storytelling exercise process

Storytelling Exercise: Process

Today’s storytelling exercise comes from my book Story Drills: Fiction Writing Exercises, which is packed with lessons and exercises for beginning to intermediate storytellers. This one is about developing a process. Enjoy! Process A typical writing process includes the following steps: brainstorm, outline, research, draft, revise, edit, proof, and publish. Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? But…Read More

elements of plot

Storytelling: The Elements of Plot

Good storytelling includes many elements that a writer must consider. Plot and character are foremost among these elements, and for literary writers, language is high on the list as well. Some writers start with nothing more than a few key characters and let the plot develop by exploring those characters’ actions. Others practice careful and…Read More

prose poetry

What is Prose Poetry?

Poetry is a vast landscape, populated with many different types of poems from free verse to sonnets to haiku. Prose poetry is unusual because its form deviates from the nature of poetry, which is writing in verse. Before we examine prose poetry, we first must understand the difference between prose and poetry. Prose and Verse…Read More

parentheses

Punctuation Marks: Parentheses

Parentheses are among the most useful and versatile punctuation marks in the English language. They can be used effectively in both formal and casual writing, and the rules surrounding parentheses allow writers to use them for a variety of purposes. They just might be my favorite punctuation marks, simply because they provide a clear way…Read More

creative nonfiction

Writing Creative Nonfiction

In fiction writing, we’re often inspired with a what-if question: What if an innocent citizen is convicted of murder? What if humanity finds itself facing total extinction? What if that rabbit hole leads to a fantastical wonderland? Fiction is driven by imagination. Ideas for writing creative nonfiction often arise from experience and interest rather than…Read More

better writing

Are You Dedicated to Better Writing?

Today’s post is an edited excerpt from the introduction to 10 Core Practices for Better Writing, a book that aims to impart best practices in the craft of writing. “When I’m writing, I know I’m doing the thing I was born to do.” — Anne Sexton Words. They have the power to captivate the imagination,…Read More

writing tips be yourself

Writing Tips: Be Yourself

As writers, we strive to connect with a reading audience. After all, writing is all about communication. Whether we’re sharing our personal experiences, imparting ideas and information, or creating rich, compelling stories, we want our words to ring true. We want our work to be authentic. And there’s only one way to achieve authenticity: Be…Read More

no plot no problem

Writing Resources: No Plot? No Problem!

There are a million ways to approach writing a novel. You can outline your plot. You can create a series of scenes and use note cards to organize them. You can use a tried and proven formula from any number of plotting resources. Or you can create a couple of interesting characters and just start…Read More

poetry prompts

All-Natural Poetry Prompts

Throughout the centuries, poets have composed meditations on seasons, landscapes, and constellations. Vegetation and animals have been the subjects of countless poems, and even when poetry is not centered around nature, it often makes references to it. In poetry, nature can function as a backdrop, or it can hold center stage. Why are so many poets…Read More

fiction writing exercise

From Story Drills: Deathtrap and Deus Ex Machina

Today’s fiction writing exercise is an excerpt from my book, Story Drills: Fiction Writing Exercises. This exercise presents two storytelling devices: the deathtrap and deus ex machina. Enjoy! Deathtrap and Deus Ex Machina If you’ve ever read a story in which characters are rescued from a dire situation in a way that is truly unbelievable,…Read More

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