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Ten rules for writing fiction

Ten rules for writing fiction
Elmore Leonard: Using adverbs is a mortal sin 1 Never open a book with weather. If it's only to create atmosphere, and not a charac­ter's reaction to the weather, you don't want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead look­ing for people. There are exceptions. If you happen to be Barry Lopez, who has more ways than an Eskimo to describe ice and snow in his book Arctic Dreams, you can do all the weather reporting you want. 2 Avoid prologues: they can be ­annoying, especially a prologue ­following an introduction that comes after a foreword. 3 Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. 4 Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said" ... he admonished gravely. 5 Keep your exclamation points ­under control. 6 Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose". 7 Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly. 8 Avoid detailed descriptions of characters, which Steinbeck covered. 10 Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. Diana Athill Margaret Atwood Roddy Doyle

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one

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Who wrote this amazing, mysterious book satirizing tech startup culture? A mysterious little book called Iterating Grace is floating around San Francisco right now. At least a dozen people have received the book in the mail—or in my case, by secret hand-delivery to my house. (Which is a little creepy.) The artifact itself consists of a 2,001-word story interspersed with hand-drawn recreations of tweets by venture capitalists and startup people like Chris Sacca, Paul Graham, Brad Feld, Sam Altman, and others. The story’s lead character, Koons Crooks, goes on a spiritual quest by contemplating the social media feeds emanating from the startup world. 102 Resources for Fiction Writing « Here to Create UPDATE 1/10: Dead links removed, new links added, as well as Revision and Tools and Software sections. Are you still stuck for ideas for National Novel Writing Month? Or are you working on a novel at a more leisurely pace? Here are 102 resources on Character, Point of View, Dialogue, Plot, Conflict, Structure, Outlining, Setting, and World Building, plus some links to generate Ideas and Inspiration.

Entertainment: The Blog - How to Write Like J.K. Rowling - The Breakdown of Harry Potter As we continue our examination on effective storytelling, we cannot overlook the phenomenon that is Harry Potter. First published in 1997, the robust series of young adult books has transcended itself into the hands of old adults and onto the big screen, becoming the highest grossing film franchise of all time. Author J.K. Rowling's manner of writing aids the digestibility of her stories. 20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Gets Wrong I’ve edited a monthly magazine for more than six years, and it’s a job that’s come with more frustration than reward. If there’s one thing I am grateful for — and it sure isn’t the pay — it’s that my work has allowed endless time to hone my craft to Louis Skolnick levels of grammar geekery. As someone who slings red ink for a living, let me tell you: grammar is an ultra-micro component in the larger picture; it lies somewhere in the final steps of the editing trail; and as such it’s an overrated quasi-irrelevancy in the creative process, perpetuated into importance primarily by bitter nerds who accumulate tweed jackets and crippling inferiority complexes. But experience has also taught me that readers, for better or worse, will approach your work with a jaundiced eye and an itch to judge.

Expressions & Sayings Index If you prefer to go directly to the meaning and origin of a specific expression, click on its relevant entry in the alphabetical list below. Use this alphabet to speed up your search: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Setting: Using Scene To Enrich Your Writing In both fiction and nonfiction, the setting is the general background against which your story takes place—the physical location and time period, both of which influence your characters and plot. So how can a creative writer use setting and scenery to further offset, augment, or reflect the action of the plot? Although we’re going to be exploring this issue in terms of fiction, these techniques work for nonfiction as well.

The Art Of The Rewrite So you’ve written your story, mulled over its potential problems, and even had it critiqued by friends or colleagues who’ve given you their praise, suggestions and ultimate diagnoses. You know your work has major issues that need addressed. Now what? WordCount rerun: Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling's writing style With the opening of the movie, Harry Potter and the Deathy Hallows, Part 1, I’ve noticed a substantial increase in the number of people coming here to read a post I did last year about J.K. Rowling’s writing style. For those of you who didn’t see it the first time, I’m re-running a slightly modified version of the original today to make it easier to find. If you’ve read it before, maybe you’ll find some new meaning in it after seeing the movie. Spice Up Your Writing With Dialogue by Judy Cullins Does your chapter sound like a report? Does it go on and on with past tense sentences that tell, rather than show?

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