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Category > Exercises

Action Scenes 101 (or making things go boom real good): a guest post

I’m excited to share a fresh guest post from Jonathan Wood, author of No Hero and the brand-new Yesterday’s Hero, which is being released in only a few short days! Jonathan is a great writer, both funny and fun, and his first book read like a Weird Kurt Russell movie. Luckily for us, he’s got some pointers here that […]

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Character Generators

While listening to a Writing Excuses episode called Engaging Characters, their guest Nancy Fulda, mentioned character generators. (Season 9 Episode 10 http://www.writingexcuses.com/2014/03/09/writing-excuses-9-10-engaging-characters/ ) I’d never heard of such a thing! Since I’m working on a new novel outline, I was curious enough to check it out. I do already use a name generator to help […]

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Breaking Out of a Stylistic Rut (Or Finding One)

As a writer, “style” is a thing we’re supposed to find. It will define us, they say; set us apart as a distinct, creative voice in a vast field of creative voices. It’s our brand. It’s the thing—our “signature”—that marks each of our stories or novels as uniquely ours no matter how different in subject matter […]

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Hole in the Ground Contest!

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” This is the opening line to the Hobbit. According to Wikipedia, it came to Tolkien while he was grading papers. Not only should this bring hope to teachers and grad students everywhere, it’s the first step on an epic journey that many of us have […]

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Fire it up! A writing exercise

Last week, Christie talked about using timed writing exercises to restart your creative fires. Here’s a similar exercise that you can use to jolt yourself out of a rut. It’s based on Kerouac’s Spontaneous Prose method. You may have tried something similar in a writing class–I know I have. Find an object to study. Maybe […]

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