background preloader

Creative Writing

Facebook Twitter

50 Things a Writer Shouldn't Do & Three Guys One Book. DH: A list recently published in The New York Times by a noted restaurateur gave 100 rules for what service staff should not do. I thought a list of 50 things that writers shouldn’t do would give us all a chance to vent. I’m contributing 10 items. Some of these pet peeves have pissed me off for years: Don’t use italics for more than one line.Don’t tell me what someone looks like if it doesn’t matter.Don’t make me draw a diagram to figure out who’s speaking.Don’t write in a manner that’s different from your everyday speech. You should write like your best talk when you’re having a very good day.Don’t start your story with a character alone in a room unless you’re Kafka and your character is going to turn into a bug.I should be able to turn to any passage in your story and enjoy the craft of it.

Don’t write a coy opening to draw me in. And here’s 30 more Don’ts from the Three Guys! Don’t write. Don’t tell me what you want from my writing. Don’t write something where nothing happens. Ten Obvious Truths About Fiction. The following essay was previewed in the class that Stephen Graham Jones taught for LitReactor, Your Life Story Is Five Pages Long. 1. The reader should never have to work to figure out the basics of your story. Who’s whose wife or husband, what the time period is if that matters, why these people have broken into this house, and on and on, just the basic, ground-level facts about your story.

If you don’t relay that stuff up-front, as quickly and efficiently as possible (and please don’t be fancy), then your story becomes a game of three-card-monty, with you hiding information under this or that shell, trying to keep everything moving fast enough that nobody knows what’s going on. Which is to say your story becomes about the reading of the story, not the experience the story is trying to get the reader to engage. And you don’t want to just write a game, because games are either won or lost, then walked away from. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. This isn’t to say don’t innovate, either. 10.

You Are A Short Story, He Was A Novel. You are a short story. You start in the middle maybe, and you don’t have a long word count. A few pages. A short arc. A gimmick. Some terse resolution. You’re certainly not a novel. You make me feel like I am also a short story to you. I know this, because he was a novel. You are more like: writing in the lines, in the margins, in the sides of notebooks. My short story is about a young girl, too young, who wasn’t ready to read everything that was handed to her, everything she bought from miles of books in a dusty, old used book store, everything she unknowingly, naively checked out of the library.

He was a novel, sure. Tagged Books, Break ups, Commitment, Dating, Familiar, Fear of Commitment, Fiction, haruki murakami, Hook Up, Lit, Literature, Long Term Relationship, Love & Sex, loxe-sex, norwegian wood, Novels, Reading, Relationships, Short Stories, Words.

Poetry

How to Write Better: 7 Instant Fixes. Does your writing stand out? Do you worry whether your writing is good enough? I can see you nodding your head. You are not alone. Every writer has doubts about his or her writing. The good thing is that writing is a journey. On this journey, you can either travel the long road – or use shortcuts. Using shortcuts means learning to spot and fix mistakes in order to write better. Here are seven instant fixes that will improve your writing. But … what is good writing? Inexperienced writers think that ‘good’ writing is elaborate. No, good writing is simple. 1: The art of natural Check out an example of elaborate writing below (I’ve sourced examples of writing from free Kindle books chosen at random).

This is from a story about a young girl who is at home with her young brother when a thunderstorm strikes. An ebony abyss claimed the den. I take this to mean, “The room went dark.” Maybe the author consulted a Thesaurus to create a sentence with special words. Your words should sound natural. Careful! Ink - Quotes about writing by writers presented by The Fontayne Group. Writing "I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark. " Henry David Thoreau "Writing is an adventure. " Winston Churchill "Know something, sugar? Stories only happen to people who can tell them. " Allan Gurganus "... only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things. " Anton Chekhov "A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightening.

" "Whether or not you write well, write bravely. " "The first rule, indeed by itself virtually a sufficient condition for good style, is to have something to say. " Seven great writing quotes from seven great American writers. Ernest Hemingway once said “All American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.” As much as we love our Ernest, we beg to differ. It’s not just the amazing books Americans have written, which cause us to contradict Papa’s viewpoint. It’s the words of wisdom these masters have shared about their craft. John Steinbeck Ernest Hemingway Elmore Leonard Toni Morrison Stephen King Henry Miller F. Designed by the awesomely talented Chris Ritter. CALLIHOO Writing Helps--Feelings Table. Character Feelings You can describe your character's feelings in more exact terms than just "happy" or "sad.

