Creative Writing Strategies

This process is comparable to producing something delectable in the kitchen–any ingredient that you put into your bowl of dough impacts your finished loaf of bread.

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She loves cats and has two of them named Bailey and Allie.

She is a technical writing major with a minor in biology.

Jen plays the piano and is an amateur photographer.

She lives in the dorms at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Point of view is the narration of the story from the perspective of first, second, or third person.

An effective short story (or poem) does not simply record or express the author’s feelings; rather, it generates feelings in the reader.

(See “Show, Don’t (Just) Tell.”)Drawing on your own real-life experiences, such as winning the big game, bouncing back after an illness or injury, or dealing with the death of a loved one, are attractive choices for students who are looking for a “personal essay” topic.“We are already maxed out on our credit cards.”The second example is mechanically correct, since it uses a separate paragraph to present each speaker’s turn advancing the conversation.But the narrative material between the direct quotes is mostly useless.Dialogue is what your characters say to each other (or to themselves).Each speaker gets his/her own paragraph, and the paragraph includes whatever you wish to say about what the character is doing when speaking.Suppose you have a protagonist whose husband comes home one day and says he doesn’t love her any more and he is leaving.What are actions that can result from this situation?He will teach you more than any writing teacher or workshop ever could.In today’s fast-moving world, the first sentence of your narrative should catch your reader’s attention with the unusual, the unexpected, an action, or a conflict. Remember that short stories need to start close to their end.The first time I heard him, I stood in the bathroom listening at our shared wall for ten minutes, debating the wisdom of calling the police.It was very different from living in the duplex over middle-aged Mr. Brown and their two young sons in Duluth.“It is important to understand the basic elements of fiction writing before you consider how to put everything together.

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