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The Funnily Enough
The whole world of writing in one place
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Romantic Storytelling

Romantic Storytelling | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

This is not going to be a post about love, marriage, hearts and/or flowers.  The kind of romanticism I’m talking about is the kind you find in most fictional stories. The hero wins, the villain gets what they deserve, good triumphs over evil and love conquers all. This kind of romantic ideal is why we read stories.

 

We have a picture of the way the world should be, but it stubbornly refuses to live up to our expectations. So we create our own worlds where things turn out right. 

 

That said, things can go too far the other way.

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Fiction Is About Facing Problems

Fiction Is About Facing Problems | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

One of the main tenets of writing story is to make the reader as the question: What happens next?

 

But this question shouldn’t be aimed at the writer, or even the story. The question should be aimed by readers at themselves.

 

And they shouldn’t be sure of the answer

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Minna Kilpeläinen's curator insight, December 11, 2012 6:53 PM

.. and what if that happens to me what would I do?

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A Simple Way to Create Suspense

How do you create suspense? I’m asked that question often, and it seems that every writers’ symposium has a class with that title. It’s an important technical issue, and not just for so-called suspense novels. Every novel needs a narrative engine, a reason for people to keep reading to the end, whatever the subject, style, genre or approach.

 

But it’s a bad question. Its very form misleads writers and pushes them onto an unhelpful and overcomplicated track.

 

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Writing A Book: What Happens After The First Draft?

Writing A Book: What Happens After The First Draft? | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Maybe you ‘won’ NaNo or maybe you have the first draft of another book in your drawer, but we all need to take the next step in the process in order to end up with a finished product.

 

Here’s my process, and I believe it’s relevant whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction.

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Making Scenes Interesting In The Now

Making Scenes Interesting In The Now | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

In terms of what’s going on in a scene you can break it down into three main areas:

 

1. What happened ‘Before’.

2. What’s happening ‘Now’.

3. What’s going to happen ‘Later’.

 

The most important for a reader is no.2, the ‘Now’. That's where readers experience the story—what's in front of them.

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On Great Novels with Bad Endings

On Great Novels with Bad Endings | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Many of the world’s best novels have bad endings. I don’t mean that they end sadly, or on a back-to-work, all-is-forgiven note (e.g. “War and Peace,” “The Red and the Black,” “A Suitable Boy”), but that the ending is actually inartistic—a betrayal of what came before. This is true not just of good novels but also of books on which the reputation of Western fiction rests.

 

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Story Endings

I get the chance to read a lot of short fiction, both published and un-published. The most crucial part of a story is the ending. It's the payoff. Readers read until the end to get this payoff. What happens if your story doesn't have this payoff? I'll tell you: trouble. Readers are not satisfied and editors are not buying. Please make sure your story has a payoff. I concede for every rule there's an exception. A few authors make a good living not including endings (Kelly Link comes to mind).


Here are some tips for satisfying story payoffs:

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Novel Writing: Taming Messy Middles

Novel Writing: Taming Messy Middles | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

By now, many of you doing NaNoWriMo have hit the middle of your novel. Middles can be messy! Subplots fizzle or morph. Supporting characters try to takeover. Your character's clear goal now seems like one big mud puddle.


Writing Tip for Today: What can you do to clean up the messy middle of a novel that's spiraling out of control?

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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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Chapter One: Magician by Raymond E. Feist

Chapter One: Magician by Raymond E. Feist | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The latest genre in my series of first chapter dissections is Fantasy. As with the other books I’ve analysed, I will attempt to work out how a debut novelist managed to create an opening to his story that successfully pulls readers in.

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Leading Lines

Leading Lines | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

In a composition there are a variety of techniques that can be utilized to explore the piece. One of the most dynamic means of guiding the audience through a piece is through the use of leading lines.

 

Leading lines are one of the top rules of visual composition and are used to great effect to guide the viewer's perspective through the piece, drawing attention to focal points and creating narrative rhythm. These lines are also can be used singularly or with additional supporting lines.

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How and Why to Write With Power

Power is not about adjectives. Power is all about punch… sub-text, relevance, illumination, heart and soul… the poignant moment, the ironic, the truly humorous… the truth.

 

Nothing wrong with colorful writing. Just don’t confuse it with powerful writing.

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Antagonists–The Alpha and the Omega of the Story

Antagonists–The Alpha and the Omega of the Story | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

As I have said in previous posts, there is no story without the antagonist. Period. The story IS the antagonist’s agenda. No Buffalo Bill, no Silence of the Lambs. No Darth Vader, and Skywalker doesn’t have a Death Star to destroy. If Joker was a choir boy, Batman’s life would have no meaning.

