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Writing Tip & Prompt: Punctuation

Writing Tip & PromptOn Fridays, we like to share writing tips and tricks with our readers. We hope this section will encourage and inspire you to continually improve as a writer.

Writing Tip – Punctuation

Pay attention to punctuation, especially to the correct use of commas and periods. These two punctuation marks regulate the flow of your thoughts, and they can make your text confusing even if the words are clear.

Writing Prompt – Changing Seasons

The cusp of a new season brings excitement for the upcoming holidays — a chance to celebrate traditions and a gathering of family and friends. Create a new holiday. It may be inspired by that start of fall or the grasp you have on summer. Maybe it’s inspired by a person or a place. Write about this holiday and how it would be shared. What new traditions have you created?


Writing Tip & Prompt: Simplicity

Writing Tip & PromptOn Fridays, we like to share writing tips and tricks with our readers. We hope this section will encourage and inspire you to continually improve as a writer.

Writing Tip – Simplicity

The simplest explanation is most often the correct one. Try not to over think your characters, plot or themes within your work, especially during a first draft. Overthinking can often lead to mental blocks and disruptions that can spell disaster for your writing project. Push forward and use whatever situation, feeling or plot device that seems natural to you. The lack of hesitation will come in your prose, and remember, you always have the opportunity to return to previous sections and think critically after you have a significant number of pages.

Writing Prompt – Memory

Memory is a mysterious thing, releasing vivid feeling and events into our consciousness. The trick is finding a way to pull memories out. Visit your local grocery store and purchase something that you haven’t eaten in ages, perhaps since you were a child. Then, with pen in hand, taste and remember. Recall all the memories associated with this treat. Why did you like it? Who did you eat it with? Where there any “rituals” were involved? What did you have to do to get this item? Indulge your senses and remember.


Writing Tip & Prompt: Perspective

On Fridays, we like to share writing tips and tricks with our readers.  We hope this section will encourage and inspire you to continually improve as a writer.

Writing Tip – Perspective

Walk around the block or hike a new trail. Absorb your surroundings. Stop, turn around and look back, observing where you have just been. This change of perspective offers a surprisingly different view. Pay attention to the details you failed to see when walking forward and how those details alter the scenario. It is this backward or alternate perspective that will help to open up your story while discovering uniqueness from another view.

Find Your Special PlaceWriting Prompt – Find your Special Place

Within each of us is that special place. A place we look to for comfort, for happiness, for warmth. It is a collaboration of sight, sound and feeling, that even when simply thought of, you are able to relive this place with its sensations centered in your being. It may be the sound of the ocean and the waves curling over your toes, sand beneath your feet. Or the heat from your grandmother’s oven with the smell of her home-baked pies strategically placed on the checkered tablecloth. Think of this place – this feeling – and dig deeper. Find the meaning behind its importance. Write about each ordinary detail that makes up your special place.


Writing Tip & Prompt: Write Every Day

Writing Prompt - CelebrationOn Fridays, we like to share writing tips and tricks with our readers. We hope this section will encourage and inspire you to continually improve as a writer.

Writing Tip – Write Every Day

Even if it’s only 30 minutes, make sure to set aside time each day to write. This way you’ll be able to stay in tune with your voice and stay motivated. Otherwise, you might start to procrastinate, and before you know it, three months have passed and you haven’t written a single word. Don’t allow yourself  to become torpid with your writing – stick with your passion and write, write, write!

Writing Prompt – Celebration

Consider a celebration. What was the last party you attended? Why were you there? Did you bring a present? Did you dress a certain way in order to impress? Will you attend another celebration in the near future? Think about all the factors that affect your behavior when attending a celebration, and then begin a short story detailing them. Peeling back the superficial layers of the party should provide you with a meaningful insight into the reason you attended at all.


Writing Tip & Prompt: Sentence Structure

Writing Tip & PromptOn Fridays we like to share writing tips and tricks with our readers. We hope this section will encourage and inspire you to continually improve as a writer.

Writing Tip – Sentence Structure

Sentence structure is something built into a writer’s core, and we can employ little tricks to shift the emphasis of our sentences. For example, use the passive voice to emphasize “what happens” rather than who or what does it: A completed chapter is expected by the end of the day. Use a cleft sentence with “it is/was” or “what” to emphasize a specific subject or object: It was I who won Grand Prize in the contest. Use always, forever or never to express annoyance: He always expects me to work on the weekends. Auxiliary verbs did and do can be used in a positive sentence to express a strong feeling: I do believe your lawn-mowing days are over.

Writing Prompt – Know Your Neighbors

How well do you know your neighbors? What things do they do throughout their day? How large or small is their family? Are they from a different state or country? What brought them to live in your neighborhood and be your neighbor? Write a short story about your thoughts and then write another story after you interact with them and compare your two stories.


Writing Tip & Prompt: Get in Tune With Your Senses

Writing Tip & PromptOn Fridays, we like to share writing tips and tricks with our readers. We hope this section will encourage and inspire you to continually improve as a writer.

