1. A prose writer gets tired of writing prose, and wants to be a poet. So he begins every line with a capital letter, and keeps on writing prose.
    — Samuel McChord Crothers (via writingquotes)
     
  2. image: Download

    (Source: authordog)

     
  3. amazinglyartisticadvice:

Good reference for writers OR artists.

    amazinglyartisticadvice:

    Good reference for writers OR artists.

     
  4. pagalini:

    the third in a series of presentations I did about Creative Writing for students in my school who were interested in it (I’m in the business, so I was asked to talk about the things I’ve learned since my work was noticed). 

    I’m willing to send my presentations to those who want them :) apart from this I did one on creative writing in general and one on character crafting. 

    I’m also willing to answer questions about what it’s like to work with an editor and what kind of things will be asked of you.   ^____^

     
  5. ilovereadingandwriting:

    Today I’d like to talk about using multiple points of view. I really like multiple POV because the story is being told by several characters so you get to see different people’s interpretations of events, which provides more depth and insight than first-person POV can convey. But using multiple points of view can cause problems. They can easily get out of control and turn your story into a mess. That’s why it’s important to know how to give each character a voice without having them talk over one another.

     
  6. Breaking writing habits

    keyboardsmashwriters:

    Habits in writing are natural. Like any other habit, they serve as a safety net and a place where we can surround ourselves in comfortable things that work for us. In short fiction, these habits might not stand out so much. In long fiction, however, repetitious formulas can jolt a reader from the narrative.

    The list below is a few pointers on craft habits that I tend to give writers during the critique process. They’re only guidelines, not rules, and as such are totally meant to be ignored at any given time.


    Passages of time
    I once critiqued a writer who used “she waited a beat” as a way to express a moment passing, and I hadn’t seen this before, so I liked it. But then she used it again. And again.

    There might be times where simply “a moment passed” is completely necessary. Oftentimes, however, it doesn’t need to be done. Instead, it might be possible to actually describe what happens in that moment, whether it’s simply just the characters seething with tension and expressing it physically.

    “She looked away. They were silent for a tense moment.”

    Versus:

    “She looked away. Her fingers picked at her jeans. The breeze tickled the gathering sweat on the back of her neck.”


    Transitions
    Extra steps of action can be used as a tool to slow down the narrative or create a certain mood, but if that’s not the intention, then this might be the end result:

    “She walked down the hall and grabbed the doorknob. She unlocked the deadbolt and pushed open the door. She stepped outside.”

    This is a lot of unnecessary fat that would be trimmed right off in revision. Not every second of a scene (or between scenes) needs to be captured if there’s not plot or character development, so it’s fine if all that is summed up to simply:

    “She went outside.”


    Distancing phrases
    I/she/he: felt, saw, heard, tasted, touched, etc. Any time the aforementioned is used, the writer removes the reader from the story one full step. Instead of diving headfirst into the description, this makes the reader test the water with their big toe first.

    “I heard the wolf cry.”
    “The wolf cried.”

    “I tasted cinnamon.”
    “Cinnamon burned on my tongue.”

    “I touched the cold water.”
    “The cold water stung my fingertips.”

    In moderation, at the right moments, perhaps to create a certain mood or to communicate a sort of disconnect (such as in dreams or fragmented memories), using these phrases can be effective as well.


    Word tics
    Words like “back” and “around” are my greatest dependencies. I use them so frequently that everyone is looking back or turning back or reaching back or handing back. Even worse, sometimes my characters will turn back around.

    Word tics stunt a writer in creatively approaching action. I’ve read about agents who loathe the word “look” and said to simply describe what the character is seeing. There are certainly times where these words are absolutely necessary, but they shouldn’t serve as a crutch. (You can read more about word tics in this post.)


    Clichés
    Clichés lose their meaning over time, and because of this, they often don’t work well in regards to description.

    “He had a chiseled face.”

    “Her eyes sparkled like diamonds.”

    These are phrases that have been used and abused to the point where readers will glaze over the cliché in question without digesting the words, or readers will read the cliché and think of another story where they last read it. (Or maybe even roll their eyes because diamonds.)

    As writers, it’s our job to invent new ways to describe the same things. It’s also important to note that clichés can be reinvented, a twisted new take on old phrases, so to speak, and also that some characters might simply be prone to clichés as part of who they are.


    Awesome unusual words
    Sometimes we find a super cool word that we love to use and reuse. It simply works in a sentence and conveys precisely what we want to convey. The word might not be all that unusual, but strange enough that it stands out if we use it twice in a chapter. The more we use it, the more it loses its efficacy.

    “The blistering cold shower water…”
    “The blistering wind…”

    Let’s assume the first example sentence just needs to have the word blistering. In that case, it might actually be best to rework the second sentence to let the reader infer the word “blistering”.

    “The wind ripped the swell of condensation from her lips. Her eyes burned as she crossed the patches of grass, her stiff fingers buried deep in the pockets of her coat. She knew the sparse green blades would be dead with frost in the morning.”

     
  7. There are two kinds of writing; the one you write and the one that writes you. The one that writes you is dangerous. You go where you don’t want to go. You look where you don’t want to look.
    — Jeanette Winterson (via maxkirin)
     
  8. theduplicitytimes:

6 WRITING TIPS FROM JOHN STEINBECK
Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.
Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.
Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.
If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.
Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.
If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.
"If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader. If the writer has that urge, he may sometimes, but by no means always, find the way to do it. You must perceive the excellence that makes a good story good or the errors that makes a bad story. For a bad story is only an ineffective story."

    theduplicitytimes:

    6 WRITING TIPS FROM JOHN STEINBECK

    1. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.
    2. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.
    3. Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.
    4. If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.
    5. Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.
    6. If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.

    "If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader. If the writer has that urge, he may sometimes, but by no means always, find the way to do it. You must perceive the excellence that makes a good story good or the errors that makes a bad story. For a bad story is only an ineffective story."

     
  9. image: Download

    amandaonwriting:

Writing Quote - John Gardner

    amandaonwriting:

    Writing Quote - John Gardner

     
  10. adventuresintimeandspace:

    Here are some scientific facts about blood loss for all you psychopaths writers out there.