There's nothing wrong with writing stupid or pointless things. I think, that's maybe the best bit of advice you can offer a new writer. Much of the content of Douglas Adams's work is stupid and pointless, but done in such a majestic way. Sometimes we just want to read something totally ridiculous, to remind ourselves …
One of my current goals as a science fiction and fantasy writer is to eventually get into Writers of the Future. This has been a target for me ever since one of my literature teachers in college won and was published by them. If you can survive the brutal competition and professional-level judging, you can proudly …
So like the last share, this is another article I came across in one of my Facebook groups that I almost never pay attention to. The article 8 Unstoppable Rules for Writing Killer Short Stories by Charlie Jane Anders offers a lot of good advice. This advice is more applicable to genre stories like science fiction and fantasy, but if …
The first rule of write club is: don't talk about write club! The second rule of write club is: there are no rules! (Which, of course, negates rule one, and more interestingly, itself, which then un-negates rule one...) I follow a bunch of blogs and Facebook groups that discuss writing. More often than not, the discussion is not very …
Such a great outline for checking your scenes, I had to share! Thank you for the advice, Amy.
Amy Walters is an author and blogger who often blogs about writing techniques and tips. It would definitely be worth your time to jump over and check out what she has to say on the topic of fiction writing.
Regarding this particular post, I think the checklist she provides for examining scenes is very helpful, particularly for those odd, tricky scenes that are hard to parse. Most of the points in the list are very useful, so it’s hard to isolate a few to focus on. Certainly POV is a big issue for scenes. Your POV should not be shifting in scene without a very, very good reason. It’s a common, unintentional mistake in the early drafts of new writers. Also, the POV should also be clear from the beginning of the scene. Who is experiencing this scene and what does that mean for the information the readers receive?
If I were to choose one point from the list as the best or most important (which I shouldn’t, as they are all useful, but I am trying to add my two bits here), then I would say “What do I want the reader to feel by the end of this scene?” is the critical question to ask when developing and evaluating a scene. This is your end goal, the target you want to hit with your prose. This goal is the idea of how the scene fits into the larger work, its purpose. The first way to evaluate your scene is to ask if you’ve met that goal.
But I don’t think you should only focus on that point and ignore the rest. I cannot reiterate enough that there are a lot of great points in the checklist.
If you’d like to know how to evaluate a scene, jump on over to Amy’s blog and see what she has to say.
Hello, lovely people, I hope you are well? You are? Great! I know I am, it’s Friday after all! The last few days I have been outlining my scenes so that I am ready for Camp NaNoWriMo in July.
I’m reading an amazing book by CS Lakin called The 12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction which I have found invaluable. Lakin gives a scene checklist which I recommend you get your hands on.
I have used this to ask myself set questions per scene, and they are helping me so much I thought I would share them with you. Let me know what you think!
What is the action or revelation that is the high impact crux of this scene?
What new information will this scene tell the reader?
What is the purpose of the scene?
What do I want the reader to know by reading this scene?
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Thank you, David, for your great reading of my story!
For those of you who don’t know, David Snape is a blogger who has does a regular guest writing spot. Last week he posted my story A Voice in the Water. Yesterday, he chose it for his guest post of the week, and read the story out loud in a video. He did a great job on the reading, too. And I am quite surprised how well the story fit being spoken aloud. Maybe I need to start reading my stories here on this blog.
Congratulations to J.M Williams for this weeks post of the week ‘A Voice in the water’. Sit back, listen and enjoy, well worth the post of the week.
David Snape kindly shared my flash story “A Voice in the Water” on his blog. Head on over and check it out. And while you’re at it, check out the other authors whose work he has shared.
The stag bent down to take a drink from the crystal stream. Its massive antlers dipped into the water, causing the gentle current to swirl around the many submerged tips. Hemming took aim with his bow and fired.The arrow whistled through the air towards its target. But instead of piercing the animal in the neck as he had expected, it broke apart. The stag looked back at Hemming. The beast rose up on its hind legs, then began to glow with brilliant green light. The shape of it changed from beast to man, a glowing man in flowing silken robes.
“Come here my child. Do not be afraid.”
Hemming glance around and seeing no support or possible route of escape, shuffled forward.
“Do you know who I am, child?”
Hemming shook his head.
“I am Darmin.”
God of nature. God of the hunt! Hemming’s face went wide with fear.
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Here's an interesting character story with some steampunky trappings. I don't really feel like the real-world references fit the setting. Things like WWII and Black Friday would likely be forgotten about in a future where airships are common. And I don't think it adds anything to the story. The story is a bit long as is, …
This is a very nice article on the rising use of present tense in fiction, especially short fiction. I find present tense creeping up more and more in sci-fi and fantasy, and I don’t care for it. I’ve written about the use of present tense a lot, along with first-person and other stylistic choices. For me, the ultimate rule is if you move away from standard convention, it should have a reason. There should be a clear reason why you are writing in present tense, or first-person. If there isn’t, and you’re doing it just for style or to be quirky, it’s going to fall flat. I’ve written a couple S/F pieces in present tense because it was right for the particular piece, but it was a long and hard decision to get there. As it should be.
More and more and more and more over the past several years I see novels written in the present tense. Though this isn’t necessarily some new invention, going well back in time to Dickens at least, past tense more or less overwhelmed all other choices for decades in there, and though there are three, only two are practical. Go ahead. Try to write a novel in the future tense.
I honestly don’t know how I feel about this whole present tense thing, having never really written fiction in present tense. My first instinct is that this is purely authorial choice. A good story, well-told in present tense is a good story, well told, which is all I ask for as either an editor or reader—and is all I’m going for as an author.
But still, this present tense thing just seems to be an outlier, a weird trend that…
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Here's an interesting sci-fi story that seems to suggest that being a war reenactor can teach you how to fight for real. The author writes some good action, and the ending has a humorous and righteous feel to it. Not much else to say about the story, other than go give it a read. Regarding …