Learn a new word each day.

As writers, we should constantly be expanding our vocabulary. Using the right word in our stories can make a tremendous difference in the reader’s perception.

As long we don’t go overboard, a thesaurus can inspire us to use more appropriate vocabulary and avoid the humdrum.

For example, how many of us still overuse the word NICE? There are other options.



(by Seomra Ranga)

You can create your own word cloud picture at http://www.wordle.net/create

Your writing task: Use your new word of the day in a short story — or in that novel you are writing.

Many excellent daily email versions of the word-a-day exist. Perhaps you would like to try this one:


Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 8.33.32 AM


1. an old game in which the players snatch raisins, plums, etc., out of burning brandy,

and eat them.

2. the object so caught and eaten.


Thou art easier swallowed than a flap-dragon.

— William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost, 1598

You can learn a little Shakespeare at the same time!

Cross curricular assignments do double duty.

Historical events can be used as starting points for Creative Writing.

After genuine historical facts are studied — writers can ask “what if?”

and then create alternative histories and side stories. An excellent example of this is

the YA novel: The Name of the Star in which author Maureen Johnson creates a

fascinating, yet fictitious, paranormal story about London’s historic Jack-the-Ripper.

(By the way, our best wishes to Maureen who is convalescing at the moment,

I understand). http://maureenjohnsonbooks.tumblr.com/

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 8.54.33 AM

Steampunk fiction authors often rewrite history inserting anachronistic devices.

An excellent Steampunk TV series is Murdoch Mysteries. A bit of history is often woven

into the plot. http://www.cbc.ca/murdochmysteries/about/

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 8.50.54 AM

A great resource for Creative Writing Teachers is “This Day in History”

which is found here:


Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 9.00.47 AM

Your assignment for today: write some fiction which includes a bit of real history.

New Year’s Resolution Board Game (and Lesson Plan)

Parents and teachers are always on the look out for great ideas on how to create teachable moments. New Year’s Day arrives on Thursday this week! It provides an excellent opportunity for some creative writing. Here is a resource that shows how to create a New Year’s resolution game. It can be modified for almost any group or party. Making writing and learning fun–that’s what it’s all about. http://americanenglish.state.gov/content-spotlight-new-years-resolutions   If you are looking for a fun activity to do while you are waiting for the clock to tick down to midnight on Wednesday night–how about this melted bead bowl? Cool, isn’t it? http://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-for-kids/melted-bead-bowl/ Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 7.35.37 AM Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 7.36.09 AM