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The Power of a First Sentence

The Power of a First Sentence | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

I've gathered 14 first sentences from randomly chosen novels, and one from a short story. They're presented in no particular order. Some are famous opening lines; others are not. Some presage what's to come; others don't. I think each one is interesting in its own way.

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Don't Overstuff Your Verbs: Unpack

Don't Overstuff Your Verbs: Unpack | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Sometimes it’s perfectly fine to use an adverb (no, really , it is). An adverb is a modifier, and if you’re modifying the verb in an unexpected way that changes the meaning of the verb it can be a useful tool.

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Five Ways to Make Good Writing Great

Five Ways to Make Good Writing Great | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Strong writing is TIGHT writing. Getting rid of unnecessary words streamlines the writing, increases tension and suspense, and makes the writing stronger.

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How to Use Adverbs

How to Use Adverbs | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Adverbs.

Writers the world over just shuddered when I said that. The experts tell us to never use adverbs--adverbs are bad, adverbs are evil, adverbs will sneak into your room late at night and strangle you in your bed.

Well, not really.

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Writing Active Settings

Writing Active Settings | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Have you ever read a book, set it down at the end of a chapter because it was late or time to stop reading and, when you returned to it, you struggled to get back into the story?

 

Or you’re reading along and are jarred out of the story because you become confused, especially about where the characters are or how much time has passed since a scene or chapter break?

 

It’s important to never jar a reader, making them suddenly aware that they are in fact reading rather than experiencing.

 

How do you get around this? Anchoring.

 

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Secondary Characters with Their Own Needs

Secondary Characters with Their Own Needs | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The importance of secondary characters in your novel cannot be overemphasized. They are crucial to your story, unless you are writing about a protagonist in isolation, which is a unique kind of story. And novels about one person off alone (usually a “man against nature” structure) are challenging to write because of the dearth of a “supporting cast.”

 

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Writing an Action Scene? 5 Ways to Add More Punch to Your Novel

Writing an Action Scene? 5 Ways to Add More Punch to Your Novel | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

When I began writing my first crime novel, I knew it would be a challenge. But there was one aspect of writing that I was sure would be much easier than the rest: the action scenes.

 

The plot was going to take a lot of work, the research would be arduous, the character development would drain me — but the action scenes were going to be a breeze.

 

That was before I wrote one.

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How Not to Start a Novel: Four Things to Avoid on Page One

How Not to Start a Novel: Four Things to Avoid on Page One | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The first page of your manuscript is critical for more than just grabbing an agent's or editor’s attention. Readers often read the first page or two to determine whether or not to read the novel. If those pages grab them, they'll buy the book. If not, they'll put it back on the shelf. That’s a lot of pressure for 250 words.

Which is why those words need to capture the reader.

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3 Steps to Taking Your Character Further and Deeper With...Anger?

3 Steps to Taking Your Character Further and Deeper With...Anger? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

We all know how hard it is to write emotion: understanding what a character is feeling exactly, and to what degree, and then showing it to readers. And of course, that’s just the tip of the challenge. What makes it truly difficult is that whatever body language, thoughts and actions we use MUST be ones that fit each individual’s personality seamlessly.

 

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How to Add Meaningful Subplots to Your Novel

How to Add Meaningful Subplots to Your Novel | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Subplots are everywhere. We see them in the movies we watch, and they are usually in every novel we read. We may instinctively know how they work in story structure. I always thought they were inserted to give some depth to the overall story, whether movie or novel. And that is one purpose for a subplot. But writers need to be careful not to throw any old subplot into a story in the hope that it will just add some interest. If you keep in mind that everything that goes into your novel must serve the advancement and complication of the main plot, you will fare well.

 

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Jerry Seinfeld Interview: How to Write a Joke

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Your Book In One Sentence

Your Book In One Sentence | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

When someone asks you what your book is about, it can be a very difficult thing to sum up in a line or two.

Even after you’ve finished it, capturing the essence in a way that does it justice can be more frustrating than writing it in the first place. I usually end up rambling like I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Not only would it be very handy in social situations, but also professionally. A clear concise way to tell people about the book in a way that lets them know what it’s about, but also hooks their interest in some way.

So how do you do that?

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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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Making Time to Write: Four Tips From a Writing Superstar

Making Time to Write: Four Tips From a Writing Superstar | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

It is the act of writing that makes you a writer. Talking about writing, reading about writing, and blogging about writing doesn’t do it. Those are all good extras, but only by putting words on paper, by creating something out of nothing, do you become a writer.

