Character death is an emotional experience for both your character and your reader. With a few tips, you can write a death scene that will stay with your readers for life.
This article shows you how to generate short story ideas by collecting found objects and examining them through drawing.
Want to make your book stand out from the crowd? Avoid these overly used, cliche, tired tropes when approaching YA fiction and you're sure to be recognized positively.
All throughout history, great writers have teased their readers with gripping first paragraphs. I have tried to illustrate some examples of the ‘hook’ to give you an idea of what your readership may expect and find engaging. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule.
It's hard to speak in absolutes about this subject, but here are some things to consider when it comes to the subject of realism in fiction.
The gulf between being unpublished and published may sometimes seem like a yawning chasm, but in reality, it's only separated by a few tweaks, a lot of persistence, and some insider tips and techniques.
This article contains naming conventions that are useful for naming characters in fictional and fantasy world-building and writing.
Beginning poets should be required to take a vow equivalent of the medical "Hippocratic Oath." If poets could be held to a standard of excellence, less doggerel would plague the literary world.
Not every book needs to have detailed notes written out before you start writing. Sometimes it is because the story is already so well developed within you that notes are not that necessary for you. But many other stories need to have notes . . .
A guide on how to craft a narrator that is appropriate for, supports, and even improves a novel's pacing, tone, and story by playing to a writer's strengths and specifically editing the narration to make it as strong as it can be.
Psychologists have identified six basic, nearly universal, human emotions. How can you use these for more effective writing?
The article provides information about eleven flash fiction competitions that are free to enter most of which have cash prizes. Additional submission information and resources for the listed sites are offered.
Your opening paragraph is the most important in your entire novel—it's what draws your reader in, but many writers misinterpret how to achieve that.
Use my writing prompt to write a haiku-a-day for National Poetry Month. Read my own haiku for inspiration and ideas. An explanation of my haiku will also be offered. Today's prompt is LIVE.
Many straight writers want to include gay characters in their fiction but are unsure how to do so tactfully. Here are some tips and considerations for including non-heterosexual characters in your novels or stories.
Do you ever find yourself struggling to describe a character in your novels or short stories? Maybe you always have a hard time channeling your main character's inner thoughts. These helpful tips will give you insight on how to create meaningful characters.
Fantasy is a wonderful genre, but the world and characters of many books are often littered with unintentional clichés. Here are some of them to think about avoiding.
If you want to make a unique character for your story, then give them a unique character trait or mannerism.
Many new authors sit and stare at a blank page. They have no idea where to start. Some think there is a magic formula to get them going. There are many suggestions as to how to get your book started, and I offer a few here.
Writing a fantasy novel and feel the itch to map your world? In this guide, I outline important considerations for developing a fantasy map, as well as some methods you can use to make yours a reality.
As a writer finding creativity or inspiration can be hard sometimes. These are ten ways I battle writer's block and these ten tips help me become a better writer.
Do you feel like your writing is stuck, like you can't move forward? Are you worried that your writing isn't improving? Here are five habits that might be preventing you from being a better writer.
This article contains useful tips and advice for beginning writers. What is stopping you from writing those stories and articles? Are roadblocks and distractions getting in the way of writing. Is fear holding you back? Try some of these ideas to get your writing started.
Everyone has their own way of writing their stories out. If you interviewed a dozen bestselling authors, they’d all have their own unique ways. No two write exactly the same. That tells you that there is no one formula, but there are certain methods that do help.
Follow these simple tips and suggestions from master writers and storytellers to make your next speech a one-of-a-kind crowd-pleaser worthy of a standing ovation!
This Hub examines the fundamentals of what it takes to write your first novel. The author/teacher wrote this article after being asked hundreds of times: "Do I need a college degree to write a novel?"
The mystery genre has had a long history that has worked well in novels, novellas and short stories. Mystery flash fiction takes discipline to fit all the elements into the confines of 1,000 words.
Finding inspiration to write can be tough, especially if writer's block has you in its clutches. This article details five methods to defeat your procrastination and get writing again.
When it comes to a story, I always love one that has a little shock value. Sometimes I love a lot of shock value. All in all, here's some prompts to add some shock value to your writing. Go where ever you want with your story and think outside the...
Stereotypes can be useful to a writer in a pinch, but they can put us in a hard place when we need to break that mold. Learn how to add depth to a character that is traditionally one-dimensional.
