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5 situations where it's better to tell than show in your fiction

5 situations where it's better to tell than show in your fiction
Good stuff; thanks for the article, and I agree with most of it. I think I disagree, though, at least partly, with your point near the end about the emotional/psychological stuff; I think that a lot of the time that's exactly what "show, don't tell" is meant to be all about. For example, if your character is tired, you can say "She was tired." Or you can indicate indirectly, through her actions and her dialogue and other people's reactions to her, that she's tired. Of course, sometimes writers don't show well, and readers are left puzzled. Anyway. @elysdir: Yeah, I think the emotional, psychological stuff is definitely a place where telling can very easily get more heavy-handed. Related:  TipsAdvice

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] History[edit] Early fantasy worlds appeared as fantasy lands, part of the same planet but separated by geographical barriers. Even within the span of mere decades, Oz, which had been situated in a desert in the United States when first written about in 1900,[6] was relocated to a spot in the Pacific Ocean.[8] Common elements[edit] Constructed worlds[edit] Examples[edit]

The Four Essential Stages of Writing Image by photosteve101 In last week’s post, 7 Habits of Serious Writers, I mentioned the importance of actually writing, plus the need to redraft. I thought it’d be worth putting those stages into context – because they’re not all you need for an effective piece. Every finished piece of writing passes through four stages: PlanningDraftingRedraftingEditing Sure, you can publish a blog post without doing any planning, or any rewriting and editing. I wouldn’t call that “finished”, myself. The four stages don’t always have to be tackled in order. But it’s crucial to be clear about what each stage involves. Stage #1: Planning Image by Dvortygirl You’re already planning your writing – whether or not you realise it. Some written pieces don’t need any more planning than that: you’ve got the idea in your head, pretty much complete. When you’re working on a project where you already know the subject matter – an ebook, for instance, or a memoir – then it’s worth planning in some detail. Better Planning

The Five Rules of Writing Flashbacks Tips for effectively writing flashbacks into your scenes. Please welcome author Stuart Horwitz with a guest post on writing flashbacks. “Flashback” is a term that we are all familiar with, even if its definition has grown a little vague. In other words, what are we flashing back from? There are good reasons to leave the reading present: by flashing back we can deepen characterization, create suspense, or introduce other characters and events that will eventually matter a great deal to our outcome. To assist with this quandary, I offer the following five rules of writing flashbacks: The first rule of flashback is just that, when we flash back, we do so for a reason. For a great example of the reading present (or the viewing present, in this case) and some fabulous use of flashbacks, watch the film Slumdog Millionaire. When we talk about flashbacks, the reading present, chronologies, and multiple timelines, we are talking about the general category called order, right?

How to Finish A Novel The problem with novels is that you can’t sit down in one day and complete one from start to finish. (At least I can’t. If you can, you have my undying envy.) So how do you get from “Once upon a time . . .” to “THE END”? These are the techniques that have worked for me. First, know how it ends. This may seem obvious — but then again, maybe not. You can simply tell yourself, “When I reach the part of this story, the heroine kills the villain with his own sword just as he’s about to kill her in front of the bound hero, and then the heroine frees the hero and they both escape from the burning building.” If it isn’t, go to the next step. Write your ending, and then write to it. You may discover, on thinking about your ending, that you can’t quite get all the little ins and outs of that climactic scene or series of scenes clear in your head. Neat, huh? But maybe you’re having trouble bridging the vast gap between your hot beginning and that elusive end. First, let me define a “candy-bar” scene.

Fantasy: Getting Started By Sandra C. Durham © 2003, Sandra C. Durham 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.

7 Habits of Serious Writers Image credit: aless&ro With thanks to Michael Pollock for the article suggestion and title. I’ve been writing, on and off, since my early teens – but it’s only in the last three years that I’ve really taken my writing seriously. It’s made a dramatic difference. I write far, far more. I write better. In the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside all sorts of great writers, during my MA in Creative Writing, and in my freelancing. Habit #1: Writing To be a serious writer, you have to write. Yes, that’s obvious. Maybe you’re one of them. Unfortunately, you won’t get any better at writing unless you actually write. I know it’s tough. You can do it. Writing “regularly” is key here. Get Serious Write. Habit #2: Focus Maybe you’ve planned to write for two hours on a Saturday morning. Writing is hard work – and you’ll come up with all sorts of distractions to keep you from it. Serious writers, though, know how to help themselves focus. Habit #3: Reading Habit #4: Learning

The Best Story Structure Tool We Know By Glen C. Strathy Of the various story structure models or theories that exist, we have chosen to focus mainly on Dramatica, which was developed by Melanie Anne Phillips and Chris Huntley. We chose to work with this model because it is the only one that... 1. 2. 3. 4. What's more, Dramatica embodies certain insights into story structure that no other theory does. The aim of this website is to present practical tips and exercises to help writers, while avoiding a lot of theory. Finding A Roadmap For Creating Your Novel The most important thing you need from any story theory is help creating a good roadmap for your novel. Specifically, you want help creating a plot that will keep the reader engaged and bring the story to an emotionally satisfying conclusion. You especially want a clear story structure that will guide you through those times when you get stuck and haven’t the faintest idea which direction to head next. Traditional Story Theory Is Too General 1. 2. 3. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Genres

