The Write Practice

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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,

Negative Capability: Definition and Examples

negative capability

I have always had a thirst for knowledge and understanding. I read encyclopedias for fun in the 4th grade, and I dominate at trivia to this day. This doesn’t always work well in the writing world. Have you ever seen Lost? I’m about halfway through season three. When I first started watching the show, a friend of mine told me to expect to have a lot of my questions to be unanswered. That advice has made the viewing experience much more enjoyable because I’m not spending half of the episode trying to figure out and reason through what’s going on.

John Keats understood this artistic choice to live in the tension of mystery, and in a letter to his brothers, he gave it a name: negative capability.

The Strongest Form of Characterization


How do you create memorable characters?

Do you introduce them with back story, summarizing their life from childhood to the present for five to ten pages? Do you describe them in detail, from the tips of their hairs to their crusty toenails? Do you open your novel line one with a snappy bit of dialogue and let your reader figure out what’s going on?

How to Become a Better Writer in One, Simple Step

write better

Want to write better stories, essays, and blog posts? There’s one trick that you can do to easily become a better writer.

I’ve read a lot of writing by amateur writers both in my work as a professional editor and as the moderator of this blog, and I’ve found that there’s one, single piece of advice I give most often.

If you master this technique, you will quickly go from a mediocre writer to someone who writes stories that people read and say, “Wow! You wrote this?”

So how do you become a better writer?

What Dickens, Austen, Faulkner, and the Brontës Can Teach You About Writing

bronte writing

What can ol’ fuddy-duddies like Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Charlotte Brontë teach us about writing successful modern fiction? Most of us think of the classics and groan over memories of boring high school textbooks. You may even be familiar with Mark Twain’s facetious (and rather ironic, considering his own status as a classic author) definition of a classic as a “book which people praise and don’t read.”

Summer Sun (writing prompt)

summer sun

It’s summer and the weather is beautiful—at least where I live. Today, write about the sun, the summer, the warm weather.

Write for fifteen minutes. When your time is up, post your practice in the comments section. And if you post, please be sure to read a few practices by your fellow writers and give feedback.

Happy writing!

Euphony and Cacophony: A Writer’s Guide

I love words. A lot of us get into writing because we love words. We love words strung together in sentences; we love that those sentences blend to form an amazing story that we immerse ourselves in. Sometimes it’s just the sound of the word that enraptures us, or maybe it’s two words put together that, when combined, are the epitome of sonic euphoria. When that happens, we experience euphony.

Want to Write a Book? Do This First

premise writing a book

Whether you’re writing a book or a blog post, it’s tempting to just dive into your writing project. However, you will likely save yourself time and create a better end product if you settle on a solid premise before you start writing.

9 Things I Did To Become A Full-Time Writer

photo credit: via photopin cc

Three years ago, I was like many of you. Just starting out. Not a clue which way to go. I had an idea for a book and that was it, but I wanted to become a full-time writer.

Fast forward a couple years, and I’m doing this for a living (on top of being a stay-at-home dad). I make a living writing fiction, but everything didn’t converge until four months ago. So what did I do to get here?

How To Write When You’re Really Tired

write when tired

Just last night, I arrived back home from the Middle East, where I was working for the last two weeks. I traveled over 7,400 miles over thirty-two hours, and honestly, I’m exhausted.

Three Truths for Writers to Combat Confusion

Question Mark by The Italian Voice

When I last posted, we were one week into our move, and now I can hardly believe it’s fourteen days later! I’m still quite unnerved with no familiarity to anchor me (except my family, of course!).

I have found myself turning inward for grounding, seeking that which hasn’t changed amidst everything that has. It’s as if I wonder, “Am I still who I am HERE though I am without my familiar people, environment, office, and coffee shop that helped support my identity? Perhaps you have experienced your own transitions that have left you feeling similar?