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The Funnily Enough
The whole world of writing in one place
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Hook with humor and 6 other first chapter hooks

Hook with humor and 6 other first chapter hooks | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

A first chapter has to hook you, and there's lots of different ways to do it. A Spy Like Me, by Laura Pauling, hooks with humor - it's the funniest first chapter I think I've ever read.


The first two pages hook with the setting and character. Saavy is an American teenager in Paris, on a date with a cute French waiter. He asks her to close her eyes as he sets her up for a surprise.

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Writing About Death And Crime Scenes With Garry Rodgers

Writing About Death And Crime Scenes With Garry Rodgers | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

We are fascinated with death, as evidenced by the huge number of bestselling books, TV shows and films that center around it. But as writers, it’s not necessarily something we know too much about. If you’re interested in writing about death or crime, you’ll learn a lot from my interview today.

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Appeal to the Senses—and Emotions

Appeal to the Senses—and Emotions | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Often, in my editing of fiction, I see dialogue on the page, but with no indication of where the characters are, what they’re doing, what they’re seeing or sensing, and how they’re feeling. In order for your story and characters to come to life, your reader needs to be able see what the viewpoint character is seeing, hear what he’s hearing, and smell, taste or feel along with him.

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How to Write Decision and Action Scenes

How to Write Decision and Action Scenes | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The Decision Scene in a story usually follows the Realisation Scene – the subject of last week’s post. The Action Scene, in turn, is most often preceded by the Decision Scene, forming a realisation-decision-action structure. Although this structure varies greatly in stories – other material might intervene – the scenes are causally connected.

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10 Bruce Lee Quotes That Can Improve Your Writing

10 Bruce Lee Quotes That Can Improve Your Writing | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

When you think of writing advice, it's probably not very likely that his is the first name to pop into your head. But when you read the ten chunks of wisdom that follow, that may change. Most of these quotes were originally about martial arts or life in general, but I think they have tremendous value for writers.

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Avoiding the Info Dump

Avoiding the Info Dump | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The character arc demands that a writer supply the character's motivation to the reader. One of the easiest, and most insidious ways to accomplish this is with ye olde info dump.

 

What is an info dump and how can you avoid it?

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When Less is More: Taking Away Elements to Fix a Problem Scene

When Less is More: Taking Away Elements to Fix a Problem Scene | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

A few weeks ago I talked about killing off characters, and that earned me this delightful tweet from @rlbelliston:


@Janice_Hardy Haha. I have a writing friend who, every time I get stuck on a scene, tells me to just kill someone off.

 

A funny off-the-cuff statement? Maybe, but there's truth in these words as well. Because sometimes looking at who you can get rid of is the perfect way to fix a scene that's not working.

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Why Writers Should Read-Chapter Lengths

Why Writers Should Read-Chapter Lengths | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

During the last two week challenge, I read Brandt Dodson's book, The Root of All Evil. A fabulous, fast pace whodunit. Before I reached the middle of the book, I knew what topic I would present in today's post: Chapter Lengths.

 

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Mistakes That Inspire

Mistakes That Inspire | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Take it or not, there is no way we can do without mistakes. This is because we are made of flesh and bones, the trademark of mortals. Most of us have made one mistake or the other in the past that we paid very dearly. We also learn one thing or the other from such mistake. The fact is that mistakes have their costs. There is no way we will not pay for a mistake no matter how insignificant the cost seems. The question that comes to mind goes thus; is mistake unfriendly at all times? Is it possible for something good to result from mistakes?

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Writing A Bottle Scene

Writing A Bottle Scene | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

There are times in a story when not much is going on. Your character is isolated or apart from everyone else, away from activity or the main plot.

 

One of the best ways to see how to make the most of a limited situation is to take a look at what TV shows call a ‘bottle episode’.

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Polishing Your Prose - Part 2

With the usual faults of clichés, grammar, POV and sentence structure etc all corrected through judicious editing - the prose polishing process should then take on a deeper narrative cleanse to tidy the things that are not so obvious to writers, the things that we don’t always look out for.

