the pocket muse

Writing Resources: The Pocket Muse

We writers can’t be inspired every day. Sometimes we get burned out. Other times, our ideas seem unappealing. We find ourselves grappling with an idea that’s incomplete or we might be seeking lots of small ideas for a big project. But inspiration isn’t on call; we can’t expect it to be there whenever we need…Read More

storytelling exercise plot analysis

Storytelling Exercise: Plot Analysis

Today’s storytelling exercise is an excerpt from my book, Story Drills: Fiction Writing Exercises, which helps beginning to intermediate storytellers develop skills in the craft of fiction writing. This exercise explores one of the most important elements of any story: plot. It’s called “Plot Analysis.” Enjoy! Plot Analysis Some readers think analyzing a plot takes…Read More

What is the theme of a story

What is the Theme of a Story?

Today’s post includes excerpts from What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing, which is packed with fun lessons and engaging activities for anyone who wants to learn the basics of storytelling. This is from chapter four: “Theme.” Enjoy! What is the Theme of a Story? Theme is one of the most difficult story elements…Read More

poetry skills

How to Improve 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…Read More

serial comma

Punctuation Marks: The Serial Comma

When you use commas to separate items in a list or series, do you include a comma before the conjunction near the end of the list? For example: I write poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. (This sentence does not use a serial comma.) or I write poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. (This sentence does use…Read More

creative writing memoir

Writing Memoirs

Today’s post is from Ready, Set, Write: A Guide to Creative Writing. It’s from a chapter that is simply titled “Memoirs,” which explores and explains the craft of memoir writing. Enjoy! What is a Memoir? Memoirs are personal accounts—true stories—based on narrow themes and specific topics. They are usually the length of novels or novellas; shorter…Read More

how to become a writer

How to Become a Writer

Today’s post is an excerpt from 10 Core Practices for Better Writing. This is from “Chapter Two: Writing,” and it’s for people who are wondering how to become a writer. First, Give Yourself Permission to Write “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach I admire people who are fearless. When they…Read More

best writing ideas

How to Cultivate and Save 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…Read More

on writing

Writing Resources: Stephen King On Writing

Today I’m bringing back a post that’s been sitting in the archives for a while. Stephen King’s On Writing is one of the most important books ever written on the craft of writing, one of the few texts that all writers should experience, regardless of your preferred form or genre. This post has been updated…Read More

Creative writing prompts inspired by relationships

Creative Writing Prompts Inspired by Relationships

Today’s post includes a selection of prompts from my book, 1200 Creative Writing Prompts. Enjoy! There are many sources of inspiration in the universe but perhaps none as potent or pervasive as the people who inhabit it. Naturally, we’re all greatly impacted by other people, so it stands to reason that our relationships with them…Read More

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