Browsing Category: Writing Exercises

Storyboarding to Start

Get writing by storyboarding the ideas in your head to paper

One of the things I’m asked all the time is “how do I start?” And this can be a tricky question to answer because no two writers will ever write the same way. The way we each need to tell our stories will differ from our experiences, how we write, and what we like to read.

But the structure is something that will exist for every writer, so today I wanted to share one of the best ways to get started: by storyboarding. Continue Reading

Four Creative Ways to Inform Your Readers

Clue your readers in to important story details with these elements.

Have you ever read a story that provides such a clear backstory that the characters become real? Or become so engaged and invest in a character’s life that it’s all you can do not to mourn when you finish the book?

They’re life changing, aren’t they? Those are the characters that stick with you, the ones that follow you from story to story, around your daily life, and in your dreams.

Every writer wants to write characters like that. Characters that stick. Continue Reading

Read Like a Writer

Read Like a Writer | Use these six tips to read and grow as a writer

One common piece of advice writers will receive is this:

Read a lot.

And while this seems a bit like a “duh” statement, oftentimes writers find themselves a bit confused: does this mean I’m only supposed to read great literature? Should I only read for learning and not for fun? What if I just want to sit and read fanfic for hours? What if I want to reread the Harry Potter series twice a year?

No, no, and both of those are totally fine. Continue Reading

Subplots: Keeping Your Readers in the Know

Subplots | Minor Plots | Rabbit Trails | Keep Your Readers in the Know
I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite parts of reading fiction is discovering the subplots: the minor characters, the subtle romances, the bromances, the minor histories of characters and places.

If you ask me my favorite character in almost any book, I’ll name a minor character. For example, in the Harry Potter series, I’ll list off Lupin, Ron, Luna, Neville, Hermione, Draco, Tonks, Hedwig…Harry won’t even show up on my mental radar.

Subplots and minor characters add depth, humor (Legolas and Gimli in LOTR, anybody?), and variety to your story. They’ll help make your world three-dimensional, enable the reader to understand your main character’s motivations and passions, and empathize and feel the conflicts in their own hearts as they read. Continue Reading

Five Books of Great Writing Prompts

Books | Writing Prompts | Books of Writing Prompts | Writing Prompt Books |

By now you probably know that I’m a big fan of writing prompts. Considering I have a post each month of writing prompts, and I include them in my weekly newsletters, you could say I have a bit of an obsession with them.

Because let’s be real…when I’m avoiding my main WIP, nothing gets me writing like procrastinating with a writing prompt. I still write something, and I stretch my creativity. It’s a win-win…AmIright??

So maybe sometimes writing prompts can prove to be more a procrastination technique but regardless of your motive for finding and responding to one, you’ll still be stretching your creativity and your thought muscles.

That’s definitely a win-win.

So today I figured I would really enable all you writer-procrastinators like me and share my five favorite books of writing prompts.

Because sometimes we need someone to get us motivated and other times we need someone to enable us to ignore our WIP for just one more day.

  1. 642 Things to Write About – Fiction, nonfiction, personal reflection, lists, this book has everything. You’ll never be at a loss as to what to write and you’ll never run out of ideas. I like to pull this one out both to write and to also give me inspiration for when I need help writing a scene or a blog post.
  2. 712 More Things to Write About – Essentially the sequel to book #1, there’s even more prompts to write about in every genre and category. Armed with books 1 and 2 in this list, you’ll never run out of things to write.
  3. A Year of Creative Writing Prompts – Three prompts a day for a whole year…yep…over 900 writing prompts. Divided by genre, and type (do you want to go off one word, a sentence, or a mini story?), you’ll never be bored and you’re writing and creativity will flourish.
  4. A Year of Writing Dangerously: 365 Days of Inspiration & Encouragement – another based on a year’s worth of motivation and inspiration for writers.
  5. 642 Stories to Write – In the same vein as books #1 and #2, this provides slightly longer prompts to get your writing slightly longer stories. Rather than little vignettes, you’re inspired to write full-on short stories. Which is always a good thing for your writing.
  6. Bonus!! Story Dice – Who knew these were even a thing??? They make my writer heart and my game-lover heart so happy that I just had to share. You’ll get a little interactive with your writing prompts by rolling a few die, then letting yourself be inspired by the images. Games and writing?? I’m sold!

What are your favorite places to find writing prompts? What books do you love that aren’t on my list? I’d love to know in the comments!