Would You Rather Have Skill or Talent as a Writer?

Is effective writing borne of skill or talent? There has always been a debate about whether artistic trades are a matter of learned skill or inherent talent. On the one hand, there is the belief that some are born with active and imaginative right brains and are therefore better able to manifest creativity. On the…Read More

better writer

How to Become a Better Writer

There’s more to writing than pushing a pen across a piece of paper, and there’s more to being a writer than having written. These days, everyone’s a writer. We write emails, text messages, and lists. A free blog is just a few clicks away. Self-publishing has drawn tens of thousands of dreamers who have scrawled…Read More

eliminate redundancies in writing

Writing Tips: Eliminate Redundancies in Your Writing

Writers are human, and sometimes we make mistakes. You’re probably aware of the most common mistakes in writing: comma splices, run-on sentences, mixing up homophones, and a variety of other broken grammar, spelling, and punctuation rules. In my coaching work, I’ve noticed another common mistake: redundancy. Sometimes we use repetition effectively, but most of the…Read More

the pocket muse

Writing Resources: The Pocket Muse

This post contains affiliate links that earn commissions for this website from qualifying purchases.  We writers can’t be inspired every day. Sometimes we get burned out. Other times, our ideas seem unappealing. We find ourselves grappling with an idea that’s incomplete or we might be seeking lots of small ideas for a big project. But…Read More

journal prompts

Philosophical Journal Prompts

What is philosophy? Let’s turn to Wikipedia for a simple, straightforward definition: “Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language…It is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.” Today’s journal…Read More

storytelling exercise plot analysis

Storytelling Exercise: Plot Analysis

Today’s storytelling exercise is an excerpt from my book, Story Drills: Fiction Writing Exercises, which helps beginning to intermediate storytellers develop skills in the craft of fiction writing. This exercise explores one of the most important elements of any story: plot. It’s called “Plot Analysis.” Enjoy! Plot Analysis Some readers think analyzing a plot takes…Read More

kill your darlings

Kill Your Darlings (for Storytellers)

Some writing tips are cryptic. When I first came across writing advice that said, “Kill your darlings,” I thought it meant we should kill off our favorite characters. That seemed ridiculous. I mean, there are situations in which a story calls for characters to die, but to make a sweeping rule that we should default…Read More

how to read poetry

How to Read Poetry

Have you ever fallen in love with a song immediately upon hearing it? As soon as it’s over, you whip out your phone to find the song, and then you play it on repeat for the rest of the day until you know every note and lyric. It becomes your current favorite, your latest obsession….Read More

grammar rules ending a sentence with a preposition

Grammar Rules: Ending a Sentence with a Preposition

A longstanding grammar myth says we’re not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition. For years, this myth has persisted, tying writers up in knots and making their heads spin around sentences that simply must end with a preposition. For example: Which store are you going to? Folks who were taught (and are now…Read More

where to find awesome writing ideas

12 Places to Find Awesome Writing Ideas

Some writers are overwhelmed with inspiration and can’t find enough time to bring every brilliant idea to fruition. The rest of us are always on the lookout for compelling writing ideas to add to our inspiration archives. But writing ideas are not always easy to come by. So we constantly search for inspiration that will keep us happily…Read More

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