Tips and such

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I’ve edited a monthly magazine for more than six years, and it’s a job that’s come with more frustration than reward. If there’s one thing I am grateful for — and it sure isn’t the pay — it’s that my work has allowed endless time to hone my craft to Louis Skolnick levels of grammar geekery. As someone who slings red ink for a living, let me tell you: grammar is an ultra-micro component in the larger picture; it lies somewhere in the final steps of the editing trail; and as such it’s an overrated quasi-irrelevancy in the creative process, perpetuated into importance primarily by bitter nerds who accumulate tweed jackets and crippling inferiority complexes. 20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes

20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes

Themes & Things To Keep In Mind When Writing Fantasy Stories and Adventures » Daily Encounter This list is far from complete. It’s not even trying to be complete. It knows better than that. It just wants to be helpful and provide some inspiration here and there; you know, offer little suggestions that might lead to bigger ideas. (Especially by using the words offered as Wikipedia searches!) Feel free to make suggestions in the comments!

Themes & Things To Keep In Mind When Writing Fantasy Stories and Adventures » Daily Encounter

Stocking Stuffers: 13 Writing Tips From Chuck Palahniuk Twenty years ago, a friend and I walked around downtown Portland at Christmas. The big department stores: Meier and Frank… Fredrick and Nelson… Nordstroms… their big display windows each held a simple, pretty scene: a mannequin wearing clothes or a perfume bottle sitting in fake snow. But the windows at the J.J.

Stocking Stuffers: 13 Writing Tips From Chuck Palahniuk

25 Insights on Becoming a Better Writer

When George Plimpton asked Ernest Hemingway what the best training for an aspiring writer would be in a 1954 interview, Hem replied, “Let’s say that he should go out and hang himself because he finds that writing well is impossibly difficult. Then he should be cut down without mercy and forced by his own self to write as well as he can for the rest of his life. At least he will have the story of the hanging to commence with.” Today, writing well is more important than ever. 25 Insights on Becoming a Better Writer

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. Eight Secrets Which Writers Won’t Tell You
Why Fiction is So Hard to Write I’ve been blogging for a little over three years. I’ve been writing fiction since … well, pretty much since I could write. My blog posts are read by thousands of people. Only 1% of the fiction I’ve ever written has been published.

Why Fiction is So Hard to Write

Writer's Block Help - Inspired Creative Writing Ideas and Techniques So, what do you do about it? You may be in the midst of writing your great American novel. If so, you are probably feeling as though you are standing on the threshold of something great, but something is keeping you from realizing your dream. Maybe it's writer's block. Try one of our creative writing story starters as the beginning of some new work you have been aching to begin. Writer's Block Help - Inspired Creative Writing Ideas and Techniques
Words of Wisdom: 101 Tips from the World’s Most Famous Authors

Words of Wisdom: 101 Tips from the World’s Most Famous Authors

If you've ever wanted to sit down with your favorite writer and ask advice, then you should take a look at these tips from some of the most famous authors in the world. These valuable bits of information provide guidance on strengthening your writing skills, becoming a better fiction writer or poet, learning to tap into your creativity, advice on education and school, and even a few suggestions on success and living a meaningful life. Of course, another excellent way of improving your writing is through traditional or online master’s degrees in creative writing. General Writing Tips Improve any type of writing you do with these solid tips from successful writers themselves. Ernest Hemingway.
Story Structure Series
Writing Scene Transitions In answer to Marian's question, I decided to do an entire post. Hope it helps. When jumping from scene to scene, it can end up choppy and confusing. This can be especially difficult for those who write out of chronological order (like me.) So how do we smoothly stitch together all the changes in tone/setting? Writing Scene Transitions
Writing Tips – the actual scene changes (transitions)
Help with writing scene transitions Help with writing scene transitions Here is a shot in the dark. Ask yourself "then what (relevant thing) happened?" If it is at a different location or different characters or a significant time lapse, try the *** that Ollie mentioned. If it is more or less a continuation of what was happening with additional characters arriving, then do the second part Ollie recommended. During a draft you can do the second recommendation, then at the rewrite stage cut/delete the insignificant paragraphs/scenes. Think in terms of how a movie or your favorite book tells a story.
Posted by beckylevine under Scenes | Tags: Revising, Scenes, Transitions | [4] Comments Remember, in the days when you were writing essays for English class, and a teacher would write the word “transition” in the margin of your paper? They wanted you to smooth out the jump from one paragraph to another, to use a phrase that would make the flow of text more clean. So you’d stick in something like “After Joe got home from the zoo…” or “Once Sally dug the pickle out of the pudding…” Then you’d hand the essay back in and hope for a better grade. When we’re writing fiction, moving our readers from scene to scene, we need transitions, too. What we don’t want, though, is for our stories to sound like high-school essays, with the only goal being a higher grade. Scene Transitions « Becky Levine
Writer's Block: The Cause and the Cure
Why Writer’s Block is Your Secret Weapon

500 Cliches to Avoid in Your Creative Writing

Cliches (properly spelled clichés, with the acute accent) are words and phrases, once interesting, which have lost their original effect from overuse. They are considered trite and should be avoided in writing unless used purposely for effect. We all use them without thinking, sometimes because they fit the bill or are just the ticket (both cliches), but usually because they're metaphors, idiom, or truisms that have become so common we no longer notice them.
(Image from Flickr by Unhindered by Talent) Have you ever read a book that was way too wordy? (For me, Stephen Covey’s otherwise excellent 7 Habits of Highly Effective People comes to mind…) The content itself might have been good – but the substance ended up buried beneath a froth of unnecessary words. Perhaps you found it hard to stay focused, or you simply stopped reading. How to Cut the Waffle From Your Writing – and Grab Readers’ Attention
We have all met people who have the extraordinary ability to talk in clichés: Y’know, not to beat around the bush or hedge your bet, this section is a must-read because it calls a spade a spade and in a nutshell leaves no stone unturned to pull the rug from under those off-the-cuff, old-hat bête noires called clichés. These are the people who’ve given the cliché its bad name. We all tend to use them, of course. Sometimes that familiar phrase is the neatest way of expressing yourself and most of us can, in a flash (cliché), unconsciously call up a few hundred of them to help us out in writing and conversation. But how aware are we of the irritation (or worse, sniggering) that the overuse of clichés can cause? Writing Tips - Publishers list of phrases for writers to avoid | authonomy writing community
Fantasy world Many fantasy worlds draw heavily on real world history, geography and sociology, and also on mythology and folklore. Plot function[edit] The setting of a fantasy work is often of great importance to the plot and characters of the story. The setting itself can be imperiled by the evil of the story, suffer a calamity, and be restored by the transformation the story brings about.[3] Stories that use the setting as merely a backdrop for the story have been criticized for their failure to use it fully.[4] Even when the land itself is not in danger, it is often used symbolically, for thematic purposes, and to underscore moods.[5]
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