Archive for June, 2010

Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Rules for Writing Fiction

Hungry for more lists of rules? ūüôā Kurt Vonnegut gives us these eight nuggets of wisdom (my comments interspersed): 1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted. Don’t pander, or write down to an audience for money. Write every...
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Mark Twain’s Rules for Writing, or Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses

Mark Twain gave us a great set of rules for a story, wrapped in a beautifully scathing critique of Fenimore Cooper’s books. The abridged rules: A¬†tale shall¬†accomplish something and¬†arrive somewhere. The¬†episodes of a tale shall be necessary parts of the tale, and shall help develop it. The¬†personages in a tale shall be¬†alive, except in...
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[pod] Exposition done right, or how not to bore your readers

Writing Excuses is a great writing podcast, hosted by writers Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler. They interviewed Patrick Rothfuss a couple years ago, and talked about Exposition. Exposition is the part of a book that sets the stage for the drama to follow: it introduces the theme, setting, characters, and circumstances at...
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Posted in Beginnings, Writing | No Comments »

Working with Plot — Free e-book!

Dustin Tigner wrote an e-book on plot for the LegendFire.com writing community. Dustin presents the basic plot line as follows: Beginning (Change) Main Goal (Question) Middle Goal Confrontation Climax End Tidbits: To hook a reader at the start of your novel, you need to incorporate change. This seems obvious, once considered: Who wants to...
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[video] Seven-Point Story-Writing System-o-tron!

Dan Wells gave an awesome talk on Story Structure at BYU’s science fiction and fantasy symposium: Life, the Universe, and Everything. He goes into great depth on the seven-point system he uses to plot all of his stories. The system goes like this: Hook Plot turn 1 Pinch Midpoint Pinch Plot turn 2 Resolution This...
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How to keep a log of your writing progress

(And now, a word from our sponsor :)) If you’ve read Crawford Kilian’s essay on Developing Efficient Work Habits, you’ll have seen where he talks about keeping a log of your writing progress. The log can give you a sense of accomplishment, especially on big projects, and can enable you to set realistic completion...
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How to make writing a habit

Have you developed the habit of writing? Do you find it hard to sit down every day and write 1,000 words, even if the muse is not with you? Developing that habit is what will take you from wanna-be author to published writer. If you wait for inspiration, you’ll never finish a 300 page...
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Posted in Motivation, Writing | 1 Comment »

Should you write from a plot outline?

Do you sit down every day to write and find yourself doing something, anything, other than writing? Do you have trouble meeting your word goals, even though you spend 13 hours a day in front of the computer? Do you have an RSS feed reader with no unread posts, but fall short of your...
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Posted in Planning, Writing | 2 Comments »

[video] Want to be a writer? Read!

Thought it’d be ‘write’, huh? That too. Here’s Stephen King, an author you may have heard of, layin’ down the law.
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Posted in Miscellaneous | 1 Comment »

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