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The Funnily Enough
The whole world of writing in one place
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Joss Whedon’s Top 10 Writing Tips

Joss Whedon’s Top 10 Writing Tips | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Joss Whedon is most famous for creating Buffy the Vampire Slayer, its spin-off Angel and the short-lived but much-loved Firefly series. But the writer and director has also worked unseen as a script doctor on movies ranging from Speed to Toy Story. Here, he shares his tips on the art of screenwriting.

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Slush Readers’ Advice for Writers

I’ve been a slush reader for Apex Magazine for over a year. My local speculative fiction writers group, MinnSpec, hosts monthly meetings on various writing topics, and this month, they asked me and two fellow members to offer our advice for succeeding past the slush pile.

 

To gather a broad range of advice for this meetup, I solicited my fellow Apex slushies and they were more than happy to oblige. After gathering together all their correspondence, I present you with their valuable advice (and mine).

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10 Questions for James Patterson

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The 90 Top Secrets of Bestselling Authors

Writing advice: It can be all at once inspiring and contradictory, uplifting and off-putting, insightful and superficial. There are successful writers who impart wisdom freely and willingly, and then there are literary icons who claim to have none to dispense at all. As for the rest of us, we just can’t seem to help but look to our fellow writers who’ve achieved so much and wonder: What’s their secret?

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How do you write?

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Basics of a Solid 3-Paragraph Query

An effective query letter:

• doesn’t state the obvious—if it does, agents will think your book is all “telling,” no “showing.”
• is never longer than one page—if it is, agents will think your book is overwritten.
• is not about you—if it is, agents will think your book will be too navel-gazing to invite the reader in.
• never sounds generic—if it does, agents will think your book won’t have a unique or appealing voice.
• makes the book sound interesting—if it doesn’t, agents will know the book isn’t.
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The Difficulty of Writing

The Difficulty of Writing | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it
Margaret Atwood talks to Charlie Rose about the terror involved in writing a story.
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Janet Fitch's 10 rules for writers

Janet Fitch's 10 rules for writers | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it
Janet Fitch is the author of "White Oleander" and "Paint it Black," and she teaches writing at USC. It seems like every time I run into her at a reading, she introduces one or two or more of her students...
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Action reveals character

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Top Ten Playwrights & What You Can Learn From Them

Top Ten Playwrights & What You Can Learn From Them | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

If “all the world’s a stage, and all the people merely players…” then as writers we can learn a little bit about humanity by studying those who focus on the stage. Playwrights may write with the intention of performance, but just as with any other form of literature, the ideas, characters, and stories exhibit their truth far beyond their intended medium.

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WHERE GOOD IDEAS COME FROM

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Breaking the rules of the narrative arc

Breaking the rules of the narrative arc | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Feeling boxed in by the rules and expectations of the conventional narrative arc? Tired of the old 1st act, 2nd act, 3rd act routine? Itching to break out and try something new?

 

If so, this post is for you.

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Two Pronged Attack

Two Pronged Attack | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

When you write a story and then ask someone to read it and give you feedback, you are asking two things:

 

1. How well have I said the thing I’m trying to say?

2. Was it worth saying?

 

Obviously you can give an opinion on both of those, but in order to help the writer improve things, you may also want to offer some suggestions.

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What can you learn from reading?

What can you learn from reading? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

One of the most common advice to aspiring writers is to read. Read everything. This advice comes from everyone: writers, teachers, people in the street... Undoubtedly, if you want to write fiction, you should read fiction. In fact the reason you want to be a writer is probably because of stuff you’ve read. But exactly what are you supposed to glean from reading other people’s books? And how will it make you a better writer?

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Jazz Messenger - Haruki Murakami

Jazz Messenger - Haruki Murakami | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it
When I turned 29, all of a sudden out of nowhere I got this feeling that I wanted to write a novel — that I could do it. I couldn’t write anything that measured up to Dostoyevsky or Balzac, of course, but I told myself it didn’t matter. I didn’t have to become a literary giant. Still, I had no idea how to go about writing a novel or what to write about. I had absolutely no experience, after all, and no ready-made style at my disposal. I didn’t know anyone who could teach me how to do it, or even friends I could talk with about literature. My only thought at that point was how wonderful it would be if I could write like playing an instrument.
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Save Your Readers From Boredom: Five Fool-Proof Preventatives

Save Your Readers From Boredom: Five Fool-Proof Preventatives | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it
The bored reader is the writer’s worst nightmare.
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IT'S A TRAP: The Easy Ending

IT'S A TRAP: The Easy Ending | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it
She was dead the WHOLE TIME. It was ALL A DREAM. The helpful aliens ACTUALLY WANT TO EAT THEM. He's a SECRET PRINCE. All those friends were FIGMENTS OF HER IMAGINATION. If you want to end a story with a powerful twist, you have to push yourself further than the obvious, because your readers know all about the obvious.
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