Ten Steps to Finding Your Writing Voice Your job as a writer is much more than just selling your books, believe it or not. Your job — if you want to make a living at this, anyway — is to sell yourself. You are selling your unique perspective on life, your unique collection of beliefs, fears, hopes and dreams, your memories of childhood tribulation and triumphs and adult achievements and failures . . . your universe. Anybody can sit down and write a story or a book — that is simply a matter of applying butt to chair and typing out three or four or ten pages a day until the thing is done. Your goal is to achieve all three of those milestones: To sell your work; To reach first-time readers with it; To win these first-time readers over as repeat readers of your work. You do that by offering them something they can’t get anywhere else — and the only thing in the universe that readers cannot get anywhere but from you is . . . you. Which means you have to put yourself on your page. But your voice is your future in writing. 1. 2. 3. 4.

How to write an excellent first chapter for your novel - Writing Tips From philosophy to literature to learning a new language, Humanities 360 is a veritable fountain of knowledge on everything you’d like to know about the humanities. Resources for every level of writing Here at Helium Publishing, we pride ourselves on knowing a thing or two about writing. We are, after all, one of the largest online writer communities. The grand world of poetry and literature There’s nothing quite like opening up a great piece of literature. Journeying across time and history If the old adage is true that history is bound to repeat itself, then find out what’s coming by boning up on what’s already happened. Learning new languages The intricacies of learning a new language can leave you tongue-tied, but in our Languages section, you can find out language learning tips, and discover the origins of new words you encounter. From exploring worlds of old to writing about what’s to come, you’ll find all the help you need at Humanities 360!

How to Recover Your Writing Confidence (Even if You Think You Never Had Any) (Image from Flickr by hans s) No writer I know ever feels totally confident about their writing. A lack of confidence is absolutely normal (or at least, as normal as writers get…) In fact, a little bit of self-doubt can be a very positive thing. Revise and edit your work thoroughlySeek a second option before publishing your writingContinue learning and practicing as you develop your craft However … a real lack of confidence can be a huge stumbling-block for would-be writers. If you find yourself constantly revising and tweaking, or if you cringe every time you show a piece of writing to a friend or publish a blog post, or if you work always sounds stilted and guarded … then this post is for you. When You Were Young… I titled this post how to recover your writing confidence. You might have felt pretty unconvinced by that – perhaps you’re sure that you never had any confidence at all. Perhaps it was when you were very small. Perhaps you were in primary school. Perhaps you were a teenager.

The Secret of Writing Funny Writing funny Do you want to learn the secrets of writing funny? Check out the five tips below. Laughter has instantaneous health benefits including relaxation, lowering blood pressure, curing male pattern baldness and increasing immune system response. Almost all of these health benefits can all be obtained by making your reader giggle, laugh, guffaw or otherwise shoot beverages out an unexpected orifice. Before I share a few of the methods you can use to add humor to your writing, I’d like to digress for a moment by predicting and addressing your objections. “I’ve just never been a very funny person.” Humor isn’t one-size-fits-all, but there are several techniques you can use to drag a smile out of almost anyone.Tip #1: Be the joke. Tip #2: Be specific. Tip #3: Use comedic timing. Tip #4: Use a thesaurus. Tip #5: Use a swipe file. Tip #6: Edit the crap out of it. When you see the crinkle, start breathing again. Author: Annie Binns Click here to read the article: How to Write Funny

The Serendipity Workshop: Lost on the Border at Twilight Finding — and Using — Your Life’s Essential Strangeness You mention a friend you haven’t heard from in twenty years . .. and three days later you receive an e-mail from that friend.Your child tells you who is on the other end of the phone . .. before you pick it up — or even stranger, right before it rings. Your car keys vanish, only to reappear an hour later, right where you thought you left them all along. We experience all sorts of little oddities in our lives — from deja vu to serendipity to bits and pieces of the purely inexplicable, we brush up against the borders of an unknown realm daily. Only no one has ever written a really good book from a position of comfort. So, in our search for what is real and what is scary, let’s take a tour of your life, and all the oddities you’ve been looking past in order to pretend you always see sunshine in some of those shadowy corners. But all this stuff is superstitious nonsense, isn’t it? Maybe. And that’s where this workshop will start. 1. 2.

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 example, romance writer Francesca Hawley's blog has an amusing post on Heroines Too Stupid to Live. 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 How Can Writers Avoid Cliched Plots? It's all very well knowing that writers should avoid cliches, but how easy is it to come up with something different?

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