Category Archives: Writing Prompts and Exercises

Passion

An excerpt from Story Sparks: Finding Your Best Story Ideas & Turning Them into Compelling Fiction by Denise Jaden What do you love, connect to, or want to read when it comes to fiction? I’d like to delve into the … Continue reading

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Your Life-Changing Story: The Story You Need to Tell

We all have a story. Sometimes the story is of being knocked to the ground – a cancer diagnosis or the death of a loved one. A story like this can get buried. Continue reading

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A Talk with Judy Reeves, author of Wild Women, Wild Voices

When I first began gathering material for my book, I scribbled down a list of words that came in a spontaneous writing. All of these speak of wild woman to me. Continue reading

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Wild Voice — Writing with Authentic Expression

Every writer has a beautiful, authentic, wild voice. This is where we start early on, using our imagination and our natural wildness to express the stories our creative minds conjure. Continue reading

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Dreaming in Dialogue: A Way to Kickstart Your Writing

Experienced practitioners discover in creativity a fruitful conversation with themselves. It’s a ritual that can kickstart a work session and generate momentum. Continue reading

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Kicking in the Wall — Five Minute Exercises: A Key to Overcoming Writers Block

Most writers have at one time or another faced a wall, a case of writer’s block built of our own doubts and fears. I love the idea of kicking in your own wall, taking action, not becoming the long suffering artist wringing your hands and waiting for a visit from the muse. No, you kick in that wall, break it down, smash it to smithereens – and write. Continue reading

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6 Ways to Get Your Story On the Page: A Year of Writing Dangerously

You’ve always wanted to write a book, or maybe a collection of short pieces, and you keep telling yourself someday, when life calms down, you’ll write. But life never calms down. Continue reading

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Writing Books That Transform Lives Interactive Online Writing Workshop

The Writing Books That Transform Lives interactive eCourse with Alissa Lukara begins Monday, March 5. And to receive the early registration offer, you need to sign up by Thursday, March 1. This online writing workshop supports you to jumpstart your … Continue reading

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10 Ways to Revitalize Your Writing Routine in 5 Minutes or Less

Do you ever resist writing, experience challenges in getting started, or find your writing feels a bit flat?

Of course you do. You’re a writer.

One quick remedy: Do one thing out of the ordinary daily for the next five days. Continue reading

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Write Three-Dimensional Non-Stereotypical Characters in Fiction, Film and TV – More Gems from the Willamette Writers Conference

An award-winning producer and personal manager, Marilyn Atlas of Marilyn Atlas Management may be most at home in film, television, and live theater. But what she said in her screenwriting workshop, “Creating Three-Dimensional Non-Stereotypical Characters,” at the 2011 Willamette Writer’s Conference, can support you to create unforgettable characters in fiction and add depth to real people in memoir writing, too.

This was one of my favorite workshops at the conference. I could have listened to Marilyn for hours. Here are some highlights in how to develop characters with substance and vitality:

Consider who your favorite characters are. Think of three of your favorite movie or TV characters. What are the qualities that attract you to them? What makes them outstanding, unusual or against type?

Marilyn, who often finds more good writing in TV than most feature films today, notes the unique characters in shows like Breaking Bad, The Good Wife, Mad Men, and The Wire as examples. Here are three characters who break out of stereotypical molds:

In The Wire, a drug dealer recites Greek mythology.
In The Good Wife, a cynical Indian private investigator wears hip stiletto boots, tight leather jacket and skirts. Bisexual, she uses sex as a power trip and uses any means to get what she wants.
In Breaking Bad, a financially-strapped high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with lung cancer teams up with a former student to become a drug producer and dealer. His goal? To gain security for his family before he dies. Continue reading

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