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Writing Exercises To Improve Your Writing

Updated on October 8, 2013

DISCLAIMER

I am not a know-it-all. I am not an encyclopedia of all that is true about writing. I do not claim to be nor do I want anyone believing that. I am simply a teacher and a writer who has picked up some knowledge and tricks over the years, and I am someone who is offering it all to you, one lesson at a time, to do with as you will.

Accept it or toss it away. Use some of it or use all of it, or line your bird cage with it….makes no difference to me. My feelings won’t be hurt if you don’t agree with me or if you reject it all, but I will find great satisfaction if you can use some of it. You see, for me, this really is a win-win situation and honestly, it is for you as well. Between these writing articles and my writing blog, all of which are free and all of which come asking for no obligations, you are getting a ton of “stuff” that you might be able to use in the future as you follow your writing path.

It is my sincere hope that you can use some of this. I think it will be helpful over time, assuming your goal is to become a better writer. Makes no difference your style; makes no difference your genre or your voice. I’m willing to bet that you can find a few suggestions that will help you.

And that’s what this article is all about. What follows are some exercises that might help release the writer that has been locked away inside of you. These little “drills” just might help you to spread your wings and fly, and wouldn’t that be a cool thing?

Watch and observe strangers
Watch and observe strangers | Source

Interesting and worth a watch

EAVESDROP ON STRANGERS

For those of you who have trouble writing dialogue, this might help you a ton. Go to a public place like a coffee shop or the park, and sit close to two people who are having a conversation. Close your eyes and just listen to their discussion.

After about ten minutes go somewhere and write down that conversation as close to verbatim as you can.

Do you notice any difference between that conversation and the conversation that happens in short stories or novels? Here’s the thing: fiction writers try to write dialogue that “seems” realistic, and “seems” is an important distinction. In real life conversations are dotted with “ums” and awkward phrases and stutters and people talking at the same time….it is at times hectic and confusing and yes, very real. If you try to imitate that in a story you are going to have your readers ready for a room with padded walls. Learn to walk a fine line between being too realistic and not being realistic enough in your dialogue.

IT’S ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE, BABY!

Take an anecdote from your childhood and write it out exactly how you remember it. Now, ask a relative who is familiar with the anecdote to tell it to you from their perspective. Are there any major or minor differences in how they remember the same incident? Why do you think that is?

Seeing a scene or event from the eyes of another is an interesting exercise as you prepare to write a story or book. We all see things differently and this is an important point to remember as you sit down to write your story.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

Go again to a public place and observe the people around you. Pick out one in a particular and write a physical description of that person. Be as specific as possible, jotting down every minute detail you can observe.

Now use that person in a short story and base the story around the physical characteristics you observed…..and now use those characteristics to develop a conflict for that character. Maybe the person you observe has bad teeth, and that can lead to his/her need for dental reconstruction, and their struggle to find work in this society and how their basic needs are not being met.

A neighborhood from the past
A neighborhood from the past | Source
Current neighborhoods are alive with stories
Current neighborhoods are alive with stories | Source

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES ARE MONEY IN THE BANK

Think of one particular childhood memory. Maybe it would be a great Christmas you had, or the first time you went swimming. Now write a thousand-word short story based on that childhood memory.

One thing I know for certain is that we all have similar memories, and we all have similar reactions to those memories. How many of you out there have had a favorite pet die? I promise you that if you write that story your readers will be able to relate to it.

LOOK FOR THE ORDINARY IN PEOPLE

Think of someone famous who you admire…..like Abraham Lincoln for example. Now list all of the traits about that person that we associate with them. For Lincoln perhaps you would write that he was of strong character, truthful, steadfast in his beliefs, etc.

Now write down characteristics about that person that are ordinary. Remember that even famous people are just people. I remember a scene from a wonderful movie with Julia Roberts….Notting Hill…where this famous actress has fallen in love with an ordinary bookstore owner. She is standing in front of this man and she says, and I paraphrase….”remember that at the end of the day I am just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” I love that line because it tosses aside all the bs in life and gets down to basics.

