Category: writing exercise

Here is a different form for those who like to write poetry. It’s called the diminishing verse. There are no rules, rhymes, syllables, or stanza length.  All you do is remove the first letter of the end word from the previous line. Here is what I came up with: Summer has left a trace, Flowers […]

In this fast, technical world, people don’t always take the time to relax, but when they do, and they pick up something you have written, remember to give your reader time to breathe. They need time to see how your characters interact, they need to feel what your characters  feel, to grieve along with them, […]

If you are writing any story, but especially YA, then you need to have a great emotional starting point for your main character.  Ask yourself, what is the character’s emotional state at the beginning? Is he naïve, selfish, or insecure? Choose an emotional end point that is opposite from the beginning. What experiences help the character grow? […]

You’ve tackled your novel and now you’re ready to write the synopsis before you turn it in. What are the essential things you need in the synopsis? First, the synopsis should be written in the present tense and in third person. Try to limit it to one page. Think of your synopsis as your selling […]

There is nothing more tiresome for a reader, than seeing the same words over and over in the same paragraph. A thesaurus and a synonym finder should be a writer’s right hand. Read your work out loud to hear your errors or repetition of the same words. Avoid overusing the word, it without an explanation […]

Every good story is built around a problem, a conflict, or a challenge for its protagonist. The reader will root for him, agonize over his setbacks, and rejoice in his eventual triumph. Who is telling the story? The beginning introduces the main character in action and sets up the story problem. Therefore, the main character […]

A quintet is a five line poem with two, four, six, eight, and two syllables respectively. It doesn’t usually rhyme. Here is an example from Misery. The rain, Its dreary dress, Drips down on her shoulders. She shelters under an oak tree, Homeless.

It’s poetry month. The ovillejo is a Spanish form comprised of 10 lines. It has 3 rhyming couplets ( 2 line stanzas) and a quatrain (4 line stanza). The first line of each couplet is 8 syllables long and presents a question or a statement. The second line responds in 3-4 syllables either as an […]

Every good story is built around a problem, a conflict, or a challenge for its protagonist. The reader will root for him, agonize over his setbacks, and rejoice in his eventual triumph. A beginning introduces the main character in action and sets up a story problem. A middle shows the character tackling the problem. An […]

Dialogue brings the characters to life. It also moves the story forward. Before you can write the dialogue, first ask yourself, who is telling the story? The story from the main character’s point of view creates a story sense of identification. In a sense, the reader becomes the hero. The main character only knows what […]