secondhand vinyl shop.

6. Write about a manic-depressive linguist who conveys his/her emotions to friends using words from other languages that aren’t translatable into English.

7. Write about a group of whalers who accidentally discover mermaids the size of blue whales.

8. Write about someone who mistakenly picks the lock to the wrong apartment at two in the morning when trying to get into a friend’s apartment.

9. Write about a strictly Shakespearian actor who loses all of his/her money and has to take modern comedic roles to stay afloat.

10. And finally: Write about a writer struggling with long-term writer’s block who desperately searches the internet for ideas and prompts.

Related posts:

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oh my gosh this was really helpful – thank you! :))



No it wasnt.

Really helpful and cool, thank you!!!


Thiz is terrible!

so helpful I really needed this

Super helpful

These were soooooooooooooooo random prompts! They didn’t help me at all! 🙁

well maybe you shouldn’t become a writter then because if you look it was helpful to the other writters boom .

i dont think this means they shouldnt be a writer, writers block can be really difficult to get over and maybe these ideas didnt help them get over it, i know they didnt help me yet ive been writing for nearly 5 years constantly. each author is different, so its great if it helped others but that doesnt guarantee itll help everyone

That’s really rude becoming a writer means working towards your goal. Some ideas don’t inspire some people. Progress takes work and the ability to write doesn’t come easy to some people. Who knows he/she could become a great writer. We just don’t know it. We choose are destiny.

what a geek

wow look at that. you are telling people off but you can’t spell the word writer! look into a dictionary.

Maybe you guys should be nice. It’s hard to be a writer, and putting other people down because they didn’t find anything helpful isn’t right. Please remember we all want to change the world.

I think random prompts are good prompts.

I agree. If they’re random that means that there’ more variety

keep looking, I’m sure there’s something there.

I think that it was the point tp be random ideas. I personally think that these were amazing ideas and I think you might need to try to be a bit more creative.

the point is to just getting you to write something versus nothing. So if you start getting your creativity flowing it will help you with your personal work.

Same I agree

I hope you come up with even better ones!

Same . It was like you have to find something and it takes ages

Honestly, I’ve been to 3 different sites before this one looking for some decent writing prompts. Don’t be fazed if they don’t help you 🙂

That’s fine, they might not help everyone! It also might not be what you’re used to, try writing with one of the prompts, if you don’t end up liking it, it’s still an exercise for your mind. Good luck!

Good fodder for insight, topics . Curious what other readers used these to for ??

Good ideas and it helped me!

Thank you so much for these! I usually see such generic prompts on other sites, but these were very original and inspiring! I would love more if possible 😉

love these ideas I would like more if possible!

This helped me with school a lot!!

I feel personally attacked by that last one.

“and finally…” LOL. Agreed

Ha- me too!

Thank You! Your ideas are really quite wonderful. 🙂

If these don’t help you, then try procrastination. You subconscious is working on your story, so when you sit down, it is so much easier to continue writing. (Works for me!)

Someone that has used one of these prompts should be super nice and let me read what they came up with. I’m super curious as to how some of you are using them.

I’ve only managed to use one so far, there are some very great prompts here.

I am 12 years old and I am confused on where my life is going… either a vet actor, or a book writer. I need advice from some adults.

dear ADVICE PLEASE [or anyone really] you should get to be whatever your heart desires. I think that you could be a vet or actor as well as an author. The world needs writers, so get out there and spread some joy! Oh btw, I’m sure we’re all on this site for the same reasons, but don’t give up on your writing dreams

I am using it for a random report I wanted to write about something. It was just kind of boring until I realized… there IS a positive side to COVID 19! I mean c’mon guys there is a positive side to everything so search for the positive sides not the negative ones. So the positive side was… WE COULD IMPROVE OURSELVES!!! Literally just by working on something we like during COVID 19 will make it seem better and BE better!! Some people had no time to improve because they were too busy with some other job but NOW.. We could spend our whole day on something we like and trust me it will benefit each and every one of you!!! ( And your day won’t be AS boring and sad because there WILL be something to do. There is always something to do!!! )

These are some helpful ideas but I don’t agree with a few but that doesn’t matter because some of them helped me. Anyway thank you for them!

Thanks this really helped as I had something set to write to so randomness helped!

These were helpful! ( And by the way…One of your probmpts scared me, I often dream about people sometimes and then meet them later. It’s very complicated about how and why. )

I want to read what other people wrote now

That last one had me cracking up.

i second that eva

Really good ones! the last one got me smiling!

Spider girl – why not all of them? You have a long life ahead of you and to only focus one career your entire life is dreary for some people such as myself. I have been a firefighter, preschool teacher, sales person, and am currently a writer and a music teacher.

they’re really good ideas, none of them really appealed to me specifically, but it seems like someone could still make a good story out of them! 🙂

THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was exactly what I needed thanks so much

These have really have been a good use for me. I have been in a writer’s block for at least two weeks now and just by looking at some of these creative writing ideas, it has helped a lot. I know some of them may not appeal to all of you specifically, but it does give more confidence in your writing and your stories just by looking at some. For instance, if you were to look at one of the Magical Realism writing ideas, it could open a whole door to new writing possibilities. You can take one of the ideas and turn it into your own. You may not all agree that these ideas can help you, but it can definitely give you the confidence that you may lack when writing stories or maybe just inspire you. These ideas are helpful. Thank you!

Okay Hi, I was looking for a random prompt to write about, and I didn’t find one can anyone give me some ideas for one? I would be so grateful. Just for a little info, I am 13 and in 8th grade and just felt the need to start writing. Anyway, whoever sees this I hope you have a wonderful afternoon (or morning) Be safe throughout this week okay.

You could write about your dream for when you grow up. Like Martin Luther King Jr.

Thanks so much this helped

The 2nd one in the very first idea is one I think I’m going to use. Thanks so much!

omg this is fantastic…Thank you so much. I can relate to so many of these prompts but never really thought of them…

these were so good it inspired me to write:)

Thank you for this. I’ve been working on the same project for ages and this was a wonderful break from it.

Lot of love. Thank you. This is great help.

Wow! I could never have thought of these ideas even if I was given a million years. Thanks.

This took YEARS of me

This was so much help the thing is can you add some easy and fun ones?

This is very helpful thank you 🙂

These have been very helpful. Thank you so much for sharing these. The last one was hilarious and made me realize in many cases I was blocking myself, lol. It was great!

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most of these really did help me. I put them on to a word doc and kept going back on them and then went to different webs. now if I have writer’s block I have 64 pages of things to try.

I needed this

Some were a bit sus but ok


best creative writing pieces

Every writer NEEDS this book.

It’s a guide to writing the pivotal moments of your novel.

Whether writing your book or revising it, this will be the most helpful book you’ll ever buy.

Most Read in 2021

Year-End Lists!

We don’t publish a lot of lists. But this year, having launched this new website with nearly complete access to 30 years of magazine archives, we thought it seemed like a good time to look back at the stories that resonated with our readers. 

In that spirit, we’ve compiled the most-read pieces published on our website in 2021, as well as the most-read work from our archives. 

And for good measure, we’ve pulled together a few pieces worth an honorable mention; our favorite Sunday Short Reads ; CNF content that was republished elsewhere; and the best advice, inspiration, and think pieces from some of our favorite publications.

