Writing Resources

The Creative Writing Club at Penn Highlands spent two semesters sharing our favorite writing aids and sources of inspiration with one another. With a new semester just beginning, it’s a good time to gather all those helpful resources in one place. Share your favorite writing tools down in the comments! Not sure what to write about? The Time Is Now offers three writing prompts every week in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Abulafia collects random generators for pretty much any facet of storytelling you could ask for to help jump-start your writing. Story Cubes and Nanofictionary were favorite storytelling games at our writing club … Continue reading Writing Resources

More on Character

We’re all hard at work on our character trait lists (or interviews, or spreadsheets, or whatever route you’ve chosen) for Friday. I can’t wait to meet everybody’s characters, but I’m having more trouble than I expected boiling mine down to traits on a list without going off on a lot of tangents. So I started looking around the internet for useful tips from established writers. Here’s Chuck Wendig on two nifty visual aids for writing characters: the mind map—a sort of visual-meets-textual reference of multiple characters’ basic traits—and a purely visual collection of abstract images that call to mind who a … Continue reading More on Character

Mapmaking and Worldbuilding

We had a great worldbuilding discussion during our most recent meeting. One of our writers brought in a map of her current fantasy project, and it was clear from the details that she’d put a lot of thought into how her world is organized. Geological features, place names, coded symbols serving as shorthand descriptors for different nations and societies—she’d even spent time researching river basins in order to draw a detailed hub of the world. She’d generated an indispensable reference tool that will help her keep track of not only the physical facts of her world but also the potential … Continue reading Mapmaking and Worldbuilding

Tips and Tools for NaNoWriMo (and Beyond!)

I found a great podcast this morning and it practically flicked a switch in my brain. I was getting ready for work and wondering if I’d ever find the time to write today—or, more honestly, make the time—and then suddenly I was scribbling like mad. I don’t normally have the attention span for podcasts, but I’m a huge fan of some of the writers involved in Writing Excuses and the episodes are blessedly short—usually around fifteen minutes long. They also put out even shorter episodes for November, because it’s even harder to make time for podcasts when you’re trying to … Continue reading Tips and Tools for NaNoWriMo (and Beyond!)

Online Writing Resources

Recently a few of us met and were discussing writing tools–or toys, in some cases. We played a few storytelling games–Nanofictionary and Story Cubes–to get things flowing and talked about how useful these sorts of games can be for creating a low-pressure opportunity for a writer to break out of their comfort zone and practice writing outside the box. I thought I’d make a space here to share a few other storytelling tools I’ve used in the past. If coming up with ideas is where you struggle, The Time Is Now offers weekly writing prompts in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. … Continue reading Online Writing Resources