Have you ever read (or written) a story where you or your readers have a difficult time picturing the action and the setting? The writer is so focused on the characters, dialogue, and action, that they forget to tell us where the characters are. It's like the characters are floating heads. They're talking and acting...somewhere [...]
Where Teens Write is closing its doors as a teen writing community, but the “how to write” blog posts will be up for another few weeks.
I’m happy to announce that you can post your stories and get feedback over at Teen Author’s Journal. Like WTW, it’s a smaller community where you can build relationships with others and hone your writing skills.
It’s been a great few years with all of you, but it’s time to close the doors to this community. If you did post stories here that you didn’t save anywhere else, and you’d like them, you may contact me using the contact page, and I’ll get you your story. Thank you for participating.
All the best,
The setting of a story is one of those fiction elements that we imagine vividly in our heads but sometimes it's hard to remember to put it down on paper. In my writing group, when I read a piece that has great dialogue and solid action, I'm always the one who asks, "Now, where are [...]
Throughout 2014, we posted on the blog (almost) every Thursday. The posts included both creative writing instruction and inspiration for all you teen writers out there Reviewing all of the posts was actually kind of fun, and I was surprised at how much content is on the site from 2014. Check some of the posts [...]
In the most interesting stories, characters change. In fact, that's a basic tenet of good storytelling: a character should end up in a different place emotionally from where they started. Think about Harry Potter. He starts off the series as an eleven year old boy who feels unloved and not at all like someone who [...]
Look around your room, or if you're not in it, think about it. What does it say about you? Is it neat and tidy? Do your clothes hang in neatly color-coordinated chunks in your closet? Or, is there a layer of dirty (or clean) clothes covering the floor? Do you have stinky cleats and workout [...]
If you've ever run in a race (or even watched one), you know about pace. If you start out too fast, you'll burn out by the end, but if you start out too slow, you'll never catch up to the pack. You have to pace yourself in order to compete. Writing a story is no [...]
For the past few weeks, I've been writing about how to best develop the setting in your story. There's still a few more posts coming in the series, but today, let's try to put some of the ideas we've been discussing into practice. We can talk about how to write all day long, but if [...]
Story settings not only encompasses "where" a story takes place but also "when" it takes place which could refer to the time of day, the day of the week, the month, the season, or even the year. Maybe your story takes place during a snowstorm at night in the year 2014. Or maybe it takes [...]
When we think of setting, we automatically think of "where" the story is taking place. I'm sure that in all of your stories, you've mentioned where the action takes place, whether it's in a forest, at school, at home, or even in a restaurant. The possibilities are endless, so how do you choose? The first [...]
Setting is the when and where of your story. On the surface, it can seem simplistic, maybe even boring. Who wants to read long pages of description? Those are the pages that as readers we skim over until "something starts happening." Ever done that? If it's so boring and basic, why focus on it when [...]
You've got an amazing story idea. You can picture it in your head perfectly, but then you start to write. You quickly realize that setting a story in lower Manhattan in New York City or the dry, white salt flats in western Utah might pose a challenge. You've never been there. Does this mean you [...]
I hope everyone is either having (or had) a happy Spring Break! I had the opportunity to go snorkeling this week. If you've never snorkeled, basically you float on top of the ocean and stare down into a completely other world. Everything about it is different than what you hear or see above the surface [...]
One of the loveliest elements of a great novel is to be carried away to a new place, to really live that place and time. That’s one of the reasons we all read. However, writers don’t place their stories in a mere setting, they create entire worlds. It’s actually one of the truly fun parts [...]
One of the loveliest elements of a great novel is to be carried away to a new place, to really live that place and time. That’s one of the reasons we all read. However, novelists don’t place their novels in a mere setting, they create entire worlds. It’s actually one of the truly fun parts [...]