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The Funnily Enough
The whole world of writing in one place
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Romantic Storytelling

Romantic Storytelling | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

This is not going to be a post about love, marriage, hearts and/or flowers.  The kind of romanticism I’m talking about is the kind you find in most fictional stories. The hero wins, the villain gets what they deserve, good triumphs over evil and love conquers all. This kind of romantic ideal is why we read stories.

 

We have a picture of the way the world should be, but it stubbornly refuses to live up to our expectations. So we create our own worlds where things turn out right. 

 

That said, things can go too far the other way.

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Making Scenes Interesting In The Now

Making Scenes Interesting In The Now | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

In terms of what’s going on in a scene you can break it down into three main areas:

 

1. What happened ‘Before’.

2. What’s happening ‘Now’.

3. What’s going to happen ‘Later’.

 

The most important for a reader is no.2, the ‘Now’. That's where readers experience the story—what's in front of them.

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Avoid Clichés, or Twist them into Treasure

Avoid Clichés, or Twist them into Treasure | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

As a literary journal editor, I have read my fair share clichéd submissions. And I'm afraid to say, that most of the time, they make me wince.

 

As a writer, it is probably hard to comprehend how overwhelming these clichéd submissions actually are. You are one person, and you think, "oh, it'll be alright, surely there won't be any other subs like this." You would be surprised. You need to think, are you really going to be noticed writing about the sea breeze among an inbox full of 300-400 other subs?

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Novel Writing: Taming Messy Middles

Novel Writing: Taming Messy Middles | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

By now, many of you doing NaNoWriMo have hit the middle of your novel. Middles can be messy! Subplots fizzle or morph. Supporting characters try to takeover. Your character's clear goal now seems like one big mud puddle.


Writing Tip for Today: What can you do to clean up the messy middle of a novel that's spiraling out of control?

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Your Dialogue Is Showing

Your Dialogue Is Showing | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Whether you are a strong advocate of show vs. tell, or you find it an overused instruction that’s oft misused, one thing is for certain: dialogue is always considered showing.

 

There are some people who don’t really understand why this is so, to them dialogue often seems the very opposite of showing: people telling each other things.

 

The reason isn’t do with what is being said...

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Leading Lines

Leading Lines | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

In a composition there are a variety of techniques that can be utilized to explore the piece. One of the most dynamic means of guiding the audience through a piece is through the use of leading lines.

 

Leading lines are one of the top rules of visual composition and are used to great effect to guide the viewer's perspective through the piece, drawing attention to focal points and creating narrative rhythm. These lines are also can be used singularly or with additional supporting lines.

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Antagonists–The Alpha and the Omega of the Story

Antagonists–The Alpha and the Omega of the Story | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

As I have said in previous posts, there is no story without the antagonist. Period. The story IS the antagonist’s agenda. No Buffalo Bill, no Silence of the Lambs. No Darth Vader, and Skywalker doesn’t have a Death Star to destroy. If Joker was a choir boy, Batman’s life would have no meaning.

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Save Your Readers From Boredom: Five Fool-Proof Preventatives

Save Your Readers From Boredom: Five Fool-Proof Preventatives | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it
The bored reader is the writer’s worst nightmare.
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Forcing Readers To Like Characters

Forcing Readers To Like Characters | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The story you’re writing may have the kind of lead character that people automatically root for. He may be a good guy doing the right thing; or a decent woman trying to sort out something that needs sorting. Heroic behaviour and overcoming adversity can bypass the whole need to tell the reader this is someone to cheer on. It’s obvious.

 

But they might be a little more complex than that. Maybe flawed, maybe even a bit awkward. Or they may not get to their heroic moment until much later in the story. How do you get the reader on board as quickly as possible without having to add ‘stick with it, things get good later’ at the bottom of each page?

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Get Your Novel Moving: Cure for Stagnant Openings

Get Your Novel Moving: Cure for Stagnant Openings | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Does your novel open like this: Main Character staring out a window, riding in a car, train, plane or spaceship? How about the dreaded Back Story? Many first novels open with elements that slow and in some cases, kill off the reader's sense of movement.


It's not hard to bring a novel opening to a standstill. Fortunately there are ways to remedy or prevent stagnant openings.

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Story Endings

I get the chance to read a lot of short fiction, both published and un-published. The most crucial part of a story is the ending. It's the payoff. Readers read until the end to get this payoff. What happens if your story doesn't have this payoff? I'll tell you: trouble. Readers are not satisfied and editors are not buying. Please make sure your story has a payoff. I concede for every rule there's an exception. A few authors make a good living not including endings (Kelly Link comes to mind).


Here are some tips for satisfying story payoffs:

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Chapter One: The Hunger Games

Chapter One: The Hunger Games | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

This is a continuation of my series of first chapter dissections where I take apart the opening chapter of a successful novel to find out what makes it work, how the author hooked the reader, which rules were followed, and which were broken to good effect

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Writers Who Know Everything

Writers Who Know Everything | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

A problem I’ve been coming across a lot recently when reading and critiquing on various writing workshops is the writer using his knowledge of future story events to guide present ones.

 

This is a fairly simple thing to fix, the problem is more in trying to convince the writer they are in fact doing this. It’s one of those things where if the person isn’t aware they’re doing it, proving it to them can be very difficult. They just can't see it.

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Interesting Characters: You are what you eat

Interesting Characters: You are what you eat | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Story is viewed differently by the writer than it is by the reader.

 

A writer knows what kind of person he is writing about, and uses that to inform what that character does on the page.

 

A reader knows what a character does and uses that to understand what kind of person that character is.

 

Both are looking at the same thing, but from different ends. The thing they are both looking at is this: what people do reveals the truth of who they are.

 

But truth and fact are NOT the same thing.

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Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave: Crafting Subplots

Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave: Crafting Subplots | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it
We spend a lot of time focusing on our core conflict, and rightly so since that's what driving our novels. But what about the subplots?
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