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How to Develop Story Ideas Into Amazing Stories

How to Develop Story Ideas Into Amazing Stories

I often hear practicing writers ask, “What if I can’t think of anything to write about?” Sometimes they even have notebooks full of observations, but they feel like none of them are good enough for a story.

I’ve felt the same way, but there are more opportunities or seeds for ideas in our notebooks than we think. It might be an image, a snippet of a conversation we overheard at lunch, or a social issue that grates against us. Once we have the seeds, how do we take those seeds and develop them into stories?

Writing Prompt: Use Junk Drawers to Discover Your Characters

Writing Prompt: Use Junk Drawers to Discover Your Characters

Characterization is a huge part of writing, no matter how long the story. You need to know the ins and outs of your character’s personality. What makes them tick? What do they want? Where to do they come from?

Sometimes it’s a little difficult to come up with new character traits and idiosyncrasies that aren’t cliché or contrived.

Today, we’re going to have a little fun with character development. We’re going to think outside the box of character questionnaires and try a writing prompt to help us discover our characters through a different route: What’s in their junk drawer?

Writing Prompt: Take Your Characters on Vacation

Writing Prompt: Take Your Characters on Vacation

While many novels and stories are set in a vacation location, you can take your character on vacation just to see what they are made of. Vacation can be frightfully stressful and reveals much about us as people. It can do the same for your character. Try it out with this writing prompt.

5 Essential Questions Every Writer Should Ask Themselves

5 Essential Questions Every Writer Should Ask Themselves

I often hear the same questions from writers, questions like, “How do I make a living as a writer?” or, “How do I write a bestselling book?”

These are the wrong questions, and that’s a huge problem because I believe the questions you ask yourself can change your mindset and how you approach your writing.

What are the right questions? In this article, I’m going to share the five essential questions every writer should ask themselves.

Want to Be a Better Writer? Cut These 7 Words

Want to Be a Better Writer? Cut These 7 Words

If you’re reading this, then you want to be a better writer. However, becoming a better writer is elusive, isn’t it? It’s more art than science. There are hundreds of writing rules, thousands of words to know, and millions of possible ways you could write even a simple message.

How do you become a better writer when writing itself is so complicated?

Can Constrained Writing Make You a Better Writer?

Can Constrained Writing Make You a Better Writer?

Before we talk about the concept of constrained writing and tell you how it works, let me ask you this: Have you ever opened a new blank document to write, stared at it for far too long, and then realized you have no ideas, that your mind is as blank as the page you’re trying to write on? What if you could double or triple the number of ideas you have, not by doing something extra but by taking something away?

That’s what constrained writing is about: taking away options so that you can actually be more creative.

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.

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.

Setting of a Story: 3 Ways Going Outside Can Improve Your Writing

Setting of a Story: 3 Ways Going Outside Can Improve Your Writing

Our job as writers is to transport our readers into our stories. A high-octane plot and three-dimensional characters are obviously necessary to accomplish this goal, but so is an immersive setting.

Setting is often overlooked when describing a scene. We all want to move on to the next plot twist and wasting important space on what trees look like will just bore the readers, right?

Wrong.

To draw readers fully into a scene, we need setting. We want them to forget they’re reading and make them experience everything our characters are experiencing.

Sometimes, you can get away with building your setting straight from your imagination. Sometimes, you can’t.

Writing Prompt: The Secrets We Bury

Writing Prompt: The Secrets We Bury

I recently finished a novel where a character hiding in a secret panel in an old house had lost consciousness and died. The only person who had an inkling of the hiding space was a child who grew up harboring the terrible secret. Secrets are a great way to add depth to a character, especially if the secret is on theme. Try this writing prompt and see what you uncover!

Dreaming of a New Story Idea? Try These 3 Daylight Savings Time Writing Prompts

Dreaming of a New Story Idea? Try These 3 Daylight Savings Time Writing Prompts

In many parts of the world, people are forced to do something that is completely absurd: They give up an hour of their lives.

It’s called “Daylight Savings Time,” but it’s more like “Good Night Sleep’s Losing Time.” It’s as if Thanos came to Earth, snapped his fingers, and 1/24th of everyone’s day turned to dust.

Yet as painful as it was to wake up an hour “later” Sunday morning, Daylight Savings Time can be the inspiration to write a story in any genre, from comedic to tragic.

How to Hone Your Writer’s Eye by Simply Paying Attention

How to Hone Your Writer’s Eye by Simply Paying Attention

What are you learning?

Sometimes it feels like I can’t learn things fast enough. I’ve been working to improve my ability to evoke emotion in my writing. It’s been harder than I think it should be, and I often lament that I don’t have enough time to learn all I need to learn to make my fiction work.

But as I wring my hands thinking I don’t have time, I’m missing a great opportunity right in front of me every day. Being present, paying attention, and thinking about the world I see are all excellent ways to learn. When I look at the world through a writer’s eye, I see writing lessons all around me.

20 Fantasy Story Ideas

20 Fantasy Story Ideas

2016 is a whole new year, and our goal is to create and maintain writing momentum—but you may need a tiny push to get moving.

Consider this your push. For the next few weeks, I’ll be delighted to share short story ideas with you, and you have my full permission (and encouragement) to use them as you will.

Writing Prompt: Sabotage a Resolution

Writing Prompt: Sabotage a Resolution

It’s that time of year again. The newness and hope of a fresh start has worn off and if you’re like me, old habits beckon like a warm blanket. Whether you are still holding firm on your resolutions, didn’t make any, or have already abandoned your “new year, new you,” the challenge of resolutions provide a host of ideas for writing.

Start Your New Year Right With These 5 Tips for Creativity

Start Your New Year Right With These 5 Tips for Creativity

The New Year is upon us, and if you’re like me, you have all kinds of ideas about what you want to conquer in 2019. Now that you’ve had some time to mull over the goals you’ve set for yourself, it’s time to consider how you’re going to accomplish them in the best way possible. I have a few tips for creativity to help you start the year off well.

How to Turn a Writing Prompt You Hate Into a Story You Love

How to Turn a Writing Prompt You Hate Into a Story You Love

There’s no shortage of writing prompts out there. We even do them with every post here on the Write Practice blog.

Prompts have a place in writing, whether it’s overcoming writer’s block or simply as a warmup to get your brain moving. Writing prompts are awesome.

Until they’re not.

What do you do if you hate the writing prompt you’re given?

‘Twas the Resistance Before Christmas

‘Twas the Resistance Before Christmas

To my knowledge, no one has ever claimed that the life of a writer is easy. Not without a heavy dose of sarcasm. Any process that involves the production of creativity on demand will mess with your head.

As writers, we deal with Resistance on a regular basis. And just when you think you’ve got it beat and you settle down for a long winter’s nap, the devious imp sneaks in and twirls a feather under your nose. He whispers nasty things in your kerchief-covered ears until you fly to the window and throw up the sash (too much sash is notoriously bad for the digestion).

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