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The Funnily Enough
The whole world of writing in one place
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Ebook Evolution

Ebook Evolution | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Personally I don’t believe you need to win the reader over with your first line or your first page. I don’t buy a book sight unseen, start reading without knowing what it’s about, and if I’m unimpressed by the first 250 words, chuck it in the bin.

 

The only people who read like that are agents.

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Layering Flavors in Your Writing

Layering Flavors in Your Writing | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

I am on an eternal quest to link writing with cooking. If I could simply saute my words over a medium heat, I’m sure I could whip up some splendid prose.

 

I recently attended a cooking class (a gift for my birthday). A lot of what the lady said I already knew, but then she mentioned something that piqued my interest. It was a soup class and she had a bowl of salt and pepper next to the stove. Every time she added a new ingredient, she tossed in a generous helping of the seasonings. She called this “layering the flavor.”

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The Good Seed — Donald Maass

The Good Seed — Donald Maass | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Will you ever run out of story ideas? What a laughable question. Of course not! There are more stories in your cocktail napkin collection than you’ll be able to use. And new story ideas–? Just read the newspaper. Cull from family lore. Do some research. Or just live life. Novel ideas are everywhere.

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Those Critical First Five Pages

Those Critical First Five Pages | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Congratulations! You’ve finished the first draft of your novel! Now it’s time to go back and polish up your first few pages. Then later you can do a third—or tenth—rewrite of that all-important first few paragraphs to create the most enticing hook possible. For today, we’ll talk about the essential ingredients of the first five pages, as most agents and acquiring editors—and readers—will stop reading by the fifth page, or sooner, if the story and characters don’t grab them by then.

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Drama Is Not Optional

Drama Is Not Optional | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Drama is the key ingredient to all stories.

 

Drama is wanting something you don’t have (or have and don’t want).

 

The harder the journey, the obstructions, the opposition, the greater the drama.

 

If people tell you your story isn’t dramatic enough, it probably means things are either too easy for the character, or what they are in pursuit of doesn’t seem worth the effort.

 

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How to Motivate Your Character

How to Motivate Your Character | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Much has been written, over time, on the importance of character and character development in stories, and rightly so. An engaging and convincing character, is, in my opinion, one of the most important elements in the well-crafted story. But if character is such an important part of your story, then it follows that what motivates character action is equally important.

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What is Backstory

What is backstory in fiction? It's the history and events of your story world from before the opening of your story. Use backstory to give fiction depth.

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Tips for Picking up the Pace in Your Fiction

Tips for Picking up the Pace in Your Fiction | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

While you don’t want your story barreling along at a break-neck pace all the way through – that would be exhausting for the reader – you do want the pace to be generally brisk enough to keep the readers’ interest. As Elmore Leonard said, “I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”

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7 Dialog Basics That Can Help Tighten Our Stories

7 Dialog Basics That Can Help Tighten Our Stories | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

I’m currently in the middle of judging entries for a national contest for unpublished writers. One of the basics I’ve been evaluating in the various entries is dialog techniques. I started jotting notes of some of the same issues that kept cropping up as well as areas I wanted to make sure I’m addressing in my own stories.

 

I came up with 7 dialog basics. They’re NOT hard, fast rules, but more like good principles we can apply in order to tighten our stories.

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Innovation Is About Arguing, Not Brainstorming. Here’s How To Argue Productively

Innovation Is About Arguing, Not Brainstorming. Here’s How To Argue Productively | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Turns out that brainstorming--that go-to approach to generating new ideas since the 1940s--isn’t the golden ticket to innovation after all. Both Jonah Lehrer, in a recent article in The New Yorker, and Susan Cain, in her new book Quiet, have asserted as much. Science shows that brainstorms can activate a neurological fear of rejection and that groups are not necessarily more creative than individuals. Brainstorming can actually be detrimental to good ideas.


Via axelletess
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25 Lies Writers Tell (And Start To Believe)

25 Lies Writers Tell (And Start To Believe) | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Ahh. The lies we writers tell ourselves. It’s a popular topic here, because as a man who has in the past been firmly rooted in the mud of his own self-slung bullshit, I think the best thing writers can do is get shut of illusions and myths and the deception — especially that which we create. Seemed high time to jack this into a “list of 25.”A greatest hits, if you will, and then some.

 

Let us now extinguish the conflagration of deception consuming our pants.

