The Funnily Enough
48.0K views | +4 today
Follow
The Funnily Enough
The whole world of writing in one place
Curated by mooderino
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

How to Write Every Day--The Benefits of Even Fifteen Minutes a Day on Your Writing and Why Nanowrimo Is So Popular

How to Write Every Day--The Benefits of Even Fifteen Minutes a Day on Your Writing and Why Nanowrimo Is So Popular | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

One of my biggest challenges as a writing teacher is to get writers to try this. To write a little on their books every single day, even if it's fifteen minutes. Every day writing creates momentum, turns on the inner faucet to more ideas. You can use Nanowrimo or an accountability calendar like Jerry Seinfeld used to--he liked to put a big red X on every day he wrote. After a while, the accumulation of big red X's makes it hard to skip a day,

 

What keeps you going on your writing? We all know it's much more work not to write.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

Getting the readers emotionally involved

Getting the readers emotionally involved | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The theory is that the faster a reader’s emotions are invested in both the main character and the story, the more tuned in they will be, the more eager they will be to turn the pages and know what is happening to the main character and the story.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

The Key to a Good Story

The Key to a Good Story | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

In order for a story to exist—or at least be worth reading—it must contain conflict. A story without conflict is like food without flavor—it's bland, boring, and hardly enjoyable to consume.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

The Biggest Problem Facing the Beginning Novelist—And 6 Tips for Avoiding It

To write a successful novel, you need a plot. Just the one. Each scene needs its own story arc, but we also need one over-arching plot to compel us from scene to scene.

So how do we do that?

 

Here are a few things I've learned that helped me kick the episodic storytelling habit:

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

Fictional Politicians: 8 Things They Teach Us About Characterization

Fictional Politicians: 8 Things They Teach Us About Characterization | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Have you ever wondered: What is it about politicians that makes them proliferate like bunnies in the pages of books and on nightly TV shows? Why doesn’t our collective interest in fictional politicians abate?

 

Learning why politicians work in popular narratives can help you understand a bigger and more pressing question: How can I write characters who are more compelling and more memorable?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

Story Questions Worth Pursuing

Story Questions Worth Pursuing | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

It’s easy to make it seem like there’s something amazing around the next corner. It’s much harder to actually have something amazing waiting there.

 

So how do you make it clear that the journey will be worthwhile, and at the same time not reveal too much and ruin the surprise?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

Exposition and Incluing

Exposition and Incluing | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The trimming and tweaking of exposition is an important part of manuscript revision, and there are as many different ways to do it, as there are to write it. Every writer and writing coach has his own opinion and methods, and even the definitions of what exposition and description are can differ, sometimes greatly. I’m not going to attempt to teach you guys anything about them, since I’m still learning myself, but I can talk about what I am doing and how I see things, in the hope that it might ring some bells.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

Nail Your Pacing by Manipulating Time

I never understood pacing until I had to teach it to students. For me it was always something I recognized in its absence. When the pacing is bad on a novel, it puts you to sleep. But how to define it?

 

Time manipulation. Specifically collapsing time and blowing it up. For an amazing example, check out “How to Eat a Guava” by Esmeralda Santiago. This really shows how time can be expanded to fill pages, but only second transpire in real time.

 

The best way to explain pacing is to think of the events of a day taped along the length of a slinky.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

"When" Are You Telling? The Trouble with When Statements

"When" Are You Telling? The Trouble with When Statements | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

One of the more obvious forms of telling is the when statement. These phrases slip into the prose because the author knows what happens and describes the scene with that knowledge. If they convey too much in the wrong sequence, it sucks all the show out of it.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

Kick starting your story

I’ve put together a basic outlining technique that might help get things started—a simple list of questions to kick start a book. Answering them can give writers direction and focus, and help keep them going when the wheels sometimes come off the cart along the way. Here goes:

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

17 Things Self-Publishers Need to Know about Book Design

17 Things Self-Publishers Need to Know about Book Design | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Most self-publishers are concerned with book design for a few months during the production of their book. Book design is a specialty within the field of graphic design, in the same way that packaging design, or the design of signs are specialties.

 

What this means is that there are a lot of conventions, a vocabulary and a set of practices and assumptions that underlie most professional book design.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

Endings that Ruin Your Novel

Endings that Ruin Your Novel | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Have you ever read a great book that carries you all the way to the end, and then the ending is so disappointing you feel cheated? I’ve felt that way many times, and usually it’s because the ending doesn’t fit the theme and story, or the characters behave so contrary to the way they been portrayed that I just don’t believe it. On some occasions the author has been promising certain things, building up my anticipation, but when the moment comes, she breaks her promise and the ending falls flat.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

Win By Telling Great Stories With Peter Guber

Peter Guber has written a masterful additional to the storytelling library shelf with his book, Tell To Win. In the course of showing you how to research, use, prepare, share, borrow, set, mine, and kill with a story, Guber tells a hundred wonderful stories himself, about his career in the movie business, and about many other celebrities along the way.

