6 Rules of Writing List Stories

We love lists: “10 steps to lose weight” or “33 words the English language should have” or “13 alternate endings for Breaking Bad.” You can tell stories with lists, too. Free writing: 1. List 10 things that intrigue you or…

Using Setting to Enhance Character

For our April 8 meeting of the Madrid Writers Group, we discussed how writers can use setting to paint a complex character. A particular place can mean something completely different to two different people. For instance, the tree in my…

Free writing Prompts: Focus on Writing

By cyclonebill from Copenhagen, Denmark (CandyflossUploaded by FAEP) CC-BY-SA-2.0,via Wikimedia Commons

1. Free Writing exercise incorporating 5 words chosen randomly by the group: Mystery, candyfloss, empty, railroad, memory. (10 mins) 2. More Free Writing Write for 10 minutes on each prompt you are given/choose, connecting them to your previous prompt to…

Finding the Perfect Title

Howard Pyle [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A title should not merely identify a story or novel, it should make readers eager to find out more about your story. Sometimes writers have the title before they start – in fact, a perfect title can be the prompt…

Crafting a Humorous Personal Essay

Francis Bacon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This week’s meeting looked at Personal Essays and in particular strategies to introduce humor. The opening prompt was: “My earliest memory of…” On Personal Essays A personal essay is either a personal narrative in which the author writes about a…