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The Funnily Enough
The whole world of writing in one place
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Instant writing motivation

Instant writing motivation | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Where do writing motivation problems come from, and how can we overcome them? In recent years, there has been a movement in psychology to understand what happens in our brains when things are going well. Research in neurology, cognitive psychology, positive psychology, strengths psychology and related areas has brought new insights into the workings of happiness, well-being and motivation. Here are 20 techniques, drawn largely from this body of new research, that can help get us writing on days when the words won’t flow.

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How To Analyze Fiction

How To Analyze Fiction | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Analyze a writer you admire. You can be as global or as thorough as you wish. Here are some tips:

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The Neuroscience of Your Brain on Fiction

Brain scans are revealing what happens in our heads when we read a detailed description, an evocative metaphor or an emotional exchange between characters. Stories, this research is showing, stimulate the brain and even change how we act in life.

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What's My Motivation? Tips on Showing Character Motivations

What's My Motivation? Tips on Showing Character Motivations | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Motivations are a big part of plotting. Why your characters (especially your protagonist and antagonist) do the things they do will often determine how your plot unfolds. It's also where your conflicts will come in, and why the stakes will feel high or just meh.

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How to Keep your Story Moving

How to Keep your Story Moving | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

A story without momentum is in danger of being branded boring; at worst it implodes and disintegrates. In her book, Making a Good Script Great, Linda Seger gives us several suggestions of how to establish and enhance story momentum.

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Ask the Editor: Is it okay to use sentence fragments in my writing? How much is too much?

Ask the Editor: Is it okay to use sentence fragments in my writing? How much is too much? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Jeffrey Littorno asks: I have been a high school English teacher for most of the last twenty-five years, so I know that sentence fragments are to be avoided at all costs. However, I have gotten into the habit of using them regularly in my writing to convey the seed of a thought or impression. What is your opinion on breaking the rules of grammar by utilizing fragments?

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Ten Questions to Ask When Beginning a Book

Ten Questions to Ask When Beginning a Book | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

This post is for those of you are ready to tackle your book project, beginning at the beginning. What do you need to start in order to begin?

 

Why am I thinking of these things? Because I’m revisiting last year’s NaNoWriMo novel—the one that didn’t quite happen—and I think I understand why the words refused to flow. I didn’t know the answer to these questions. This week, I’m busy answering them—and I hope you find them useful, too!

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How Much do you Need to Describe Your Setting?

How Much do you Need to Describe Your Setting? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Description is a blessing and a curse. Setting the scene is vital to help readers immerse themselves in your story world, but too much of it becomes boring and causes the reader to skim. But find the proper balance between words and word pictures, and your reader will feel like they've stepped into the book and lived in that world.

 

So how much do you need to describe your setting?

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Andrew Stanton: The clues to a great story

Andrew Stanton: The clues to a great story | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

TED Talks Filmmaker Andrew Stanton ("Toy Story," "WALL-E") shares what he knows about storytelling -- starting at the end and working back to the beginning.

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Writing Steamy in YA

Writing Steamy in YA | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Last week, Heather Howland (managing editor from Entangled Publishing) conducted an amazing online workshop. Here are some key points she stressed when writing kissing or sex scenes in YA stories:

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Creating a compelling narrative voice

Creating a compelling narrative voice | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

How does an author of memoir or personal narrative transform a naked self into a compelling voice that tells a story readers can’t put down?

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Six Tips on Writing from John Steinbeck

Six Tips on Writing from John Steinbeck | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

John Steinbeck — Pulitzer Prize winner, Nobel laureate, love guru — with six tips on writing, culled from his altogether excellent interview it the Fall 1975 issue of The Paris Review.

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The truth about creativity

The truth about creativity | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it
Jonah Lehrer talks about why brainstorming doesn't work and why artists need to cultivate grit...

 

Why did Bob Dylan compose the classic “Like a Rolling Stone” only after he had become so disgusted with his own music that he was planning to quit the business permanently? How did Silicon Valley become a hub of innovation while other genius-packed cities did not? And what does the placement of a company’s bathrooms have to do with the number of innovative products it makes?

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Putting More Into Your Writing

Putting More Into Your Writing | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

When you write, whether it’s a short scene or a whole chapter, you usually have a rough idea of what you want to achieve. You may not know exactly how things will play out, but there’s going to be something the scene will be based on, even if it’s only that two characters will get together and chat.