Finally, if you enjoy what follows, please know there’s plenty more! We have a soft paywall on our site, which allows for three free reads a month. To get unlimited access for as little as $4/month, simply subscribe today.

best creative writing pieces

Top 10 Published in 2021

  • Almost Behind Us A dental emergency interrupts a meaningful anniversary // JENNIFER BOWERING DELISLE
  • El Valle, 1991 An early lesson in strength and fragility // AURELIA KESSLER
  • Stay at Home All those hours alone with a new baby can be rough // JARED HANKS
  • The Desert Was His Home There are many things we don’t know about Mr. Otomatsu Wada, and a few things we do // ERIC L. MULLER
  • Just a Big Cat The dramatic boredom of jury duty // ERICA GOSS
  • What Will We Do for Fun Now? Her parents survived World War II and the Blitz just fine … didn’t they? // JANE RATCLIFFE
  • Harriet Two brothers and a turtle // TYLER McANDREW
  • Rango Getting existential at a funeral for a lizard   // JARRETT G. ZIEMER
  • Mouse Lessons from a hamster emergency // BEVERLY PETRAVICIUS
  • Roxy & the Worm Box Trying to recapture a childhood love of dirt // ANJOLI ROY

Top 5 from the Archive

  • Picturing the Personal Essay A visual guide // TIM BASCOM
  • The 5 Rs of Creative Nonfiction The essayist at work   // LEE GUTKIND
  • The Line Between Fact & Fiction Do not add, and do not deceive // ROY PETER CLARK
  • The Braided Essay as Social Justice Action The braided essay may be the most effective form for our times // NICOLE WALKER
  • On Fame, Success, and Writing Like a Mother#^@%*& An interview with Cheryl Strayed   // ELISSA BASSIST

Honorable Mention ( ICYMI Essays)

  • Latinx Heritage Month Who do you complain to when it’s HR you have a problem with? // MELISSA LUJAN MESKU
  • Women’s Work Sometimes, freedom means choosing your obligations // EILEEN GARVIN
  • Bloodlines and Bitter Syrup Avoiding prison in Huntsville, Texas, is nearly impossible // WILL BRIDGES
  • Stealth A nontraditional couple struggles with keeping part of their life together private while undertaking the public act of filing for marriage // HEATHER OSTERMAN-DAVIS
  • Something Like Vertigo An environmental writer sees parallels between her father’s declining equilibrium and a world turned upside down   // ELIZABETH RUSH

Our favorite Sunday Short Reads from our partners 


  • What Joy Looks Like SSR #128  // DORIAN FOX
  • How to Do Nothing SSR #156 // ABIGAIL THOMAS


  • At 86, My Grandmother Regrets Two Things SSR #134 // DIANA XIN
  • The Seedy Corner SSR #140 // KIMBERLY GARZA


  • Waste Not SSR #131 // DESIREE COOPER
  • This Is Orange SSR #141 // JILL KOLONGOWSKI


  • The Pilgrim’s Prescription SSR #122  // CAROLYN ALESSIO
  • Leaves in the Hall SSR #160 // ANNE GUDGER

Our favorite stories from around the internet. 

Advice & Inspiration

  • In Praise of the Meander Rebecca Solnit on letting nonfiction narrative find its own way (via Lit Hub )
  • What’s Missing Here? A Fragmentary, Lyric Essay About Fragmentary, Lyric Essays Julie Marie Wade on the mode that never quite feels finished (via Lit Hub )
  • Getting Honest about Om A brief essay on audience (via Brevity )
  • Using the Personal to Write the Global Intimate details, personal exploration and respect for facts (via Nieman Storyboard )
  • Fix Your Scene Shapes And quickly improve your manuscript (via Jane Friedman’s blog)

The State of Nonfiction

  • What the NYT ‘Guest Essay’ Means for the Future of Creative Nonfiction Description (via Brevity )
  • How the Role of Personal Expression and Experience Is Changing Journalism On the future of the newsroom (via Poynter )
  • 50 Shades of Nuance in a Polarized World An essayist ponders when to write black-and-white polemics that attract clicks, and when to be more considered (via Nieman Storyboard )
  • These Literary Memoirs Take a Different Tack Description (via NY Times )
  • The Politics of Gatekeeping On reconsidering the ethics of blind submissions (via Poets & Writers )

Creative Primer

What is Creative Writing? A Key Piece of the Writer’s Toolbox

Brooks Manley

Not all writing is the same and there’s a type of writing that has the ability to transport, teach, and inspire others like no other.

Creative writing stands out due to its unique approach and focus on imagination. Here’s how to get started and grow as you explore the broad and beautiful world of creative writing!

What is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is a form of writing that extends beyond the bounds of regular professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature. It is characterized by its emphasis on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes or poetic techniques to express ideas in an original and imaginative way.

Creative writing can take on various forms such as:

  • short stories
  • screenplays

It’s a way for writers to express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas in a creative, often symbolic, way . It’s about using the power of words to transport readers into a world created by the writer.

5 Key Characteristics of Creative Writing

Creative writing is marked by several defining characteristics, each working to create a distinct form of expression:

1. Imagination and Creativity: Creative writing is all about harnessing your creativity and imagination to create an engaging and compelling piece of work. It allows writers to explore different scenarios, characters, and worlds that may not exist in reality.

2. Emotional Engagement: Creative writing often evokes strong emotions in the reader. It aims to make the reader feel something — whether it’s happiness, sorrow, excitement, or fear.

3. Originality: Creative writing values originality. It’s about presenting familiar things in new ways or exploring ideas that are less conventional.

4. Use of Literary Devices: Creative writing frequently employs literary devices such as metaphors, similes, personification, and others to enrich the text and convey meanings in a more subtle, layered manner.

5. Focus on Aesthetics: The beauty of language and the way words flow together is important in creative writing. The aim is to create a piece that’s not just interesting to read, but also beautiful to hear when read aloud.

Remember, creative writing is not just about producing a work of art. It’s also a means of self-expression and a way to share your perspective with the world. Whether you’re considering it as a hobby or contemplating a career in it, understanding the nature and characteristics of creative writing can help you hone your skills and create more engaging pieces .

For more insights into creative writing, check out our articles on creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree and is a degree in creative writing worth it .

Styles of Creative Writing

To fully understand creative writing , you must be aware of the various styles involved. Creative writing explores a multitude of genres, each with its own unique characteristics and techniques.

Poetry is a form of creative writing that uses expressive language to evoke emotions and ideas. Poets often employ rhythm, rhyme, and other poetic devices to create pieces that are deeply personal and impactful. Poems can vary greatly in length, style, and subject matter, making this a versatile and dynamic form of creative writing.

Short Stories

Short stories are another common style of creative writing. These are brief narratives that typically revolve around a single event or idea. Despite their length, short stories can provide a powerful punch, using precise language and tight narrative structures to convey a complete story in a limited space.

Novels represent a longer form of narrative creative writing. They usually involve complex plots, multiple characters, and various themes. Writing a novel requires a significant investment of time and effort; however, the result can be a rich and immersive reading experience.


Screenplays are written works intended for the screen, be it television, film, or online platforms. They require a specific format, incorporating dialogue and visual descriptions to guide the production process. Screenwriters must also consider the practical aspects of filmmaking, making this an intricate and specialized form of creative writing.