 

Beyond beginning, middle, and end, what are Guber’s insights? Here are some of his takeaways:

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

The Fight Scene

The first rule of fight scenes is you do not talk about fight scenes. No, wait, that’s fight club. Fight scenes, you have to talk about. If you have a fight scene in your novel, then you won’t want to just skim over it. There has to be a reason for it, so the reader should be able to experience it fully—be in the moment, feeling all the rage, heart pounding, and blood spattering that your characters are experiencing. Of course, there are two kinds of fight scenes, and I actually have both in my WIP. One is your average teenage boy scuffle (cliché? Perhaps. Bear with me) and the other is a heated argument between lovers.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

How To Get Out Of A Funk

How To Get Out Of A Funk | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

At various times in life, I’ve found myself in a state I can only describe as a funk—not depressed, not sad, but listless, purposeless, unable to motivate myself and caring about very little. Words like “flat,” “empty,” and “disconnected” also come to mind. It’s not a particularly pleasant state, but it is often surprising: it usually occurs immediately after I’ve accomplished a goal.

 

You’d think that would be when I’d feel the most positive and the most self-actualized—and it is. But it’s also when I feel the most exhausted and in need of a break. And feeling that way—looking into the future with little else in mind but rest—somehow also seems to dampen my spirit.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

Characters We Love to Write (And Read!)

We don't fall in love with plots. We don't even fall in love with concepts. Our brains are hardwired to relate to people, so for most readers, it's really all about the characters. After all, we're asking them to live with those characters for a minimum five or six hours, possibly a lot more. Ideally, we'd all love to write characters that will stay with readers forever, wouldn't we? (I know, I know. Ambitious much? Or maybe deluded is a better word. Still, a girl can dream. :D)

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

Shorter Novels in the Digital Age?

Shorter Novels in the Digital Age? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The key to discoverability, at this point, seems to be either writing a blockbuster of a book (which we’d all clearly be doing, if it were such an easy endeavor), or owning a lot of real estate on Amazon. In other words, having a lot of books available for sale at Amazon.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

Is Your Dialog Doing Double Duty?

Good dialogue can carry a weak plot, can make up for weak description, and can even make the reader forget to look for plot holes. Great dialogue won’t cure a bad story—but the reader’s going to forgive you pretty much every flaw. That’s because great dialogue makes the characters come alive. If you want to learn one thing that will help your writing, learn how to write (and revise until it’s wonderful) your dialogue.

 

So…what do you need to learn?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

Be Inspired By This Intimate Look At Ian Rankin’s Writing Process

Be Inspired By This Intimate Look At Ian Rankin’s Writing Process | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Even Successful Authors Struggle, Same As You

 

[E]ven one as successful as Ian Rankin. His best-selling books, particularly those featuring infamous detective John Rebus, have made Rankin a multi-millionaire. Yet, he doesn’t look it, and doesn’t act like it, and no matter how much money he makes, the process remains the same. Creating a novel is always a struggle, we all get “the fear” and worry that our work isn’t good enough, even someone like Rankin who has been writing a novel a year for over twenty years.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

Three Common Dialogue Challenges and How to Beat Them

Three Common Dialogue Challenges and How to Beat Them | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

What do we do about a character who speaks in a dialect? In historical fiction, how do we manage to keep our dialogue true to the time period without allowing it to sound stilted? Should we use contractions in science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

Getting Stuck and Working Through It

Getting Stuck and Working Through It | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Last week I was working on my current project. I felt good about it. I was definitely in the writing zone and everything was going well.

 

Then I got to page eighty and I stopped cold. Something wasn’t right with the book’s pace. I was advancing plot points too quickly and wasn’t nearly far enough along in the book for the second body to be discovered….but it had been.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

The Moral Premise

The Moral Premise | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

What is a story really about? By this, I don’t mean the causal chain of events that comprise the outer journey. I mean the inner core that projects these outer events and motivates the inner journey. One way to understand the essence of a story is to determine its moral premise or as I sometimes prefer to refer to it as: the pilot premise. This is the deepest layer of the story, without which, the tale is rendered rudderless.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by mooderino
Scoop.it!

Stealing Good Ideas Is Okay

Stealing Good Ideas Is Okay | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

While there’s nothing new under the sun, something’s are blatant rip-offs. And although it's perfectly possible to successfully repeat an established character or familiar story concept, those successes are fairly rare (not that it stops people trying).

 

The problem is most people steal the wrong bit of a story. The superficial, obvious stuff isn’t what makes a story work, it’s just the easiest to copy.

more...
No comment yet.