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The Funnily Enough
The whole world of writing in one place
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All Character, No Plot

All Character, No Plot | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

For some people the events that take place are the first things they come up with, but if that isn’t how it works for you then having an intimate knowledge of your main character is still an excellent route to working out what the story will be about.

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World's Best-Selling Author James Patterson On How To Write An Unputdownable Story

World's Best-Selling Author James Patterson On How To Write An Unputdownable Story | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

I tend to write stories the way you'd tell them. I think it'd be tragic if everybody wrote that way. But that's my style. I read books by a lot of great writers. I think I'm an okay writer, but a very good storyteller.

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Are Your Characters Too Stupid To Live?

Are Your Characters Too Stupid To Live? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Too stupid to live characters lose reader faith as quickly as they lose their survival instincts. It's hard to root for or even like a character who repeatedly makes dumb choices, especially when they cry "how could this have happened?" after disaster strikes (again and again and again). If they make too many of these in a row, readers are likely to start rooting for the bad guys (if they bother to keep reading at all).

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What Struggle Means For Character

What Struggle Means For Character | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

As readers we like to see characters struggle. It’s entertaining and thrilling. But that’s what it’s like for the reader. For the character, struggle serves another, less obvious purpose. One that can easily be overlooked.


 Struggle provides the conditioning necessary to meet future challenges.

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Is Honesty the Most Important Trait in a Likable Character?

Is Honesty the Most Important Trait in a Likable Character? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

How do we create a character who is flawed enough to avoid the Goody Two-Shoes Award, while still being likable in spite of his flaws?

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Creating Believable High Stakes for Your Characters

Creating Believable High Stakes for Your Characters | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

A character in a fantasy novel goes through some magical portal into another world, where he learns he is the deliverer foretold to save this hidden kingdom. He’s your average guy and knows nothing about this world. Without hesitation, he not only accepts the truth of this prophecy/claim/appointment (fill in the blank), he immediately is willing to risk everything to assume the mantle of authority and responsibility.

 

But why the heck does he do that? I don’t know, and neither does the writer. Will the reader really believe someone, anyone, would do that? No. Sorry.

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KindredReaders's curator insight, April 4, 12:07 PM

Good reality check ... just one piece in a great series by Susanne Lakin

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Story, Character and Contradiction

Story, Character and Contradiction | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it
We like patterns, we like working out the rules and being able to predict events. But there’s always an exception to the rule. An anomaly will arise. The unexpected will turn up with alarming regularity. And when this happens our reaction is to take a closer look. We are fascinated by contradiction and want to examine it for answers, even when there are none to be had.
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14-Year-Old Proves U.S. Can Save $370 Million by Changing Fonts

14-Year-Old Proves U.S. Can Save $370 Million by Changing Fonts | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it
Changing the standard typeface used by federal and state governments could save the United States roughly $370 million a year in ink costs, a teen found.
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The Secret to Crafting High Stakes

The Secret to Crafting High Stakes | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

So just what are stakes? Stakes come in two forms. You may or may not have heard the terms “public stakes” and “personal stakes,” but those are, in a nutshell, the two types of stakes at play in a story. Public stakes affect the world at large (in your story). They are stakes that affect others besides your character.

 

The best stories, in my opinion, are the ones that have both public and personal stakes in spades. And I’ll even say the stories in which the personal stakes are the highest are the better stories

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The Three Dimensions of Character

The Three Dimensions of Character | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

If you want to write a character from the ground up, a character who is as real as any person living, yet wholly your own creation, then there are three aspects you need to know in depth: the physical, sociological and psychological.

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Sarah McElrath's curator insight, March 27, 8:50 AM

Great way to know your characters well enough to predict what they would or wouldn't do in any given situation.

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How to Avoid Bad Writing – Part 1

Bad writing may be okay for an oblivious writer, but not for a discerning agent or publisher.

 And because there are so many misdemeanours where bad writing is concerned, I’ve collated together some that I have come across from time to time while critiquing.
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5 Writing Lessons Inspired by Famous Writers

5 Writing Lessons Inspired by Famous Writers | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

At home, every famous writer was just another person who, like me, worked on his craft every day.

 

Here are five of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned along the way.

