props fiction writing exercise

Props, a Storytelling Exercise

This exercise comes from my book Story Drills: Fiction Writing Exercises. This exercise asks you to consider an element of story that’s often overlooked in lessons and conversations about fiction writing. It’s called “Props.” Enjoy! Props Often when we talk about setting, we forget an important element: props. These are the items that appear in the narrative…Read More

poetry prompts

Poetry Prompts for Lovers

Poetry is one of the most magical forms of self-expression. You can express thoughts, ideas, and feelings in a poem that are otherwise difficult, or even impossible, to say in any other form of communication. And poetry has long been the language of lovers. Millions of writers have used poetry to declare their affections, obsessions,…Read More

writing tips

42 Fiction Writing Tips for Novelists

The more I explore fiction writing, the more complex and multi-layered it becomes. Through the processes of brainstorming, outlining, researching, writing, and revising, I have discovered countless details that authors have to consider as they set out to produce a viable work of fiction. Over the years, I have collected a vast pile of notes…Read More

How to start writing poetry

How to Start Writing Poetry

I occasionally receive an e-mail or comment from someone who asks how to start writing poetry. These aspiring writers might have read some poetry, maybe even dabbled in writing it, but they feel disconnected from it. They want to write poems, but they’re not sure how to begin. Some are interested in producing publishable works;…Read More

creative writing

10 Essential Lessons You’ll Learn in a Creative Writing Workshop

When I look back over all my years of formal education, from preschool through college, only a few classes stand out as truly educational in a life-changing way. In sixth grade, we did a section on space, which fascinated me. I retained a lot of what I learned. Later, I took astronomy and learned even…Read More

practice writing

How to Make Time to Practice Writing Every Day

By now, most of you have heard of the 10,000-hour rule, which was made famous in the book Outliers. The rule states that in order to become an expert at something, you need to put in 10,000 hours of practice. In other words, a master writer has already spent 10,000 hours writing. Working at it…Read More

journal prompts

Journal Prompts for Aspiring Writers

Journal prompts are a great way to kick off a writing session when you’re feeling uninspired. We all have days when writing ideas are nowhere to be found, but that doesn’t mean you have to go a day without writing. In fact, on those days when my muse is being elusive, I like to either…Read More

reading journal

The Benefits of Keeping a Reading Journal

I’ve kept a journal on and off since I was a kid. My journals are full of poetry, drawings, story ideas, and random thoughts. I’ve always wanted to keep a reading journal, but I usually inhale books, leaving little time between chapters to jot down my thoughts. I like to read at night, and by…Read More

a poetry handbook

Writing Resources: A Poetry Handbook

Poetry is the music of language, the fine art of the written word. It demands a broad vocabulary and creative thinking. It promotes rhythm and meter, and it invites imagery. Poetry engages the imagination, stimulates the intellect, and touches the heart. Reading and writing poetry are excellent practices for any writer. Through poetry, we learn the…Read More

Top Secret Fiction Writing Prompts

“Ssh, don’t tell anyone. Put it in the vault!” Most of us have had those very words whispered into our ears. In fact, most of us have probably whispered those words into someone else’s ear. They say everyone has a secret. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that secrets sure pique…Read More

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