Tools for writers with time to tinker

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Poets & Writers has started posting weekly creative writing exercises. A new poetry prompt goes up every Monday and fiction every Thursday. What I like even more is the adjacent column called “Writers Recommend,” in which well-known authors give a paragraph of advice.

Writer’s Knowledge Base is a searchable collection of articles on writing craft, publishing, and promotion. The database for these links comes from the web research of @elizabethscraig and the amassing of her frequent tweets. If you have a craft question and time to spare, you may find articles that you would not otherwise encounter. It’s also interesting to scroll through some of the random entries featured on the home page.

Robert McCrum writes in The Guardian that he’s skeptical that writing can be taught. However, he recommends some technical lessons in the form of specific reading passages from classic works. “Not so you fall under an influence, but just enough to be reminded about the magic potential of original prose.” His list seems a bit dry to me, but inarguably good for learning. See what you think.