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Writing Exercises and Advice -- Creative Writing Exercises and Advice

Find a wide range of creative writing exercises, as well as advice on all aspects of craft and technique. Creative writing exercises will help get you started writing and improve specific areas of fiction writing.

Writing Exercise: Genre Twister
A quick, fun writing exercise to help you come up with a ton of story ideas in no time.

December Writing Challenge: Holiday Dialogue
If you have an annual office, family, or neighborhood party, take advantage of the event to practice collecting dialogue. Then work those scraps of dialogue into something more formal, to share here.See submissions

Top Gifts for Writers
Having trouble selecting a gift for the writer in your life? With a little thought, you can choose a gift that your friend will cherish. This guide will get you started.

Writing Exercises for New Story Ideas
Don't know what to write about? These exercises and writing prompts will get you started.

Creative Writing Exercises for Craft
No matter what stage you're at with your writing, it's always beneficial to work on craft and technique. These exercises target common problems and weaknesses.

Advice for Young Writers
In 2008, we posted a question from a teen named Makayla and received a wealth of valuable advice in response. Here are some of the top comments.

Past Writing Challenges
Each month from September to May, the fiction writing site at About.com supplies a monthly writing challenge and posts reader responses. Read the challenges from past months and submit a response to the most recent writing challenge.

Story Starters
Almost everyone could use a little help in filling a blank page from time to time. Use these story starters, contributed by readers, to launch your writing session. Choose one story starter and see where it takes you. You might be surprised.

Creative Writing Prompts
These creative writing prompts, appropriate for poetry or fiction, will help you take your free writing sessions in a new direction.

Add Description to Your Writing
This article started with a question from a reader named Jason, an Iraq War veteran who was now working on his writing, and specifically on description. I knew Jason wasn't alone: evoking a three-dimensional world through words is not easy. Almost all the advice offered in a subsequent …

Revision Checklist
While you can't catch every mistake yourself, this revision checklist will help you make sure you've checked your work for the obvious pitfalls before sharing it with someone else.

How to Find a Writing Community
Though writing itself is a solitary pursuit, the writing life presents many opportunities for community. In fact, a writing community can be an essential element in a writing career.

A writing teacher named Daisee suggested this story starter, in which writers use an odd news headline as the basis for a short story.

November 2010 Prompt Portfolio
For November, we're working on settings, using an exercise invented by Caren Gussoff for the Gotham Writers' Workshop's Writing Fiction. In short, the instructions are rewrite the opening scene of a favorite or classic novel, transporting the main character into a very different time and place. Read the full instructions to participate this...

For November, we have a writing exercise on setting, from Caren Gussoff, writing for the Gotham Writers' Workshop's Writing Fiction book. We'll start by studying the opening scene from a classic novel.

Read Ron Carr's response to the November 2010 writing challenge, offer your thoughts, and submit your own story.

A Tale of Two Lives
Read Steve Hands's response to the November 2010 writing challenge, offer your thoughts, and submit your own story.

Antonia and Her Family
Read Heather Youngdell's response to the November 2010 writing challenge, offer your thoughts, and submit your own story.

In Mahim Bay
Read Jason Langkamer-Smith's response to the November 2010 writing challenge, offer your thoughts, and submit your own story.

The Truth in Fiction
How do you make fiction read like non-fiction? Exercises for creative writers.

Mouths in a White Room
How to describe physical space in a piece of fiction

New Writing Prompts for Fiction Writers
New prompts for creative writers

Dos and Don'ts of Submitting to a Literary Magazine
How to submit to literary magazines

Interview with fiction writer Sara Lippmann
Interview with author Sara Lippmann on her upcoming book of short stories DOLL PALACE.

Flash Fiction: What makes a successful short-short?
Writing flash fiction: how to tell a short-short story

How to Teach a Fiction Workshop
Tips and Ideas to Inspire Creative Writing Teachers and Fiction Group Leaders

Writing About Sex vs. Writing About Erotica
What is the difference between erotica and writing about sex?

Short-short Stories Wanted - Magazines Currently Taking Submissions - June
Literary magazines featuring flash fiction currently accepting submissions.

Experimental Fiction Magazines
Where should you submit your experimental fiction?

"Clearing Your Throat": thoughts on the act and emotion of editing
Thoughts on editing and the act of cutting your words to benefit your story.

How to be a parent and a writer
Where did the time go? How do you both write and parent?

How Do People "Talk" in Fiction?
Believable dialogue in fiction

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