Creative writing is any writing that falls outside the definition of normal professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature. It is typically identified by an emphasis on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes or with various traditions of poetry and poetics. The definition of creative writing is quite vague. It is possible for writing such as feature stories to be considered creative writing, even though they fall under journalism.
Both fictional and non-fictional works fall into the category of creative writing. This includes novels, biographies, short stories, and poems. In the academic setting, creative writing is typically separated into fiction and poetry classes, with a focus on writing in an original style. Traditional writing might be limited to pre-existing genres such as crime or horror. Screenwriting and playwrighting are often taught separately, but fall into creative writing category as well.
Creative writing can be considered any writing of original composition. In this sense, creative writing is a more contemporary and process-oriented name for what has been traditionally called literature.