Some tips are so good, they bear repeating…
Ever have a great scene in your head, but when you write it all down, it seems flat? I’ve certainly been there. It can be frustrating to visualize everything, and even come up with a bunch of eloquent words that do absolutely nothing for the story.
A writer can show and tell all they want. But when a story feels dull, chances are the book will be placed on a shelf or table to collect dust. I certainly don’t want that. So I enlisted the trusty assistance of Google to help me figure out how to improve my scene.
Lucky enough, I found
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Great advice! Thanks for the helpful tips.
Last week I talked about the rules of dialogue based on some issues I’ve seen in self-published works recently. Following the rules makes it easier for readers to follow along with conversations between characters. Today I want to talk about an equally important topic of creating conversations that sound realistic.
Writing dialogue is different than writing narration, and it also changes depending on if you’re writing in first or third person. It comes down to remembering that in your writing you will have different voices, just like people have different voices. The narrator has one voice and each of the characters have their own voices. This may sound complicated but it comes down to our good friend characterization.
Creating the Narrative Voice
The narrative voice is often the first voice created while writing, (not always but often.) Through the narrative voice you can set the tone, atmosphere, and pacing of…
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You’re absolutely right! It’s easy to slip into passive voice without thinking about it. From time to time I’ll use Hemingway App to help point out the errors.
There are many things that we often unconsciously do when we are writing. The more that we write, the more that we get to practice and hone our skills. Writing more also helps us to spot those regular patterns in our writing that could probably do with a bit of ironing out. One of the things I often notice about my own writing is that I often begin sentences in the same way, or with the same words, and so I try to vary them as much as possible. When this happens, I have to consider whether I am using the active or passive voice.
The theme on this blog for July is language. So far, we have thought about writing speech and whether to use the first, second or third person in our writing. Today, I want to look at active and passive voice.
This is about how you…
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This is a the most thorough post I’ve seen in a long time. Great examples! Thank you for sharing.
When I did research about book agents, I also did research on book proposals and what the agents look for.
Most agents look for:
- Your quary letter
- Table of Contents
- The Overview of your book proposal
- Competing books in your genre (especially current ones. Do people read your topic?)
- Information about your title (show that you did research)
- About the author (that would be you)
- Chapter summaries
- Sample Chapter
- Any art (my additional point since I love adding drawings to my novels)
The focus of this blog post is chapter summaries.
One may forget to write one paragraph summary for each chapter because one may focus too much on characters, plot, flow, and English (or whatever language you write in). It is easy to forget about chapter summaries. However, if you have not done chapter summaries for your novels yet, start doing them now.
It’s important to have chapter summaries…
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Great list! I’ve heard of Goodreads and TED Talks, but not the others. I will definitely check them out. Thanks for the tip.
When it comes to making it as a writer, there are no hard and fast rules, it seems. For writers who have spent the better part of their lives receiving rejection letters, there’s always the J.K. Rowling story. For the die-hard traditionalists who say you need a publisher, you can always throw E.L. James at them. All in all, what the writing world has taught us in terms of popularity is that anything goes.
So to build up on the kind of characteristics that make writers stand out from the pack, check out these great resources for pursuing the writer dream. From indie publishing tips to great seminars on storytelling, there’s a plethora of information to bring your next novel straight to the New York Times Bestseller list—or on the shortlist for a Pulitzer, whatever floats your boat.
The Paris Review
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Great post! I’ve read about the controversies on prologues in the past. And I agree that some writers use it when a first chapter will do.
But what stuck out to me from your post is using prologues for certain genres. I hadn’t considered that, but it makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing the insight.
A while back I was doing some research and I stumbled across a debate I didn’t even know existed: whether or not to start a book with a prologue. For some writers out there, a prologue is almost a de facto way of writing; at one point I considered myself one of them. Surprisingly, I discovered that there’s an entire group of people out there who not only dislike using prologues, they advocate against using them. On top of that, my greatest fears were realized when I read about readers who would skip them entirely.
The drawbacks of writing them.
Besides readers that skip over them, prologues often are misused by too many writers. They become these odd creatures that just happen to be at the start of a book but don’t really have anything to do with the rest of the work at all. Fiction is the only…
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