Tag Archives: creative constraints

Free Your Writing With Limits


I love a good paradox and this is one of my favorites: the best way to set your creativity free is to impose creative constraints. Poets do it all the time. The sonnet, haiku, sestina, villanelle, quatrains, even the common limerick are all examples of the structures and constraints poets use to keep their writing […]

3 Comments Continue Reading →

Random Writing Prompts to Solve Writer’s Block


My last post explained why writing prompts work and provided links for finding them. You can also create your own creative constraints via the Random Scene Generator, a tool I introduced several years ago in what has become my most viewed post. I created the Random Scene Generator (RSG) as a birthday present for a […]

2 Comments Continue Reading →

Why Writing Prompts Work


Too much freedom is paralyzing. The invitation to “write anything you want” is too open-ended. We can’t start because we don’t where to start. On the other hand, being told exactly what to write and how creates the “don’t tell me what to do” opposition response. Writing prompts work because they hit that sweet spot […]

1 Comment Continue Reading →

New Book Update: How Potato Chip Chapters Made My Novel Leaner


In January, I returned to working on the actual manuscript of my novel. [In previous posts, I reviewed how I added new scene cards to my novel and used a Word table to restructure the novel at the level of those scenes.] As I added scenes featuring Kat, my new POV character, I read the […]

1 Comment Continue Reading →

Hello Untapped Genres – Goodbye Writing Resistance!


Are you a poet who thinks fiction is a waste of words or who can’t fathom writing that many pages? Are you a fiction writer who fears memoir will insult or embarrass your family and friends? An essayist who thinks novelists are incapable of getting to the point? The genres you avoid because you are […]

1 Comment Continue Reading →

Free Your Writing with Limits


In the previous post, Do You Know How to Walk Away from Writer’s Block?, I suggested you free yourself by surrendering expectations — now I’m going to propose that you can free yourself by imposing limits! Poets do it all the time. The sonnet, haiku, sestina, villanelle, quatrains, even the common limerick: poets impose plenty […]

5 Comments Continue Reading →

Do the Im-Paso-ble!


Creative constraints can be a source of resistance; it’s only natural to feel oppositional when you’re being restricted. But creative constraints can also be a source of amazing creative breakthroughs. It all depends on your attitude. This week’s episode of Dancing with the Stars demonstrated the power of two truly creative people working with what […]

3 Comments Continue Reading →