Writing Tip – Get in Tune With Your Senses

Sight, smell, sound, taste and touch. Make a point to examine each sense in your daily activities so that you may apply your observations to your writing. When you incorporate feeling into your writing, you are able to move pages and move readers. As readers, we all want a story that takes control of us, and that begins with feeling the meaning of the words.

Writing Prompt – Endings

While some books’ endings satisfy us, others leave us wanting more and others leave us full of questions. Maybe the ending was confusing, or perhaps it just wasn’t the direction you would have taken the story. Think of a book that left you feeling unsure at the ending. Rewrite the last chapter and write a new conclusion to the story.


Writing Tip & Prompt: Inner Child

Writing Tip & PromptOn Fridays, we like to share writing tips and tricks with our readers. We hope this section will encourage and inspire you to continually improve as a writer.

Writing Tip – Inner Child

Listen to a child — the openness and directness of their character, personalities full of wonderment and pride in their own inquisitiveness. Get in touch with your inner child when writing. Underneath conformity and inhibitions is your elementary creativity. Allow yourself to explore, question, laugh and learn from the writing process. This practice will help you find your voice.

Writing Prompt –Time

Your writing prompt for today is simply the word time. Words provoke thoughts and emotions, and words hold different meanings and memories for each of us. Do what you like with the word. Search for its meaning, or better yet, start with a little impromptu writing on what this word brings to mind. What do you think when you hear it? Say it? Write a short piece applying the word and its concept.


Writing Tip & Prompt: Research

Writing Tip - ResearchOn Fridays we like to share writing tips and tricks with our readers. We hope this section will encourage and inspire you to continually improve as a writer.

Writing Tip – Research

Research is a must when it comes to writing; you want to cover all of your bases when you’re writing about anything. Come publishing time, readers won’t be happy if you get your facts wrong or you’re unclear or unknowledgeable about something. Unhappy readers can lead to bad reviews, which in turn creates hesitation towards buying your future books. Research what you’re writing about and you’ll have happy and impressed readers who are likely to recommend your book to others.

Writing Prompt – Values

Think about the values of your parents. Can you remember a time when your father or mother taught you their morals by example? Perhaps your dad spoke of patience as he taught you how to shave, or maybe your mom tried to instill relationship sense by telling you about how she met your father. Now, write a story or poem about your experience and the lessons you learned.

 

 


Writing Tip & Prompt: Be Conscientious of the Reader

Writing Tip & PromptOn Fridays we like to share writing tips and tricks with our readers. We hope this section will encourage and inspire you to continually improve as a writer.

Writing Tip – Be Conscientious of the Reader

Don’t be too obscure when you’re writing. You may know exactly what a drill press does, but your reader might not. Always try to read your stories and poems objectively. There may be details that need a little supplemental information in order to smooth out the prose for other readers.

Writing Prompt – Breakup Advice

Consider a previous dating relationship that never worked out. Once you have a particular one in mind, think of 10 statements your friends told you in order to get over him or her. Choose one and begin a story with this advice as the first line. Did your friends help, or did their advice make matters worse? Try to capture the confusion and complexity that comes from an ending relationship.

 


Writing Tip & Prompt: Don’t Overwrite

Writing Tip - Don't OverwriteOn Fridays, we like to share writing tips and tricks with our readers. We hope this section will encourage and inspire you to continually improve as a writer.

Writing Tip – Don’t Overwrite

Remember, you don’t necessarily need a paragraph describing the bus or a character’s kitchen, unless you’re absolutely sure such descriptions are necessary to the mood of your story. Otherwise, a long, unnecessary portrait will not only feel tacked on, but will surely bog down your readers. Always remain relevant and concise!

Writing Prompt – “Quitting Time!”

Imagine it’s your last day of work at the office, and you’re moving far, far away. What would you do to make yours memorable? Take the fish and ask who’s coming with you? Or quietly slip out the backdoor? Now, write a story or poem that captures your complex emotions on your final workday and the future ahead of you.

 


Writing Tip & Prompt: Slow down

On Fridays we like to share writing tips and tricks with our readers. We hope this section will encourage and inspire you to continually improve as a writer.

Writing Tip – Slow down

There is a common saying, “Haste makes waste.” Many writers try so hard to finish a paragraph or chapter that they inadvertently leave gaps in argumentation or plotlines. Don’t be afraid of devoting the time necessary to really explore all the details of your story. Be sure to reread your manuscript and have a friend read it, so you can fill in those holes and publish a best seller!

Writing Prompt – Connect the Details

Consider one seemingly mundane detail about your day and position it next to an intense moment in your life. For example, perhaps you enjoyed your morning cup of coffee while watching the falling snow. Now combine this detail with something more intense, such as the death of a loved one or losing a previous job. Begin a story that links the small detail you chose with the larger, intense story of your life. Does the falling snow represent something bigger than itself? Could your detail offer comfort or confrontation that the normal grieving process could not?


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