The 10 Types of Writers' Block (and How to Overcome Them) New Fiction Exercises, Brian Kiteley. Brian Kiteley Sample Fiction Exercises from The 4 A.M. Breakthrough These are some exercises from The 4 A.M. Breakthrough (a follow-up to my book The 3 A.M. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Across again against American another Arabic arm asks away balcony building Cairo call chair Charles city come daughter day does door down Egypt Egyptian English European even eyes face feels few first friend Gamal girl go going good hand head himself home hour Ib know language last laughs Ib Lena lights long look man men moment name next night now old own people prisoner read right room Ruqayyah Safeyya say saying see sits small something speak stands still story street table take talk tell thing think three time told turns two walks want wife without woman word years Yehya This is an interesting distillation of a book.
Pick a book you like and know well that has one of these concordances on the Amazon site. 6. 1. This is from Gretchen Rubin’s website ( 7. 8. 9. 10. MpdsleS0ii1r0acyio1_500.jpg (JPEG Image, 284 × 750 pixels) - Scaled (79%) Set up Your Story in the First Paragraphs. By Jodie Renner, editor, author, speaker I receive several first chapters (and synopses) every week as submissions for possible editing, and I always read the first page. Some are clear and compelling and make me want to read more.
But too often, two main problems emerge: Either the author spends too much time revving his engine with description or backstory before we even care (boring); or we’re plunged right into the story but have no idea where we are or what’s going on (confusing). There are three cardinal rules of successful novelists: 1. 2. 3. I’ve discussed the negative effects of starting off too slowly, with too much description and/or backstory, in other articles (see the links at the end of this article). Your first paragraph and first page are absolutely critical! So try to work in the basics of the 4 W’s below in your first page — preferably within the first two or three paragraphs. Who? What? Where? When? Also, your first page is a kind of promise to your readers. 1. 2. 3. Read Great Books to Inspire Your Own Writing. This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers (this installment written by Jane Higgins, author of the acclaimed YA debut, THE BRIDGE) at any stage of their career can talk about writing advice and instruction as well as how they possibly got their book agent — by sharing seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning.
(Look over our growing list of young adult literary agents.) GIVEAWAY: Jane is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: threetuis won.) Jane Higgins is the author of the debut YA novel, THE BRIDGE, (Tundra Books, 2012), a post-apocalyptic story about young people caught up in a war. 1. 2. (How to pitch agents at a writers’ conference.) 3. 4. 5. (How to Seek Quality in Your Beta Readers.) 6. 7. You might also like: Problem With Procrastination? Try Doing Nothing.
Just about anyone who has ever put off a troublesome task is familiar with one of my Secrets of Adulthood: Working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination. When there’s some chore you just don’t want to tackle, every other chore seems alluring. As a friend told me, “My apartment is never cleaner than when I have a writing assignment due.”
In Roy Baumeister and John Tierney’s fascinating book, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, they suggest the “Nothing Alternative” to this problem. That is, if you want to get yourself to do something, make the alternative to that task to do nothing. This rule was inspired by the habits of writer Raymond Chandler. He summed up: “Two very simple rules, a. you don’t have to write. b. you can’t do anything else. When I read this, I realized that I’d been following this rule without giving it a name. Sure, sometimes I jump up and go look for a book in the stacks, but that doesn’t take long. How about you? NCW--Anton Chekhov on Writing. My own experience is that once a story has been written, one has to cross out the beginning and the end. It is there that we authors do most of our lying.
When you describe the miserable and unfortunate, and want to make the reader feel pity, try to be somewhat colder — that seems to give a kind of background to another's grief, against which it stands out more clearly. Whereas in your story the characters cry and you sigh. Yes, be more cold. ... I will begin with what in my opinion is your lack of restraint. Another piece of advice: when you read proof cross out as many adjectives and adverbs as you can. Critics are like horse-flies which hinder the horses in their ploughing of the soil. If there is a gun hanging on the wall in the first act, it must fire in the last. ... only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things. I think descriptions of nature should be very short and always be à propos. To a chemist there is nothing impure on earth. Self publishing costs nothing. A number of people have asked me “How much does self-publishing cost?”
