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Publishing of Book:The Art and Craft of Creative Writing

Art-and-Craft-of-Creative-Writing_cover Thanks for visiting my blog for  the past four years. During that time, I’ve read and learned about the writing life, poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction. I have read many books, learned a great deal, and written a couple hundred craft essays. In January of this year, I decided to write a book based on what I have learned. And so from April until a couple of weeks ago, I wrote a how-to creative writing eBook. It is called “The Art and Craft of Creative Writing.” It is based on what I have learned. To purchase the book, visit http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F4VOYRK

The book is more than 400 pages long and includes the following chapters chapters:

 Table of Content

  • About the Author 3
  • Introduction. 4
  • THE WRITING LIFE. 7
  • The Art and Craft of Writing. 8
  • The Writing Life: Journal Writing. 16
  • The Writing Life: Reading Like a Writer 19
  • The Writing Life: Learning to Write Creatively. 24
  • The Writing Life: Finding Inspiration to Write. 29
  • Ten Myths about Writing. 33
  • Writer’s Block. 36
  • The Writing Life: Developing Your Writing Voice. 39
  • Blogging as a Form of Creative Writing. 44
  • The Writing Process. 49
  • Writing the Opening. 54
  • Writing the Ending. 57
  • Revising Your Work. 60
  • WRITING FREE VERSE POETRY.. 65
  • Poetry: An Overview.. 66
  • Free Verse Poetry: An Overview.. 74
  • The Title of a Poem.. 80
  • Finding Inspiration and a Subject for Your Poem.. 83
  • Writing Free Verse: Stanza, Line, Syntax. 87
  • Writing Free Verse: Word Choice. 93
  • Writing Free Verse: Adding Sensory Details. 96
  • Writing Free Verse: Using Figurative Language. 100
  • Writing Free Verse: Adding Sound Effects. 104
  • Writing Free Verse: Meter and Rhythm.. 108
  • Writing the Prose Poem.. 113
  • Learning to Write Free Verse Poetry. 116
  • WRITING SHORT FICTION.. 123
  • Writing Short Fiction: An Overview.. 124
  • Writing Short Fiction: Creating the Setting. 130
  • Writing Short Fiction: The Plot 134
  • Writing Short Fiction: Character and Characterization. 139
  • Writing Short Fiction: Dialogue. 144
  • Writing Short Fiction: Point of View.. 148
  • Writing Short Fiction: The Theme. 152
  • Writing Short Fiction: Literary Techniques and Poetic Devices. 155
  • Writing Short Fiction: Voice and Writing Style. 161
  • Writing Short Fiction: Beginning and Ending. 166
  • How to Write a Short Story. 170
  • WRITING CREATIVE NONFICTION.. 176
  • Writing Creative Nonfiction: An Overview.. 177
  • The Ethics of Creative Nonfiction. 184
  • Writing Creative Nonfiction: Using Humour in Your Writing. 189
  • Writing Creative Nonfiction: The Personal Narrative Essay. 194
  • Writing Creative Nonfiction: The Opinion Essay. 202
  • Writing Creative Nonfiction: The Meditative Essay. 209
  • Writing Creative Nonfiction: The Lyrical Essay. 215
  • Writing Creative Nonfiction: The Segmented Essay. 219
  • Writing Creative Nonfiction: The Literary Journalism Essay. 224
  • The Literary Journalism Essay: On Popular Culture. 229
  • Writing Creative Nonfiction: Narrative History. 237
  • The Literary Journalism Essay: The Global Village. 243
  • Writing Creative Nonfiction: The Profile/Biography Sketch. 248

For anyone who desires to embrace the writing life, write free verse poetry, write short fiction, write creative nonfiction, such as the personal essays, and more, this book is for you. It is filled with advice, tips, suggestions, how-to explanations, and more. You can buy it at Amazon for $7.00. To purchase the book, visit:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F4VOYRK I will not be making any more posts to this blog. It is time for another project. Good luck in your writing endeavors. Dave Hood,B.A.

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Creative Writing Q & A

A few Answers to Your Questions

Q: What is creative writing?

A: It is writing that expresses your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It is writing about the human condition and human experience. It is writing that is original or authentic. It is writing that is meant to entertain. It is poetry, fiction, nonfiction, screen play, drama, book reviews, movie reviews, and much more.

 

Q: Who should become a creative writer?

A: Anyone who loves to write. Anyone who is interested in writing poetry, fiction, personal essay, memoir, articles, or screen writing. Anyone who wants to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions, or aspires to write about the human condition or human experience.

 

Q:What skills and knowledge do I need to become a creative writing?

A:First, you must be able to write well. By this, I mean that you need to know the rules of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style. If you don’t, you ought to purchase a grammar book and read The Elements of Style, a classic, by Strunk and White.

Secondly, you need to be able to write creatively, using imagery, simile, metaphor, and other literary devices. If you don’t know how, learn the elements of poetry and figures of speech, like simile, metaphor, hyperbole, irony, and so forth.

Thirdly, you should know how to analyze and write a poem, analyze and write fiction, design and write an article, person essay, and memoir.

