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Writing Prompts

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

If you want to be more disciplined and more inspired in your writing, consider getting a copy of 14 Prompts, free for subscribers. Enter your email address to subscribe and get your copy now.

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

Let’s Play a Story Game to Break Writer’s Block

Let’s Play a Story game to Break Writer’s Block

Have you ever felt desperate? Not desperate to find disposable diapers at midnight when you realized you just used the last one and your baby has diarrhea? And not desperate to find your car keys. I mean desperate to find a way for your hero to escape the wooden box sinking in the middle of the ocean desperate.

As your character sinks to the bottom of the ocean, and as the air supply at the top of the wooden box gets smaller you grab your head in your hands and pace the floor frantic to save your hero’s life before his air supply runs out.

You try jumping jacks to stimulate oxygen to your brain. You do a google search for ideas to break writer’s block and then do you everything they suggest.

3 Reasons You Should Take a Break From Your Writing

3 Reasons Taking a Break Can Help Your Writing

I know how it is. It’s a three-day weekend. You get caught up in the barbecues, the family time, the sunshine, the sales at the mall… and whatever else. You sleep in and soak it up.

Then Tuesday morning comes, you drag yourself out of bed, and as you sip that cup of coffee you realize, oh man, you haven’t even thought about that manuscript for an entire three days.

This Fun Creative Writing Exercise Will Change Your Life

This Fun Creative Writing Exercise Will Change Your Life

I’m sure this never happens to you, but there are times when I don’t feel very creative. We just had a new baby, our second, bought a house, our first, and are now busy managing a thousand new details. All the busywork and bill paying leaves me feeling pretty dry.

But no matter how un-creative I’m feeling, there’s one creative writing exercise that never fails to fire up my writing.

What Writers Do When We Have to Wait

What Writers Do When We Have to Wait

As writers, a good portion of our time seems to be dedicated to waiting. You wait to hear back from agents, you wait for contest results, you wait on e-mail replies, you wait for your critique partners to read your projects, etc. And if you’re like me and aren’t the most patient person, the waiting can be hard.

3 Ways to Start Your Novel

3 Ways to Start Your Novel

Beginnings matter.

We only get one chance to hook our readers, to pull them in, to guarantee they must read on. That’s probably why so many writers panic over how to start writing those first few pages of a novel.

So how do you start a novel? Where is the best place to begin? Take heart, dear reader: in today’s post, I’ll give you three ways to start a novel, a bonus nugget about antagonists, and a key question to ask yourself before you get to work.

Why You Need to be Using the Oxford Comma

the oxford comma

Most of the fun of writing is using your words to tell a story. They course across the page, delighting in the joys of Maureen finally finding her Henry, shuddering as Ingrid uncovers her third dead body of the day, or mourning with Carlos for his lost mother. But I’m not here to talk about words. I’m here to sing the praises of punctuation; specifically, the Oxford comma.

Most people I’ve met have no idea what the Oxford comma is, but it’s probably something that you have used in the past. What is it?

How to Pitch a Literary Agent at a Conference

How to Pitch a Literary Agent at a Conference

A pitch session is a five to ten minute period of uninterrupted time with an agent. Here’s how to make the most of that opportunity.

The Writer’s Formula to a Captivating Setting

Writer's Formula to Setting

I’ve been thinking today about what makes a setting like Hogwarts so great.

We’ve all spent a lot of time at school, many years of our lives. School is familiar, relatable, “homey.”

Thus it makes perfect sense to set a young adult novel series in a school. And many writers have done this, not just J.K. Rowling.

3 Traps to Avoid When Writing a Rough Draft

3 Traps to Avoid When Writing a Rough Draft

I’ve started a new novel, as in a blank page 1 in need of 275 – 400 more pages written to be complete. I’m lucky, because this book is second in a series, so I already have the plot and framework in mind (sort of ). I just require about 70,000+ more words to fill in the blanks.

It’s so simple, but difficult to do.

Fortunately, I’ve completed four other novels and will publish book #4 later this year. I’m trying to apply what I’ve learned in the past to remain more sane this go-round. Let’s discuss three pitfalls I’ve learned with first drafts.

An Introduction to Satire: A Modest Proposal

Introduction to Satire

I was a junior in High School when I was first introduced to satire. I had been affluent in sarcasm for some time, but it was in my AP English class that I first became very, very confused.