Source: thepenspointofview



Image via fuckyeahnotebooks

Writing allows you to share the wonders of your imagination. But many lack the confidence to express their thoughts in words. So here are 10 tips to help those who’d like to start writing, erotic or otherwise…

1 - Storytelling is the gift of new imaginings

We read stories because they give us a chance to imagine something we’ve never thought of before. A writer gives their readers a recipe of settings, characters and events and says: here, visualise this.

Writing is meant to be read. Seduce your reader, don’t baffle them with complicated words or overly complicated plots, or drench them in a deluge of descriptive adjectives. Allow your readers’ imaginations to fill the gaps between your words.

Don’t worry if you’re sexually inexperienced and you’re writing about sex. I’m pretty sure sci-fi authors don’t own spaceships and J.K Rowling has never cast a magic spell. It’s far more important to be able to use your imagination to create compelling happenings, ones readers will care enough about to invest their precious time and mental energy to recreate inside their heads. And if you really want to become more creative, sign up for improv classes.

Read More


  • Over-explanation. This includes prologues. “Prologues are never needed. You can usually throw them in the garbage. They’re usually put on as a patch.”
  • Too much data. “You’re trying to seduce your reader, not burden them,” Friedman said.
  • Over-writing, or “trying too hard.” “We think the more description we add, the more vivid it will be; but we don’t want to be distracted from the story” we open the book for.
  • Beginning the novel with an interior monologue or reflection. Usually this is written as the thoughts of a character who is sitting alone, musing and thinking back on a story. Just start with the story.
  • Beginning the novel with a flashback. Friedman isn’t entirely anti-flashback, but the novel’s opening page is the wrong place for one.
  • Beginning a novel with the “waking up sequence” of a character waking, getting out of bed, putting on slippers, heading for the kitchen and coffee…a cliche
  • Related cliche: beginning the novel with an alarm clock or a ringing phone
  • Starting out with an “ordinary day’s routine” for the main character
  • Beginning with “crisis moments” that aren’t unique: “When the doctor said ‘malignant,’ my life changed forever…” or “The day my father left us I was seven years old…”
  • Don’t start with a dialogue that doesn’t have any context. Building characterization through dialogue is okay anywhere else but there.
  • Starting with backstory, or “going back, then going forward.”
  • Info dump. More formally called “exposition.”
  • Character dump, which is four or more characters on the first page.

George Orwell has earned the right to be called one of the finer writers in the English language through such novels as 1984, Animal Farm, and Down and Out in Paris and London, and essays like “Shooting an Elephant.”

Orwell excoriated totalitarian governments in his work, but he was just as passionate about good writing. Thus, you may want to hear some of Orwells writing tips.*

Read More 



Source: writing-questions-answered


Tips by: Naomi
Originally posted on: Confessions of an Opinionated Book Geek.


Here’s the thing about Harry Potter. Sure, the magic is great, the villain frightening and the action hard to look away from. But, do you know what really made J.K. Rowling’s series sell billions of copies? We cared about Harry Potter. From the moment that kid is introduced underneath that staircase, we wanted more. We love Hermonie and Ron, not only, because they are the loyal, amazing and fierce best friend a boy ever had, it’s because they love Harry. Those two kids became his family. Gave him somewhere to belong and finally someone remembered that kids birthday. J.K. Rowling discovered a secret that other authors are struggling with. It’s not just about the fancy world and the cool tricks. It’s about making the audience care in the most realistic, honest and authentic way. 

When I was 15, I took my first film class and made my first film. I wanted to make an emotional drama that would pull my audience in, so I wrote a story about a mother who could not connect with her adopted daughter. It was bad. Horrible. I knew nothing about adoption, what it means to be a mother or even to be a kid who cannot connect to her parent. I didn’t even bother to look into how the adoption processes works. I had an an idea about how I wanted my audience to react and because of that I failed. It took me years to realize that if I write a story I really want to tell and made my characters relatable then the audience will be pulled in. Without manipulation.

So here are some thing’s I have learned over the years.

