July 28, 2019 · 2:03 pm
I’m posting this list of writers’ lists of “rules for writing” just for fun. If we read one list a day, we’d be done in 41 days, and who knows what we’d know then that we don’t know now.
On the other hand, maybe we should just start with #42:
42. Phillip Pullman’s One Rule for Writing
“My main rule is to say no to things like this, which tempt me away from my proper work.”
June 12, 2018 · 11:03 am
I do get so tired of “absolute” rules. Don’t do this, never do that, Stephen King said blah blah blah and therefore it’s sacrosanct. Chuck Wendig nails it with this rant—okay, gentle disquisition—on the “sacred cows” of writing advice.
Visit from the Writing Police!
I bet you have an opinion on this!
Filed under Editing your novel, Learning to write, Myths and Truths for writers, Plot Development for writers, self editing for fiction writers, Self-publishing, style for writers, What Not To Do in Writing Novels, Writing, writing novels
Tagged as #amediting, #amwriting, #writingtips, adverbs in writing, creative writing, fiction, how to write, prologues, showing versus telling, writing, writing novels, writing rules
May 23, 2017 · 4:05 pm
. . . If you have a computer and can check out Editing 101 at Chris the Story Reading Ape’s blog. Susan Uttendorfsky of Adirondack Editing provides a host of FREE lessons on everything from “Removing Filter Words” (a must-read) to when to use “which” or “that.” I’ve found Susan’s posts to be accurate, clear, and friendly. Check them out!
Filed under correct grammar for writers of fiction, ebooks publishing and selling, Editing your novel, grammar rules for writers, indie publishing, Learning to write, Myths and Truths for writers, Plot Development for writers, self editing for fiction writers, Self-publishing, style for writers, Writing, writing novels
Tagged as creative writing, ebooks publishing and selling, fiction, filter words, how to write, self editing for fiction writers, Self-publishing, which or that, writing, writing novels, writing tips
March 27, 2017 · 11:25 am
Thanks to Andrea Lundgren posting over at A Writer’s Path for addressing an issue of craft I see us all struggling with all the time! I like a variation on number 4: dropping in short fragments of backstory in the course of ongoing narration. For example, when a new character engages with the protagonist, he or she can fill in a line or two to bring readers up to speed on the past relationship: “The last time Mark met Jane, the experience had been traumatic for both. He’d been in the middle of X, she’d been involved in Y, etc.”
Similarly, when a character enters a setting, a few lines of backstory can set up the role of that setting in the character’s life: “The first time she visited New York, she had been young and naive. . . . ”
It doesn’t take an entire flashback to establish histories like these. Simple inclusions in description and dialogue can tell us much about characters’ pasts.
The big caveat, for me, is that our readers don’t need to know EVERYTHING we know about our characters. Just as with all descriptions and exposition, I have to work to find the information that is really relevant to the story, perhaps to what’s happening in a particular moment.
Thanks, Andrea, for touching on a part of craft we all wrestle with in our writing!
A Writer's Path
By Andrea Lundgren
Every story has exposition–details of the character and world that you, as the author, need to pass on to the reader. You’ve spent hours fleshing out the world of your story and learning about your characters, and now you have to find some way of getting this information (or at least the essential part) from your head to the readers’. (This is especially true in science fiction and fantasy, where you need to tell how the world of the story differs from our world.)
So what’s an author to do?
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Filed under Editing your novel, Learning to write, Plot Development for writers, Writing, writing novels
Tagged as #amediting, #amwriting, backstory, creative writing, fiction, how to write, plotting a novel, writing, writing novels