Tip of the Day, Creative Writing Tips

Our creative writing tips are short, helpful tidbits of information that you can apply to your writing right away. Use our Tip of the Day for easy-to-apply advice that you can use to improve your writing or help you get published.

book proposal | publish a nonfiction book

Writing a Nonfiction Book Proposal: Sample Chapters

In today’s writing tip Sharlene Martin and Anthony Flacco, authors of Publish Your Nonfiction Book, discuss one of the nine essential elements to a book proposal–sample chapters. Always begin with your first chapter. It’s never a good idea to toss chapter 6 at them for your writing sample and hope no one notices. If...

Writing a Book: Types of Characters | Revision & Self-Editing James Scott Bell

Writing Fiction: The Three Types of Lead Characters

Today’s writing tip comes from Write Great Fiction: Revision & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell. If you are writing a fiction book, you’ll need to create a strong lead character for your story and one readers can relate to. Writing Lead Characters There are three types of Lead characters: The Positive Lead. This is...

setting in writing | between the lines

Six Reasons For Using An Epilogue

You need a clear reason for writing an epilogue, and it cannot be used to simply tie up loose ends, which you should do during your falling action. Without a proper purpose for including one, an epilogue might come across as anti-climatic deadweight, inadvertently signaling to your reader that you’re afraid your ending is...

careers for english majors | freelance writing skills

The 3 Skills Every Successful Freelance Writer Must Have

Today’s writing tip discusses freelancing for a living. If you are thinking about becoming a freelance writer and wondering what skills you need to survive within the freelancing world, today’s writing tip from I’m an English Major–Now What? can help. Whether you are writing, editing, or both, being a freelancer is a challenging enterprise....

fiction writing | scene length

4 Questions To Ask Yourself When Writing Scenes

Today’s writing tip comes from Make a Scene by Jordan E. Rosenfeld and focuses on scene intentions, or goals for your protagonist. Read on to learn four questions to ask yourself when writing scenes to help your protagonist achieve his/her goal in every scene. A Character’s Intentions in a Scene An important way you...

book in a month | how to write a book in a month

Writing the Book You Were Meant to Write

Today’s tip of the day comes from Setting and Keeping Goals, a chapter in Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. Here she discusses how to write the book you were meant to write. If you are aware ahead of time that you may be working on a story that is not in...

fiction writing | getting published

The 21 Key Traits of Best-Selling Fiction

Do you wonder want readers want? In today’s writing tip, you’ll discover the 21 key traits of best-selling fiction excerpted from The Writer’s Little Helper by James V. Smith, Jr. The 21 Key Traits of Best-Selling Fiction Utility (writing about things that people will use in their lives) Information (facts people must have to...

writing a life story | how to write nonfiction

3 Steps For Overcoming Writer’s Block

This writing tip addresses overcoming writer’s block and is excerpted from You Don’t Have to Be Famous by Steve Zousmer.  Being stuck at the start creates a special kind of frustration. Before you can even get going, you are tangled in knots, immobilized, virtually paralyzed. Your skills and bright ideas desert you like rats...

grammatically correct the essential guide | how to improve your writing skills

4 Techniques For Improving Your Writing Style

Today’s tip of the day comes from Grammatically Correct and describes some techniques for improving your writing style and for assessing how well your efforts are succeeding. Not all these strategies will be right for everyone, but it can’t hurt to at least consider them. Focus on the whole as well as the parts...

WM Companion

Marketing a Screenplay

If you don’t have an agent, and have no contacts in the business, you can still market your script on your own. Before you try, however, take one preparatory step: Register your script with the Writer’s Guild of America. Registration provides a dated record of the writer’s claim to authorship and can be used...

object poem | how to write an object poem

Spotlight On: Object Poems

Are you interested in writing poetry? There are many different types of poetry, but today’s writing tip spotlights object poems. Discover what an object poem is and see examples of object poems from The Poetry Dictionary, written by John Drury. What is an Object Poem? A poem about an inanimate object. It may give...

writing a novel | novel writing mistakes

Avoiding Cliches in Writing

Don’t write another cliché novel or use clichés in your novel (here are some cliche examples)! Learn what to avoid from 179 Ways to Save a Novel by Peter Selgin. A writer’s job is to write stories—not to steal or borrow them and, with a coat of fresh paint, pawn them off as original....

how to show and tell in writing | turning points

Scene Structure: How to Write Turning Points

Are you in the middle of writing your story and wondering how to write a scene that indicates a turning point? Learn about turning points and how to show them within your story from Laurie Alberts, author of Showing & Telling. Turning points in the action or the character’s emotions must be rendered in...