, so this post will clear that up. It may be controversial! Please do post comments if you disagree or have questions. Answer 1: It costs nothing Write book: $0 (but lots of time)Edit book: $0 Friend who is an English teacherProof-read book: $0 Friends and colleagues found on TwitterCover design: $0 Royalty free or own photos and text only made into a .jpg on Microsoft PublisherTypeset book: $0 done by self on Microsoft WordPublish book: Published as an Ebook on Smashwords for free and up for sale for US$4.99. Now for sale on the iPhone. Or it costs $10 for the print version:Publish book on Amazon.com by loading onto Lulu.com for free, and choosing the Published by Lulu option (for free). With these options, you have no pile of books sitting in your garage, no distribution to physical bookshops. This basic model is the one I now follow and will be teaching all the tricks of the trade in the author 2.0 program. Nonfiction Narrative and the Yellow Test.
Draft is a series about the art and craft of writing. I went to see Carrie a week after her accident. Her shoulder had been broken, the bone shattered, and 24 stitches were needed to sew the cuts on her face. Her arm was in a sling. Her feet were propped on a pillow. A bottle of Vicodin was on a table within easy reach. The accident occurred on a weeklong 325-mile bike ride. Suddenly her wheels lost traction on the wet, slippery surface, and she felt the bike slip out from under her as she flew off the seat. Milan Bozic They left their bikes in the rain and trudged a mile to the Paw Paw Tunnel, a more than 3,000-foot-long passageway built to bypass several horseshoe bends in the Potomac River. “That’s the plot of scene 2,” I told her. Carrie is a professor at a university.
There’s been a lot of research published about the effectiveness of stories. I told Carrie about the exercise I assign my students: “The Yellow Test.” There are different approaches to writing in scenes. K.M. Weiland | Author of Historical and Speculative Fiction. English Idioms Beginning With 'A' - Page 1. Showing 1-50 of 203 results for letter 'A' A barking dog seldom bites A person who readily threatens other people does not often take action. A bit much If something is excessive or annoying, it is a bit much. A bridge too far A bridge too far is an act of overreaching- going too far and getting into trouble or failing. A chain is no stronger than its weakest link This means that processes, organisations, etc, are vulnerable because the weakest person or part can always damage or break them.
A day late and a dollar short (USA) If something is a day late and a dollar short, it is too little, too late. A fool and his money are soon parted This idiom means that people who aren't careful with their money spend it quickly. A fool at 40 is a fool forever If someone hasn't matured by the time they reach forty, they never will. A fresh pair of eyes A person who is brought in to examine something carefully is a fresh pair of eyes. A hitch in your giddy-up A lick and a promise A light purse is a heavy curse A List. Daily Writing Tips. 30 Indispensable Writing Tips From Famous Authors. Colson Whitehead’s Rules for Writing. How to Write a Great Novel: Junot Diaz, Anne Rice, Margaret Atwood and Other Authors Tell. Writers Groups. Thinking of joining a writers group? A writers group is an informal gathering of writers who meet once a month or more to share their poems, short stories, novels, or essays. They share advice and criticism, and generally support one another through the process of writing and submitting their work to literary agents and editors.
These groups are also a great source of writing-related news and industry leads (especially online groups). Writing is a solitary endeavor, so it’s only natural that some writers are drawn to groups of like-minded souls. No one but a fellow writer can properly appreciate the pain of a terse rejection or the angst of writer’s block. That’s the concept behind writers groups. What to look for in a writers group: Dynamics. Positive atmosphere. No fawning! A common goal. Logistics. Online Writers Groups Online writers groups are also very popular and especially handy for those who live in less populated areas.
A word of caution. Dysfunctional Writers Group Members. 7 Simple Ways Writers Can Pay It Forward » All About Writing. Using Dialogue Tags and Punctuation Properly. Dialogue can be tough, but for a lot of writers, tagging and punctuating it correctly is even harder. Here are some of the most common errors I see, and how to correct them. Dialogue Tags You should use a dialogue tag anytime it’s not completely clear who is speaking. A dialogue tag lets the reader know who’s speaking. He said and she said are the most common dialogue tags, though if it’s not completely clear who’s speaking when you use he said or she said, it’s time to use your characters’ names. Let’s pretend for the example below that we’ve just started a new scene: “Sorry I’m late,” June said.
In this example, we tag both June’s dialogue and David’s dialogue with their names. However, you may not be able to go more than a few lines without some kind of indication of who’s speaking. For example, if we pick up where we stopped with June and David’s conversation: “I just ran by the grocery store on the way home.” “I’m sorry I’m late,” she said. Said Rather than saying, or even For example: What Is Considered Previously Published Writing? Theory of Narrative Causality. Westbow Press Blog. Canada Writes - Louise Penny Master Class: 18 things I wish I'd known before starting my first book.
