9 Editing Tips that Make Your Writing Sparkle It’s often said that writing is rewriting. Banging out a quick first draft can be fun, but the real grunt work comes in revising your work. Here are nine editing tips that can help you polish your writing until it sparkles: 1. Read aloud When you become too familiar with a piece of writing, suddenly it’s more difficult to spot weaknesses and errors. 2. Better than just reading your work aloud is recording yourself (most computers have a voice recording program already installed). 3. Don’t write the last word of your first draft and then launch into editing mode straight away. 4. If your sentence makes sense without using a particular word, cut it. 5. “A passive construction occurs when you make the object of an action into the subject of a sentence,” says this university web resource. 6. Have you ever re-read a piece of your writing, only to find you’ve used the same word twice in the same sentence, or three times in the same paragraph? 7. 8. 9. Polished Writing
How to Avoid Plot Cliches: Tips for Writers on Increasing Their Chances of Publication | Suite101.com Nobody ever said plotting was easy. And because it's not easy, an alarming number of writers settle for so-called 'plot cliches'. Although the cliched situations that follow can appear in any story, some are more likely to be seen in a particular genre. For those who enjoy fantasy (or any writer who just likes a good laugh) Peter Anspach's "The Top 100 Things I'd Do if I Ever Became an Evil Overlord" shows the dumb mistakes that allow the villain to be killed or captured. What is a Plot Cliche? A cliche is an idea that has been overused to the point of losing its original effect or novelty, especially when at some stage it was considered to be 'different'. Four Examples of Plot Cliches The scene where the sleuth or main character hears from someone that they have some vital information to share... only to be thwarted because that person dies, leaves town or ends up in a coma before the information is passed on.The bitchy female who features as the hero's "other love interest".
The Visual Dictionary - a visual exploration of words in the real world. 6 Writers Who Broke the Rules and Got Away with It Have you ever read a book and noticed the author has broken what we writers often hear of as “the rules”? My initial reaction is usually indignation: “Why can she get away with that, and I can’t??” The more I study the craft of writing, the more rules I hear about, and most of these are guidelines based on making a book reader-friendly. As much as I believe it’s good practice to avoid the common pitfalls of beginning writers, there are always exceptions to every rule. Here are six commonly heard rules for writers, and six authors who’ve gotten away with breaking them. Rule: Don’t write in First Person, Present Tense Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife: Niffenegger’s popular title is told by dual narrators from the first person point of view, in the present tense. Rule: Keep your novel under 100,000 words Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall: Literary agents keep telling us it’s nearly impossible to sell an overly long book, these days. Rule: Limit the use of adverbs.
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. Fiction is incredibly hard to do well. Lots of people can write decent non-fiction. I’m going to say this, despite being an advocate of great writing: Non-fiction doesn’t have to be especially well-written. Of course, it needs to be competent. Fiction is very, very different. Why do you read novels? I believe we read fiction to escape the world for a little while – to escape the limits of our own experience, our own perspective, our own consciousness. That’s why fiction writers have it so tough. When I’m writing a blog post, I don’t have too much to worry about. When I’m writing a single scene in a novel, I have a heck of a lot to do. And all those scenes need to tie together. With fiction, it’s impossible to get it right on the first pass through. Really hard. But…
Visual Synonyms | Visual Antonyms | Thesaurus English 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! Weather Natural: sunlight, rain, snow, hail, fog, humidity, moonlight, wind, smoke, clouds, shadows, overcast skies, clear skies, lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes, moon in sky during daytimeFantastic: summoned weather, unnatural coloration (eg. green fog) Terrain Changes Landmarks Natural: stone outcropping, lightening struck trees, large boulders, waterfallsArtificial: lone buildings (eg. towers, houses, barns), statues, signs/markers, border wallsFantastic: large skeletons (eg. dragons, giants) After-Effects of Events Tricks Cultures Mysticism Events Unfolding Harsh Situations fatigue, hunger, thirst, extreme temperaturesenemy territories (invading?
Fantasy: Getting Started By Sandra C. Durham © 2003, Sandra C. his is a newcomer’s guide on how to get started in the genre of fantasy writing, from one newcomer to another. Writing fantasy, whether in the form of short stories or novels, does not necessarily follow a set pattern or formula. Contemporary and Urban Fantasy – Stories taking place in the real world, but with an element of magic or fantasy. The best approach to writing in any genre is to know your field. Once you have your book collection, read them carefully. A next logical step in progressing as a new fantasy writer might be to pick up a few good books on the subject. How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card The Writer’s Complete Fantasy Reference, from Writers Digest Books. The first book gives an overview of the field from a writing perspective. A critical step in writing fantasy is a concept called world building. Each step in the world building process is crucial to providing a cohesive background to your story.
American Heritage Dictionary - Search Ten rules for writing fiction Elmore Leonard: Using adverbs is a mortal sin 1 Never open a book with weather. If it's only to create atmosphere, and not a character's reaction to the weather, you don't want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead looking for people. 2 Avoid prologues: they can be annoying, especially a prologue following an introduction that comes after a foreword. 3 Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. 4 Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said" ... he admonished gravely. 5 Keep your exclamation points under control. 6 Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose". 7 Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly. 8 Avoid detailed descriptions of characters, which Steinbeck covered. 9 Don't go into great detail describing places and things, unless you're Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language. 10 Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. My most important rule is one that sums up the 10: if it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
Stocking Stuffers: 13 Writing Tips From Chuck Palahniuk *Editor's Note: This column is part of a collection of 36 total essays on the craft of writing by Chuck Palahniuk. They were submitted starting in 2005, so this essay will refer to thinks in the past and therefore be on an older timeline. 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. She said the perfect comment at the perfect moment, and I remember it two decades later because it made me laugh. For this essay, my goal is to put more in. Number One: Two years ago, when I wrote the first of these essays it was about my “egg timer method” of writing. Number Two: Your audience is smarter than you imagine. Number Three: Before you sit down to write a scene, mull it over in your mind and know the purpose of that scene. Number Four: