Writing Tips & Resources
Writing Tip #1:
Important Things to Remember About Creating Character
want to write about people you care about. You can dress them up any
way you see fit. You can slam them together in composites or put knee
breeches on them and let them fight in the Revolutionary War, but your
characters ought to be some of the ten most important people in your
life, or the six most creepy, or you'll bore the socks off your
readers, and yourself as well." - Carolyn See ("Living the Literary
developing a character, remember that conflict is built on not the part
that conforms but the part that doesn't. The oddness, quirks and
differences are what make a story character memorable. These attributes
help build conflict, and conflict makes the story, adds complexity and
creates dimension. Some characters are driven by an obsession or
passion. Others find conflict within themselves. A character might be
arrogant or mentally ill or overly shy or be burdened by excessive
virtue or guilt. Don't protect your protagonist. Play the "what-if"
game: what if this happened or that happened? How would your character
react? What if the worst possible turn of events sends your character
off in another completely different direction. That's how to add
excitement and surprise in your story. Have fun creating an interesting
and memorable character. Read tips on writing dialogue, creating
subtext, developing plot on future viewings.
"It’s not the sterling characters so much as the quirky and imperfect foils in fiction that we most appreciate as readers." – Margaret Atwood
Writing Tip #2:
Creating the Scene
scene or episode in story must contain a sharply defined character, a
conflict or clash that keeps building, a sense of time and place, and
an emotional boundary. Just like the story itself, the scene should
have a beginning, middle, and ending. Pay attention to where and when
the scene takes place, know what's at stake for your protagonist, set a
mood. Every scene starts at one point and ends at another and should
move the story forward. If it starts at a downturn, make it end at an
upturn, and vice versa. Scene by scene, your story is written. Don't
waste words on meaningless scenes. Something happens in the scene and
your character reacts. The reader sees what happens in an objective way
and then reacts along with the character. Our senses are aroused. We
see, smell, taste, hear, and feel through the character. What motivates
your character to react and what is his/her feeling? A good character
reacting in a scene conflict makes for good story.
needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain
no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences just as a
drawing should contain no unnecessary lines and a machine no
– William Strunk
Writing Tip #3:
Technical & Mechanical Errors
your manuscript for typos, misspelling and punctuation mistakes and
watch out for the following when proofreading your work: BE CAREFUL OF
EYES. They do not dance or fall and your protagonist should not cast
them out onto the Aegean Sea. Eyes should stay in place and not roll
toward the ceiling. Eyes “gaze” or "look" or "stare." BEWARE OF PET
WORDS & PHRASES. Writers use favorites repeatedly in drafts. Read
your work aloud to a discriminating critique group. BEWARE OF
REPETITIVE ACTIONS - sighing, nodding, smiling, shrugging. AVOID
REDUNDANCIES - "The blonde girl had yellow hair." AVOID ADVERBS.
Delete the words ending in -ly. ELIMINATE SOME TAGS - “he said, she
said" - and precede or follow your dialogue with an action line. People
say words. They don't smile, snort, laugh, cough, sigh or choke them.
They say, mutter, mumble or whisper. Check your vocabulary and
punctuation. And then do it again.
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