background preloader

25 Virtues Writers Should Possess

25 Virtues Writers Should Possess
1. A Wild And Unfettered Imagination This one goes up front: the bubbling turbid stew that comprises your brain-mind combo must possess an endless array of unexpected ideas. Your head should be an antenna receiving frequencies from the furthest-flung reaches of Known Creative Space. You want to survive, you’ve got to have an imagination that won’t lay down and die. 2. Given that we’re creative types prone to art-o-leptic fits of imagination, if we’re given no leash we’ll just wander off into the woods to create our masterpiece. 3. The only way you’re going to stay on target is if you believe this thing you want to do can actually happen. 4. By the same token, realistic expectations are the order of the day. 5. Here’s where you say, “Wait, wuzza? 6. I’ve always said that no matter the flavor of your writing career, it’s basically you putting a bucket on your head and running full force into a brick wall. 7. Writers are liars who use those lies to tell truths. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Related:  Tips

Plot Whisperer for Writers and Readers How to Write a Book Now -- Tools for Emerging Authors 25 Things You Should Know About Storytelling 1. Stories Have Power Outside the air we breathe and the blood in our bodies, the one thing that connects us modern humans today with the shamans and emperors and serfs and alien astronauts of our past is a heritage — a lineage — of stories. Stories move the world at the same time they explain our place in it. They help us understand ourselves and those near to us. Never treat a story as a shallow, wan little thing. 2. We love to be entertained. 3. Segmentation. 4. Story is also not a square peg jammed in a circle hole. 5. You put your hand in a whirling clod of wet clay, you’re shaping it. 6. A story is so much more than the thing you think it is. 7. The storyteller will find no original plots. 8. The audience wants to feel connected to the story. 9. The audience isn’t stupid. 10. Conflict is the food that feeds the reader. 11. 12. It’s not just tension. 13. The story you tell should be the story you tell. 14. The audience cannot relate to big ideas. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22.

A Simple Novel Outline - 9 questions for 25 chapters & H.E. Roulo - StumbleUpon Just as every tree is different but still recognizably a tree, every story is different but contains elements that make it a story. By defining those before you begin you clarify the scope of your work, identify your themes, and create the story you meant to write. At Norwescon 2011 I sat in on a session called Outline Your Novel in 90-minutes led by Mark Teppo. I’ll give you the brief, readable, synthesized version. Answer 9 questions and create 25 chapter titles and you’re there. Here are the 9 questions to create a novel: 1.) 2.) 3.) 4.) 5.) 6.) 7.) 8.) 9.) Now, with those 9 questions answered to your satisfaction, try to fill in a 25 chapter, 75,000 word outline. Chapters 7-18 are the middle of your book. Chapters 19-25 depict the heroic act to victory. Wasn’t that easy? Okay, sure, the work isn’t done yet. Using the idea that there are 25 chapters, I outlined my current work in progress. I hope that was helpful. Tell me what works for you. Related 6 Steps to Masterful Writing Critiques

Twain's Rules of Writing 1. A tale shall accomplish something and arrive somewhere. 2. The episodes of a tale shall be necessary parts of the tale, and shall help develop it. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. An author should 12. More on WritingHome (More) tips for writing well (Austin Govella at Thinking and Making) - StumbleUpon Published Wed, Jul 8, 2009 by Austin Govella. Updated Wed, Jul 8, 2009. As an editor, I’ve noticed several recurring bad habits you heathens would do well to disabuse yourselves of immediately. Almost without exception, these bad habits instantiate themselves as a series of stock phrases and constructions that reflect a lack of focus, a lack of fully developed argument, or the kind of intellectual laziness that sets in as you slog through your first draft. These things happen, That’s ok. 16 things to check when you edit Be vicious when you edit. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. After you edit… The finished piece should be so tight, terse, concise, and clear that it’s boring. Boring. Then sand off the rough edges. Write like you talk. The first 16 recommendations remove fluff and force you to think and communicate.

25 Things Every Writer Should Know An alternate title for this post might be, “Things I Think About Writing,” which is to say, these are random snidbits (snippets + tidbits) of beliefs I hold about what it takes to be a writer. I hesitate to say that any of this is exactly Zen (oh how often we as a culture misuse the term “Zen” — like, “Whoa, that tapestry is so cool, it’s really Zen“), but it certainly favors a sharper, shorter style than the blathering wordsplosions I tend to rely on in my day-to-day writing posts. Anyway. Peruse these. Absorb them into your body. Feel free to disagree with any of these; these are not immutable laws. Buckle up. 1. The Internet is 55% porn, and 45% writers. 2. A lot of writers try to skip over the basics and leap fully-formed out of their own head-wombs. 3. 4. I have been writing professionally for a lucky-despite-the-number 13 years. 5. Luck matters. 6. Nobody becomes a writer overnight. 7. Your journey to becoming a writer is all your own. 8. 9. 10. Value is a tricky word. 11. 12.

Cracking the code of writing What’s the secret to good prose? What makes it work—not just on the aesthetic level of vivid and poetic word choices, but on the deeper and ultimately more important level of functionality? In short, is there a method authors can learn to create clear and powerful prose—or is it all luck and gut instinct? All prose—whether it’s the elaborate poetry of William Faulkner or the straightforward sentences of Cormac McCarthy—will always be instinctive on some level. Our word choices and sometimes the direction the sentences themselves end up taking can surprise even us sometimes. What’s a motivation-reaction unit? Dwight V. For all that it sounds like part of an airplane engine,motivation-reaction units are an insanely simple concept. What’s a motivation? The motivating factor is an outside stimulus that affects your character. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The possibilities, of course, are as varied as your story’s needs. What’s a reaction? The reaction happens in response to the motivating factor. 1. 2.

The Thing About Sub-Plots Certain storytelling questions keep popping up. One of them, and a goodie, is this: does a sub-plot follow the same principles of linear structure as the main plotline? In other words, does the sub-plot also – like your main plotline – unfold over four contextually different parts, each separated by a succinctly defined milestone story-point? This can be tough to wrap one’s head around. Which is why this is considered art. Setting Up Your Sub-Plot Great stories give us deep and compelling heroes. The opening act of your story – Part 1 –exists for the purpose of introducing and defining that life as it exists prior to the arrival of the First Plot Point. Which, by the way, is only foreshadowed and set-up – and, at best, only partially defined – in Part 1. Then comes the First Plot Point, and it changes everything. Sometimes the First Plot Point defines a completely new life for your hero. How you string out your sub-plot, then, depends on which of those cases it is.