September Writing Prompts

Remember that you can send an email to with the words DAILY PROMPT in the subject line. We will add you to the mailing list and you will receive a daily prompt.   

If you're looking for tips on how to make the most of your writing prompts, please read Mia Botha's post How To Use Writing Prompts

If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg. Please email for more details.

 by Mia Botha

If you enjoyed this post, you will love:

  1. Why You Need To Write In Plain Language
  2. From Passive Voice To Active Voice - How To Spot It & How To Change It
  3. Fabulous Writing Advice From John Connolly


    Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

    How To Tell If You Have Too Much Plot In Your Story

    When we start to write, we often don’t think about what we’re doing. We pour our stories on to a page and hope for the best. We add characters, viewpoints, settings, and backstory, thinking that it will make sense to everybody because it makes sense to us. 

    It doesn’t. The best way to begin is to stick to one plot and one sub-plot in your first books. Use these as practice runs to help you concentrate on storytelling. This will encourage you to focus on creating nuanced, powerful characters who live in their own extraordinary worlds, even if that world is one room. These characters must overcome obstacles in pursuit of a goal. 

    This forces you to consider if you have a strong enough story or if you just have an idea for a story. 

    Lots of sub-plots may fill up pages, but, if they are weakly constructed, they won’t make any of the story lines stronger. Every sub-plot should have a character who pursues his or her own story goal, encounters conflict, and reaches a positive or negative resolution. When you consider this, you begin to understand how complicated these stories within stories can become. 

    Seven Questions That Will Show You If Your Story Is Cleverly Layered Or Clearly Over-Laden 
    1. Do they understand? Explain your story to five strangers. It is better if these people are not writers or even regular readers. If you confuse them, or worse, yourself, you have a problem. Once you have told your story, ask them to tell you what they think you mean - in their own words. If they can’t, or if you hear something you don’t recognise, you have too many plots.
    2. Can you tell a sub-plot as a stand-alone story? If you can, you should probably do it. Sub-plots are there to support your main plot. They have three functions: (1) They are there to show a different perspective of the central conflict, (2) They test your protagonist's motivations and abilities to achieve the story goal, and (3) They show different aspects of the protagonist’s personality. [Read 6 Sub-Plots That Add Style To Your Story] If your sub-plot does not do this, or does much more than this, it deserves to be removed or written as a separate book.
    3. Has your protagonist changed? A primary function of plot is to force the protagonist to change on the way to achieving a physical story goal. [Read The Story Goal - The Key To Creating A Solid Plot Structure] This internal change occurs when they recognise their strengths and overcome inner demons to achieve this goal. If your character has not changed, it means that you’ve cluttered the story with noise instead of meaning.
    4. How many characters matter to your main plot? If you have more than four, you have a problem. Remember that each of these four characters is a possible viewpoint character and looking at a story from more than four perspectives in one book is crazy. [Read The Awesome Foursome Fictional Characters]This does not mean that there won’t be other characters; it simply means that you need to give prime time to a few characters who are crucial to the story.
    5. Do your supporting characters have their own sub-plots? You know the answer should be no. If you love the character this much, consider writing a novel about him or her.
    6. Is your book filled with events that do not move your protagonist towards the story goal? Avoid including conflict for conflict’s sake. If events happen that spin the story and the characters in many different, unrelated directions, you will struggle to keep a reader’s attention. It takes a skilled storyteller to keep this going. Long, complicated books are published by authors who already have an established track record, for example, one of George R.R. Martin’s first books, Dying of the Light is only 288 pages long, and Stephen King’s Carrie, published in 1974, is only 199 pages long. [Read Word Counts - How Long Should Your Novel Be?]
    7. Can you write a one-page synopsis for your story? If you can’t, you have over-plotted. This synopsis must be about your protagonist’s journey, from the inciting moment, creating a believable story goal, putting a worthy antagonist and obstacles in place, to the end where the story goal is reached. How you deal with this ending – negatively or positively – is your choice. [Read How To Write A One-Page Synopsis
    Remember you can tell a story any way you want to, but it may make your life easier if you accept that too many plots can spoil a book. Why not see if you can plot a great book with one plot and one sub-plot before you embark on a potentially messy marathon?

    If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.

     by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on Pinterest,  Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,  LinkedIn, and  Twitter.

    © Amanda Patterson

    If you enjoyed this articleyou will love:


    Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

    40 Types Of Content That Will Make Blogging Easier For You

    I create content for this blog every week. There are times when it seems easy and then there are times when it feels impossible. I am lucky because I have two regular bloggers who help me. It also helps that Mia Botha and Anthony Ehlers are brilliant writers who understand what our followers want to read.

