fiction writing exercise theme

An Exercise from Story Drills: Theme

Today’s fiction writing exercise is an excerpt from my book, Story Drills: Fiction Writing Exercises. This one focuses on theme, the central message and deeper meaning of a story. Enjoy! Theme is often described as the message of a story, but this description doesn’t do it justice. Theme is also the central meaning of a…Read More

story is conflict

Story is Conflict

If a story were a bus, conflict would be the driver. Conflict steers a story, moves it forward, reverses it, stops it in its tracks, and slows or accelerates the pacing. More importantly, conflict keeps readers glued to the page. Readers want to see how the characters will deal with conflict. Will they find solutions…Read More

communicating with poetry

Communicating with Poetry: The Search for Deeper Meaning

The search for deeper meaning in a poem implies that it might contain a hidden message. But poetry is not coded messaging; it’s artful communication. It’s more useful to ask what a poem communicates than to ask what it secretly means. Some poems are straightforward; there’s no interpretation to be made because they are clear…Read More

descriptive writing

A Guide to Descriptive Writing

Writing description is a necessary skill for most writers. Whether we’re writing an essay, a story, or a poem, we usually reach a point where we need to describe something. In fiction, we describe settings and characters. In poetry, we describe scenes, experiences, and emotions. In creative nonfiction, we describe reality. Descriptive writing is especially…Read More

daily writing

Daily Writing Leads to Better Writing

Today’s post is an excerpt from 10 Core Practices for Better Writing. This is from “Chapter Two: Writing.” Enjoy! “I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.” – William Faulkner Ideally, you would write every day. Writers who come to the craft out of passion rarely have a…Read More

how to critique

How to Critique Other Writers’ Work

As a writer, it helps to be thick-skinned. Once you put your work out there, people will judge, review, and criticize it. But critiques are more helpful when they are received long before publication. In fact, critiques are one of the best ways to improve your writing. Many writers who want critiques that will help…Read More

Writing Resources: Telling True Stories

Writing Resources: Telling True Stories

This post contains affiliate links that earn commissions from qualifying purchases. Human beings are built for story. Story is how we perceive the world around us and how we understand ourselves and other people. Through story, we learn and make connections. We use stories to map the future and study the past. Stories are the…Read More

creative writing prompts

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…Read More

creative writing exercises cut and paste poetry

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.”…Read More

grammar rules

Grammar Guidelines Versus Grammar Rules

In grammar, there are rules and then there are guidelines. Rules may sometimes be broken, but usually breaking the rules of grammar leads to prose that sounds awkward and is indisputably incorrect. But breaching the guidelines often leads to prose that sounds more natural. An example of a grammar rule would be the use of…Read More

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