Looking for tips on creative writing craft and techniques? We’ve collected our most informative articles on both the craft of writing and the best creative writing techniques—all here, in one convenient place.
You’ll find great advice on: characterization, writing description, showing vs.
telling, beginnings, endings, sagging middles, and much more.
We also cover many creative writing techniques for authors of novels (and all books), poetry, short stories, personal essays, memoir, and other nonfiction.
If you like our Writing Craft And Technique Tool Kit, be sure to check out our additional free Publishing Tool Kits, available via the Leads & Tips drop-down menu on our navigation bar!
Why Your Opening Pages Are Key To Landing A Literary Agent—Not convinced that your first five pages need to display your very best writing techniques? Five Tips For Your First Five Pages—Make the opening pages of your book shine with these important craft tips.
5 Things Novelists Can Learn From Screenwriters—Here’s your ticket to the blockbuster plotting and characterization techniques of screenwriters.
5 Tips For Creating A Strong Excerpt From Your Novel Or Memoir—Excerpts can help you get your book published!
Here’s how to create a buzz-worthy stand-alone excerpt.
7 Best-Seller Elements To Make Literary Agents Want Your Book—Have you crafted a book with strong popular appeal? The Book That Everyone Will Love: Writing For Young Adult And Adult Audiences—Some authors can write books that appeal to young and old readers alike; here are the key techniques for reaching such a wide audience.
Will Your Characters’ Love Story Stand The Test Of Time? 7 Tips For Writing Realistic War Stories—Writing about war can be tricky: Some readers might be sensitive about graphic depictions of war and violence; others may have a hard time understanding what’s happening if you don’t go into detail. —While romances, mysteries, and sci-fi novels often have pretty clear characteristics, women’s fiction is so wide, the parameters are difficult to define. Here’s what to do if a literary agent or editor demands a change to your writing. Know What To Call Your Story Or Book—First things first: What is it that you’re writing, exactly? —Not sure that your writing is really, um, “prosey” enough to be called prose? How To Write A Good First Line (For Books, Novels, Short Stories, Essays, and Articles)—Start off write—we mean, —with these first line techniques.
4 Creative Essentials For Better Sports Writing—You might think that writing about sports is limited to news articles and sound bites. HINT: Learn more about staying motivated and inspired while you improve your writing craft and technique! Point of View Techniques—Few decisions are as important as deciding who should tell your story.
But with the right training (and eating your Wheaties), you can develop the skills to write about sports creatively and effectively. Here’s how you choose the right POV for the right tale.
Sex And Literary Journals: Are Your Sex Scenes Killing Your Shot At Publication? “Show, Don’t Tell”: This Essential Craft Axiom Finally Explained—All writers have heard, “show, don’t tell.” Here’s how to make this timeless writing technique work for you. I Have A Dream: 8 Heart-Stopping Rhetorical Techniques Of King’s Speech—MLK might be the king of rhetorical techniques; all these years later, he still has lots to teach writers!
—You’ve heard the old maxim “sex sells.” But when it comes to submitting to literary journals, your sex scenes might just be too much of a good thing! The Goldilocks Approach To Writing Description: Not Too Little, Not Too Much—Some descriptions go on too long. 5 Strategies You Can Use To Get The Most Out Of A Writing Prompt—Use these writing techniques to turn a simple writing prompt response into a masterpiece! Setting: Using Scene To Enrich Your Writing Craft—Set the scene for a great story or poem by focusing on your setting.
9 Key Elements Of Great Endings For Books And Stories—Here are the writing techniques that will show you how to take your ending from good to great. —Read up on ways to write sex scenes in mainstream fiction. The Craft Of Fear Mongering: How (And Why) To Scare Your Readers—Many people love reading something scary! How To Pick The Right Names For Your Characters—It can be hard to come up with the right name for your characters; here’s how to choose!
Here’s how to amp up the fear factor, whether you’re writing about zombies or family picnics. Main Characters: How To Kill Your Protagonist Without Killing Your Fanbase—If you’re going to kill your MC, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.
