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Concrete Tips for Developing an Appealing Voice in Your Fiction

An engaging story “voice” captures us from the first sentence and beckons us into the story world. Literary agents and acquiring editors always say they’re looking for fiction with a captivating, fresh, natural voice. Then when asked to define the term, they hesitate as they try to capture the elusive “je ne sais quoi” qualities of a voice that is unique and original, a voice that engages readers and compels them keep reading.

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The Funnily Enough
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Making Characters Face Their Demons

Making Characters Face Their Demons | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

In real life people have many different problems to deal with. In fiction, characters tend to have the one problem. They struggle to deal with it but it’s always there, affecting them and the story you’ve put them in. 

 

This is necessary for fiction, otherwise things would be too vague and woolly. We need the cop to be an alcoholic, the kid to be scared of going to school, the woman to be obsessed with getting married, and so on. It doesn’t really matter if their issue is one we’ve seen before (like the ones I’ve just mentioned), because it isn’t the actual problem that people are interested in, it’s how it’s dealt with. 

 

Which means you have to show it being dealt with.

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15 Questions Authors Should Ask Characters

15 Questions Authors Should Ask Characters | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

We spend a lot of time creating characters. We think about names, where they live, who they love, whether or not they have a phobia or a personality disorder. We decide to place our characters in conflict with an antagonist in order to write a novel. We plan an inciting moment, and plot our scenes, but how much do we really know about the psychological motivations of our important characters?

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The Top 5 Free Apps that Help You Write Your Novel

The Top 5 Free Apps that Help You Write Your Novel | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

From motivation to organization, research, and editing, there are a dozen and one apps to aid the writing process.  So how do you begin narrowing down which apps to use for yourself? Well, we’ve scoured the Internet and made your search process a no-brainer.

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10 Tips for Writing a Book

10 Tips for Writing a Book | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it
Ten tips for writing a book from concept to publication. Ever thought about writing a book? Here are some key tips for the steps involved in the process.
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The Goldilocks Approach To Writing Description: Not Too Little, Not Too Much

The Goldilocks Approach To Writing Description: Not Too Little, Not Too Much | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Breaking and entering issues aside, the story of Goldilocks and The Three Bears can teach writers quite a bit about writing descriptive passages in their short stories, essays, novels, and other books. Some readers love long, descriptive passages that linger on every tiny detail of a scene. Others hate description and want snappy dialogue that moves the story along.

 

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12 Essential Steps from Story Idea to Publish-Ready Novel

If you want your novel, novella, or short story to intrigue readers and garner great reviews, use these 12 steps to guide you along at each phase of the process:

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The Keys to Good Science Fiction & Fantasy Storytelling

The Keys to Good Science Fiction & Fantasy Storytelling | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Writing strong exposition in speculative fiction (or SF, the umbrella term for fantastical fiction genres such as science fiction, fantasy, paranormal and horror) is a balancing act. It’s like watering a plant. Too little water and it dries up and dies; too much water and it rots and drowns. Information is to your audience what water is to a plant—it’s the life of the story, and yet you have to keep it in balance.

 

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Seven Extremely Good Reasons to Write the Ending First

Seven Extremely Good Reasons to Write the Ending First | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

If you are writing for fun, and if you don’t want any help, please write any way that works for you. I am not trying to convert you to writing with a plan. It truly does not matter to me how you write. However, if you are struggling to finish writing a book that makes sense, I would love you to carry on reading.

 

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Tricking The Reader By Choice

Tricking The Reader By Choice | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

No story is full of high drama all the time. Sometimes you’re setting things up or dealing with the aftermath of some event, and the characters are on their own or in a non-volatile situation.

Introducing a problem or a struggle at this point, even a small one, often helps to keep the narrative interesting, but there are times when you don’t want your character to be fighting battles or solving puzzles.

So how do you turn a mundane moment into something more gripping without resorting to enemies to battle or mountains to climb?

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The Power of Story Compels You

The Power of Story Compels You | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

A story with high stakes and deadly dangers can still bore you to tears. Equally, a character folding laundry while contemplating life’s absurdities can be deeply moving and affecting. 

 

While there’s probably more to work with if your story is about an exploding volcano than creased shirts and an ironing board, the fact that neither subject-matter guarantees how the story will be received demonstrates that whatever it is that draws readers into a tale, it isn’t just a matter of sticking a character in a perilous situation and seeing how they cope. 

 

So what is it that grabs a reader and keeps them engaged through many hundreds of pages?

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7 Tools to Hook Your Reader

7 Tools to Hook Your Reader | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

I’m at the stage in my writing where I’m pitching agents, so I’m still obsessing over my first chapters and this idea of how to “hook” your reader.

