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Inspiration for writers
Curated by Sarah McElrath
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Are We Too Concerned That Characters Be ‘Likable’? - Writing Rightly

Are We Too Concerned That Characters Be ‘Likable’? - Writing Rightly | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it
Mohsin Hamid and Zoë Heller on whether unpleasant literary characters are a turn-off or a draw.

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Penelope's comment, November 5, 2013 1:51 PM
Good point, Sharon!
Jacques Goyette's curator insight, January 8, 2014 3:22 PM

Are your characters likeable or unpleasant ? Whether done volontarily or unvoluntarily, they play a crucial role in the popularity of your book. 

KindredReaders's curator insight, February 17, 2014 1:00 PM

For me unlikable characters are a draw. What makes a life comfortable makes a story tedious. That's why an antihero, a character with moral ambiguity (e.g., Omar from The Wire) is always more interesting than a hero ... at least for me. But what do you think?

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Ten words to cut from your writing

Ten words to cut from your writing | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it
When you want to make your writing more powerful, cut out words you don't need--such as the 10 included in this post

Via Evelyn Izquierdo
Sarah McElrath's insight:

Yup -- lots of hedge words here. Trim away.

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Write yourself in. Figment

Write yourself in. Figment | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it

Figment is a community where you can share your writing, connect with other readers, and discover new stories and authors. Whatever you're into, from sonnets to mysteries, from sci-fi stories to cell phone novels, you can find it all here.

Sarah McElrath's insight:

Just purchased by Random House. Great site for teen writers and readers. Educators can sign up for a free account -- see the educators link at bottom of page.

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17 illustrated brainstorm tips

17 visual tips for a perfect brainstorm. Extra tips are welcome.

Via Baiba Svenca
Sarah McElrath's insight:

Works for writing too.

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Simon Condon's curator insight, November 24, 2013 6:07 PM

your group needs to be able to brainstorm to find new ways to apply, combine, modify the ideas given in this selection of resources.

 

R Menon's curator insight, January 18, 2014 9:11 AM

sums it up nicely

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Print your musings, doodles, storyboard in one continuous accordion spread

Print your musings, doodles, storyboard in one continuous accordion spread | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it

Via Judith van Praag
Sarah McElrath's insight:

Very cool. Not free, however.

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Judith van Praag's curator insight, October 22, 2013 7:29 PM

If you take note, if you take notes on paper, which really is the way to go if we may believe the archivists, who don't put their money on virtual materials, let stand something as ethereal as a cloud, take a look see at Moleskine.

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The Only 12 1/2 Writing Rules You'll Ever Need Mounted Print at AllPosters.com

The Only 12 1/2 Writing Rules You'll Ever Need Mounted Print at AllPosters.com | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it
The Only 12 1/2 Writing Rules You'll Ever Need Mounted Print - at AllPosters.com. Choose from over 500,000 Posters & Art Prints. Value Framing, Fast Delivery, 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
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Writing Process Animation

This video describes the writing process involved in creating a good blog (or other writing endeavors, such as an essay). For other work from this artist, se...
Sarah McElrath's insight:

Geared toward blog writing -- but applicable for all writing.

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Sunny South's curator insight, October 23, 2013 10:02 PM

Engaging video on how to write a better blog

Lori Johnson's curator insight, October 26, 2013 11:11 AM

This is an engaging video for anyone who wants to or is required to write! 

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National Day on Writing #nctechat (with images, tweets) · NCTEStory

October 20, 2013. Hosts: Katherine Sokolowski (@katsok) and Penny Kittle (@PennyKittle)
Sarah McElrath's insight:

An archive of the NCTE chat with Penny Kittle and Katherine Sokolowski.

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17 Famous Quotes On Writing That Every Wannabe Author Should Memorize - Writing Rightly

17 Famous Quotes On Writing That Every Wannabe Author Should Memorize - Writing Rightly | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it

17 quotes from famous authors about how to write well, including how to start a story, choose the right words, and edit it.


Via Charles Tiayon, Ann Zuccardy, Penelope
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Penelope's curator insight, September 17, 2013 2:30 PM

 

Quotes are little gems for the day that can keep us going and spark our writing. Served up to you on a silver platter are 17 juicy morsels from famous authors. We have quotes on:

 

o Getting started

o Word choice and punctuation

o Story development

o Editing

o and why Simplicity is always key.