1. No tricks or gimmicks, just life.
Authors today seem to think that their characters have to have  messed up pasts in order to make us care. Parents are often abusive, nonexistent or dead. Here’s another thing about Harry Potter. Harry’s parents are not just dead, they are dead, because they were warriors. Because they stood against evil and because Harry’s mother sacrificed herself to save her son. Harry’s parents being dead was used as more than a gimmick to make him an orphan. The death of those two characters resonates through out the series. The one action of killing the Potters set off a sequence of events that explains the heroes, the villains and the reasoning behind everything that happens.

This is important. Sure, we feel for Harry, because he’s an orphan, but he’s not an orphan just so that we can feel. It’s not pure manipulation. There is reasoning and plot points surrounding his not having living parents.

Many authors do not get this. They think “oh we’ll make him alone and the reader will feel bad.” But, guess what? Readers are not stupid. We know when we’re being manipulated, when something does not make sense and worse when something does not work.

Don’t try to manipulate your audiences feelings. Just write a story and give your characters a back story that will work for them and the story you are trying to tell.

2.  Don’t try so hard to make your characters unique.

Not everyone can be Buffy. Not everyone can be the hero, the chosen one, the savior. Harry Potter is the boy who lived, but Neville could have easily have been the boy who lived. There is nothing really special about Harry. He’s a normal kid that circumstances happen to and because of that he has to rise above.  For some reason, authors seem to think that amazing things don’t happen to normal people. For some reasons characters have to be outcasts. They have to be on the outside looking in and lonely. Why?

Also, let me explain what does not make a person unique. A girl who does not wear make-up and prefers to play football with the boys is not unique. Plenty of girls prefer to just hang out in sneakers instead of wearing heels. That does not mean she is special and it doesn’t mean that girls who wear heels are stupid or a part of some kind of machine. The girl in heels is just as intelligent as the girl in sneakers. You know what else doesn’t make people stand out? The guy who wears a leather jacket and plays guitar. Stop taking normal activities and dress and making a chosen one.

Why can’t your heroine be a cheerleader? Why can’t your hero be the student body president? Why can’t your main characters have more than one friend and actually go out on the weekends? Why do they have to be lonely, awkward freaks? Because let me tell you, Tumblr is an example of loner awkward kids, finding each other. Am I wrong? Haven’t you read a post and thought “wow, I get this person!” Sometimes, it would be cool to open up a book and read about something extraordinary happening to a normal person without the author trying to convince me they exist in a plain higher than the rest of us.

3. Make sure all of your events are authentic to your story.

So, I was reading this awful book recently and it’s about a girl who was abused by her dad and falls in love with the boy next door. The Dad disappears for awhile and then shows up years later with a new family and the same obsession with his daughter. The boyfriend beats the hell out of the dad and for some reason the dad is like “i will press charges against your boyfriend, unless you come to my house and hang out with me alone.” Ok, we all know what the perv dad is thinking, but what plays out is this melodramatic and ridiculous plot where the daughter secretly records her dad’s perv confessions.

Alright, here’s the thing. Most of us, do not become gumshoe, crack detectives and are able to set up a sting. Ok, in real life, that girl would have showed up at her dad’s place and been beaten, or raped or worse. He was insane and since the girl is set up as a character who literally cannot defend herself, it makes no sense that she would have been able to get away from him. This is a girl who needs her boyfriend to check her bedroom for zombies after she watched the original Dawn of the Dead… The author did not give us a character who authentically and honestly could have set her father up.

I’m always, always saying this, you have to know your characters. Your character can’t out of the blue, with no foreshadowing or set up become the hero. If she is not taking martial arts class, I better not read about her kicking anybodies ass. If he is not taking speech therapy,  or practicing to speak without his stutter, then it should not just go away, because it makes a more dramatic ending. We will not care if we don’t believe and you have to foreshadow, set up events and develop your characters.

Read More

Source: bookgeekconfessions


Perhaps you’re just starting out with your first novel. Maybe it’s your third and you’re struggling to meet a deadline. All of us, at some stage, need to regroup, reconnect and refocus on our writing projects. To make it a little bit easier, here are five approaches that can speed up the process.

