Many writers go to university writing centers for help with academic writing, such as essays and assignments for classes, but what about creative writing? Writing centers, like the Oakland University Writing Center (OUWC), provide an invaluable resource to writers looking to improve their ability and their papers; however, many writers may not consider that the … Continue reading Using University Writing Centers as a Creative Writer
When describing a character’s feelings, skillful writers do not just “tell” the reader how the character feels. They “show” by using imagery. Imagery is a language that paints vivid pictures for the reader. It often appeals to the Five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Sight: how does it look? Sound: What does the … Continue reading Show and Tell
Ah, kids. They say the craziest things. They also tell the most interesting, compelling stories that make absolutely no sense at all. Or at least, I did when I was a kid. I have a box in my basement that’s just full of weird stories I wrote when I was younger—a kingdom of cats … Continue reading Why You Should Look Back at the Stories You Wrote as a Kid
Despite the occasional vague pronoun reference or f-bomb, I've always fancied myself a relatively articulate and polite English speaker (growing up so close to Canada has its consequences). En français, however, I undergo a Jekyll-like transformation from Midwestern Judith Martin to angry truck driver doing stand up for the French navy. A typical conversation is … Continue reading Sappho in Paris: The Poetic Value of Lexical Cosmopolitanism
They should be. Maybe not in the sense that their life is one big lie, or that they manipulate the people around them in order to achieve their goals. Although that is an option, I'm talking more specifically about the character lying to themselves. One of the best pieces of writing advice I've ever come … Continue reading Is Your Character a Liar?
Some people enjoy the lingering smell of petrichor before a rain, freshly cut lawns, gasoline, the sweet notes of vanilla and almond found in the underlying mustiness of old books. I always enjoy hearing about people's favorite scents because they tend to be anchored to memories fossilized in time; one of my friends loves the … Continue reading Remembering Zines: Rubber Cement, Cheese, and Doing Your Thing
In 2007, the comedian Mike Birbiglia released the album My Secret Public Journal. Incidentally, this was the year I started to write. I had listened to stand up before, but Mike’s was different. My experience with stand-up, up to this point, had been listening to Steven Wright on road trips with my dad. And while … Continue reading Learning Storytelling through Comedy
I believe that a writer ought to love and respect the English language in the same way that a musician ought to revere their instrument. Jimi Hendrix would not have been able to make the spell-binding music that he did if he didn’t respect his instrument, granted, he wasn’t the most technically polished guitarist, and … Continue reading Grammatical Mistakes You Shouldn’t Be Making Anymore
None of us read enough. None of us write enough. I know that I don’t, and I’m not alone. I have been asking my creative writing students how much they would like to read and write, and how much they do read and write. Not one student has replied that she spends as much time … Continue reading How to Be a Great Writer? Turn Off Your Phone. How to Develop a Writing and Reading Habit in an Age of Distractions
It's been awhile since we've posted any creative writing themed posts so we've compiled a list of our most popular writing posts to help our readers and fellow writers avoid writer's block and stay inspired. First, get started with Music in Set the Mood and Set the Stage: Instrumental Music for Writing In this blog post, … Continue reading 5 Creative Writing Blog Posts That You Might’ve Missed!