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The Funnily Enough
The whole world of writing in one place
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Four Levels of Showing and Telling

Four Levels of Showing and Telling | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

I would like to share with you one session conducted by Author and Editor, Chris Roerden. This was an amazing session, not because it dealt with showing and telling, but she describes what happens at each of the four levels of showing and telling while describing your characters’ emotions.

 

In your writing, you can share your character emotions in four ways or what she refers to as four levels. Here they are as described by Ms. Roerden:

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What Episodic TV Teaches Novelists

What Episodic TV Teaches Novelists | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The first thing to bear in mind is that just because something is delivered in an episodic format, doesn’t mean it’s episodic narratively speaking.

 

If I take a novel and split it up into sections, and then let you read one chapter a week, then that’s an episodic way to read the story, but it makes no difference to the story itself.

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How to Commit to Your Creativity

How to Commit to Your Creativity | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

We trick ourselves into believing that in order to commit to something, we need to feel sure-sure that it will be a “success” (however we define that), sure that we have the skill to carry through on our vision, sure that we’ll complete it, sure that we’ll be pleased with the outcome, sure that others will like it, sure that it will sell, sure that when it’s done we’ll look back on it as worthwhile investment of our time. We want a clear “Yes” or a guarantee. Even though as creative people we have chosen a path that often offers little security, we continue to crave security and certainty, when often these are simply illusions to which we cling.

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A Character's Story

A Character's Story | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

What comes first, character or story? Does story lay the character, or character lay the story? This perennial chicken-or-the-egg question has many supporters on either side of the fence, or, road, if you prefer. Despite the levity implicit in the metaphor, however, the topic has serious implications for the way we approach writing a novel or screenplay.

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10 Notorious Literary Slogs That Are Worth the Effort

10 Notorious Literary Slogs That Are Worth the Effort | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

[W]e’ve put together a list of notorious literary slogs — long, difficult, and/or complicated enough to scare even the strongest reader — that are definitely worth the effort. Read our list after the jump, and add on your own favorites in the comments!

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Five Common First-Chapter Mistakes

Five Common First-Chapter Mistakes | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Can you judge a book by the first 15 pages? Is it really fair to decide on the worth of an entire book based solely on the first chapter or two?

 

Well, fair or not, that's usually all readers will give us if we're published, and that's all agents and publishers will allow us if we're querying.

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Top 5 Goals for your Book or eBook Cover

Top 5 Goals for your Book or eBook Cover | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

After studying thousands of book covers over the years, the errors in communication become pretty obvious. These errors are always a failure to get across one or another of the important things we need to let readers know about the book.

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Writing Voodoo: Themes, Symbols and Metaphors

Writing Voodoo: Themes, Symbols and Metaphors | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

When we craft stories, essays or memoir, the "deeper" elements are the last thing on our minds. At least they should be. Concentrate on getting the story down, however rough around the edges. My opinion is that if you write the story deeply and honestly, the metaphors, themes, symbols (all that Voodoo subtext stuff!) will take care of themselves.

 

Why should writers even care about the "deep stuff?" Isn't a story with lots of action enough? Here are some reasons for attending to subtext at the proper time:

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The Inevitable Ending You Know Is Coming

The Inevitable Ending You Know Is Coming | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

As contradictory as this might sound, endings in novels need to seem inevitable without being predictable. When your reader finishes the book , she should feel that this was the only way it could have ended. Everything has led up to this finale, and it just plays out perfectly. This isn’t predictability. You don’t want readers thinking they knew exactly what was going to happen and are bored as they hurriedly flip through the last pages of the book.

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When is a Subplot Leading Your Astray?

When is a Subplot Leading Your Astray? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Subplots have a way of taking over some stories. They steal all the action, distract the protagonist, or in the worst cases, shine brighter than the actual plot. Good subplots enhance the story, support the theme, brighten what's already there. A bad subplot tries to smother it in its sleep with a pillow.

 

And the annoying part is, sometimes you just don't know which is which.

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How to Tell Your Story without Boring Your Audience to Tears

How to Tell Your Story without Boring Your Audience to Tears | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Have you ever listened to someone tell a story — over coffee, at church, or at a conference — and been absolutely bored to tears? Or worse: the story was interesting, but there doesn’t seem to be a point?

 

Join the club.

 

Maybe the meat of the story you heard was interesting, but for some reason you just couldn’t stay engaged. Or perhaps you heard an anecdote that completely blew you away, but when you tried to retell it, it didn’t have nearly the same impact. Why was that?

