How to Make Your Sentences More Descriptive

Today’s guest post is by Jordan Conrad.

The purpose of writing is to communicate information. This is true for writing of all types—for fiction and nonfiction, for creative and technical, for business and legal.

A work of fiction communicates information by telling a story, while an email to an employee communicates information in a much more direct way.

In either case, the author accomplishes the goal of information sharing by using descriptive language to convey detail.

Here is a passage that isn’t very descriptive:

  • Beth first met her spouse in California.

The sentence is fine grammatically, but it isn’t very interesting. What were they doing in California? How did they meet? Did they fall in love head over heels, or did their relationship grow over time as they got to know one another? Continue Reading…

10 Ways to Spark Your Story Ideas

Today’s guest post is by Chrys Fey.

Artists are naturally afraid that their well of ideas will dry up and they won’t ever get another good idea. All you need is a spark. The good news is a spark can be anything and found anywhere.

I started writing when I was a little girl, after I found a rusted screw with a crooked tip hidden in the grass. At first I had hoped it was a key to a secret place, as I was very much enamored with the idea of having my very own secret garden.

Funny enough, I wasn’t disappointed when I noticed I held a screw, not a key. Instead, the gears in my mind started to spin, and I wondered: What if this screw is a just screw in my world but a key in another world? What if it’s the key to another world? I started to imagine what that world would be like. And just like that, I had a story idea.

But what if you wrote your one good story idea already, and you’ve been anxiously waiting for another one to arrive? Now you fear you won’t ever get another decent idea. Continue Reading…

Think Small to Avoid Writer’s Block

Today’s post is by Jane Anne Staw

I recently gave a talk at a writers’ conference on thinking small to avoid writer’s block. After the talk, one of the participants approached me, laughing. “I know you’re right about small and writing. I went away for a month to finish my book. I promised myself a drink at the end of each writing day. By the second week, I wasn’t getting any writing done, so I decided that a drink at noon was OK. By the third week, when I still wasn’t writing, I told myself that a mimosa at breakfast was just fine!”

Many writers I’ve worked with have made similar discoveries about leaving too much time to write. By setting aside one month to write all day every day, the writer at the conference was thinking much too large. Very few writers can keep up their writing momentum for a full eight hours, day after day.

Not only can most writers not sustain this grueling momentum, committing themselves to this much writing time each day has a negative effect: it churns up a writer’s anxiety, making it much more difficult to sit down and write. That’s why, by the third week, the writer from the conference had not gotten any writing done. Continue Reading…

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