How to Stay Inspired

writing ideas

How to stay inspired.

Writer’s block is probably the most frustrating experience any writer faces. You feel creative and you want to create, but you’re just not inspired.

It happens to most artists from time to time, this disconnect from the muse. Yet there are creative people who seem to have overcome artistic roadblocks — authors who publish multiple novels every year, filmmakers who produce annual blockbusters, and musicians who are on the top-ten list week after week. They know how to stay inspired, but how do they do it? Have they tapped into a secret, endless stream of ideas?

How can you tap into that stream? Read More

42 Fiction Writing Tips for Novelists

writing tips

Writing tips for fiction writers.

The more I explore fiction writing, the more complex and multi-layered it becomes. Through the processes of brainstorming, outlining, researching, writing, and revising, I have discovered countless details that authors have to consider as they set out to produce a viable work of fiction.

Over the years, I have collected a vast pile of notes and ideas concerning fiction writing. As I was going through these notes, I figured they could be compiled into a master list of story writing tips that might help writers tackle a novel by offering different perspectives and by providing fodder for the creative process.

These fiction writing tips come from countless sources. Some were picked up back in my college days. Others came from books about writing. Many came from interviews with successful authors that I have read, watched, or listened to. And a few came from my own personal experiences as both a reader and writer. Read More

What is Poetry?

what is poetry

“Poetry is prose bewitched, a music made of visual thoughts, the sound of an idea.” — Mina Loy.

Prose Bewitched

When I read Mina Loy’s description of poetry as “prose bewitched,” I felt like someone had captured the true essence of poetry for the first time.

We often struggle to define abstract or obtuse concepts. One of the greatest and most challenging questions of all time is, what is art? Although dictionaries attempt to define art, no definition quite captures its essence, so artists and thinkers have tried to define art in their own words for centuries.

Like art, the definition of poetry has been explored by writers, thinkers, artists, and poets themselves. So what is it? What is poetry? Read More

Fiction Writing Prompts for Every Genre

fiction writing prompts

Fiction writing prompts for every genre.

Today I’d like to share a selection of fiction writing prompts from my book, 1200 Creative Writing Prompts, which includes 500 fiction prompts plus prompts for writing poetry and creative nonfiction.

Writing prompts are ideal for when you’re feeling uninspired because they provide you with ideas for your writing sessions and projects.

But prompts are also useful for those times when you’re not motivated to write. I’ve found that the sheer act of reading through a few good fiction writing prompts gives me the impetus to stop procrastinating and start writing.

These fiction writing prompts cover a range of genres, including literary, suspense, thriller, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance, historical, humor, satire, children’s, and young adult. Read More

Maya Angelou on Putting Passion in Your Creative Writing

Quotes on Writing“The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.” – Maya Angelou

We’ve all read books, articles, and poems that we completely forgot about once we were done. But some written works linger. They haunt us or stimulate our thoughts. They provoke our emotions. Read More

12 Places to Find Awesome Writing Ideas

writing ideas

Where to find awesome writing ideas.

We look high. We look low. Sometimes it feels like we’ve been looking forever and will keep looking forever more.

Ideas. They’re out there and we know it. But where are they hiding? Why do they keep escaping us? How can we catch them?

Writing ideas are not always easy to come by. Most ideas get tossed aside because they’re not original or interesting enough. So we constantly search for ideas that will capture our imaginations and keep us happily tapping away on our keyboards.

Not every writer is on this quest. Some writers are overwhelmed with inspiration and can’t find enough time to realize every brilliant idea. The rest of us are always on the lookout for exciting writing ideas to add to our inspiration archives. Read More

From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: People Are People

creative writing exercises

From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: People Are People.

101 Creative Writing Exercises takes you on an adventure through the world of creative writing. You get to experiment with fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction while learning useful writing techniques.

Today I’d like to share one of the exercises from the book. This is from “Chapter Three: People and Characters.” The exercise is titled “People are People,” and it offers tips and ideas for writing characters and writing about real people as subject matter.

Enjoy! Read More

Writing Tips for Crafting Compelling Sentences

writing tips

Writing tips for constructing clear, effective sentences.

Nothing ruins a great story like weak words and poorly structured sentences.

We’ve all been there. You’re working through your first draft or perhaps making your way through revisions. The scene plays out in your mind like a movie. But when you try to put it into words, it just doesn’t flow right.

In literature, language is what makes a piece of writing tick. The plot, the characters, they move through time and space on their own accord, but the words you use to tell their story give it rhythm and clarity. Read More

What’s the Difference Between Good Writing and Great Writing?

great writing

Do you aim for great writing?

A good piece of writing holds your attention. It flows smoothly and everything makes sense. It’s interesting and a pleasure to read.

Great writing, on the other hand, doesn’t just hold your attention; it commands your attention. You become lost in it. You can’t put it down, and when you do, you want to read it all over again.

The question is, how do we define great writing?

Some would say that great writing shows true mastery of the craft: every word is carefully chosen, every sentence is thoughtfully constructed, and every paragraph is brimming with meaning and purpose. If you’ve ever marveled over a superbly written sentence, you’ve experienced this kind of writing. Read More

Writing Resources: A Poetry Handbook

a poetry handbook

Mary Oliver: A Poetry Handbook.

Poetry is the music of language, the fine art of the written word. It demands a broad vocabulary and creative thinking. It promotes rhythm and meter, and it invites imagery. Poetry triggers the imagination, engages the intellect, and touches the heart.

Reading and writing poetry are excellent practices for any writer. Through poetry, we learn the nuances of language, the power of showing rather than telling, and the necessity for clear and succinct wordcraft.

Basically, poetry reading and writing improves all other writing.

So, whether you are a poet or not, as a writer, a basic understanding of poetry will improve your writing exponentially. Can you succeed without it? Of course. But with poetry skills in your writer’s toolbox, your writing will soar. Read More