 

Here are a few:

 

“Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at  your own joke.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Great Gatsby"

 

“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.”

 - Ray Bradbury, “Fahrenheit 451"

 

“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”

 - Mark  Twain, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"

Check out the article for more thought-provoking quotes to keep you writing!

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Writing Rightly"***

 

Link to the original article: http://www.businessinsider.com/quotes-on-writing-from-famous-authors-2013-9

 

 

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Who Versus Whom - Writing Rightly

Who Versus Whom - Writing Rightly | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it

Get Grammar Girl's take on who versus whom.


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Penelope's curator insight, September 24, 2013 11:09 PM

 

Who versus whom? Choosing the proper pronoun is a common conundrum for writers--at least it is for me.

 

First, a quick lesson on the difference between subjects and objects: You use "who" when you are referring to the subject of a clause and "whom" when you are referring to the object of a clause.

 

If that is too hard, Grammar Girl has given us a quick and dirty tip to pull out the proper pronoun. Like "whom," the pronoun "him" ends with "m." When you're trying to decide whether to use "who" or "whom," ask yourself if the answer to the question would be "he" or "him." If you can answer the question being asked with "him," then use "whom," and it's easy to remember because they both end with "m."

 

Example: Who (or whom) do I love? Answer: I love him.

 

But if you are trying to ask, "Who (or whom) passed the test?" the answer would be "He passed the test." There's no "m," so you know to use "who."

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Writing Rightly"***

 

Link to the original article: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/who-versus-whom?page=all

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Harnessing the Storm in Your Brain through Mind Mapping | Live Write Thrive

Harnessing the Storm in Your Brain through Mind Mapping | Live Write Thrive | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it
Insights, inspiration, and practical advice for writers

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Penelope's curator insight, October 14, 2013 10:01 PM

 

My brain is a storm all right. It is sometimes more like a storm drain; all the ideas go whooshing through.

 

Mind mapping is an amazing tool for harnessing those ideas into usable format. Using Freemind software, I once mind mapped out an entire book in a half hour. I personally love the way it allows your creative mind to flow uninhibited; as you see the ideas pile up, right in front of your eyes, more ideas pop up.

 

Think of mind maps as travel maps. They help you get to where you want to go with your novel. Read the article for more details on how this process actually works.

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Writing Rightly"***

 

Link to the original article: http://www.livewritethrive.com/2013/09/23/harnessing-the-storm-in-your-brain-through-mind-mapping/

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Why Our Creativity Depends On Who Surrounds Us

Why Our Creativity Depends On Who Surrounds Us | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it
A conversation with Enrico Moretti, author of The New Geography of Jobs.

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» Embracing Even The Pain of the Creative Process – Part 2 - The Creative Mind

» Embracing Even The Pain of the Creative Process – Part 2 - The Creative Mind | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it

Many artists use creative expression to explore and express pain in life, but does creative work itself have to be painful for most of us?


Via Douglas Eby
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5 Unique Ways To Brainstorm Out of A Creative Rut

5 Unique Ways To Brainstorm Out of A Creative Rut | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it

Tips for helping artists get out of a creative rut and working on that blank canvas


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Scribophile - Writing Rightly

Scribophile - Writing Rightly | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it

"He Said, She Said: Dialog Tags and Using Them Effectively."


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Penelope's curator insight, October 30, 2013 6:01 PM

 

Dialogue can trip up even the most seasoned of writers. You can read about it all day long, but until you're actually writing and needing to use dialogue tags (or speech tags), you'll probably skip over this stuff.

 

Think of these tags as signposts, pointing to who is actually doing the talking. Each tag contains at least one noun or pronoun. (said, asked, whispered, remarked).

 

Susannah said

the clerk asked

she said and took off her coat

he said, looking sad

 

As I am writing my current novel, I sail merrily along, adding in some dialogue tags with ease, and getting myself mired in the mud at others.

 

Do I use he said or she said? Where does that comma go? Should I use a more expressive tag?