NEIGHBORHOODS ARE GOLD MINES FOR A WRITER

Stories are all around you if you open your mind and heart and see them.

Get a mental image of the neighborhood where you grew up. Pay attention to every single detail you can think of. Are there any stories hidden down that street, in the houses or across the playfields of your past?

Now do the same thing where you live now. Go outside and do a 360 of your neighborhood. Pay close attention to your five senses. What do you see, hear, feel, taste and smell? Remember that famous line from the radio show The Shadow? “Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of men?” Well who knows what stories lurk in the shadows of your neighborhood?

SAME NEIGHBORHOOD, DIFFERENT APPROACH

Write a one-page description of an area you now life in, whether it be a neighborhood or town. Give it detail as if you were going to use this description in a book.

Now go to the library or some other resource center and find out everything you can about that area. Become a historian and find out as many minute details as you can about its history. Then rewrite your original description, enriching it with the facts and details you found during your research. I think you will find this greatly enhances your story and breathes new life into a scene that may have become stagnant.

Do any of these help you?

See results

And so Many More

Of course there are more exercises and you can bet I’ll be back with them at a later date. In the meantime, you have your homework to work on.

Again, take what you need and leave the rest. That’s how we do it here at Bill Holland’s School For the Wayward Writer.

Good luck with your writing this week and beyond. Remember that what you are doing is important. The world needs what you have to give, and your words will live on long after you have left this life….and how cool is that?

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Very helpful tips Billy, as usual! I especially like the last part about going to the library to research info. Our library has a whole separate room on historical info. If only I had the time!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      You know I am big on writing from what I know and my memories from childhood and growing up, too. So I loved your tips here, but especially that one, because I try so hard when I write to make it connect to my own life and help others get to know me better on a personal level. Thank you o much Bill for always being so willing to share your thoughts on writing and what you have learned over the years. Wishing you a great day now, as always

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Fantastic! Writing exercises can be fun, and these are easy, amusing, and useful to any writer. I always carry a notebook with me, so I could easily do some of these while I am out and about, or even traveling home from work one day.

      As you may have figured out, I have today off! I am a busy girl, or at least I am trying to be. I got up at 6 am, and it is so nice to get an early start to the day.

      You're always so good at checking out my articles (when I actually have new ones) that I decided to check yours out right away. That is also a great way to start out my day.

      Have a great day, my Olympian friend. It is "hump day"!

      ~ Kathryn

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brandi, that time thing is a bugaboo for me as well.....but if I ever figure that out I'll definitely follow my own advice. LOL

      Thank you my friend.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you for even more good info. I'm thinking of trying some short stories and this really helps! Have a great day!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, you practice what you preach. Most all of your blogs has a reference to your life. I have definitely noticed that, and I think that gives a personal touch to your writing that is important.

      Thank you dear friend and have a great Wednesday.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathryn, I love the early mornings. My mind and senses are alive, and the ideas just bombard me. By noon, not so much. LOL

      I appreciate you coming for a visit Kathryn. Best wishes to you in the future....now go enjoy your day.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, I hope you do....what can it hurt, right?

      Have a great day my Words friend.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great read and you always manage to inform us on such worthy hubs, keep on sharing and helping us readers learn more

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I particularly like the same neighborhood, different approach theme. That exercise could really send an article or story in so many different directions. Great tips, as always!

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      "Conversations Over a Composting Toilet"

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Fantastic. I can hardly wait to give up my day job and do this full time!! I know we are looking for results but you make the process sound and be so much fun.

      And once again my friend your hub is just as much about how to live life as it is about writing. I called you Mentor before --- now I am thinking more Guru or Yogi.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks DDE....I do what I can and I hope it is helpful.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We can always hope, Sha! I hope some of this helps you in some way my dear friend.

