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The Funnily Enough
The whole world of writing in one place
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Power Positions

Her point: endings are powerful. They are the power position. All endings.

 

Sentence level. The last word is a powerful word. Don’t end on a word or phrase that doesn’t matter.

 

Paragraph level. The last sentence is a powerful sentence. Make it fierce.

 

Scene level. The last paragraph in a scene is a powerful paragraph. End strong, and with as much energy pointed to the next scene as possible.

 

Story level. The ending. Stick it. Make it blow your readers’ minds. Don’t stop writing and revising until it does.

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Transform Information Dumps into Dialogue

Transform Information Dumps into Dialogue | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The dreaded information dump. You know it. The chapter’s staring off and there’s all this information you simply must give to your reader. Like back story or technical details. Yet a dense paragraph packed with explanations is not the best way.

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A Tip to Make a Good Story Great

A Tip to Make a Good Story Great | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

What’s the clue to writing a story or novel that wins a top award or catches an agent’s eye? It can be revealed in a word - structure.

 

Of course, there’s more to a story than structure. But a story that’s otherwise excellent, but lacks an emphatic form, will fail in the marketplace.

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Give Characters Interesting Anecdotes

Give Characters Interesting Anecdotes | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

If you want readers to know about your character’s past, put it in the form of an anecdote.

 

Don’t just tell them her parents split up when she was nine, have her remember how they bought her a talking doll before telling her the cat had been run over, a princess outfit before telling her Nana had cancer, and a bike before telling her they were getting a divorce. And now, every time someone gives her a present, she feels like running screaming from the room.

 

Fact and figures, names and dates don’t mean anything to readers.

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He Thought, She Thought: Tricks to Interior Monologue

The debate between a first-person and third-person narrator can get heated. The key advantage to first-person is the total and complete access to the protagonist’s thoughts. But say you opt for third person, that doesn’t mean you can’t delve into your character’s mind.

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3 Tips for Writing Heavy Emotional Scenes

3 Tips for Writing Heavy Emotional Scenes | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Some writers struggle with heavy scenes. They’re uncomfortable with “invading” the privacy of their characters. They worry about creating laughably cheesy scenes. Or they think a scene that’s essential to the emotional journey is unnecessary because the reader already knows what will happen.

 

However, those aren’t good reasons for avoiding writing certain scenes. Sure, we might struggle to write about deep emotions, but struggle is good. Often the hardest things to write are scenes that require us to dig for an emotional truth. That truth will resonate with readers, and that scene might end up as their favorite.

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5 Things Mad Men Can Teach You About Publishing

5 Things Mad Men Can Teach You About Publishing | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Mad Men, in case you’ve been living under a rock, is a show about ad executives in the 1960s, and has been immensely popular since the first season. Here are some things Mad Men can teach you about the world of writing and publishing.

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The First Line: 4 Tips to Writing an Opener that Keeps Readers Reading!

The First Line: 4 Tips to Writing an Opener that Keeps Readers Reading! | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The first line of your book is unquestionably the most important one you will write.

 

Readers of today are constantly inundated with information, to the point that it takes a great deal of interest for them to want to know more about any given topic. Add to that an almost complete devaluing of information due to the fact that it is so immediately accessible at any place in the world. So what can you do about it?

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The Real Reason Writers Need To Read

The Real Reason Writers Need To Read | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

There’s a specific skill you gain from reading widely — not just the stuff you like — that is an essential tool to becoming a better writer.

 

Critiquers, beta readers, editors, they read your WIP and offer you advice and opinion and maybe even suggest solutions. But how do you know if they’re right?

 

And what about when different people offer you conflicting advice? Who’s right then?

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Joyce's comment, June 25, 2012 9:42 PM
I learn a lot about writing by reading. I agree. It's mandatory for anyone who wants to be a writer.

http://joycelansky.blogspot.com
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A List to Focus on While Line Editing

A List to Focus on While Line Editing | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Editing line-by-line is difficult because there are so many issues a writer needs to focus on. It feels like juggling. To help, I made a list of all the things I need to pay attention to as I do my edits. Maybe it could help you too when you get to editing your work.

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11 REASONS WRITERS GET REJECTED—AND WHY ONLY 3 OF THEM MATTER

11 REASONS WRITERS GET REJECTED—AND WHY ONLY 3 OF THEM MATTER | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Let’s be clear: Manuscripts get rejected; not writers. Trust me. (Most of the time) it’s not personal. Let me count the ways.

 

1. THE BASICS: The reasons for rejection start with the basics, i.e. the ms. sucks. Author can't format/spell/doesn’t know grammar, is clueless about characterization, plotting and pacing.

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Let’s Bounce A Few Ideas Off Each Other

Let’s Bounce A Few Ideas Off Each Other | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

In brainstorming, of course, you are supposed to reserve judgment and welcome all ideas with the aim of producing a long list (or, often, a large number of sticky-notes) of ideas. Later, these ideas are reviewed critically in order to identify which ones to go further with. But criticism is forbidden until then.

