The Funnily Enough
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The Funnily Enough
The whole world of writing in one place
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Setting Up Shop Part 4: A Writer’s Computer

Setting Up Shop Part 4: A Writer’s Computer | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

I began my Setting Up Shop Series about two years ago. Somewhere along the way, I got busy with other topics and completely forgot about it.

 

I’ve decided that before this year ends, I will finally complete the series. So I’ve designated this November as my Setting Up Shop, where I’ll feature tools important to writers, and other gadgets which might be completely unnecessary, but which I think are cool.

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We Need a Montage!* Showing a Character Learning Without Being Boring

We Need a Montage!* Showing a Character Learning Without Being Boring | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

In the beginning of my book the main character is given powers, and by the midpoint she has to be relatively competent (but no expert) in using them. How do I have her training and learning to use her powers (while discovering the setting of the book, the other characters, etc) without it being super boring?

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Writing a Synopsis

Writing a Synopsis | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

In my research on how to write a synopsis, I came across very useful articles. Here's what I've learned from each. Please visit each article (by clicking on the title) for more detailed information.

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Character Emotion: Is It Written All Over Their Face?

Character Emotion: Is It Written All Over Their Face? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

We connect to a person’s gaze, paying attention to how their eyes widen, squint, focus inward or dart. We also watch their mouth, noting lip presses, teeth flashes, frowns, smiles and pursed lips. Eyebrow lifts, the forehead crinkling and relaxing…each facial micro movement is a message, a clue to what the person is thinking and feeling.

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How to Write Dialogue Unique to Your Characters

How to Write Dialogue Unique to Your Characters | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Do all your characters sound like you? Or an idealized version of you?

 

Do they all sound like each other?

 

Would you recognize if they did?

 

Try this – Could you delete a character and give their lines to someone else without a problem? Could you swap the dialogue of two characters in a scene without it changing anything significant about the characters?

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Criminal Behavior in Writing

Criminal Behavior in Writing | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Criminals degenerate in behavior, and this is displayed by three basic traits that signify the criminal personality:

 

1) Weakness - emotional and/or physical which lacks discipline.

2) Immaturity - childish egocentrism

3) Self-deception - a severely narcissistic personality with a distorted sense of personal reality

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Scene Writing: Using Camera Angles

Scene Writing: Using Camera Angles | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Cinematic scene writing in fiction relies on camera angles to manage the reader. The writer is directing the reader's attention at all times: Remember this, pay attention to that, this is important. Using camera angles will improve your scene writing techniques in many ways. Here are three:

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After “The End” – The Epilogue

After “The End” – The Epilogue | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Everyone debates the prologue, but hardly anyone discusses its little sister, the epilogue. After all, no one decides whether to buy or keep reading a book based on the merits of its epilogue.

 

But don’t let the lack of writerly angst surrounding the epilogue fool you. The conclusion of your book contains the last taste you will leave in the mouth of your reader. Think about the flavors of your book. Which one do you want to linger on the reader’s tongue when the cover is finally closed?

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Using Flashbacks in Writing

The reason that flashbacks have a bad rep is that they’re often overused or used without much skill. That’s why so many people have been recommending that writers avoid them: because we’re sick of seeing this technique butchered.

 

But a well-written flashback at the appropriate time in a manuscript can tactfully weave in backstory to flesh out the present moment without bogging you down in an info-dump and stalling action.

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Balancing the Scenes that Make Up Your Novel

Balancing the Scenes that Make Up Your Novel | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

As a fiction author, you will often feel like an acrobat spinning plates while standing on your head and juggling fiery chainsaws. There are so many components to keep track of, lest you end up down the Bunny Trail of No Return. Organization is key when it comes to being a successful novelist.

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Eight Formatting Tips And Tricks

Eight Formatting Tips And Tricks | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Imagine watching a great TV show, and at the most dramatic, perfect moment of the lead character’s heart-wrenching soliloquy, the boom mic dangles, just barely, into the corner of the frame. No matter how good the show has been up to this point, the spell is broken—you’re painfully wrenched from the tale, immediately aware that you are not IN a story, only WATCHING a story. Bad formatting can do exactly this to your fiction.

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Writing Better Descriptions

I hate writing descriptions because I find them to be boring. When I'm reading books, if a description takes longer than two sentences, no matter how hard I try to concentrate, my eyes always glaze over.

 

Because of this, all my first drafts lack description. I write about the characters without taking the time to describe their appearances or the rooms they are in and fill in the details during revisions.

 

It took me a long time to learn that descriptions take hard work and talent to write well. Here are some tips to make your descriptions better:

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Who is That Guy? Discovering Your Characters

Who is That Guy? Discovering Your Characters | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

For a lot of writers, character is what comes first, both in the idea stage, and the story stage. A story idea is born from the glimmer of a character.

