Divining Your Next Tale

Feeling uninspired, or unable to find a form for your inspiration? Try divining your next story. Whether or not you believe in the supernatural, divining methods like tarot cards and runes are a powerful tool for figuring out – and bringing depth to – your…

Stream-of-Consciousness Writing

The book The Artist’s Way recommends completing three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing each morning to clear your head for the day. Try writing those three pages, but focusing on your story. Remember, this is not writing that anyone is ever going to read. You’re just…

Shakespeare as Icon

The graphic designer Richard Evans has come up with a series of clever representations of Shakespeare’s play. To see them, click here, then click on “Design Portfolio.” On the red bar, click on “oddities,” then on the fourth square. Now scroll over the numbers to…

Outlines: A Bird’s Eye View

Many writers draw up outlines prior to starting a story, and many others groan at the thought. But whether you start writing when you have a fully formed plot or only a few lines of dialogue, an outline can be a useful tool in revision.…

The First Rule of Improv

The first rule of improv is to always say “yes,” in one form or another. In other words, when improvising a scene with a partner, if she says, “Omigod! Look at that huge purple elephant!” you can say, “Eeeeek!” or “Let’s go for a ride,”…

Character: Building a Persona in the SCA

Members of the Society for Creative Anachronism “recreate” the Middle Ages at various events, feasts, and game-like battles throughout the year. Each member creates a medieval persona for him or herself, which might be extremely detailed and well-developed. The title link (by Modar Neznanich) describes…

Read Aloud

Have you every read your favorite story out load? Try reading aloud to others, yourself, or even your dog. (He may not understand, but will appreciate your voice.) Poetry is almost always best appreciated aloud, but so are many narratives. Kids love to hear stories…

Postsecret

Need inspiration for a story? Try Postsecret. A spinoff from two books of the same name, this website invites individuals to share their own secrets: “You are invited to anonymously contribute your secrets to PostSecret. Each secret can be a regret, hope, funny experience, unseen…