 

One thing to keep in mind: the "he/she said," or "he/she asked" will disappear in the reader's mind, while adding in an expressive tag will make it stick out like a sore thumb.

 

Read on if you, too, need a college lesson in drumming up the proper speech tag.

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Writing Rightly"***

 

Link to the original article: http://www.scribophile.com/academy/he-said-she-said-dialog-tags-and-using-them-effectively

 

Jacques Goyette's curator insight, October 31, 2013 4:44 PM

Tis is how dialog tags should be used.

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How Digital Writing Is Making Kids Smarter

How Digital Writing Is Making Kids Smarter | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it
There's plenty of hand-wringing over how technology is affecting communication, but an illuminating article by Clive Thompson argues that technology may be doing more to increase literacy and encourage reading since the rise of the novel.

Via Dennis T OConnor, Jim Lerman, Tania Sheko
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How To Write Controversial Topics In A Responsible Fashion

How To Write Controversial Topics In A Responsible Fashion | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it
When giving advice to new bloggers as to what kind of content grabs the most readers, the most comments, and the most shares on social media, most elder statesmen of the blogging community will say that controversy sells.

Via Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.
Sarah McElrath's insight:

Looks at blogging --but could be used for debate and other forms of writing/presenting.

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Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s curator insight, October 4, 2013 12:41 PM

Writing about controversy is hard. Those who are attempting to report on controversy need to be objective. Objectivity can be difficult to manage, especially with controversial topics because controversial topics invite, well, controversy--argument, dissent, etc.

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Dani Shapiro on the Pleasures and Perils of Writing & the Creative Life

Dani Shapiro on the Pleasures and Perils of Writing & the Creative Life | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it

"It is in the thousands of days of trying, failing, sitting, thinking, resisting, dreaming, raveling, unraveling that we are at our most engaged, alert, alive."


Via Penelope
Sarah McElrath's insight:

So many of these quotes resonated with me. Here's one: "The British author and psychologist Adam Phillips has noted, “When we are inspired, rather like when we are in love, we can feel both unintelligible to ourselves and most truly ourselves.” This is the feeling I think we all yearn for, a kind of hyperreal dream state."

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Penelope's curator insight, October 22, 2013 9:52 PM

 

There is a mysterious and thought-provoking question; why do people want to write?

 

The answers are as varied as the individual writers themselves. The soul stirs, quickens, when pen is put to paper or fingers fly on the keyboard.

 

The writer's life is greatly romanticized. However, it requires grit. The truth is it can be very lonely. Take heed--if you choose this writer's life--you must drown in it.

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Writing Rightly"***

 

Link to the original article: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/10/21/still-writing-dani-shapiro/

 

 

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50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story

50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it

by Alan Levine

 

"t was not long ago that producing multimedia digital content required expensive equipment and deep levels of technical expertise. We are at the point now where anyone can create and publish very compelling content with nothing more complex than a web browser.

"The point is not that these are professional level production tools, but that the barrier of entry to content creation can be drastically low. And you should find a new mode of creativity when the tool have some limits as to what they can do-- and find that the core of the story is much more important than a widget."

 

Jim Lerman's insight:

 

This is Alan Levine's classis wiki from 2007, most recently updated in May, 2013. The site links to, names, and briefly describes more than 50 web 2.0 tools to use and share with students for many forms of storytelling. Be sure to check oout the "New Tools to Be Added" link in the navigation bar. It goes to a page containing tools that Levine is still considering for addition to his list. Readers may suggest tools to add as well.


Via Jim Lerman
Sarah McElrath's insight:

Having an audience matters when you write. Now there are so many different ways to reach an audience.

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TEDxSwarthmore - Mary Jean Chan - A Tapestry of Narratives: Conversations through Poetry

Watching the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie's TED talk, "The Danger of a Single Story," was a powerful reminder for Chan that ideas about what constitute...
Sarah McElrath's insight:

One story cannot tell the whole tale. The power of poetry.

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10 Tips For Writing Endings To Your Story - Writing Rightly

10 Tips For Writing Endings To Your Story - Writing Rightly | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it

"Always keep in mind what is expected in the genre you’re writing. If you’re writing a category romance, then the hero and heroine must unite at the end."


