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Just The Caffeine Talking: My Three Questions. I'm not a very spontaneous writer.

Just The Caffeine Talking: My Three Questions

If I depend on inspiration it won't turn up at the moment I need it. I have to put a lot of mental brute force into creating stories. Over the years I've developed a set of questions which must be answered before I can write a story. These may be useful to other people interested in fiction, so I'm revealing them here. Naturally, your own approach may differ, and I'm not asserting that these are the One True Way to write science fiction or fantasy. The Cambias Test This evolved out of an abortive project back in the 1990s to create an Alternate Histories roleplaying game.

My contribution was to propose that any Alternate Histories used in the game must allow the characters (and, thus, the players) to have experiences they could not have in our own world, past or present. I called this the "Cambias Test" and it got used as shorthand by others involved in the project before the whole thing kind of disintegrated. 5 Things Published Authors Know (and You Can Master)  Why 3 Act Will Kill Your Writing. It has been estimated that at least 50,000 scripts are written every year.

Why 3 Act Will Kill Your Writing

Yet only a few hundred are bought and made. Why do so many writers fail? Clearly, there is a limit to how many scripts the business can support. But in the vast majority of cases, scripts do not sell because the writer has not written a good script. I have taught and worked with literally thousands of writers. Most writers have had no training at all when they try to write a script that will sell. The Case of the Copula Overdose – Woodward Press. I read a book a while back that has stayed with me for many months and has affected the way I write and read, and it’s opened my eyes to a weakness in much ficiton writing, even in published books.

The Case of the Copula Overdose – Woodward Press

Douglas Glover’s Attack of the Copula Spiders (Biblioasis, 2012) criticizes many aspects of fiction, but saves its most withering scorn for the rampant and indiscriminate use of copulas. Michael Arndt About The 5 Steps He Learned at Pixar to Write a Good Beginning. In less than a decade, Michael Arndt went from winning an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay with Little Miss Sunshine, to getting nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay with Toy Story 3 for his second credit, and then on working on diverse genres and scales with great success.

Michael Arndt About The 5 Steps He Learned at Pixar to Write a Good Beginning

Dearartdirector.tumblr. The-single-most-important-thing-you-can-do-to-make-your-1761113729?fb_action_ids=10209178743972120&fb_action_types=og. Lisa Cron’s 8 Random Writing Tips. The bigger the word, the less emotion it conveys.

Lisa Cron’s 8 Random Writing Tips

Avoid exclamation points! 10 Things that Red-Flag a Newbie Novelist - Anne R. Allen's Blog... with Ruth Harris. Beginning novelists are like Tolstoy’s happy families.

10 Things that Red-Flag a Newbie Novelist - Anne R. Allen's Blog... with Ruth Harris

They tend to be remarkably alike. Certain mistakes are common to almost all beginners. These things aren’t necessarily wrong, but they are difficult to do well—and get in the way of smooth storytelling They also make it easy for professionals—and a lot of readers—to spot the unseasoned newbie. Kurt Vonnegut graphed the world’s most popular stories. This post comes via Know More, Wonkblog's social media site.

Kurt Vonnegut graphed the world’s most popular stories

Kurt Vonnegut claimed that his prettiest contribution to culture wasn’t a popular novel like “Cat’s Cradle” or “Slaughterhouse-Five,” but a largely forgotten master’s thesis he wrote while studying anthropology at the University of Chicago. The thesis argued that a main character has ups and downs that can be graphed to reveal the taxonomy of a story, as well as something about the culture it comes from.

“The fundamental idea is that stories have shapes which can be drawn on graph paper, and that the shape of a given society’s stories is at least as interesting as the shape of its pots or spearheads,” Vonnegut said. In addition to churning out novels, Vonnegut was deeply interested in the practice of writing. The tips he wrote for other writers – including “How to write with style” and “Eight rules for writing fiction” -- are concise, funny, and still very useful.

7 Fatal Flaws That Told Me My Novel Wasn’t Ready to Pitch. About three years ago I submitted myself—willingly—to the rigorous process of the GrubStreet Novel Incubator Program.

7 Fatal Flaws That Told Me My Novel Wasn’t Ready to Pitch

Like an MFA program condensed into a single year, the Novel Incubator has its ten students critique each other’s full-length manuscripts, and take their own manuscripts apart, then re-write and reassemble them into much better drafts. Writing Fight Scenes – What an Editor Wants to See. Saturday, August 15, 2015 As an editor, something I’ve discovered when I’m editing books for other people is I’m making the same comments over and over again in relation to action scenes.

