Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling « Aerogramme Writers' Studio 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.
12, William Faulkner William Faulkner, ca. 1954. Photograph by Carl Van Vechten William Faulkner was born in 1897 in New Albany, Mississippi, where his father was then working as a conductor on the railroad built by the novelist’s great-grandfather, Colonel William Falkner (without the “u”), author of The White Rose of Memphis. Soon the family moved to Oxford, thirty-five miles away, where young Faulkner, although he was a voracious reader, failed to earn enough credits to be graduated from the local high school. Encouraged by Sherwood Anderson, he wrote Soldier’s Pay (1926). A steady succession of novels followed, most of them related to what has come to be called the Yoknapatawpha saga: Light in August (1932), Pylon (1935), Absalom, Absalom! Recently, though shy and retiring, Faulkner has traveled widely, lecturing for the United States Information Service. Mr. The reason I don’t like interviews is that I seem to react violently to personal questions. How about yourself as a writer? No. Bourbon, you mean?
25 Things You Should Know About Word Choice - StumbleUpon 1. A Series Of Word Choices Here’s why this matters: because both writing and storytelling comprise, at the most basic level, a series of word choices. Words are the building blocks of what we do. They are the atoms of our elements. 2. Words are like LEGO bricks: the more we add, the more we define the reality of our playset. 3. You know that game — “Oh, you’re cold, colder, colder — oh! 4. Think of it like a different game, perhaps: you’re trying to say as much as possible with as few words as you can muster. 5. Finding the perfect word is as likely as finding a downy-soft unicorn with a pearlescent horn riding a skateboard made from the bones of your many enemies. 6. For every right word, you have an infinity of wrong ones. 7. You might use a word that either oversteps or fails to meet the idea you hope to present. 8. Remember how I said earlier that words are like LEGO, blah blah blah help define reality yadda yadda poop noise? 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Am. 15. No, really. 16. 17. 18.
20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Gets Wrong | LitReactor - StumbleUpon I’ve edited a monthly magazine for more than six years, and it’s a job that’s come with more frustration than reward. If there’s one thing I am grateful for — and it sure isn’t the pay — it’s that my work has allowed endless time to hone my craft to Louis Skolnick levels of grammar geekery. As someone who slings red ink for a living, let me tell you: grammar is an ultra-micro component in the larger picture; it lies somewhere in the final steps of the editing trail; and as such it’s an overrated quasi-irrelevancy in the creative process, perpetuated into importance primarily by bitter nerds who accumulate tweed jackets and crippling inferiority complexes. But experience has also taught me that readers, for better or worse, will approach your work with a jaundiced eye and an itch to judge. While your grammar shouldn’t be a reflection of your creative powers or writing abilities, let’s face it — it usually is. Who and Whom This one opens a big can of worms. Which and That Lay and Lie Moot Nor
How to Plot and Write a Novel: Plan Your Novel Writing with the Snowflake Method Many novelists mull over story ideas, letting them ripen and develop over time. When the story is ready to be told, instead of just sitting down and starting to type, try the Snowflake Method. This step-by-step way to write a novel begins with essential elements and becomes more detailed with each step. Essential Elements for Novel Structure Snowflakes have a structure which begins with a simple form and adds more elements to create complex patterns. 1. 2. 3. The time-saving factor for novelists here is that at this point, a writer knows whether or not the story has problems. Expand on the Beginning Novel-Writing Steps 4. 5. 6. Plot problems will arise and new insights and ideas will appear through these steps. Revise and Expand into Scenes 7. 8. 9. 10. Ingermanson stresses that the Snowflake Method is not to be hurried. Not for All Writers Ingermanson's Snowflake Method will result in a well-planned, smoothly-plotted story for writers who prefer a plan.