 

Argue these, if you choose, or add your own.

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How to Create a Story Structure to Die For

A story works because of its architecture. By “works” I mean it stands up. It holds together. It’s true. Structure provides a framework for meaning.

 

I wish I’d known that when I started writing.

 

Twenty years ago, nothing stood between me and my Hollywood career except actors Jack Lemmon and Eva Marie Saint. My screenplay had beaten its way through 4000+ scripts to become a finalist in a prestigious L.A. screenwriting competition.

Then, one of the judges—Jack or Eva—killed it. My ending sucked.

 

The verdict sent me back to my writing hut. I was desperate to know why I failed. After writing ten more screenplays and three novels, it dawned on me. I discovered why fiction flops. And more importantly, I learned how fiction works.
Here’s what I learned:

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Seems So: Are Your Characters Making Misleading Assumptions?

Seems So: Are Your Characters Making Misleading Assumptions? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

One strength of point of view (POV) is that you get to judge the world by your POV character's standards. They can assume incorrectly, have an unfair opinion, or just flat out be wrong. But sometimes ambiguity gets in there when you don't mean it to.

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Coincidence Is Part Of Storytelling

Coincidence Is Part Of Storytelling | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Coincidence is an important part of most stories. People have to meet, things have to happen at the appropriate time, connections need to be made.

 

In some cases ridiculous coincidences that would never happen in real life are the only way to make a story work in a satisfying manner. The need for fantasy/wish fulfilment in storytelling is a very strong instinct within all of us. It’s why we like stories in the first place.

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Support Other Writers: 10 Great Ways

Support Other Writers: 10 Great Ways | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

If you want to be heard, stop thinking about how to shout louder. Think about what you have to offer.

In my opinion, the biggest thing you can offer other writers is simply your support. And here are ten great places for you to start!

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Backstory Delayed Gratification

Backstory Delayed Gratification | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Every story needs some background information. You can’t write down every important thing that happens to a character as it happens. Some of it has to be an event in the past recalled in the present. Backstory is a necessity.

 

It's possible to have a backstory that is so fascinating you can start the story with a birth certificate and a list of schools attended, and every date and childhood trauma is of vital importance. But most backstories are not that captivating.

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An Author's Art

An Author's Art | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

There are some works of art that you will love. You can see why this book or film or painting or whatever has the reputation it has. You feel it.

 

Then there those things that are admirable, that are impressive, but your appreciation is detached and objective. You get it, but you don’t feel it.

 

And of course there are some works or art you have no idea what all the fuss is about. That’s natural—after all, art is subjective and we all have our own preferences.

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Baby Got Backstory: Dealing With Backstory in Your Novel

Baby Got Backstory: Dealing With Backstory in Your Novel | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The past is a part of life, and everybody has one. In fiction though, that past isn't always relevant, even if it is interesting. Readers like to see a story moving, and stopping to explain a character's history tends to bog a story down. Too much backstory is also high on the list of why an agent rejects a manuscript, and many advise to cut all of to from the first 50 pages.

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When do you use an em dash? When do you use an ellipsis?

Amanda Taylor asks: When writing dialogue I sometimes have trouble knowing what is the right punctuation when it comes to random changing of thought while speaking, stammering, or a brief pause vs. a long pause. So my question is, when do you use ellipses vs. the em dash in the listed situations? Some say that ellipses are a big no-no in novel dialogue, so I am totally confused!

 

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Does Everyone Have A Novel In Them?

Does Everyone Have A Novel In Them? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

It seems like everyone wants to be a writer these days, but do they all have a story worth telling? The short answer is yes. I believe that with no doubt whatsoever.

 

However, it may not be the story they’re actually writing. Many writers shy away from the really interesting stuff they could tell because it’s just too damn uncomfortable for them. And then even when they do pick the perfect tale, they can still screw it up in the telling.

 

But I believe anyone can come up with something that’s interesting enough to share with the world at large.

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Making a Depressing Character Likeable

Making a Depressing Character Likeable | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

n my current WIP the main character wants to die. That is his objective from the start. He's depressed and suicidal. The only reason he breaks out of his anti-social shell to be around the new girl he meets in therapy is because he thinks that doing so will somehow result in his death.

 

So I knew when I started writing that, unless I did something overt to make this character likeable, despite having a hugely depressing viewpoint, and thus, a huge potential to turn off readers from the start, no one would get past the first chapter.

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