Writing Fight Scenes – What an Editor Wants to See

I thought I’d summarize them here in the hope that someone may find it useful for their writing. As always, this is just how I’d do it and what I’d like to see, and your mileage may vary wildly. An action scene is a scene, right, where action is happening, right, hence the name “action scene”. Writing a scene, in two pages. South Park Writers Share Their Writing Rule #1 - AFW. Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules For Writers. The Daily Word Counts of 39 Famous Authors. If you want to be a published writer, you should cultivate a writing routine.

The Daily Word Counts of 39 Famous Authors

Almost every writer I've interviewed has one. Creating a habit of writing - even if what you are writing is not good - is vital. Many of them believe that you should write every day, saying that it helps them write with more confidence. But how many words should you write every day? Here are the daily word counts of 39 famous authors. Good Writing vs Bad—Hugo Edition. I often use these two lines from Farewell, My Lovely in class, as an example of excellent writing: "It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window. " I then ask what we know about the blonde? The older students know definitively that "it" is female—the e in blonde is the giveaway.

The younger, more politically annoying aware students will often point to and object to the "it" in "It was a blonde. " And what do we know of the narrator: he's intelligent, creative, cynical, attempts to detach himself from his own animal nature, is irreligious but was likely religious at some point, likes to show off. In Which I Critique Your Story (That I Haven’t Read) This past weekend, I bopped by San Antonio, Texas to punch a couple bulls, hide a bicycle in the basement of the Alamo, eat buckets of tacos, and also work as faculty for this year’s Paradise Lost writing program. I got to hang out with some fellow pro-grade writers (Delilah S. Dawson, Robert J. Bennett, Marko Kloos) and work with some semi-pro up-and-comers, all under the vigilant stare of the madman known as Sean Patrick Kelley.

Why Editors Reject Manuascripts. The Reason Editors Reject Manuscripts by Vicki Hinze Reasons Manuscripts are Most Frequently Rejected by Editors and/or Agents Once per year for the last seven or eight years, I've surveyed a number of editors from large publishing houses, small presses, and a group of small and large literary agents in various genres, trying to get a good cross-section of responses so that writers could get a firm grip of what's going on in the industry.

What I'm about to share with you are the reasons these industry professionals cited that they most often reject manuscripts. I've included insights I've learned along the way on how to rid your work of those infractions or troublespots. Hopefully, by identifying the challenges and sharing how to correct them in your work, each of you will get fewer rejection letters.

Are These Filter Words Weakening Your Fiction? After taking several weeks away from the first draft of my novel, I decided to jump back in. I expected to find all sorts of problems with the story: inconsistencies in the plot, lack of transitions, poor characterization—the works. But what began to stick out at me the most was something to which I’d given little thought in writing the first draft. Filter words. How criticism destroys enjoyment and how get past it. When I was teaching screenwriting at Pepperdine, I used to warn my students that their friends were going to stop watching TV with them, and wouldn’t go out to the movies with them anymore. They’d give me the look. Then four or six weeks later, one or another would raise her hand and say, “My friends won’t watch TV with me anymore,” or “My friends don’t want me to go to the movies with them anymore.” » Fighting Words: Thoughts on Prose Style Prompted by John Wick max gladstone. John Cleese on Creativity.

12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans. 10 Rules for Writing About Cops by Joe McKinney « Backspace: The Writers Place. W.L. Ripley: How To Create a Series Character - Brash Books. W.L. Ripley is the author of two critically-acclaimed series of crime novels — four books featuring ex-professional football player Wyatt Storme and four books about ex-Secret Service agent Cole Springer. Ten Things That Make an Editor Stop Reading Your Manuscript — Elizabeth Law Reads. The Flat-Heeled Muse. The Problem with Action Movies Today. 5 Ways Movies Get Gunfights Wrong (Based on Experience) Everybody knows action movies are fake, but that doesn't change the fact that they're responsible for approximately 100 percent of our education on the subject of guns and combat. Writing Women Characters as Human Beings.

Stephen King On How To Write. Aerogramme Writers' StudioStephen King's "Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully – in Ten Minutes". Story templates 3 4. How to Plot Your Novel with a Simple Spreadsheet. Writing an Outline of Your Novel. By Glen C. Strathy* The final stage of preparation - writing an outline for your novel - builds on everything you have done so far. 8 simple formula plot templates. 20 Essential Elements of a Bestselling Thriller, by Jodie Renner. 29 Plot Templates. Your Novel Blueprint. Elements of a Story Worksheets.

Wall-E and Toy Story Screenwriter Andrew Stanton Reveals the Clues to A Great Story.