 

A girl who can fly.
A boy who lost his parents in a war.
A man who is obsessed with the color blue.

 

Something about that vague person sparks interest and we spin an entire novel (or series) from that. But after that initial spark, how do you fan it into a flame? Or harder still, how do you know who else to add to the fire?

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The Plot Fixer #8 – Is Your Plot Too Predictible?

Sometimes, I read a manuscript and think, I’ve read this before.

 

I can almost predict the next line of dialogue. There is nothing on the page to surprise and delight me.

 

This a tricky situation, because editors say they want new, fresh voices, but they tend to buy familiar stories. The trick is, to tell a familiar story (Cinderella, for example) in a fresh way, giving it some fresh twists. Otherwise it comes off as stale and predictable. Editors want to be able to put something “marketable” on the cover, but they don’t want readers bored into a coma.

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25 Motivational Thoughts For Writers

25 Motivational Thoughts For Writers | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

With NaNoWriMo about to storm surge the writer (and wannabe-writer) community, this seems a good time to both tickle your pink parts and jam my boot up your boothole in terms of getting your penmonkey asses motivated. So, here goes — 25 motivational thoughts for writers, starting in 3… 2… 1…

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The Best Way to Get a Story to Spread: Give It Away

The Best Way to Get a Story to Spread: Give It Away | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

According to the Heath Brothers, the reason some stories stick and others don’t is because they contain certain key elements: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotional appeal, and a compelling narrative. If a story has these, it is far more likely to spread — even if it’s not true.

 

So what do you do if you have a story that is true or a message people need to hear… but nobody cares?

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Timing your book’s launch date for maximum impact

Timing your book’s launch date for maximum impact | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Strategic timing of yourbook’s publication date can give it a jet-propelled boost and have a major impact on its long-term success.

 

Commercial publishers and booksellers have known this forever.

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Why First Chapters?

Why First Chapters? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

This post is more a question than the usual rambling on about the craft of writing I usually inflict on you.

 

The question is this: When you send out stuff to agents, why do they insist on getting the opening chapters?

 

Is there something especially telling in those chapters? And if so, what?

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8 Things to Give Up for NaNoWriMo

8 Things to Give Up for NaNoWriMo | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

50,000 words in one month. Sounds crazy. Ready to give up? Great! Me too. I'll give up lots, just so long as I don't have to give up writing my novel. It's all about the words and we know getting words on the page can often be all about finding the time to write. What are you prepared to sacrifice?

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The Thinking Mindset vs. The Doing Mindset: Pick One (And Only One)

The Thinking Mindset vs. The Doing Mindset: Pick One (And Only One) | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

You'll find that some days, the ideas come fast and furious. The days when you just want to sit at your desk, stare up at the sky and just let your mind wander.

 

Other days, though, you really want to get moving. You're antsy and you can't really focus on any one thought. Instead, you are most efficient if you are getting things done.

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Three Things Silent Movies Can Teach us About Storytelling

Three Things Silent Movies Can Teach us About Storytelling | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The hubby and I have been on a silent movie kick lately. It's been interesting to watch movies that are 90 to 100 years old, and even more interesting to see how storytelling hasn't changed much. What worked back in 1920 still works today.

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Setting the Scene: Openings that Orient

Setting the Scene: Openings that Orient | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Telling details. The story opens in a certain location and the writer must choose the right details to evoke the story’s setting. By setting, I mean the historical time period, the time of year (season or exact day), physical location and details of that setting, whether indoor or outdoors. And yet, that setting must be in the background of the scene, allowing the characters to come to life in context, but without the setting intruding on the action and slowing down the opening. It’s a tricky balance.

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The Subconscious Storyteller

The Subconscious Storyteller | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

This is the ideal: blank page, close eyes, start writing.

 

Sometimes that actually works. Stuff just comes out of somewhere and you know what needs to happen next. Sometimes.

 

Most times it’s a struggle.

 

But if we have a part of us that can create the stories we want to tell and can come up with brilliant ideas out of nowhere, why doesn’t the subconscious just produce the goods when we need it to?

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On Vincent van Gogh and Writing

On Vincent van Gogh and Writing | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

After visiting the Denver Art Museum's Vincent van Gogh exhibit last Saturday, I became convinced that, if he had enjoyed words as much as drawing/painting, the man could have had just as much success as a writer. Why? One word: dedication.

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Susan Sontag on the Creative Purpose of Boredom

Susan Sontag on the Creative Purpose of Boredom | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Artist Maira Kalman believes that it’s very important not to be bored for too long. And yet the history of boredom shows that boredom has an essential function in the history of art.

 

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