  1. Writer’s Card. Write down your goals. Do this even if you’ve written them down before. It may be a good idea to write it down on an index or post card so that it’s portable—that way you can keep it in your bag, as a bookmark, or pin it to the fridge. This will be a daily reminder of your writing goals. Try to make them as realistic as possible, even if it’s a page or paragraph a day.
  2. Claim a Corner. Virginia Woolf said a woman needed a room of her own if she was to write fiction. A study or library of one’s own—male or female, fiction or non-fiction—is great. But all you really need is a corner of your own: a little dedicated patch somewhere in the house to keep your laptop, pencils, and notepads. Keep all your stuff in one place and it will be easier to reconnect with your project every day.
  3. Favourite’s Shelf. Sometimes we forget why we started reading and writing in the first place. Make a shelf of just your favourite books—look at your list of Top 26 Books in Writers Write. They can be novels, non-fiction books, children’s books or books on writing. It doesn’t matter as long as they serve as a tangible reminder of a long-held dream.
  4. Time Away. Once a week, take yourself out to a coffee shop, a bookshop with a reading nook or even a quiet park or garden. For at least an hour, immerse yourself in a reading or writing project—it could be free writing in your journal or catching up on a novel you’ve been dying to read. By immersing yourself in a quiet place and a single project, you will teach yourself to focus.
  5. Creative Fuel. Every artist or writer needs support from other creative souls. They share our energy—and feed our creativity. Another writer understands the little triumphs and the major disappointments. You may want to join a writing club or circle, go to an author evening or book signing to meet other writers, or simply go for a coffee with another writer. The race is always easier when there’s a voice on the grandstand shouting your name.

by Anthony Ehlers for Writers Write

Source: amandaonwriting



In the first part of this series I discussed the need for a strong purpose behind a character’s goals. In this post I will be talking about competition and rivalry.

There are stories where characters are isolated or are in competition with themselves. These kinds of stories are hard to write and can easily come across as self-important and self-indulgent. Everything’s about him, nobody else counts, he has to do it all by himself.

That’s usually not the intention, but it’s hard not to come over like that if every sentence starts with the same subject.

However, once you bring in a rival to your main character, things not only become more dynamic, they also help the reader see the main character more clearly.

Read More

anonymous asked: I’ve made a goal to write everyday but I’m unsure of an appropriate daily word count goal. For now I’m sticking to short stories, I’m not writing a novel. I don’t know if I should go with 200 words or 300 words a day (or anything you can suggest).
It’s hard for us to answer that question because we don’t know anything about you. You could be retired and have a whole lot of time to write. You could be working two jobs. We have no idea how much time you have available, and therefore can’t suggest a daily word count.
How much you write depends on a lot of stuff: which draft are you on (for me, first drafts are fast because I don’t care about what I’m putting on the page, but final drafts take way longer), how well you understand your material, how experienced you are, your efficacy in general, etc.
What’s important is learning to manage your own time. Check out this post for some advice on time management. Much of this is experimentation. If you set yourself a limit of 300 words and find you’re hitting it really easily, consider upping your goal to 400 or 500. Just figure it out based on your own habits and systems.
- O


This is strange and entertaining. I neither agree or disagree with the following. I just thought it interesting.


Back in college, my friend Sanket and I would hang out in bars and try to talk to women but I was horrible at it. Nobody would talk to me for more than thirty seconds, and every woman would laugh at all his jokes for what seemed like hours. Even decades later I think they are still laughing at his jokes. One time he turned to me and said, “The girls are getting bored when you talk. Your stories go on too long. From now on, you need to leave out every other sentence when you tell a story.” We were both undergrads in Computer Science. I haven’t seen him since, but that’s the most important writing (and communicating) advice I ever got.

33 other tips for being a better writer

Write whatever you want. Then take out the first paragraph and last paragraph. Here’s the funny thing about this rule. It’s sort of like knowing the future. You still can’t change it. In other words, even if you know this rule and write the article, the article will still be better if you take out the first paragraph and the last paragraph.