    How do bloggers come up with new ideas?
    To keep going, it is important to blog about your passions. It is also important to stick to the themes of your blog and your business. For example, we blog about creative writing, business writing, blogging, writing for social media, and reading. This means that we can choose any of these broad categories as a starting point.
    How do we manage to stay sane, week after week?
    Creating a blogging calendar with themes and types of content also helps. I try to stick to Social Media Monday, where we post about social media and blogging. Tuesdays are open for business, and sometimes, creative writing. Mia Botha blogs on Wednesdays and Anthony Ehlers blogs on Thursdays. If we are hosting a guest, we try to do it on Fridays.
    Month after month?
    There are regular monthly posts that fill the calendar. We have the Top 10 Posts from the previous month, our book reviews, a calendar for next month's courses, and writing prompts for that month.
    Year after year?
    There are also yearly posts, including the top-earning authors for that year [The 14 Top-Earning Authors - 2016], National Novel Writing Month every November [NaNoWriMo], and your favourite posts from the year before [The Top 42 Writing Posts of 2015].
    You need to work out a calendar that works for your readership, your industry, and your brand. If you are a writer, for example, you may find this post useful: 30 Inspiring Blog Post Ideas For Writers

    I have compiled a list of blog post ideas that a blogger in any industry can use for inspiration.

    40 Types Of Content To Inspire Any Blogger
    1. Interviews. We have a series called The Writers Write Interview where we feature famous authors from our guest speaker events.
    2. Holidays. Keep a calendar of holidays for inspiration. You can use Mother's Day or Father's Day to inspire a post. This year we featured 9 Famous Fictional Narcissistic Mothers - And How To Write About Them.
    3. Worksheets. Create worksheets and share them with your followers.
    4. Expertise. Share your knowledge. Tell people what you know about your subject. Back it up with research and examples. At Writers Write, we may talk about sub-plots, pacing, or inciting moments.
    5. Birthdays. You will know who your audience admires. Keep a list of their birthdays for reference. At Writers Write, we often use the anniversary of a famous author's birthday as a starting point, for example 6 Things Alfred Hitchcock Can Teach You About Writing
    6. Testimonials. Include posts about clients who have been successful or posts on what people have said about you, your products, or your courses.
    7. A series. You may want to write a series of posts about a subject that is important to your readers. I wrote a series called Social Media 101 to help bloggers understand and evaluate the different types of social media. This year, Anthony is writing 52 posts about how to Write Your Novel In A Year [Read Week 1: Start Strong, Start Simple]
    8. Pick of the week or month. You may work in an industry where you can showcase a product on a regular basis.
    9. Lists. People love lists. They never get tired of them, so don't stop using them. Examples: 'The Top 10...', '25 Ways To....', or mega-lists about your industry like The Top 100 Writing Blogs For Authors And Bloggers
    10. Informative posts. These include research and expert advice in your field of expertise. At Writers Write these could be about grammar, readability statistics, the passive voice, or email etiquette.
    11. Inspirational posts. Include motivational infographics and ways to stay creative.
    12. How-to articles. Like lists, this one never gets old. People follow you to find out what you do and how you do it. Some of our examples include How To Write A Case Study In 3 Easy StepsHow To Write A Beginning And An Ending That Readers Will Never Forget, and How To Use Writing Prompts.
    13. Checklists. These are useful to help your followers who are learning as they go along.
    14. Quotations. Create lists of quotations from famous people about your favourite topics. They can be wise, flippant, or humorous. [My 15 Favourite Quotes On Grammar]
    15. Templates. If you have a useful template that anybody in your industry would find useful, share it. Include your logo or website on the template.
    16. Cheat Sheets. These are always popular. Our most viewed posts are Cheat Sheets for Writing Body Language and 45 Ways To Avoid Using The Word 'Very'
    17. Definition posts. These include basic information about your topics. For example, What is a blog?
    18. Humour. Why not write a post on 'How To Survive A Relationship With A _______' or  '10 Ways To Seduce A ___________' We have done these for writers.
    19. Anecdotes. Use personal stories and situations as inspiration for topics. Mia uses her role as a mother to teach us about suspense in stories, or the death of her cell phone battery to remind us that writers need to observe
    20. Statistics and case studies. Mia Botha decided to look at our most popular blogs for her post, How Long Should Your Blog Post Be? and I looked at famous authors for Word Counts - How Long Should Your Novel Be?
    21. Guest posts. If you are going to accept guest posts, create a set of guidelines for your blog.
    22. Meet the team. If you have a team, you could use this opportunity to let your followers into their worlds. You should already have a page with brief biographies for them, but these would be longer posts.
    23. Profiles. Write about a product or a person in your industry.
    24. Quizzes. You can create your own on platforms like playbuzz and quzzr.
    25. Beginner's guides. Use these to encourage followers who may be intimidated by a new subject. We have written these on creating characters, writing speeches, and revenge as a plot.
    26. Videos or tutorials. Create your own or share others. Watch as Kurt Vonnegut explains the shapes of stories.
    27. Podcasts. You may want to offer podcasts of interviews or classes for your readers.
    28. Lessons. What have you learnt along your journey? How did you gain a following on social media? What did your mother teach you about business writing?
    29. Reviews. You can review any product or event related to your industry.
    30. Infographics. You can create these yourself or share from other sources. Use Infographics to share statistics or information in an easy-to-read format. 
    31. Competitions and giveaways. If you have products to give away or a sponsor, this is a good way to build up a following.
    32. Resources. If you have found useful tools that you think others should try, write a post about them. They could be for business writing or on creating content for your blog.
    33. Behind-the-scenes. Write about what it takes to create a finished product. This is particularly useful if you are in a glamorous business and you want to show the human side of your product.
    34. Memes/Comics. You can create these on a meme site or share them when you find them. Always credit your source.
    35. Events. If you have guest speakers or product launches, write about them.
    36. Follow-up posts. Revisit your most popular posts and write a follow-up, especially if things have changed since you wrote that post.
    37. FAQs (Frequently asked questions). Why not write a post that answers questions that everybody asks you?
    38. Opinion pieces. If you feel passionately about something, let your followers know. Remember that you may create enemies as well as gain followers when you do this. A post such as 5 Guaranteed Ways To Bore Your Reader evoked strong reactions from readers
    39. Images. You may want to show a story through a series of photographs. Perhaps you've been on holiday or seen something you can work into a blog.
    40. Predictions and trends. Keep an eye on trends in your industry. At the end of 2015, we wrote about 7 Trends Bloggers Can't Afford To Ignore In 2016

