boazpriestly:

  • 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.


writing-questions-answered:

Anonymous asked: Hi, when you ask for advice in terms of how to become a better writer, you usually get the same answer: Write a little EVERY DAY. My questions is: working in your draft, pulling together ideas and working in fleshing out or developing your characters counts? Because I have been working every day in my draft, and I feel more in contact with my creative self, but I feel I’m lacking in terms of writing style.

Yes—even just working in your draft, fleshing out characters, world building, etc., counts to some degree, because it’s still forcing you to work with the pieces of writing, learning how to fit them all together. But you should also make sure you’re actually doing some story writing every day (or as often as possible), even if it’s just a few hundred words. Whether you work on the first draft of your work in progress, or whether you use writing prompts or other exercises to write short stories, it will help you hone your writing style and get practice in things like using different POVs and tenses, crafting metaphors and similes, and colorful description. And the reality is, your writing style won’t blossom into full maturity while you’re working on your first piece, or your second, or your third. It takes time for that to grow and mature, but every single thing you write gets you another step in that direction. So be patient with yourself and just keep writing!


thewritersarchive:

And remember: Google is your best friend.


Source: thewritersarchive

bookgeekconfessions:

image

1. Enjoy what you do.

Which means, if you don’t love spending hours at the typewriter,
computer, or whatever your medium is, don’t even start. You have to be willing
and ready to spend untold hours writing, rewriting, and writing some more.

2. Be patient.

No book has ever been written overnight. You’re in for a long
haul. This may take a year, or more. Oh, and since we’re on it: prepare to write
more than one book. Publishers want authors, not single books.

3. Allow your story to end.

This may sound trivial, but in fact it’s crucial, and a
stumbling block for many writers. You need to find an ending to your story, and
let go of it. You need to decide to end the writing and declare your novel
finished at some point.

4. Edit.

You know what I said in Tip #3? Well, your novel is not finished just because you have an ending. When you’ve written a first
draft, it’s just that: a draft. Now the real writing begins. Edit until your
eyes bleed and your fingers break off. And by this I mean: step away from your
finished draft, let it sit for a couple of weeks, and come back with a rested
mind and fresh eyes. You will see what needs to be changed.

Read More



Source: writingbox

writersrelief:

Writers: 10 Ways To Stay Sane When You’€™re On A Deadline - Writer’s Relief, Inc.
Deadlines are a fact of life for writers. And sometimes it’s hard to stay sane when you’re facing a tight deadline (or two or three…). Whether it’s a self-imposed time frame for building your author platform or a publisher breathing down your neck for edits to your novel, working under pressure can be stressful.
Time constraints are usually manageable, but it’s human nature to procrastinate—so many distractions!—and writers sometimes end up working feverishly around the clock right to the last minute. So, how do you stay sane when you’re on a deadline? Here are a few tips.

writersrelief:

Writers: 10 Ways To Stay Sane When You’€™re On A Deadline - Writer’s Relief, Inc.

Deadlines are a fact of life for writers. And sometimes it’s hard to stay sane when you’re facing a tight deadline (or two or three…). Whether it’s a self-imposed time frame for building your author platform or a publisher breathing down your neck for edits to your novel, working under pressure can be stressful.

Time constraints are usually manageable, but it’s human nature to procrastinate—so many distractions!—and writers sometimes end up working feverishly around the clock right to the last minute. So, how do you stay sane when you’re on a deadline? Here are a few tips.


Source: writersrelief

writing-questions-answered:


Source: writing-questions-answered

by 

We like our stories to be a little bit conventional. We like beginnings and middles and ends, and catchphrases and slow-motion explosions and kisses in the rain. We want to see heroes win and villains get steam pipes thrown through them and dogs cover their eyes with their paws when something embarrassing happens.

Cracked has broken this down before, discussing how Hollywood scripts in particular are assembled almost like Mad Libs, major story elements laid out according to precise minute-by-minute formulas. And yet almost no one notices this because of how comfortable we are with the formula; we expect stories to be laid out this way.

But other than our own cognitive laziness, there’s nothing that says stories have to be so formulaic, that tales can’t be spun around innovative, inventive structures. Not in the movies, of course — those are doomed. But in a word-movie, the so called “book”? Holy shit, yes. With no obligation to make back a $200 million budget or pull in the increasingly slope-browed 16-to-24 demographic, writers have pulled all sorts of inventive stunts when writing novels. Here are five of the most mind-bending.

  1. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler — Italo Calvino
  2. "For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn" — Ernest Hemingway
  3. A Void — Georges Perec
  4. Pale Fire — Vladimir Nabokov
  5. Finnegans Wake — James Joyce

Read More →


The most suspenseful series since Breaking Bad is back with its third episode. This time it’s about research. The reason I put the “non” in parentheses up there is because, as we’ve stated before, research is vital to anyone doing any sort of writing. So even though this article is geared toward a non-fiction writer, you’ll probably find it useful if you’re fiction writer.

We’re going to cover a bunch of different methods of research. Some of these methods won’t effective for every person and every project, but this general overview should be helpful. This is by no means every research skill or concept that you will ever need.

Important disclaimer before we get rolling: This post isn’t about doing original research. Original research, e.g. crunching one’s own statistics, conducting interviews, and things like this, are all very important parts of doing research, but vary far and wide by field. The methods for compiling qualitative and quantitative research are amazingly diverse and certainly couldn’t be answered here. For this, post, we’re sticking to book learnin’. And, you know, similar things. 

First, let’s talk about the Internet.

Read More


curiosityquills:

Check out Caroline McMillan’s Life Hacker article on editing your own writing, it contains some great tips.


Source: curiosityquills