How to Engage Readers with Emotionally Charged Writing

creative writing prompts

Creative writing prompts that you can really feel.

In fiction and poetry, one of the greatest skills that a writer can possess is the ability to make the reader feel. If you can engage readers on an emotional level, you’ll have them hooked.

Think about it. Most of the books, poems, movies, and TV shows that you love best are the ones with which you forged an emotional connection. You felt like the characters were your friends, so you felt for them. You felt with them.

Sounds easy, but emotionally effective writing can be a complex and difficult endeavor. Let’s look at a few simple guidelines you can use to produce emotionally compelling creative writing. Read More

How to Stay Inspired

writing ideas

How to stay inspired.

Writer’s block is probably the most frustrating experience any writer faces. You feel creative and you want to create, but you’re just not inspired.

It happens to most artists from time to time, this disconnect from the muse. Yet there are creative people who seem to have overcome artistic roadblocks — authors who publish multiple novels every year, filmmakers who produce annual blockbusters, and musicians who are on the top-ten list week after week. They know how to stay inspired, but how do they do it? Have they tapped into a secret, endless stream of ideas?

How can you tap into that stream? Read More

How to Play and Pretend Your Way to Breakthrough Writing Ideas

writing ideas

Play and pretend your way to writing ideas

My little niece used to love to sit with a grown-up book spread across her lap, reading a story out loud — except she couldn’t read yet. She was making it all up — pretending.

During play, she invented new words. One time we were playing with some toys, and I asked one of their names. Without missing a beat, she made up the name Hoken. Hoken sounds to me like a great name for a character in a science fiction or fantasy story.

Play and pretend can lead to some innovative writing ideas, whether you’re looking for a simple concept for starting a new writing project or trying to break through a block in a project that you’re already working on. Read More

10 Descriptive Writing Practices

descriptive writing

Descriptive writing: Do your readers see what you see?

Descriptive writing is the art of painting a picture with words.

In fiction, we describe settings and characters. In poetry, we describe scenes, experiences, and emotions. In creative nonfiction, we describe reality.

Classic literature was dense with description whereas modern literature usually keeps description to a minimum. Read More

How to Find Writing Inspiration When Your Muse is on Vacation

writing inspiration


Is your muse on vacation? Get your writing inspiration here!

Have you ever sat down to start a new writing project and then realized an hour later you were still sitting there, staring idly at the blank page?

Sometimes writing inspiration doesn’t come easy.

In a writer’s ideal world, the blank page is something we always look forward to, a fresh canvas we can color with ideas and texture with language. When our muse is dancing around, we feel motivated and inspired, so the blank page feels like the start of an exciting adventure.

But if our mind isn’t in the right place, if our muse is on vacation, that same page is nothing but a source of frustration. Read More

Borrowing, Stealing, and Building Upon Other People’s Writing Ideas

writing ideas

May I use a few of your writing ideas?

From epic romances to fantastical adventures, stories have been captivating audiences for centuries, and they have been inspiring writers (and other artists) for just as long.

There is a longstanding tradition among storytellers of re-imagining or expanding the greatest legends, myths, and fairy tales ever told, from the Greek classics to last summer’s blockbuster films.

Certainly, many derivative works are frowned upon. You can find lists of authors who do not allow (and pursue legal action against) stories written in their worlds. You can find reviews that call such stories rip-offs or refer to authors as hacks who have done nothing more than steal someone else’s writing ideas.

But you can also find some impressive and respectable derivative works in films, novels, and television. In fact, many derivative works are embraced, beloved, and achieve critical and commercial success, plus massive fan followings.

So, when is it acceptable to use other people’s writing ideas? Why do some of these stories get heavily criticized while others are widely celebrated? Read More

Are Paper Notebooks Better for Creative Writing and Brainstorming?

creative writing notebooks

Is paper better for creativity?

These days, we writers use computers, electronic tablets, and even our smart phones for most of our creative writing. But a lot of us admit there’s still something about good old-fashioned pen and paper that really gets creativity flowing.

It’s difficult to brainstorm on a computer or jot down notes and random thoughts, and it’s impossible to doodle in the margins (unless you have fancy equipment). So for journal writing, note-taking, and brainstorming sessions, I find electronics to be confining.

Over the years, I’ve collected hordes of journals and notebooks. Some of them are pretty and whimsical. Others are simple and functional. I always go through lots of spiral notebooks for business note-taking, but when it comes to creative writing and brainstorming, I have learned (the hard way) that I have basic but specific needs that my notebooks and journals must fulfill. Read More

Get Creative By Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

get creative

Get creative by getting out of your comfort zone.

How comfortable are you with your writing?

Many writers specialize in a genre or niche. Creative writers are focused on fiction or poetry, copywriters specialize in marketing, and technical writers are bound by jargon and code that other writers might find impossible to decipher.

Sure, some of us explore various types of writing, but how deeply are we willing to immerse ourselves into unfamiliar waters?

A novelist might dip her toes in copywriting. A copywriter might wade in children’s literature. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to dive into a completely new form of writing or what it would be like to explore a form you’ve only tested? Are you willing to challenge yourself and get creative by trying something new? Read More

When Creative Writing Stops Being Fun

creative writing

Taking the fun out of creative writing.

People pursue artistic endeavors for  different reasons. For some, it’s a hobby. For others, a livelihood. For most, it’s a hobby they dream of turning into a livelihood.

It’s a worthwhile dream and a lofty one too. But what does it take to get there? How much fun are you allowed to have, and just how much work must you do to turn your passion for writing into a full-time job?

And if you do manage to make a career out of creative writing, will it still be as fun as it was when it was just a hobby? Read More

How to Get Inspired with a Creative Writing Talisman

How to get inspired

How to get inspired.

Sometimes when we sit down to write, the muse is in full effect and the words pour forth effortlessly. Other times we sit there staring at a blank screen, waiting for creativity to manifest. We wait and we wait.

Then we wait some more.

Writer’s block is the state of being uninspired. It’s just a state of mind, so it can be changed at will, which is a good thing, because when it comes to creative writing, state of mind is pretty important.

Years ago, when I used to draw and paint, I often listened to a particular mix of music. It was ideal background audio for making art, very inspiring. As a result, every time I hear that music, I get an urge to pull out my watercolor pencils and sketchbook because I have built a psychological association between a certain kind of music and a creative activity.

Can you see where I’m going with this? Just imagine how this concept can be applied to creative writing. Read More