Writing Tips from William Wordsworth: Be Yourself

quotes on writing“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”
– William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth expresses a simple concept that can be difficult to execute: being yourself. Read more

From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: Quoteworthy

From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: Quoteworthy?

Today’s post is an excerpt from 101 Creative Writing Exercises. This exercise is called “Quoteworthy.” It’s from “Chapter 4: Speak Up.” Enjoy!

Quoteworthy

One of the greatest achievements a writer can make is writing prose that is quoteworthy. Many great lines and slang words or phrases have come to us from plays, books, poems, and movies. Read more

Tips for Saving Your Best Writing Ideas

writing ideas

How to save and cultivate your best writing ideas

Doesn’t it seem like the best writing ideas come at the most inconvenient times?

It happens when you’re driving, in the shower, or eating dinner at a restaurant. Unfortunately, you’re not sitting in front of your computer and even if you were, you don’t always have time to stop what you’re doing to make notes about your latest writing ideas.

But nobody wants to lose a truly great writing idea – so how do we save them before we forget them?

If your idea light bulb likes to shine while your hands are tied or when you’re away from your usual writing tools, then I have some tips to help you make sure you don’t lose your most creative writing ideas. Read more

Narrative Point of View in Storytelling

narrative point of view

What’s your narrative point of view?

Today’s post includes excerpts from What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing, chapter six: “Narrative Point of View.” Enjoy!

The terms story and narrative can be used interchangeably, meaning a sequence of events, real or fictional, that are conveyed through any medium ranging from prose to film. However, when we talk about narrative, we’re often referring to the structural nature or presentation of a story, the manner in which it’s told. Read more

Punctuation Marks: The Colon

the colon

Punctuation marks: the colon.

The colon is one of the most clearly-defined punctuation marks. It occasionally acts as a stand-in for a comma or period (though when one of these other punctuation marks will do, the colon is unnecessary).

Most commonly, the colon functions as an introductory punctuation mark, notifying the reader that the forthcoming information supports, explains, or elaborates upon what has been said prior to the colon.

These punctuation marks are common in math and science as well as technical documentation. In creative writing, we don’t see a lot of colons unless we’re working on a script. Colons are most often seen in text where a list is being introduced.

The Chicago Manual of Style provides a succinct definition for the colon: Read more

Borrowing, Stealing, and Building Upon Other People’s Writing Ideas

writing ideas

May I use a few of your writing ideas?

From epic romances to fantastical adventures, stories have been captivating audiences for centuries, and they have been inspiring writers (and other artists) for just as long.

There is a longstanding tradition among storytellers of re-imagining or expanding the greatest legends, myths, and fairy tales ever told, from the Greek classics to last summer’s blockbuster films.

Certainly, many derivative works are frowned upon. You can find lists of authors who do not allow (and pursue legal action against) stories written in their worlds. You can find reviews that call such stories rip-offs or refer to authors as hacks who have done nothing more than steal someone else’s writing ideas.

But you can also find some impressive and respectable derivative works in films, novels, and television. In fact, many derivative works are embraced, beloved, and achieve critical and commercial success, plus massive fan followings.

So, when is it acceptable to use other people’s writing ideas? Why do some of these stories get heavily criticized while others are widely celebrated? Read more

How to Increase Your Writing Productivity

writing productivity

Increase your writing productivity.

It’s not easy to find time to write.

Even professional writers get caught up in paperwork and marketing and have to scramble to get the actual work of writing done.

But with careful planning and better time management, we can all learn how to produce more writing.

Here are seven writing productivity tips that will help you write more, even if you have a packed schedule. Read more

Creative Writing Prompts Inspired by Technology

creative writing prompts

Use these creative writing prompts to write about technology!

All of today’s prompts come from my book 1200 Creative Writing Prompts. Enjoy!

Technology has become so ingrained in modern, civilized culture that sometimes we don’t even notice it. When was the last time you marveled at a train, a toaster, or a television? Most of us aren’t even fazed by the marvel of mobile phones anymore. The shine of new technology wears off fast.

There are those who believe technology is bad for society. There’s over-reliance on gadgets, attention spans are shrinking, kids don’t play outside anymore…the list of complaints about the negative impact of technology goes on and on. Read more

The Only Two Writing Tips You’ll Ever Need

writing tips

You only need two writing tips: read and write.

I love collecting writing tips. You never know when you’re going to stumble across a golden nugget of wisdom that will make your writing richer and more vibrant. One of the reasons I started this website was so that I could share the many valuable tips that I’ve acquired over the years. I figure that if some bit of advice helped my writing, it’ll probably help other people’s as well. Read more

Poetry Writing Exercises to Engage the Senses

poetry writing exercises

Engage readers’ senses with these poetry writing exercises.

Ah, the senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. How do they relate to poetry writing?

We delight in the pleasures of the senses, but infusing poetry with sensory stimulation is not an easy task. It takes a deft and creative writer to forge images — using text — that engage a reader’s senses.

So why bother?

When you engage your readers’ senses, your poetry becomes more compelling and more memorable.

Some scientists say smell is the strongest of the senses in terms of memorability. If you get your readers to physically experience scent (or any other sensation), you’ll have them hooked. Surely you’ve read a passage that described the delicious scent of home-cooked food and found your mouth watering?

Today’s poetry writing exercises are designed to help you write with more sense. Read more