    If you want to learn how to blog and write for social media, join us for  The Complete Blogging and Social Media Course

     by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on Pinterest,  Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,  LinkedIn, and  Twitter.

    If you enjoyed this post read:


    Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

    September 2016 - In Writing





    Writers Write

    How to write a book



    Writers Write

    How to write a book



    The Plain Language Programme

    Advanced business writing



    Blogging and Social Media Course

    Write for the web



    Short Cuts

    How to write a short story


    kids etc.

    How to write for children



    Email for more information.

    Join us on social media:

    Facebook Twitter Pinterest Writers Write on Google Website

    Write Your Novel In A Year - Week 34: Spring Cleaning

    Welcome to week 34 of Anthony's series that aims to help you write a novel in a year. Read last week's post here

    Goal setting
    1. Take care of you, the writer.
    Breaking it down

    Find your inspiration (again!)
    This week’s post has nothing to do with writing and everything to do with the writer. If you take care of the writer, I believe, the writing will take care of itself.

    Writers, contrary to common belief, are not immune to the realities of life. We don’t recline on a chaise lounge all day popping bon-bons and dictating our prose to our secretaries – that only works if you’re Barbara Cartland. And Barbara Cartland was as much as a myth as she was a bestselling romance writer.

    Last week, at a writer’s dinner, someone was talking about inspiration. I’m probably going to get some of it wrong, but this was the gist of it.

    In Michelangelo’s days, inspiration was seen as something that came from the gods above to an artist – it was an expression of something outside of the artist. In the Renaissance, inspiration was seen as something that came from inside – it was more about self-expression.

    I think both are interesting angles on the mysterious process of writing. The truth is, writing is pretty mysterious – we don’t always know where our ideas come from or why we write.

    What I believe is that a seed of talent – a tiny, fragile seed, I believe – is given to us as a gift. We need to look after it and not abuse it. The rest is, I think, just hard work. It’s craft.
    Seven days
    With spring approaching here in the southern hemisphere, I thought it would be a great opportunity for a spring clean. A ‘seven-day detox’ if you like.

    This is where my journal or diary can help. It’s time to do a ‘brain dump’ or even a ‘soul dump’. Write down all the negative things – fears, anger, all of it.  What kept you awake the night before? What worries you about the future?

