Here's the slightly revised and updated text of an article I wrote a while back. It seems to have done a lot of folks a lot of good as they have set out to learn the craft of writing fiction. Note: Except for the links to my Home page and the list of my books, all of the links and jumps in this article stay inside the document. You can save it to disk, load it to your Web reader off-line, and jump from item to item without accidently popping off into some other file in Katmandu. by Roger MacBride Allen You can read straight through or jump to: Roger MacBride Allen's Home Page A list of Roger MacBride Allen's books Introduction Errors of Style: Passive Voice Inappropriate Use of Summary Narration Point of View errors Poor Choice of Tense and Person Time Control Errors Unnamed Characters Errors of Substance: The Weird Opener & The Unintergrated Opener Retread of the Same Old Same Old Confusing the Author's Motives with the Character's Failure to Deal with Consequences Development Errors Bad Planning 1. 2.
Related: How to write a book
Fantasy Name GeneratorBy Samuel Stoddard - Version 1.5 One of the perks of creating fantasy stories -- whether by writing a story or game or by role-playing -- is you get to make up the names. Some people relish the task while others are frustrated by it. Some like it but can't seem to create names that are diverse enough. Fantasy Name Generator is a tool that can help you. It can generate an endless number of random names (of people, places, or anything) that would be suitable for use in a fantasy setting. In addition, this tool can be fairly amusing to use even if you don't have any name creating to do. You can use the fantasy name generator below.
Onomatopoeia Dictionary - Written SoundCharacter Chart for Fiction Writers - EpiGuide.comIf you're a fiction writer -- whether you're working on a novel, short story, screenplay, television series, play, web series, webserial, or blog-based fiction -- your characters should come alive for your reader or audience. The highly detailed chart below will help writers develop fictional characters who are believable, captivating, and unique. Print this page to complete the form for each main character you create. IMPORTANT: Note that all fields are optional and should be used simply as a guide; character charts should inspire you to think about your character in new ways, rather than constrain your writing. If this character chart is helpful, please let us know! Looking for more character questionnaires / charts?
Free Action Verb list for WritersEarly in my writing career, I discovered that using action verbs adds to the color and passion of nearly any type of writing (from novels to screenplays to resumes). For some unknown reason, new writers almost reflexisively tend toward verbs of being. These verbs are inert and slow down description. Johnny is in bed. That tells the reader the basics of Johnny's situation, but Johnny is essentially static. Johnny collapses into the bed. Isn't the second sentence much more compelling? Here I have posted the my list as a Microsoft Word document and Adobe Acrobat PDF file. Action Verb List in Microsoft Word format (.doc, 76K) Action Verb List in Adobe Acrobat PDF format (.pdf, 46K) PS: I collected all of this information and more in a handy poster for easy reference.
The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do.Writing is a muscle. Smaller than a hamstring and slightly bigger than a bicep, and it needs to be exercised to get stronger. Think of your words as reps, your paragraphs as sets, your pages as daily workouts. Think of your laptop as a machine like the one at the gym where you open and close your inner thighs in front of everyone, exposing both your insecurities and your genitals. Because that is what writing is all about. Procrastination is an alluring siren taunting you to google the country where Balki from Perfect Strangers was from, and to arrange sticky notes on your dog in the shape of hilarious dog shorts. The blank white page. Mark Twain once said, “Show, don’t tell.” Finding a really good muse these days isn’t easy, so plan on going through quite a few before landing on a winner. There are two things more difficult than writing. It’s no secret that great writers are great readers, and that if you can’t read, your writing will often suffer.
Free Online Novel Writing Software - HivewordWrite & Get PaidGet Paid $100 Do you want to earn money online? Listverse was built on the efforts of readers just like you. Readers who didn’t have any experience as writers but decided to put a list together and send it in. So here is the deal: We will pay you $100 for your efforts. You don’t need to be an expert—you just need to have English equal to that of a native speaker, a sense of humor, and a love for things unusual or interesting. It works like this: You write your list (10 items per list minimum), you send it in, we reply and say “Great—we’ll publish it” and send you $100 by PayPal (don’t have an account? Either way you win—your list will be read by us and reviewed, and if it’s amazing it will appear on the front page of Listverse to be read by millions of people a month! We can not accept lists from writers who do not have a PayPal account; this is non-negotiable. The Rules The rules are really pretty simple. Pictures and Video Please note that we publish original articles. Ready to start?
WRITING TOOLS | WRITERS HELPING WRITERSCharacter Pyramid Tool (PDF) Visualize your character’s FLAWS & associated behaviors (for a deeper understanding of this tool, please reference The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws) Character Target Tool (PDF) Organize and group your character’s POSITIVE ATTRIBUTES by category: moral, achievement, interactive or identity (for a greater understanding of this tool, please reference The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes) Character Profile Questionnaire (PDF) Not your average character questionnaire! Reverse Backstory Tool (PDF) Work backwards to find your character’s wound, needs & lie (for a deeper understanding of this tool, please reference The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws) Weak Verb Converter Tool (PDF) Transform all those generic, boring verbs into power verbs Scene Revision/Critique Tool Level 1 & Level 2 (PDF) A ‘light’ and ‘in-depth’ revision checklist for creating compelling characters and scenes
Stephen King's Top 20 Rules for WritersImage by the USO, via Flickr Commons In one of my favorite Stephen King interviews, for The Atlantic, he talks at length about the vital importance of a good opening line. “There are all sorts of theories,” he says, “it’s a tricky thing.” We’ve talked so much about the reader, but you can’t forget that the opening line is important to the writer, too. This is excellent advice. Revision in the second draft, “one of them, anyway,” may “necessitate some big changes” says King in his 2000 memoir slash writing guide On Writing. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. See a fuller exposition of King’s writing wisdom at Barnes & Noble’s blog. Related Content: Stephen King Creates a List of 96 Books for Aspiring Writers to Read Stephen King Writes A Letter to His 16-Year-Old Self: “Stay Away from Recreational Drugs” Ray Bradbury Offers 12 Essential Writing Tips and Explains Why Literature Saves Civilization Kurt Vonnegut’s Eight Tips on How to Write a Good Short Story