Category Archives: Wednesday’s Writing Tip

Today’s Writing Tip

Marcha's Two-Cents Worth

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Epilogues work well to cover “the rest of the story”, i.e, that which relates to proper closure of the plot, yet occurs after the story officially ends. Similar to prologues, epilogues can involve minor characters, or in some cases, someone who wasn’t in the main story at all. For example, it could be someone discovering years later what the effects were of your character’s actions. Sometimes they can even include hints of other stories to come, as opposed to closure.

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The Benefits of Dictation

Story Empire

Hello Story Empire readers! I’d like to fly – at least when it comes to writing – rather than plodding along. There’s one tool I now use to do just that: Dragon Naturally Speaking.

Good thing you don’t have to train this dragon to dictate well.

When it comes to writing a book, there is a faster way without a huge expense which also feels like flying. In my last post, I described how I was working to clear my own logjam with available time and one of those changes was to spend a little money to address my constricted writing time. I purchased Dragon Naturally Speaking and set out to dictate so I could produce more words per hour than typing. To dictate well, it requires training Dragon – which sounds like the title of a couple of movies.

Training a Dragon is simple, especially when compared to the movie…

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Writers: Why You Need to Learn How to Give a Good Critique

A Writer's Path

by Mary Kate Pagano

I’ve written before about where to find critique partners but I wanted to touch on something just as important…

… namely why you should be a good critique partner yourself.

A good critique partner is an incredible asset. And I don’t believe they’re made overnight. Learning how to give useful, good critique is a skill that you develop over time. And it’s an important one, as a writer.

Why?

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He Said, She Said: Why Tags Matter When Writing Dialogue

glenniswritingabc blogs

He Said, She Said: Why Tags Matter When Writing Dialogue
Hello writing friends,

one of my my able assistants is the autocrit editing programme. Without it my writing struggles to keep the writing rules. According to editors and publishers there are right and wrong ways of writing. Especially, in our attempts to show rather than tell. As I have reworked my novel, with autocrit beside me, I observed my novel turn from one of a new writer to a more concise manuscript. Enjoy this autocrit blog on Writing Dialogue in a Novel. Glennis

Dialogue tags – words such as said, replied or asked – have magical powers.

Why are they magical? Well, because they disappear. Readers unconsciously skip right over them.

And that’s what you want them to do!

When writing dialogue in a book, tags exist for only one purpose: to identify who is speaking. That’s it. You want…

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Hone Your Craft

WRITERS' RUMPUS

pencil-918449_1280I participated in the Arlington (Massachusetts) Book Festival last weekend, one of three on a panel discussing revision, and the moderator popped a surprise question on us: What advice would you give a beginning writer? Now, my standard answer is, “Don’t feel guilty for taking the time to write,” which is a common problem I have. But I had a massive chest cold (still do), and my Dayquil was beginning to wear off, so what came out of my mouth instead was, “Hone your craft.”

img_20161105_123810667_hdr At the Arlington Book Festival with fellow authors Jennifer S. Brown (center) and Stephanie Gayle

People tend to think that only geniuses write great works of literature. I hate the myth of the innately talented, the person who can sit down at their keyboard and, on their first try, produce the Great American Novel. Yes, this has happened. But it is exceedingly rare, and no…

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BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

xx bilyk Marcia Krause Bilyk

By Marcia Krause Bilyk

I was a bright, curious, talkative child raised by a mother who couldn’t tolerate the noise and disruption of four young children. Mother withdrew into herself and her housework, leaving us alone to resolve our issues in the backyard or basement playroom. My older sister Cynthia, who knew I was afraid of the dark, would race up the basement stairs, flick off the overhead light and yell, “The wolves are going to get you, the wolves are going to get you.” I’d pound on the locked door and beg to be let out. One fall afternoon as we sat on the curb in front of a pile of burning leaves, Cynthia heated her play golf club in the embers and placed it on my knee, saying, “Let’s play cowboys and Indians.” I still bear the scar.

Dad was a narcissist, prone to exuberant…

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The Most Important Rule of Writing No One Talks About 

Christopher Kokoski



If you could only teach ONEwriting lesson for the rest of your life, what would you teach?

My answer: Contrast.

Why?

5SuspicouslySpecific Reasons Contrast Is the Most Important Rule of Writing

  1. Contrast is the key to a high-concept premise
  2. Contrast improves nearly every element of story
  3. Contrast is compelling to readers
  4. Contrast is inherent in the understanding of story
  5. Contrast works at both the micro and macro level of story

By definition, contrast combines opposites.

“cold fire”

“wet sand”

“beautiful atrocity”

It’s intriguing because it’s unexpected. It grabs attention, generates curiosity and keeps readers glued to the page. If you want to design a bestseller idea, use contrast. If you want to improve a sentence, paragraph, description, character or scene – contrast every time.

After all, most stories involve contrast on a macro level. Cinderella is both peasant and princess. Alice travels to Wonderland. The lesson of the…

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