" Check these lists for the exact nuance to describe your character's intensity of feelings. SF Characters | SF Items | SF Descriptors | SF Places | SF EventsSF Jobs/Occupations | Random Emotions | Emotions List | Intensity of Feelings. 36 Writing Essays by Chuck Palahniuk. 1: Establishing Your Authority Chuck teaches two principal methods for building a narrative voice your readers will believe in. Discover the Heart Method and the Head Method and how to employ each to greatest effect. 2: Developing a Theme At the core of Minimalism is focusing any piece of writing to support one or two major themes. Learn harvesting, listing, and other methods, after a fun excursion into the spooky side of Chuck's childhood. 3: Using “On-The-Body” Physical Sensation Great writing must reach both the mind and the heart of your reader, but to effectively suspend reality in favor of the fictional world, you must communicate on a physical level, as well. 4: Submerging the “I” First-person narration, for all its immediacy and power, becomes a liability if your reader can't identify with your narrator. 5: Nuts and Bolts: Hiding a Gun 6: Nuts and Bolts: “Thought” Verbs You've always heard the maxim, "Show, don't tell...

" but almost no writing teacher ever explains...

Short Story Unit

Random Name Generator - StumbleUpon. Funny random pictures. Bukowski's letter to a library that banned his books. In 1985, a library in Holland banned one of Charles Bukowski's books: Tales of Ordinary Madness. The library officials said the work was "very sadistic, occasionally fascist and discriminatory against certain groups (including homosexuals). " Bukowski responded with this brilliant letter, featured today on Letters of Note: In my work, as a writer, I only photograph, in words, what I see. If I write of "sadism" it is because it exists, I didn't invent it, and if some terrible act occurs in my work it is because such things happen in our lives. I am not on the side of evil, if such a thing as evil abounds.

In my writing I do not always agree with what occurs, nor do I linger in the mud for the sheer sake of it. I love that he signed this letter (and others) with little drawings. English 50 - StumbleUpon. Thirty Question Character Survey|National Novel Writing Month. 25 Free writing sites for prompts, exercises, lesson plans and more -... Exercises for Fiction Writers - Page 2 - StumbleUpon. The Online Literature Library. Cliche Finder. Have you been searching for just the right cliché to use? Are you searching for a cliché using the word "cat" or "day" but haven't been able to come up with one? Just enter any words in the form below, and this search engine will return any clichés which use that phrase...

Over 3,300 clichés indexed! What exactly is a cliche? See my definition Do you know of any clichés not listed here? This is Morgan, creator of the Cliche Finder. Or, you might like my crazy passion project: Spanish for Nerds: Learning Spanish via Etymologies! Back to cliches... if you would like to see some other Web sites about clichés? © S. Special thanks to Damien LeriAnd to Mike Senter Morgan's Web page.

Short stories at east of the web - StumbleUpon. One Sentence - True stories, told in one sentence. English 50 Exercises for Story Writers - StumbleUpon. English 50 – Intro to Creative Writing: Exercises for Story Writers Basic Theory: What is a short story? As soon as someone delivers a definition, some good writer will write a story that proves the theory wrong. About the only thing we can say for sure is that short stories are short and that they are written in what we call prose.

Some attributes, however, seem to show up more often than not. Short stories have a narrator; that is, someone tells the story; have at least one character in them; have some action occur (or perhaps fails to occur); take place somewhere; that is, there is a setting for the action; and someone either learns something or fails to learn something (theme).With these five characteristics in mind, we can create an almost endless supply of exercises to help sharpen our techniques of story telling. Narrative Voice Twenty or so years ago, voice was the "rite of passage" into a successful writing career. If you've written a story in third person, try it in first. Eight Secrets Which Writers Won't Tell You. Image from Flickr by Lazurite This is not particularly relevant to the post, but I’m getting an awful lot of comments telling me, often a little snarkily, “it’s ‘THAT’ not ‘WHICH’”.

The “don’t use which for restrictive clauses” rule comes (as far as I can tell) from Strunk and White. Plenty of authors, including Austen, have used “which” exactly as I use it in the title. It’s very commonly used like this here in England, so I’m guessing my comments are coming from US readers. There was never a period in the history of English when “which” at the beginning of a restrictive relative clause was an error. (From 50 Years of Stupid Grammar, The Chronicle) I thought about putting “that” in the title – but I like the sound of “which” between “secrets” and “writers”. And with that out of the way, enjoy the post! A few years ago, I’d look at published writers and think that they were somehow different from me. They were real writers. I’m going to go through eight secrets.

Secret #1: Writing is Hard. BookMooch: trade your books with other people. Mayer-Bernadette_Experiments.html from upenn.edu. Sheet-for-Emotions.jpg from psychcentral.com - StumbleUpon.