The Funnily Enough
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The whole world of writing in one place
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Don't Overthink It: 5 Tips for Daily Decision-Making

Don't Overthink It: 5 Tips for Daily Decision-Making | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

In an interview last year, I asked acclaimed graphic designer James Victore what made him so efficient. His simple reply: “I make decisions.” We make hundreds, if not millions, of micro-decisions every day – from what to focus our energy on, to how to respond to an email, to what to eat for lunch. You could easily argue that becoming a better (and swifter) decision-maker would be the fastest route to improving your daily productivity.

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Back to Basics: Every Scene Must Have Conflict

Whether you're new to writing or an established veteran, it's always good to refresh yourself on the basics from time to time. And yes, I mean me, too. I recently came across some advice on conflict that, even though I'd heard it a gasquillion times before, was very eye-opening, like it was brand-spanking-new to me.

 

Every scene must have conflict.

 

Simple, I know. But not really. First let's break that down into its fundamental parts.

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Motivation

Motivation | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

To my mind, characterization is the reason why a character is who he is. Motivation is the reason why a character does what he does.

 

Actually, it's more the reason behind the reason. For example, commitment phobia might be a reason why a guy won't marry, but the reaction that caused the phobia as a result of something in the past is the motivation. In the case above, distrust as a result of his wife cheating on him with his best man would be his motivation.

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Back to Basics: Every Scene Must Have Conflict

Back to Basics: Every Scene Must Have Conflict | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Whether you're new to writing or an established veteran, it's always good to refresh yourself on the basics from time to time. And yes, I mean me, too. I recently came across some advice on conflict that, even though I'd heard it a gasquillion times before, was very eye-opening, like it was brand-spanking-new to me.

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Are You An Over-Describer?

As a reader, there's really nothing you can do about over-description. As a writer, however you can be on the lookout for a few telltale signs.

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3 Secrets to Great Storytelling

As a novelist and writing instructor, I’ve noticed that three of the most vital aspects of story craft are left out of many writing books and workshops. Even bestselling novelists stumble over them.

But they’re not difficult to grasp. In fact, they’re easy.

 

And if you master these simple principles for shaping great stories, your writing will be transformed forever. Honest. Here’s how to do it.

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Scene Length

Scene length is tricky because each scene is different. There's no set template for scenes or even for types of scenes. But if people are saying, "Your scenes are too long," that might mean they're literally physically too long, or it might mean there's a pacing issue within a scene that is a more or less appropriate length. These are related problems, of course, because if a scene goes on for 5k words and all they do is check their calendars to see when they're both free for coffee, chances are the length problem stems from a pacing problem.

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Three Things Die Hard Can Teach us About Seamless Plotting

Three Things Die Hard Can Teach us About Seamless Plotting | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

You'd think a big shoot 'em up action movie wouldn't pay attention to details, but this one does. And we can learn from it to make our stories read just as seamlessly.

 

Odds are you won't write a seamless story on the first draft, but you can make it read as if you planned it that way all along.

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Art Williams

Art Williams | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it
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Hello The Future

Hello The Future | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

For my last post of the year I thought I'd put down how I see things going in 2012 (should be good for a laugh in twelve months' time). I've always been enamoured of culture and the arts, and I think the battle between what Old Money wants to keep the same, and what New Technology wants to see take over, is a fascinating one. My hope is things come to a head in 2012. I'd like to be part of the generation that saw the world change (hopefully into something better).

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Four ways to kill narrative drive

Four ways to kill narrative drive | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

If you took all the books that were ever written and laid them end-to-end you'd have a very long line of books – the point being that with so much to read if you're lucky enough to have a reader take a look you don't want to give them any excuse to put your book down and move onto the next – but if you insist, here's four ways to do it.

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Dealing with Subplots

In novels, uncovering the layers of problems, conflicts and resolutions is part of the fun. Readers expect more than a simple plot, even in genres.


