How to Make Readers Feel Emotion on January 30th, 2011 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill and last modified on February 8, 2011 I wrote an article on the importance of creating emotions in readers, but I’ve noticed that writers are looking for specifics on how to accomplish that. So, this article complements that first one, presents practical tips on how to stir the reader’s emotions. Readers like to be touched, moved, by story. They like to imagine themselves in worlds and situations that challenge them, that give them opportunity to do and be something other than what they do or are in their real lives. Fiction, whether in book or film or games, allows people to not only step into other worlds, but to experience those worlds. Since readers want to immerse themselves in other worlds and other lives, what can writers do to make that experience authentic, to make the fictional world real for a few hours? But how can a writer accomplish this? 1. This is a major key for rousing reader emotions. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.
Today's Author | 8 Steps All Writers Follow When They Edit Every author has a different approach to writing. I know this because I read Rebecca Bradley’s wonderful series on how writers do their thing. Each author she spotlights adds a personal twist that intrigues me. Not so surprisingly, no one’s approach is like mine. Here’s how I write a novel: Draft out events for the novel in a spreadsheet program like Excel. JK Rowling’s is low-tech, but still an obvious spreadsheet: Convert the draft to a word processing program like MS Word. 99.9% of you are saying, Gee. Ignore the fat lady if she starts warming up. Lest you think I’m the only one who writes like this, check out Gina Holmes at Novel Rocket or Adam Blumer here. More about editing:15 BIG Writing BlundersHow to Edit Your Novel (according to Yuvi)10 Tips Guaranteed to Rescue Your StoryBook Review: Self-editing for Fiction Writers Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Follow me.
Five Manifestos for the Creative Life by Kirstin Butler How a numbered list can start a personal revolution. Some days everyone needs a little extra encouragement. The words or lines or colors don’t want to come, or worse, we don’t even want to sit down to create. That’s when we turn to these inspiring manifestos, any one of which is guaranteed to give our uncooperative creativity a sharp kick in the pants. Here are five of our favorite contemporary manifestos that nudge ideas out of your head and into the hands of the world. We’ve long been fans of the amazing work of Frederick Terral, the creative visionary behind design studio Right Brain Terrain. You may not be a Picasso or Mozart but you don’t have to be. We can’t imagine more sound advice. Guidelines to get you from Point A to finished product, The Cult of Done Manifesto was written by tech guru Bre Pettis (of MakerBot fame) in collaboration with writer Kio Stark in 20 minutes, “because we only had 20 minutes to get it done.” This is your life. There is an enemy.
Charts and Diagrams Drawn by Famous Authors Being the literary nerds that we are over here, we’re obsessed with everything about our favorite authors, and particularly the little scraps of writerly intention — things that give us a view into an author’s thought process and planning technique, or even just a peek at the way they see and order the world. Plus, we like to see that authors work out their thoughts with forced attempts at organization and scribbled-out ideas just like the rest of us. Writers often use plot charts to organize the threads of complicated stories, but they’ve also been known to crank out diagrams of the travels of other people’s characters, chart-style teaching tools, and even hand-drawn maps. Jack Kerouac.
7 Keys To Write the Perfect First Line of a Novel Earlier this week, I read “Poppies,” a short story by Ulrica Hume, one of our authors on Story Cartel. Initially, I had only planned on skimming a few pages, but the first line hooked me. Before long, I was finishing the last page.1 Great first lines have that power, the power to entice your reader enough that it would be unthinkable to set the book down. Free Guide: Want to become a writer? This post is about what makes great first lines great. Note that some of these lines are a bit longer than one sentence. By the way, if you haven’t already read Monica Clark’s excellent post about writing the perfect first page from Monday, you should read it immediately. Let’s get started, shall we? Perfect First Lines Are Vivid Here’s the line from Ulrica Hume’s “Poppies” that caught my attention. I was born upside down, the umbilical cord looped twice around my neck. It’s a simple sentence, but I love it. Great first lines instantly invite us into an image. Isn’t that a cool image? Mr. and Mrs.
A Screenwriter's Bag of Tricks Most of our writing tips focus on the creation of a sound story, regardless of the medium in which you are working. But since the writing of screenplays has its own unique restrictions, requirements, and opportunities, we thought it might be useful to offer a Screenwriter's Bag of Tricks. Like any good grab bag, this collection of tips and techniques is in no particular order. Some are geared to the beginning screenwriter, others to the expert. Use index cards to work out the scenes in your script Index cards (3x5 or 5x7 in size) are often used by screenwriters to plan out the sequence of events in their stories. Then, you may realize that you actually have a gap in the action that requires the creation of another challenge. You might also realize that you have two challenges that are too much alike, or that would happen too close to each other, so you decide to lose one, or combine two into a single one that makes it all the stronger. Break up long monologs among several characters 1. 2.
