Survey Of Creative Writing End - Products
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Let’s assume that by "creative writing" you mean a piece of writing that at least potentially has an audience external to the writer. Let’s further assume that if it is prose, the format of the end product follows a fundamental three-part structure. The three-part structure involves: 1) a storyline built around one or more ‘characters’ (in some formats this can extend to the inclusion of written representations of actual persons), 2) within the storyline that character or those plural characters (or representations of real people) confront . . . and generally resolve or overcome . . . a minimum of two kinds of conflict such as with nature, another person, a value system, . . . including conflict within a character’s self . . . etc., and 3) the storyline itself has a discernible beginning, middle, and end.

Poetry may also follow this formula, although characters in poetry may have a more abstract hue to them than in other formats, and some poetry may focus strictly on elements of nature and thus have no true "characters" per se: much like a landscape or a still life in the visual arts world.

Let’s also assume that a commonality of prose creative writing end products involves the application of storytelling techniques as a means of engaging reader (or listener or viewer) attention and interest.

How many different formats can you identify as end products for "creative writing" under this definition: in addition to the traditional poem, short story, and novel formats?

Here are some examples:

Comic strips

Comic books

Travelogues

Political or advertising slogans

Commercial advertisements (many retailers, for instance, "tell a story" in their radio and television ads about something behind their store or a featured product or a particular product line. In my local region, for example, both the grocery store Trader Joe’s and the furniture store Jordan’s use this technique in their television advertising.) So, creative writing genres include:

Infomercials

Memoirs

Sermons or homilies

Family histories

Personal letters in some cases

Blogs

Book reviews (not all, but some use storytelling techniques

to describe the reading experience of engaging with that particular book)

Personal essays

Creative nonfiction (for example, Bad Girls of the Bible, Max Lucado’s books)

Guided imagery guides

Television show scripts

Motion picture scripts

Folklore

Parables

Some journal entries

"True Confessions" style magazine stories

Radio broadcasts

Inspirational nonfiction (this includes the creative nonfiction examples

above as a subset, but also includes examples such as

The Chicken Soup for the Soul or Cup of Comfort

Series books)

Speeches

Eulogies

Nostalgia stories or vignettes

Fables

Fairy tales

"Slice of life" stories (for example the Reader’s Digest

"All in a Day’s Work" spots)

Children’s literature . . . including some nonfiction materials

Press releases

Longer form advertising, particularly:

Case studies

Company histories

White papers

As you browse the list, you should become aware that while some of the listed forms qualify as fiction formats, many fall into the nonfiction category. You should also notice that many of these categories represent potential commercial markets for your creative writing skills. An occasional clergyperson even subcontracts out to a writer to ghostwrite his or her sermons or homilies. Aside from that, though: you’ll certainly find markets for writing skills in the areas of travelogues, case studies, and white papers. Other possible markets to consider include true confessions, slice of life, nostalgia, and radio scriptwriting.

Keep those kind of written formats in mind if you find yourself sitting in a creative writing class (or even a specific fiction format writing class, such as novel writing) and start to wonder: "What practical use does this have?"

By mastering such storytelling techniques as writing action scenes, realistic dialogue, and making clear transitions in both time and place you might just also be developing a skill of value for working as your congressman’s next speechwriter or as the travel correspondent for your local radio station.

Those fundamental structures, and those basic storytelling techniques, form the common ground among these diverse formats for the end product of the creative writing process.


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