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Mapping Your Manuscript

Mapping Your Manuscript | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

When you've written your manuscript, you're still not done. Even though you may have written "The End" on the final page, it's not. At this point, you have to edit and rewrite. This needs to be done before you send it to an editor to work on.

 

While you're waiting on the editor to do her magic on your book, you can map your manuscript.

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Lee Child Debunks the Biggest Writing Myths

Like his famous protagonist, Jack Reacher, Lee Child is a bit of a rogue badass—especially when it comes to his thoughts on writing, and debunking popular writing rules.

 

In his ThrillerFest session “Tell, Don’t Show: Why Writing Rules are Mostly Wrong,” Child battled a few of the biggest writing myths out there, and explained what really keeps a reader reading until The End.

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Six Tips to Editing your Fiction

Six Tips to Editing your Fiction | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The editing process can be tedious at times. For me, this is a love/hate relationship. I sometimes despise it and sometimes I enjoy it. Here are some wonderful tips (reminders) when you're editing your work.

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How To Write Killer Flashbacks in 3 Steps

Flashbacks are a perfect way to establish back story or wrangle with some key emotional issue. How to achieve that is easy. It takes only three simple steps.

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Choosing The Right Words Is One Key To Good Writing

Choosing The Right Words Is One Key To Good Writing | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

At First, Just Write


When the muse is striking, or even if it’s just sitting on your shoulder yawning, just write. Go with the flow and don’t pay much attention to what your hands are doing. Gather momentum and go. Let your mind be a baby and wander where it will.

 

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Two Sides To Every Story. At Least.

Two Sides To Every Story. At Least. | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Tension is a key element of drama. Tension is a question. It’s an outcome you want to know. It’s anticipation. Tension comes in different sizes and shapes.

 

“There’s a bomb on the bus!” is a different kind of tension to “Are you waiting for someone?”

 

The big, explosive stuff (physical or emotional) takes care of itself. You may need to manage it, but tension will be present. My daughter’s been kidnapped! — very hard to underplay.

 

This post will be about working tension into smaller, more intimate scenes.

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Top 10 Books for Writers You Need to Read Now

Top 10 Books for Writers You Need to Read Now | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

This strikes me as the perfect time to make a list of my favorite top 10 books for writers. Books I believe, no aspiring writer should be without.

 

Ideally, read these when you haven’t really decided what sort of writer you’d like to be. Heck, you are not even sure if you want to become one, or you even can. (Skip to inspiration or memoirs section, my friend. Start with that one.)

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How to Use Sound to Make Your Novel Stand Out In A Sea of Noise

How to Use Sound to Make Your Novel Stand Out In A Sea of Noise | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

If you’re limiting yourself to just naming a sound, you’re missing out on the richness that the sense of sound could bring to your fiction. You’re speaking to your reader in a monotone.

 

Next to sight, sound is the most commonly used sense in fiction, but three techniques can help you change the sounds you use from plain background noise into something that adds new depth to your stories.

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How to Write Better Fiction

How to Write Better Fiction | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

You know that feeling you get when you read a novel and become completely lost in it? You can’t put it down, so you lose track of time. When you finally finish, you wish it would just keep going.

 

Isn’t that the kind of novel you want to write?

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Plotting Act 2: Defeat the Sagging Middle!

Plotting Act 2: Defeat the Sagging Middle! | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

I am plotting Act 2, and the terror of the empty page is hitting, take two.


So, I’m going back to some previous posts about plotting to see what they will tell me about plot, especially the middle of this novel.

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How to Format a Synopsis

I’ve been asked more than once to lay out the setup for a synopsis. Since the synopsis is so important for fiction writers, I will do just that. Before we get to the format specifics, however, let’s look at the purpose of a synopsis. And let me point out that there are very different recommendations regarding the style and purposes of a synopsis, differences so striking that the two camps might as well be discussing different pieces of writing.

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Are First Drafts Always Awful?

Are First Drafts Always Awful? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

So a couple weeks ago I wrote this post on why writers need to act like professionals and how to do so, and part of the list mentioned editing until you’ve ripped your first draft apart and made it unrecognizable. Because of that, one of you fabulous commenters asked a question that really got me thinking, namely, whether or not most writers really look at their first drafts as something so rough that it requires complete draft-altering surgery.

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