The Creative Writing MFA Blog 10 Commandments for a Happy Writer by Nathan Bransford Writers aren't generally known as the happiest lot. As a recent Guardian survey of some top writers shows, even the best ones don't particularly enjoy it all that much. And in case you think this is a new development, an 1842 letter from Edgar Allen Poe to his publisher recently surfaced in which he was found apologizing for drinking so much and begging for money. But believe it or not, writing and happiness can, in fact, go together. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Nathan Bransford is the author of JACOB WONDERBAR AND THE COSMIC SPACE KAPOW, a middle grade novel about three kids who blast off into space, break the universe, and have to find their way back home, which was published by Dial Books for Young Readers in May 2011.
How to Undress a Victorian Lady in Your Next Historical Romance A Simple Novel Outline - 9 questions for 25 chapters & H.E. Roulo 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. 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 June 7, 2013 In "Writing Tips" Writers love to write. In "News"
11 Goal Hacks: How to Achieve Anything Goal-setting research on fantasising, visualisation, goal commitment, procrastination, the dark side of goal-setting and more… We’re all familiar with the nuts and bolts of goal-setting. We should set specific, challenging goals, use rewards, record progress and make public commitments (if you’re not familiar with these then check out this article on how to reach life goals). So how come we still fail? This psychological research suggests why and what mindsets should help us reach our goals. 1. The biggest enemy of any goal is excessive positive fantasising. 2. The reason we don’t achieve our goals is lack of commitment. One powerful psychological technique to increase commitment is mental contrasting. 3. You can use the Zeigarnik effect to drag you on towards your goal. What the Zeigarnik effect teaches is that one weapon for beating procrastination is starting somewhere…anywhere. 4. 5. When we miss our target, we can fall foul of the what-the-hell-effect. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
25 Things You Should Know About Character Previous iterations of the “25 Things” series: 25 Things Every Writer Should Know 25 Things You Should Know About Storytelling And now… Here you’ll find the many things I believe — at this moment! 1. Without character, you have nothing. 2. A great character can be the line between narrative life and story death. 3. Don’t believe that all those other aspects are separate from the character. 4. The audience will do anything to spend time with a great character. 5. It is critical to know what a character wants from the start. 6. It doesn’t matter if we “like” your character, or in the parlance of junior high whether we even “like-like” your character. 7. It is critical to smack the audience in the crotchal region with an undeniable reason to give a fuck. 8. You must prove this thesis: “This character is worth the audience’s time.” 9. Don’t let the character be a dingleberry stuck to the ass of a toad as he floats downriver on a bumpy log. 10. 11. 12. 13. The law of threes. 15. 16. 17. 18.
The Simple, Ridiculously Useful Guide to Earning a Living from Your Passion... Post written by Leo Babauta. So you’ve followed the Short But Powerful Guide to Finding Your Passion, and have chosen something you’re passionate about. Now you need to make it a career — but are perhaps a bit lost. I have to admit I was there, only a few years ago, and three years later I’ve successfully done it, even if I’m a bit battered from the attempt. It’s not easy — I’ll tell you that up front. So you have your passion picked out? 1. 2. 4. 5. 6. Regular consulting gigs.Freelance jobs.Ads or affiliate income from a blog or website.Ebooks teaching people how to do something you know how to do.A membership website that charges a small monthly fee (say, $9 or $20 a month) that will help others learn something you can teach them. There are, of course, many other types of services and products you can offer. Equipment and office? Quit your job? Work for a company?
Themes & Things To Keep In Mind When Writing Fantasy Stories and... 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?
50 of the Best Websites for Writers There are tons of reference sites on the web that can help you find a job or write a poem, essay or story. Here is a list of the best 50 websites for writers. Reference Websites Merriam-Webster Online - Merriam Webster is the perfect place to look up words and find information. The site offers a dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, podcasts, word games and a lot of other things that may be of interest to writers and word-lovers. Bartleby - This site is good if you need a quote or if you want free access to encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, and other reference books. General Writing Websites Writer's Digest - Probably one of the best all-around websites for writers, Writer's Digest offers information on writing better and getting published. Fiction Writing Websites About.com - About.com publishes a Guide to Fiction Writing with general information about fiction writing and a number of community forums for both current and aspiring writers. Nonfiction Writing Websites