Via Inspire the Muse, Penelope
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Penelope's curator insight, August 23, 2013 4:07 PM

 

Writing endings for our stories could be the easiest thing in the world or the hardest. The best way to begin is to ponder on what kind of ending is expected for the genre in which you are writing. If you are writing a category romance, readers are going to expect the love interests to finally get together and have a happy ending. There have been exceptions (Romeo and Juliet or Love Story). If you are a reader anticipating a romantic story and happy ending, do you want to read a tragic ending? I don't.

 

The 10 tips presented should give you a great beginning to write your own ending. Check out the article for all the details.

 

1. Always keep in mind what is EXPECTED in the genre.

2. Avoid the dreaded DEUX EX MACHINE (gods taking care of it).

3. Think APPROPRIATE ending rather than satisfying ending.
4. NO MISERABLE ENDINGS for characters to no real purpose
5. Struggling? Compose an EVENT. Bring most characters together
6. REALLY struggling—go back to the BEGINNING.
7. When the story is over—STOP.
8. BEWARE of TOO MUCH BUILD UP with too quick a resolution.
9. No need to tie up every little plot string, but TIE UP MOST of them
10. EPILOGS: I kind of like them (peek into the future)

 

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Writing Rightly"***

 

Link to the original article: http://debravega.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/10-tips-for-writing-endings-to-your-story/

 

 

 

Kimberley Vico's curator insight, August 24, 2013 12:40 AM

Like a strong beginning, you ought to have a good ending ~ in any story!  Give it a try...!

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Are You Writing in the POV You Think You’re Writing In? - Marcy Kennedy

Are You Writing in the POV You Think You’re Writing In? - Marcy Kennedy | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it
By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) Point of view problems are the most common problems I see as a freelance editor. And I’m not surprised. Point of view is a difficult concept to master, yet it’s also the most essential.

Via Lynne Fellows, Penelope
Sarah McElrath's insight:

Helpful description of POV. 

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Penelope's curator insight, October 11, 2013 7:12 PM

 

Master your point of view (POV) and you have mastered a major part of writing a great story.

 

For those who are new at this lingo, point of view is simply the view from which the story is told. Who's doing the talking? Whose head are you in? POV comes in 4 types:

 

o Second Person - Tells the story using YOU

o Omniscient - Told by an all-knowing narrator

o Third Person - Told from "perspective" of single character

o First Person - The character is telling the story (uses I)

 

For specific examples of each, and further explanations, check out the article in its entirety.

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Writing Rightly"***

 

Link to the original article: http://marcykennedy.com/2013/10/writing-pov-think-youre-writing/

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Take Your Writing From Meh To Memorable With These 12 Simple Techniques - Writing Rightly

Take Your Writing From Meh To Memorable With These 12 Simple Techniques - Writing Rightly | Feed the Writer | Scoop.it

Are you mesmerized by the beat of the content drum? There's no shortage of advice on how to create "great content."


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Penelope's curator insight, October 17, 2013 8:04 PM

 

Writers are apprentices. We should continually be working on our craft. Perfect it? Nah. But we can always improve.

 

This wealth-of-tips article was quite a find. The 12 tips are like tiny gold nuggets. If you apply even one,  it should actually take your writing--as it is right now--and color it golden.

 

A few nuggets:

 

o  People love STORIES--don't be afraid to tell one

 

o  Apply a little ALLITERATION - Using the same letter or sound to start multiple words in the same sentence. (EX: Write the way you want)

 

o  Consider CADENCE - Play with syllabication. Just as in music think "rhythm"  (Quick and the Dead)

 

o  Power of THREES - Give examples, adjectives, and sentences in three's (3 little pigs, 3 wishes, etc.)

 

o Longish SENTENCE, then a short one. The short one will sound TRUE.

 

Read through all the tips to pick up some new ideas to add more color to your own writing.

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Writing Rightly"***

 

Link to the original article: http://www.websearchsocial.com/take-writing-from-meh-to-memorable-with-12-simple-techniques

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How To Be Creative


Via mooderino
Sarah McElrath's insight:

"At some point you have to sit down and work." Oh yeah. Shoot. Guess I'd better get off Scoop.it/

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