      Have a great day and love always.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, a fascinating read, especially while doing #2 in the bathroom. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, you are too kind but thank you! Hopefully you are smarter than I am and you won't quit your day job. :) It's been a struggle but worth it. Thanks my friend.

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      I'm in overwhelm! I can't imagine what it would be like to have writer's block after every way that you have shown here with writing exercises. I once went to a nearby Starbucks and wrote what I saw. I had some interesting observations. A fun exercise!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      This one is really a challenge to this Wayward Writer! My head was spinning with ideas as I was reading. I was remembering my poor dog Chipper who died at 15 years of age, and all the old German ladies in my neighborhood washing their stoops...get the picture? I did.

      Thanks again for a great lesson in writing and giving us ideas about what to write!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting. For whatever reason there is no hubsharing or pin it buttons. I'm going to go out and come back and see if they appear.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Kay Badder 3 years ago from USA

      I'll have to try a few of these. I've already listened to conversations and learned so much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      cygnetbrown, I can't imagine either. We are surrounded by stories and ideas...all we have to do it pay attention. :) Thanks my friend and good luck to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Mary and yes, I got the picture. LOL

      I don't know what happened to the buttons. I try to remain calm when dealing with HP. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I hope you do, Barbara, and I hope they help you come up with some new ideas. Thank you!

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Fantastic advice, as usual. I was once "eavesdropping" on a couple fighting. Not because I wanted to, but because they were screaming so loud, and it was over a bowl of soup at a restaurant. Shame on me, but the fight was so funny to an outsider like me, that I couldn't help but bust out laughing, tears streaming down my face and all. To add insult to injury, I was by myself, so it was quite obvious that the only thing I could be laughing at was...them. I do plan to use that fight in one of my books, I'm just not sure which book yet... and I remember it word-for-word! LOL! Thanks for this hub! You always provide wonderful advice.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      I think what you are talking about is having the writer create an atmosphere of "suspended disbelief." Even in the most fantastic, "trippy" of tales, if the writer has done his/her homework with the details then the reader will be willing to continue. Creating plausible characters is especially a challenge, and sometimes we have to steal them from our real life friends and family to make them work. Great hub as usual!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great example, Liz! I hate to admit it but I love to listen to other people's fights. LOL I usually find them quite amusing and entertaining. Does that make us sick or easily entertained? :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, you said it perfectly....suspended disbelief...I love that phrase. I had such an interesting family that I have fodder for stories the rest of my life. :) Thanks my friend.

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 3 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      awesome Bill... again ..! thanks for the info .. all could use this will save it for refresher course .. you should be teaching in college.!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      Coleridge said it, I just swiped his line.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank Coleridge for me when you see him, Mel! :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Michael but I've put in enough time in the physical classroom...I much prefer this venue now. :)

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Would it be bad if I said both? LOL!!

    • profile image

      Alice Ann Day 3 years ago

      This is excellent advice and a lot of it I already do. One thing I would love to know though is, 'how do you write two people speaking at once?'

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Wonderful tips! You are so right about people watching. I'm most comfortable with script writing (trying to break into regular writing). I learned to write dialog by watching people and listening to them carry on with conversations. Oh, and I really enjoyed the video. A long time ago, I read an article about the writer/teacher in the video. Her story gave me hope that if I want to be a writer, then all I need to do is write. If she can find time to write with all the stuff going on in her life, then I should be able to write being a retired person with no real demands on my time. Right?

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      Will jogging, push ups and situps work as exercise for writing? Seriousl BIll as always some wonderful tips ..and words to write by. Thanks as always...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No, Liz, it would be honest. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alice, you got me! LOL I'll have to work on that and when I perfect it I'll let you know.

      Thanks for the visit my funny friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm not sure, Carol, but I need to do some push ups so thanks for reminding me. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, that seems logical to me. :) Now all you have to do is....do it!