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Opening Your Imagination

Opening Your Imagination | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Generating ideas is easy, but generating the kinds of ideas that move YOU can be more of a challenge. Most of us have had at least one person tell us an idea and suggest we write it, but that never works because it’s their vision, not yours. So how do you find that idea that’s worth hours and hours of time and effort? Relax, look for it, and don’t let crazy and stupid be a deterrent.

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2 Ways Your Brain is Wired to Undermine Your Story – And What To Do About It

2 Ways Your Brain is Wired to Undermine Your Story – And What To Do About It | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

One of the things I love about advances in brain science is that scientists are finally proving so much of what writers have been saying about the human condition since long before the invention of, well, everything. After all, our territory as writers is – and always has been – what makes people tick. Writers were psychologists long before there was such a profession. And hey, as Jonah Lehrer so aptly pointed out, “Proust was a neuroscientist.”

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Creating Tension

Creating Tension | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

"The cat sat on the mat is not a story. The cat sat on the other cat's mat IS a story." (John le Carré)

 

I love that quote because it so perfectly explains the necessity of adding tension to a scene.

 

Tension matters BIG TIME. It helps with pacing and keeps readers interested in your story.

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Write Like It'll Never Be Read

Write Like It'll Never Be Read | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

When brainstorming ideas for my next writing project, I often catch myself thinking about publication. I'll knock down ideas before giving them a chance because I know they'll be difficult to publish. I ignore perfectly good story inspiration because the genre it would fall into has been overdone, or because I know how challenging it is to break into that particular sub-genre at this time.

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How Stephen King Writes Imagery

How Stephen King Writes Imagery | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The great Stephen King offered some simple advice for writers who want to improve their imagery: “see everything before you write it.”

 

It sounds simple, but his thoughtful essay at Wordplayer shows how deeply King imagines a scene before he writes it. Test yourself right now–can you picture the last scene you wrote? Here’s more from King:

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How Writing Evolves

As writers, we never really think too much about how our writing develops or progresses as we write, but it does.

 

Writing is an ever changing, continual fluid process; there is always something new to learn, there are better ways of approaching writing and there are always different ways to improve our skills.

 

But how does how our writing evolve? Do we notice it?

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Revision Tips From The Writing Community

Revision Tips From The Writing Community | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

I posed the following question to the LinkedIn group, Let's Talk About Writing, to my great NaNoReviMo group members and also to all of you who read this blog:

 

For those of you who are or have ever worked on an MS revision, what are one or two tips you found especially helpful?

 

And here are your collective answers:

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Episodic Storytelling Is A Problem

Episodic Storytelling Is A Problem | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The problem with episodic storytelling is that often the writer can’t really see the problem with it.

 

Stuff is happening to the main character, as it’s supposed to. Maybe even quite interesting stuff. Different scenes may not be directly connected, but they’re still happening to the same person, so it feels like there’s a connection.

 

But when you have a character who goes from one thing to another seemingly at random, what you end with is a character who has nothing better to do. It’s not very captivating when the story meanders and the main character doesn’t know what he’s doing.

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How to Generate Novel Story Ideas

How to Generate Novel Story Ideas | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

How does one generate new and exciting ideas for one’s stories? This perennial and important question has had many answers. Listed below, are some of them:

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Why Stories Should Never Begin At The Beginning

Look to the way we tell stories in person for critical tale-telling lessons we can use on the page. On the page we seem to have no audience: it’s us looking down the one-way street of a ghost town. But when you tell a story to a live human being, you can behold their body language, can see their eyes shifting and maybe looking for an exit, you can hear the questions they ask to prove their engagement and confirm their curiosity — you have a whole series of potential reflections that tell you whether or not your story (and more important, its telling) is effective. Powerful feedback, right there.

 

So –

 

Act like someone is there when you’re writing.

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Set the Scene

Whether you’re writing with abandon or carefully plotting each moment of your novel, setting is crucial to the unfolding action. Your characters can’t simply act out their drama in a white room. Here are some tips to upping the ante on setting.

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What Type of Edit Does Your Book Need?

What Type of Edit Does Your Book Need? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

I’ve noticed a lot of confusion lately about the types of edits your manuscript might need to go through before you send it out into the world. It’s understandable since often terms that aren’t interchangeable are used like synonyms.

 

So if you’ll forgive the geekery of this post, I want to help set things straight. If you don’t know what each type of edit should include, you won’t know what your book needs and you won’t know if what a specific editor offers will include what you need.

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Secrets Of Language Revealed!

Secrets Of Language Revealed! | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

If you’re not sure if it should be a semi-colon or an em-dash, is the adverb necessary, does the repetition work as emphasis or is it clumsy, chances are you’re over-thinking it.

 

I know what I want to say but I don't know how to say it, is another way of saying you don't really know what you're trying to say.

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