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Writing: Tips/Techniques/References

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Writing Gay Characters. Epithets: Fandom's Designated Hitters. NOTESPart of the "Variety Is the Spice of Life, and I Need Some Tums" set of essays. For the others, see:Purple Fanfic's (total lack of) Majesty | Said Is Not a Four-Letter Word For a list of epithets used in various fandoms, see my epithets page. written December 2004 by Arduinna An epithet, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is "a characterizing word or phrase accompanying or occurring in place of the name of a person or thing". They're a very popular writing device. What's So Bad About Them?

Epithets are one of the biggest weak spots in fanfic; they show up in droves in every fandom, diluting story after story. (For a list of many, many epithets used in many, many fandoms, see my Epithets page.) While there are certain situations where an alternative to a name worksbetter (see Are They Ever a Good Idea? Why do something that seems so boring? A name encompasses everything about a person. And yet, epithets abound. The archaeologist - the person who has a degree in the study of antiquities Daniel. Said Is Not a Four-Letter Word. NOTESPart of the "Variety Is the Spice of Life, and I Need Some Tums" set of essays.

For the others, see:Purple Fanfic's (total lack of) Majesty | Epithets: Fandom's Designated Hitters written December 2004 "Said" Is Not a Four-Letter Word by Arduinna Many people seem to be afraid to repeat the word "said" in dialogue tags -- the phrases that explain who's talking, and in what manner. And like epithets, this attempt to jazz up a story to keep it from being boring often backfires. I just found a story where I stopped reading after a few paragraphs, and started skimming and counting. These characters didn't talk to each other. Tiring, isn't it? Said cajolinglysaid sweetlysaid softlysaid gentlysaid brusquelysaid grufflysaid lovinglysaid tightlysaid loudlysaid innocentlysaid admiringlysaid brightlysaid smuglysaid severelysaid criticallysaid gliblysaid drilysaid unkindlysaid cheerfullysaid provocatively None of those words, or combinations of words, is inherently bad. Non-"said" tags: "Said" tags:

Cartographers' Guild - The Front Page. Science and Technical References for Writers - books, journals, software programs. A Note About Recommendations Access to Science and Technical References * updated! A Note About the Recommendations It is easy to find layman's information, coffee-table books, and popular references that are useful for school projects--bookstores and local libraries are full of them. In general, recommendations for those types of books are not listed here. The recommendations listed here are for the technical reader or for the writer who wants to understand a particular science or aspect of that science in order to get the details correct in his or her literary work. References listed here include definitive works, text books, and the occasional coffee-table book of images, such as books of electron micrographs. Some recommendations include caveats. You do not have to have a university degree in the discipline in order to understand the material in most of the recommended references, but you should have at least a general science education.

. [ Next discussion ][ Top of file ] Disease. Minotaur's Sex Tips for Slash Writers. Write A Novel Using Snowflake Method. Writing a novel is easy. Writing a good novel is hard. That’s just life. If it were easy, we’d all be writing best-selling, prize-winning fiction. Frankly, there are a thousand different people out there who can tell you how to write a novel. In this article, I’d like to share with you what works for me. This page is the most popular one on my web site, and gets over a thousand page views per day, so you can guess that a lot of people find it useful. Good fiction doesn’t just happen, it is designed. For a number of years, I was a software architect designing large software projects. I claim that that’s how you design a novel — you start small, then build stuff up until it looks like a story.

If you’re like most people, you spend a long time thinking about your novel before you ever start writing. But before you start writing, you need to get organized. Step 1) Take an hour and write a one-sentence summary of your novel. Some hints on what makes a good sentence: Shorter is better. How to Write a Story: Creative Story Ideas, Tips to Help You Write Your Own Book. Get creative story ideas, write your own book! Want to write a good book? Check out these tips on how to write a story that captures readers' attention from beginning to end: How to Write a Story #1: Know Your Market, Get Story Ideas and Outline Your Plot The first step is to know who you are writing for, and what your readers want; this may lead you to novel ideas for stories. Work on your plot and prepare your story outline before you begin writing. How to Write a Story #2: Plan Your Settings Familiarize yourself with your story setting.

As you write, add in details as they appear in the story. If you're writing for young children, keep the setting simple; limit the number of locations, for example home, school, playground, friends' homes. Older children, teens and adults, however, require more diversified settings to add interest to the story. How to Write a Story #3: Flesh Out Your Characters Give your characters names; as soon as they're named, these people will come alive for you.

