Types of creative writing

While there are many reasons why you might be putting pen to paper or tapping away on the keyboard, there are really only four main types of writing: expository, descriptive, persuasive, and narrative. Each of these four writing genres has a distinct aim, and they all require different types of writing skills.

There are many other forms of creative writing that we might examine, but when we talk about creative writing, fiction and poetry frequently take centre stage.

Most authors grow to favour one style (and genre) over all others. This may be advantageous as it allows you to specialise in your form and genre and improve your skills. But on occasion, dealing with different kinds of writing is advantageous. It keeps your writing fresh and free of clichés that are exclusive to a certain form or genre, and it's a terrific way to learn a range of approaches that are unusual in your favoured form or genre but that may be utilised to improve it.

  • Free writing: Open a notebook or an electronic document and just start writing. Allow strange words and images to find their way to the page. Anything goes! Also called stream-of-consciousness writing, free writing is the pinnacle of creative writing.

  • Journals: A journal is any written log. You could keep a gratitude journal, a memory journal, a dream journal, or a goals journal. Many writers keep idea journals or all-purpose omni-journals that can be used for everything from daily free writes to brainstorming and project planning.

  • Diaries: A diary is a type of journal in which you write about your daily life. Some diaries are written in letter format (“Dear Diary…”). If you ever want to write a memoir, then it’s a good idea to start keeping a diary.

  • Letters: Because the ability to communicate effectively is increasingly valuable, letter writing is a useful skill. There is a long tradition of publishing letters, so take extra care with those emails you’re shooting off to friends, family, and business associates. Hot tip: one way to get published if you don’t have a lot of clips and credits is to write letters to the editor of a news publication.


Have you tried any of these forms of creative writing? On this list, are there any writing styles you'd like to try out? Can you come up with any other genres of creative writing to include on this list? Continue writing and leave comments to share your ideas. To make your creative writing as powerful as it can be, there are a few broad guidelines that you may adhere to. You can also download our app from the playstore or visit our website.