If you’re interested in this style, understanding creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree can provide useful insights.

Writing for the theater is another specialized form of creative writing. Plays, like screenplays, combine dialogue and action, but they also require an understanding of the unique dynamics of the theatrical stage. Playwrights must think about the live audience and the physical space of the theater when crafting their works.

Each of these styles offers unique opportunities for creativity and expression. Whether you’re drawn to the concise power of poetry, the detailed storytelling of novels, or the visual language of screenplays and plays, there’s a form of creative writing that will suit your artistic voice. The key is to explore, experiment, and find the style that resonates with you.

For those looking to spark their creativity, our article on creative writing prompts offers a wealth of ideas to get you started.

Importance of Creative Writing

Understanding what is creative writing involves recognizing its value and significance. Engaging in creative writing can provide numerous benefits – let’s take a closer look.

Developing Creativity and Imagination

Creative writing serves as a fertile ground for nurturing creativity and imagination. It encourages you to think outside the box, explore different perspectives, and create unique and original content. This leads to improved problem-solving skills and a broader worldview , both of which can be beneficial in various aspects of life.

Through creative writing, one can build entire worlds, create characters, and weave complex narratives, all of which are products of a creative mind and vivid imagination. This can be especially beneficial for those seeking creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree .

Enhancing Communication Skills

Creative writing can also play a crucial role in honing communication skills. It demands clarity, precision, and a strong command of language. This helps to improve your vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, making it easier to express thoughts and ideas effectively .

Moreover, creative writing encourages empathy as you often need to portray a variety of characters from different backgrounds and perspectives. This leads to a better understanding of people and improved interpersonal communication skills.

Exploring Emotions and Ideas

One of the most profound aspects of creative writing is its ability to provide a safe space for exploring emotions and ideas. It serves as an outlet for thoughts and feelings , allowing you to express yourself in ways that might not be possible in everyday conversation.

Writing can be therapeutic, helping you process complex emotions, navigate difficult life events, and gain insight into your own experiences and perceptions. It can also be a means of self-discovery , helping you to understand yourself and the world around you better.

So, whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, the benefits of creative writing are vast and varied. For those interested in developing their creative writing skills, check out our articles on creative writing prompts and how to teach creative writing . If you’re considering a career in this field, you might find our article on is a degree in creative writing worth it helpful.

4 Steps to Start Creative Writing

Creative writing can seem daunting to beginners, but with the right approach, anyone can start their journey into this creative field. Here are some steps to help you start creative writing .

1. Finding Inspiration

The first step in creative writing is finding inspiration . Inspiration can come from anywhere and anything. Observe the world around you, listen to conversations, explore different cultures, and delve into various topics of interest.

Reading widely can also be a significant source of inspiration. Read different types of books, articles, and blogs. Discover what resonates with you and sparks your imagination.

For structured creative prompts, visit our list of creative writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing.

Editor’s Note : When something excites or interests you, stop and take note – it could be the inspiration for your next creative writing piece.

2. Planning Your Piece

Once you have an idea, the next step is to plan your piece . Start by outlining:

  • the main points

Remember, this can serve as a roadmap to guide your writing process. A plan doesn’t have to be rigid. It’s a flexible guideline that can be adjusted as you delve deeper into your writing. The primary purpose is to provide direction and prevent writer’s block.

3. Writing Your First Draft

After planning your piece, you can start writing your first draft . This is where you give life to your ideas and breathe life into your characters.

Don’t worry about making it perfect in the first go. The first draft is about getting your ideas down on paper . You can always refine and polish your work later. And if you don’t have a great place to write that first draft, consider a journal for writing .

4. Editing and Revising Your Work

The final step in the creative writing process is editing and revising your work . This is where you fine-tune your piece, correct grammatical errors, and improve sentence structure and flow.

Editing is also an opportunity to enhance your storytelling . You can add more descriptive details, develop your characters further, and make sure your plot is engaging and coherent.

Remember, writing is a craft that improves with practice . Don’t be discouraged if your first few pieces don’t meet your expectations. Keep writing, keep learning, and most importantly, enjoy the creative process.

For more insights on creative writing, check out our articles on how to teach creative writing or creative writing activities for kids.

Tips to Improve Creative Writing Skills

Understanding what is creative writing is the first step. But how can one improve their creative writing skills? Here are some tips that can help.

Read Widely

Reading is a vital part of becoming a better writer. By immersing oneself in a variety of genres, styles, and authors, one can gain a richer understanding of language and storytelling techniques . Different authors have unique voices and methods of telling stories, which can serve as inspiration for your own work. So, read widely and frequently!

Practice Regularly

Like any skill, creative writing improves with practice. Consistently writing — whether it be daily, weekly, or monthly — helps develop your writing style and voice . Using creative writing prompts can be a fun way to stimulate your imagination and get the words flowing.

Attend Writing Workshops and Courses

Formal education such as workshops and courses can offer structured learning and expert guidance. These can provide invaluable insights into the world of creative writing, from understanding plot development to character creation. If you’re wondering is a degree in creative writing worth it, these classes can also give you a taste of what studying creative writing at a higher level might look like .

Joining Writing Groups and Communities

Being part of a writing community can provide motivation, constructive feedback, and a sense of camaraderie. These groups often hold regular meetings where members share their work and give each other feedback. Plus, it’s a great way to connect with others who share your passion for writing.

Seeking Feedback on Your Work

Feedback is a crucial part of improving as a writer. It offers a fresh perspective on your work, highlighting areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. Whether it’s from a writing group, a mentor, or even friends and family, constructive criticism can help refine your writing .

Start Creative Writing Today!

Remember, becoming a proficient writer takes time and patience. So, don’t be discouraged by initial challenges. Keep writing, keep learning, and most importantly, keep enjoying the process. Who knows, your passion for creative writing might even lead to creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree .

Happy writing!

Brooks Manley

Brooks Manley

best creative writing pieces

Creative Primer  is a resource on all things journaling, creativity, and productivity. We’ll help you produce better ideas, get more done, and live a more effective life.

My name is Brooks. I do a ton of journaling, like to think I’m a creative (jury’s out), and spend a lot of time thinking about productivity. I hope these resources and product recommendations serve you well. Reach out if you ever want to chat or let me know about a journal I need to check out!

Here’s my favorite journal for 2024: 

the five minute journal

Gratitude Journal Prompts Mindfulness Journal Prompts Journal Prompts for Anxiety Reflective Journal Prompts Healing Journal Prompts Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Journal Prompts Mental Health Journal Prompts ASMR Journal Prompts Manifestation Journal Prompts Self-Care Journal Prompts Morning Journal Prompts Evening Journal Prompts Self-Improvement Journal Prompts Creative Writing Journal Prompts Dream Journal Prompts Relationship Journal Prompts "What If" Journal Prompts New Year Journal Prompts Shadow Work Journal Prompts Journal Prompts for Overcoming Fear Journal Prompts for Dealing with Loss Journal Prompts for Discerning and Decision Making Travel Journal Prompts Fun Journal Prompts

Inspiring Ink: Expert Tips on How to Teach Creative Writing

You may also like, how gratitude impacts and rewires the brain.

