poetry prompts

All-Natural Poetry Prompts

Throughout the centuries, poets have composed meditations on seasons, landscapes, and constellations. Vegetation and animals have been the subjects of countless poems, and even when poetry is not centered around nature, it often makes references to it. In poetry, nature can function as a backdrop, or it can hold center stage. Why are so many poets…Read More

fiction writing exercise

From Story Drills: Deathtrap and Deus Ex Machina

Today’s fiction writing exercise is an excerpt from my book, Story Drills: Fiction Writing Exercises. This exercise presents two storytelling devices: the deathtrap and deus ex machina. Enjoy! Deathtrap and Deus Ex Machina If you’ve ever read a story in which characters are rescued from a dire situation in a way that is truly unbelievable,…Read More

fiction writing block

How to Break Through a Fiction Writing Block

It happens to all writers. You’re cruising through a story, and all of a sudden you hit a wall. Your characters freeze up, your plot stops cold, and you’re stuck with nowhere to go. You’ve hit a fiction writing roadblock. All of your ideas have evaporated and you sit there staring at your screen with…Read More

types of rhymes

Types of Rhymes in Poetry

We’re all familiar with rhyming poems. After all, these are the first poems most of us encounter as children, from the delightful stories of Dr. Seuss to the hilarious poetry of Shel Silverstein. People often think rhyming poems are rigid, conforming to strict meter and perfect rhymes at the end of every line, but within…Read More

writing life

Living the Creative Writing Life

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines lifestyle as “a particular way of living: the way a person lives or a group of people live.” Dictionary.com defines it as “the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic level, etc., that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group.” A lifestyle is something you build for yourself…Read More

imitation learning

Should Beginning Writers Imitate the Greats?

Learning often begins with imitation or copying. As babies, we learn facial expressions and gestures by mimicking adults. Children learn to write their letters by copying them from workbooks. And can you imagine a musician learning their craft without first leaning to play other musicians’ songs? But we rarely explore the question of whether writers…Read More

kill your darlings

Writing Tips: Kill Your Darlings

Kill your darlings. It’s a common piece of writing advice, but what does it mean? I once thought that “kill your darlings” was strictly for storytellers. I even wrote about killing your darlings in storytelling. But this piece of wisdom has broader applications. It can be used by poets, nonfiction writers, and anyone who puts…Read More

writing resources

Writing Resources: Grammar Girl

As a writer, it’s only natural that I pay attention to the mechanics of my craft, which is why I’m always on the lookout for new and useful writing resources. When I discovered the Grammar Girl podcast, my interest in grammar piqued, and I started writing more consciously than ever before. Sure, I still break…Read More

poetry for storytellers

10 Reasons Storytellers Should Dabble in Poetry

There was a time when poetry enjoyed mainstream popularity. People who read poetry weren’t unusual or lurking in some counterculture, hipster coffee house. Ordinary folks read poems, enjoyed poetry, and discussed poetic works. These days, fiction takes center stage in the world of language arts. We love movies, TV shows, and video games, comic books,…Read More

dialogue storytelling exercise

Writing Dialogue: A Storytelling Exercise

Today’s fiction writing exercise is excerpted from Story Drills: Fiction Writing Exercises, which includes lessons and exercises that help beginning to intermediate storytellers study and practice the craft of storytelling. This exercise, which is from a chapter on narrative, focuses on dialogue. Enjoy! Dialogue Dialogue is one of the most compelling elements of any narrative….Read More

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