Category Archives: Creative Writing

Novels Aren’t Stories

A novel does not have to be a story.  It can just be extremely free forms, such as in Virginia Woolf’s books where the entire narrative is a single subjective stream of consciousness. Other narratives e are simply explorations of … Continue reading

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Be Your Own Critic Without Being Critical

Be your own critic without being critical Here’s how: First write a single descriptive sentence. Now look at that sentence not as an author, but as a reader or critic.  You can see what’s there, but what’s not there? To … Continue reading

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Writing With Reversals

Reversals change the meaning of something by changing the context. In other words, part of the meaning of anything we consider is due to its environment. In storytelling, we can add surprise to a story by leading the reader or … Continue reading

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How Art is Made (The Battle Between Heart and Mind)

Realize that your mind is a narrative-generating machine. That is why narratives exist in the first place: because they mirror the processes of the mind. But the mind is also a repository of topical information – subject matter – and … Continue reading

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Writing Prompt Level: Expert!

Here is a writing prompt picture I posted recently and the amazingly creative response by writer Bill Williams Bill Williams – This is actually pretty easy to explain. *sips coffee* The cats in the front are feline overlords. They were … Continue reading

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Smothered in an Avalanche of Ideas

One of the writers I coach recently wrote to me about getting drowned in a sea of ideas for his story, unable to organize his material, make choices, or more forward. Here is the note I wrote him in response … Continue reading

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Happy New Year, Writers!

I’ve been teaching creative writing now for more that twenty-five years, and here are my best tips for starting your new writing year: First, schedule your writing time like you would a dentist’s appointment. Why?  Because as Dorothy Parker once … Continue reading

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Do You Write Like An Actor Or A Director?

There are two ways to approach the craft of writing. The first is to step into the role of each character and write it very personally, as if you were an actor portraying a part. The second is to consider … Continue reading

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Letting Go of Characters

Over the course of the story, your reader/audience has come to know your characters and to feel for them. The story doesn’t end when your characters and their relationships reach a climax. Rather, the reader/audience will want to know the … Continue reading

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Characters: The Attributes of Age

Some writers tend to create characters that are more or less the same age as themselves. Other writers populate their stories with characters of all ages but have them all act as if they are the same age as the … Continue reading

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