Writing a Volcano Eruption Scene

Kilauea in the News

By Annette Rey

Exciting action scenes capture the interest of readers. Kilauea is currently very active and aside from the human tragedy, as writers you may want to pay attention to this subject and practice writing these real life events. Eventually, you may elaborate upon them and include these pieces in a future work.

You can experiment writing about this from different points of view.

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Writer’s Resource – Purdue OWL

Online Writing Lab

By Annette Rey

One of my reasons for writing this blog is to help writers understand that learning correct language usage should never stop. If we love to write, we should love the vehicle that takes our readers to places we want to transport them.

I especially sympathize with aspiring writers whose first language is not English. They need additional help navigating the complexities of the language.

The following site offers free access to instruction that will improve all of our efforts to polish our writing projects.

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Learn to Cut Words Before You Write Them

Editing Exercises

By Annette Rey

Participating in writing exercises will help break writer’s block as well as improve your writing. Simple, short challenges work just as well. You wouldn’t waste energy exercising your body and not having a body part target in mind. Nor should you engage in writing exercises without a goal in mind for writing improvement.

The next exercise will help you target editing even before the editing stage.

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A Writer’s Last Words

Your Ending Sentence

By Annette Rey

Recently, I misinterpreted a writer’s call on Facebook. Someone asked for ending sentences. I thought it was an exercise to think creatively. It turned out to be a call for an actual ending a writer had used in his work.

This mistake gave me the idea to create a writer’s exercise that makes us think in reverse. Start at the end of your work, create that last line, and see how that line affects the way you construct the last chapter, or the ending of your short story, or article. Your physical brain needs exercise and asking it to respond in new ways will challenge a boring routine. These exercises are designed to shake you and wake you.

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Write a Story in 35 Words

35-Word Challenge 

By Annette Rey

This is a real challenge that beats even flash fiction word limits. Give this a try and remember to make it complete by including answers to the questions: who, what, when, where, and why.

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Creating a Character Sketch Exercise

Growing Your Character

By Annette Rey

There probably are as many ways to create a character as there are writers. Here is a quick way to get started and put meat on his bones.

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Quiet Observation is a Writer’s Tool

Conversation Is Story.

By Annette Rey

Are you – short on ideas – stumped on character development – unable to complete dialogue – at a loss on detailing scene? Answers for these areas are a car trip away.

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Writers, Be Specific in Word Choice

A Short Exercise

By Annette Rey

Make your sentences more interesting by choosing defining words. Detail particular traits. Specificity is better than vagueness.


The car careened down the mountain pass.

The battered Volvo careened down the rocky mountain pass.


The house was surrounded by woods.

Becky’s cozy, vine-covered cottage, nestled among old-growth firs, welcomed the returning airman.


Dogs chased the rabbit to ground.

The cottontail narrowly eluded a pack of howling beagles by dashing into her burrow.


Three rowdy beagles relentlessly pursued a zig-zagging cottontail and lost her in the thick underbrush.

Replace a general word with an unambiguous one.


Generic term                 Explicit replacement

restaurant                     Italian eatery, greasy-spoon diner

dog                                 blue-eyed Malamute, formidable Doberman

building                         glass skyscraper, L-shaped ranch house, Celtic castle

library                          personal leather-bound collection, tattered paperbacks

detective                       veteran sergeant, cynical sleuth

You can see the benefit of replacing bland words with descriptive terms that beef up your sentences and put your readers in the mood you want to immerse them.

Now, you try a few words. Visualize the noun. Make those simple nouns more complex, reflect the characteristics of the item in question.








jewelry box


The next time you sit down to write, remind yourself to elaborate on the general words you use in a sentence. Your readers will be more entertained and satisfied with your writing style.