 

In her book, How I write, Janet Evanovich has great advice regarding time and discipline.

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Penelope's curator insight, July 31, 10:24 AM

 

Four awesome tips inside this article. Author Janet Evanovich, the third richest author in the world in 2012 with her Stephanie Plum series, says to Write something every day, even if it means getting just a few sentences on the screen.

 

I'll give you the first two, and you'll have to read the article for #3 and #4.

 

1) Do it by time: Start small, if you want. Start with five minutes and increase the time by five minutes a day. In two weeks you’ll be sitting at your desk for about an hour a day. Add more time as you choose. 

 

2) Do it by pages: Start with one paragraph a day and work toward a page a day. If you do only that, by year’s ends you will have written 365 pages. 

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Writing Rightly"***

 

Link to the original article: http://writerswrite.co.za/making-time-to-write-four-tips-from-a-writing-superstar

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5 Essential Tips for Writing Killer Fight Scenes

5 Essential Tips for Writing Killer Fight Scenes | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Fight scenes are dangerous territory for writers. On the surface, they seem as if they’re guaranteed to keep the reader glued to the action in the same way as they often do at the movies. In reality, though, readers tend to skip over fight scenes – skimming the long, tedious, blow-by-blow descriptions in favour of getting back to the dialogue and character-driven drama that truly engages them in the story.

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How to Write a Book or Blog (The 6 Danger Stages You Need To Overcome)

How to Write a Book or Blog (The 6 Danger Stages You Need To Overcome) | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

You’ve probably had the experience of starting a novel or blog with great intentions…

 

…only to find that, a few months later, you’ve barely made any progress.

 

Maybe you started strong but lost momentum. Maybe you jumped ahead when you should’ve paused. Or maybe you got discouraged and gave up. And you wonder: how to write a book (or blog).

 

I’ve coached many writers in workshop groups over the past few years, and I’ve noticed that there are six key stages when projects often stall or go wrong.

 

Here’s what to watch out for.

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Google Docs Adds Track Changes for Editing: Here’s How to Use It

Google Docs Adds Track Changes for Editing: Here’s How to Use It | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it
Editors rejoice! This editing tool will change your life. Here’s how to use the new Track Changes feature in Google Docs.
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How I Stay Motivated During the Tough Times

How I Stay Motivated During the Tough Times | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

No matter what stage of your writing career you're at, at some point you're going to lose steam and need a kick in the pants to get going again. Fatigue happens to everyone, but it doesn't have to keep us doesn't for long. Please help me welcome Susan Dennard to the lecture hall today to share a few tips on how she keeps going when times get tough.

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5 Top Tips To Boost Writing Productivity

5 Top Tips To Boost Writing Productivity | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Want to publish more books? You can if you follow these clear and achievable steps to write more words each day, as American novelist Charles Sheehan-Miles

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Build a Story, but Leave the Door Open

Build a Story, but Leave the Door Open | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

People tell stories every day and it is fairly easy to tell the difference between something worth listening to and something that is just small talk. It is a natural ability we all have, to know when something that happened is going to be of interest to others.


Do you want to know why the guy at work locked himself in an office and refused to come out until the police came and broke the door down? Or do you want to know what I had for lunch? You don't know the answer to either, but one is more of an unusual occurrence than the other, and that's what draws our attention.


When writing a story it is just the same, although often it may not feel like it.

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"Weird Al" Yankovic - Word Crimes

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7 Steps to Creating a Flexible Outline for Any Story

7 Steps to Creating a Flexible Outline for Any Story | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

To imbue your writing with the full power of outlining, you need to approach the process from a mindset of flexibility and discovery. When you do this, you’ll end up with a road map to storytelling success. Road maps are there to show you the fastest and surest way to reach your destination, but they certainly don’t prevent you from finding exciting off-road adventures and scenic drives along the way.

 

At their best, outlines can help you flesh out your most promising story ideas, avoid dead-end plot twists and pursue proper structure. And the greatest part? They save you time and prevent frustration. Sketching out your plot and characters in your first draft can take months of trial and error. Figuring out those same elements in an outline requires a fraction of the time—and then allows you to let loose and have fun in your first draft.

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The 7 Essential Elements of a Bestselling Novel

The 7 Essential Elements of a Bestselling Novel | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

On Wednesday afternoon, legal thriller author and writing instructor William Bernhardt (the Ben Kincaid series) outlined the 7 elements he says make for an unputdownable novel–be it thriller, mystery, suspense or other. Here are his his guidelines for crafting a blockbuster.

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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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