Brooks Manley

Enriching Creative Writing Activities for Kids

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How to Plan a Creative Writing Piece

Last Updated: May 26, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Lucy V. Hay . Lucy V. Hay is a Professional Writer based in London, England. With over 20 years of industry experience, Lucy is an author, script editor, and award-winning blogger who helps other writers through writing workshops, courses, and her blog Bang2Write. Lucy is the producer of two British thrillers, and Bang2Write has appeared in the Top 100 round-ups for Writer’s Digest & The Write Life and is a UK Blog Awards Finalist and Feedspot’s #1 Screenwriting blog in the UK. She received a B.A. in Scriptwriting for Film & Television from Bournemouth University. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 135,818 times.

Whether you are writing for fun or to satisfy a school assignment, planning a creative writing piece can be a challenge. If you don't already have an idea in mind, you will need to do a little brainstorming to come up with something that interests you. Once you have a general idea of what you want to write about, the best way to get started is to break your project into smaller, more manageable parts. When you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your piece, the writing itself will come more easily.

Getting Started

Step 1 Develop an outline.

  • You can find character sheet templates online, such as here: https://www.freelancewriting.com/copywriting/using-character-sheets-in-fiction-writing/ .

Step 3 Dive right in.

Writing Your Piece

Step 1 Grab the reader's attention.

  • Kurt Vonnegut grabs the reader's attention at the start of Slaughterhouse-Five quite simply, by saying, “All this happened, more or less.”
  • Tolstoy summed up the main theme of his novel Anna Karenina in its very first sentence: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Step 2 Present memorable characters.

  • If you are writing a work of fiction, each of your main characters has something they want, which motivates them to make the choices that drive the plot forward.
  • If you are writing a non-fiction work about an actual person or event, include specific details about the key players to make them more interesting to your reader.

Step 3 Select a time and setting that appeal to you.

  • Think of a familiar place you encounter every day, but set the story 100 years in the future – or 1,000.
  • Set your story in the modern day world, but change one very key element – imagine that dinosaurs never went extinct, electricity was never invented, or aliens have taken over the planet.
  • Whatever time period you choose, make sure the reader has a firm understanding of it early in your story so that they can properly follow the story. The reader needs to know the time period in order to imagine that characters and scenes.

Step 4 Know your audience.

  • If you are writing something for the young adult market, focus on the things that matter most to teens and don't worry about whether older adults will like it.
  • If you want to write a particular type of fiction, like westerns or sci-fi, read the most popular works in that genre to understand what its readers expect.
  • Not everyone will appreciate your sense of humor, and that's okay – be yourself, and let your work speak to those who do.

Staying Motivated

Step 1 Set reasonable goals.

Developing Your Concept

Step 1 Select a format.

  • Novels. The novel is one of the most popular forms of creative writing, and also one of the most challenging. A novel is a large project, with most novels containing at least 50,000 words. Any topic can be the subject of a novel. Certain types of novels are so popular that they belong to their own category, or genre. Examples of genre fiction are romance, mystery, science fiction, and fantasy.
  • Short stories. A work of fiction under 7,500 words is usually considered a short story. A short story usually has all of the elements of a novel, including a structured plot. However, experimental forms of short stories like flash fiction do away with ordinary narrative conventions and can take almost any form the author chooses.
  • Personal essay or memoir. A personal essay or memoir is a work of non-fiction based on your life. Drawing on your own life experiences can provide you with a wide array of story topics. Not only that, it can be an interesting way to better understand yourself and share your experiences with the world.
  • Blogs. The word blog is a shortened form of the term web log, which can refer to any type of writing that is published regularly on the internet. Blogs can be stories, factual pieces, or diaries.
  • Poetry. Poetry can take any number of forms, from traditional rhyming couplets to modern free-form verse. Poets typically develop their own unique writing style and write about any topic imaginable, from situations and emotions to current events or social commentary.
  • Screenplays or stage plays. These are detailed scripts written for a film or a play. This form of writing has very specific rules about structure and formatting, but the subject matter can be anything you like. [10] X Research source

Step 2 Think of a topic.

  • Keep your eyes open for compelling stories in the news that could provide a starting point.
  • Observe what is happening around you and turn it into a story.
  • Adapt your thoughts into a story.
  • Draw on an interesting or unusual event that happened in your own life.
  • Search the web for “writing prompts” and you'll find lots of ideas to get you going, suggested by other writers. You could even use a random prompt generator website to get a unique suggestion just for you!

Step 3 Consider adaptation.

  • The popular 1990s teen movie Clueless is a modern adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel Emma .
  • The classic Greek myth The Odyssey has been re-imagined in countless ways, including James Joyce's Ulysses and the Coen Brothers' O Brother Where Art Thou? Many authors have adapted its basic story structure of a hero's quest.
  • Stories about vampires are all loosely adapted from Bram Stoker's Dracula, but many different writers have put their own unique spin on the concept.

Step 4 Identify your main themes.

  • Salinger's Catcher in the Rye contains themes of alienation and coming of age.
  • Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series addresses themes of courage, and the triumph of good over evil.
  • Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy plays with themes about the absurdity of life, the interconnectedness of all things, and how seemingly minor incidents can have huge consequences.

Expert Q&A

Lucy V. Hay

  • Try to provide something of value to the reader, who is investing their time in reading your work. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • The best writing is always simple, clear, and concise. Overly complicated sentences can be difficult to follow, and you may lose your reader's interest. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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Write a Descriptive Paragraph

  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/developing_an_outline/how_to_outline.html
  • ↑ https://www.scad.edu/sites/default/files/PDF/Animation-design-challenge-character-sheets.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.writersdigest.com/be-inspired/5-ways-to-start-writing-your-novel-today
  • ↑ https://www.georgebrown.ca/sites/default/files/uploadedfiles/tlc/_documents/hooks_and_attention_grabbers.pdf
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing/creative_writing/characters_and_fiction_writing/writing_compelling_characters.html
  • ↑ https://www.umgc.edu/current-students/learning-resources/writing-center/writing-resources/prewriting/writing-for-an-audience
  • ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/writingprocess/goalsetting/how
  • ↑ https://researchwriting.unl.edu/developing-effective-writing-habits
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/resources/writing_instructors/grades_7_12_instructors_and_students/what_to_do_when_you_are_stuck.html
  • ↑ https://www.acs.edu.au/info/writing/creative-writing/creative-writers.aspx
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/brainstorming/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/research_papers/choosing_a_topic.html

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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? :)

these 5 creative writing examples show you how to jazz up any writing

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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Reader Interactions

Leave a comment and join the conversation cancel reply.

best creative writing pieces

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!

best creative writing pieces

August 5, 2022 at 7:06 pm

Thank you, Barry. I sometimes surprise myself how much I’ve shared on this site already!

best creative writing pieces

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!

best creative writing pieces

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.

best creative writing pieces

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. 😉

best creative writing pieces

July 13, 2022 at 5:08 pm

Hi Henneke,

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.

best creative writing pieces

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.

best creative writing pieces

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 🙂

best creative writing pieces

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.

best creative writing pieces

July 12, 2022 at 4:02 pm

Hello Henneke,

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!

best creative writing pieces

July 12, 2022 at 2:54 pm

What did the fish say when he hit his head on cement?

Morning sunshine,

“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.

Thanks Henneke.

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.

Happy hunting.

