To some writers–including me–plot can seem like the dirtiest, most despicable of four letter words. Read more →
For this exercise, you get to choose an image to pair with the writing prompt. Read more →
Here’s a writing exercise to do with your morning coffee, or over iced tea at lunch, or with a drink late at night. Read more →
One of the hardest parts about writing is getting started. That’s why I incorporate writing exercises–both in-class and take-home–into all my classes. Writing exercises are a way to get the creative side of your brain working without the judgmental side chiming in. They’re a way of generating ideas. They’re a way of getting unstuck. Which is why I’ve decided to start sharing writing prompts on this blog. Read more →
Bookstores and libraries have always been my safe havens. As a kid I spent long afternoons at our local library, where my mother would leave my sister and me while she ran errands. There, I browsed the shelves for new finds to borrow by the armful. Of course, there were certain books that I didn’t dare bring home–Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, Forever by Judy Bloom–for fear my parents would take them away, deeming them too mature for a grammar school kid. Those books I read right there, at the long wooden tables in the adult reading room, where the librarians let my sister and me linger since we’d proven ourselves to be polite kids who read quietly, passionately, voraciously.
I am a control freak, which makes it difficult to be a writer or a mother or a wife or a…well, you see my point.
I’ve mostly learned to circumvent this particular quirk, at least when it comes to writing. It’s taken years, but I’m getting better at letting my characters figure out how to behave based on who they are and what they long for.
Still, the control freak in me resists. Some days Ms. CF spends hours circling me, poking, prodding, jumping on my shoulder to whisper in her harsh, Gollum-y voice, “They’re nobodies. You’re the one writing. Make them do what you want. Make them!”