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The Funnily Enough
The whole world of writing in one place
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Poking Dead Scenes With A Stick, Part One

Poking Dead Scenes With A Stick, Part One | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Revisions aren't for weaklings. They're hard, they take commitment, and sometimes you have to make the tough call. One such call is deciding the fate of a scene that isn't pulling its weight. It's not advancing the plot or story, and you know there's a problem with it. Do you cut it or try to save it? Today, let's look at those scenes that gotta go.

 

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Self-Editing - Seek & Destroy Word List #1

Self-Editing - Seek & Destroy Word List #1 | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The following words can often be deleted with little or no change to the surrounding material. Observe:

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Join the fun of 2012's A to Z Blogging Challenge!

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More Subplots

When you write a subplot, here are some other things to think about:

 

Beware the Secondary Character Takeover.

 

Reserve the Highest Stakes for Main Problem.

 

Don't Be Afraid to Experiment.

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The 5 Essential Story Ingredients

Imagine that I’m telling you about my day and I say, “I woke up. I ate breakfast. I left for work.”

 

Is that a story? After all, it has a protagonist who makes choices that lead to a natural progression of events, it contains three acts and it has a beginning, a middle and an end—and that’s what makes something a story, right?

 

Well, actually, no.

 

It’s not.

 

So then, what is a story?.

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The Joy of Books

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Coincidence in Writing

Coincidence in Writing | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Coincidence. It happens all the time, and never more than in stories. Many narratives depend on coincidence, but is it a good or bad device? Like most tools, if used well it can make a story move neatly towards the conclusion, but if abused it reeks of lazy writing.

 

A lot of mysteries and thrillers will include coincidence as a way of bringing a crime to light (but not usually to reveal the culprit). Steven King masterfully winds coincidence into his horror stories to give them a dark fateful theme. So how should you use coincidence?

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Dealing with Subplots

In novels, uncovering the layers of problems, conflicts and resolutions is part of the fun. Readers expect more than a simple plot, even in genres.


Writing Tip for Today: Here are some things to consider in working with subplots:

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We Have a History: Making Backstory Work for You

We Have a History: Making Backstory Work for You | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Along with adverbs and telling, I think backstory completes the unholy trinity of writing. So much so that agent and writing guru Donald Maass advises you cut any backstory in the first 50 pages. But backstory has its uses, and sometimes, it's critical to know that history.

 

Even if it's not critical for the reader to know it.

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Little Things: Focus on Details to Bring Your Writing to Life

Little Things: Focus on Details to Bring Your Writing to Life | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

God is in the details, or so they say. The more I read, the more I find this to be especially true in writing. If you want to write a convincing, engaging story that lives and breathes, then make the details count. They may only be little things, but they make a huge difference.

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Grand finales: Tips for writing great endings

Grand finales: Tips for writing great endings | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Writing a great ending for your book is just as important as a dynamite opening that rivets our attention and compels us to keep turning those pages.

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Inside A Story Part 2: The Hunger Games

Inside A Story Part 2: The Hunger Games | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

In part one of this post I discussed various techniques to keep each moment of a story interesting in and of itself. In particular, how a story is made up of a bunch of much smaller stories that keep the reader engaged as the bigger story is slowly rolled out. In today’s post I will use the first chapter of The Hunger Games to demonstrate what I mean (I get so many search hits for HG based on the one post I did mentioning it, that I thought I might as well give those people another article to read). There will be spoilers.

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Writer Unboxed » Warm vs. Cool

Writer Unboxed » Warm vs. Cool | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Here’s a question for you: Who’s the superior writer, Jane Austen or Ernest Hemingway? If you answered Jane Austen then you probably write more emotionally, embracing exposition and characters’ interior lives. If you answered Ernest Hemingway then you may believe that emotions on the page are cheap, gooey and artless. For you, showing rather than telling is not just good advice but an iron law.

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12 Steps For Fostering Your Creativity

12 Steps For Fostering Your Creativity | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Are we ready, then? Grab a notebook and a pen or open up a fresh word processor document, and let's dive right in to this weekend's Mynx Writes Workshop. Let's play!

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Improvising Is More Than Making Things Up As You Go Along

Improvising Is More Than Making Things Up As You Go Along | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Whether you’re a plotter of a pantser, at some point you will have to make up what happens in a story. You may have a rough idea what’s going on, or no idea, but the nitty gritty of a scene, who says what and to whom, that all has to come from somewhere. And it has to hold the reader’s interest.

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Why It Pays to Panic Early (and How to Do it Effectively)

Why It Pays to Panic Early (and How to Do it Effectively) | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

So. We have a whole new year spread out before us. Like a pristine sheet of paper.

 

We can create anything we like, and it feels like we have all the time in the world.

 

Pretty good huh?

 

It’s exciting – but like all opportunities, there’s a flipside.

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6 Reasons to Write Flawed Characters

6 Reasons to Write Flawed Characters | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

It's so tempting to write the perfect character: the dream man, the rugged hero, a character who could grace the catwalks of Milan, knows exactly what's going on, can solve anything. But it never turns out well. One element every character must have is a flaw. And here’s why:

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When Pronouns Collide

When Pronouns Collide | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

On Tuesday, I introduced you to a list of pronouns outside of the personal (the I, you, we, they, he, she, it variety). In the comments section I got a request to point out when not to use pronouns. Well, far be it from me to deny a blog reader of a request, so here we go.

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You Already Have The Answer

You Already Have The Answer | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Everyone has a natural facility for telling stories. It is part of our ability to communicate. When we instinctively tell someone else about something we consider interesting, we edit, fill in background details, provide backstory, even embellish—all without thinking twice.

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Don't Overthink It: 5 Tips for Daily Decision-Making

Don't Overthink It: 5 Tips for Daily Decision-Making | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

In an interview last year, I asked acclaimed graphic designer James Victore what made him so efficient. His simple reply: “I make decisions.” We make hundreds, if not millions, of micro-decisions every day – from what to focus our energy on, to how to respond to an email, to what to eat for lunch. You could easily argue that becoming a better (and swifter) decision-maker would be the fastest route to improving your daily productivity.

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Back to Basics: Every Scene Must Have Conflict

Whether you're new to writing or an established veteran, it's always good to refresh yourself on the basics from time to time. And yes, I mean me, too. I recently came across some advice on conflict that, even though I'd heard it a gasquillion times before, was very eye-opening, like it was brand-spanking-new to me.

 

Every scene must have conflict.

 

Simple, I know. But not really. First let's break that down into its fundamental parts.

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Motivation

Motivation | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

To my mind, characterization is the reason why a character is who he is. Motivation is the reason why a character does what he does.

 

Actually, it's more the reason behind the reason. For example, commitment phobia might be a reason why a guy won't marry, but the reaction that caused the phobia as a result of something in the past is the motivation. In the case above, distrust as a result of his wife cheating on him with his best man would be his motivation.

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Back to Basics: Every Scene Must Have Conflict

Back to Basics: Every Scene Must Have Conflict | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Whether you're new to writing or an established veteran, it's always good to refresh yourself on the basics from time to time. And yes, I mean me, too. I recently came across some advice on conflict that, even though I'd heard it a gasquillion times before, was very eye-opening, like it was brand-spanking-new to me.

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Are You An Over-Describer?

As a reader, there's really nothing you can do about over-description. As a writer, however you can be on the lookout for a few telltale signs.

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Making Characters “Reveal Themselves to You” | Anne Lamott

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