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.

best creative writing pieces

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

best creative writing pieces

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.

best creative writing pieces

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.

best creative writing pieces

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.

No good…

Oh well…

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!

best creative writing pieces

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!

best creative writing pieces

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best creative writing pieces

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I never saw myself as a writer, but in my early forties, I learned how to write and discovered the joy of writing. Now, I’d like to empower you to find your voice, share your ideas and inspire your audience. Learn how I can help you

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Writers' Treasure

Effective writing advice for aspiring writers

Creative Writing 101

Creative writing is any form of writing which is written with the creativity of mind: fiction writing, poetry writing, creative nonfiction writing and more. The purpose is to express something, whether it be feelings, thoughts, or emotions.

Rather than only giving information or inciting the reader to make an action beneficial to the writer, creative writing is written to entertain or educate someone, to spread awareness about something or someone, or to express one’s thoughts.

There are two kinds of creative writing: good and bad, effective and ineffective. Bad, ineffective creative writing cannot make any impression on the reader. It won’t achieve its purpose.

So whether you’re a novelist, a poet, a short-story writer, an essayist, a biographer or an aspiring beginner, you want to improve your craft. The question is: how?

When you write great fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, amazing things can happen. Readers can’t put it down. The work you wrote becomes a bestseller. It becomes famous. But you have to reach to that level… first .

The best way to increase your proficiency in creative writing is to write, write compulsively, but it doesn’t mean write whatever you want. There are certain things you should know first… it helps to start with the right foot.

To do exactly that, here we have a beginners’ guide from Writers’ Treasure on the subject:

  • An Introduction to Creative Writing
  • How to Get Started in Creative Writing in Just Three Steps
  • Creative Writing vs. Technical Writing
  • Fiction Writing 101: The Elements of Stories
  • Poetry Writing: Forms and Terms Galore
  • Creative Non-Fiction: What is it?
  • Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Creative Writing
  • Common Mistakes Made by Creative Writers

For novelists: do you want to write compelling opening chapters?

Are you an aspiring novelist? Will your novel see the light of day? For that, you will need to make the first chapter of your story as compelling as possible. Otherwise, readers won’t even pick up your novel. That chapter can be the make-or-break point that decides whether your novel is published or not. It’s because good editors know how you write from the first three pages… or sometimes even from the opening lines.

To solve this problem, I created a five-part tutorial on Writing Compelling Opening Chapters . It outlines why you need to write a compelling opening chapter, my personal favourite way of beginning it, what should be told and shown in it, general dos and don’ts, and what you need to do after having written it. Check it out for more.

Need more writing tips?

Sometimes you reach that stage when you outgrow the beginner stage of writing but feel that you’re not yet an expert. If I just described you, no worries– Writers’ Treasure’s writing tips are here. Whether you want to make your writing more readable, more irresistible, more professional, we’ve got you covered. So check out our writing tips , and be on your way to fast track your success.

I offer writing, editing and proofreading , as well as website creation services. I’ve been in this field for seven years, and I know the tools of the trade. I’ve seen the directions where the writing industry is going, the changes, the new platforms. Get your work done through me, and get fast and efficient service. Get a quote .

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Library Home

Elements of Creative Writing

best creative writing pieces

J.D. Schraffenberger, University of Northern Iowa

Rachel Morgan, University of Northern Iowa

Grant Tracey, University of Northern Iowa

Copyright Year: 2023

ISBN 13: 9780915996179

Publisher: University of Northern Iowa

Language: English

Formats Available

Conditions of use.


Learn more about reviews.

Reviewed by Robert Moreira, Lecturer III, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on 3/21/24

Unlike Starkey's CREATIVE WRITING: FOUR GENRES IN BRIEF, this textbook does not include a section on drama. read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 4 see less

Unlike Starkey's CREATIVE WRITING: FOUR GENRES IN BRIEF, this textbook does not include a section on drama.

Content Accuracy rating: 5

As far as I can tell, content is accurate, error free and unbiased.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 5

The book is relevant and up-to-date.

Clarity rating: 5

The text is clear and easy to understand.

Consistency rating: 5

I would agree that the text is consistent in terms of terminology and framework.

Modularity rating: 5

Text is modular, yes, but I would like to see the addition of a section on dramatic writing.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 5

Topics are presented in logical, clear fashion.

Interface rating: 5

Navigation is good.

Grammatical Errors rating: 5

No grammatical issues that I could see.

Cultural Relevance rating: 3

I'd like to see more diverse creative writing examples.

As I stated above, textbook is good except that it does not include a section on dramatic writing.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: One Great Way to Write a Short Story
  • Chapter Two: Plotting
  • Chapter Three: Counterpointed Plotting
  • Chapter Four: Show and Tell
  • Chapter Five: Characterization and Method Writing
  • Chapter Six: Character and Dialouge
  • Chapter Seven: Setting, Stillness, and Voice
  • Chapter Eight: Point of View
  • Chapter Nine: Learning the Unwritten Rules
  • Chapter One: A Poetry State of Mind
  • Chapter Two: The Architecture of a Poem
  • Chapter Three: Sound
  • Chapter Four: Inspiration and Risk
  • Chapter Five: Endings and Beginnings
  • Chapter Six: Figurative Language
  • Chapter Seven: Forms, Forms, Forms
  • Chapter Eight: Go to the Image
  • Chapter Nine: The Difficult Simplicity of Short Poems and Killing Darlings

Creative Nonfiction

  • Chapter One: Creative Nonfiction and the Essay
  • Chapter Two: Truth and Memory, Truth in Memory
  • Chapter Three: Research and History
  • Chapter Four: Writing Environments
  • Chapter Five: Notes on Style
  • Chapter Seven: Imagery and the Senses
  • Chapter Eight: Writing the Body
  • Chapter Nine: Forms

Back Matter

  • Contributors
  • North American Review Staff

Ancillary Material

  • University of Northern Iowa

About the Book

This free and open access textbook introduces new writers to some basic elements of the craft of creative writing in the genres of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. The authors—Rachel Morgan, Jeremy Schraffenberger, and Grant Tracey—are editors of the North American Review, the oldest and one of the most well-regarded literary magazines in the United States. They’ve selected nearly all of the readings and examples (more than 60) from writing that has appeared in NAR pages over the years. Because they had a hand in publishing these pieces originally, their perspective as editors permeates this book. As such, they hope that even seasoned writers might gain insight into the aesthetics of the magazine as they analyze and discuss some reasons this work is so remarkable—and therefore teachable. This project was supported by NAR staff and funded via the UNI Textbook Equity Mini-Grant Program.

About the Contributors

J.D. Schraffenberger  is a professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa. He is the author of two books of poems,  Saint Joe's Passion  and  The Waxen Poor , and co-author with Martín Espada and Lauren Schmidt of  The Necessary Poetics of Atheism . His other work has appeared in  Best of Brevity ,  Best Creative Nonfiction ,  Notre Dame Review ,  Poetry East ,  Prairie Schooner , and elsewhere.

Rachel Morgan   is an instructor of English at the University of Northern Iowa. She is the author of the chapbook  Honey & Blood , Blood & Honey . Her work is included in the anthology  Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in American  and has appeared in the  Journal of American Medical Association ,  Boulevard ,  Prairie Schooner , and elsewhere.