Where Should a Second Chapter Start? On October 12th, 2010 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill and last modified on October 12, 2010 We’ve all read advice about the first chapter—how and where to begin a story; what makes for strong openings, depending on the genre; what not to include in the first paragraph or page of chapter one; what to include in a novel’s opening.

We understand that a good opening chapter sets the tone and introduces lead characters and gets the plot rolling. We know almost as much about the final chapter, the final paragraph, and the final words. About how to finish a story so that it’s complete and satisfying and induces the reader to want more. Yet, where’s the advice for chapter two? What do we do to move from that compelling first chapter—the one that’s seen more rewrites than all other pages combined and multiplied by 10—and into the meat of the story? We certainly want to continue the tone we’ve established. Sure there are. Where should a second chapter start? 1. 2. Short Stories: 10 Tips for Creative Writers (Kennedy and Jerz) (Dennis G. Jerz, Seton Hill University) The 7 worst ways to start your novel - Pro Writing Tips.

Aspiring novelists are always intimidated by the classics, especially when it comes to writing the opening of the novel. Look at what we have to live up to: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” — A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens“Mother died today. Or maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure.” — The Stranger, Albert Camus“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” — 1984, George Orwell Who wouldn’t be shaking in their boots at the thought of having to measure up to such greatness? While I can’t tell you how to start your novel to get your name on that list, I can give you some tips on what not to do, so that your manuscript won’t end up in the trash can of agents and publishing houses around the country. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1.

If you’re still struggling with your opening, check out the for inspiration. Related Posts. How to Write a Good Story Beginning. On August 11th, 2010 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill and last modified on April 11, 2012 Your first chapter, your opening scene, your very first words are an invitation to readers. Have you made your invitation inviting? That is, is it tempting or attractive or irresistible? Once a reader has glanced at your opening, will he or she find the story impossible to put down? That’s one aim of your story opening, to issue a hard-to-resist invitation to your fictional world.

You don’t want to create barriers for readers. Instead, you want to make the entry into your story one of ease and inevitability. Books compete with movies and other books and games and the Internet and families and lovers—why wouldn’t you give your opening the strongest chance to snare a reader’s attention? What can be found in a compelling opening? MurderBetrayalConflictJealousyDeathGuiltThe unexpectedConfusionA new worldFearSurpriseUpheavalThe unusual What isn’t compelling? RoutineBlissPointless talkBack storyCliched characters. How to Hook Your Readers. On June 14th, 2010 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill and last modified on November 8, 2010 Remember the musical number from Gypsy, “Gotta Get a Gimmick”?

The strippers advised Gypsy Rose Lee that to be successful, she’d need a gimmick, something eye-catching that would grab the attention of audience members. Writers likewise need attention-attracting elements to steer the focus of their readers to the story in their hands (and keep it there). Books compete with TV, computers, movies, hand-held devices and who-knows-what-else for attention. If your book’s opening doesn’t capture the reader, doesn’t draw her into your tale, you’re going to lose her. (Cover art and cover blurbs also need to do their part, but those items we’ll leave for another discussion.) So, how do you entice your reader to stay with your book? You hook her, engage her with an incident from the life of your lead character.

Consider events from your own life. Only, you don’t want to report the incident later in the day. Fun. How do you keep your readers reading? - Pro Writing Tips. Mar 2nd, 2009 | By John Roach | Category: Big Picture I’m going to fail you today. I don’t have the answers. I’ve got some ideas. I’ve got techniques for making sure your readers make it all the way to your last sentence, but not the end-all, be-all. I’m hoping you can fill in the blanks.

Without further ado, here are 10 tricks you can use to keep your readers engaged. Of course, not all techniques will work for all writers; mix and match as you will. Structure A good hook. Style Use the active voice and short, simple sentences. Substance Don’t make statements; ask questions and then answer them later.Let your passion for the topic shine through. What techniques do you use to ensure reader engagement? Related Posts Tags: active, lists, tips, verbs. Expanded Power Revision Checklist. Would you like to be a published poet? Would you like recognition for your work? Please check out the "Invalid Item" Part I of the Writers Workshop: Expanded Power Revision Checklist I first presented the content of this article at a writers workshop. Hence, the way this material is formatted and presented here is probably more suited to verbal presentation in a class with hands-on examples.

