For Writers


7 Layers to Revising Your Novel

Beginning Fiction Writing

Deep Exposition Exercise

Memoir vs. Autobiographical Fiction

ABCs of Fictional Literary Craft

Exposition (Managing Exposition/Exposition and Scene)

Revision (Deep Revision/Revising Hints)

Point of View (What is Point of View/Ed’s Point of View “Rules”/Point of View Exercises)

Character File

Creating Sympathetic Characters in Fiction

Dialogue (Good Dialogue: People Talking Naturally/Electric Dialogue Exercise)

Advanced Dialogue (including exercise)

Cause/Effect Plotting

Novel Generator

Beginning Poetry Writing

Poetry Primer

Poetry Exercises

Poetry Revision Guidelines

Writing Evaluation/Critique

Evaluation for Short Stories #1

Evaluation for Short Stories #2

Guidelines for Critique

Fiction Evaluation Checklist

Writing Autobiographical Fiction

Whitehall to Wood Thrush: Adapting a Novel from Real Life (PDF): This article by Ed Davis, available for download in PDF format, discusses the transformations that are necessarily in crafting fiction from real experiences.

The Best Brandy: The Appalachian Writer’s Authentic Voice (PDF): In this essay, Ed talks about the writer’s voice–especially an Appalachian writer–why it’s so important, what you can do to find your voice, and what some of its essential components are.

Writing the Autobiographical Novel: Joys & Pitfalls (PDF): Ed discusses the joys and dangers of writing autobiographical fiction.

Recommended Websites about Writing

Creative Writing classes at Sinclair Community College
See a list of current creative writing classes offered at Sinclair (Dayton, OH).

Recommended Books on Writing (Mainly) Fiction

B=beginners, I=intermediate, A=advanced

Allen, Roberta, Fast Fiction: Creating Fiction in Five Minutes. Innovative method uses prompts and exercises to show you how to create short stories in spontaneous 5-minute bursts. Then she helps you shape these short-shorts into longer stories, even novels. 300 writing prompts included (B) ISBN: 0-965-57296-X.

Bernays, Anne and Pamela Painter, What If: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers. An entire text devoted to exercises according to category, everything from character to point of view, along with objectives, examples (B) ISBN: 0-673-99002-8.

Browne, Rennie and Dave King, Self-Editing For Fiction Writers. Really sophisticated fiction-writing tips by knowledgeable editors. Helpful, upbeat tone. Useful exercises at the end of each chapter (I). ISBN: 0-06-272046-5.

Cameron, Julia with Mark Bryan, The Artist’s Way. A 12-week “recovery” program for artists, including writers. Spiritual and practical. Tons of exercises but the main objective is writing “morning pages.” (B) ISBN: 0-87477-694-5.

Card, Orson Scott, Characters and Viewpoint. Excellent down-to-earth writing advice on such topics as inventing characters, increasing jeopardy, etc. Two chapters on point of view are worth the price of the book (B). ISBN: 0-89879-307-6.

Dibell, Ansen, Plot. Upbeat, personal advice on every aspect of plotting for both short stories & novels. She makes the complex quite comprehensible and her examples (from Tolkien to Lord of the Flies) are as enlightening as they are enjoyable (I). ISBN: 0-89879-303-3.

Gardner, John, The Art of Fiction. The highly imaginative exercises are extremely original, the topics covered quite complex with examples ranging from Chaucer to Homer to Shakespeare. Some find it pretentious, but almost all seasoned writers agree it’s a classic from a master teacher (A). ISBN: 0-679-73403-1.

Hemley, Robin, Turning Life Into Fiction. Everything you want to know about writing autobiographical fiction (B). Informative, personal. ISBN: 1-884910-00-9.

Keyes, Ralph, The Courage To Write. He sees anxiety as an aid rather than a block to the writing process, tells you how to “bust” fears (B). ISBN: 0-8050-3188-X.

Lamott, Anne, Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing & Life. The funniest, most irreverent writing manual in her inimitable style (B). ISBN: 0-385-48001-6.