creative writing

8 Ways to Avoid Clichéd Writing

Once upon a time…let’s scratch that right there. Clichés are easy to spot, but for some of us, they’re so hard to resist writing. It’s what we think is fresh and exciting because in many of the books we’ve read, they were fresh and exciting to us as new readers. However, now, as writers, we need to learn to put these clichés and stereotypes aside and concoct something no one has ever seen before. 1. Be Realistic Think about the…

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I Wanna Write Like That…

Have you ever read a story or novel and wished you were the one who had written it? We love our favorite authors because we like how they work—we enjoy the characters they write, the plots they’ve constructed, and the style in which they write. It’s easy to want to emulate these writers, but in order to avoid plagiarism, you have to learn to match this writing without imitating it. If it’s writing style you want to replicate, try taking…

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Writing is Rewriting

Writing is rewriting. My high school creative writing teacher told us this every day in class and I’m sure all of our favorite professional writers would tell us the same. The feeling of finishing a novel is the greatest feeling in the world, but if you plan to get the story published, there are several more steps you must take. Treat your rewriting phase like a pyramid: start with the entire piece of writing, then move to each chapter, each…

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You’re a Poet and You Didn’t Even Know It!

One of the longest poems in the English language, John Lydgate’s Fall of Princes, comes in at 36,365 lines, while the shortest poems are just a couple of words. The possibilities are endless. Poetry is one of the most ambiguous types of writing in that there are seemingly no rules at all in what a writer wants to accomplish. Most novels and short stories have at least a semi-rigid shell, but writing poetry is almost like writing in your journal—you…

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Personas Gratas: Building the Perfect Character

If you were given just the description of a famous character, would you be able to guess them? A puritan mother who provides for her young daughter despite being scorned by her entire town and branded with an A for adultery… The answer is Hester Prynne! How about another one? A brave, young, black-haired wizard whose goal is to protect his friends and his world while avenging the murder of his parents…. It’s Harry Potter! The key to creating memorable…

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Potent Quotables: How to Write Dialogue

“How do you write good dialogue?” the writers asked, pondering the thought. “It is not as easy as it seems,” Alissa said. “The trick is making it sound like you didn’t write it.” Dialogue. Most fiction stories have it, and many times the dialogue makes a story more believable than even its plot or characters. When characters speak to one another, it helps a writer show the audience feelings and personality rather than simply telling the reader. Dialogue also helps…

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Plan, Prep, Perspire!

So, you have an idea for the next greatest best seller in your mind. How do you take this idea from the deep crevasses in your mind and make imagined thoughts become words on a page? There are many ways to prepare and organize your thoughts before you begin to write anything, and this usually ends up better than anything you write with no planning at all. Of course, writing comes in steps—an idea, a first draft, editing, multiple more…

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15 Ways to Find Writing Inspiration

As writers, our brains are constantly taking inspiration from our own lives and using this to create stories in our own voice. However, it is inevitable that once in a while, we will get stuck in the vortex where ideas just can’t seem to flow. Here are 15 ways to find inspiration for your writing in the world around you. 1. Read books from your favorite author Reading a lot has always been the key to being a good writer.…

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Start a Long-Term Relationship With Your Journal

What do Flowers for Algernon, Dracula, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower have in common? They’re all books written as journal entries! But even if you as a writer aren’t interested in writing epistolary novels, writing your own journal is one of the most helpful tools in finding a voice, getting those thoughts down in writing, and simply getting much needed practice as a writer. One of the first rules of journaling is to not take it so seriously.…

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I’m Done Writing. Now What?

You did it. You finished writing a book, you’ve read it over at least 500 times, and you’ve meticulously threaded through all those pesky sentence-level errors. It’s time to share your work with other people before you send it off to a publisher or an editor. Remember, if you want your writing to be successful, (sell anywhere from a few copies to a billion copies) you must reach some sort of audience. You should have decided this in the writing…

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