Grant Tracey   author of three novels in the Hayden Fuller Mysteries ; the chapbook  Winsome  featuring cab driver Eddie Sands; and the story collection  Final Stanzas , is fiction editor of the  North American Review  and an English professor at the University of Northern Iowa, where he teaches film, modern drama, and creative writing. Nominated four times for a Pushcart Prize, he has published nearly fifty short stories and three previous collections. He has acted in over forty community theater productions and has published critical work on Samuel Fuller and James Cagney. He lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

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100 Major Works of Modern Creative Nonfiction

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  • An Introduction to Punctuation
  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

Essays , memoirs , autobiographies , biographies , travel writing , history, cultural studies, nature writing —all of these fit under the broad heading of creative nonfiction , and all are represented in this list of 100 major works of creative nonfiction published by British and American writers over the past 90 years or so. They're arranged alphabetically by author last name.

Recommended Creative Nonfiction

  • Edward Abbey, "Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness" (1968)
  • James Agee, "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men" (1941)
  • Martin Amis, "Experience" (1995)
  • Maya Angelou , "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (1970)
  • Russell Baker, "Growing Up" (1982)
  • James Baldwin , "Notes of a Native Son" (1963)
  • Julian Barnes, "Nothing to Be Frightened Of" (2008)
  • Alan Bennett, "Untold Stories" (2005)
  • Wendell Berry, "Recollected Essays" (1981)
  • Bill Bryson, "Notes From a Small Island" (1995)
  • Anthony Burgess, "Little Wilson and Big God: Being the First Part of the Confessions of Anthony Burgess" (1987)
  • Joseph Campbell, "The Hero With a Thousand Faces" (1949)
  • Truman Capote , "In Cold Blood" (1965)
  • Rachel Carson, "Silent Spring" (1962)
  • Pat Conroy, "The Water Is Wide" (1972)
  • Harry Crews, "A Childhood: The Biography of a Place" (1978)
  • Joan Didion, "We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction" (2006)
  • Joan Didion, "The Year of Magical Thinking" (2005)
  • Annie Dillard, "An American Childhood" (1987)
  • Annie Dillard, "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" (1974)
  • Barbara Ehrenreich, "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America" (2001)
  • Gretel Ehrlich, "The Solace of Open Spaces" (1986)
  • Loren Eiseley, "The Immense Journey: An Imaginative Naturalist Explores the Mysteries of Man and Nature" (1957)
  • Ralph Ellison, "Shadow and Act" (1964)
  • Nora Ephron, "Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women" (1975)
  • Joseph Epstein, "Snobbery: The American Version" (2002)
  • Richard P. Feynman, "The Feynman Lectures on Physics" (1964)
  • Shelby Foote, "The Civil War: A Narrative" (1974)
  • Ian Frazier, "Great Plains" (1989)
  • Paul Fussell, "The Great War and Modern Memory" (1975)
  • Stephen Jay Gould, "Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History" (1977)
  • Robert Graves, "Good-Bye to All That" (1929)
  • Alex Haley, "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" (1965)
  • Pete Hamill, "A Drinking Life: A Memoir" (1994)
  • Ernest Hemingway , "A Moveable Feast" (1964)
  • Michael Herr, "Dispatches" (1977)
  • John Hersey, "Hiroshima" (1946)
  • Laura Hillenbrand, "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption" (2010)
  • Edward Hoagland, "The Edward Hoagland Reader" (1979)
  • Eric Hoffer, "The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements" (1951)
  • Richard Hofstadter, "Anti-Intellectualism in American Life" (1963)
  • Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston, "Farewell to Manzanar" (1973)
  • Langston Hughes , "The Big Sea" (1940)
  • Zora Neale Hurston , "Dust Tracks on a Road" (1942)
  • Aldous Huxley, "Collected Essays" (1958)
  • Clive James, "Reliable Essays: The Best of Clive James" (2001)
  • Alfred Kazin, "A Walker in the City" (1951)
  • Tracy Kidder, "House" (1985)
  • Maxine Hong Kingston, "The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Childhood Among Ghosts" (1989)
  • Thomas Kuhn, "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" (1962)
  • William Least Heat-Moon, "Blue Highways: A Journey Into America" (1982)
  • Bernard Levin, "Enthusiasms" (1983)
  • Barry Lopez, "Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape" (1986)
  • David McCullough, "Truman" (1992)
  • Dwight Macdonald, "Against The American Grain: Essays on the Effects of Mass Culture" (1962)
  • John McPhee, "Coming Into the Country" (1977)
  • Rosemary Mahoney, "Whoredom in Kimmage: The Private Lives of Irish Women" (1993)
  • Norman Mailer, "The Armies of the Night" (1968)
  • Peter Matthiessen, "The Snow Leopard" (1979)
  • H.L. Mencken, "A Mencken Chrestomathy: His Own Selection of His Choicest Writing" (1949)
  • Joseph Mitchell, "Up in the Old Hotel and Other Stories" (1992)
  • Jessica Mitford, "The American Way of Death" (1963)
  • N. Scott Momaday, "Names" (1977)
  • Lewis Mumford, "The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects" (1961)
  • Vladimir Nabokov, "Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited" (1967)
  • P.J. O'Rourke, "Parliament of Whores" (1991)
  • Susan Orlean, "My Kind of Place: Travel Stories from a Woman Who's Been Everywhere" (2004)
  • George Orwell , "Down and Out in Paris and London" (1933)
  • George Orwell, "Essays" (2002)
  • Cynthia Ozick, "Metaphor and Memory" (1989)
  • Robert Pirsig, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" (1975)
  • Richard Rodriguez, "Hunger of Memory" (1982)
  • Lillian Ross, "Picture" (1952)
  • David Sedaris, "Me Talk Pretty One Day" (2000)
  • Richard Selzer, "Taking the World in for Repairs" (1986)
  • Zadie Smith, "Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays" (2009)
  • Susan Sontag, "Against Interpretation and Other Essays" (1966)
  • John Steinbeck, "Travels with Charley" (1962)
  • Studs Terkel, "Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression" (1970)
  • Lewis Thomas, "The Lives of a Cell" (1974)
  • E.P. Thompson, "The Making of the English Working Class" (1963; rev. 1968)
  • Hunter S. Thompson, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream" (1971)
  • James Thurber, "My Life and Hard Times" (1933)
  • Lionel Trilling, "The Liberal Imagination: Essays on Literature and Society" (1950)
  • Barbara Tuchman, "The Guns of August" (1962)
  • John Updike, "Self-Consciousness" (1989)
  • Gore Vidal, "United States: Essays 1952–1992" (1993)
  • Sarah Vowell, "The Wordy Shipmates" (2008)
  • Alice Walker , "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose" (1983)
  • David Foster Wallace, "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments" (1997)
  • James D. Watson, "The Double Helix" (1968)
  • Eudora Welty, "One Writer's Beginnings" (1984)
  • E.B. White , "Essays of E.B. White" (1977)
  • E.B. White, "One Man's Meat" (1944)
  • Isabel Wilkerson, "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration" (2010)
  • Tom Wolfe, "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" (1968)
  • Tom Wolfe, "The Right Stuff" (1979)
  • Tobias Wolff, "This Boy's Life: A Memoir" (1989)
  • Virginia Woolf , "A Room of One's Own" (1929)
  • Richard Wright, "Black Boy" (1945)
  • A List of Every Nobel Prize Winner in English Literature
  • What is a Familiar Essay in Composition?
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Direct Objects in English Grammar
  • Definition Examples of Collage Essays
  • detail (composition)
  • What Is a Personal Essay (Personal Statement)?
  • List (Grammar and Sentence Styles)
  • Definition and Examples of Vignettes in Prose
  • How to Define Autobiography
  • What You Should Know About Travel Writing
  • Definition and Examples of Overwriting
  • What Is Literary Journalism?
  • Stream of Consciousness Writing
  • Examples of Images in Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction

