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.
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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
Homophones: accept vs except.
The English language is fraught with sound-alike words that look nothing alike on the page (or screen). These homophones have given many writers headaches as they agonize over word choice while composing poems, articles, essays, and stories.
Accept vs. except is one such pair of words. Though not among the most commonly confused homophones, these two words do occasionally find themselves getting mixed up and used incorrectly.
Here’s a quick way to remember the difference between accept vs. except. Read More
What is a plot?
Today’s post includes excerpts from What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing, chapter two: “Plot.” Enjoy!
What is a Plot?
A plot is a sequence of related events in a story.
Plot usually centers around the protagonist’s primary goal or challenge, the central story problem. Each event in the story pushes the protagonist toward a climax where they either succeed or fail to resolve the story problem. In a mystery, the challenge might be to solve a crime. In a romance, the goal is to find true love. Read More
Where do you get ideas for writing?
I used to actively look for writing ideas. When I wanted to write a story, I would brainstorm and ask questions that I thought would lead to something I wanted to write about.
I still do that, but over the past few years, I’ve also cultivated a more passive approach to my search for writing ideas.
Nowadays, I’m always open to new ideas for writing. Whether I’m chatting with a friend, surfing the web, or watching a movie, I’ve got this little radar in my mind that’s constantly on the lookout for ideas that I can use in my stories.
What I’ve learned is that many of my ideas come from the same sources whether I’m actively looking for them or passively bumping into them. Today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite sources of inspiration and invite you share yours as well. Read More
How to get inspired.
Sometimes when we sit down to write, the muse is in full effect and the words pour forth effortlessly. Other times we sit there staring at a blank screen, waiting for creativity to manifest. We wait and we wait.
Then we wait some more.
Writer’s block is the state of being uninspired. It’s just a state of mind, so it can be changed at will, which is a good thing, because when it comes to creative writing, state of mind is pretty important.
Years ago, when I used to draw and paint, I often listened to a particular mix of music. It was ideal background audio for making art, very inspiring. As a result, every time I hear that music, I get an urge to pull out my watercolor pencils and sketchbook because I have built a psychological association between a certain kind of music and a creative activity.
Can you see where I’m going with this? Just imagine how this concept can be applied to creative writing. Read More
Grammar and writing go hand in hand.
Today I’d like to share an excerpt from my book 10 Core Practices for Better Writing.
This excerpt is from “Chapter Four: Grammar,” which explores the relationship between grammar and writing and includes tips and resources for mastering grammar. Read More
Writing Forward turns nine years old!
I can’t believe it’s been nine years since I launched Writing Forward. It’s been a fun and challenging adventure, and I’m looking forward to many more years of providing creative writing tips and ideas that motivate and inspire legions of fiction and nonfiction writers as well as poets.
Lately, I’ve been hard at work creating new content for the blog — I’ve already written and scheduled over two dozen new articles. Also, I’m currently drafting the second book in my new series, The Storyteller’s Toolbox, which will be a collection of fiction writing exercises designed to help writers develop storytelling skills.
Writing Forward keeps going strong thanks to readers, who have shared posts on social media, reviewed my books on websites like Amazon and Goodreads, and participated in the comments by sharing ideas and experiences from your own writing adventures. Thank you to all the writers who continue to make Writing Forward possible. Read More
How many writing tips can you fit in your pocket?
It’s one of those writing tips that pops up everywhere — on lists of writing advice, in quotes bequeathed to us by the masters of writing, and even from the mouths of our teachers and professors: carry a notebook at all times.
After all, you never know when a great idea will strike. It would be awful to lose an idea just because you couldn’t write it down. As long as you carry a notebook and a pen, you’ll never forget a brilliant idea.
Plus, you’ll be able to work on your writing projects whenever the opportunity arises. You might write the last line of your novel while standing in line at the grocery store!
But let’s be clear, the notebook isn’t actually necessary. Most of us have smart phones and other mobile devices that are in many ways better than pens and paper notebooks.
Let’s examine this much-loved writing tip a little closer. Just how critical is it that we tote notebooks and pens everywhere we go? Read More
Creative writing prompts for the socially conscious.
Today’s post includes a selection of prompts from 1200 Creative Writing Prompts. Enjoy!
Civilization. Society. Culture.
We live in a complex world fraught with struggles.
Most of us are so busy worrying about our own personal problems that we have little time to think about problems that plague our communities, countries, and the planet.
Yet many of us want to be good citizens and stewards. We want to do our part to make the world a little better, or perhaps a lot better. Read More