6 Ways to Create Riveting Conflict in Your Story Who says conflict is a bad thing? Who says world peace is the most important goal of humanity? Who says arguing with your little brother when you’re a kid means you’ll grow up to be an ill-mannered ruffian? Not a writer, that’s for sure! Arguably, the single most important tenet of fiction can be summed up in the saw “no conflict, no story.” The simple fact is: fiction has its very basis in conflict. So how does one go about manufacturing this most precious of story ingredients? 1. This is the easiest (and, often, the best) way to throw a little conflict in your story. 2. Many stories base their entire premise on this idea (think of the Pevensie siblings tumbling through the wardrobe into Narnia in C.S. 3. For a long while, I had tacked on my bulletin board a note which read, “Think of the ten worst things that could happen to your character.” 4. Nancy Kress, in her fantastic book Beginnings, Middles & Ends spoke about the necessity of including both inner and outer battles: 5. 6.
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. Also, I recommend some resources for Revision and some online Tools and Software. Too many links? 10 Days of Character Building Name Generators Name Playground The Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test Priming the idea pump (A character checklist shamlessly lifted from acting) How to Create a Character Seven Common Character Types Handling a Cast of Thousands – Part I: Getting to Know Your Characters It’s Not What They Say . . . Establishing the Right Point of View: How to Avoid “Stepping Out of Character” How to Start Writing in the Third Person Web Resources for Developing Characters Speaking of Dialogue
21 Writing Prompts for Setting a Scene in Your Novel When you’re writing (or rewriting) a scene, do you ever get the feeling you just don’t have enough to say? Sure, there’s the action–but what about all the extra bits meant to flesh out your story? While I don’t encourage overwriting for the sake of word count, meaningful details can help you establish setting and atmosphere. Last week, I sat down with John Banville’s Booker Prize winning novel, The Sea–a book that features prose I admire–and took careful notes about how the author managed to effectively set certain scenes. Here’s just one of its many beautiful passages : I would not swim again, after that day. From this passage, I know the narrator is remembering something unpleasant from his past, and the imagery foreshadows what happens later in the story. Based on my reading, the following are 21 writing prompts for creating depth in your prose: Where does the scene take place? What other prompts can you share to help us set the scene?
Using Pictures as Writing Prompts -- Photos Make Great Writing Prompts Choose one of these images to use as a writing prompt for a freewriting session. Ideally, you'll develop one of the ideas generated by your freewriting session into a short story. A reader named Adam C. described how this played out for him in a creative writing class in which each student was given a different photo to write about. Adam writes, "The picture I was given portrayed an elderly couple, holding hands, looking off to the left of the camera lens. There was a large boat in the background. (More instructions for this creative writing exercise are also outlined in a how-to.)
100 Useful Web Tools for Writers All kinds of writers, including poets, biographers, journalists, biz tech writers, students, bloggers and technical writers, take a unique approach to their jobs, mixing creativity with sustainability. Whether you’re a freelance writer just scraping by or someone with a solid job and more regular hours, the Internet can provide you with unending support for your practical duties like billing, scheduling appointments, and of course getting paid; as well as for your more creative pursuits, like developing a plot, finding inspiration and playing around with words. Turn to this list for 100 useful Web tools that will help you with your career, your sanity and your creativity whenever your write. Getting Organized Thanks to the Internet, disorganized writers are no longer a cliche. Finding Inspiration Beat down writer’s block by using these online idea prompts and inspirational tools. Getting Gigs For many writers, finding a gig is the hardest part of their career. Networking and Marketing
8 Tips for Awesome Dialogue Dialogue is one of the most important and also one of the most difficult aspects of a story. That is because dialogue is such a common occurrence in readers’ lives. Just as badly done animation of people is creepy, badly written dialogue comes off as fake and vaguely menacing. There is nothing worse to read than a cliché-ridden, stilted, and obviously forced line of dialogue. From the dime store novels of the past to Harlequin romances of today, you can find examples of bad dialogue everywhere. 1. The first thing a writer should do if they want to write realistic dialogue is to listen to real people talk. 2. No one blathers on for pages about the past or their history unless they have a really good reason. 3. Slang is a part of our everyday conversations. 4. Accents should not be overused either. 5. A pet peeve of mine is dialogue that switches between characters with little to no indication of who is saying what. 6. Another thing I find super annoying is improperly formatted dialogue.