 

As a reader you don’t need to bother too much about what is immediately apparent in a story and what becomes apparent over time. It will churn around in your mind and your subconscious will make of it what it will. Different people will intepret it in different ways. However, as a writer, you need to be aware of everything going on because you’re the one who has to put it there.

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When Are You Most Creative? Larks and Nightingales

When Are You Most Creative? Larks and Nightingales | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Everyone has times of day when they are naturally more alert and energetic. Whether that time falls early or late seems to be determined by a genetically encoded internal clock. About 10% of us are larks—people who like to rise early and greet the dawn. About 20% fall at the opposite end of the spectrum: night owls who function best late in the day. The rest of us—hummingbirds—can function happily either early or late.

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Three Storytelling Lessons from John Carter

Three Storytelling Lessons from John Carter | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Today I want to talk about John Carter. Not the Disney movie and how it’s apparently taking a bath at the box office (which, as a Burroughs fan, I find depressing), but the original Barsoom pulp stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

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Bad Advice For Writers

Bad Advice For Writers | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Most advice given to writers is generic and basic. This is because most aspiring writers make the same basic mistakes. But then most aspiring writers never finish the story their writing. And most of the ones that do finish, never get round to doing a rewrite. And if you happen to be one of the few who do manage to persevere and are serious about producing a book worth reading (and buying) then, by definition, you aren’t most people.

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The Secret Plot

If the MC is keeping a big secret of some kind, there are certain things I expect to see, as a reader (or viewer, in the case of movies). The secret in question has to be BIG, meaning it's a vital part of the main plot. Better yet would be that it IS the plot. For example, the MC pretends to be someone she isn't, for whatever reason that serves her purpose in the story conflict.

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Worse Than A Prologue

Worse Than A Prologue | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

We’ve all heard that agents and editors don’t like prologues. This is because the majority are nothing but backstory, and most of it is unnecessary to understand the characters and the story. A wise writer will weave the vital information where needed (and avoid the prologue if it's not essential), which heightens the suspense and keeps the reader turning the pages. I don’t mind them, but that’s because the bad ones don’t make it into traditionally published books. The book either doesn’t get published, or the editor (or agent) tactfully breaks the news to the writer and she cuts it.

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Make Your First 15 – 30 Pages Sing Like a Siren

Make Your First 15 – 30 Pages Sing Like a Siren | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

As writers, we all know how vital that opening paragraph or chapter is to a novel. It’s what the reader first sees as they page through your work in a bookstore. Here’s what I do when evaluating a book. I’m drawn by the cover. (Guilty about that one. I used to be a graphic designer.) Then I scan the blurb. Finally I dive into the first page or two. I buy based on that.

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How To Find Your Writing Muse

How To Find Your Writing Muse | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

If you’re lying awake in bed, and you look over at your sleeping partner with their tongue hanging out, snoring, making odd farty noises, and your heart starts beating faster and you think, “Of course! What a brilliant idea for a horror story,” then congratulations, you have a genuine muse on your hands.


Sadly, that’s not the case for everyone. Having someone who can inspire great ideas and put thoughts in your head that lead to marvellous stories is something we would all love, but the muse as an independent being who feeds out creativity is a rare and unreliable creation.

 

So where can you go for a refill when your well runs dry?

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Write What You Know, But What If You Don’t Know Enough?

Write What You Know, But What If You Don’t Know Enough? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

It’s the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens this year, and while much has been written about his life and work, we can still learn a lot from his methods. His depiction of a supposedly-fictional London was so realistic – he clearly drew a lot from how people lived in worked in Victorian society. Some of this he would have just known, but he would have learned a lot from going out to observe the world around him.

 

We’ve discussed how to write what you know, but sometimes we need to know more.

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Write Something Dangerous

Write Something Dangerous | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Write something dangerous. That's what I told a room full of people at a recent conference. I was sharing my journey of falling back in love with writing.

 

As I wrote without concern for popularity or prestige, something strange happened: More people paid attention. Oh, the irony. This is what we experience when we pursue passion and forsake public approval: Others join us in the journey.

 

When you do what you love, people will love what you do. Because we all love the idea of being caught up in an adventure. We love the thrill that danger brings.

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Give Characters Different Voices

How do writers make characters sound different from one another? How can you do it?

 

You know you’re supposed to. Characters shouldn’t sound like their creator but they also shouldn’t sound like each other. Not in speech and not in thought.

 

Do you ever wonder how God does it, makes each of us so completely different? Well, writers get to tackle the same job. And sometimes it’s tough. But there are tips for creating unique character voices.

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