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Creative Writing Worksheets

Creative Writing Worksheets
Feel free to download and use the following Creative Writing Worksheets to develop compelling characters and rich, vibrant settings. You’ll find plotting your novel much more manageable with our scene chart. These Creative Writing Worksheets are free for your personal use. Character Worksheet Meeting a well-written character is one of the things that initially hooks a reader, and creates a lasting impression in fiction. I developed the following Create a Character worksheet for my novel writing course. You’ll find this creative writing character worksheet to be helpful without becoming a burden. Setting Worksheet This creative writing worksheet will help you to generate vibrant story settings. When we read we should be able to engage all of our senses, to merge fully with the protagonist. We often use our sense of sight to the exclusion of our other senses, but the other senses trigger the strongest memories and images. Scene Chart Need a spreadsheet to plot your novel? Related:  writing-tools-excelWriting Plot Structure

How To Write Your Novel Just like great people still put their pants on one leg at a time, all great novels start the same: with a nugget, an inspiration, an idea. Some unique or quirky character that must be shared, some plot that needs exploring. Something to get the brain started. For me, often, it’s a topic I want to understand. “reading the cold history was not enough; he wanted to know what it was like to be there, what the weather was like, what men’s faces looked like. I create an Excel spreadsheet with columns for Section, Chapter, Purpose, Day, Time, Characters (major and minor), Setting (at the start and finish), character’s success or failure in each section, whether the section includes action or a reaction. Because I’m also a teacher, this takes me a year. At least, that’s the plan. Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. Follow me Like this: Like Loading...

» Blog Archive » Plotting Your Novel – The Quick Outline Tool Nothing draws a line in the sand of novel writing like the question, “To outline or not to outline.” Is there any kind of middle ground? In fact, I think there is. When I started my first novel, I wrote into the void, with no outline to guide me. By the time I’d rewritten the 3rd draft with no more idea where the story was going than when I’d set out along the path years earlier, I decided I’d better channel my inner Virgo and see what outlining could do for me. So I learned everything I could about outlining. I made convoluted complex road maps. As my good friend and YA author Janice Hardy is fond of reminding me, “Plot is a verb, not a noun.” So let’s go plot your character’s journey… Okay, so if we think of plot as a verb, then what we are looking for isn’t some magical overlay that we place onto our story or our characters, but an organic progression of actions our characters “do” or “take” that become the plot. But what choices should they make? Let’s talk about Act I.

Plotting a Story–with a Spreadsheet I wrote a post a while back about how I plot my story using Excel. I use the columns to keep track of days, locations, characters and action and the rows to move the story forward, keep track of plot lines that need to be followed through and collect pictures to help me visualize my scenes. I shared my secret to plotting with a writer I respect at a conference and she was aghast that I would use such a rigid approach to a creative endeavor like writing. One of my loyal readers, Christian Payne, commented that JK Rowling uses the same approach and sent me her plotting spreadsheet. Here’s Rowling’s: Here’s mine: I added color and pictures, but otherwise, pretty similar. Like this: Like Loading... 20 Essential Elements of a Bestselling Thriller, by Jodie Renner If you want your thriller or romantic suspense to be a compelling page-turner, make sure you’ve included most or all of these twenty elements: 1. A protagonist who’s both ordinary and heroic. Rather than having a “Superman” invincible-type hero, it’s more satisfying to the readers if you use a regular person who’s thrown into stressful, then increasingly harrowing situations, and must summon all of his courage, strength and inner resources to overcome the odds, save himself and other innocent people, and defeat evil. 2. The readers need to be able to warm up to your main character quickly, to start identifying with her; otherwise they won’t really care what happens to her.So no cold, selfish, arrogant characters for heroes or heroines! 3. Your antagonist needs to be as clever, strong, resourceful and determined as your protagonist, but also truly nasty, immoral and frightening. 4. 5. If it doesn’t, change your protagonist — or your story line. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17.

Free Download: Novel Analysis Spreadsheet I agree with the theory that if we can become better artists by studying the masters, we can become better novelists by studying the master storytellers. But how do we do that? Spreadsheet analysis of novels allows me to pattern author storytelling and plot devices. But the value in the methodology lies in the columns I create - in other words what I choose to track throughout the book. Over the years those columns have changed quite a bit for me. The spreadsheet allows me to look for patterns of problems, reactions, goals and actions. Just as valuable as the ability to review the spreadsheet afterward, is the process of thinking about each element - words, paragraphs, pages, scenes and chapters - as I read and assign their purpose. Feel free to download my template from my website at I know the tool isn't perfect yet. And I'd love to hear your suggestions for additional columns, uses, or changes or how you use spreadsheets to analyze or write your own novels.

Old Plots, New Plots This turned out to be a long entry so Thriller Guy is going to break it up into two. He'll be putting the other half up in a few days. TG has spoken many times about the difficulties in coming up with great plot ideas. Oh, how many times have the Little Ones gathered at his knee and pleaded, (pled?) “Oh, TG, tell us your secret, how can we too come up with killer plot ideas?” TG reads a ton of books, and most of them are running through the same old plots, mash-ups and ripoffs. But instead of continuing to rail against the paucity of today's plots, TG is going to reprise an old plot and give you some new ones he likes over the last year's reading. Clive Cussler used to be the master of the over-the-top, bizarro plot. It's 1865 and the Confederate ship CSS Texas takes on a special prisoner and fights her way out through a Union blockade. OK, TG is too tired to go on. The point is, it's one hell of a plot.

Spreadsheet plotting Note: This technique was recommended by several readers and after I’ve tried it, I’m a convert! Thanks for the suggestions! Some writers like to keep a running inventory of their story by doing Spreadsheet Plotting. Act. The beauty of a spreadsheet is the ability to sort. Overall the Spreadsheet Plotting gives you an ongoing Inventory for a look at the Big Picture of your story. The 39 Steps to writing a perfect thriller by author John Buchan's grandson By Toby Buchan Updated: 22:01 GMT, 15 January 2011 'The 39 Steps, in its language, its settings, its nods to contemporary technology and its characterisation, belongs firmly to the 20th century,' said John Buchan's grandson, Toby On a late-summer’s day in 1914, a man walks with his small daughter down a rickety flight of wooden steps leading to a private beach from a house on the clifftop. The girl, just turned six, is improving her counting by determinedly calling out the number of each step. ‘Thirty-six, thirty-seven, thirty-eight, thirty-NINE!’ Thus Alice Buchan gave the title to her father’s, my grandfather’s, new novel, little knowing that it would prove to be one of the most enduring adventure stories ever to be published. John Buchan wrote The 39 Steps in a few weeks towards the end of 1914, while staying with his wife and children at Broadstairs in Kent, in a house on the cliffs overlooking Stone Bay. He need not have fretted.

How To Write A Novel Using The Snowflake Method Writing a novel is easy. Writing a good novel is hard. That’s just life. If it were easy, we’d all be writing best-selling, prize-winning fiction. Frankly, there are a thousand different people out there who can tell you how to write a novel. There are a thousand different methods. In this article, I’d like to share with you what works for me. This page is the most popular one on my web site, and gets over a thousand page views per day, so you can guess that a lot of people find it useful. Good fiction doesn’t just happen, it is designed. For a number of years, I was a software architect designing large software projects. I claim that that’s how you design a novel — you start small, then build stuff up until it looks like a story. If you’re like most people, you spend a long time thinking about your novel before you ever start writing. But before you start writing, you need to get organized. Step 1) Take an hour and write a one-sentence summary of your novel. Shorter is better.