    Then, when you’ve done that, write out all the good things that have happened to you – in your life, this year, this last week  Just free write – fill up as many pages as you can.

    Finally, finish with a list of affirmations. Write down your top five strengths as a writer and as a person.  You could even do these on index cards or on bright coloured paper. Sometimes there are great inspirational quotes on Twitter and Facebook. Print these and put them up at your desk.

    Enemy in the mirror
    In Writers Write, we often ask delegates to dismiss their inner critic. For me, I always thought this was the old crone of a high school French teacher who told me I was ‘lackadaisical’ – a good word, I’ll give her that, and probably true of me a lot of the time even today. Other times I thought this critic was some spiny covered monster with bloodied teeth.

    The other day I woke up and realised that my oldest and most persistent critic is me.  We don’t always see our ‘blind spot’ and, even when we do, we don’t do anything about it.

    Even this year, when I’m so committed to, and focused on, writing my novel, the one person slowing me down is me. It’s like having a coach who doesn’t believe in you – who doesn’t want you to win gold.

    If you knew an athlete who had a coach like this, you’d probably tell them, ‘Find another coach.’ That’s good advice.  We all need to believe in ourselves. That doesn’t mean we’re not aware of our faults – we just need to be even more aware of our strengths.

    We have to see that mental picture: crossing the finishing line. It’s what should keep us going even on the glum days. Don’t lose your equilibrium. You can do it!
    Timelock — 7 days

    Spend an hour a day on your ‘spring cleaning’.

    5 Quick Hacks
    1. Write down what you need as a person. Then decide what steps you must take to get what you need.
    2. Do the same for your writing. Write down what you need to make your life as a writer work. How will you make that happen?
    3. Create two columns. On the left, write down everything you hate about writing. On the right, write down everything you love about writing. Compare.
    4. Describe what qualities you’d look for in a writing coach or mentor – how can you cultivate those in your own mind?
    5. Ask someone to be your mentor or, if you have the resources, hire a life coach.
    Pin it, quote it, believe it:

    ‘Your characters’ lives should spiral out of control. Never your own.’ — Anthony Ehlers

    Look out for next week’s instalment of Write Your Novel In A Year!

     by Anthony Ehlers

    If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg. 

    If you enjoyed this post, read:


        Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

        Why You Need To Write In Plain Language

        Plain language is writing that everyone can understand. You are only able to write this way if you understand exactly what it is that you want to say. Don’t think you are ‘dumbing it down’. You are communicating in a clear, simple manner. 

        If you read last week’s post, you’ll remember I wrote that we have 11 official languages in South Africa. This makes our use of plain language even more important. 

        What are the advantages of plain language:
        1. There is no ambiguity.
        2. It is faster to read.
        3. It is faster to write. 
        Plain language guidelines:
        1. Simplify your word choice.
        2. Shorten your sentences.
        3. Shorten paragraphs.
        4. Use the active voice.
        5. Use pronouns.
        6. Use lists.
        How to use readability statistics

        Microsoft Word has a free tool that measures the readability of your document. There are many free online tools that you can use as well. [Read Why You Should Care About Readability Statistics] The Microsoft tool calculates the number of characters per word, the numbers of words per sentence as well as the number of sentences per paragraph. At the end you will be given a passivity percentage, a grade level, and a readability percentage. Ideally you want your grade to be around 7, your readability to be above 70% and your passive voice below 10%. 

        How do you achieve this reading?  

        Averages to strive for:
        1. Word choice: If you use simple words, there will be no confusion about the meaning of the word. Strive for, on average, 4 characters per word. Remember you will use many short words such as ‘is’ and ‘a’ as well as many 6 or 8 character words to achieve this average. However, you should avoid very long words.  
        2. Sentence length: If you keep your sentences short you will find it easier to remain in the active voice. You will be able to avoid tense and punctuation mistakes. Try to use sentences that have an average of 9-13 words. Remember, it’s an average. You will use five word sentences, and you will use twenty word sentences, but when you start writing 34 or 45 word sentences you should cut them.   
        3. Paragraph length: Simple words and short sentences will help you to keep your paragraphs short. Short paragraphs help to create white space. If you keep your paragraphs between 3-5 lines or sentences, you will be able to place the emphasis on the correct information. Your first sentence should be the most the important sentence and you should keep it down to one thought or point per paragraph. 
        Plan your messages

        By planning your messages, you will be able focus your communication. If your messages are succinct and clear you will be an effective communicator. Consider your reader. Ask this question before you start writing: What do you want the reader to do after reading your message? This will help you decide what information to include.

