character writing ideas

20 Fun and Inspiring Character Writing Ideas

Creating a realistic character is one of the most difficult challenges in writing a piece of fiction. We’ve all read stories in which the characters were dull or hollow; they come across like clones of the same characters we’ve met in dozens of stories before. Readers want characters who are as unique and complex as…Read More

form poetry

What is Form Poetry?

We can classify most poetry into two groups: form poetry and free verse. Free verse is a style of poetry that doesn’t adhere to any structure; the poet is free to write lines and stanzas of varying lengths and meter, with or without rhymes. Form poetry, on the other hand, adheres to a specific structure,…Read More

grammar rules ie and eg

Grammar Rules: i.e. and e.g.

Occasionally, we come across the abbreviations i.e. and e.g., but what do they mean, and what is the difference between them? How do grammar rules apply? These two terms originate in the Latin language and are just two of the many Latin phrases that have survived into modern language. Both i.e. and e.g. are abbreviations…Read More

creative writing class

Five Things I Learned in Creative Writing Class

People often ask me whether I think a formal education is necessary to a successful writing career. A degree certainly helps, but no, it’s not necessary. There are master writers who did not finish high school and plenty never went to college. I want to be clear: I fully support higher education. If you pull me…Read More

adjectives and adverbs

What’s Wrong with Adjectives and Adverbs?

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” – Stephen King It’s not unusual for writing experts to recommend keeping adjectives and adverbs to a minimum. But many writers prefer to laden their language with modifiers, usually as a way to provide more detail and description for readers. And young and new writers tend to overuse…Read More

craft language

Tips for Crafting Language

Have you ever stopped to think about how many different types of writers there are? Novelists, biographers, bloggers, copywriters, poets, screenwriters, and playwrights — just to name a few. Within each type of writing we can find areas of specialization. Some biographers write about celebrities; others focus on politicians. Copywriters can specialize in ad copy…Read More

poetry tools and techniques

A Handy Book for Poets – Poetry: Tools & Techniques: A Practical Guide to Writing Engaging Poetry

I have found it quite challenging to find good books on the craft of poetry writing. My favorite resource, which is also the most comprehensive, is Perrine’s Sound and Sense. But that’s a costly book because it’s used in college-level poetry courses. For years, I’ve kept up a search for a simpler, more affordable book…Read More

creative writing prompts

25 Creative Writing Prompts

Don’t you just hate writer’s block? Some say it’s a disease that only creative workers succumb to. Some say it’s a curse. Others argue that it doesn’t exist at all. But just about everyone has been there–sitting in front of a blank screen, fingers itching to create a masterpiece. And nothing happens. For me, the…Read More

storytelling exercise process

Storytelling Exercise: Process

Today’s storytelling exercise comes from my book Story Drills: Fiction Writing Exercises, which is packed with lessons and exercises for beginning to intermediate storytellers. This one is about developing a process. Enjoy! Process A typical writing process includes the following steps: brainstorm, outline, research, draft, revise, edit, proof, and publish. Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? But…Read More

elements of plot

Storytelling: The Elements of Plot

Good storytelling includes many elements that a writer must consider. Plot and character are foremost among these elements, and for literary writers, language is high on the list as well. Some writers start with nothing more than a few key characters and let the plot develop by exploring those characters’ actions. Others practice careful and…Read More

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