the comma

Punctuation Marks: The Comma

For such a little punctuation mark, the comma causes an awful lot of confusion. Some writers are too liberal with commas, sprinkling them about like nuts on an ice cream sundae. Other writers hoard their commas and avoid using them whenever possible. Why are these punctuation marks so widely misused? Why are we, collectively, so…Read More

writing chapters and scenes

Storytelling: Writing Chapters and Scenes

Today’s post includes excerpts from What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing, chapter nine: “Chapters, Scenes, and Sequences.” Enjoy! Chapters, scenes, and sequences are structural units of storytelling. These are the basic blocks of a story that contain all other elements, from characters, plot, and setting to action, dialogue, and description. Chapters are units within…Read More

figurative language in poetry writing

Figurative Language in Poetry Writing

What is figurative (as opposed to literal) language? Figurative language says one thing but means another. However, figurative language does not intend to deceive. There is an expectation that figurative language will be understood and correctly interpreted by the listener or reader. We get the term “figure of speech” from figurative language. In poetry, we…Read More

writing notebook

What’s in Your Creative Writing Notebook?

This post contains affiliate links that earn commissions from qualifying purchases. I’ve been collecting writing notebooks and journals since I was a teenager. Most writers I know tend to accumulate a lot of stationery and office supplies: notebooks, pens, paper clips, and other odds and ends that we can use to manage and organize our…Read More

writing better

The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better

As I travel around the internet reading blogs, watching interviews, and listening to podcasts on writing, I’ve noticed that much of the focus is not on writing at all. There’s a lot of talk about writing fast, e-books versus paper books, and the fate of brick-and-mortar bookstores. But most of the chatter is focused on…Read More

tips for writing a book

Ten Tips for Writing a Book

Writing a book is a big deal. It takes a lot of time and effort, especially if you want to do it right, which means creating something that people will find entertaining or useful and then polishing, marketing, and promoting it. It all begins with an idea — a concept. It might start with a…Read More

what if writing exercises for fiction writers

What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers

This post contains affiliate links that earn commissions for this website from qualifying purchases.  Good fiction includes many different elements: believable characters, realistic dialogue, and a compelling plot. Every decent story has a beginning, middle, and end. Intriguing tales are built around conflict and are rich with themes and symbols. And those are just the…Read More

tasty creative writing prompts

15 Tasty Creative Writing Prompts

Today’s post features a selection of prompts from 1200 Creative Writing Prompts. Enjoy! We all want our writing to be compelling, even mesmerizing. One effective way to captivate readers is to engage their senses. When you engage a reader’s sense of sight, smell, sound, touch, or taste, you illicit a physiological response to your writing,…Read More

creative wordplay

Poetry Writing Exercise: Creative Wordplay

Charles Dickens invented the word boredom. Sylvia Plath coined the term dreamscape. William Shakespeare gave us bandit, swagger, and gossip, along with over 1,700 other words that previously didn’t exist in the English lexicon. Writers have a long history of inventing new words, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. When we encounter an idea or…Read More

description in fiction

Writing Description in Fiction

Today’s post includes excerpts from What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing, chapter eight: “Description and Exposition.” Enjoy! Without description, readers wouldn’t be able to visualize what’s happening in a story. We need to see the setting and the characters. Because there are no visuals in prose, writers must use words to describe a…Read More

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