If you've ever played with anagram puzzles, then you're going to have fun with this poetry exercise.
This article will demonstrate how significant details can spice up otherwise dull characters, settings, and dialogue and save readers from literary limbo.
Learn all about sonnets, including what they are, what they're usually about, the different sonnet forms and why sonnets are important. Then you'll learn how to write your own!
Next time you have writer's block, browse through these writing prompts. This article features 70 first lines, character prompts, and pictures to inspire you. Use or transform them—they're all yours.
Similes and metaphors can help make language more interesting and colorful. Find out how to tell the difference between them and how to write your very own.
Taking the time to write a novel outline helps you to work smarter and faster. Learn how to structure your story with an outline the easy way.
Every snowflake is different, just like every book that is, or ever will be, written. Here is an overview of the Snowflake Method for writing a novel.
So you're building the world of your story, and you have your map and the basic outline of a country or kingdom. It's time to add people! Get advice on developing the denizens of your fictional world, from their culture to their names and politics.
Compiled here are 101 great ideas to get you inspired and working on your next writing project. Want to tell a story but have no idea where to start? That’s where writing prompts come in.
This article aims to teach you how to select the right word for the right line in your poems by analyzing the use of phonemes in "Sappho 31" and Bob Dylan's "It's Alright, Ma (I'm only Bleeding)."
The key is in the details. We may have the same starting point, but after you consider these 15 writing prompts, you'll find your imagination taking over.
A literacy narrative is a personal account of learning how to read or write. Explore the significance of books and the written word in your life with this writing exercise.
Emulate the greatest authors in the English language. Improve your creative writing with 5 key concepts taken from literary masterpieces as observed by an English scholar.
In fantasy world-building, a world has many external influences. Considering the external influences on a fantasy world can provide additional detail and surprising relationships for a creation.
All fantasy fiction fans recognize the standard races that make up the genre. Humans, dwarves and elves top the list, with orcs, goblins, and various halflings coming next. Others include giants, centaurs, mermaids and fairies. These classic...
This is a controversial opinion for some but not for others. This piece proposes the minimal use of adjectives and adverbs in order to achieve good writing.
Many writers find it helpful to get honest feedback. Writers' groups are ideal for this purpose. Here are some guidelines to make it a positive experience for both giver and receiver.
Modern dark fantasy writer Cecelia analyses the essential elements that make up the emerging genre of "Urban Fantasy."
This article explores the most important elements of creative writing like what literary devices are and why they are essential.
Learn about what an extended metaphor is. Here I use my own model of writing about a walk that taught me that sometimes life presents us with a metaphor and teaches us a lesson.
In homophonic poetry, your goal is to write either a homophonic translation or a phony translation of an existing poem written in another language. It's a fun way to get writing again if you're a bit rusty because you'll be working with material that already exists.
If persistent writing blocks are keeping you from moving forward with your writing, read 'The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity'.
Compiled from two of his lectures, this essay appeared in Donald Hall's collection titled Poetry and Ambition: Essays 1982-88.
Writing fantasy is hard work, and sometimes it's easy to get lost—whether you're a beginner or a pro. These tips will remind you about the most important aspects of fantasy worldbuilding.
A summary of cliche plots found in romance novels. The heroine doesn't know how attractive she is. She meets a rich businessman who whisks her off her feet. It takes them a while to trust each other.
Learn how to use random generators to develop your plot and story ideas—and build a NaNo novel from scratch!
It's difficult to stay under the 1,000 word limit commonly adhered to with flash fiction. Here are 6 steps that will guide you to writing a tight, solid story for publishing or competition.
Outlining the plot of a short story or novel can seem daunting. Here are eight simple steps to help you get through the process with a minimal amount of pain!
Can humor writing be taught, or is "funniness'" an inborn trait? Can you learn how to write humor? There might be something to learn if we examine what makes us laugh.
This article will examine using familiar phrases in writing. It discusses the nature of writers making choices and considers what is at stake when using "tired" metaphors.
This article contains 100 writing prompts with a zombie theme for writers who love to write about zombies.
It's easy to use the same word over and over again when writing. We get comfortable with certain words and sometimes don't even realize we are repeating them. However, overusing a word can really turn a reader off. Learn how to use a thesaurus to keep the creative language flowing.