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Forcing Readers To Like Characters

Forcing Readers To Like Characters | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

The story you’re writing may have the kind of lead character that people automatically root for. He may be a good guy doing the right thing; or a decent woman trying to sort out something that needs sorting. Heroic behaviour and overcoming adversity can bypass the whole need to tell the reader this is someone to cheer on. It’s obvious.

 

But they might be a little more complex than that. Maybe flawed, maybe even a bit awkward. Or they may not get to their heroic moment until much later in the story. How do you get the reader on board as quickly as possible without having to add ‘stick with it, things get good later’ at the bottom of each page?

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What Dialogue Can Do for Your Stories--And What It Should Never Try to Do

What Dialogue Can Do for Your Stories--And What It Should Never Try to Do | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Do you write dialogue? Did you know that many acquistions editors at publishing companies use dialogue as the "test" for whether a manuscript gets read?

 

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Renni Browne and Dave King tell the story of interviewing different editors in the publishing industry. What do you look at first, when reviewing a manuscript? they wondered. More than one revealed this: Editors scan through the pages for a section of dialogue and read it. If it's good, they read more. If it's not good, the manuscript is automatically rejected.

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A Simple Approach to Revisions

A Simple Approach to Revisions | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when revising your novel. You’re hit with slew of decisions that need to be made all at once. Should you add a character? Cut a secondary? Why is the dialogue so stilted, and where is the setting, and should you add more sensory detail or axe it altogether because the pacing seems to drag?

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Plots That Rely On Coincidence and Contrivance

Plots That Rely On Coincidence and Contrivance | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Coincidences do occur in real life. And if you’re writing, say, a paranormal, where you have a curse or a spell or some object that keeps landing in the possession of brides left at the altar, that is one thing. The coincidences are part of your world-building.

 

But if you need to have a scene between the hero and heroine, so you have them run into each other at the grocery store, and then at the post office, and then in an elevator, and then at a ballgame … ugh, ugh, ugh. If your character is trying to solve a mystery, and she keeps stumbling on clues by total dumb luck, another triple ugh.

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Fight for What’s Right: Moral Causes in Fantasy Worlds

Fight for What’s Right: Moral Causes in Fantasy Worlds | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

We all want our protagonists to be engaging and for our readers to root for them. One way to achieve this is to give the protagonist a goal which the reader sympathises with.

 

For some, it is to save a life or find something of value. For others, it is to change the world, to pursue a grand cause and improve life for thousands of people.

 

But it isn’t always that simple.

 

What cause do you pick, and how do you make it relevant and believable?

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An anti-hero of one's own

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Why Book Publishers Hate Authors

It seems so... unliterary. But publishing houses despise authors and are doing everything they can to make their lives miserable. Here's why.

 

Authors are admittedly a strange lot. There's something antisocial about retreating from life for months or years at a time, to perform the solitary act of writing a book.

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Writing the Heart of Your Story

Writing the Heart of Your Story | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

What would you say was the difference between a good book and a great one?

 

Between a forgettable novel and a classic that lingers long in your memory, maybe even for years? Between a book with a title and plot you’ve forgotten mere days after you read it and one with lines that haunt you for years, and characters that seem so real you find yourself thinking about them over a lifetime and wondering what they would say or do in a given situation?

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Chapter One: The Hunger Games

Chapter One: The Hunger Games | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

This is a continuation of my series of first chapter dissections where I take apart the opening chapter of a successful novel to find out what makes it work, how the author hooked the reader, which rules were followed, and which were broken to good effect

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Writers Who Know Everything

Writers Who Know Everything | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

A problem I’ve been coming across a lot recently when reading and critiquing on various writing workshops is the writer using his knowledge of future story events to guide present ones.

 

This is a fairly simple thing to fix, the problem is more in trying to convince the writer they are in fact doing this. It’s one of those things where if the person isn’t aware they’re doing it, proving it to them can be very difficult. They just can't see it.

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Interesting Characters: You are what you eat

Interesting Characters: You are what you eat | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Story is viewed differently by the writer than it is by the reader.

 

A writer knows what kind of person he is writing about, and uses that to inform what that character does on the page.

 

A reader knows what a character does and uses that to understand what kind of person that character is.

 

Both are looking at the same thing, but from different ends. The thing they are both looking at is this: what people do reveals the truth of who they are.

 

But truth and fact are NOT the same thing.

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29 WAYS TO STAY CREATIVE

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