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Finding your voice - making your writing sound like YOU

Finding your voice - making your writing sound like YOU
Finding your voice by Christopher Meeks Developing a voice in your writing is a notion that passes over me every now and then like the "thung" sound of an error message on my computer. "I should develop a voice," I think. To some people, the image of "voice" may be akin to a rotund person belting something out in Italian in front of a lot of penguin-suited people paying big bucks waiting for the crystal to shatter. Or, if that metaphor's a bit too extreme, think of "voice" as simply like your own voice. A voice on the Web: Strive to create a "text" voice that is as distinctive as your speaking voice.We can't all be Hemingway: Don't try to write like someone else; find your own voice and don't try to change your demeanor.Write like you talk: It really can be that simple.Let your passion be your guide: Follow the urge; follow the idea.Let me entertain you: All writing, even the most serious, is a form of entertainment. I can recognize voice in other people's work. How do we do that? Boom. Related:  Fiction WritingBooks, Writing and WritersWriting Styles

Character Trait Chart Character Trait Chart and Personality Components It can sometimes be helpful to make a Trait Chart for each character. This is especially helpful during the early stages of character development, before the character becomes as real to you as your mother. To use this chart, print it out and make a copy for each of your characters. Full name - a character's name is very important. Besides the character's official name, we also need to know what he is called (and, perhaps, what he prefers to be called). Date of Birth/Age - we should carefully consider assigning our character a birthday. Address - this can be as detailed or as vague as you wish, but it should answer a few questions: does the character live in a large city, the suburbs, a small town or deep in the country? Height - this doesn't need to be specific. Weight/Body Build - again, we don't really need to know a character's exact weight, only if he or she is stocky, slender or "had a figure that . . ." Smell - everyone has a smell.

The 14 best blogging and publishing platforms on the Internet today. Which one is for you? Want the latest recommendations? Read our 2015 guide to The 18 best blogging and publishing platforms on the internet today. Updated June 2014 Reading the signs a couple of years ago it was easy to assume that the art of blogging was set to die a painful death at the hands of social networks like Facebook and Twitter and others. In fact, the truth is that there’s never been a better time to blog. So, whether you’re a blogger returning from a break, seeking a new home or are looking to write online for the first time, here’s our guide to what blogging platforms are out there. Update: Post is now paginated to make reading it easier, though you can click here to read on a single page, or use the links below to jump to: Recommended Business Apps

Online - Fifty Writing Tools: What's in Store For the last two years, these 50 essays describing writing strategies have lived on the Poynter Web site, helping journalists improve their craft. Your support for these writing tools has led to two exciting developments. The publisher Little, Brown plans a Sept. 1, 2006 launch for the book version: Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer. (If you pre-order the book from Amazon here, Poynter will get a small cut as an Amazon affiliate.) At times, it helps to think of writing as carpentry. Each week, for the next 50, I will describe a writing tool that has been useful to me. I have described most of these tools in earlier lists, first of 20 and then 30. As you study and discuss these, please remember: These are tools and not rules. My friend Tom French, who won a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, told me he liked my tool list because it covered writing from the "sub-atomic to the metaphysical level." With that as both introduction and promise, let us begin.

Questionnaires for Writing Character Profiles Enter your e-mail to get the e-book for FREE. We'll also keep you informed about interesting website news. "I have searched the web and used different worksheets, but none have come close to your worksheets and descriptions of (what to do and what not to do). Both courses I have taken have with Creative Writing Now have been amazing. "As usual - I already love the course on Irresistible Fiction, rewriting a lot and improving greatly even after the first lesson. “Essentials of Fiction proved that I could indeed write and I wrote every day, much to my boyfriend's dismay (waa sniff).” - Jill Gardner "I am loving the course and the peer interaction on the blog is fantastic!!!" "I'm enjoying the weekly email course, Essentials of Poetry Writing. "Thank you for all the material in this course. "I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the lessons and feel they were very helpful in introducing new ideas and perspectives to my writing. "Thanks very much for this course. "Thank you so much!!

City Generator 25 Things You Should Know About Word Choice 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. 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. Incorrect word choice means you’re using the wrong damn word. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Am. 15.

