Definition Creative Writing
The majority of writing, by far, is creative writing.
Not only can it be a creative outlet, but creative writing can be therapeutic as well.
These days the biggest publishers—Harper Collins, Random House, Norton, and others—are seeking creative nonﬁction titles more vigorously than literary ﬁction and poetry.In some ways, creative nonﬁction is like jazz—it’s a rich mix of ﬂavors, ideas, and techniques, some of which are newly invented and others as old as writing itself.Creative nonﬁction can be an essay, a journal article, a research paper, a memoir, or a poem; it can be personal or not, or it can be all of these."Creative” doesn’t mean inventing what didn’t happen, reporting and describing what wasn’t there.It doesn’t mean that the writer has a license to lie. This is the pledge the writer makes to the reader—the maxim we live by, the anchor of creative nonﬁction: “You can’t make this stuff up!The definition of creative writing is writing that expresses ideas and thoughts in an imaginative way.The writer gets to express feelings and emotions instead of just presenting the facts.The Liars Club (1995) by Mary Karr, another of these best-selling tell-all memoirs, rode the new interest in the genre, as did Kathryn Harrison’s The Kiss. Henry David Thoreau’s Walden is a classic of the form as is Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa, ﬁrst published in this country in 1938. Celebrities, politicians, athletes—victims and heroes alike—are making their private lives public. The literature of reality, with all of the pain and the secrets that authors confess, is helping to connect the nation and the world in a meaningful and intimate way.Memoir is the personal side of creative nonfiction but there’s a public side as well, often referred to as narrative or literary journalism—or “big idea” stories.Why else would there be so many books, plays, movies, and songs? The banner of the magazine I’m proud to have founded and I continue to edit, Creative Nonﬁction, deﬁnes the genre simply, succinctly, and accurately as “true stories well told.” And that, in essence, is what creative nonﬁction is all about.