How To Write Fiction Based On Real Life. Writing fiction from real-life experiences isn’t as easy as it sounds. Fiction writers—writers of short stories and novels—must know when to use real-life details and when those details don’t work well in prose. Putting your real life in writing can be inspiring, but it can be dangerous too. Creating Fiction From Personal Experiences: Life is a wealth of material for writers. Most fiction is autobiographical to some extent, as writers draw from their real-world experiences—a first kiss, graduation, birth, death, marriage, divorce, career changes, the assassination of JFK, the invention of Spam (both kinds). Creating Fiction From Other People’s Experiences: Grab a National Enquirer and take a look at the headlines.
On-the-Job Training: There are many well-known authors who have used their work backgrounds to create believable, technically correct fiction. Warnings About Writing Fiction Based On Real Life: Just be careful that you’re being honest with the way you show real life in fiction. The Obsessed Writer’s Guide To Crawling Your Way Back To Sanity « Courage 2 Create. Editor’s note: this is a guest post by Kathleen Pooler of Memoir Writer’s Journey. “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” - Red Smith I’m a memoir writer and a retired nurse practitioner.
I’ve also been consumed by my writing for the past three years. I’ve taken writing classes, attended numerous writing conferences, workshops, webinars and I’ve also worked non-stop on building my author platform through blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, Goodreading, Google+ing and LinkedIn-ing. I figured I needed to invest in my craft and learn as much as I could before I attempted to publish my memoir. But when I started taking my iPad every place I went, checking my smartphone in the middle of the night, and tweeting in my dreams, I realized, this was not me being dedicated to my craft.
This was me having an unhealthy obsession with writing. Confessions of An Obsessed Writer Have you, like me, ever felt obsessed, possessed, and tethered to your writing? Canada Writes - Shyam Selvadurai vs. Robert Hough: Write what you know/Write what you don't. Courage 2 Create. 20 Ways to Kill Your Writer's Block Forever. Has this happened to you? You want to write some new posts for your blog, but nothing’s coming to you. You’re just sitting there, with those blank white pixels taunting you, until your eyeballs hurt. If you’re going to be a successful writer of any kind — blogger, journalist, copywriter, novelist, you name it — writer’s block can’t happen.
The good news is you can learn how to write on cue. How do I know? Here are my 20 best tips for defeating writer’s block and getting the writing done: Don’t start with a blank page. What do you do when you’ve got writer’s block? Why reading aloud makes a book so much better. As a result of the Dickens bicentenary, I have been listening to the unabridged Naxos recording of David Copperfield read by Nicholas Boulton. Dickens of course was a great reader aloud of his own work, and it plays well in this format.
Among my discoveries, on the re-reading, I've noticed, for the first time, the impressive similarities between Mr Micawber and Homer Simpson, and also between the character of the servant Littimer and PG Wodehouse's Jeeves. But that's by the by. Listening to Naxos, and reflecting on Dickens, I have been reminded what a crucial role the reading out of prose has played in our literature. Almost contemporary with Dickens, Lewis Carroll first recounted "Alice's Adventures Under Ground" to the three Liddell sisters on a boating trip on 4 July 1862. Robert Louis Stevenson was another Victorian whose work bears the stamp of fireside storytelling.
It's not a foolproof formula. And yet ... 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. 2.
Meaning you don’t have to lay every last detail of every last thing out. The best writers are the ones who can cover the most distance with the fewest words. 3. 4. You open with a hook, of course—the title—then you hook with the first line, then, usually at the end of the first paragraph, you set that hook. Prompts, lessons, and resources for writing classrooms. Assemble a Quality Portfolio | Pan-European MFA - Creative Writing. 6 Writing Tips From John Steinbeck - Maria Popova - Entertainment. Set up Your Story in the First Paragraphs. Creative Writing Prompts. How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method. How to Stop Procrastinating and Start Writing. Writers, Agents & Editors Network Blog: Henry Miller's 11 Writing Commandments.
The Writer: Advice and inspiration for todayâ€™s writer. 25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing. Writing Quickly: A Secret Strategy. Tips And Tricks For Writing Fast (And Professionally!) (25) The Guardian on Facebook. Haruki Murakami: Talent Is Nothing Without Focus and Endurance. William Shunn : Manuscript Format : Short Story - StumbleUpon. Pro Writing Tips » Grammar and writing tips. Top 10 Tips : Starting and Finishing the 1st Draft - Rasmus Rasmussen dot com. Writing tips. Writing tips | Time to Write. 25 Things Writers Should Start Doing.