 Fourthly, you should read the Western Canon, great literary novels by Shakespeare, Dickens, Milton, and others. You should also read the popular novels of the twentieth century.

Lastly, you should read creative nonfiction. A good place to start is by reading “The New Yorker” magazine.

If you do nothing else, read widely and deeply, and write each day.

 

 Q: How do I get educated in this field?

A: You can take workshops, courses, or attend conferences. You can also get a degree with a major in creative writing. Or you can get a Masters Degree in creative writing. If you don’t want to attend a course or get a degree, there is self-study. At the very least, read widely and deeply, write each day in a personal journal, and learn how to write poetry, fiction, essays, personal essays, and articles.

 

 Q: Where can I find resources on creative writing?

A: The easiest way is to browse through the writing section of your local bookstore. Another way is to search for creative writing books on Amazon. Two popular books you should have are “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser and “The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White.

 You should also buy yourself a good dictionary, such as “Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.” As well, you should purchase a book of quotations. A good one is “The Yale Book of Quotations.” And finally, you need a thesaurus. One of the best ones available is “The Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus.”

 Publications that you should read each month are “Poets and Writers ” magazine (  www.pw.org/ ), “The Writer Magazine” (www.writermag.com ), “Writers Digest” (www.writersdigest.com ), and “The New Yorker” (www.newyorker.com )

If you have any questions, please contact me at davehood59@gmail.com .

Blogging as a Form of Creative Writing

Why You Should Use a Blog to Practise Your Writing

A creative writer is anybody who writes a personal journal, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, such as a personal essay, memoir, article, or essay. And with the dawn of Web 2.0, Internet users now have a new way to write creatively—by blogging. Here are seven reasons why every creative writer should blog:

  1. A blog can be your online journal or Web diary. You can write about your day-to-day life, significant events, your opinions, views, thoughts, or feeling. Essentially, a blog allows you to write aboug anything.
  2. Blogging is a great way to practise or experiment with your writing. The blog allows you to write poetry, a personal essay, even a short story. As well, you can use your blog as a personal journal, which is one of the easiest ways to begin creative writing. Furthermore, your blog allows you to experiment with style and diction and different writing formats. For instance, the other day, I posted a Q & A. I had never done this before. So, the experience allowed me to learn something new about writing.
  3. A blog is a useful way of organizing your writing. You can arrange your posts by category. As well, each post includes a date and a title, which provides you and your readers with an easy way to find the post.
  4. A blog can be an online scrapbook. You can add links to content that inspires you, or embed photos or video clips in your posts.
  5. A blog is a permanent record of your work. Unless you delete your blog or your post, your blog allows you to permanently store your work.  Each time you save your writing , it is stored on the Web.
  6. Your blog can be public or private. Most blogging software includes a feature that allows you to determine whether you want others to read your blog.
  7. A blog allows you to write or post content—- anything that is creative. You can post your poetry, short stories, personal essays, photos, commentary, opinions, video clips to your blog, and so forth. Essentially, you can include any content that expresses your creativity.

I am sure that there are other reasons for aspiring writers to blog. These are the ones that I came up with. The most important reason to blog is to practise and experiment with your writing.

If you have any other reasons why writers should blog, please post a comment or contact me at davehood59@gmail.com.

Creating Your Blog

A few Suggestions on How to Create a Blog

You have decided to blog, but you don’t know how to go about doing it. In this article, I provide some suggestions.

Before you start blogging, the first thing you should do is find out what topics people are blogging about. You can use Technorati (  www.technorati.com  ), a blog search engine. Ideally, you will want to blog about something original or authentic. You also want to blog about something you are passionate about. Many people create personal blogs to write about their lives.

After you decided what to blog about, you need to choose the tool for creating your blog. There are many tools available on the Web. Some will cost you a monthly fee, such as  www.typepad.com . Others are free. Two free tools are Google Blogs (  www.googleblog.com  ) and WordPress (  www.wordpress.com ) .

Once you have chosen your your blog-building software or tool, you need to learn how to use it. For the most part, the software is user friendly—you can learn how to use its features in 30 minutes. First, you will be asked to choose a domain name, theme, login and password, and title for your blog. Then, you should learn how to post content, archive content, upload photos, and upload video. After you have learned how to use the tools, you are ready to build your blog.

Creating your blog is easy. For instance, with WordPress, all you need to do is choose your domain name, fill out some personal information, and then select a theme and a few features—and then you are ready to start blogging.

Popular features you should include on your blog are search functionality, which allows others to find content on your blog. You should also include the archive feature, which allows you to save content to different categories. Another feature you should include is the Page feature, which allows you provide information about your blog on a tabbed page. And you feature you should include is the RSS feed option (Really Simple Syndication), to allow others to get updates to their Blog reader (software for reading content on a blog)

Before you begin blogging, you should learn a few simple techniques for writing content to the Web. Because people scan or skim Web pages for interesting or useful information, you need to make your content scannable. Here is how: Use headings and subheadings. Break long paragraphs into short paragraphs. Highlight important words. Summarize the article in the first paragraph. Use bulleted and numbered lists.