        We’ll talk about reader habits and the importance of white space next week. 

        If you are interested in learning how to improve your business writing skills, join us for The Plain Language Programme

         by Mia Botha

        If you enjoyed this post, you will love:

        1. August Writing Prompts
        2. What Writers Can Learn From The Coolest Podcasts On The Web
        3. World-Building For Every Genre: The Ultimate Setting Checklist


          Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

          20 Writing Mistakes Even Native Speakers Make

          by Jennifer Frost from Grammar Check

          If you want to improve your business writing, join us for The Plain Language Programme. If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg. 

          If you enjoyed this post, read:


          Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

          The Ultimate Blogging Checklist

          We know that it's almost impossible to run a successful business today without a strong online presence. It's even more difficult to be noticed in the ever-changing social media landscape. If your business does not have a blog, it's unlikely that you will be successful on these platforms.

          I have written many times that your blog is 'your headquarters for content. It where you set ground rules, showcase your brand, establish your reputation, share your knowledge, and show your expertise.' It is from this blog that you will be able to build your online empire. [Read How Creating Content (And Sharing On Social Media) Leads To Sales]

          I've often wished I had a simplified version of everything you need to do to become a blogger in one place. When I found this post, I wanted to share it with you. Pauline Cabrera has put together everything she's learnt about building an effective blog in this useful blogging checklist.

          If you want to learn how to blog and write for social media, join us for  The Complete Blogging and Social Media Course

           by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on Pinterest,  Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,  LinkedIn, and  Twitter.

          If you enjoyed this post read:


          Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

          Write Your Novel In A Year - Week 33: Beginnings, Backstory, And Other Bugbears

          Welcome to week 33 of Anthony's series that aims to help you write a novel in a year. Read last week's post here

          Goal setting
          1. Continue writing the chapters or scenes of your novel
          Breaking it down

          The true start and the false start
          Where does your story start? What does page one look like?

          As I come to the end of my draft stage and feel ready to attack my messy and chaotic manuscript, I’m looking for a way to rework my opening scene – that scene that must pull the reader in and get them hooked on the story.

          I’ll admit I’ve had a few false starts. Like starting too far back from the inciting incident – taking too long to set up the world of the story. And, of course, starting too close to the moment of change – and not giving the reader enough context about what’s going on.

          In a novel I’m reading, the first scene takes place as a journalist interviews a man condemned to die in the electric chair. This was a powerful scene to kick off a story – it certainly had me gripped. It made me realise that those big moments – life, death, birth – are always good places to start.

          I’ve decided to start my story as close to the point of attack as possible. I’ve created a teaser that gives the reader a glimpse of what will happen just before the major climax at the end of the story.

          The good news is that I’m starting in the thick of it, in the heart of the drama – in media res, as they call it. It’s an action scene and it fairly races with action and adrenalin.

          The bad news is that it defies all the rules of writing. It’s a prologue – and prologues should always be avoided. It starts off with the weather – during a storm. It starts off with a character alone – another ‘no no.’

          However, it seems to be working. It seems like a natural hook for the story. The violent weather, I feel, is almost like another character – an element that is commenting or hinting at the violence that is about to unfold. And the character, while he is alone, is driven by a strong goal – he is on a mission for revenge.

          Sometimes you have to throw the rule book out the window and listen to your story, don’t you think?

          Building your backstory
          As I work on the earlier scenes in my book, I realise I haven’t addressed a lot of the backstory.

          For example, when I look at when Jenna and Matt – my two lovers – met, I know that it happened four or five years ago.  

          When I look at Jenna’s age, I realise that she was pretty young when she met Matt – which is either a good or a bad thing.

          But the big black hole was, of course, how they met. How did they become lovers? How did the relationship evolve? And why did it hit a stalemate or stasis as the story opens?

          As I wrote some backstory scenes and notes – none of which I liked, by the way – I realised two things. One – you have to know your characters’ histories down to how much money they have in their bank accounts and their favourite colour. Two – you as the writer have to know these things but the reader doesn’t have to know it.

          Well, at least, not all of it. If it’s important to the story in the present, yes, you may need to introduce it through the narrative or as an isolated flashback scene – but if not, I don’t see a reason for it to be in the final manuscript.

