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Writing Craft & Technique -- The Building Blocks of Creative Writing

Writing technique and craft, including character development, plot, dialogue, style, and point of view.
  1. Glossary of Literary Terms (53)

How to Write Faster
Tools, tips and techniques to write fiction faster than you ever have before.

Writing Action Scenes
Action scenes aren't just for espionage or fantasy novels: almost every story will have some sequences in which the characters are doing things. How do you get the action right? These tips will help.

Novel Writing Tips
The thought of writing a novel intimidates many writers, and with reason. Novel writing requires patience and perseverance, as well as creativity. Have you successfully completed a novel? Share your advice with aspiring novelists.

Why Conflict Matters
Conflict is the basis of plot; without conflict there's no growth or change. In short, there's no story. What do you need to know about conflict as a writer?

What Can We Learn from Stephenie Meyer?

Though critical responses to her writing may be mixed, Stephenie Meyer has built the kind of devoted fan-base other writers only dream of. Comments to earlier blog posts, on her next book and the Twilight

How to Write Fiction
Anyone who says writing can't be taught is speaking nonsense. Learning to write is a skill, no different from, say, cooking. Some people have a greater appreciation for food than others, a natural sense for how different tastes work together. But they're not the only ones considered worthy of making food: almost anyone can learn to cook something simple and tasty. It's exactly the same with wanti…

Metaphor Examples
When learning to use figures of speech such as metaphors -- comparisons of two things that don't use "like" or "as" -- it definitely helps to have examples. Below you'll find metaphor examples, both successful and unsuccessful, to guide your own writing. (You may also have fun

Writing Better Dialogue
Ten things to keep in mind to write dialogue that advances the action of the story and develops the characters.

Types of Characters
Round character, flat character, stock character, protagonist . . . the types of characters in fiction go on and on. What do you need to know about each one? Find out with this list.

Figurative Language Overview
Review your knowledge of the forms of figurative language, including metaphors, similes, and puns, so that you can use them more effectively in your prose.

Choosing a Point of View
As a writer, you must choose the point of view that will allow you to most effectively develop your characters and tell your story, but how do you make that crucial decision?

Adding Dimension to Your Characters
Gayle Trent, author of "Murder Takes the Cake," shares what she's learned about creating characters in writing her cozies -- and watching TV's "Lost."

Switching to the Third Person
In a first person rut? This exercise will help you get comfortable writing in the third person point of view.

Create Believable Characters
The questions on this page provide structure to the all-important thought process behind complex and realistic characters.

Learn to Write from the Masters
While books on writing have a lot to say about the writing process, many valuable skills and strategies can be learned by studying the work -- as well as the lives -- of writers you admire. Writing fiction is a complex process: it requires a suitably nuanced course of study. In the same way, the answers to many questions about how to lead a writer's life can be found in the examples set by successful writers.

Use Metaphors Correctly
Learn about the two most common traps to avoid when using metaphors in your fiction writing.

A Sensory Tour of Your Setting
Details are essential to creating a vivid setting for your readers, but many writers have trouble getting beyond the most obvious, visual details. Use this exercise to generate memorable details from all five senses.

Develop Your Writing Style
To a certain extent, your writing style will evolve naturally through reading and writing, but there are things you can do now to develop an effective prose style.

Use Modifiers More Effectively
This exercise will tighten up your prose and use modifiers to more powerful effect.

Tips for an Effective Creative Writing Critique
We all know the experience of getting an unhelpful critique, of feeling shut down and discouraged rather than pumped up to revise. But what...

The Truth in Fiction
How do you make fiction read like non-fiction? How can you make your fiction believable? Advice for writers.

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