How to Write a Creative Essay: Step-by-Step Guide

A creative essay is one of the most exciting academic assignments. Being an essay demands that you expose your opinion or some idea, but its form is free and flexible. In general, you compose a story to share some exciting experience or your thoughts on some matter. It is not a fiction short story, though. It is more like a narrative – a story based on reality. 

This assignment is excellent for those students enjoying writing and telling stories. They can have no limits for their imagination, create characters and dialogues, experiment with the setting, and so on. However, this freeform essay may become an obstacle for other students. Strict rules to follow that you get in many essay types can become efficient support. There, you know the structure and demands to fulfill them. The creative essay gives you all the freedom, and the options are too many – you lose your focus and feel embarrassed.

The way out is the same as for other essay types: you need to know what to do very well. Knowledge brings confidence. We have prepared this article on how to write a creative essay to help you with the task. Proceed, and we’ll reveal all the secrets of successful writing! 

What to Focus on and What to Write About in a Creative Essay 

The requirements for the length and complexity of the creative essay depend on each precise case. Sometimes, your instructor recommends the subject or concept to relate to the composition. Still, the task remains the most adaptable to your needs and preferences. You can tell about anything, and in the form you favor. However, there are some criteria: 

  • You need to research the topic of your choice. It might be fictional or grounded on your memories, but the accuracy of facts and details is necessary;
  • You should combine fiction and facts in harmony;
  • The experience you share should be significant for you. If you feel emotional about it, you can engage the audience either. 

Like the other essay types, the right topic choice is the best trump card you can get. When you choose it, consider the following features:

  • Actuality. It does not mean you have to refer to the burning social or political events (though you can if it matches your concept). However, the topic needs to be significant to your readers. Think of the item where the audience can share your feelings or learn a valuable lesson. 
  • Expertise. It will be a failing tactic if you choose some vague topic. Of course, you can fix your gaps or misinterpretation by research. Still, it is better to refer to original ideas where you can speak confidently and precisely. Besides, it should be a topic where you have something to say. There is no use to produce a dull story that won’t bring anything to the audience (emotions or new knowledge).
  • Sincerity. Don’t take the topics that sound “right” – it is not the way to impress the audience that is often your professor. Instead, choose the topic appealing to you. It is more comfortable to engage the audience with something that interests you genuinely. Also, it is an excellent motivation to compose that story if you want to tell it.
  • Audience. Always consider the people who will read your story. The subjects, the approaches, and the writing means will depend on the target audience. 

When you decide about the topic, you might get ideas and even some points of the plotline. Still, it is not the best method to write a creative essay by starting the text at once. You need to get prepared, and the better you prepare – the simpler the task will become. 

Writing a Creative Essay: Follow the Roadmap 

When you wonder how to write a creative essay, the first recommendation is to read as much as possible. Read other creative essays to grasp the structures and peculiarities. Read books to learn how the authors create their characters, form the settings, build the conflicts, and so on. Being a well-read person widens your scope and lets you play with references. Thus, you can show your erudition and understanding of things and events. 

After you’ve determined the theme and, possibly, the main idea by choosing the topic, you start to consider the story itself. In the case of the particular creative essay, the cornerstones are the idea, the characters, and the setting. The essential thing is to think them through at once. You might need only a couple of details in your essay, but they will be the right details to fit into the story. 

  • Research the topic. It is necessary for the setting and characters to make them realistic and meaningful. If you plan to use your memories only, you still need to do the fact-checking. It would be very awkward if you make factual mistakes that your audience will detect.
  • Gather all your creative ideas and consider them all. You will reject some of them, but others will give you the impulse to generate the plot. Also, define the roles of your characters and their motivations. It all adds to the quality plot and helps to engage the audience. 
  • Describe the setting and its role. First of all, your audience will be able to visualize it and understand the context better. Then, it is an excellent means of building the atmosphere. Your setting carries the emotional value and delivers the shades of meaning. 
  • Develop a rough plotline and define the main events and their sequence. Think about your characters and their actions and make sure that they are true-to-life. 
  • Outline the creative essay in detail. Make it thorough, so you can get the understanding of the entire text and the order of events. Also, it is the best tool to elaborate on the correct structure of the story. When you succeed with the outline, consider the job 80% done. You already have your story complete on your mind, and it only remains to write it down.

The Structure of a Creative Essay and Its Peculiarities

The structure is what makes your story precise and concise. If it is a “pure” creative writing, you can experiment with non-linear structures. A creative essay, however, recommends sticking to the chronological order of events with apparent cause-and-effect connections. 

A creative essay obeys the three-part structure too. However, these three parts differ. They are the setup, the development ending with confrontation, and the resolution. 

  • The Setup part. It is the area where your readers get familiar with the setting and characters of the story. The crucial thing is to define the right portion of the information. You need to provide as much data as required for the audience to follow the plotline. At the same time, it should not spoil critical events or discoveries of your story. After you’ve decided what you present to the audience in the setup, think of the hook. You know this technique for essay introductions, and it is the same in a creative essay. Whether you bring the readers into the action at once or lead them via the setting first, it has to provide the intrigue making the audience want to know what will come next. If you use the setting intro, be very careful about the language choice and the text’s rhythm. These means set the tone of the entire book.
  • The Development & Confrontation. It is the major part of the text matching the traditional “Body” part. You tell the story itself by elaborating on the plotline. An essential requirement is the presence of a turning point. In this part of the creative essay, you describe the events and work the conflict out. As a rule, your narrative is smooth and gradual, but the turning point changes it and highlights the conflict. This factor lets you play with the tempo, rhythm, and tone of your text. If your essay size allows it, you can have several turning points to keep the readers involved. However, there is an essential rule – the turning points should be realistic and match the characters, no matter if it is a force of nature or the human’s will. Use transitions, as they highlight the structure and stress the important things in your essay.
  • Resolution of the conflict. It comes after the peak turning point and reveals the main idea of the essay. After that, you can either make the “cliffhanger” ending or complete the plotline. The first approach makes more impact on the audience and leaves it thinking about your story. The second method shows your ability to let the characters complete their stories and get to their goals. The choice is yours.  

After the finish of your essay, revise it. You may need to edit it and even rewrite some fragments. It is a normal part of the writing process. The critical factor is practice – you need to write regularly to train your skills and talents. 

However, if you aren’t still sure how to write a creative essay, our team of writers will be of help. Let us support you, as our job is to produce exclusive and exciting pieces on any topic and subject. Let us know what you need, and you’ll get it fast and safe.

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