Take a huge bowel movement every day. And you won’t see that on any other list on how to be a better writer. If your body doesn’t flow then your brain won’t flow. Eat more fruit if you have to.

Bleed in the first line. We’re all human. A computer can win Jeopardy but can’t write a novel. If you want people to relate to you, then you have to be human. Penelope Trunk started a post a few weeks ago: “I smashed a lamp over my head. There was blood everywhere. And glass. And I took a picture.” That’s real bleeding. My wife recently put up a post where the first line was so painful she had to take it down. Too many people were crying.

Don’t ask for permission. In other words, never say “in my opinion” (or worse “IMHO”). We know it’s your opinion. You’re writing it.

Write a lot. I spent the entire 90s writing bad fiction. 5 bad novels. Dozens of bad stories. But I learned to handle massive rejection. And how to put two words together. In my head, I won the Pulitzer Prize. But in my hand, over 100 rejection letters.

Read a lot. You can’t write without first reading. A lot. When I was writing five bad novels in a row, I would read all day long whenever I wasn’t writing (I had a job as a programmer, which I would do for about five minutes a day because my programs all worked and I just had to “maintain” them). I read everything I could get my hands on.

Read before you write. Before I write every day, I spend 30-60 minutes reading high quality short stories, poetry, or essays. Books by Denis Johnson, Miranda July, David Foster Wallace, Ariel Leve, William Vollmann, Raymond Carver, etc. All the writers are in the top 1/1000 of 1% of writers. It has to be at that level, or else it won’t lift up your writing at all.

Coffee. I go through three cups at least before I even begin to write. No coffee, no creativity.

Break the laws of physics. There’s no time in text. Nothing has to go in order. Don’t make it nonsense. But don’t be beholden to the laws of physics. This post on my personal blog is an example.

Be honest. Tell people the stuff they all think but nobody ever says. Some people will be angry you let out the secret. But most people will be grateful. Otherwise, you aren’t delivering value. Be the little boy in The Emperor Wears No Clothes. If you can’t do this, don’t write.

Don’t hurt anyone. This goes against the above rule. But I never like to hurt people. And I don’t respect people who get pageviews by breaking this rule. Don’t be a bad guy. Was Buddha a Bad Father? — another one from my blog — addresses this.

Don’t be afraid of what people think. For each single person you worry about, deduct 1% in quality from your writing. Everyone has deductions. I have to deduct about 10% right off the top. Maybe there’s 10 people I’m worried about. Some of them are evil people. Some of them are people I just don’t want to offend. So my writing is only about 90% of what it could be. But I think most people write at about 20% of what it could be. Believe it or not, clients, customers, friends, family — they’ll love you more if you are honest with them. So we all have our boundaries. But try this: for the next ten things you write, tell people something that nobody knows about you.

Be opinionated. Most people I know have strong opinions about at least one or two things. Write about those. Nobody cares about all the things you don’t have strong opinions on. Barry Ritholz told me the other day he doesn’t start writing until he’s angry about something. That’s one approach. Barry and I have had some great writing fights because sometimes we’ve been angry at each other.

Have a shocking title. I blew it the other day. I wanted to title this piece “How I torture women” but I settled for “I’m guilty of torture.” I wimped out. But I have some other fun ones. Like “is it bad I wanted my first kid to be aborted” (which the famous Howard Lindzon cautioned me against). Don’t forget that you are competing against a trillion other pieces of content out there. So you need a title to draw people in. Else you lose.

Steal. I don’t quite mean it literally. But if you know a topic gets pageviews (and you aren’t hurting anyone) then steal it, no matter who’s written about it or how many times you’ve written about it before. “How I Screwed Yasser Arafat out of $2mm was able to nicely piggyback off of how amazingly popular Yasser Arafat is.

Make people cry. If you’ve ever been in love, you know how to cry. Bring readers to that moment when they were a child, and all of life was in front of them, except for that one bittersweet moment when everything began to change. If only that one moment could’ve lasted forever. Take them back to that moment.

Read More