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Western Technical College

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)

Short Stories

  • Floating Away , by Jamie Holweger a short story (Creative Writing, Tracy Helixon)

best creative writing pieces

31 Of The Most Beautiful And Profound Passages In Literature You’ll Want To Read Over And Over Again

  • https://thoughtcatalog.com/?p=493373


Whenever I’m feeling uninspired I look to a collection of my favorite literary quotes I keep in a document on my computer. Today was one of those days. As I was re-reading some of these and remembering why I love writing, reading, and the power of words and a good story, I thought perhaps someone somewhere out there might be feeling the same as me this morning. Here are 31 of the most beautiful passages in literature .

“Atticus said to Jem one day, “I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. “Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

“i took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. i am, i am, i am.” – sylvia plath, the bell jar, “we believe that we can change the things around us in accordance with our desires—we believe it because otherwise we can see no favourable outcome. we do not think of the outcome which generally comes to pass and is also favourable: we do not succeed in changing things in accordance with our desires, but gradually our desires change. the situation that we hoped to change because it was intolerable becomes unimportant to us. we have failed to surmount the obstacle, as we were absolutely determined to do, but life has taken us round it, led us beyond it, and then if we turn round to gaze into the distance of the past, we can barely see it, so imperceptible has it become.” – marcel proust, in search of lost time, “the most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.” – antoine de saint-exupéry, the little prince, “hello babies. welcome to earth. it’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. it’s round and wet and crowded. on the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. there’s only one rule that i know of, babies-“god damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” – kurt vonnegut, god bless you, mr. rosewater, “why, sometimes i’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – lewis carroll, alice in wonderland, “we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – oscar wilde, lady windermere’s fan, “i must not fear. fear is the mind-killer. fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. i will face my fear. i will permit it to pass over me and through me. and when it has gone past i will turn the inner eye to see its path. where the fear has gone there will be nothing. only i will remain.” – frank herbert, dune, “nolite te bastardes carborundorum.” (don’t let the bastards grind you down) – margaret atwood, the handmaid’s tale, “just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever, he said. you might want to think about that. you forget some things, dont you yes. you forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.” – cormac mccarthy,  the road, “you can tell yourself that you would be willing to lose everything you have in order to get something you want. but it’s a catch-22: all of those things you’re willing to lose are what make you recognizable. lose them, and you’ve lost yourself.” – jodi picoult, handle with care, “the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” – jack kerouac, on the road, “he allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” ― gabriel garcí­a márquez, love in the time of cholera, “there is an idea of a patrick bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though i can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: i simply am not there.” – bret easton ellis, american psycho, “sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. you change direction but the sandstorm chases you. you turn again, but the storm adjusts. over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. why because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. this storm is you. something inside of you. so all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. there’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. that’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine., and you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. no matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. people will bleed there, and you will bleed too. hot, red blood. you’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others., and once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. you won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. but one thing is certain. when you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. that’s what this storm’s all about.” – haruki murakami, kafka on the shore, “a heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others” – l. frank baum, the wonderful wizard of oz, “sometimes i can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives i’m not living.”- jonathan safran foer, extremely loud and incredibly close, “the most important things are the hardest to say. they are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. but it’s more than that, isn’t it the most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. and you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. that’s the worst, i think. when the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.” stephen king, different seasons, “i don’t have any problem understanding why people flunk out of college or quit their jobs or cheat on each other or break the law or spray-paint walls. a little bit outside of things is where some people feel each other. we do it to replace the frame of family. we do it to erase and remake our origins in their own images. to say, i too was here.” – lidia yuknavitch, the chronology of water, “i never believed in santa claus. none of us kids did. mom and dad refused to let us. they couldn’t afford expensive presents and they didn’t want us to think we weren’t as good as other kids who, on christmas morning, found all sorts of fancy toys under the tree that were supposedly left by santa claus. dad had lost his job at the gypsum, and when christmas came that year, we had no money at all. on christmas eve, dad took each one of us kids out into the desert night one by one., “pick out your favorite star”, dad said., “i like that one” i said., dad grinned, “that’s venus”, he said. he explained to me that planets glowed because reflected light was constant and stars twinkled because their light pulsed., “i like it anyway” i said., “what the hell,” dad said. “it’s christmas. you can have a planet if you want.” and he gave me venus., venus didn’t have any moons or satellites or even a magnetic field, but it did have an atmosphere sort of similar to earth’s, except it was super hot-about 500 degrees or more. “so,” dad said, “when the sun starts to burn out and earth turns cold, everyone might want to move to venus to get warm. and they’ll have to get permission from your descendants first., we laughed about all the kids who believed in the santa myth and got nothing for christmas but a bunch of cheap plastic toys. “years from now, when all the junk they got is broken and long forgotten,” dad said, “you’ll still have your stars.” – jeannette walls, the glass castle, “lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. my sin, my soul. lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. lo. lee. ta. she was lo, plain lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. she was lola in slacks. she was dolly at school. she was dolores on the dotted line. but in my arms she was always lolita. did she have a precursor she did, indeed she did. in point of fact, there might have been no lolita at all had i not loved, one summer, an initial girl-child. in a princedom by the sea. oh when about as many years before lolita was born as my age was that summer. you can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style. ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. look at this tangle of thorns.” vladimir nabokov, lolita, “you think because he doesn’t love you that you are worthless. you think that because he doesn’t want you anymore that he is right — that his judgement and opinion of you are correct. if he throws you out, then you are garbage. you think he belongs to you because you want to belong to him. don’t. it’s a bad word, ‘belong.’ especially when you put it with somebody you love. love shouldn’t be like that. did you ever see the way the clouds love a mountain they circle all around it; sometimes you can’t even see the mountain for the clouds. but you know what you go up top and what do you see his head. the clouds never cover the head. his head pokes through, beacuse the clouds let him; they don’t wrap him up. they let him keep his head up high, free, with nothing to hide him or bind him. you can’t own a human being. you can’t lose what you don’t own. suppose you did own him. could you really love somebody who was absolutely nobody without you you really want somebody like that somebody who falls apart when you walk out the door you don’t, do you and neither does he. you’re turning over your whole life to him. your whole life, girl. and if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him he can’t value you more than you value yourself.” – toni morrison, song of solomon, “…i think we are well-advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. we forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. we forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were.” ― joan didion, slouching towards bethlehem, “i don’t let anyone touch me,” i finally said. why not” why not because i was tired of men. hanging in doorways, standing too close, their smell of beer or fifteen-year-old whiskey. men who didn’t come to the emergency room with you, men who left on christmas eve. men who slammed the security gates, who made you love them then changed their minds. forests of boys, their ragged shrubs full of eyes following you, grabbing your breasts, waving their money, eyes already knocking you down, taking what they felt was theirs. (…) it was a play and i knew how it ended, i didn’t want to audition for any of the roles. it was no game, no casual thrill. it was three-bullet russian roulette.” – janet fitch, white oleander, “i wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. not fuck, like in those movies. not even have sex. just sleep together in the most innocent sense of the phrase. but i lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and i was gawky and she was gorgeous and i was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. so i walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, i was drizzle and she was hurricane.” ― john green, looking for alaska, “but i tried, didn’t i goddamnit, at least i did that.” – ken kesey, one flew over the cuckoo’s nest, “if you’re going to try, go all the way. otherwise, don’t even start. this could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. it could mean not eating for three or four days. it could mean freezing on a park bench. it could mean jail. it could mean derision. it could mean mockery–isolation. isolation is the gift. all the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. and, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. and it will be better than anything else you can imagine. if you’re going to try, go all the way. there is no other feeling like that. you will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. you will ride life straight to perfect laughter. it’s the only good fight there is.” ― charles bukowski, factotum, “i will be very careful the next time i fall in love, she told herself. also, she had made a promise to herself that she intended on keeping. she was never going to go out with another writer: no matter how charming, sensitive, inventive or fun they could be. they weren’t worth it in the long run. they were emotionally too expensive and the upkeep was complicated. they were like having a vacuum cleaner around the house that broke all the time and only einstein could fix it. she wanted her next lover to be a broom.” ― richard brautigan, sombrero fallout, “usually we walk around constantly believing ourselves. “i’m okay” we say. “i’m alright”. but sometimes the truth arrives on you and you can’t get it off. that’s when you realize that sometimes it isn’t even an answer–it’s a question. even now, i wonder how much of my life is convinced.” ― markus zusak, the book thief, “i love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. i love you simply, without problems or pride: i love you in this way because i do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no i or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when i fall asleep your eyes close.” ― pablo neruda, 100 love sonnets, “it doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. i want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing., it doesn’t interest me how old you are. i want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive., it doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. i want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further paini want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it., i want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human., it doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. i want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy., i want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence., i want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “yes”, it doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. i want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children., it doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. i want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back., it doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. i want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away., i want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”, ― oriah mountain dreamer, the invitation, koty neelis.

