Tag Archives: writing tips

10 Tricks to Get Your Writing Flowing

 

 

For writers, as well as athletes, there’s nothing like being in the zone. Distractions fall away, time disappears, and your work seems to write itself.

Unfortunately for most writers, being in the zone is rare—instead of inspiration, we feel dread; instead of knowing, we feel lost; and instead of excitement, we feel anxiety.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. In fact, according to the research of Susan Perry, Ph.D., there are several concrete writing techniques and practices that can actually make finding inspiration and “getting into the zone” an everyday occurrence.

 

 

Check out the good people over at The Write Practice

 

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When to Do That Stringing-Words-Together Thing with Hyphens

These people at Daily Writing Tips  put out a lot of great articles for writers. This latest one is by Mark Nichol
 The negotiator is described as working behind the scenes. When that phrase appears in isolation, as an adverbial phrase rather than as a phrasal adjective modifying a noun that follows, no hyphenation is needed, but here, it serves the latter function: “Who was the behind-the-scenes negotiator who facilitated the deal?”When are hyphens required to string together a sequence of words, and when are the hyphens extraneous? The following sentences, each with a discussion and a revision, illustrate the syntactical situations in which they are necessary and when they are superfluous.

1. Who was the behind the scenes negotiator who facilitated the deal?

The negotiator is described as working behind the scenes. When that phrase appears in isolation, as an adverbial phrase rather than as a phrasal adjective modifying a noun that follows, no hyphenation is needed, but here, it serves the latter function: “Who was the behind-the-scenes negotiator who facilitated the deal?”

 

See the rest at Daily Writing Tips

 

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3 Most Important Elements of Chapter One

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The first chapter of a novel is arguably the most important—if a reader isn’t hooked, she won’t keep reading. And if that happens, nothing else you write matters.

 

Think of your first chapter as the tip of the iceberg—sure, there’s a ton more to your story that readers may not be seeing yet…but that’s what the rest of the manuscript is for. In the first chapter, you just need enough to hook the reader and get them curious about what’s going on under the water.

How to Write Your First Chapter

But what does it take to create that hook? I thought a lot about this as I wrote and edited my first novel. And my conclusion is that, while there are many different ways to creatively introduce a story in the first chapter, there are three key things a first chapter must do to pull a reader in.

Read the rest of Emily’s article at The Write Practice

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Write a killer memoir: My 9 top tips

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Want to write a memoir that’s powerful and inspiring? One that has impact, and appeals to a broad popular market?Here’s how. These 9 tips come directly from my 50+ years of working with authors as a developmental editor in major publishing houses and with private clients.

1. Create a transformative journey

Every successful memoir needs a strong thematic focus on a transformative journey. Some examples: an immigration story, coming of age, overcoming illness, escaping an oppressive family, finding love, struggling for professional success.

Not every reader will have had the same experience you write about, but most will still be able to identify with a struggle against adversity in any passionate endeavor, whether it’s forging a long-desired meaningful relationship, starting a small business, becoming a devoted teacher, realizing that a path you’ve taken is a dead end and finding a new one that’s ultimately fulfilling.

 

Find the rest at Alan Rinzler’s ‘The Book Deal

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20 Fantasy Story Ideas

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Another great article by the folks over at TheWritePractice

 

story ideas

2016 is a whole new year, and our goal is to create and maintain writing momentum—but you may need a tiny push to get moving.

Consider this your push. For the next few weeks, I’ll be delighted to share short story ideas with you, and you have my full permission (and encouragement) to use them as you will.

I’m going to share these by genre, so expect a few weeks of prompts from me. I can’t wait to see how you use them.

 

Check out Ruthanne Reid’s wonderful and whimsical story starters at at TheWritePractice

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Writing with Presence, Part I

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An interesting observation on both leadership and writing.

Posted at Editors Only on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at 4:19 PM

Aiming for presence in your confidence, communication, and subject matter.

By Peter P. Jacobi

The dictionary says “presence” has two meanings: “fact or condition of being present” and “appearance or bearing.” Both can fit into a discussion about writing, the power and significance thereof.

But consider also social psychologist Amy Cuddy, who works at Harvard and has written and recently published an already much-discussed book titled Presence, a state she says we can achieve by accessing our personal power, by applying the right body language, a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident. Such a level of control has an impact on testosterone and cortisol levels that, she argues, directly impact our chances for success.

“When we judge others, especially our leaders,” Cuddy explains, “we look first at two characteristics: how lovable they are (their warmth, communion, or trustworthiness) and how fearsome they are (their strength, agency, or competence)…. Researchers agree that they [lovability and fearsomeness] are the two primary dimensions of social judgment.” And why are these traits so important? “Because they answer two critical questions: ‘What are this person’s intentions toward me?’ and ‘Is he or she capable of acting on those intentions?'”

 

Read the rest at Editors Only

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Where to Find Ideas for Writing a Story

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ideas for writing a story

Ideas for writing a story

It always seem like there are too many writing ideas or not enough.

When you don’t have time to write, ideas come hurtling out of nowhere. Sometimes they come so fast, you can’t even write them all down. But when you sit down, stretch your fingers, and lean over your keyboard to start typing, nothing happens. Where did all those ideas go?

Chances are, you’re not really out of ideas; you’re just not in the mood to write. Sometimes, that’s okay. Take a break and do something else. Give yourself a day off. But other times, you need to dig your heels in, make those ideas flow, and get busy writing.

Where to Find Story Writing Ideas

Luckily, ideas for writing a story are all around you. As long as you can force yourself to get focused, you should easily be able to overcome a bout of writer’s block.

Read the rest at Writing Forward

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4 Delightful Editing Tips to Make Your Words Dazzle and Dance

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how to create excellence through editing

Do you ever read back a draft of your writing and wonder what happened?

Red-cheeked, you thought your draft was complete. You felt excited. Brimming with enthusiasm. You knew it … this was going to be superb. Probably your best-ever blog post. Yay!

You poured yourself a beer, feeling elated with your success.

Any minor editing and proofreading could wait until the next day.

But, the next day … you feel disappointed. Your writing sounds bland. Your sentences seem to stutter.

What can you do?

How can you create a smooth and enjoyable reading experience? How can you make your content dazzle and dance?

Let’s explore four ways …

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Looking Closely at Words

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Some great writing tips by Donn Taylor over at AuthorCulture

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2015

W.H. Auden describes a poem as a verbal contraption, and the same is true of any written work. The writer has an idea important enough to tell other people, and the only way he can communicate that idea is through a contraption made out of words. And since words are all we writers have to work with, it behooves us to pay attention to everything about them, including small details.

 

In this blog I will review a few basics about words. Readers have probably heard these before, but it never hurts to review the basics again.

First, it’s no surprise that some words are stronger than others. In general, verbs are stronger than nouns, nouns are stronger than adjectives, and adjectives are stronger than adverbs. That’s why writing guides suggest that the first step in strengthening a body of writing is to delete all the adverbs that are not vital to the meaning.

 

One way to strengthen a sentence is to put the main idea in the verb rather than in a noun. Here is an example modeled on a lesson from the non-defunct Famous Writers School:

Read the rest of Donn’s article at AuthorCulture

 

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World Building 101

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If you write fiction, you need world building. It’s the skeleton of your story: though unseen, those bones determine the shape of the beast.

World Building 101

 

I recently had the honor of co-leading a panel at Geek Girl Con all about world building (you can hear the audio and read the notes here), so I’ve been giving the topic a lot of thought. I want this to help you no matter what genre you write, so this post will cover broad but powerful principles.

Buckle your seatbelt. It’s time to dive into advanced world building.

Read the rest at The Write Practice

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