When You Don’t Understand Your Assignment A colleague of mine directs a writing center offering tutorial help to students of a large university. One year, he surveyed his clientele to find out how soon before a paper was due they had sought the center’s help. Did students most frequently come in two weeks before a paper was due? One week? Aerogramme Writers' StudioPixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coats, Pixar’s Story Artist. Number 9 on the list – When you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next – is a great one and can apply to writers in all genres. You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it.
Political Writing Say you are a young person beginning to write about politics and policy. You probably have some idea of what you believe, but have you thought about how you believe it? That is, have you thought about where you will sit on the continuum that stretches from writers who are engaged to those who are detached? Writers who are at the classic engaged position believe that social change is usually initiated by political parties. To have the most influence, the engaged writer wants to channel his efforts through a party. The engaged writer closely and intimately aligns with a team.
7 Questions to Ask Before You Start to Write Ask yourself the following questions before you start to write your next article, blog post, or book to build your personal brand. The questions may appear to be simple, but always pausing to answer them can help you save time by focusing your attention on the key issues that determine the success of your writing projects. 1. Who are your intended readers? Start each writing project by reviewing what you know about your intended readers.
How to Break the Rules of Writing (& More) According to Bestselling YA author Ransom Riggs Like most first conversations and bad first drafts, my (WD’s Managing Editor Adrienne Crezo) interview with Ransom Riggs begins with a discussion about the weather. And not just any weather, either, but peculiar versions of standard precipitation: dust storms, cloudbursts, thundersnow and tornadoes. Of course, Riggs is experiencing none of those phenomena as he sits in the warmth of the never-ending summer of Los Angeles. “I hate to tell you what it’s like here right now,” he says. Mystery Writing Lessons 3. Create compelling characters Most of all the characters are important. You want them to be "rather more than stereotypes. The characters should be real human beings, each of whom comes alive for the reader, not pasteboard people to be knocked down in the final chapter."
First Year Comp If you’re new to college writing, you may be concerned about whether or not your paper “flows.” “Tell me if it flows” is what I most often hear students say as they pass their drafts around for peer review. If “flow” is on your mind, take another look at the assignment your instructor gave you. Look at what your instructor has asked you to do, and what they have said they expect from your writing. I would bet my Iphone that nowhere in that grading rubric does it say, “Flow: 30%.”
Bird by Bird: Anne Lamott’s Timeless Advice on Writing and Why Perfectionism Kills Creativity by Maria Popova “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.” Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (public library) is among my 10 favorite books on writing — a treasure trove of insight both practical and profound, timelessly revisitable and yielding deeper resonance each time.
Writing Historical Ethics: Rules for Writing Historical Novels These are my seven guidelines. 1. Five Best Distraction-Free Writing Tools Seems like all five choices are basically the same app with different names. Kind of a disappointing hive five, not that that's Lifehacker's fault. It just means there isn't much variety in this category, I guess. 3 Tips for Writing Heavy Emotional Scenes Yesterday, I tweeted a link to a great post by Sally Apokedak about not cheating the reader by skipping emotional scenes. Some writers struggle with heavy scenes. They’re uncomfortable with “invading” the privacy of their characters. They worry about creating laughably cheesy scenes. Action Stories Think “action scene,” and you probably think of the Hollywood version: A character is thrust into high-stakes, physical drama (a gunfight, a daring rescue, a desperate escape) that changes her in some important way, and moves the action forward. Action scenes serve the same function in your fiction, but they need not be over-the-top to be effective. A surprise phone call, an unexpected visit, or an ill-timed delay will force your character to respond quickly (rather than reflect), and allows you to advance the plot without miring it in long descriptive passages and explanations. The key to writing action scenes is to make sure that something happens that impels your protagonist to act, reveals her capacity to deal with problems, and affects future events in the story. “The only requirement of an action scene is that it rely in part upon physical movement through the space you’ve created, and evoke a sense of time passing,” says Jordan E.
Argumentative Essay - How to Write an Argument Essay Planning Stage For an argument essay to be effective, it must contain certain elements that will persuade the audience to see things from your perspective. For this reason, you must take a few minutes to plan and prepare before you jump into writing an argument essay. Find a Good Topic Famous Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers By Maria Popova By popular demand, I’ve put together a periodically updated reading list of all the famous advice on writing presented here over the years, featuring words of wisdom from such masters of the craft as Kurt Vonnegut, Susan Sontag, Henry Miller, Stephen King, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Susan Orlean, Ernest Hemingway, Zadie Smith, and more. Please enjoy. Jennifer Egan on Writing, the Trap of Approval, and the Most Important Discipline for Aspiring Writers “You can only write regularly if you’re willing to write badly… Accept bad writing as a way of priming the pump, a warm-up exercise that allows you to write well.” The Effortless Effort of Creativity: Jane Hirshfield on Storytelling, the Art of Concentration, and Difficulty as a Consecrating Force of Creative Attention “In the wholeheartedness of concentration, world and self begin to cohere.