Schedule, Not Afterthought

[found on chronicle.com; by Michael C. Munger]

“Write, then squeeze the other things in. Put your writing ahead of your other work. I happen to be a “morning person,” so I write early in the day. Then I spend the rest of my day teaching, having meetings, or doing paperwork. You may be a “night person” or something in between. Just make sure you get in the habit of reserving your most productive time for writing. Don’t do it as an afterthought or tell yourself you will write when you get a big block of time. Squeeze the other things in; the writing comes first.”

For more writing tips by Michael C. Munger, click here.

[found on http://chronicle.com/article/10-Tips-on-How-to-Write-Less/124268]
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Need A Writing Prompt?

[found on dailywritingtips.com; by Simon Kewin]

“Where To Find Writing Prompts Online

The internet is a wonderful source of writing prompts. There are sites dedicated to providing them which a quick search will turn up. Examples include :

There are also numerous blogs that offer a regular writing prompt to inspire you and where you can, if you wish, post what you’ve written. Examples include :

There are also many other sites that can, inadvertently, provide a rich seam of material for writing prompts – for example news sites with their intriguing headlines or pictorial sites such as Flickr.com that give you access to a vast range of photographs that can prompt your writing.

If you’re on Twitter, there are users you can follow to receive a stream of prompts, for example :

Another idea is just to keep an eye on all the tweets being written by people all over the world, some of which can, inadvertently, be used as writing prompts.

How To Make Your Own Writing Prompts

You can find ideas for writing prompts of your own from all sorts of places : snatches of overheard conversation, headlines, signs, words picked from a book and so on. Get used to keeping an eye out for words and phrases that fire your imagination, jot them down and use them as writing prompts to spark your creativity. You never know where they might take you.”

For more great information on writing from DailyWritingTips, click HERE.

[found on http://www.dailywritingtips.com/writing-prompts-101]

Exercise Your Writing Muscles

[found on writingforward.com; by Melissa Donovan]

“A compelling story speaks to us much the same way that music does, communicating thoughts, feelings, and ideas in ways that go beyond concrete language.

The result?

A click takes place within the psyche. When you hear a song or read a story that resonates in this manner, you connect with it on a deep level. It almost feels like the author or songwriter was speaking for you, about you, or to you.

Some say that truly great art communicates directly with the subconscious. That’s why the arts coexist so naturally. Where you find a buzzing music scene, you can be sure a booming literary crowd is nearby. And where filmmakers toil with scripts and cameras, you can bet dancers aren’t too far off.

Creativity breeds creativity and we are like magnets, drawn not just into our own passion, but those that complement and support our passions. Music, film, and art all enrich and inform one another. So do the musicians, filmmakers, artists, and of course, writers.

Fiction Writing Exercises

Some people say that everything has been written, every story told. But that’s not true. There’s always another angle, a different perspective that can be taken. And writers have all the tools they need to grab that perspective and run with it. You just need a starting point, and these fiction writing exercisescan help you find it. Try starting with a song.

Before you get started, here are a couple of tips to help you work through these exercises:

    • Make sure you aren’t familiar with the song’s video or that you don’t rewrite the video treatment.
    • Pick a song you like, something you can tolerate listening to several times over. In fact the more you enjoy the song, the greater the chance you’ll have fun with this experiment.

Exercise 1: A Story for a Song

Some of the greatest stories of all time have been told through song. Remember Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee?” John Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane?” What about Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff?” Each of these songs tells a clear and distinct story.

Choose a song that tells a clear story and write the story behind it. This is kind of like traveling backward and trying to find those one thousand words that represent the value of a picture.

Exercise 2: Ambiguous Tales

On the flip side, we have ambiguous lyrics, like “Hotel California,” by the Eagles or “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M. Tunes like these have inspired lively debates that ask, what are these songs about, anyway? And if we don’t know what the songs are about, why do they succeed at speaking to us? How do they become enormous hits that cross genre lines?

Choose a song that tells a vague story and write about what really happened. Your goal is to take a hazy story and make it clear.

