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.
CALLIHOO Writing Helps--Feelings TableCharacter Feelings You can describe your character's feelings in more exact terms than just "happy" or "sad." Check these lists for the exact nuance to describe your character's intensity of feelings. SF Characters | SF Items | SF Descriptors | SF Places | SF EventsSF Jobs/Occupations | Random Emotions | Emotions List | Intensity of FeelingsCharacter 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?
25 Things Every Writer Should KnowAn 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. Let your colonic flora digest them and feed them through your bloodstream to the little goblin-man that pilots you. 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. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
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.
60 Awesome Search Engines for Serious WritersJune 20th, 2010 Finding the information you need as a writer shouldn’t be a chore. Luckily, there are plenty of search engines out there that are designed to help you at any stage of the process, from coming up with great ideas to finding a publisher to get your work into print. Both writers still in college and those on their way to professional success will appreciate this list of useful search applications that are great from making writing a little easier and more efficient. Professional Find other writers, publishers and ways to market your work through these searchable databases and search engines. Writing These helpful tools will help you along in the writing process. Research Try out these tools to get your writing research done in a snap. Google Scholar: With this specialized search engine from Google, you’ll only get reliable, academic results for your searches.WorldCat: If you need a book from the library, try out this tool. Reference Need to look up a quote or a fact? Niche Writers
Write & 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?
One Sentence - True stories, told in one sentence.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