Posts Tagged ‘writing exercises’

Pinionpost Gets Resourceful

In Writing on February 20, 2013 at 9:46 pm

A picture of a dictionary viewed with a lens o...

It’s been a pretty long time coming, but I’ve finally started building out the Writer’s Resource section of the site. It’s in the early stages, but hopefully you’ll find a few useful things there.

What might those useful things be, you ask? Let me tell you!

  • Links to writing exercises, prompts and my favorite weekly challenges
  • Dictionaries, thesauri and guides for grammar and usage
  • Links to online collaboration tools
  • Resources to help you in both traditional and self publishing
  • And quite a bit more… Read the rest of this entry »

Stolen Identities Week: Real life characters

In Writing on May 7, 2012 at 8:04 am
Silhouettes

(Photo credit: dbbent)

When it comes to creating interesting characters, sometimes the best inspiration comes from the people we encounter in our everyday lives.

Not to belittle the writer’s craft, but with quirky mannerisms, notable turns of phrase,  idiosyncrasies and internal contradictions — sometimes real people are just more interesting than the ones we can imagine. Read the rest of this entry »

Writing warm-up: Historical inaccuracy

In Writing on April 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm

This Friday’s writing exercise is similar to last Friday’s, in that its purpose isn’t to generate a great piece of writing but to loosen you up and get your mind working. This week, though, you’ll be working on warming up your imagination — for plotting and character building — as opposed to stretching the limits of structure or syntax.

Rewriting History

The exercise can work in one of two ways, but in both cases your goal is to rewrite a small bit of history in the most absurd way possible. In approach #1, you attempt to answer any question to which you don’t already know the answer. Small questions generally work best — “why does Swiss cheese have holes?” or “who was the first person to eat a tomato?” — and the more far-fetched your explanation, the better. Read the rest of this entry »

Two really, really, really long sentences

In Writing on April 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Sometimes in writing it’s important to challenge yourself to stretch your abilities, even if what you come up with, at the end of the exercise, is a horrible, steaming pile of mangled syntax and mixed up metaphors. Nobody actually needs to be able to bench press 700 pounds (except for those women who save their children from, you know, crashing spaceships and such with incredible feats of superhuman strength) but athletes still do it because it helps them condition themselves in general.

That’s where today’s exercise comes in: writing really, really, absurdly long sentences.

Read the rest of this entry »

Books about books: Required reading for writers

In Writing on April 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Every serious writer — even if they plan on breaking every rule it contains — should have a copy of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, but what else should be sitting on your shelf next to the dictionary, thesaurus, rhyming dictionary and … rhyming thesaurus? Read the rest of this entry »

Transmogrified: ‘My Humps’

In Fiction, Writing on April 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Let’s start with a definition (for readers of yesterday’s post, not usually the best way to start):

Transmogrify
verb (transitive)
 
To change in appearance or form, especially strangely or grotesquely; transform

For writing students (or maybe only to students of a certain Professor Randy Nelson at Davidson College) a transmogrification is also a writing exercise where you take a piece of writing, maybe a poem or a newspaper clipping or some song lyrics, and rewrite it in a completely different and unexpected form.

Read the rest of this entry »