Exercise 3: Who Needs Lyrics?

This is the biggest challenge of all: choose a piece of instrumental music (with no lyrics) and find the story in the melody, harmony, and rhythm.

Music and Fiction Writing Exercises

Throughout history, great artists have collaborated and mixed mediums and media to come up with fresh takes on ancient truths. These fiction writing exercises provide a new source for inspiration, get you working in collaboration with other artists (musicians), and give you creative license to put a new spin on something that’s been around for a while.

You can write a paragraph, a few pages, or an entire novel. You could also write a script for film or stage. If you’re strapped for time, just write an outline or a few character sketches. And if you don’t feel like writing it down, just work it out in your head. Find the connection between music and storytelling and let it capture your imagination.”

For more great information on writing and exercises by WritingForward.com, click HERE.

[found on http://www.writingforward.com/writing_exercises/fiction-writing-exercises/fiction-writing-exercises-story-for-a-song]

How to Write a Play

[found on backstage.com]
“1. The play does not always start at the beginning. Sometimes the first scene you write ends up in the middle of the play. This happens because when I write, I’m really channeling the voices of my characters.
2. A play is made up of moments that the character experiences as the story is revealed.
3. Ernest Hemigway said: “Good writing is true writing.” The best writing comes from trusting your gut feeling!
4. Even though every play or story has a beginning, a climactic moment, and a resolution, i stay true to the story by not trying to control it.
5. Teach the audience through laughter. The audience is able then to sympathize with their struggles and acquire a new sense of understanding for the world in which these characters live.”
[found on http://www.backstage.com/advice-for-actors/first-person/5-tips-writing-play]

How to Write an Article in 20 Minutes

[found on copyblogger.com]

“I don’t really want to spend more than 20 minutes a day on writing articles. And I spent no more than 20 minutes to write this article.

I realize this is writing blasphemy. Internet marketing is powered by content, and content is king. But when I have a daily schedule to post on and a business to run, I don’t have time to spend hours polishing every single blog post or writing 2,000-word articles.

Writing quickly doesn’t mean compromising on writing well, though. I’ve got seven tips to get you in and out of that composition box in twenty minutes – without sacrificing quality.

1. Keep an idea list.

When inspiration for a post strikes, scribble it down in a notebook or a word file. For many bloggers and content creators, finding the topic to write about takes up half the time. Keeping an idea list lets you leap in to a new post quickly when you’re ready to write.

2. Let your ideas incubate.

If you try to force yourself to come up with supporting information for your brilliant idea right away, it’s going to take ages. Let that topic sit for a few days, though, and you can add new ideas as they occurs to you – and when you’re ready to write, you’ll already have all the supporting info you need.

3. Edit before you start

You’ve probably got twice as many ideas as you need at this point, so it’s time to be brutal. Cut out any supporting idea that doesn’t fit with the main topic of the article. Remember, we’re talking about how to write an article in 20 minutes, not an epic. You can always use the ideas you don’t need for later posts.

4. Use bullet points

Bullet points, or numbered points like “10 Ways to Get More Subscribers”, can make writing an article a lot simpler in terms of organization because you no longer have to figure out transitions from one idea to the next. The great side benefit is that readers like lists; they’re easier for the eye to follow.

5. Keep it short

If you want to finish that article in 20 minutes, try to keep it under 500 words. Don’t feel like you’re skimping on quality content, either: this article is only about 500 words but it’s chockfull of information. Make every word count and you’ll save time without letting quality slip.

6. Come back later

If you find that you’re stuck, don’t try to force the words to come. Save the article and work on something else for awhile. If inspiration strikes, open up that document again. You can even switch from one blog post to another, spending a few minutes on each as ideas comes to you. It’s a huge time-saver.

7. Never save a good idea

It’s tempting, when you look through your list of ideas, to save the best ones for later because you think they’ll be easier to write. You don’t want to save time later, you want to save time now. Do the articles you know will come easily and make the most of that time.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way to brilliant articles in a fraction of the time.”

[found on http://www.copyblogger.com/write-article-fast]