Become the successful writer you know you are! You can get a jump start on your writing practice with 1-minute, 5-minute, 10-minute, and 20-minute exercises. Here are some writing exercises to get you started.
What does that mean? Well, delicious as in appealing in some way. And a baby bird because they have to be in trouble in a way that makes people care. How do you do that?
Writing is hard work, but that doesn't mean it can't also be fun. If you need tips on how to become a good writer, check out these fun writing tasks that will remind you of the joy of writing.
Understand the difference between showing and telling to make your writing more interesting and engaging.
Share your experience of eating out, and you could get lucky and be offered a free meal. Here are some tips on how to write a memorable review.
The overuse of words in writing can really ruin a piece. The writing will tend to sound juvenile and will definitely reflect poorly on the author. Learn how to avoid this. You might even be encouraged to self-edit.
Master the plot, structure, and monomyth/hero's journey; analyze what fantasy novels have in common; construct a story outline and start writing a fantasy novel for yourself.
This article lists 20 inspirational quotes for writers. Some are by famous authors and some are by lesser-known ones, but they all have the effect of making you feel excited and motivated to write again!
October is upon us, and Halloween is just around the corner. Here are 31 writing prompts—one for each day of the month—to get your most terrible creative juices flowing.
Chances are you've encountered these plots many times. Have you gotten bored of them? Check out ways to diversify your writing so you won't use the same plot over and over again.
Writing about your character's body language is essential to an engaging story. But, here are some things you shouldn't do as you write about body language.
Let's review the basic key elements of fiction writing. You might think you have a handle on them, but some people need a refresher.
Writing poetry is fun. Acrostic poems are a form of puzzle in which a word is spelled out by a letter in each line. Try it for yourself; you may be a poet and not yet know it!
Backstory is the technical term for the background of your novel's characters: how did they get here, and why do they behave the way they do? It takes skill to incorporate it seamlessly into your story
Want to insert a dream sequence into your next book? You might want to read this article to look at what writers need to consider before, during, and after inserting a dream into a book or novel.
Details require a fine balance that few authors have mastered. So keeping that in mind, I’ve listed seven things that I, as a reader, skip while reading a book, and I think a lot of other readers would agree with me.
A great plot-twist can keep your readers hooked to your writing. Blow your readers' minds in four different ways.
Sometimes stories and incidents generated during a tabletop RPG session are worth putting out into the world for others to enjoy but how do you transform your session notes into an enjoyable read?
This article lists 10 of the best creative writing prompts out there to help feed your imagination and get you writing. Whether you need to write a story for school or whether you write for pleasure, there's a prompt or exercise here for you!
Genre fiction can be defined as stories that deal with the speculative or the imaginary. Traditionally, this encompasses genres like fantasy, science fiction, and horror. If you are interested in getting into this type of writing, then look no further.
There's writing, and then there's powerful writing. The world's most powerful writers adhere to some principles. Here they are.
In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of using the "The Screenplay Method" for organizing chapters in writing.
Here are some tips on how to write a book review. Share your reading views online and you raise your internet profile. Do it well and you could be offered free books or even earn some money.
Cool settings can add a lot to any story. This article is just the thing you're looking for if you're trying to come up with some. I won't tell if you also use it for travel destination ideas.
Ever wonder what happened to readers in the past century? Have television and film become the only acceptable forms of storytelling? Let's find out together.
So you've decided to become an author and write your first novel, but where do you begin? There are so many questions and ideas rolling around in your head that you don't know where to start or what to write. Here's some help to get you started.
It should be easy to write your next article, but you’ve run out of ideas. Where can you find inspiration? Here are some prompts to get you writing again.
Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry used to describe emotions in relation to nature. They are short and powerful. Here are some of my haiku poems about cold weather and winter.
Where did it all begin? It's a question we may never be able to answer, but if you write fantasy, it's your job to create an answer. Inside you'll find tips and examples of how to write your first creation myth.
When writing a fantasy story, creating a realistic fantasy world map that will help readers see your vision is essential. In order to create your map, there are some basic scientific laws that have to be followed.
Villains are just the best characters to write. Your baddie needs to be just as good as your goodie . . . or something like that. Find out how to write a believable baddie.
100 continue-on writing prompts (or story starters) to get your creative juices flowing. There is no excuse for not writing!
Are you thinking about writing a horror story and don't know where to start? How about using an urban legend as the base for your book?