sacramental poetics : The Other Journal Partaking in the Holy Mysteries: An Interview with Scott Cairns, Part II Scott Cairns is a poet whose work connects past and present, whose journey evokes faith and mystery. His most recent poetry collections are Love’s Immensity, which consists of translations and poetry inspired by early Christian mystics, and Compass of Affection. Partaking in the Holy Mysteries: An Interview with Scott Cairns, Part I Scott Cairns is a poet whose work connects past and present, whose journey evokes faith and mystery. 25 Things To Know About Writing The First Chapter Of Your Novel 1. Every Book A Hook (And The First Chapter’s The Bait) A reader walks into a bookstore. Spies an interesting book. 2. Bring the reader to the story as late you possibly can — we’re talking just before the flight leaves, just before the doors to the club are about to close, just before the shit’s gonna go down. 3. A great first line is the collateral that grants the author a line of intellectual credit from the reader. 4. I’ve been to multiple Christopher Moore book talks, and each time he reveals something interesting about storytelling (and, occasionally, whale penises). 5. If I get to the end of the first chapter and I don’t get a feel for your main character — if she and I are not connected via some gooey invisible psychic tether — I’m out. 6. I want the character to talk. 7. Yeast thrives on sugar. 8. The reader will only keep reading if you provide them with an 8 oz porterhouse steak and — *checks notes* — oh. 9. 10. First impressions matter. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 19. 20.
A quick overview of the Hero’s Journey | Jordan McCollum Planning out a novel? Be sure to join my newsletter for a FREE plotting/revision roadmap, and check out the full series on plotting novels in a free PDF! Over the last two weeks, we’ve looked at two plotting methods. The Hero’s Journey is based on the universal archetype work of Carl Jung, as applied by Joseph Campbell. I first learned about the hero’s journey in high school. Ahem. The Hero’s Journey The story begins in The Ordinary World. Then comes the Call to Adventure. Normally, the hero isn’t interested. Fear doesn’t have to be the only reason for refusal—he may also have noble reasons, or perhaps other characters are preventing him from leaving (on purpose or inadvertently). Sometimes it takes a mentor to get the hero on the right path. Now we’re ready for Crossing the First Threshold. The bulk of the story comes in the Tests, Allies and Enemies phase. Then things start to get serious with the Approach to the Inmost Cave (can’t you just hear a booming, echoing voice?). The Ordeal.
The Strange Case of Cormac McCarthy, Screenwriter We rarely appraise our most revered literary writers on the basis of their screenwriting. The bald truth is that most great writers never wrote original screenplays, and when they did, they were seldom produced. (Even the crop of famous literary men who dabbled in Hollywood — Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Nabokov, Dos Passos — routinely failed.) Nor do we judge these writers on their adapted screenplays, precisely because these works were adaptations and not originals, but also because Hollywood is a collaboration machine that historically chews up and swallows the solitary imagination, at least during production. More often than not, the perception of the film’s quality determines the value of the screenplay. One revered writer has entered into this strange literary territory is Cormac McCarthy. Spare, predictably minimalist and archetype driven, The Sunset Limited seemed fashioned out of tin, at least with respect to its gargantuan subjects: race, religion, death, ethics, etc.
s guide to writing a memoir It’s a genre that critics love to bag on, and readers love to devour. But we like to think that it’s not bad to write a memoir, it’s just very hard to write a good one. So we asked 10 of our favorite first-person authors for their best advice on the form. The most important advice I could give to aspiring memoir writers is that it’s pretty much all hopeless. But I got to write for a few hours every day — which was, and remains, The Prize: so keep your eye on it. Then just do it. Your early work will probably be too earnest and overwrought and snarky, and you’ll try too hard to sound ironic and erudite, but if you keep at it, you will get better and better. Ta-Nehisi Coates (“The Beautiful Struggle”): Don’t fucking lie. Accept the limitations and boredom of your life as the challenge of writing. Great memoir requires great courage and an appetite for sincere self-skepticism. Meghan Daum (“My Misspent Youth,” “Life Would Be Perfect if I Lived in That House”): Know thyself.
How to layout a book in Microsoft Word This is a guide to formatting your book in Microsoft Word (2010)... I'll also be adding a video soon! Getting started Open a new document. Click “size”>> “More paper sizes” and set the document to 6”x9” (or your book size). Then set the margins and gutter. I set this one to 1" margins on the top and bottom (a bit too much on the top). Copy and paste your text into the document (or, if you’ve already been writing in Word, save the document as a new file (to be safe) and then start formatting. Setting Paragraphs Highlight some text and click on the "line options" tab. Make sure there's no space before or after the paragraph, and justified text. Then select the first paragraph of your book, click line spacing options again, but set the first line indent at 0.0. Chapter Pages Next, we’re going to separate all the chapters. So put the cursor before any of the text, go to “Page Layout” >> “Breaks” and “Next Page.” (I've changed the font to no-indent, black, and "Bebas Neue.") I’ll align right.
One Sentence - True stories, told in one sentence. Shakespeare's Five Act Structure: Learn It, Live It, Love It The More Things Change If you have spent any time at all learning about the art of writing, especially creative writing, then you have no doubt heard about "the 3 Act Structure." Act I introduces the characters, world, and plot. In Act II, the action "rises" until we reach the climax. Finally, in Act III, the story is completely resolved. Unfortunately, this formula is egregiously simplified and leaves too much to the imagination. Think back: how many times have you lost interest in a film before the 60-minute mark? Act I: Exposition or Introduction In classical music, the Exposition is the part of the movement in which the principal themes are introduced. Not only are you introducing your main character in Act I, and establishing the world in which the action takes place, but you must introduce any/all thematic elements that are going to resonate throughout the story, and any problems or goals your protagonist is facing (i.e. the conflict). Act II: Rising Action Act III: Climax