A Creative Guide to Prose in Writing

What is prose? That’s the first question that comes to…

What is prose? That’s the first question that comes to mind when trying to write spoken language in its ordinary form.

Prose is a term used to describe any written work following a basic grammatical framework. Sometimes a single sentence has the power to evoke a particular mood and propel you into the story. Yet many writers are unsure how to articulate that feeling into a cohesive line and description.

So, what is prose, and how does it function in writing? Here’s a creative guide to help you understand in detail.

What Is Prose?

Prose is a written language with natural flow and patterns inherent in regular speech. It is a type of writing that does not adhere to a specific rhyme, structure, or meter pattern. It uses common grammatical structures and arranges ideas in a simplistic manner. Prose avoids creative and aesthetic styles of writing seen in poetry or song lyrics.

Examples of prose include books, standard dialogues, news stories, and more. Prose is different from poetry in that it employs line breaks and has a meter that defies conventional grammatical norms.

Now that we’ve addressed the question: what is prose? Let’s explore some of its functions.

What Is the Function of Prose in Writing?

Prose allows writers to express themselves freely and creatively. The purpose of prose is to add and modify the meaning of the piece and create a fluid, expressive narrative for the reader.

It usually uses descriptive language to concretely explain something abstract or intangible. Prose can also help convey background information about the story’s characters, setting, and time.

It’s a way to transition the audience and provide a lasting impression of the text, making them want more.

Sticks of purple flowers and an ink pen placed on a paper.
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Types of Prose in Writing

More often than not, writers follow some essential grammatical rules in writing prose. What is prose can sometimes be difficult to define as it is divided into different categories. There are four different forms of prose, each focusing on the mechanics or emotions of what we’re saying.

1. Nonfictional prose

Nonfictional prose is a form of writing that usually presents events and activities in factual, objective terms.

Nonfictional prose is not expressive and is generally free of opinion and authorial interpretation. It is descriptive, neutral, or factual. A nonfiction writer is typically concerned with truth, accuracy, and conveying information clearly.

2. Fictional prose

This type of prose tells a story based on imagination, using made-up characters and events.

It’s very flexible in that the author isn’t limited by the laws of science, the passage of time, or the bounds of real life. They are free to create while offering a uniquely original experience.

3. Heroic prose

Heroic prose uses a pattern of heroism to depict stories of valor and adventure. These stories are usually meant to be recited orally.

This is prose in which there is a clear action or scene that takes place from the protagonist’s point of view. It also has a fast-paced and action-filled story.

4. Prose poetry

Certain poetic elements are used in prose poetry to give the composition a lyrical or artistic worth. Prose poetry is a way to express the emotions and feelings of the author.

It is a way to convey the inner workings of your heart through written words. Preserving the prose structure, this type of writing delivers a stronger emotional impact on the readers.


The prose in writing does not follow one particular type. It can refer to everything from the narrative and argumentative to journalistic pieces and even poetry.

That being said, there are a few key types that are recognized and used most often. These include nonfictional prose, fictional prose, and heroic prose.

Prose poetry is also a form of prose in writing which is typically used in short poems and has rhyme. This article will enhance your understanding of what prose is and how it functions.

Frequently asked questions

What are the 5 features of prose?

Prose’s character, plot, setting, theme, and style are the components. Character is the why, plot is a what, setting is where and when, theme is the what, and style is defining the how to tell a story.

How can I learn to write prose?

  • Your first draft won’t hold your attention. In the beginning of a project, many writers fall victim to writer’s block.
  • Cut the fluff
  • Rewrite the document once more.
  • Read out loud your work.
  • Learn how to attract your readers.
  • Write concisely
  • Use the voice that is active.

What is prose in simple words?

(1 of 4) 1a : the language used to speak or write. b: a literary medium that is distinguished from poetry in part by its greater irregularity and variety of rhythm and its closer correspondence with everyday speech patterns. 2 : dull or ordinary style, quality, or condition. prose.

What is creative prose writing?

Creative writing is a form of nonfiction (fiction or nonfiction) that tells a story. Articles in the media, academics, technical fields, relay facts. Creative writing can also educate, but it is best when it is enjoyable and emotionally moving to the reader.

What are the 7 elements of prose?

By mastering the seven essential elements of a story – theme, characters, setting, plot, conflict, point of view, and style – you can turn the smallest concept into a gripping tale.

What are the three styles of prose?

The Prose may be fictional, nonfictional or heroic.

What makes a good prose?

An “excellent prose” would be like asking what a “good painting” looks like. You’ll find it quite dependent on what you’re trying to accomplish. Prose can sometimes be like a clear windowpane. It stays away from the exciting adventures or compelling characters the story is about and doesn’t take notice of it.

What are elements of prose?

Character, setting, plot, point of view, and mood are the fundamental elements of prose. Personal traits, social roles, aspirations, fears, and personal values are some of the characteristics of a character.

What are the 10 types of prose?

  • Legend
  • Parable
  • Novel
  • Myth
  • Folktale
  • Biography
  • Fable
  • Autobiography

What are prose techniques?

Style and prose techniques can sometimes be used to add depth and character to a story. Among the two most common techniques are simile and metaphor, although other techniques are also prevalent. As well as utilizing irony, text contains mutes.

How can I improve my prose style?

  • Write just and direct. The best writing is clear and concise.
  • Make sure to choose wisely your words.
  • In short sentences, things are more powerful than long sentences.
  • Write short paragraphs
  • Make sure you always have the active voice.
  • Edit and review your work.
  • Try to use a natural, conversational tone.
  • Read famous authors

What is a prose format?

Prose refers to any written work that follows a basic grammatical structure (think words and phrases arranged into sentences and paragraphs). Poets follow a metrical structure (think lines and stanzas).

What are 5 examples of prose writing?

Writing prose is an example of prose, as is most human conversation, textbooks, lectures, novels, short stories, fairytales, newspaper articles, and essays.

How do you introduce a prose essay?

Let us introduce the “WHAT” (thesis/theme) of our essay. Supporting the main theme/thesis with literary elements–imagery, personification, symbols.. Explain in detail how the examples relate to the “WHAT.”.

What are the three characteristics of prose?

Prose is a genre of literature that utilizes plain and ordinary language, grammatical structure, and non-metric language in written or spoken work as opposed to poems which have rhythmic structures and elements.

A Creative Guide to Prose in Writing

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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