This article has ideas to help you come up with science fiction story and paper ideas. It includes common sci-fi themes, where to research the topics further, and how to learn more about science fiction.
Here are some Halloween writing prompts to bring your creative writing to life and get past any writer's block. The 3 categories of writing prompts included here are witches, monsters, and blood.
Some people just want to write a book to say they've done it, regardless of whether it gets published or not. But some, deep down, want to publish. See what problems arise when objectives conflict.
Many writers swear by the power of doing daily free-writes. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do a freewriting exercise to loosen up stiff writing 'muscles'.
Create well-rounded, believable characters and easily keep track of details with this free character chart. You'll find that this chart is simple but very useful.
Writing is a solitary, and often lonely endeavor, but it doesn't have to be. With technology enabling us to reach across the globe, writers can connect with others for comradery, inspiration, feedback and advice. If you are a writer, consider joining these great online writing communities.
Relationships between fictional characters are the emotional centerpiece of a story. Here's what you need to write a good one.
Having trouble with a description? Here are a few helpful questions or prompts to get you started with describing a fantasy city.
When you're unsure which story from your life defines you best, journaling can help you discover the story you were meant to tell.
Do you want a formidable beast for your fantasy character to battle? Do you want a legendary monster that strikes fear into the hearts of mortal men? Do you know how to get started? Well, you do now.
If you constantly struggle to write/publish as much as you should, then use this page to discover your own unique and tailor-made motivational strategy for prolific writing output.
Take a look at the pangram and learn its significance in the history of graphic arts. Word play helps spelling and vocabulary skills and improves creative writing. Try it!
Magic uses all kinds of ingredients for making potions and performing spells. As a writer, it's good to have lots of options so your writing won't be the same as other stories.
To what degree should you consider your audience when writing? How important is it? Should the audience even be considered at all? An experienced writer contemplates these questions and more.
This article deals with plots and how to develop one in fiction—whether for a short story or novel. Called "plotting" for beginners, we discuss the form of a plot, how to map a plot, and how to prepare the plot for writing.
To become a successful writer, you must develop good writing habits. That means finding time to write wherever, and whenever, you can. Writing in a journal will make you a better writer.
Sometimes all it takes to beat writer’s block is a spark of inspiration. I’ve compiled more than 40 such sparks in this article. Here, you’ll find a variety of romance, mystery, action, and comedy prompts to get your creative juices flowing.
Take a picture of a baked potato and see how many story ideas you can come up with. You might be surprised.
A well-written historical novel will have many hours of research behind it. How to conduct such research and points to consider when creating a story within a historical context.
Discover how to write your own villanelle—a fixed-verse form of poetry that's both challenging and fun!
This is an exploration of 'voice' in writing. In this article, we'll discuss writing from the child's perspective and the challenge of writing in the child's voice.
Looking for inspiration? Got writer's block? Need to finish a project quickly? Whether you're writing a novel or poem or painting a picture, sometimes it helps to have a little nudge. Here are some prompts you can use, including some photo prompts and prompt table. Use them well!
Gothic fiction isn't just fun to read; it's fun to write. But what if you get the dreaded writer's block? Check out these ideas and a bit of background on Gothic fiction to get your short story writing back on track.
Fictional world-building can be an inexpensive, fun hobby that stimulates your imagination. Writers use fictional world-building as a tool for developing the background to a well-rounded story.
Should you write an outline for a novel? Find out the basics on how to outline a novel and find out if it's the best way for you to get started writing your own book.
Cats are a great subject for haiku. If you don’t know the format, here are some tips to get you started and writing your own 3-line poetry.
While my wife and I were living in Marquette, Michigan in the early 2000s, I took a creative writing class in the Arts and Culture Center in the public library. In one class, the instructor taught us this memories graph writing prompt technique.
A lifelong desire to write a novel is a goal for many people. The following are tips on how to write that novel within 30 days.
Maps are an essential tool for creative writers. Maps inspire the imagination and store vital data about the fictional world and its people. Follow the steps to create a simple but functional map.
One of the best ways to win over audiences and deliver an outstanding speech or seminar is to add light touches of humor here and there. Check out these tips on how to add warmth to your speech.
Need help getting your characters' conversations to sound natural? Take some time observing people when you're out and about!
In fantasy world building and writing, the term "race" is loosely used to describe a sentient or sapient life form with a similar degree of intelligence and awareness as that of a human.