      Good to see you again my friend. Thanks for taking the time to visit me.

    • sweethearts2 profile image

      sweethearts2 3 years ago from Northwest Indiana

      Useful, interesting, and voted up. Advise I will use as I work toward becoming a writer. I love telling stories, not always fond of sharing them for fear of criticism. This venue you have chosen is a true gift to us thanks for being here. That is real cool!

    • rtburroughs2 profile image

      Robert Burroughs 3 years ago

      Bill I have been reading all the trade magazines for almost 30 years. This article is on par with those written by famous authors.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sweethearts, that is very kind of you and I'm glad you find this useful. The fear of criticism is very real for some writers, and there is only one way to overcome it. :) If you want to share a story with me send it to my email at holland11145@yahoo.com and I promise to be gentle. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      rtburroughs, I truly do appreciate that. Thank you very much!

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan Robert Lancaster 3 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      AS you've put it in another Hub, people watching is suitable for taking in behaviour and it reaps rewards in absorbing or soaking up dialogue ideas.

      I sit in MacDonald's doing crosswords or notes for my Celts Hubs.

      These days the chances are a quarter of the conversations are missed because of screeching kids or the conversation is in a foreign language (choose from Urdu, Hindi, Ukrainian, Polish etc).

      Mostly it's understandable but largely inane. However, it gives an insight into the way people try to convey a meaning. After years of US TV soaps (like 'Cheers') or Australian soaps (such as 'Neighbours'), dialogue tends to sound like a cross between Aussie and Yank, with statements sounding like questions and 'like' punctuating the flow or verbs put through the mincer with '-ing' added everywhere. Aside from the accents, I'd say I was sat between Sydney and Los Angeles - feet pretty wet and the atmosphere 'bubbly'.

      You have to leave the towns here before you get normal 'strong' dialogue.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      These are great ideas for people to use and I've suggested probably all of them at one time or another to people who are new to writing. They ask what they should write about for a novel. I tell them to start small and write several different types of essays or short stories. I think they're amazed to find how helpful is to start there and work upward.

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Bill, you are too good and kind. I loved reading every single line and it has been a very useful one for me. Reading this, I have had an idea or two to write about some interesting things that have happened in my life. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

      Sending you smiles and blessings.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, I love your insights laced with a heavy does of humor and sarcasm. My kind of man!

      I had to stop and think about it. If I wanted normal strong dialogue where would I go? Conversations like the ones I grew up around don't seem to take place any longer. Add to that the fact that we are so mixed now; southerners roaming into the north; northeasterners roaming into Texas, which is a nation of its own. It seems every city is a miniature United Nations. Our windshield repairman the other day was from Ireland; been here for two years; and I had one difficult time understanding him at all. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great suggestions Sheila. The idea of writing 100,000 words is daunting and paralyzing to many writers; writing a short story is much simpler and often times that short story will just keep growing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dahlia, it is my belief that everyone has enough interesting things that have happened in their life to write a book. It's just that most people think their life is mundane. Not so....we are all very interesting in our own way.

      Hugs and blessings to you kind lady

      bill

    • thewritingowl profile image

      Mary Kelly Godley 3 years ago from Ireland

      I like it and I am sure it will be useful.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I have a really hard time writing about myself now but I love writing about my childhood because it is like reliving it in storybook form and so many people say it reminds them so much of their childhood and what better thing could you do? I am going to try that exercise writing about a town, interesting and sound like the beginning of a story, thanks! ^

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to hear it writingowl...thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Jackie! I have come to realize that we all share similar memories from our life, and we all have interesting stories to tell. I'm sure yours are fascinating. :)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I might go to a local bar at happy hour and eavesdrop on a conversation...wouldn't that be entertaining! I don't drink, but those who do like to talk a lot! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, the conversations in bars are absolutely hilarious. Great idea! LOL

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Yes, tons of inspiration from everywhere indeed! I love to watch people and the childhood memories are a given, especially with my three-legged dog, Brownie. I could probably write a book about all of the adventures my three siblings and I had with dear Brownie.

