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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.

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!!

How Does Writing Affect Your Brain? Most of us write a little something everyday. It might be a grocery list, a poem, or a write-up on the infographic of the day. As we go through this daily ritual, however, we are probably not aware of the effects writing has on our brains. According to today’s infographic, writing can serve as a calming, meditative tool. Stream of conscious writing exercises, in particular, have been identified as helpful stress coping methods. It should also be noted that writing can hold a powerful influence over its readers. So, whether you’re trying to de-stress, or improve your writing, check out the infographic below for some helpful insight into the goings-on of your brain. Share This Infographic Get Free Infographics Delivered to your Inbox

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

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.

How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life What do you write down? For most of us, writing consists of emails, task lists, and perhaps the odd work project. However, making time to write down certain things, such as our daily experiences, our goals, and our mental clutter can change the way we live our lives. Here are six different ways that writing things down can change your life, and what you can do to get the most out of each. 1. You can clear your mind by writing things down in two different ways. David Allen, productivity speaker and author of Getting Things Done, recommends doing what he calls a “core dump”. You can also use a technique called “morning pages”, which was pioneered by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way. 2. Writing down what’s on our mind is a great way to work through inner conflict or process your feelings around a particular situation. 3. If you keep a journal and regularly write down your thoughts and feelings, you’ll soon have a record of your experiences that you might otherwise have forgotten. 4.

"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.

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.

5 unconventional ways to become a better writer (hint, it's about being a better reader) 1.3K Flares 1.3K Flares × Can I be blunt on this subject? If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. – Stephen King Even if you’re not a ‘writer’ per se, writing can be highly beneficial. It can be helpful for a number of things: Generally, there are two things that writers recommend to others who want to improve: more writing, and reading. Reading—the good and the bad—inspires you. Since reading is something we learn to do when we first start school, it’s easy to think we’ve got it sorted out and we don’t need to work on this skill anymore. Knowing how to read and not reading books is like owning skis and not skiing, owning a board and never riding a wave, or, well, having your favorite sandwich in your hand and not eating it. So let’s take a look at five unconventional ways to become better writers by changing the way we read. 1. Robert Estreitinho is a fan of this method: 2. Reading is meant to be a fun activity. 3. 4. 5.

Proofreaders' Marks | The University of Texas at Austin Skip Navigation Brand Guidelines UT Home > Brand Guidelines > Writing Style Guide > Proofreaders Marks Proofreaders' Marks Brand Guidelines Quick Links Visual Assets Stationery Email Signatures Video Assets Powerpoint TV Spots Trademark Licensing Discovery Brief What Starts Here

Unique Plots 6 Of The Best Pieces of Advice From Successful Writers 2.4K Flares 2.4K Flares × I’ve been reading some advice from successful writers lately and exploring what their routines are like to see what I can learn about Here are six of the most common pieces of advice I came across that have helped me a lot improving my writing here at Buffer. It also features actionable tips for you on how to implement them in your own writing. 1. I write because it comes out — and then to get paid for it afterwards? Unlike Charles Bukowski, writing well doesn’t come so easily for a lot of us (including me). The pure effort of writing is hard enough, but coupled with the pain of putting your work out into the world and letting others judge it, this can be enough to stop you from getting started at all. The trick to overcoming this isn’t easy, but it’s surprisingly effective: give yourself permission to write badly, and just start. Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird wrote an excellent essay on why writers must start with horrible drafts: 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Wikipedia:Manual of Style The Manual of Style (often abbreviated MoS or MOS) is a style guide for all Wikipedia articles. This is its main page, covering certain topics (such as punctuation) in full, and presenting the key points of others. Subpages, linked via this page's menu and listed at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Contents, provide detailed guidance on some topics. The Manual of Style documents Wikipedia's house style. Style and formatting should be consistent within an article, though not necessarily throughout Wikipedia. Discuss style issues on the MoS talk page. Article titles, headings, and sections[edit] Article titles[edit] When determining the title of an article, refer to the Article titles policy. For guidance on formatting titles, see the Article title format section of the policy. The guidance contained elsewhere in the MoS, particularly in the section below on punctuation, applies to all parts of an article, including the title. Section organization[edit] Section headings [edit] <!

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