Flash fiction is a relatively new creative writing form. This article describes the form, provides examples and writing prompts, and links to flash fiction contests and publishers.
Step-by-step directions on how to construct an interactive story with multiple endings. Video examples and my own chapter flow chart included. Pick-a-path books are not just for children anymore!
What are the minimum and maximum word limits for different types of stories? What are the word limits by genre and how can writers stay within those limits? Find out here with this easy list.
Flash fiction is a way of telling a story in just a few words. The brief story grabs the reader's attention and leaves them wanting more.
Looking to amp up your creative writing skills? In this article we'll go over many different types of disaster elements you can incorporate into your story.
Fanfiction has shaped me as a writer, more than creative writing classes or self-help books. Find out what lessons fanfiction has taught me, and how they made me a better writer.
Want to write but feel uninspired? Here are over a hundred creative writing prompts for fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and more.
Animal characters can be fun and cute, or they can act as 'social mirrors' and allegories. An exploration of how to include an animal character in your own fiction.
Sick of using the same boring words (run, said, big, etc.) when writing? Here are a few synonyms for those tired words.
Learn how to self-edit and edit your novel or short story alone or with others, or a combination of both.
Character profile sheets are a very useful way to flesh out and keep track of your characters in fiction writing.
I have to be honest that cliffhangers drive me nuts. I hate them. Watching a show on television that leaves me hanging until the next week has me spitting nails, but it also has me coming back the next week to find out what happened.
Short stories can be difficult but with these tips you can soon write a great, in-depth, and descriptive short story.
If you've got writer's block, stop staring at a blank page and try this game. You can play it on your own or as part of a group.
Fans of fictional franchises sometimes like to put their literature skills to work and make stories about their favorite media called "fanfiction." But how do you write a good fanfiction? Here's how.
This article will provide some guidance on what to think about when crafting the ecosystem of your fictional world.
When it comes to rain and literature, rain is never just drops of water falling from the sky. This article explores the various connotations of rain by looking at various examples from film and books.
Turning poetry into shape poetry is creative and fun and also effective in delivering your message. Learn how to write shape poetry and then try creating one of your own shape poems.
However good a writer gets, there is always vast room for improvement, and descriptive writing is one of those areas where most writers fall short.
The more unique or unusual ways you can describe colors, the better your writing will be. Don't be one of those writers that just mails a color description in.
Writing your childhood memories to record your history will give your posterity an accurate introduction to you. Share your fun, truthful and interesting memories. Here's how to get started.
I've penned 75 new writing prompts, which mainly focuses on wordplay, objects, and random phrases. They can be for beginning, novice, or experienced writers. Whether you're trying something new or wanting to challenge yourself, the end goal is to write more than what you did before. Write on!
Flash fiction or microfiction is a genre involving very short stories. Despite their brevity, the stories can convey a lot of information and be very effective.
Writer's block need never be a problem if certain strategies are used. Here are some tips to help you find ideas for writing both fiction and nonfiction.
This article provides a brief overview of lyrical poetry including the history of the lyric poem and a summary of the most common lyrical poetry forms. It also provides options for writing lyric poems along with specific suggestions and quick tips to make the process successful.
Historical fiction writers tend to make the same writing mistakes, at least the less experienced. Here are the top 7.
There's an ongoing debate over the validity of Fanfiction. Some cry out that it is, at its core, wrong beyond belief. Others will say there is nothing wrong with Fanfiction. The truth of the matter is that people will have something to say one way or another. Best idea? Make it useful.
A guide to creating heartfelt writing that is relatable to your reader. This guide is particularly useful for aspiring blog, ezine and magazine writers.
Having a hard time sleeping at night? Searching for inspiration to create your own horror story from scratch? Let me introduce you the online manifestation of the horror genre—creepypasta.
This article will help give you some guidance about the length of your novel, whether or not it needs to be longer or shorter and how you can go about changing that.
Learn to prioritize your writing. Sometimes that simply means sitting down and doing nothing other than . . . writing. Here are some tips and motivational words to get you started. In fact, after reading this article, why not start writing?
A widely popular examination of five essential elements for strong short stories and the explanations of why each matters so much.
Bullet journals have become a major craze—just search for them on Pinterest or Instagram. Read about the things I've discovered about getting it right for yourself.
This article will breakdown the importance of being humble as a person, especially if you plan on being a great writer.