Nature-Inspired Poetry Prompts
Writing Forward
by Melissa Donovan
1w ago
Poetry prompts inspired by nature. Throughout the centuries, poets have composed meditations on seasons, landscapes, and constellations. Vegetation and animals have been the subjects of countless poems, and even when poetry is not centered around nature, it often makes references to it. In poetry, nature can function as a backdrop, or it can hold center stage. Why are so many poets compelled to write about nature? Consider the closing stanza from “Crossings” by Ravi Shankar: Suspended in this ephemeral moment after leaving a forest, before entering a field, the nature of reality is re ..read more
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From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: Symbols and Symbolism
Writing Forward
by Melissa Donovan
1w ago
Symbolism and symbolism in fiction writing. Today’s post comes from my book 101 Creative Writing Exercises (aff link). This is from “Chapter 5: Fiction.” Let’s take a look at symbolism in fiction. Symbols and Symbolism In Alice and Wonderland, a white rabbit appears, and Alice follows him down the rabbit hole that leads to Wonderland. The white rabbit is a herald — a character archetype that signifies the first challenge or the call to adventure. This is the change in the main character’s life that marks the beginning of the story. Symbolism in Fiction The white rabbit became so widely ..read more
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From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: Everyone Has an Opinion
Writing Forward
by Melissa Donovan
1M ago
How can opinion writing benefit your work? Today’s creative writing exercise comes from my book, 101 Creative Writing Exercises, which takes you on a adventure through various forms of creative writing: fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. This exercise is called “Everyone Has an Opinion,” and it’s from “Chapter 9: Philosophy, Critical Thinking, and Problem Solving.” Enjoy! Everyone Has an Opinion All good pieces of writing have a central conflict. The entire narrative builds up to the moment when the conflict reaches its final climax. In addition to a central conflict, several smaller ..read more
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Homophones: Which Witch?
Writing Forward
by Melissa Donovan
5M ago
Homophones: which or witch? A reader left the following comment inquiring about the spelling of two sets of homophones: “I have trouble with witch/which (and even so, I am not sure I have those right) and weather/wheather [sic]. any good ideas on how to keep them straight???” I’ve already written a post addressing the difference between weather and whether. Today, I’ll share some tips to help you remember how to toggle comfortably between the homophones which and witch. First, We Spell Our Homophones Spelling is appropriate, since we are discussing witches (Get it? Spelling, as in casting ..read more
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From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: People Are People
Writing Forward
by Melissa Donovan
7M ago
Writing about people. 101 Creative Writing Exercises takes you on an adventure through the world of creative writing. You get to experiment with fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction while learning useful writing techniques. Today I’d like to share one of the exercises from the book. This is from “Chapter 3: People and Characters.” The exercise is titled “People are People,” and it offers tips and ideas for writing about people — real or imagined. Enjoy! Writing About People People and characters are among the most important elements in a piece of writing. In nonfiction, you need to tr ..read more
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Ideas for Writing Creative Nonfiction
Writing Forward
by Melissa Donovan
11M ago
Looking for creative nonfiction ideas? In fiction writing, we’re often inspired by what-if questions: What if an innocent person is convicted of murder? What if humanity finds itself facing total extinction? What if that rabbit hole leads to a fantastical wonderland? Fiction is driven by imagination. Ideas for writing creative nonfiction often arise from experience and interest rather than imagination. Instead of asking what-if questions, creative nonfiction writers set out to share their experiences, knowledge, ideas, opinions, passions, and curiosities. Creative nonfiction is a vast field ..read more
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Sneak Peek at “10 Core Practices for Better Writing” — Read More and Write Better
Writing Forward
by Melissa Donovan
11M ago
Read more and write better. Today I’d like to share an excerpt from my book, 10 Core Practices for Better Writing. The book explores ten essential habits that every writer can adopt to become a master of the craft of writing. Today’s post features several excerpts from the first chapter, which covers the first and most important practice: reading. If you want to write better, then you need to read more. “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” – Stephen King To write well, there are only two things you absolutely must do: read and wr ..read more
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From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: You’re the Expert
Writing Forward
by Melissa Donovan
1y ago
From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: You’re the Expert. Here’s an excerpt from 101 Creative Writing Exercises, a book that takes writers on an inspired journey through different forms and genres of writing while offering comprehensive writing techniques, practical experience, and ideas for publishable projects. Each chapter focuses on a different form or concept: freewriting, journaling, fiction, poetry, creativity, and article writing are all covered. Today, we’ll take a peek at “Chapter 10: Article and Blog Writing” with an exercise called “You’re the Expert.” Enjoy! You’re the Exper ..read more
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Journal Prompts for Giving Thanks
Writing Forward
by Melissa Donovan
1y ago
Journal prompts for cultivating gratitude. Journal writing is excellent for building skills and maintaining a regular writing practice, and journal prompts can help you use your journal creatively and beneficially. Journal prompts can be used to inspire creative ideas, to keep track of important things in our lives, and for personal growth. Today’s prompts are for the practice of gratitude. According to Harvard Medical School: In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions ..read more
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Would You Rather Have Skill or Talent as a Writer?
Writing Forward
by Melissa Donovan
1y ago
Would you rather have skills or talent? Is effective writing borne of skill or talent? There has always been a debate about whether artistic trades are a matter of learned skill or inherent talent. On the one hand, there is the belief that some are born with active and imaginative right brains and are therefore better able to manifest creativity. On the other hand, some argue that creative skills can be learned and mastered. When it comes to creative writing, I believe that skill and talent work together. In fact, I would argue that almost every writer whose work is worth reading has some c ..read more
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