 

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Do You Worry About Your Writing? How To Stop And Fall Back In Love With It

Do You Worry About Your Writing? How To Stop And Fall Back In Love With It | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Worry and doubt are not only painful, they are deadly to a writing career. As author Gary Korisko points out, doubt can keep you from new projects, force you to abandon good work, and prevent you from sending your work out.

 

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

 

Much of our worry comes from misconceptions about what it means to build a writing career.

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Screenplay Structure: The Five Plot Points

Screenplay Structure: The Five Plot Points | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it
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BEGINNiNGS: Setting a Story in Motion

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The Key to Creating Suspense Is...

The Key to Creating Suspense Is... | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

A reader who doesn’t care what happens next won’t read on to find out. It's our job as writers to create a situation that’s so tempting, so exciting, so emotional, that readers can’t put down our books.

The key to creating suspense?

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45 ways to avoid using the word 'very'

45 ways to avoid using the word 'very' | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it
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Steve Tuffill's curator insight, April 6, 10:08 PM

This makes the writing business very easy indeed...! How many times have you been caught when you can't find the right word for it...?

Annie Edmonds Skerchek's curator insight, April 7, 2:20 AM

Useful words to use instead of very...

Laurie DesAutels's curator insight, April 8, 5:37 PM

Helpful tips to avoid using the word 'very'

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5 Ways To Improve A Perfect Story

5 Ways To Improve A Perfect Story | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

You’ve written a story you’re proud of.

 

You’ve edited it until there’s nothing left to do. It’s perfect!

 

Isn’t it?

 

Of course.

 

But how can you enhance it?

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Knowing What to Cut in Your Manuscript

Knowing What to Cut in Your Manuscript | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Dealing with a too-large or unwieldy manuscript can be frustrating at times, or even disheartening if you're not sure how to cut it down to manageable size. Please help me welcome Marcia Wells, who's here today to share some tips on trimming down your manuscript.

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Crafting Interesting Characters

Crafting Interesting Characters | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it
No one wants to write boring characters, but what qualities do interesting characters have? In this article I explore five qualities that can make your characters jump off the page: exaggeration, exotic setting, active introduction, truth-likeness and empathy.
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KindredReaders's curator insight, March 31, 11:33 AM

Karen includes lots of good examples to illustrate her points. I second her recommendation to read the posts on scenes and sequels.

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Vicarious Love: The Greatest Advantage of Multiple POVs

Vicarious Love: The Greatest Advantage of Multiple POVs | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Points out one of the best features of multiple POVs in fiction and why you might want to consider taking advantage of them in your story.

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Finding the Time, Space, and Inspiration You Need to Write

Finding the Time, Space, and Inspiration You Need to Write | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

We all get overwhelmed with how much we have to do - especially now many of us are writers, publishers and marketers.

As well as parents, spouses, friends and people living in the real world! But it’s important to remember what we are doing this for, our definition of success, and whether we are willing to pay the price for that future.

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Writing Fast and Slow: Creative Writing Lessons from Daniel Kahneman

Writing Fast and Slow: Creative Writing Lessons from Daniel Kahneman | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

I'm reading Nobel Prize winning Daniel Kahneman's groundbreaking book Thinking Fast and Slow. 

What does a celebrated psychologist turned economist have to say about creative writing (besides the fact that his step-daughter is the fiction editor at the New Yorker)? A lot. The lessons I'm learning from Thinking Fast and Slow are transforming the way I write, and I think they will help you, too.

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Are You Writing the Right Story?

Are You Writing the Right Story? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Not knowing what to write (or being unsure if you’re writing the right book) can take on many forms, and most writers encounter it at least once in their careers. Perhaps you’re facing one of these situations now and feel frustrated because you don’t know what to do next. If so, try stepping back and taking a look at the kinds of stories you enjoy. This can often lead us to the types of stories we want to write.

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Five Ways to Jump Start a Stalled Story

I used to be a serial story starter. I would write the first five chapters or so, lose steam, maybe set the manuscript aside for a while, and then eventually toss it so I could move on to the next shiny idea. It wasn’t that these stories were irredeemably flawed or anything, it was just that somewhere along the way I would lose interest in finishing them. It took me a long time to figure out where I was going wrong, so today I thought I’d share a few tips on how to jump start a story that’s stalled out on you.

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