          Stories live in the ‘now’ – readers want the immediacy, the tension, the flow as if it’s unfolding in real-time. They don’t want to be hauled back into the past.
          Oh those devouring fears
          This last week has been challenging – both in my writing and my personal life. The one that causes me the most distress is, of course, my writing. I mean I can always pay my taxes some other time. But the fear that my talent has dried up and disappeared – that’s something that will cause you to curl up in a sorry heap.

          On Saturday, I sat down to write a scene and it just didn’t come. I soldiered on and what I produced was a dry, clumsy piece of writing – more like a DIY manual than a chapter in what’s meant to be an exciting thriller.

          In archaic English, a bugbear was an imaginary being invoked to frighten children, typically a sort of hobgoblin supposed to devour them. Seeing as though writers are basically children with laptops, I felt this bugbear descend on me Saturday night.

          On Sunday, I cleaned bathrooms, washed dogs, and tried not to think about that awful scene. In the late afternoon, I cautiously approached it again.  I took a deep breath and attacked it and it came out a lot better. Sigh of relief! I was safe for another day.
          Timelock — 2.5 to 5 hours

          Spend a half hour or hour a day writing your scenes or chapter.

          5 Quick Hacks
          1. Imagine your novel as a movie. What would be the scene or scenes that play over the opening credits? This could be a good place to start your novel too.
          2. Write out or roughly plan three or four possible openings – just experiment. Show these to a trusted friend or your writing group and see what feedback you get.
          3. Keep separate folders or notebooks for backstory – and consult it when you write your scenes. If there’s any opportunity to drop a piece in – then do it. You can always edit it out later.
          4. ‘When in doubt, leave it out.’ This is as good advice as any when it comes to backstory.
          5. Distract yourself when your writing isn’t going well. Clean out drawers, read, visit a friend – don’t drive yourself mad.
          Pin it, quote it, believe it:

          ‘Backstory is like creating a “connect-the-dots” picture – you just need the dots. The reader will draw the lines.’ — Jamie Ford

          Look out for next week’s instalment of Write Your Novel In A Year!

           by Anthony Ehlers

          If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg. 

          If you enjoyed this post, read:


              Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

              What Fiction Writers Can Learn From A Child's Mind

              Guest Post

              Stuck in a rut? Unable to get the next plot of your story together? All that might be missing is a little bit of creativity. 

              Writing is a passion of the heart that flows through the writer’s pen, hoping to leave an eternal mark on readers’ minds. However, growing competition in this area of creative expression has made it more difficult for writers to stand out.

              What can you do differently? One answer is to look in unusual places for inspiration. Unusual does not have to be something mystical. It can be as simple as child’s play. Fiction writers and children both have fanciful minds. Observing children in their routine games can prove to be an excellent lesson in creativity.

              Children dream. Children imagine. And children love. For a child, nothing is impossible. And that's what separates them from us. They do not think that they will fail. They invent things and they look at things differently. 

              If you're looking for a creative plot for your next story, you need to think out of the box by looking at life in a simpler, more imaginative way. 

              Here are three things writers can learn from children:

              1.  Observe children at play
              Children don’t need much to imagine a whole new world. You can learn a lot just by observing how children play. Children have the ability to create worlds and characters. They see the fantastic in the most humdrum things. When you see a cereal box, you see just that. However, when a child sees it, he sees the next mega structure in his expanding world.
              2.  Let go of mental boundaries
              When children play, nothing is out of reach. In a child’s imagination, he could be the king of the world or a wizard in a parallel universe. A child’s mind has no limits of logic, reasoning, or absurdity. For a fiction writer, this quality could be the edge you need. You can take your readers on adventures unthinkable for the ‘rational’ adult brain. Surprise yourself by not restraining yourself by the mundane. You're writing fiction, and the world's realities can be moulded any way you want.
              3.  Write without limits
              You can write about anything under the sun. Or if that is too run-of-the mill for you, then construct a whole new world from scratch. Children do exactly that. They believe in dragons and fairies and they talk about mythical worlds with no hesitation. Such unbridled creativity can prove to be a boon for your writing.
              We are easily amused by a child’s fantastical stories. However, if we take them seriously, they are a treasure trove of inspiration. Hand over your pen to the child in you, bubbling with enthusiasm to create something exciting. Do not shy away from challenging Tolkien or Rowling if you believe in your make-believe. Nothing is wrong in the world of fiction. 

              by John Cabrera. John is a freelance writer, web content writer, editor, blogger, content strategist, and ghost-writer. He is the co-founder of Freelance Writer Opportunities, a blog dedicated to writers’ financial growth. Follow John on  Twitter.


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