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sounds like a bestseller to me, Faith! I hope to read it one day.

      Thank you for always being here.

      blessings always

      bill

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 3 years ago from Illinois

      This is another useful hub! I have to admit that I love eavesdropping in public places, and I'm kind of snoopy in my neighborhood. I just think observing people and learning about what makes them *tick* is so interesting. I had never thought of including these examples in my writing, though. I might have to disguise my identity a little more if I start writing about my neighbors :) - Ginger

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      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 3 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Ok teacher keep sending assignments to us. I will send you by mail my writings to have you check them out.

      Thanks Billy, you are such a great help!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing some more great ideas for writers, Bill!

    • LisaMarie724 profile image

      Lisa Stover 3 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      Great ideas as always. Can't wait to try them out.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Some more wonderful advice Billy and all taken on board as always.

      I have been very naughty lately and have been neglecting my writing course. I will get on with it but as for learning I do this far better with you as a teacher. So keep them coming and have a wonderful day my dear friend.

      Eddy.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. I start at 9:00 a.m. and finish at 12;30 a.m. with my fan base growing I have no extra time.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Great help here Bill. You are right that Julia Roberts line sure hits the spot.

      Graham.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan Robert Lancaster 3 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Some of these 'Paddy' types are a bit 'Broad' with the lingo, but just try listening to 'Geordies' (Newcastle-on-Tyne and environs). There's a different language, but it's 'English' English, if you know what I mean. Bernicia, the territory Newcastle was established in by the Normans after 1070, was cut off from the other English-speaking territories, Mercia and East Anglia, by a wedge of Danish and Norse influx in Deira - Yorkshire and Lancashire. Bit of etymology for you there. The Irish are a mix of their own, Gaels, Danish and West Norse (Norwegian), Norman and English (Dublin 'pale', ever heard of the expression 'Beyond the Pale'? That was 'bog Irish')

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Great ideas and practical advice.

      I really liked your narrative voice here. It was assertive and authorative but also kind and helpful. You balanced it all up beautifully.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      What a great idea Bill. It was a long time ago that I have spent my afternoon alone in a coffee shop eavesdropping and observing people. These tips will surely help me. Thanks for sharing this awesome hub. I´ll be doing my writing exercise soon. Have a great day!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, I find this personally helpful. Thank you for sharing these practical ideas. I appreciate you!

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 3 years ago from Finland

      So many great and helpful tips! Thank you for sharing. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ginger, without a doubt you need to be careful about identity when using these techniques....but it sure makes research easy. :) Thank you kind lady and have a great day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I hope so Maria! Helping is what I'm all about....that and love. :)

      blessings always dear lady

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm very happy to do so, Alicia. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LisaMarie, I love hearing that. Good luck with them and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, that is music to my ears. I love helping other writers and I know you understand that. Thank you my friend and have a wonderful Thursday.

      love,

      billy

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, that is a long day for sure. I love that your fan base is growing. Blessings to you my friend and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you as always Graham...I hope you are well my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, I have learned more from you on this subject than in several college courses, and I love it all. Thank you and yes, I have heard of beyond the pale. Great stuff my friend...thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anna, thank you very much. I love comments about my writing style. It lets me know if I'm on the path I wanted to be on. I appreciate your comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thelma, it's interesting....many writing tips are things we all know already, but we get so busy writing that we forget the tips. LOL I'm happy if these helped you. Good luck and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm happy to help, Dora! Thank you and have a great day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, Made, you are very welcome. I hope you and your family are well. Sending hugs your way.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for the interesting tips, bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to help, vkwok! Thank you!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      I came back and the buttons are there....now I pinned it :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary! I hope you are having a great day!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Indeed, how cool is that? If someone will remember my Boomer Lake stories after I am gone, I have done my job. As always, great advice, Billy. Thank you for helping us all.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I guarantee people will remember your Boomer Lake series....it is so well done. You have taken a very small niche and made it your own. If I had to diagram how to do niche writing I would use your series as an example...in fact, there is a future hub. :) Thank you Deb!

