• Description,  How to Write

    Dialogue

    Dialogue is probably the best way to make readers really get to know your characters. It also gives your writing variety and speeds up the pace (because, as with metaphors, a few words reveal so much) which keeps it more interesting. Here are a few tips to help you make your dialogue effective: 1. Use realistic words. One reason why dialogue is so interesting and characterizing is because readers get to “hear” characters speak and instantly get an impression of what they’re like. If you don’t quote them the way they really talk, this won’t work. If a teenager is speaking, don’t be afraid to spell words like “gonna” and…

  • Description,  How to Write

    Sensory Details

    Think about it. That beautiful, tall, leafy tree in the park, with its shapes and colors, is completely disconnected from you. When you stare up through its branches, you’re not experiencing the tree itself. You would know nothing about the tree if not for the light rays bouncing off the trunk and leaves and reflecting into your eyes. You’re not even experiencing the light that revealed the tree to you. Instead, the light that splashes through your pupils and focuses against the back of your eye causes the eye’s rods and cones to emit chemicals which translate into nerve impulses which travel to the visual cortex in the back of the…

  • How to Write

    New Writing Center being planned

    The old U of Life Writing Center already has dozens of top-ten search pages for writing tips that gets thousands of hits per month. We’re currently planning a major update to these pages based on the innovative writing text The Art & Craft of Writing. Stay tuned! We’ll let you know as plans progress. In the mean time, you may access the old version at UofLIFE.com/wc

  • How to Write

    Short, Short Stories

    A quick way to practice writing skills is to use a short, short story. This brief passage (maybe 250-500 words) needs no introduction nor conclusion, just a few objects, people, places and events to describe. You may use the EXAMPLES BELOW, some inspired by photos we viewed in class Wednesday. Please email whatever you’re willing to share with others, or enter them as comments to this post. Thanks! You may use the following images to whip up some quick short shorts to work with. Just imagine the story going on here and write it down, then add whatever writing skill you want. Click any image to see a bigger version…