Setting: Using Scene To Enrich Your Writing In both fiction and nonfiction, the setting is the general background against which your story takes place—the physical location and time period, both of which influence your characters and plot. So how can a creative writer use setting and scenery to further offset, augment, or reflect the action of the plot? Although we’re going to be exploring this issue in terms of fiction, these techniques work for nonfiction as well. These craft techniques work in all genres: poetry, stories, personal essays, memoir, and books. Suppose you’re writing a novel that is set in the Deep South in 1955 and your protagonist is an immigrant facing prejudice and roadblocks at every turn. Setting the stage for a short story or novel is a crucial part of engaging your reader. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. These are just a few of the ways an author can use the setting of a story to enhance the characters, plot, and theme of a short story or novel. QUESTION: What was the setting of the last thing you wrote?
6 Ways to Create Riveting Conflict in Your Story Who says conflict is a bad thing? Who says world peace is the most important goal of humanity? Who says arguing with your little brother when you’re a kid means you’ll grow up to be an ill-mannered ruffian? Not a writer, that’s for sure! Arguably, the single most important tenet of fiction can be summed up in the saw “no conflict, no story.” The simple fact is: fiction has its very basis in conflict. So how does one go about manufacturing this most precious of story ingredients? 1. This is the easiest (and, often, the best) way to throw a little conflict in your story. 2. Many stories base their entire premise on this idea (think of the Pevensie siblings tumbling through the wardrobe into Narnia in C.S. 3. For a long while, I had tacked on my bulletin board a note which read, “Think of the ten worst things that could happen to your character.” 4. Nancy Kress, in her fantastic book Beginnings, Middles & Ends spoke about the necessity of including both inner and outer battles: 5. 6.
Clear Communication Introduction to Plain Language at NIH Plain language is grammatically correct language that includes complete sentence structure and accurate word usage. Plain language is not unprofessional writing or a method of "dumbing down" or "talking down" to the reader. Writing that is clear and to the point helps improve communication and takes less time to read and understand. Clear writing tells the reader exactly what the reader needs to know without using unnecessary words or expressions. Plain Language Act President Barack Obama signed the Plain Writing Act of 2010 (H.R. 946/Public Law 111-274) on October 13, 2010. Part of the NIH mission is to reach all Americans with health information they can use and to communicate in a way that helps people to easily understand research results. Celebrating Plain Language at NIH Plain Language/Clear Communications Awards Program Tips for Using Plain Language: Certain qualities characterize plain language. 1. 3. Organization. 4. Where Can I Learn More?
102 Resources for Fiction Writing « Here to Create UPDATE 1/10: Dead links removed, new links added, as well as Revision and Tools and Software sections. Are you still stuck for ideas for National Novel Writing Month? Or are you working on a novel at a more leisurely pace? Here are 102 resources on Character, Point of View, Dialogue, Plot, Conflict, Structure, Outlining, Setting, and World Building, plus some links to generate Ideas and Inspiration. Also, I recommend some resources for Revision and some online Tools and Software. Too many links? 10 Days of Character Building Name Generators Name Playground The Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test Priming the idea pump (A character checklist shamlessly lifted from acting) How to Create a Character Seven Common Character Types Handling a Cast of Thousands – Part I: Getting to Know Your Characters It’s Not What They Say . . . Establishing the Right Point of View: How to Avoid “Stepping Out of Character” How to Start Writing in the Third Person Web Resources for Developing Characters Speaking of Dialogue
21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips From Great Authors A lot of people think they can write or paint or draw or sing or make movies or what-have-you, but having an artistic temperament doth not make one an artist. Even the great writers of our time have tried and failed and failed some more. Vladimir Nabokov received a harsh rejection letter from Knopf upon submitting Lolita, which would later go on to sell fifty million copies. Sylvia Plath’s first rejection letter for The Bell Jar read, “There certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice.” Gertrude Stein received a cruel rejection letter that mocked her style. So even if you’re an utterly fantastic writer who will be remembered for decades forthcoming, you’ll still most likely receive a large dollop of criticism, rejection, and perhaps even mockery before you get there. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21.
