how to distinguish your writing

Avoid cliché

Avoid ordinary words and familiar descriptions


Use active verbs

Avoid passive voice: is, are, was, were, be, being, been, shall, will, have, has, had


Don’t say too much about something that’s not important

Don’t say too much about something that is important

Make sure every word is impactful and necessary


See and think innovatively

It is only through risk that you can capture the impossible



creative writing is personal

It can be lonely and it can alleviate loneliness. It can render, change and challenge meaning. It can distract you, and drive you to distraction.

At times, it is an emotional process of undisciplined thought that taps into subconscious narrative.

It is also a disciplined, self conscious process that manages and optimizes the potential of story.

For most writers it is best to write in two stages.

Stage 1 = generate material, often using the process of free-writing to capture the unplanned and unexpected.

Stage 2 = manage the material, making conscious decisions about the shape and content.

Both Stage 1 and Stage 2 are creative and can be deeply satisfying and rewarding.

Every writer ultimately develops an approach that works best for them.

What works for one writer may not work for another – and what worked yesterday may not work today.

Writing creatively requires a delicate balance, but there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do it.



dialogue: electrical connection

Using words or phrases from the Electrical Connection Instructions text below, create a scene between two characters.

Electrical Connection – The electrical installation should be made and maintained by a qualified electrician conforming to national and local codes. A means for disconnection must be incorporated in the fixed wiring in accordance with the wiring rules. A suitable fuse or circuit breaker with properly sized wire must protect the 3-wire power to the fountain. For wiring connections, see wiring diagram. Wire nuts may be used for the 120-volt and neutral splices.


As you write your scene, think of dialogue as a transaction – one character wants something that the other is withholding. People meet and clash or bargain or make or break alliances –tension between characters is reflected in what they say –or don’t say – to each other. Characters, like people, often convey one thing by saying something else. The subtext of dialogue will often derive from the character’s underlying need and true intentions.

As you work on the dialogue ask yourself: What does each of the characters want? What is the source of the tension between them? What is the progression of the dialogue?  What transaction has taken place?

Dialogue should always move the story forward, and reveal something about the character’s attitudes, perceptions and values.  Every dialogue scene should involve some conflict, even if it is just passive resistance, back and forth, like a contest or competition.

Give yourself 10 minutes to write, once you start writing don’t stop until ten minutes is up. This prevents the editor in you from interrupting your creative flow.

When you have completed your Electrical Connection Dialogue feel free to post it in the space provided below.