Writing Tips

Character Development

Tools for Developing Characters

Many tools exist to help you craft believable and engaging characters. Below you’ll find some of the best I’ve encountered and a very helpful technique called the secret snapshot approach which can help you discover and reveal your character’s inner most self in a way which readers will love. (more…)

Shrouded In Poetry

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So, you want to write a poem, but don’t know where to begin. Should it rhyme? Does it even have to rhyme? What about the different rules and poetry forms? Shrouded in more mystery than a school cafeteria lunch, it’s no wonder that writers can be somewhat hesitant to explore poetry.

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Battling the Block

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Writer’s block.  Every writer has dealt with it at some point (Stephen King claims he hasn’t but I’m calling bull), and it can be a huge deterrent when it comes to expressing yourself and getting your stories out. I will touch on some of the main issues that cause writer’s block, but the focus of this article is to explain how to push past the block and to go over the strategies I’ve personally found to be beneficial to me. (more…)

The Art of Modern Free Verse

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As a writer, poet, and English student I have had many positive conversations that the popularity of poetry is on the rise. I find this to be true with discovering poets on best seller lists, such as Lang Leav with her moving love series, Ted Kooser (a poet laureate) whose nature poetry captures mid-western life, and Tyler Knott Gregson who provides daily poems for readers. (more…)

Pouring Believable Qualities into Characters

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Giving Your Characters Believable Qualities

One of the most known rules for creating fictional characters is making them realistic. Besides their appearance and actions, how can you achieve this? You need them to have personalities that are consistent, a story that’s interesting and easy to follow along, and one or two qualities that add to their character and make them stand apart from the others. (more…)

Writing with Style

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All writers have experienced the first draft blues. The idea for the story came to us in a flurry of inspiration; the characters sauntered through our door, greeting us with their riveting personalities. Yet, as we sat down to write the story, the sentences stumbled and clanked together in an oafish web of prose. Too many writers have sat and stared at these first drafts thinking themselves too unskilled to give justice to their stories and characters. Yet, with only six simple steps writers everywhere can begin writing with style today. (more…)

A character that bleeds…

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It is a common fallacy that stories are driven by plot. The truth is, the stories that last are the ones driven by character. They’re the ones where we’ve become so attached to the characters over the years, that we simply can’t let them go, rather we continue to re-imagine these characters over and over again. Huckleberry Finn, Holden Caulfield, Randle Patrick McMurphy-these characters are unforgettable, their traits carved into the memory of all readers who’ve met them, just as if they had walked through the door and shook the reader’s hand. These characters breathe and bleed upon the pages as the reader follows their stories in anticipation of what will become of them. How did their writers do it? What exactly is the perfect recipe for a character that bleeds? (more…)

When the First Draft Gets Rough

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“The first draft of anything is shit.” – Ernest Hemingway

It didn’t take long for me to realize that my first draft sucked with a capital “S.” Halfway through chapter one, I wanted to take it out back and beat it with a hockey stick for wasting my time. I’d like to say this feeling dissipated as I got further along, that my confidence grew word by word, sentence by sentence. But I’d hate to lie to you. The truth is that I became more sure of the inevitable failure looming ahead of me, blocking my path to success. (more…)