How To Write Fiction Based On Real Life—Is your true story the stuff of fairy tales or nightmares? Stop Sagging Middle Syndrome: 5 Plot Devices That Will Amp Up Your Story—Whether you’re writing a short story, memoir, or novel, you’ll need to keep readers turning the pages, especially through the middle of your story. Character Development In Stories And Novels—New to the concept of character development? 5 Ways To Make Your Characters More Three-Dimensional—Flat characters are forgettable. Fictional Politicians: 8 Things They Teach Us About Effective Characterization Techniques—Politicians are perennial favorites with readers—and with good reason!
Dazzle readers with well-rounded characters using these writer techniques. Cast your vote for the most useful writing craft tips here! Genre Fiction Rules: Find Out If Your Novel Meets Publishers’ And Literary Agents’ Criteria For Publication—Once you’ve mastered your craft and technique, be sure to master your book genre (including word count)!
5 Ways To Craft Characters That People Care About—Sympathetic characters are compelling characters. Characters We Love To Hate: How To Pull Off Unlikable Characters—We love to read about cringe-worthy characters. Mail Call: Should A Writer Finish His/Her Book Before Submitting? How Do You Know If Your Novel Is Literary Or Mainstream Fiction? Craft plays a key role in deciding whether a book is literary or mainstream (commercial). How To Revise Your Novel—Are you in the beginning stages of revision? Think Like A Doctor: Diagnose And Cure What Ails Your Book—Grab your stethoscope and listen to these time-honored techniques of self-editing.
The One Thing All Great Love Stories Have In Common—And What It Means To Your Writing—If you’re crafting anything with a romantic element, you must know this important writing technique.
Words And Phrases You Don’t Hear Anymore—We’ve dusted off some of the more unique words and phrases you don’t hear anymore!
Perhaps some of these will add a sense of nostalgia or historic accuracy to a story or poem you’re writing.
How To Write A Happy Ending That Doesn’t Fall Flat (A Checklist)—You’ve undoubtedly experienced the unhappiness of a quickly resolved, artificial happy ending.
When writing a book or story, don’t let your eagerness to please your audience backfire! Take this quiz to see if your couple’s romance will resonate.
Writer’s Relief is an author’s submission service that has been helping creative writers get published since 1994. All Genres | Better Prose | Memorable Characters | Books | Poetry | Short Story | Essay Sentence Length: The Power Of Placing Periods—With good technique, your period placement can have a big impact on readers. Repurposing Words: Surprise Your Readers With Unusual Word Choices—Craft exciting sentences by using unexpected, creative words.
Putting Verve In Your Verbs—Let’s zero in on your verbiage, or verb usage, and harness the tremendous power of active verbs!
How To Find Your Voice As A Writer—If you’re trying to find your voice as a writer, you’re not alone.
How To Write A Great First Line (With 12 Unforgettable Examples)—Here are some examples of first lines from literature that offer great insight into opening line techniques.
How To Craft A Great Title For Your Book (Or Story Or Poem)—A weak title can deter editors and agents before they read a single sentence of your work. The Forgotten Fifth Sense: Are You Making Use Of This Little Used Writing Technique?
—Most writers routinely use four of the five senses. 9 Rhetorical Devices You’ve Never Heard Of But Might Already Be Using—In addition to familiar rhetorical devices like metaphor and alliteration, many literary techniques with obscure-sounding names also add impact to your writing.
In fact, you’re probably already using them—at least occasionally!
Creating Mood And Atmosphere In Your Writing—To become a better writer, you need a conscious, practical sense of the tools you can use to manipulate mood, atmosphere, and tone in your writing.
Be Honest: 5 Self-Editing Tips For Increased Objectivity—It can be hard to “see” your own writing as it truly is. Mail Call: Is It Okay To Reuse Phrases From Your Own Work? The Moral Of The Story: 7 Tips For Socially Or Politically Conscious Creative Writing—If you want to influence the world with your writing, you need to be well-informed, bold, and aware of your own predispositions and intentions.