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Archive for the tag “how to write”

Books on the Art of Writing #4


The Five Minute Writer by Margaret Geraghty

 

What the book offers

Some writing prompts I’ve seen around the internet can just be way too wacky, but these prompts get you to think outside the box, and take your skills to a new level of creativity. The best thing with these exercises is that you can try them again and again and have a completely different outcome each time. This book will last you a life time, and show how you grow over the years as a writer!

Before it each exercise, it offers a short introduction that explains the exercise in context to writing; its significance and how to tackle it best.

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Change is for the Best


It can be very hard to see something in one way, love it and nurture, and then to have to tear bits away and fit in new pieces, but when it comes to writing, it really is crucial.

Writing is a largely based around experimentation. There are simply infinite paths to choose and that’s why no two books are the same. There may come a time whilst you write that you’re finding it hard to see where your story goes, or when you read it, you just aren’t getting the flow. There may have been a time that when you started your story, you based it on a blind girl and you imagined her hair, her family life, her friends. But maybe to make the story work, you need to change the protagonist to a male.

Other things you may change to make the story work:

  • genre – this is a big one, but perhaps you had a romantic sub-plot but that’s detracting from the dark tone you want to make
  • point of view – maybe limiting your story to third person limited won’t be as effective as third person omniscient for a little dramatic irony and filling in some gaps
  • age
  • antagonist
  • structure
  • setting

This will give your story a new direction, and perhaps even a better one. Remember that the aim isn’t always to scrap and start all over again, sometimes simply re-writing and changing only elements is what will perfect your scene.

Kim Lee: On the Art of Creating Characters


Click here to visit Kim Lee’s blog ‘Writers for Life’

I lean back in my chair and close my eyes. The clock ticks endlessly, but that’s fine. It helps my concentration. Something like a giant screen unfolds in the darkness. Smiling, I paint the scene. Everything is in place; the flora and the fauna, the sticks and stones. Bricks and mortar, fire or ice. Whatever I need to be there, is there. But there is something missing. Whether I’ve created a small town, or a space flight, a bedroom or a garden, the missing element remains the same. The scene is missing people. Characters. Those beings that will bring the whole thing to life.

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Books on the Art of Writing #3


Schaum’s Quick Guide to Writing Great Short Stories by Margaret Lucke

What the book offers

Exactly what it says on the tin…I mean, cover. This is one of the most easiest books I’ve read on writing, and it’s so quick to coming on the point, without all the fancy details on the side. It covers every aspect from major ones such as conflict and character, but also more subtle one such as setting and narrative voice (which is a brilliant, brilliant chapter). It will help to make your writing more developed and fulfilling, and with exercises at the end of every chapter, you know what to do, with the aid of some very helpful tipsheets.

After the end of all the talk about writing, there is also a very helpful chapter on what to do once you’ve finished your story and are ready for publishing, including how to format your manuscript.

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From the Experts: Writer’s Tips #5


This one is a gem. Brilliant tips of figure of speech by How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey

Don’t use the oldies but goodies:

  • blind as a bat/eats like a horse/dead as a doornail/a cold fish/cool as a cucumber/tight as a Scotsman/right as rain/flies off the handle/crying over spilt milk/a sea of faces.

Don’t use similes in a long string:

  • She was tall, like a telephone pole; and she was thin, like a reed; and her skin was soft, like velvet; her eyes,blue as the Pacific.

Don’t mix your metaphors:

  • He liked to bury his head in the sand and keep his light hidden under a bushel.

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