However, with the positive response I have received for the short version of "The Power Revision Checklist" and seeing a need amongst fellow writers for a more in-depth handling of these superb techniques, I decided to do some moderate reformatting to make this reader-friendly and suitable for posting.

This article is a compilation of the techniques culled, distilled, and synthesized from the thirty-eight references listed at the end of this piece. Warning: Some of these techniques may not fit with what you may have thought was great writing. Keep in mind that avoid and limit do not mean never. 1. 2. Show, Don't (Just) Tell (Dennis G. Jerz, Seton Hill University) Understanding Narrative Mode - Pro Writing Tips.

Good storytelling deals as much with how a story is told as it does with what a story is. The dramatic moments and insight into the characters and their conflicts all come from information gathered about those characters. One of the easiest ways to build that drama is through an understanding of narrative voice.

Each narrative mode has its own strengths and weaknesses, and thus each will benefit different types of stories. First Person Though the First Person narrative mode has been used throughout the literary ages, the particular style has recently come back into vogue, perhaps spurred by the rise of two particular genres—blogs and memoirs. Like both of these mediums, the First Person narrative makes use the first person pronouns “I” and “me”. With regards to informational limits, the First Person mode is exceptionally restricted.

This narrative voice is exceptionally flexible and can go very far to illustrate the personality of whoever is telling the story. Third Person Limited Selective. How to Make Readers Feel Emotion. On January 30th, 2011 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill and last modified on February 8, 2011 I wrote an article on the importance of creating emotions in readers, but I’ve noticed that writers are looking for specifics on how to accomplish that. So, this article complements that first one, presents practical tips on how to stir the reader’s emotions. Readers like to be touched, moved, by story. They like to imagine themselves in worlds and situations that challenge them, that give them opportunity to do and be something other than what they do or are in their real lives.

Fiction, whether in book or film or games, allows people to not only step into other worlds, but to experience those worlds. Since readers want to immerse themselves in other worlds and other lives, what can writers do to make that experience authentic, to make the fictional world real for a few hours? But how can a writer accomplish this? 1. This is a major key for rousing reader emotions. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. The Novelist: Word Wizarding | The Passionate Writer. Character meme fun! This is how I was procrastinating during the exam period. "Post-processual theory? ...After I've cleared out my hard drive, I think... ... ooh! What's this? A daft questionnaire I saved from somewhere on the Internet? Sad, eh? Choose ten of your OCs, then answer the questions. 1) Aedán mac Fionn - Gairea's cousin, a novice Druid 2) Sargaid ní Illan - Chief Druidess of the Epidii tribe; Gairea's mentor 3) Gaius Decius Crassus - Marcus' tentmate and best friend 4) Marcus Valerius Laevinus - a legionary of Legio XX Valeria Victrix 5) Garnat son of Talan - sister-son and heir of Calgach of the Caledones 6) Gairea ní Machar - novice Druidess and seer 7) Cathal mac Comgall - champion of the Epidii tribe 8) Calgach son of Brude - King of the Caledones tribe 9) Gnaeus Julius Agricola - Governor of Britannia 10) Tuathal mac Fiacha - an exiled prince from Eriu 1. 4 invites 3 and 8 to dinner at their house.

Ouch! 2. 9 tries to get 5 to go to a strip club. 3. Er... 4. 2 and 7 are making out. 10 walks in. The 100 Most Important Things To Know About Your Character (revised) Quote from original Author(Beth):This list came about when, one day while struggling to develop a character for an upcoming Hunter game, my lovely roommate Nikki looked at me and said something like, "Wouldn't it be cool to have a list of questions you could go through and answer while you were making characters, so you'd make sure to consider all sorts of different elements in their personality? " I agreed, and that very evening we sat down over hot chocolate and ramen noodles to whip up a list of 100 appearance-, history-, and personality-related questions (which seemed like a nice even number) to answer as a relatively easy yet still in-depth character building exercise.

Later on, we went through the list again, took out the questions that sucked (because there were a lot of them) and replaced them with better ones. What you see before you is the result of that second revision. Just don't email us specifically to tell us how much we suck. That only results in cranky gamerchicks. - Beth. How to Flesh out a Country or Region in Your Fantasy RPG World. The Domesday Book - Medieval Demographics Made Easy. *Chaotic Shiny - RPG-Related Generators.