background preloader

Creative Writing Prompts…Real Life to Characters

Creative Writing Prompts…Real Life to Characters
For many writers (like me!) the beginning of a story is character. Something about a character intrigues me and I find myself wanting to follow them to see what makes them tick. Being a pantser (writing by the seat of my pants) as opposed to a plotter, I meet a character, write to figure out who they are, then keep writing until I discover a character’s story. Many times someone I know inspires me with a quirk or trait, or an idea emerges from a chance meeting with a stranger and my first impression of them. Here are some creative writing exercises for you to use to discover some new characters through people you may know. Write about the head of the PTA, or Library Board. Write about a frightening or mysterious person in a neighborhood. Write about a person who makes a lot of enemies. Write about a person who has no enemies. Write about a person you admire. Write about a person you dislike/detest. Write about someone who is always in a hurry. Write about someone going nowhere. Related:  Writing Prompts & Exercises

English 50 Exercises for Story Writers English 50 – Intro to Creative Writing: Exercises for Story Writers Basic Theory: What is a short story? As soon as someone delivers a definition, some good writer will write a story that proves the theory wrong. About the only thing we can say for sure is that short stories are short and that they are written in what we call prose. Some attributes, however, seem to show up more often than not. Short stories have a narrator; that is, someone tells the story; have at least one character in them; have some action occur (or perhaps fails to occur); take place somewhere; that is, there is a setting for the action; and someone either learns something or fails to learn something (theme).With these five characteristics in mind, we can create an almost endless supply of exercises to help sharpen our techniques of story telling. Narrative Voice Twenty or so years ago, voice was the "rite of passage" into a successful writing career. If you've written a story in third person, try it in first.

Creative Writing Exercises: Make a Book Journal and Fill it with Discoveries! You need more than a beginning if you’re going to start a book. If all you have is a beginning, then once you’ve written that beginning, you have nowhere to go. – Neil Gaiman Do you ever get stuck writing and you’re not sure where to go? Or stalled out in the midst of a writing project? If you’re looking for creative writing prompts that are specific to your work in progress, read on! Even if I think through the major parts of my WIP (work in progress), I sometimes find myself in need of additional inspiration and writing ideas. In addition to collecting photos, snippets of ideas, sketches and maps of my fictional towns in my journal, I use writing exercises to get me going. Listen to your character: I ask a specific character how he or she feels about what happened in the last scene. If you are really feeling brave and want to walk a mile in your character’s shoes, answer out loud in her/his voice. Character monologue: now it’s really time to be brave.

Characters on the Bus When I was a senior in college, I took the city bus to and from school and took notes on my observations. And if you've ever taken the bus before, you will know that it is rich with characters and strange events, just waiting for a story to be told. So this post (and those that will follow after) are inspired by these trips. At the front of the bus, sits the guy who stands every time the bus driver makes a stop and opens up the doors. Nearby, I notice the guy who took several classes with me and takes the same same bus as I do who never remembers who I am. Sitting beside me, I notice the lady who wears a wool hat every day on the bus no matter what the weather is like. Sitting towards the back, a guy who takes a slurp of his drink and when he finishes his sip will say, "Arrgh, matey." And as the bus ride comes to an end, I can't help but over hear the conversation someone is having on their cell phone about inheriting a great deal of money.

9 Journal Writing Tools and Resources | Journal Writing Journal writing tools and resources. We usually understand a journal to be a place for writing about ourselves, but journals can be used for plenty of other purposes, many of which are especially useful to writers. I’ve had my share of adventures in journal writing. I believe journal writing is a huge boon to writers, especially when we’re not working on a specific project or when we’re looking for our next big project. Today, I’d like to share a few of my favorite journal writing tools and resources. A Place to Create It’s been said a million times: If you want to be a writer, you have to write. What I love best about my journal is that there are no rules. I’ve been poking around the web in search of some of the best tools and resources for journaling with an emphasis on creativity and writing. Moleskine Journals Moleskines are the most popular notebooks for writers and artists. The Artist’s Way Paper Mate Profile Pens I’ve never been into fancy, expensive pens. Day One Journal App

Tension Hook Your Readers With Tension By Laura Backes, Write4Kids.com Tension. Without it, life would be—let's face it—boring. So would fiction. "Tension" is a loaded word, and can be misleading. Tension is what hooks readers of any age and keeps them turning the pages. * The ticking clock. * Dialogue. * Pacing. * Sentence structure. Each story requires a different kind of tension. Laura Backes is the author of Best Books for Kids Who (Think They) Hate to Read from Prima/Random House. Copyright © 2002, Children's Book Insider, LLC Winter-Inspired Writing Prompts Writing prompts for a wintery day or night. Writers and artists have always been inspired by the seasons. Winter, spring, summer, and fall have functioned as metaphors, backdrops, and even characters in literature. Like all artists, writers are constantly hunting for inspiration. But inspiration is fleeting. When inspiration isn’t coming from within us, all we need to do is look out the window or step outside, where nature offers an abundance of ideas. That’s where these writing prompts come in. You can use these writing prompts to write anything you want. The sky is laden with dark clouds and the land is buried under a blanket of pale, gray snow. Do you ever use writing prompts to initiate your writing sessions? About Melissa DonovanMelissa Donovan is a website designer and copywriter.

