Writing Prompts

Great Creative Writers Are Serious About Their Writing. Are You?

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“14 Prompts does what most writing books don’t—gives you practical advice while also inspiring you to want to take it.” Andrea Cumbo, andilit.com

3 Ways to Get Your Next Story Idea

3 Ways to Get Your Next Story Idea

Story ideas often come to us almost out of thin air—whether from an overheard conversation in a coffee shop, or just a random thought that pops into your head in the shower. But other times, you’re ready to write a new story and all that you’ve got is the blank page in front of you.

That’s okay! There’s a number of tried and true methods to jumpstart your brain and draw those ideas out. Here are my three go-tos:

10 Lessons Dr. Seuss Can Teach Writers

Writing Lessons from Dr. Seuss

In the spring of 1925, a Dartmouth College senior named Theodor Geisel was caught drinking, a serious offense during prohibition. As punishment, he was forced out of his role as editor-in-chief of Dartmouth’s humor magazine, Jack-O-Lantern. That didn’t stop Geisel from writing, though. He submitted humor stories under a variety of pen names, L. Pasteur, L. Burbank, and, the one he would one day become famous for, Seuss.

A Weird Way to Beat Writer’s Block

Writer's Block

I recently visited with a new writer over coffee. She confessed, almost with shame, “I’ve written on and off for years. Well, sort of…now I’m really trying to get serious about my novel, but I keep quitting. It’s really frustrating. How do you ummm,” she looked away, then back at me again, “How do you fight fear?”

That’s a great question, and the answer is…

Cat Talk with Steven Pressfield, Author of “Do The Work”

Cat Talk with Steven Pressfield

Steven Pressfield, a dear friend, wrote a short manifesto, Do The Work. The title of the book actually answers so many questions. It is Do The Work, not Read About The Work, or Tell Your Cat About The Work, or Think About The Work.

I asked Mr. Steve only three questions, following the example of my typist who has interviewed Steven Pressfield before about his books, The War of Art, and Turning Pro. Both excellent books.

The Philosophy of Villains

The Philosophy of Vilains

Depending on the fictional work, villains have different philosophies on the relationship between good and evil. Some villains are aware of the fact that heroes are willing to go to great lengths to ensure that the forces of good and justice prevail. Others can’t comprehend the idea of a hero sacrificing themselves for the sake […]

If You Had a Platform Like the Oscars, What Would You Say?

Oscar Speech

Oscar winners have a minute to discuss anything AND to have millions of people listen. Many use the opportunity to highlight their passions. We writers often hear about the importance of building a platform, but what would you say if you had one as ridiculously large as the Oscars?

4 Keys to Beautiful Writing

To Kill a Mocking Girl.

What is beautiful writing? What kind of sentence (or paragraph, or page), makes us pull out a pencil and underline? When we see a quote on Pinterest or Twitter, what makes us pin or retweet it? There are many different kinds of writing styles, and we all have different tastes. But I think there are four things in particular that makes us all read a passage over and over again.

Why You Should Write With All the Senses… Except Sight

write with all your senses

The smell of incense is thick and heady, mingling with the hours-old scent of burnt toast. Outside, it’s quiet except for the shrill yap of a dog or the rogue shriek of a child’s laugh. Inside, it’s cold – numb fingers tapping away at smooth, overused keys. The aftertaste of coffee lingers in my mouth, simultaneously bitter and sweet.

What did you notice about this paragraph?

What I’ve Learned About Writing From Comic Books

What I've Learned About writing from Comic Books

Many an expert has prescribed voracious reading as a way to improve your writing.

But don’t just read anything, they warn—read quality in addition to quantity. Read the stories in styles you adore, the plots you wish you’d come up with yourself. It’s by reading what you love and admire, say the experts, that you will improve your own writing the most.

Well, I love comic books.

Why We Love Fifty Shades of Grey

Why Is Fifty Shades of Grey Popular?

In January 2009, a British TV producer and mother-of-two began writing under the pseudonym “Snowqueen’s Icedragon” after being inspired by the Twilight saga (which, if you’re a regular, you know we have mixed feelings about).

She published her first novel, Master of the Universe, online, which was loosely based on the Twilight characters. In 2011 she decided to self-publish the series, which soon built up enough buzz to be talked about by Fox News and other networks.

In 2012, Random House picked up the series. Since then, the series, now titled Fifty Shades of Grey, has sold over 100 million copies, making it one of the bestselling of all time.