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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

10 Writing Tips from Ursula Le Guin

Ursula Le Guin writing quote

At the National Book Awards a few nights ago, Ursula Le Guin was honored with the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, a fancy sounding award that basically means she’s the bomb (she really is).

5 Rules of Writing From Pixar

Pixar Writing Rules

I love Pixar. There hasn’t been one movie they made that I didn’t like. My family goes to see the new Pixar movie every summer right after it comes out. So when I saw this picture on Pinterest sharing Pixar’s twenty-two rules of storytelling, I saved the picture right away. I go back to it constantly for inspiration, and I thought I’d share a few of my favorite rules with you. Here are my five favorites.

In Medias Res: Definition and Examples for Writers

in medias res

One way to tell a story is to introduce the reader to the environment of the story. Descriptions of foliage and dirt roads, or of skyscrapers and clanging subway gears, can get the reader acclimated to the setting and can be a way to introduce the protagonist as a product of their surroundings.

But sometimes you just don’t have the patience for that. You want to hit the ground with the plot running at full speed, and once you’ve gotten the reader’s attention and piqued their curiosity, then maybe you explain what’s going on and how things got here.

Welcome to the world of in medias res.

Are You Writing From the Right Point of View?

point of view (pov)

I’m at a turning point with respect to my manuscript. It’s written and revised but, strangely, the male point of view (POV) is in the third person while the female POV is in the first-person. I did this to help me keep their voices distinct while I was writing, but now I’m thinking about changing it.

10 Questions to Find Your Unique Writing Voice

Why is it that when you love someone’s writing, you want to read every book they’ve ever written? Why is it that some readers will buy all of J.K. Rowling’s books, even if she’s writing in a completely different genre than the Harry Potter series? And for us writers, how can we go from “unknown writer” to “published author”?

It’s all about your writing voice.

This Playwright Explains How to Write Great Dialogue

playwright dialogue

This guest post is by Maggie Sulc. Maggie is a playwright, dramaturg (I had to look that one up), and screenwriter from Texas, Tennessee, and, most recently, Toronto. You can follow her on her blog, Gladlybeyondaustinausten, and on Twitter (@austinausten). You’ve hit that point in the writing process. You’ve had that story or poem germinating […]

Don’t Take Your NaNoWriMo Novel So Seriously

NaNoWriMo Novel

I was talking to a girlfriend of mine Monday night about NaNoWriMo. Her last venture into National Novel Writing Month was three years ago, and now she’s regretting starting.

Why Fast First Drafts Aren’t for Everyone

fast first drafts

When writing first drafts, a common piece of advice is write fast—just get those ideas on the page so you can take a proper look at them before you start letting your editor start messing with them… Write fast, analyze later. NaNoWriMo is great for creating a structure to force this practice.

There’s some great reasoning behind this practice… but fast firsts aren’t for everyone.

3 Tips to “Show, Don’t Tell” Emotions and Moods

show, don't tell

If you’re like me, one of the main reasons you read is to receive an emotional transference from the author. You love books that don’t just make you think, that don’t just entertain, but that make you feel something.

It’s the magic of reading: that an author can arrange a series of letters in a certain order and that these letters can affect our emotions.

As a writer, how do you develop mood in a short story or in the chapter of your novel without telling? Is it possible to build up emotional language without saying what the emotion is? In other words, can you make people feel something without writing like Stefenie Meyer or E.L. James?

One Word to Transform Your Writing

Years ago, I found myself chairing the writing contest for my local writers’ organization in conjunction with its annual conference. It was a huge undertaking, but I’d done it before and could do it again.

So I thought.