When You’re Failing at NaNoWriMo

Look guys, NaNo is huge. It's a massive undertaking that thousands of writers tackle every year. Many find success - hell, I've heard legends about people completing double-NaNo in November (I know, I struggle to comprehend it too!), but more importantly, there's also hundreds (thousands?) of us who don't reach the 50,000 word goal. And … Continue reading When You’re Failing at NaNoWriMo

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Why You Should Consider Completely Scrapping Chapter One

Let's talk about the first chapter of a book and the reasons why I scrap chapter one. Chapter One: The Beginning. The first words of a story, the first scenes and events - for me - are equivalent to dipping your toes in the water, a temperature test, an experiment in preparation. Obviously, this will … Continue reading Why You Should Consider Completely Scrapping Chapter One

NO ADVERBS: The Reason Behind the Rule

Going Verbal

If you’ve read any guide about improving your writing, you’ve heard the “No Adverbs” rule. Cross them out, delete them, take a tiny lighter and burn a hole through every –ly word that dares rear its ugly head until your manuscript looks like Swiss cheese, but don’t you ever, under any circumstances, ever use an adverb!

… Really?

Come on, folks. Adverbs are perfectly functional members of language society. It’s not their fault they’re so easily misused.

Adverbs are descriptors for verbs and adjectives, just like adjectives are descriptors for nouns. They tend to end in –ly, though there are adverbs that don’t (fast, regardless, seldom) and other non-adverb words that do (lovely, imply, gravelly).

(To quote a certain pirate movie: “Hang the code, and hang the rules. They’re more like guidelines anyway.”)

The problem arises when you use an adverb to support a word that’s not pulling…

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Filter Words and Phrases to Avoid in Writing Fiction…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Filter words act like a veil between the reader and the character

by Kathy Steinemann  on Anne R. Allen site:

This article provides a list of writing filters, with practical examples of how to replace them. You’ll also find exercises that can double as story prompts.

All words exist for a reason. Use them wisely to create engaging narrative.

Why the fuss?

Filter words form a barrier that distances readers from a story.

Bertie felt the warm sand between her toes as she walked.

Bertie’s experience is relayed secondhand. When word economy is critical, this approach works. However, wouldn’t you rather become so involved that you almost feel it yourself?

With a few tweaks, we can strengthen the sentence.

The sand trickled between Bertie’s toes, radiating warmth with every step she took.

Strong verbs, trickled and radiating, amplify the sensory impact.

Five senses? Six? Twelve?

Most people can name…

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7 Tips for Writing a Book Blurb

I’ve read multiple times that blurbs are things people struggle with. Here’s some tips and a useful formula!

Writers After Dark

7-tips-to-write-book-blurbI’m here to help stop the madness. You know the one. The insanity that accompanies the “fun” of writing a book blurb. Attacking is more like it . . . I could stab it upside the head if it had one. But alas. Don’t let my bitterness get to you. In fact, use it to rise above me . . . with my own help, ironically. So let’s just get straight to it:

What on earth is a book blurb and why do you need one?

A book blurb is an important tool in convincing your readers to buy your book. Essentially, it’s a sales pitch. And you want it to be KILLER.

A reader will browse the shelves (or Kindle), and will find themselves intrigued by that amazing book cover of yours. Yay! You caught their attention. But you need more than that. You need to make…

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Contractions

No, I'm not talking about a woman in labor. I'm talking about grammar, and how it effects the play of your sentences. I'm talking about how to use it to give your writing more umph. Contractions, I'm sure most of you know, is when two or more words are combined into one, shortened form, using … Continue reading Contractions

WIP Wednesday: Two steps forward, One step back

I honestly can't be upset about this week... but I know I did a bad thing. Lets start at the beginning though. I got hit with some intense nostalgia cravings this week; see, when I started writing I joined Booksie, a writer community / website that predates Wattpad (I think?). I loved it, and I … Continue reading WIP Wednesday: Two steps forward, One step back

On Microfiction

Microfiction is such a fascinating form of story telling. With a finite number of words, every syllable is vital. In my post Story Classifications, I discuss typical length of microfiction and the 6 word story. In reality, we see microfiction all the time. You see, microfiction is rarely (if ever?) a complete start-to-finish story - … Continue reading On Microfiction

Characterization and Diversity

I think one of my greatest struggles in writing is creating entirely unique characters - especially when it comes for supporting characters. My main characters aren't quite as big an issue; they have background and context that lends them their own unique traits and habits. However, I have noticed I can tend to lean towards … Continue reading Characterization and Diversity

The Main Characters – 10 points

Writers Write

Here are 10 points that you need in every main character, something to turn them from two-dimensional to three-dimensional. Bringing your characters to life and making your readers feel for them.

Weaknesses

Characters need to be flawed. Your story is no the just the plot, it is also character growth. Your character can become a better person from your story as well. This is normally shown by a moral flaw or a psychological flaw. A moral flaw is when the characters hurts other, weather it is pushing people away or physically hurting them. A psychological flaw is when the character hurts themselves, weather it is by self-sabotage or another way. Your character will always have a weakness for someone to exploit, if they don’t, your character becomes to ‘perfect’, they become unbelievable.

Goals

The whole reason characters exist is for something they want. It doesn’t always have to be the…

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