Tag Archive | writing tips

The Link Between Your Story’s First Plot Point and Third Plot Point 

If you are a plotter (a writer that likes to work on your plot usually via an outline before you start writing), or a plotter once the whole thing is written (using the exercise to make your story as strong as it can be), then this post, along with the others that K.M. Wieland has written (or will write) will be very helpful.

I liked I liked her line: The First Plot Point may take the protagonist to a new place, but the Third Plot Point makes him into a new person.

K.M also has a great archive of movie and some book plot points that can help you when you’re struggling with your own manuscript.

Thanks K.M.!

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Deepen your understanding of story structure by examining the parallel functions of the First Plot Point and the Third Plot Point.

Source: The Link Between Your Story’s First Plot Point and Third Plot Point – Helping Writers Become Authors

Characterization Through Dialogue

This is something that I see debated often and probably will continue to be a topic of discussion; I think because there isn’t any one right answer. Odd characters are fun to write so writers like to create them. And odd character often speak in odd ways. Or if you’re trying to portray a certain group or character by their/the character’s speech pattern, trying to make them stand out, dialogue is one way to do that.

But as K.M. Weiland notes in the post below, if you use slang, or even odd speech ticks, I agree, that a little goes a long way. Part of the reason for this is you don’t want the reader to stop and have to really look at a word(s) to try and interpret what you’re trying to say. Text should flow easily through the readers mind. An odd word here and there probably isn’t an issue, but if you make the reader stop too often, they may decide they need to unload the dishwasher instead of continuing to read your book!

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Authors need to get the nuances of slang in dialogue right, because smart readers will always recognize phony speech patterns.

Source: Slang in Dialogue: Use It Sparingly – Helping Writers Become Authors

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12 Ways to Be an Invisible Writer 

Are you an “invisible writer”?

What does it mean to be invisible as you write? Or more accurately, as the post notes, what does it mean to be invisible as you edit. Don’t worry about these 12 things as your creating your story. It is something to look at once you’re done with your first draft, during the rewrite process. Actually, farther in on the rewrite process.

When I’m editing a client’s manuscript, this is something I see fairly often and a surefire thing to diminish the reader experience. I get push-back sometimes when I make suggests to change some of these things, and I can’t make someone make a manuscript change that they don’t want to make. I know sometimes it feels like you have to explain everything to the reader – to make sure they understand – but most times being less obvious is better. (Like, less is more.) Readers like to figure things out on their own. I know I do.

Of course, It’s easier to see when I haven’t written the piece myself. Harder for me to see in my own writing – which is another reason to always have someone else edit your story, someone who knows what to look for such as an editor or another writer.

Take a look at Tim Storms 12 things…

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Once the author becomes visible, the enchantment of the story dissolves. These 12 things can ruin the illusion for the reader. Become an invisible writer.

Source: 12 Ways to Be an Invisible Writer | Craft Articles

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Your Writing Community 

from mythic scribes

In Jane Friedman’s blog, Susan DeFreitas writes a guest post on the advantages of a writing community to spur your writing and support you when you need it most. I think even more so, a writing community makes you a better writer, especially if you’re able to connect with a critique group of good writers. Remember, you’ll only be as good as the best writer in your group, so choose your group wisely.

Do your critique members have a published book(s)? How well does that book(s) do in the reviews? Of course, your critique mates don’t all have to be published authors, but someone who has made it through the whole process (traditional or self-publishing, it matters not) will know more about the craft than someone who hasn’t.

And you’ll always learn something by reading and commenting on someone else’s work, in addition to reading the comments of other on that same piece.

And if you join a group that doesn’t seem to be working for you, politely bow out. You’ll be doing everyone a favor. No one does good work if they don’t want to be somewhere.

But where to find a critique group?

Ask around, of course. Look on facebook in your area. Join online writing groups and ask if anyone has an opening in their critique group. Ask on Linkedin writers groups. Ask at writing conferences (when those are a thing again – Ug!). I’m sure there are Instagram writers groups too, though I’m not on Instagram so I have no clue. I know you can find writers on twitter. Most of my writing friends are on twitter. I would suggest looking for a group that is writing in your genre, but maybe that is obvious.

Take a look at Susan’s post and she what wisdom she has to share.

Hang in there, everyone!

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Don’t feel like you have to go it alone—others are on the same journey, ready to offer encouragement and applaud your hard-earned victories.

Source: Developing a Writing Practice, Part 2: Community | Jane Friedman 

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Writing Advice: Zen in the Art of Writing – Ray Bradbury -Part 1.

I had no idea Ray Bradbury was still alive, let alone that he wrote a book on writing. It is not on my list. Thanks Tea and Biscut!

‘Fahrenheit 451’ by Ray Bradbury is a classic book that you always find on those ‘100 books to read before you die’ lists. It’s a book that everyone has heard of and y…

Source: Writing Advice: Zen in the Art of Writing – Ray Bradbury -Part 1. – A Cup Of Tea And A Biscuit

16 Military Phrases and Cliches That Screenwriters/Book writers Need to Stop Using 

Ken Miyamoto knows screenplays so you can be sure he knows what he’s talking about related to his post on writing military cliches. Even though he’s talking about writing for film (or TV), the same would go for fiction.

So if you write military based fiction, take a gander at Ken’s post.

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Ken Miyamoto lists military phrases and cliches that screenwriters should avoid to create a more authentic military-driven screenplay.

Source: 16 Military Phrases and Cliches That Screenwriters Need to Stop Using – ScreenCraft

4 Challenges of Writing for a Modern Audience and How to Overcome Them (or at least try!)

Very good post by K.M. Wieland. Not only does she note the 4 challenges, she gives you ideas on how to overcome them (or at least try to :))

It’s a no-brainer to put out the best story you can but I also agree that reading good writing is important. And for me, watching good films is also very helpful. I always get good ideas from good films.

Give it a read!

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Modern authors writing for a modern audience must be aware of four unique challenges to connecting with current readers and viewers.

Source: 4 Challenges of Writing for a Modern Audience – Helping Writers Become Authors

my imageChristine Keleny
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8 Mundane Elements That Slow Down Your Story 

Image result for images of walking slow

Jane Friedman has picked a few writing tips from Jordon Rosenfeld’s book “How to Write a Page Turner” that aren’t the usual: watch out for adverbs, passive voice, flowery dialogue tags… Items that might slow down your story!

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Realism has its role, but don’t let it bog down your novel. Heed the advice of bestselling author Jordan Rosenfeld about pitfalls that can bore your reader.

Source: 8 Mundane Elements You Should Cut From Your Story | Jane Friedman

5 Writing Tips: Barbara Kingsolver

The tips Barbara Kingsolver is aren’t new (other than the last one, perhaps, which is kind of interesting), but they are good reminders.

p.s. I listened to “Unsheltered” and I enjoyed it. Kingsolver is a wonderful writer. It was well-researched, of course, and interesting, though not necessarily a page turner.

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The enterprise of writing a book has to feel like walking into a cathedral.

Source: 5 Writing Tips: Barbara Kingsolver

How to Use Paragraph Breaks to Guide the Reader’s Experience 

Always good information from Ms Weiland. Here is a recent post about how and why to use paragraph breaks. To help us all make reading an even more pleasant experience for the people we write for!

Enjoy!

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Writers must use paragraph breaks to direct a reader’s experience of the story’s action and pacing. Here are three guiding principles to keep in mind.

Source: Critique: How to Use Paragraph Breaks to Guide the Reader’s Experience – Helping Writers Become Authors

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