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creative writing


Have Fun with it: Word games to shake up your process and get you out of writers’ block

So you’ve been trying to come up with some new ideas, or turning over that same piece of work for weeks now, and it just doesn’t feel like inspiration is coming your way. We’ve all felt like this, I think, and we can agree that ideas can come from the least likely places – something you overhear, something found in a pocket, a billboard on your drive to work – but what if you’re just not finding them? This post introduces a few ideas that are excellent ways of playing with words, freeing up your process and creating the circumstances in which new ideas might present themselves.

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What is your tutor up to? Garry MacKenzie

I’m really interested in what nets mean to you. Do you come from a fishing background? Can you wax lyrical about the moment when a football hits the back of the net? Are you a knitter?

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What I learned on a writing retreat

With all that time to do nothing but write, you have to deliver, don’t you? Nope. This mindset is guaranteed to make you freeze.

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The problems of updating

These days, online books get updated, and customers will get the newest version free of charge. Publishers want their contemporary fiction to be up-to-the-minute. But is there anything you can do to make updates unnecessary? Of course, it depends which genre you choose.

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A new leaf: writing and observation

Write a paragraph describing the leaf in as much detail as you can. The only rule is you’re not allowed to use the words ‘green’, ‘red’, ‘yellow’ or ‘brown’.

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What I’ve learned from travelling around the world (in short stories)

There’s a whole, diverse world of amazing fiction out there, and exploring it is a lot cheaper than other ways of travelling around the world.

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Ekphrastic Poetry

It’s easy to look at a painting, for example, Van Gogh’s yellow bed and chair,, and respond with words. You might write a short story or a narrative poem about someone, possibly Van Gogh himself, who lived here. You might write a poem reproducing what you see in the painting, or something slightly more philosophical about bedrooms and their owners. But what do you write when the painting you are looking at is abstract?

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When is a collection of short stories a novel?

It might seem obvious whether a book is a novel or a collection of short stories, yet I keep coming across books that seem to straddle both categories. So how can a book be both?

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Right up the bracket

Parentheticals in a script are mini descriptions put into dialogue (in brackets), usually to describe emotion, or what the character is doing while talking, or the way the character delivers the dialogue.

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