Blogging can be a marvellous way to write creatively. All you need to do is select your blog-building tool, learn how to use the tool, create your blog, learn how to write for the Web, and then start blogging.

Writing for the Web

A Few Tips on How to Write Web Content

The Canada Press Stylebook (14th edition), states that “many people are now turning to the Internet to get news and information.” And most people who read content on the Web scan the text instead of reading each word. When something interesting is discovered, the person stops skimming and reads more closely, usually word for word.

Furthermore, reading Web content is not as easy as reading paper-based news and information. Reading is slower and often the reader’s eyes become tired.

As well, most people suffer from “information overload.” There is just too much information available in print and digital form for a person to read everything of interest.

Therefore, it is important that anyone who posts content to a blog or Website ensures that their content is easy to read. To do this, the content must be scannable.

Here are a few tips on how to write Web content:

  1. Use headings and subheadings to introduce information that follows. Your topic should have a heading or headline. Each subtopic should have a subheading.
  2. Introduce your topic with a summary. Before reading the topic, readers will often want to know what it is about. So, include a summary in the first paragraph. You can do this by using the inverted paragraph approach.
  3. Chunk information. In other words, break long paragraphs into short paragraphs. A paragraph shouldn’t be longer than five or six lines.
  4. Highlight key words. You can do this by using bold text. Be sure to highlight important terms, concepts, and information. And be sure that you use bold text for headings and subheadings.
  5. Use bulleted and number lists. To give instructions, use a numbered list. To provide information of related importance, use a bulleted list.
  6. Use a caption for each photograph.  A photograph is a splendid way of describing something that cannot easily be said in words. Yet, if you don’t make reference to the photograph in your text, the reader often doesn’t understand the significance of the photo. So, for each picture that you post to a Website or blog, use a caption or introduction to describe the content of the photograph.
  7. Write in a conversational tone. To do this, use contractions (can’t, don’t, won’t.). Also, use the “you” point of view. And use everyday language, or the language that your audience understands. Writing in a conversational tone is easier to read and the content is shorter than a formal “corporate speak” tone.
  8. Use hyperlinks for related material. This makes it easy for the reader to find related information. As well, you won’t need to include the related information in your Web content. All the reader needs to do is click the link. Be sure that the related information is of value to the reader.
  9. If your content includes related information that is not yours, be sure to “source” it. You can do this by making a reference to the website where the content is posted, or inserting a link to the related content, or by mentioning the name of the person who created the content. If the content was written by you, be sure that you add your name.

Next, I will provide you with some information on tools and resources that you can use to blog.

What You Should Know About Blogging

Nine Tips On Blogging

So, you want to show off your writing skills and expertise by blogging, but you don’t know how to get started. Here are nine tips:

  1. Choose a niche that you are passionate about and interested in.  There are three types of blogs you can create: personal, professional, or corporate. Those who write personal blogs, write about their personal life and interests. Those who writer professional blogs, post topics related to their work. Those who write corporate blogs write about the company’s products and services. Most people who read this will be aspiring writers or established writers who desire to write a personal or professional blog, such as writing about a book you are publishing.
  2. Find out what others are blogging about. You can use several tools to search for blogs on what others are writing about. The most popular search engine is www.techorati.com . Another popular blog search engine is www.googleblog.com
  3. Read other blogs. After conducting your search, visit the blogs that are of interest to you, and then read the posted content to find out what topics bloggers are writing about.
  4. Define the purpose of your blog. Conduct a brainstorming session to determine what you are going write about. For instance, you might decide to write book reviews, provide tips on writing, or post your poetry.
  5. Determine what features and categories you want to include on your blog. In terms of features, most blogs include a search option that enables readers to search for content on your blog. Most blogs also include an RSS feed, which allows readers to be notified when you add new content to your blog. As far as content goes, most blogs include an archive for old posts, and a list of categories of topics the blogger is writing about, as well as the posts the blogger writes and the responses from readers.
  6. Select a domain name. This is the name of your blog, a name that users will need to type to view your blog. Some well known blog names include www.huntington.com. Be sure to select a domain name that grabs you reader’s attention and a name they can remember. For instance, I choose the domain name “Carpdiemblogger.com”
  7. Choose your blogging software. There are many tools available. Two of the most popular are www.wordpress.com and www.googleblogger.com. Both of these tools are free. Before deciding to build your blog with the blogging tools, be sure to find out what features. For instance, can they create a search function or RSS feed on your blog.
  8. Learn how to write for the Web. Before you write your first post, learn how to write for the web. It is different than writing paper-based content. Because readers scan news and information on the Web, you must write content that can be read quickly. Briefly, here is how: Write headlines that tell the reader what the content is about. Use bold text for headings and important information. Break long paragraphs into short paragraphs of four or five lines. Use bulleted and numbered lists. Summarize content in the introduction. Link to related information.
  9. Write your post. Each post should include a date and heading or headline. Use a format that includes an introduction, middle, and ending. Write in a friendly and conversational tone. Use language your readers understand. Keep it short.

Next, I will explain a few terms, related to blogging, that you should know.