FAQ - PressThink (Originally published April 29, 2004) If you’re the kind of person who loves to complain about “meta” posts and make fun of blogging about blogging, please. Don’t read this post. You’ll hate it. It’s the echo chamber again. Q & A about how I do my blog, PressThink. … other writers trying to do a decent weblog who wish to compare and contrast, plus curious readers of PressThink, students in a Net journalism class, maybe. Some of these questions are asked frequently by readers or seen in comments. Why are PressThink posts so long? When I started asking around about how to do a weblog, I got many kinds of answers. So you decided to be contrarian and go the other way? No, contrarians are annoying. “People don’t have time for…” reasoning was meaningless to me, and I didn’t trust it. But it’s more like: this is my magazine, PressThink… If you like it, return. Fine, but weren’t your advisors just making a simple point about the nature of the Web medium? Sure, and I thanked them. Summer 2016.
Using Pictures as Writing Prompts -- Photos Make Great Writing Prompts Choose one of these images to use as a writing prompt for a freewriting session. Ideally, you'll develop one of the ideas generated by your freewriting session into a short story. A reader named Adam C. described how this played out for him in a creative writing class in which each student was given a different photo to write about. Adam writes, "The picture I was given portrayed an elderly couple, holding hands, looking off to the left of the camera lens. There was a large boat in the background. (More instructions for this creative writing exercise are also outlined in a how-to.)
Top 10 first lines in children's and teen books | Children's books The boy and the old man arrived at the port at night. That's the first line in my debut novel, Close to the Wind, and I'm rather proud of it. The line doesn't shout out at you, but it does a lot of work establishing the tone of the book and giving you the setting and characters without any fuss. It's always difficult to know how to begin a book. Originally, I had a much bolder first line but during an editorial meeting it was suggested I lose it and start with the second line in. Of course, I objected. An opening sentence should draw the reader from their own head and take them somewhere completely different. It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried out bed of the old North Sea. 1. Is this the best ever opening line from a children's book? The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don't got nothing much to say. 2. A great book that's all about the voice and he nails it in the first line.
Concrete poetry George Herbert's "Easter Wings", printed in 1633 on two facing pages (one stanza per page), sideways, so that the lines would call to mind birds flying up with outstretched wings. Concrete or shape poetry is poetry in which the typographical arrangement of words is as important in conveying the intended effect as the conventional elements of the poem, such as meaning of words, rhythm, rhyme and so on. It is sometimes referred to as visual poetry, a term that has evolved to have distinct meaning of its own, but which shares the distinction of being poetry in which the visual elements are as important as the text. Development Concrete poetry begins by assuming a total responsibility before language: accepting the premise of the historical idiom as the indispensable nucleus of communication, it refuses to absorb words as mere indifferent vehicles, without life, without personality without history — taboo-tombs in which convention insists on burying the idea. See also Walker, John.
Free Software for Writers Dozens of software applications are available and marketed to writers, yet many of these programs can be both expensive and difficult to use. While standard word processors serve the needs of many writers, some writers require more adaptable and agile solutions. For writers unwilling or unable to spend hundreds of dollars to invest in the multitude of purchasable programs, there is a plethora of free, user-friendly programs available for download. Q10 is a free, highly customizable, full screen word processor. yWriter yWriter is a word processor alternative that allows users to organize their projects in a completely new way. Celtx According to Celtx’s website, “Celtx is the world's first all-in-one media pre-production system.” OpenOffice OpenOffice is an open source alternative to Microsoft Office. Textblock Writer Textblock writer is a free virtual index card writer that runs on Windows and the .NET framework. Sonar FreeMind FreeMind is a free, downloadable mind mapping software. Bubbl.us