background preloader

Writing Tips

Facebook Twitter

Backstory: The More You Know, The Less I Have To. Just in from teaching in Seattle and have NO VOICE. Hubby is a little more thrilled than he should probably show O_o. Anyway, the wonderful Piper Bayard is here for some more writing tips for those who want to NaNo. Even if you don’t? Backstory is ALWAYS a bugger. Kinda like in dating. NaNo season will soon be upon us. Typical NaNoWriMo Writing Space First, give yourself permission to suck. Maureen Johnson says it best. Now that you’re keyed in to your sucking, you can get down to work to prevent unnecessary suckage.

We’ve all read books with page after page of backstory. I know what you’re thinking. Forethought this. Here comes the surprise portion of this dissertation. (For all you sci-fi folks, you have a little extra work. The single best way to eliminate backstory is to know your characters and, therefore, your backstory, before you ever start your draft. How old are they when the book starts? In other words, don’t just know your serial killer Terrell is a psychopath.

Frida was here. 297 Flabby Words and Phrases That Rob Your Writing of All Its Power. You’re not stupid. You know what writing is truly about. It’s a never-ending battle for your readers’ attention. Every sentence is a link in a taut chain that connects your headline to your conclusion. And you are just one weak sentence away from losing your reader forever. So you take your craft quite seriously. You ignore all but your best ideas. You work on each piece of writing for exactly as long as necessary to get it right. And you edit until your words are crisp and clear. But what if that isn’t enough? What if weaknesses remain that are almost impossible to spot? The Subtle Attention Killers That Hide in Plain Sight No matter how carefully you scrutinize your writing, subtle problems will remain. Certain words and phrases are so commonplace – and so seemingly benign – that they glide unnoticed under your editing radar. But these words and phrases can silently erode your reader’s attention.

They don’t stand out. But they weaken your writing and dilute your ideas. So bookmark this post. Famous Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers. How to Punctuate Dialogue. December 8, 2010 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill last modified April 18, 2016 The PDF Punctuation in Dialogue ($0.99) and The Magic of Fiction (available in paperback and PDF) both contain expanded and updated versions of this material.

Dialogue h as its own rules for punctuation. Commas go in particular places, as do terminal marks such as periods and question marks. Only what is spoken is within the quotation marks. Other parts of the same sentence—dialogue tags and action or thought—go outside the quotation marks. Dialogue begins with a capitalized word, no matter where in the sentence it begins. Only direct dialogue requires quotation marks. Direct: “She was a bore,” he said.Indirect: He said [that] she was a bore. Here are some of the rules, with examples. Single line of dialogue, no dialogue tagThe entire sentence, including the period (or question mark or exclamation point) is within the quotation marks.

“He loved you.” “He loved you,” she said. She said, “He loved you.” “He loved you?” Monomyth. Joseph Campbell's monomyth, or the hero's journey, is a basic pattern that its proponents argue is found in many narratives from around the world. This widely distributed pattern was described by Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949).[1] Campbell, an enthusiast of novelist James Joyce, borrowed the term monomyth from Joyce's Finnegans Wake.[2] Campbell held that numerous myths from disparate times and regions share fundamental structures and stages, which he summarized in The Hero with a Thousand Faces: A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.[3] A chart outlining the Hero's Journey.

Summary[edit] In a monomyth, the hero begins in the ordinary world, and receives a call to enter an unknown world of strange powers and events. The 17 Stages of the Monomyth[edit] Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions. Dos and Don'ts For Fantasy/Sci-Fi Writers. Dos and Don'ts For Fantasy/Sci-Fi Writers Fantasy Specific Writing good, well thought-out fantasy can be a challenging process, especially when featuring a setting or race completely different from that which is familiar to the author.

There are a myriad of places within a story where a writer can falter and insert details which are not well enough developed, uncharacteristic, confusing, or which simply don't make sense in the context of the setting. This list is meant to point out some of these common areas of confusion and tell what can be done to be more aware of and correct any potential inconsistencies. Remember that these are all only suggestions, and not everything on the list applies to every story. Still, everyone can take something from these suggestions, which might prove useful at some point in the future, in their writing. Don't: Reference Earth Changing the wording is also a good way to give a foreign feeling to the familiar. Again, think: what is important in this society? 8 ½ Character Archetypes You Should Be Writing. Here’s the thing about character archetypes: everybody’s got his own take.

Do you run with Joseph Campbell’s gazillion and one Jungian archetypes? How about Dramatica’s double quad of eight archetypes? Or maybe screenwriter Michael Hauge’s simple offering of four main players? Nothing wrong with running with all of them. Today, we’re going to explore my take, which is primarily based on Dramatica’s eight characters. 1. This one doesn’t need much explanation. The main actor.The person most greatly affected by the Antagonist.The person whose reactions and actions drive the majority of the plot.The person with whom the readers will identify most strongly.The person whose inner journey, as influenced by the outer conflict, will be the most obvious manifestation of your story’s theme. Examples Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Lightning McQueen in Cars, Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins, Mattie Ross in True Grit 2. This one’s also pretty clear. 3. 4. 5. 6. Doc Hudson in Cars, Col. 7. 8.

Mr. Absolute Write | Write hard. Write true. And write on. Screenwriting.info: How to Write a Screenplay. Lester Dent Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot. This is a formula, a master plot, for any 6000 word pulp story. It has worked on adventure, detective, western and war-air. It tells exactly where to put everything. It shows definitely just what must happen in each successive thousand words. No yarn of mine written to the formula has yet failed to sell.

The business of building stories seems not much different from the business of building anything else. Here's how it starts: One of these DIFFERENT things would be nice, two better, three swell. A different murder method could be--different. If the victims are killed by ordinary methods, but found under strange and identical circumstances each time, it might serve, the reader of course not knowing until the end, that the method of murder is ordinary.

Scribes who have their villain's victims found with butterflies, spiders or bats stamped on them could conceivably be flirting with this gag. Probably it won't do a lot of good to be too odd, fanciful or grotesque with murder methods.