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

The Winter of Our Discontent

Winter of Our Discontent by Frances Howard-Snyder

Earlier this month, eighty-six writers submitted stories to our Becoming Writer Writing Contest, which we hosted in association with ShortFictionBreak.com. Today, I’m honored to present the winning story, “The Winter of Discontent,” by Frances Howard-Snyder.

How to Accomplish Twice the Writing in Half the Time

Twice the Writing in Half the Time

Many writers struggle with time management, but I’ve taken this dilemma to a whole, new level. In this post I want to talk about how I’ve learned to accomplish twice the writing in half the time.

Some writers have a set schedule. They work the same time every day.

Lucky them.

Others, do not. They sneak in their pages through tiny chunks of time — five minutes here, another 15 minutes there.

Nothing wrong with that, either. Just try to be consistent.

Here’s an interesting fact I’ve recently discovered about myself. In talking to others, they’ve admitted they do this, too…

What to Do When Your Protagonist Won’t Play

Protagonist Induced Writer's Block

Not to scare you, but there’s more than one kind of writer’s block.

There’s the overarching plot kind, which is big and broad and says, “I don’t know what happens next.” There’s the links-in-a-chain kind, which is like a map with paint spilled on it and says, “I know the beginning, and I know the end, and I have no idea how to get there.”

Then there’s the stubborn character kind, which I like to summarize as, “My protagonist is being a butt.”

When to Discard the Three-Act Story Structure

When to Discard the Three-Act Story Structure

There are times to follow the rules of story, and there are times to break the rules. When should you use the three-act story structure, and when should you discard it entirely?

Why Your Character Needs a Revelation

Why Your Character Needs a Revelation

When I attended the writer’s retreat with Wild author Cheryl Strayed a few weeks ago, I learned a lot about writing and storytelling. I learned about leaning into subjectivity and the power of objects.

I was also struck by two points Cheryl made about revelations.

Yes, Writing a Book Really Is Like Giving Birth (Plus, an Announcement)

Joe Bunting

On Saturday, April 11 at 6:49 am, my wife gave birth to our second son, Remington Seth Eugene Bunting—or Remy.

3 Writing Exercises to Change How You See the World

Writing Exercises for the Senses

One of the best ways to writing a good descriptive piece is to think about the five senses. Sight is a commonly used one, as it’s usually the one we rely on most, but what about sound? What about touch or taste or smell? Here are three exercises you can use to explore the other senses.

6 Confessions of Heartbroken Writers

Heartbreak Quotes from Famous Writers

I get it why they call it a heartbreak. It’s this deep feeling in your chest, something inexplicable. The pain isn’t sharp, or dull, the pain is tight. The pain is like a balloon, full of so much air, the rubber is stretched so tight—ready to burst. And then, the pain is fleeting.

The Wallpapering Method to Coping with Rejection Letters

the wallpapering method to coping with rejection letters

Ray Bradbury famously wrote a story a week. It was impossible, he insisted, to write 52 bad stories in a row. Bradbury is one of my writing heroes, so this is an approach I admire and strive to emulate. So when I found a quote from Bradbury on Pinterest offering some advice about submissions and […]

Why You’re Not Writing

Why You're Not Writing

Sometimes after people learn I’m a writer, they confess to me in private they have a book inside them. They dream about it and long to make that happen. I know others who talk a lot about writing. They post writerly quotes on social media, links to publishing articles and always know the latest industry buzz. Another set are voracious readers; they can discuss a variety of cool topics or brainstorm story ideas. They love the whole literary scene.

What all these folks share in common is…