Flogging the Quill: In a recent edit, I pointed out some instances where I felt the author was telling versus showing. I included examples of ways to show what had been told. She wrote to me and said, "I'm not sure I know how to 'show' rather than 'tell.'" That's not hard to understand. After all, we use that mode all the time in conversations with friends. "I was really surprised." And it works. April told May how June had told Julie where to shove her opinion. That's a necessary and effective use of telling. There are other times when it's the best thing to do. Jake pressed the little blue phone on his cell-phone keypad to end the call. Truly, that wasn't needed at all, and smacks of overwriting. Jake ended the call. The reader can easily imagine ending a call with a cell phone if they've ever used one, and even if they haven't used one, they've seen it on television. So what's so bad about telling in a novel? You spot telling by looking for simple declarative sentences that tell the reader something. Ray

5 Ways to Get Rid of Your Damn Empty Modifiers I discussed the need to get rid of empty emphatics when I gave you 8 words to seek and destroy in your writing, but just saying that you should get rid of a thing doesn't say much about the right way to do so. Today I'm going to show you a few of my favorite ways to get rid of your empty modifiers. What exactly is an empty modifier? It's any word whose only role is to intensify the word it's modifying. I'm not saying that empty modifiers should never be used. 1. Sylvia was very crazy. This is the easiest and often the best solution. (Though, these days, you may need to use something a bit more extreme to earn the cut; I offer "mother-fucking" for your consideration.) 2. Bob was really ugly hideous. When I started dating my second serious girlfriend, we quickly fell in like. Both of us were using the repeated "really" as a way to avoid saying the more powerful—and culturally loaded—word that captured our mutual infatuation. There are more powerful versions of most words out there. 3. 4. 5.

Creat a Character Exercises -- The Writer's Craft Getting to Know your Characters Create a character or get to know him better with these creative writing exercises. Well written characters engage the reader and make him feel as though he has made a new friend. 1. Read! 2. 3. 4. 5. How do different people show that they are bored; how do they disguise it? 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. Setting ExercisesCreative Writing Exercises Writer’s Digest - Writing Prompts Write a scene that includes a character speaking a different language, speaking in a thick accent, or otherwise speaking in a way that is unintelligibe to the other characters. (Note: You don't necessarily need to know the language the character is speaking—be creative with it!) Describe a character's reaction to something without explaining what it is. See if your fellow prompt responders can guess what it is. Write a story or a scene about one character playing a prank on another. Describe the scene from both characters' points of view. Writing Prompt: Write a story that involves confusion over homonyms (words that have the same spelling but different meanings) or homophones (words that sound the same but are spelled differently). For World Storytelling Day, share the best story you've ever heard or told by word of mouth, or have a fictional character recount their favorite story. You're making your way down a cobbled street when a stocky, red-bearded man beckons you into an alley.

"Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy" by Jeffrey A. Carver For characters to come alive, they must be revealed through the story—through their words, their thoughts, their actions. Through their interactions with other characters. It's no good telling your reader, "Tom was an angry man," and leaving it at that and thinking that Tom will come across as an angry man. You must portray Tom as an angry man, through the way he talks down to his girlfriend or insults his friend or yells at the policeman who's chasing him down the alley. Or you might do it through his actions: raising a fist, making a rude gesture, slamming a door, or threatening with a weapon. Make this your mantra; chant it to yourself as you write. Your characters should evolve through the course of the story; they should change and learn and grow through their life experiences, just as you and I do through ours.

Unique Plots Creating an Original Character By Maisha Foster-O'Neal You've heard the old maxim before... 'a character can make or break your story.' Okay, okay, so you want to write an interesting character. You've got some plot ideas, you know a little bit about your world, but now you need your characters. And not just any old characters - no, these have got to be the most original, most interesting characters your reader will ever come across. Ah yes, such is the desire of all writers. Enough already! Before we dive into Creating Original Characters, I'd like to offer a disclaimer. Disclaimer: I don't claim to know everything about writing. Note: There is already an excellent tutorial about writing the Villain, so I won't make specific references to writing an antagonist. The Basics of Characters The first thing about characters - They are just one facet of a good story. Character Creation: Little Exercises Open up a phonebook and pick out a name, and write a description of that person based only on their name. A note on Romance

Creative Writing Exercises: Make a Book Journal and Fill it with Discoveries! You need more than a beginning if you’re going to start a book. If all you have is a beginning, then once you’ve written that beginning, you have nowhere to go. – Neil Gaiman Do you ever get stuck writing and you’re not sure where to go? Or stalled out in the midst of a writing project? If you’re looking for creative writing prompts that are specific to your work in progress, read on! Even if I think through the major parts of my WIP (work in progress), I sometimes find myself in need of additional inspiration and writing ideas. In addition to collecting photos, snippets of ideas, sketches and maps of my fictional towns in my journal, I use writing exercises to get me going. Listen to your character: I ask a specific character how he or she feels about what happened in the last scene. If you are really feeling brave and want to walk a mile in your character’s shoes, answer out loud in her/his voice. Character monologue: now it’s really time to be brave.

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