Writing Tips for fiction and creative nonfiction writers:

Writers often find similar images coming up in their writing repeatedly. Of course you will edit them out to avoid redundancy, but if you find yourself using the same constellation of images over and over – what is your self-conscious trying to tell you?

Try using uncommon vocabulary to talk about a subject. For example, instead of battling a disease, and eventually conquering it, try a different family of words. You could go more military –and wage a campaign or crusade, with skirmishes and frays. Or how about gardening terms – weeding and hoeing, fertilizing and watering.

Readers want to be able to do more than just see what you are describing. They want to hear, smell, taste and feel it. When you have completed your first draft, make a chart of which senses appear in a piece. You may discover one or more senses that are missing.

Source or inspiration: Cecile Goding’s class in personal essay at University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival, 2008