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      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Wonderful tips I will be sure to use. I have recalled many incidents from my past and utilized them in articles on various topics which I love experimenting with. Exercises are useful tools to expand the mind, great stuff as always my friend!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Suzie, thank you! Practice makes perfect, right? Well, in my case, I hope I just improve. Perfect is not in the cards for this writer. I won't allow it. LOL

      Have a great weekend and hi to MJ!

      bill

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      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      “Accept it or toss it away. Use some of it or use all of it, or line your bird cage with it….makes no difference to me.” Lol. I love your dry wit, and the sage way you find humor in presenting us with excellent tips on how to be better writers. This is yet another in my growing collection of bookmarked hubs by Bill Holland. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, I am honored my friend. Thank you so much, and I'm glad you enjoy my wit, dry or otherwise. :)

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      drbj and sherry 3 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Bill, for these really relevant, realistic, reminiscent writing rituals. You have made eavesdropping (one of my favorite hobbies) legitimate. :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, now isn't that a great thing? Eavesdropping with a purpose? I love it!

      Have a great weekend my friend and thank you!

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen Szklany Gault 3 years ago from New England

      Great tips, Bill. Often I compare notes on family stories with my daughter, just to compare perspectives....so enlightening and entertaining. :0)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mama, I love that you do that with your daughter...great idea!

      Thanks for the visit and have a great weekend.

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      Schoolmom24 3 years ago from Oregon

      Great tips! I am just having the writing juices flow a bit again after a long dry spell and loved these ideas for practicing...such as thinking about famous people's common traits and describing the neighborhood. (I also homeschool my kids and this would be a great writing assignment for them, too!) Voted up!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Schoolmom! I'm glad these will help you. As a former teacher I applaud you for homeschooling your kids. Thank you for the visit.

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      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Your great chatty informal style + so much sense and experience. I know lots of these but it's oh so useful to have it all sorted out in front of me! Thanks bill. Another coup! Ann

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann! I always wanted to be a writer who makes it feel like a one on one conversation with my readers. I appreciate your comment very much.

      bill

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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I can think of many details from my childhood neighborhood that would inspire a short story or novel. It was such an interesting place to live -- that's an understatement! Thanks for the excellent suggestions and tips.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I hope you write about those experiences. I have no doubt that people would find them fascinating.

      Thanks my friend and have a great week.

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      rdsparrowriter 3 years ago

      Hi Bill, this article is very helpful. Thank you for sharing your insights with us :) Voted up ! Have a blessed day!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you RD....I hope you have a blessed day as well my friend.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for more good advice Bill. I've been mainly concentrating on poetry since joining hub pages, but am beginning to foster a desire to try my hand at more articles or even short stories. I am off to do some of the home work you suggested....cheers.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, thanks for the return visit. Poets and short story writers have a tough time of it on HP...the system isn't designed for anyone who writes anything other than articles....but it is a great place to build your platform and gain some recognition, no matter what you write. If I can be of any help give me a holler. :)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Even for craft/recipe writers this advice is so sage. I have often used childhood memories. It's only too bad they have not generated too much money in the bank. Hope you are well.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, be patient. I am seeing a huge increase in views on hubs I wrote a year ago....it takes time for them to circulate on the internet....and I love your childhood memories as introductions. Thanks for your thoughts.

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      JPSO138 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      This is probably the reason why you write so good. You have so many techniques in your mind. My friend, you truly are indeed a great writer with great imagination. You never fail to amaze me....

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      JPSO...thank you so very much. I don't think I'm great but I do want to get there one day...and so I practice these techniques and hope. :)

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