The Funnily Enough
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The whole world of writing in one place
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Fiction Is About Facing Problems

Fiction Is About Facing Problems | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

One of the main tenets of writing story is to make the reader as the question: What happens next?

 

But this question shouldn’t be aimed at the writer, or even the story. The question should be aimed by readers at themselves.

 

And they shouldn’t be sure of the answer

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Minna Kilpeläinen's curator insight, December 11, 2012 6:53 PM

.. and what if that happens to me what would I do?

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A Simple Way to Create Suspense

How do you create suspense? I’m asked that question often, and it seems that every writers’ symposium has a class with that title. It’s an important technical issue, and not just for so-called suspense novels. Every novel needs a narrative engine, a reason for people to keep reading to the end, whatever the subject, style, genre or approach.

 

But it’s a bad question. Its very form misleads writers and pushes them onto an unhelpful and overcomplicated track.

 

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Writing A Book: What Happens After The First Draft?

Writing A Book: What Happens After The First Draft? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Maybe you ‘won’ NaNo or maybe you have the first draft of another book in your drawer, but we all need to take the next step in the process in order to end up with a finished product.

 

Here’s my process, and I believe it’s relevant whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction.

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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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Ask the Editor: Becoming a better writer

Ask the Editor: Becoming a better writer | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Q: Every rejection letterI get says there’s something wrong with my writing. Can I really get better at this?A: Yes, you can!

 

I know for a fact that even the most seasoned, successful writers read, study, revise and rewrite, use a professional developmental editor, and continue to polish their craft.

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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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Trying Too Hard To Impress

Trying Too Hard To Impress | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

It’s always difficult to know if you’re good enough as a writer. You may have had some encouragement at school, some positive comments from people you know, maybe even support from other aspiring writer on the Internet. But until you have a genuine response from people who are willing to take a risk on you, whether it be agents, or publishers, or paying customers, there’s always going to be some doubt in your mind (unless you’re a sociopath, of course).

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What Dialogue Can Do for Your Stories--And What It Should Never Try to Do

What Dialogue Can Do for Your Stories--And What It Should Never Try to Do | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Do you write dialogue? Did you know that many acquistions editors at publishing companies use dialogue as the "test" for whether a manuscript gets read?

 

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Renni Browne and Dave King tell the story of interviewing different editors in the publishing industry. What do you look at first, when reviewing a manuscript? they wondered. More than one revealed this: Editors scan through the pages for a section of dialogue and read it. If it's good, they read more. If it's not good, the manuscript is automatically rejected.

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A Simple Approach to Revisions

A Simple Approach to Revisions | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when revising your novel. You’re hit with slew of decisions that need to be made all at once. Should you add a character? Cut a secondary? Why is the dialogue so stilted, and where is the setting, and should you add more sensory detail or axe it altogether because the pacing seems to drag?

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Plots That Rely On Coincidence and Contrivance

Plots That Rely On Coincidence and Contrivance | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Coincidences do occur in real life. And if you’re writing, say, a paranormal, where you have a curse or a spell or some object that keeps landing in the possession of brides left at the altar, that is one thing. The coincidences are part of your world-building.

 

But if you need to have a scene between the hero and heroine, so you have them run into each other at the grocery store, and then at the post office, and then in an elevator, and then at a ballgame … ugh, ugh, ugh. If your character is trying to solve a mystery, and she keeps stumbling on clues by total dumb luck, another triple ugh.

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Plugging Into Your Creative Cycle

Plugging Into Your Creative Cycle | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

To accomplish anything, you must believe you can do it. After all, there have most likely been those before you who have done it, right? And if they can do it, so can you. If you don’t believe you can do it, then perhaps you don’t want it badly enough. You may give up on it, settle for less, or not even try. You may feel completely discouraged.

 

The trick is to imagine yourself in the act of accomplishing your goal and picturing yourself successfully completing it.

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12 Essential TED Talks for Writers

Gene Fowler said it best: "Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." The life of a writer is often fraught with struggle to find the best way to transfer ideas to paper, which is one of the reasons so few people are able to do it with any real success. But if you’re an aspiring writer, whether you’re still a college student or you’ve been out of school for years, it’s never too late to take a chance on your passion. These speeches and presentations from TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) offer words of wisdom from authors and others that are invaluable to those looking to make their mark with the written word. Don’t be afraid of the blank page; embrace it.

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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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7 Tips for Overcoming Writer's Block

7 Tips for Overcoming Writer's Block | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

If you’re a writer, there’s no doubt that you’ve been there before…sitting at your laptop and staring deep into a blank screen that is the Word document waiting to be filled with your most brilliant and eloquent literature. But you’ve got the block. So now what?

 

Next time you have the overwhelming feeling of being stuck in an uninspired pit of a writer’s block that has you teetering on the ledge of setting fire to your journalism degree, check out the following tips for getting past it:

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