storytelling exercise three acts

Storytelling Exercise: Three Acts

Today’s storytelling exercise is an excerpt from my book, Story Drills, which is filled with fiction-writing exercises that impart basic techniques of storytelling. Today’s exercise is from chapter forty-five. It’s called “Three Acts.” Enjoy! The three-act structure is one of the simplest and most effective ways to outline or analyze a story and its structure….Read More

guide to creative writing

Now Available: Ready, Set, Write: A Guide to Creative Writing

I’m excited to announce that a new book in the Adventures in Writing series is now available.  Ready, Set, Write: A Guide to Creative Writing Ready, Set, Write takes you on tour through the world of creative writing. You’ll discover tools of the trade and creativity techniques as you explore various forms of creative writing. Learn…Read More

health tips for writers

Health Tips for Writers

Lots of jobs pose health hazards, and writing is no exception. Whether you write professionally or as a hobby, spending hours hunched over your keyboard or notebook can have detrimental effects on your health if you don’t take the proper precautions. From muscle cramps and eye strain to getting bogged down in the mental clutter…Read More

iconic characters

What Makes Iconic Characters Unforgettable?

Luke Skywalker was the obvious hero of Star Wars: A New Hope, so why does it seem like Han, Leia, and Darth Vader got all the attention? When I think about the characters from Star Wars, Luke is often the last one who comes to mind. It’s not that he’s forgettable, but he doesn’t stand…Read More

good poems

Reading, Writing, and Reviewing Good Poems

I’ve always loved writing poetry. It’s a highly artistic and expressive form of writing. Poems can be intellectual, emotional, or abstract. Poetry can feel like a snapshot of a moment in time, or it can feel like a riveting three-hour film. Every poem offers a unique perspective and experience. I believe that all poetry is…Read More

How to use a semicolon

Punctuation Marks: How to Use a Semicolon

Lots of people aren’t sure how to use a semicolon. The semicolon might be the most misunderstood punctuation mark in the English language. This dot-comma combination is often used where a period, colon, or even a plain old comma belongs. Underused and often abused, the semicolon is useful in a number of writing situations. Although…Read More

writing goals

How to Set Writing Goals to Stay Focused and Motivated

One of the things I love about writing is that it’s so accessible. All you need is a pen and a notebook (or access to a computer), and you’re off, putting your words down, expressing yourself. But it’s just as easy to lose your way — to let projects go unfinished, to procrastinate, or get…Read More

writing plan

What’s Your Writing Plan?

When I first started writing, it was a spontaneous affair. I was a teenager, lying on my bedroom floor; I think I was talking to someone on the phone, and I’m certain music was playing. There happened to be a pen and a spiral-bound notebook (for schoolwork) in front of me, and before I knew…Read More

Writing Resources: Bird by Bird

Bird by Bird is a classic book on writing. You’ll hear about it in writer circles, at workshops, and it will appear on book lists by some of your favorite authors. This book had been sitting on my to-read list for years by the time I got around to reading it, and now I can…Read More

creative writing prompts music lovers

Creative Writing Prompts for Music Lovers

Today’s post features a selection of prompts from my book 1200 Creative Writing Prompts. Enjoy! At some point in their lives, all artistic people run into creative walls. Writers lose inspiration so frequently, they have their own special term for it: writer’s block. Luckily, writing ideas don’t have to magically appear in order for creativity…Read More

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