Stephen King: On Writing
Elvis was the king of rock and roll. Michael Jackson was the king of pop. And Stephen King is the king of horror.
He’s one of the most successful authors in the world, the recipient of numerous honorable awards, and certainly one of the wealthiest and most recognizable writers alive.
While I’m not crazy about horror stories, I do appreciate the creativity and artistic merit that goes into writing good horror fiction. Maybe the fact that I’m bonkers over sci-fi and fantasy will redeem me. Maybe Stephen King will forgive me. Read More
From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: Invention of Form.
Today’s post is an excerpt from 101 Creative Writing Exercises, a book that takes you on an adventure through the world of creative writing with exercises that offer techniques, practice, and inspiration.
This exercise is from “Chapter 7: Form Poetry.” It’s called “Invention of Form.” Enjoy! Read More
Commas and clauses.
There’s a fine art to using commas. Today we’ll look at how commas work with clauses — both dependent clauses and independent clauses. And don’t worry if you’re not sure which clause is which. Everything will be explained.
Independent Clauses and Commas
An independent clause can stand alone as a sentence: I watch movies.
Two independent clauses can be joined with a conjunction: I watch movies and I watch television.
A comma can be placed before the conjunction: I watch movies, and I watch television.
So, should you use commas before conjunctions that connect two independent clauses? Read More
How important is the setting of a story?
Today’s post includes excerpts from What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing, chapter three: “Setting.” Enjoy!
Setting may not seem as critical to a story as character or plot, yet it is a core element of storytelling and for good reason. The setting of a story helps us understand where and when it takes place, which gives the story context. If the audience doesn’t have a sense of setting, they’ll feel lost and confused (sometimes that might be the author’s intent).
The Setting of a Story
A setting can be big or small. It can be a made-up world—a massive galaxy with multiple star systems and inhabited planets—or it can be a single room—four walls and a ceiling. Read More
Strengthen your poetry skills.
Poetry writing requires no license, no education, and no experience. All you need to get started is a pen and some paper. In fact, many writers discovered their calling because they were compelled to write poetry at a young age.
But there’s a big difference between writing poetry and writing good poetry.
Opinions about the art and craft of good poetry are many and varied. Some hold poetry to a high academic or literary standard. Others appreciate the fact that poetry writing provides a creative and healthy form of self-expression.
I believe that all poetry is good in the sense that anything that comes from the heart or anything that speaks truth is good. The poem itself may not win any awards, but the act of writing it can be mood-altering, healing, and maybe even life-changing. Read More
Taking the fun out of creative writing.
People pursue artistic endeavors for different reasons. For some, it’s a hobby. For others, a livelihood. For most, it’s a hobby they dream of turning into a livelihood.
It’s a worthwhile dream and a lofty one too. But what does it take to get there? How much fun are you allowed to have, and just how much work must you do to turn your passion for writing into a full-time job?
And if you do manage to make a career out of creative writing, will it still be as fun as it was when it was just a hobby? Read More
They say it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. We can say the same thing about writing: it’s better to write badly than to write nothing at all.
Jodi Picoult offers some insight that summarizes this idea in a clear, concise manner:
“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”
Creative writing prompts for writers.
Today’s prompts come from my book, 1200 Creative Writing Prompts. Enjoy!
We writers are full of ideas for stories, poems, essays, scripts, and other types of creative writing projects. We’re often so busy focusing on our output that we don’t take enough time for self-reflection.
It’s a good idea to pause every once in a while and think about who we are, what we do, why we do it, and how we’re getting it done. Read More
When I set out to write 101 Creative Writing Exercises, the goal was simple: give writers the tools they need to succeed.
Many of the writing exercises I had done over the years were fun or interesting, but few of them imparted practical writing skills. I wanted to develop exercises that would convey constructive writing techniques that writers could apply to real-world writing projects.
I also wanted these exercises to provide hours and hours of creative writing practice, because practice is the only way to develop mastery of any craft.
Check Out What People Are Saying About 101 Creative Writing Exercises
From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: Cut-and-Paste Poetry.
Today’s poetry writing exercise comes from my book 101 Creative Writing Exercises.
The exercises in this book encourage you to experiment with different forms and genres while providing inspiration for publishable projects and imparting useful writing techniques that make your writing more robust.
This exercise is from “Chapter 8: Free Verse.” It’s titled “Cut-and-Paste Poetry.” Enjoy! Read More