Former senior staff writer and producer at Thought Catalog.

Keep up with Koty on Twitter

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best creative writing pieces

Miss Huttlestone's GCSE English

Because a whole class of wonderful minds are better than just one!

2 Grade 9 Creative Writing Examples

I recently asked my year 11s to pen a piece of description and/or narrative writing for their mini assessment. I gave them the following prompts:

Your school wants you to contribute to a collection of creative writing.

EITHER: Write a short story as suggested by this picture:

best creative writing pieces

OR: Write a description about a person who has made a strong impression on you.

The following were two COMPELLING and CONVINCING examples of the second choice – one pupil taking ‘you’ as a fictional invitation, the other as a biographical one:


Gradually, I awake and open my eyes only to see the cracked white ceiling which greets me every day. Here I sit, slumped in the bed with the scratchy white sheets hugging me and muffled beeping noises jumping into my ears. Rubbing the sleep crust from my bloodshot eyes, I observe the scene before me. The sound of footsteps overlapping as nurses rush from bed to bed; the metallic tang from stainless steel invading my nostrils; the cold metal bed rail imprisoning and mocking me; the pungent scent of antiseptic troubling me and the blood-curdling cries and moans utterly terrifying me. Using all my strength, I try to imagine I am somewhere else, anywhere else but here.

Crowds, signs, roars: it was 1903 and the suffragette movement had begun. It was a crisp night, refreshing almost and I had taken to the streets. It was like I was possessed by something that night, some urge and deep desire within me that had led me there, surrounded by women like myself. I stood clueless and lost in the crowd; the women yelling ‘Deeds not words’ in unison; passionately parading with large wooden signs and viciously shattering windows with bricks and stones. Despite the violence that was displayed before me, I was not afraid of what was happening and I didn’t deem it unnecessary or improper, in fact I wanted the same as these women, I wanted equality. Abruptly, all of the roars and cheers became muted and faint, one woman walked slowly towards me, her hair messily swooped into an updo, her clothes somewhat dirtied and her chocolate brown corset slightly loosened. There was a glimmer in her eyes as tears seemed to swell within their hazel pools, she seemed inspired, hopeful. After reaching me in the crowd, she held out her hand, gently passing me a sign. Immediately, I clasped it and the yelling and chanting rang loudly in my ears once more. My journey had begun.

Here however, is where it ends. I am aware I do not have much time left, as the doctors have told me so, and spending my last moments in this hospital room is not optimal. However, as I look around I can see beauty within a room which at first glance seems void of it. The hollow medical tubes by my side remind me of the awful act of force feeding I have faced in the past; the shrieks and bawls of patients reflecting the pain women had felt in my time and the bed bars mirroring the prisons we were thrown into and the gates we would chain ourselves too. I know these things may seem far from beautiful, but I can see my past within this room, the power I possessed and the changes I have contributed to today. I know now that I can leave this earth having had an impact. Slowly I close my eyes, I can see her, the women who changed my life many years ago, her name, Emmeline Pankhurst.


I will never forget that day. The hazel pools of her eyes glazed over, and hands delicately placed at her sides. Nobody in the room could quite grasp the fact that this was happening. The crowds of black attire row on row seemed to mimic the thing she loves most in life, the piano. However, this time she had taken the ivory natural keys with her and left everyone else with the sharp tones. You needed both to create beautiful symphonies but all that filled the room was the excruciating silence of her absense. Even the metronone like ticks of the clock seemed to come to a standstill.

It had all began that day, she seemed to open up this whole new world for us to explore together as she placed my fingers onto the keys for the first time. I knew that this was what I was meant to do. She was the most passionately beautiful pianist I had ever seen in my life. Often, I would peer round the oak doorway before my lessons just to catch a glimpse at her. It seemed like nothing in the world mattered to her at the time.

As the years progressed, so did the scope of this world we were exploring. Each sheet of lovingly handwritten sheet music was like a new section of the map we were slowly creating together. Each of her students had their own map. Each as beautiful and each as unique as the pianist. The crotchets and quavers that adorned the staves directed the different paths we could take as my fingers graced the keys. This may not have been a beautiful ballet routine, but this was our dance and it had been carefully choreographed just for us.

That piano room was the safest place in the world. Every inch of it her: the potent scent of her floral perfume; shelves full of scruffy and well loved sheet music; rows upon rows of framed photos of her and her students; the vintage piano which she always kept in tune, it was home. I couldn’t bear the

idea that someone else was going move in and rip away the music room without a second thought. It was her music room.

It was up to me now. Up to me to finish this journey we had begun together.

She may not be with me in person anymore, but she will always live within the world we built together and nothing could ever change that. For she could never truly be gone since she left a piece of her within every one of her students; the passion for piano.


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Secondary English teacher in Herts. View all posts by gcseenglishwithmisshuttlestone

2 thoughts on “2 Grade 9 Creative Writing Examples”

This has helped me a lot, I myself am preparing for a narrative test like this and these prompts and descriptive short stories are marvellous! Thank you for sharing this! 🙂

My pleasure!

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