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3 Reasons You Should Write Ghost Stories

ghost stories

Ghost stories have a rich literary tradition, but for most of my life, I dismissed them. I don’t believe in ghosts, and I’ve seen enough horror movies to know I’m not interested in seeing another. However, I just finished Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams, a finalist for the Pulitzer, and was surprised to see a very moving account of a ghost.

It made me realize how many ghost stories are in the literary canon. There’s Poe’s The Raven, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, basically all of Nicolai Gogol’s work, and more recently Michael Cunningham’s Specimen Days, among many others I’m forgetting. We love ghost stories!

So here are three reasons to write a ghost story:

Why Character Names Are the Secret Ingredient to Your Story

character names

This guest post is by Elise Abram. Elise is an English and Computer Studies teacher by day, wife and mother by night, and author whenever she can steal some time. Elise is the author of four books, including her latest book, The Revenant. Check out her blog, eliseabram.com. Thanks for joining us again, Elise! Helen Hunt Jackson, American poet, author and activist [...]

Hit with Writer’s Block? Try This Psychological Trick

writer's block psychological trick

Yesterday, a young writer I’m mentoring told me she’s never hated writing so much. She’s in the middle of writing a book and her once-fun “hobby” has become her nemesis. At each keystroke, writer’s block is threatening to stop her from writing her book for good.

Cyberbullying (writing prompt)

Book Stalkers and Online Catfish

I recently read an article in the Guardian that was so wild, so novelesque, that I thought it would make the perfect writing prompt. Here’s the gist: When a first-time author is “cyberbullied” on Goodreads by a book reviewer with a reputation for hurting authors’ reputations, she becomes obsessed with finding out the reviewers true identity.

Celebrating Our 1,000th Post with a HUGE Giveaway

The Write Practice 1000th Post Giveaway

In July 2011, I started The Write Practice, a blog to help people become better writers through deliberate practice. I could only imagine what it would look like three years later, the incredible contributors and, most of all, the amazing community of talented writers that it’s become.

Today, we’re publishing our 1,000th article on The Write Practice, and we’re giving away over $550 worth of free stuff to show our deep gratitude to this community.

Writing an Essay? Here Are 10 Effective Tips

writing an essay

Honestly, throughout most of high school and college, I was a mediocre essay writer. Every once in a while, I would write a really good essay, but mostly I skated by with B’s and A-minuses. I know personally how boring writing an essay can be, and also, how hard it can be to write a good one.

However, toward the end of my time as a student, I made a breakthrough. I figured out how to not only write a great essay, I learned how to have fun while doing it.

That’s right. Fun.

Why I Quit Writing

Writing: somewhere between torture and fun.

Last night, I came to the realization that I don’t want to do what I’m doing anymore. I don’t want to be a writer anymore. I don’t want to write books. I don’t want to write this blog. I want to quit.

How to Write Better By Following This One, Simple Rule

how to write better

Out of curiosity, I recently Googled “how to write better.” You should try it. I got a list of great resources that would help any writer. However, as I read each of the articles, something began to gnaw at me. Something was missing in the excellent advice these well-respected writers were giving on how to write better. A core rule had been left out.

This article is about that missing rule.

Here’s a Writing Prompt to Help With “Show, Don’t Tell”

Show Don't Tell Writing Prompt

Yesterday, we learned a great tip for following the essential writing advice, “Show, Don’t Tell.” Today, we’re going to continue to work on showing instead of telling with this writing prompt.

3 Easy-to-Use Tools to Count Your Words

3 Tools to Count Your Words

So you need to get a word count for the latest chapter of your novel or an essay assignment for school? Don’t worry, here are three easy-to-use tools to count your words.