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18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently

18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it
Scott Myers digs into Carolyn Gregoire's 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently and his past to illuminate his own creative path.
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Self-publishing boom lifts sales by 79% in a year

Self-publishing boom lifts sales by 79% in a year | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Self-published books' share of the UK market grew by 79% in 2013, with 18m self-published books bought by UK readers last year, according to new statistics.

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One-Dimensional Conflict

One-Dimensional Conflict | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Conflict is one of the most essential ingredients of fiction. When a character with a goal meets an obstacle to that goal, conflict ensues. Story ensues. But one-dimensional conflict isn’t enough to plumb the depths of a story’s potential. So just what is one-dimensional conflict?

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Having Trouble Plotting Forward? Try Plotting Backward

Having Trouble Plotting Forward? Try Plotting Backward | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

For some writers, beginnings are a breeze. They know exactly where their story starts, but the plot gets a little fuzzy the closer it gets to the end.

Other writers know exactly how their story will end, but have trouble finding the right place to start to get them there. They slog through beginning after beginning until they stumble across the right one.

If your beginning is giving you plotting headaches, try jumping ahead and working backward.

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The Backstory Battle

The Backstory Battle | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Backstory is anything and everything that happens before your short story or novel opens. Because we need to know our characters’ histories, we think the reader needs to know it too.

 

Here’s a secret—readers don’t care. 

 

They want action, they want forward movement. Decide how little backstory you can get away with. Make sure you include only important background information. Then see if you can thread it through the story using the following story-telling techniques.

 

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Cause and Effect Scene by Scene

Cause and effect within and between scenes allows you to seamlessly lead the reader to each major turning point by linking the cause in one scene to the effect in the next scene. This sequencing allows the energy of the story to rise smoothly.

If the sequence breaks down, scenes come out of the blue, and your story turns episodic. The reader, in turn, becomes disconcerted.

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Here’s What the Future of Reading Looks Like

Here’s What the Future of Reading Looks Like | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

For years, traditional book publishers have hoped that standalone e-readers — Kindles, Nooks, and the like — would be their salvation, replacing paper-and-ink books as the diversion of choice for a new generation of readers. But several new data points suggest that's not happening. In fact, it seems clearer than ever that the future of reading isn't on reading devices at all. It's on your phone.

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Life, Plot, Story

Life, Plot, Story | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

What makes fiction—whether it be a short story or a novel—different from real life? And how can we use this difference to help create more engaging and entertaining stories?

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Sympathetic Doesn't Have To Mean Likable

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KindredReaders's curator insight, June 30, 12:50 PM

Check out the entire series on Sympathetic Characters here: http://moodywriting.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/forcing-readers-to-like-characters.html Although I don't agree with everything, there's plenty of tasty goodness in each post.

 

César Cortés Vega's curator insight, July 5, 9:41 AM

Identificación, simpatía con la representación

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Your Brain when Writing

Your Brain when Writing | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

A recent article in the New York Times describing a study on the neuroscience of creative writing provides an intriguing glimpse of what happens to your brain when writing fiction.

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6 Steps to Balance Your Editing: Plot vs. Characters

6 Steps to Balance Your Editing: Plot vs. Characters | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Too often, I see writers change plot event after plot event and forget to look for problems within the character-related sentences. So let’s take a look at some of the symptoms we’re likely to see in problem areas and identify how we might be able to tell if the issue is plot or character related.

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Pacing in Writing

Pacing in Writing | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

When I was a child, a piano teacher let me play to my heart’s content without worrying about such details as tempo and timing. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the best approach, which may be why those lessons were short-lived. It wasn’t until adulthood, when I studied vocal music, that I learned to pace myself.

 

Pacing, whether in music or writing, is one of the methods by which we organize the creative flow. Order prevents these creative expressions from falling flat and helps improve their impact.

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Find Inspiration When You Are Uninspired

Find Inspiration When You Are Uninspired | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Many writers have more ideas than time; they’ll never write as many stories as they’ve considered writing, as many stories as they have ideas for.

 

But maybe you haven’t had a good story idea in a while. Maybe everything you think of has been done before or feels as if it’s been done before.

 

Today I’m going to be your prompter. I’m going to suggest places to go, things to do, that might have you looking at your world in such a way that it inspires you to create a new world.

 

 

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14 Reasons You're Tired All the Time

14 Reasons You're Tired All the Time | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Lack of sleep isn’t the only thing sapping your energy. Little things you do (and don’t do) can exhaust you both mentally and physically, which can make getting through your day a chore. Here, experts reveal common bad habits that can make you feel tired, plus simple lifestyle tweaks that will put the pep back in your step.

 

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