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Monthly Archives: February 2010

Character Record Sheet (Creative Writing Exercise)

Anyway. Write a Character Record Sheet. If you’re working in fantasy, dig up an RPG CRS like I was talking about yesterday (and you can email me if you don’t have one handy). If you’re working mainstream, or really any other genre, you’ll have to settle for real life. Develop a Facebook profile for your character. Either way, I want physical descripti0n, relationship status, family background, core beliefs, profession, and personal interests. Give me at least a full page of information.

Role-Playing Games and Character Profiles

Maybe you don’t care at all about role-playing games. Maybe you rolled your eyes and growled “Nerd!” when I mentioned Dungeons and Dragons. It doesn’t matter. As a storyteller, that last paragraph should have your mouth watering. The job of the storyteller is to create characters that adhere to certain rules, that behave consistently and believably, that create a cohesive and rational experience out of of a bunch of people doing things their own way.

What I Learned about Writing this Week…from Aaron Pogue

Last week, Aaron posted an article on writing and procrastination and the benefits of not procrastinating on your writing. On Monday, he followed up with a writing exercise designed to help us writers write without procrastination. In keeping with that theme, I am going to share with you my story of How I Beat The System And Gave Myself A Migraine. I shall also attempt to refrain from starting every sentence with an adverbial phrase.

What Should You Write About?

I’m writing to the bloggers, the business writers, and for you guys, “Write what you know” is your bread and butter. “Write what you know” is the answer to questions you haven’t even considered yet.

Technical writing is all about translating understanding — it’s about converting expert information into a more easily accessible format. Whenever you’re writing, your job is to take the things you understand, that your readers don’t, and help your readers understand them.

Memoirs of a Procrastinator (Technical Writing Exercise)

Tell us about a time when you barely finished a project (bonus points if it was a writing project, but it doesn’t have to be).

We’ve all got our war stories, and they’re usually pretty fun to drag out from time to time. This week you’ve got a good excuse. Brag about the one you got away with. Make it a post on your blog, 300-900 words, and share a link with us here in the comments.

Courtney’s Work-in-Progress Update

I’m almost finished with Chapter 8.

I am so close to finishing this first draft, I can almost taste it!!!

I’ll keep you posted!

Start at the End (Creative Writing Exercise)

Maybe you’ve written a dozen novels already, or maybe you’re still toiling toward the end of your first one. Either way, take some pleasure in the experience of finishing a story. Hit us with a climax, tie up some imaginary loose ends, and then follow it up with the two most satisfying words in all of writing.

Satisfying Resolutions

Last week we talked about the Conflict Resolution Cycle, and the structure of a story.

So what’s missing? The end. Every story is a contractual agreement between the writer and the reader. Your readers give up their valuable time to read your story, and in exchange they expect you to give them a story — a satisfying beginning, middle, and end. That means you’ve got to do more than make interesting characters and conflict. You’re responsible for building a valuable conclusion, too.

What I Learned about Writing this Week…from Observation

Tweet Her mouth opens wide in a huge smile that draws every eye in the room. His nervous habit: narrating for everyone in the room what’s happening on the TV screen. When she feels melancholy, she hums “Amazing Grace” and Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters.” When she feels happy, she hums ’80s rock ballads. His right […]

Write it Early, Review it Late

That’s the biggest challenge of any blogging project: keeping up with the blog’s posting schedule. Really, it’s just a regularly recurring version of what is the biggest challenge for every writer: writing to a deadline.

There are techniques for handling that last minute writing, skills you can learn to make it as good as possible, but in the end that’s all just damage control. You cannot write your best quality work unless you write it early.