 

However, in my experience as an artist and writer, when highly creative people want ideas for a project, they usually take a very different approach. They bounce ideas off each other with the aim of formulating a creative project (such as a script or a song) or contributing to a project that is in progress.

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Don't Cheat the Reader

Don't Cheat the Reader | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

I am constantly tempted to skip over heavy, emotional scenes. I want to shield my characters from prying eyes. I don’t want people to see them standing at their fathers’ graves with red, puffy eyes and snot dripping from their noses. Even worse? Watching and listening in while they smooch and call each other silly pet names. They wouldn't do that if they knew people were watching. I feel a little rude, spying on them with my hidden camera.

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How to Use Subtext in Your Writing

How to Use Subtext in Your Writing | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

I recently read a book by Charles Baxter called The Art of Subtext — Beyond Plot. Subtext is what is not said, not told but implied.

 

Plot is a twist­ing bridge over a chasm, says Baxter, a chasm that, in my mind, con­tains the haunt­ings, the past, the sub­ter­ranean, the things peo­ple either can­not or will not say, things that we are only par­tially aware of.

 

To use sub­text, all you have to do is explore that chasm.

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A Freelance Editor Talks About Authors’ “Habits” & Predictable Writing

A Freelance Editor Talks About Authors’ “Habits” & Predictable Writing | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

When Jordan approached me about a guest post, I decided to write about the patterns I’ve noticed in my clients’—and other authors’—work. These aren’t errors, but habitual things writers do that make their writing predictable. Most of my clients are surprised when I point them out, so it’s become clear these things happen unconsciously.

 

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Unusual Inspiration: Character Arcs Made Easy

Unusual Inspiration: Character Arcs Made Easy | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

I am a plot-driven writer. The plot arrives first in my head, then I look for people who will survive and grow in that world.

 

My #1 concern? My characters MUST connect with my readers. To have the “best book ever” experience, your reader must believe in, root for, identify with, and, maybe even, cry or fall in love with your protagonist.

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If You Only Learn From Writers, You’re Doing It Wrong

If You Only Learn From Writers, You’re Doing It Wrong | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

When Ernest Hemingway was asked who his “literary forebears” were – who were the people he had learned the most from? – he answered with a long list of names that included not just writers but painters and composers too.

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I Have a Message for Ms. Reader: Are You Telegraphing Your Plot?

I Have a Message for Ms. Reader: Are You Telegraphing Your Plot? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

While foreshadowing is good and can heighten tension and make the reader eager to know what will happen, telegraphing steals all the tension and takes the mystery out of those hints. It shines a light on the things you're actually trying to be subtle about.

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Before you type THE END: Creating emotional resonance in your final scenes

Before you type THE END: Creating emotional resonance in your final scenes | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

You enjoyed the book. You really did. The author’s voice was strong; the opening scene hooked you; the characters beckoned you in; the plot kept you turning pages.

 

Then you reached the ending.

 

Anti-climactic would sum it up. There was simply nothing… memorable about it. The author tied up the plot threads neatly, sure, but it was done with a businesslike air that left you cold. Story’s over; thanks for your company; now back to real life with you, and better be quick about it – the kids are whining and you haven’t started dinner yet.

 

Yeah, you might think about those characters once or twice over the days ahead, but is this a story you’re going to rave about to your friends?

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When Something’s Not Quite Right With a Scene

When Something’s Not Quite Right With a Scene | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

reasons why a scene doesn’t work:

 

Too long
Repetitive
Doesn’t advance the plot
Doesn’t offer character insight
Sentence structure needs switching up
Large blocks of text need breaking up
POV issues
Boring—slow pacing
Not enough dialogue
Too many characters in the scene
Lack of conflict
Confusing (check dialogue character tags. Reintroduce characters who have been offstage a while)
Scene has no goal

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End of Act I: 5 Functions Determine Plot

End of Act I: 5 Functions Determine Plot | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

In traditional jargon, Act 1 ends with a plot point that pushes the protagonist irretrievably into committing to the action of the story. The problem with writing is that the Plot Point at the end of Act 1 could be anything. At least at the beginning of the writing process.

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What Is Art? Favorite Famous Definitions, from Antiquity to Today

What Is Art? Favorite Famous Definitions, from Antiquity to Today | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

After the recent omnibus of definitions of science by some of history’s greatest minds and definitions of philosophy by some of today’s most prominent philosophers, why not turn to an arguably even more nebulous domain of humanity? Gathered here are some of my favorite definitions of art, from antiquity to today.

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8 THINGS YOU CAN LEARN FROM A WRITER WHO SOLD 222 MILLION BOOKS

8 THINGS YOU CAN LEARN FROM A WRITER WHO SOLD 222 MILLION BOOKS | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

He drew floppy buildings and machines like the Audio-Telly-O-Tally-O-Count and sometimes wrote in amphibrachic tetrameter. His name was Theodor Geisel.You probably know him better as Doctor Seuss.

 

What can we learn about writing from a man who sold 200 million books?

 

A lot.

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