Top-down organization addresses elements of craft (Image, Voice, Character, Setting, and Story) in the first part of the text while the second part explores specific genres (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, and Drama). This format helps students understand the various creative techniques shared by all forms of imaginative writing before concentrating on individual genres.
“Warm-Up” exercises are chapter-opening writing exercises intended to captivate new writers through visual inspiration.
"Try-This" exercises appear throughout each chapter. Provocative and fun, these exercises help students develop the specific writing skills discussed within the text. “Working toward a draft” exercises encourage students to develop their ideas into complete drafts.
70 complete readings in the four genres are integrated into the chapters.
An appendix outlines the basic elements of Prosody (the study of versification), including the major units of sound and meter, the principles of rhyme, and common stanza patterns.