Free Software for Writers Dozens of software applications are available and marketed to writers, yet many of these programs can be both expensive and difficult to use. While standard word processors serve the needs of many writers, some writers require more adaptable and agile solutions. For writers unwilling or unable to spend hundreds of dollars to invest in the multitude of purchasable programs, there is a plethora of free, user-friendly programs available for download. Q10 is a free, highly customizable, full screen word processor. yWriter yWriter is a word processor alternative that allows users to organize their projects in a completely new way. Celtx According to Celtx’s website, “Celtx is the world's first all-in-one media pre-production system.” OpenOffice OpenOffice is an open source alternative to Microsoft Office. Textblock Writer Textblock writer is a free virtual index card writer that runs on Windows and the .NET framework. Sonar FreeMind FreeMind is a free, downloadable mind mapping software. Bubbl.us
How to Cite Sources & Not Steal People's Content on the Internet The best content marketers aren't afraid to share. Share content. Share links. Share ideas. Share data. The thing is, sometimes marketers get a little protective of their stuff because there are less-than-scrupulous people out there who take content and then try to pass it off as their own. But sometimes it isn't a matter of people being jerks -- they might just not know how the internet "works." Bonus: Download our collection of royalty-free stock photos here -- no attribution required. So to clear up any confusion and ensure you (and anyone you do business with) is following generally accepted internet sharing etiquette, this post will outline how to cite internet sources. How to Cite Sources in Blog Posts & Long-Form Content Assets Blogs are hotbeds of source attribution issues, probably just due to the sheer volume of content the format offers. Citation Scenario #1: Citation Scenario #2: Now let's say you have data you'd like to cite in a blog post. Citation Scenario #3: Make sense?
Five Common Problems I See In Your Stories This past weekend, I served as faculty at the wonderful Pike’s Peak Writing Conference in lovely Colorado Springs, Colorado. There, my first job on the first day of the conference was to take part in a roundtable blind critique session of the first pages of several manuscripts. It’s very cool to be asked to do that, because rarely do I have the opportunity to crush souls and milk dreams of their precious dreamjuice in person. Like, I could critique a page and even though the manuscripts were blind and I did not know to whom they belonged, I could still gaze out into the audience and find the author there, eyes wet and trembling as I bit into their writing with my dread incisors. Okay, not really. What was interesting to me, however, was that while each story was very different, my criticisms of those stories often kept to a few common themes. The First Page Is Vital You don’t realize how much that first page matters until you have to judge a story based on that first page. Cut. I get it.
Welcome to Writing-World.com! Synonyms for the 96 most commonly used words in English Amazing — incredible, unbelievable, improbable, fabulous, wonderful, fantastic, astonishing, astounding, extraordinary Anger — enrage, infuriate, arouse, nettle, exasperate, inflame, madden Angry — mad, furious, enraged, excited, wrathful, indignant, exasperated, aroused, inflamed Answer — reply, respond, retort, acknowledge Ask– — question, inquire of, seek information from, put a question to, demand, request, expect, inquire, query, interrogate, examine, quiz Awful — dreadful, terrible, abominable, bad, poor, unpleasant Beautiful — pretty, lovely, handsome, attractive, gorgeous, dazzling, splendid, magnificent, comely, fair, ravishing, graceful, elegant, fine, exquisite, aesthetic, pleasing, shapely, delicate, stunning, glorious, heavenly, resplendent, radiant, glowing, blooming, sparkling Begin — start, open, launch, initiate, commence, inaugurate, originate Break — fracture, rupture, shatter, smash, wreck, crash, demolish, atomize Come — approach, advance, near, arrive, reach Read on: Related
Short Stories: 10 Tips for Creative Writers 6 Ways to Hook Your Readers Although I consider myself an avid reader, I must admit I have a short attention span when it comes to getting into books. If you fail to grab my attention in the first few lines, I start spacing out. Most readers are like me. Most people don’t want to spend the first 50 pages trying to get into a book. Here are a few things I find annoying in the first lines of a story: Dialogue. The last thing you want to do as a writer is annoy or bore people. (N.B. 1. Put a question in your readers’ minds. “Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did.” 2. By starting at an important moment in the story, your reader is more likely to want to continue so he or she can discover what will happen next. “It was dark where she was crouched but the little girl did as she’d been told.” 3. Description is good when it encourages people to paint a picture in their minds. “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” 4. 5. “They had flown from England to Minneapolis to look at a toilet.” 6.