Introducing SmallWorld's WordSmithery Welcome to SmallWorld's WordSmithery! I've mentioned before that creative writing is one of those areas in which parents struggle teaching. I love teaching creative writing. I often teach this class at our support group's weekly enrichment classes, and I love most of all getting students in my class who come with this caveat from mom: "He hates writing. The assignments will be given each week, and for the first few weeks, it's probably best to follow in order. So here we go with Assignment #1: Buy a writing journal for each person. That's it! Got something to share?

6 Ways to Hook Your Readers Although I consider myself an avid reader, I must admit I have a short attention span when it comes to getting into books. If you fail to grab my attention in the first few lines, I start spacing out. Most readers are like me. Here are a few things I find annoying in the first lines of a story: Dialogue. The last thing you want to do as a writer is annoy or bore people. (N.B. 1. Put a question in your readers’ minds. “Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did.” 2. By starting at an important moment in the story, your reader is more likely to want to continue so he or she can discover what will happen next. “It was dark where she was crouched but the little girl did as she’d been told.” 3. Description is good when it encourages people to paint a picture in their minds. “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” 4. The promise of reading more about a character you find intriguing will, no doubt, draw you into a story’s narrative. 5. 6.

Twine: a tool for creating interactive stories Set up Your Story in the First Paragraphs by Jodie Renner, editor, author, speaker I receive several first chapters (and synopses) every week as submissions for possible editing, and I always read the first page. Some are clear and compelling and make me want to read more. But too often, two main problems emerge: Either the author spends too much time revving his engine with description or backstory before we even care (boring); or we’re plunged right into the story but have no idea where we are or what’s going on (confusing). There are three cardinal rules of successful novelists: 1. 2. 3. I’ve discussed the negative effects of starting off too slowly, with too much description and/or backstory, in other articles (see the links at the end of this article). Your first paragraph and first page are absolutely critical! So try to work in the basics of the 4 W’s below in your first page — preferably within the first two or three paragraphs. Who? What? Where? When? Also, your first page is a kind of promise to your readers. 1. 2. 3.

Creative Writing Prompts and Exercises | The Time is Now The most important and underrated factor in a writer’s success is discipline. Talent and luck always help, but having a consistent writing practice is often the difference between aspiring writers and published writers. The advice we hear from agents, editors, and authors alike is always the same: Focus on the writing. However, finding the time and inspiration to write is not always easy. That’s where creative writing prompts and exercises can help. The Time Is Now offers a weekly writing prompt (we’ll post a poetry prompt on Tuesdays, a fiction prompt on Wednesdays, and a creative nonfiction prompt on Thursdays) to help you stay committed to your writing practice throughout the year.

A 12-Day Plan of Simple Writing Exercises It’s the perfect time to restart your engine and get back into writing. Here, I offer up a 12-day plan of simple writing exercises to help you keep your creative juices flowing without eating up too much of your time. Follow this plan and in less than half a month, you’ll not only be impressed with what you’ve accomplished, but you may also have something worth publishing. The 12-Day Plan of Simple Writing Exercises Day 1: Write 10 potential book titles of books you’d like to write. Day 2: Create a character with personality traits of someone you love, but the physical characteristics of someone you don’t care for. Day 3: Write a setting based on the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen. Day 4: Write a letter to an agent telling her how wonderful you are. Day 5: Write a 20-line poem about a memorable moment in your life. Day 6: Select a book on your shelf and pick two chapters at random. Day 7: Write a letter to yourself telling you what you need to improve in the coming 6 months. Brian A.

Seven Common Character Types Seven Common Character Types by Terry W. Ervin II Fiction writers employ a variety of characters while weaving their tales. Beyond the standard definitions of protagonist (the main character in a literary work) and antagonist (the main character or force that opposes the protagonist in a literary work), recognizing the types of characters and the parts they play while reading an interesting story can add to the experience. Confidante- someone in whom the central character confides, thus revealing the main character’s personality, thoughts, and intentions. Example: In a story, Melvin Sanders is a detective on the trail of a serial killer. In this example Chops is a confidante. Dynamic Character - a character which changes during the course of a story or novel. Example: Ebenezer Scrooge, in A Christmas Carol by Dickens, was very stingy with his money. In this example Ebenezer Scrooge is a dynamic character. In this example Louis Drud is a flat character. In this example Betty is a foil.

Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… - The Best Online Resources To Teach About Plagiarism Plagiarism, I think, can be a tricky concept to help students understand. I can understand how an English Language Learner in an academic setting might be tempted to copy-and-paste someone else’s work. This is a very short “The Best…” list sharing online resources that my students have found engaging and, I believe, helpful to them “getting it.” (Also, for my purposes, I’ve found the Plagiarism Detector to be a helpful tool to confirm that students are using their own words. Here are my choices for The Best Online Resources To Teach About Plagiarism (and that are accessible to English Language Learners). Plagiarism is from Acadia University, and should be accessible to Intermediate English Language Learners. The Monash University Library has an accessible quiz where users have to choose if examples show plagiarism or not. Lycoming College has a simple slideshow on plagiarism. Mt. Academic Integrity is from Ryerson University. What Is Plagiarism? Common Craft explains Plagiarism. E.L.L.

Related: