grammar rules ie and eg

Grammar Rules: i.e. and e.g.

Occasionally, we come across the abbreviations i.e. and e.g., but what do they mean, and what is the difference between them? How do grammar rules apply? These two terms originate in the Latin language and are just two of the many Latin phrases that have survived into modern language. Both i.e. and e.g. are abbreviations…Read More

creative writing class

Five Things I Learned in Creative Writing Class

People often ask me whether I think a formal education is necessary to a successful writing career. A degree certainly helps, but no, it’s not necessary. There are master writers who did not finish high school and plenty never went to college. I want to be clear: I fully support higher education. If you pull me…Read More

adjectives and adverbs

What’s Wrong with Adjectives and Adverbs?

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” – Stephen King It’s not unusual for writing experts to recommend keeping adjectives and adverbs to a minimum. But many writers prefer to laden their language with modifiers, usually as a way to provide more detail and description for readers. And young and new writers tend to overuse…Read More

craft language

Tips for Crafting Language

Have you ever stopped to think about how many different types of writers there are? Novelists, biographers, bloggers, copywriters, poets, screenwriters, and playwrights — just to name a few. Within each type of writing we can find areas of specialization. Some biographers write about celebrities; others focus on politicians. Copywriters can specialize in ad copy…Read More

poetry tools and techniques

A Handy Book for Poets – Poetry: Tools & Techniques: A Practical Guide to Writing Engaging Poetry

I have found it quite challenging to find good books on the craft of poetry writing. My favorite resource, which is also the most comprehensive, is Perrine’s Sound and Sense. But that’s a costly book because it’s used in college-level poetry courses. For years, I’ve kept up a search for a simpler, more affordable book…Read More

creative writing prompts

25 Creative Writing Prompts

Don’t you just hate writer’s block? Some say it’s a disease that only creative workers succumb to. Some say it’s a curse. Others argue that it doesn’t exist at all. But just about everyone has been there–sitting in front of a blank screen, fingers itching to create a masterpiece. And nothing happens. For me, the…Read More

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

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