9 Sources of Creative Writing and Genres


Many writers of genres of literature and other works of art rack brains to compose and create the pieces of work because they don’t know where to start, how to start, and what to start to form the image of writing. These nine sources will help the poet, the novelist, the playwright, the musician, the artist, etc. to create or compose or write poems, novels, plays, music/songs, scripts, etc.


The day-to-day behavior and graciousness could be used to create any genre of literature or to compose and write any song or inscribe or draw any art.

The day-to-day activities of a man in a society could be used to write any genre of literature as we have, in many novels and poems, written by Nigerians, for example,  life in Lagos and life in a village in the East is what Chinua Achebe used to write ‘No Longer at Ease’.

Also, animal behaviors could be used as a source of any genre of literature. Several folk tales narrate animal behaviors.

Several adages have been coined about animal behaviors. These adages are parts of the wealth of oration in every language in the world.

In drama especially, we can watch the behaviors of a gang of a monkey, as they attack maize on the farm. The head of the gang sits on a tall tree as others prey on the cobs of maize.


Nature combines or includes human beings, animals in the bush, on the tree or vegetables or land, flowers, rain, the planet, and a host of other beings that we accept as creations by nature or by God.

Any genre could be created from or with the observance of natural phenomena. For example, it was the movement of flowers that grew along the shore of a lake that William Wordsworth used to create and write DAFFODILS, meaning flowers.

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He saw them having various beautiful colors. We draw them in lines around the lake. This great poem prevents creativity in the real sense of it.


Objects such as airplane toys, vehicles, and several others can be used as sources of literature and they could cause some music to exist. We draw them in Fine Arts and model them in crafts.


Adaptation is changing physically from one culture to another or one setting to another. When we adapt, we do not copy but we present to modify one thing in a different way to suit another culture or setting. In literature, we adapt from the existing genres such as drama, prose, and poetry.

A drama set in one culture can be adapted for another culture. For example, Ola Rotimi, The Gods Are Not to Blame was adapted from Sophocles King Oedipus.

The same thing could be seen in Kola Ogunmola who adapted the prose of Amos Tutuola’s Palm Wine Drinkard. Duro Ladipo and Wale Ogunyemi have adapted Everyman a morality play of the twenty century for Duro Ladipo’s Eda and Wale Ogunyemi’s Eniyan. Another example is Deola Adelakun Hot Soup adapted from Shakespeare’s Macbeth

  1. EVENT

Most events are historical. They present involvements of people everywhere. Historical events have been made to create and write several literature works. Events have been used to buttress other events in several literature works.

It was the Yoruba inter-tribal wars that Ola Rotimi took as a source to create and write KURUMI. It is the same historical event that Wale Ogunyemi made use of to create a play fashioned on the life and activities of Julius Ceasar in Rome.

Most of Hubert Ogunde’s Operas were based on the historical events of Yoruba. Wole Soyinka’s Death and The King’s Horseman was fashioned on the historical event and culture of Oyo which took place in 1947.

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Several songs have been released in records on historical events such as serious accidents and epidemic attacks. The reigns of kings and several others have been made used in music.


The practice done socially, economically, and vocationally by people could be used to create any creative art. Practices such as marriages, customs, burial rites, and several others are enough sources of the creative arts.

Ijala—the Yoruba hunter’s chants are nice examples of poetry developed from the rituals and rites of hunters among the Yorubas. Many melodies would have not been if such culture had not been developed.


Religious practices, ceremonies, and documents related to the religion of various peoples of the world are elements used in the creation of the creative arts. In African traditional religion, we have chants and pouring of libations.

In Christianity, we have the Gregorian chants and in Islam, most of the readings from the Holy Gran are chanty. In Fine Arts and Crafts, we draw and carve various images.

We make models of various gods with day and bronze. In music as well as several songs and hymns have been as a result of man’s adornments of the almighty.

Most of Hubert Ogunde’s early operas were based on the stories from the bible and the latest ones were based on the Yoruba traditional religions. Ogunde’s Aye as an example is based on Yoruba beliefs and the practices of supernatural beings.


Differences, rifts, fights, and disagreements between two people, two families, or two ethnic groups or tribes are enough sources for the creative arts.

A conflict strengthens the development of the events in any genre of literature. Events in any conflict could be drawn or carved or molded. Most African literature works have their sources from conflicts.

In music, several melodies and songs developed as a result of the conflicts between one party and the other.

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The hatred between one party and the other could lead to either partly derogating the opponent in their art and craft with derogating pictures and crafts.


Political struggles and all the events that have to do with politics are good sources of the creative arts. The struggle and the uproars in politics in Nigeria are enough for any genre of literature.

Some published literature works have political themes, George Orwell’s Animal Farms. Some were created on the political malpractices of some politicians, e. g. T. M. Aluko’s One Man, One Matchet, and Ayikwe Amar’s The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born.

Many songs and melodies took their sources from political tussles, especially during campaigns as the party derogates another party. So also we have some pictures and statuses that have been caused to exist as a result of people’s political struggles.

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