Writing Tip for Today: Here are some things to consider in working with subplots:

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We Have a History: Making Backstory Work for You

We Have a History: Making Backstory Work for You | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Along with adverbs and telling, I think backstory completes the unholy trinity of writing. So much so that agent and writing guru Donald Maass advises you cut any backstory in the first 50 pages. But backstory has its uses, and sometimes, it's critical to know that history.

 

Even if it's not critical for the reader to know it.

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Little Things: Focus on Details to Bring Your Writing to Life

Little Things: Focus on Details to Bring Your Writing to Life | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

God is in the details, or so they say. The more I read, the more I find this to be especially true in writing. If you want to write a convincing, engaging story that lives and breathes, then make the details count. They may only be little things, but they make a huge difference.

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Grand finales: Tips for writing great endings

Grand finales: Tips for writing great endings | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Writing a great ending for your book is just as important as a dynamite opening that rivets our attention and compels us to keep turning those pages.

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Inside A Story Part 2: The Hunger Games

Inside A Story Part 2: The Hunger Games | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

In part one of this post I discussed various techniques to keep each moment of a story interesting in and of itself. In particular, how a story is made up of a bunch of much smaller stories that keep the reader engaged as the bigger story is slowly rolled out. In today’s post I will use the first chapter of The Hunger Games to demonstrate what I mean (I get so many search hits for HG based on the one post I did mentioning it, that I thought I might as well give those people another article to read). There will be spoilers.

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Writer Unboxed » Warm vs. Cool

Writer Unboxed » Warm vs. Cool | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Here’s a question for you: Who’s the superior writer, Jane Austen or Ernest Hemingway? If you answered Jane Austen then you probably write more emotionally, embracing exposition and characters’ interior lives. If you answered Ernest Hemingway then you may believe that emotions on the page are cheap, gooey and artless. For you, showing rather than telling is not just good advice but an iron law.

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Inside A Story, Lots Of Little Stories

Inside A Story, Lots Of Little Stories | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Not every scene is going to be a high-octane ride where the momentum keeps the reader glued to the page. Some scenes need to set stuff up, slow things down, and even portray normal life. So how do you do that without boring the reader to tears?

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7 Ways Meditation Increases Creativity

7 Ways Meditation Increases Creativity | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Our creative intelligence is not accessed by effort in the conventional sense that you learned at school or work. We cannot try or strive or strain for it, any more than we can strive to have fingers or feet. It’s more about dissolving the internal barriers that come between us and our innate creative potential, so we can align with it and allow it to flow more freely.

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Spoiler alert! What makes a great ending?

Spoiler alert! What makes a great ending? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The endings of novels are, in their own way, as crucial as the endings of years, but they are much less discussed. Any bibliophile can rattle off at least a handful of famous first lines (“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…;” “It is a truth universally acknowledged…; ” “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen,” and so on), but ask someone to quote a memorable closer and chances are all they can come up with is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” (from “The Great Gatsby”) or James Joyce’s rhapsodic “…and yes I said yes I will Yes."

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6 Steps to Building Your Creative Endurance

6 Steps to Building Your Creative Endurance | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Let’s face it. We all get out of creative shape from time to time.

 

Just as an athlete quickly loses fitness without training, so your creative stamina will fade away if you don’t work at maintaining it – every week, if not every day.

 

So when you get out of the discipline of regular creative work, what stops you getting started again?

Is it because of work? School? Home? Family?

 

Other commitments? Gossip Girls? The New 90210 (the original was much better)? Or some other excuse?

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Aspiring is for Pansies–Tough Love & Being a Writer

Aspiring is for Pansies–Tough Love & Being a Writer | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

[B]efore you make that New Year’s Resolution to become a writer, finish a novel, take your craft more seriously there are some things to consider. First, if you just enjoy writing for fun and merely want to finish a novel to test and see if you can do it, all that follows does not apply to you. But, if you happen to be among that group who dreams of landing an agent, being published and becoming a successful author, I am going to give you a run-down of what to expect so you don’t get caught unawares. Yes, this applies to all the indie folk, too. No passes.

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