How To WriteAbstract: an analytical approach to plotting and writing fiction upwards of 1,000 words
Acknowledgements: the potentially amazing Rachel (IfrozenspiritI) served as guinea pig to this; go and tell her to finish the product of that experiment, because you'll love it. Chris Widdison (tearstone) approached me indecently with the idea of writing a longer essay (which will still happen, and be a lot more purdy than this here thing), which would incorporate this essay in another form, amongst others. He doesn't need to read any of this, because he already knows it all.
Target audience: young, inexperienced writers, especially those that find themselves pulling off vignettes and other super-short forms with an ease, while chronically unable to produce anything with more than a handful of scenes and more than 1,000 words.
Part 1: The Premise takes a look at the basic idea behind a piece
Part 2: The Story fills in some of those blanks and gives u
Voices... For and About KidsVoices in Writing For and About KidsVoices... For and About Kids6 years ago in Editorial More Like This
Well, the title of this piece promises a guide to writing for and about kids. This is an all-encompassing phrase that, I hope, will grab anybody who wants to write for or about any characters between the ages of about nought and eighteen. So, is this the part where I reveal that this guide is actually more limited than that? No it is not! At least, I have done my very best to cater to all possible needs, with the following handy headings:
Issues and Obstacles
The Voice of the Child: Advice on Writing Dialogue
Childrens Literature and the Narrative Voice
Young Adult Fiction and the Teenage Voice
I admit it: this guide is not going to be short, and while it is not going to be excessively long either, it will try to answer every question I have been able to anticipate.
Issues and Obstacles
Picture this. You have s
The Art of Refining ProseThe Art of Refining Prose7 years ago in General Non-Fiction More Like This
The Art of Refining Prose
Many writers dread the editing process. Not only does it delay the showcase of prose, it can seem a tedious and painstaking task. Often, editing is more time-consuming than the initial writing and consequently, it is either ignored altogether or briefly indulged. This is a great shame. Sincere editing not only proves a pleasurable experience but invaluable to prose, as this is a wonderful opportunity to buff, polish and tighten the impact of one's writing.
Some might argue that editing is not only unnecessary, but detrimental to the raw concept of ones inspiration. The answer to this is simple: select a prose that hasnt been edited and compare against one that has. Its soon evident that a well-edited piece is not only easier to read, but communicates the authors ideas with greater clarity. Few Bestsellers hit the shelves having skipped the editing office. And unless the author has behind them years upon years of writi
How to Write a StoryHow to Write a StoryHow to Write a Story9 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
For all you aspiring young authors, and even old pros, who are looking for a way to improve your skills, this is for you. In this manual I'm relying on my own experience as an author and as an avid reader. First I'll start with the five major problems faced by most authors.
1. Writing a Beginning. The most remembered part of a story is the beginning and the end. The beginning sets the mood for the rest of the story. If you start off on the wrong foot, readers might just put your story down and look for a different one.
2. Writing an Ending. For a reader, the ending of a good book is an action-packed tragedy. When was the last time you read a good novel and wanted it to end? A good long story can be an enjoyable thing, but as a writer, you want to be able to end it.
3. Descriptions. Long boring paragraphs filled with the descriptions of characters and places don't make for good reading. In small doses, a wel
Grammar GuideGrammar Guide For Self-Editing or Editing GroupsGrammar Guide5 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
by Kelly Mortimer ©2008
A Awkward Sentence Structure Rearrange, rephrase, or try deleting unnecessary words.
Aa Additive Adjunct No comma before too when its the last word of a sentence, and too means also. Ex: Jane graduated from high school too. Use a comma when too appears elsewhere and still means also. Ex: Jane, too, graduated from high school.
Ap- Attribution Punctuation When using an attribution such as said, dont use a period at the end of the preceding sentence. Use a comma, a question mark, or an exclamation point. Dont capitalize he, she, they. Exs: I have to move into a new house, she said. --Its huge! she said. -- Im going to live here? she asked [or said]. If the attribution comes before the sentence, use a comma. Ex: She add
Showing, Part OneShowing, Part One10 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
If you've ever taken a class in creative writing, you've no doubt heard the teacher repeat the phrase, "Show, don't tell" over and over again. While there are few hardest rules in creative writing, this persistent little mantra might be the ultimate. Teachers and writers who write about writing spout it out all the time, but what does it mean anyway? After, isn't all writing really "telling" on some level?
It's best to view "showing" not as a single technique, but a summation of the most effective writing techniques. If we know anything about poetry, it's that the best poetry usually conjures specific and concrete images. Beyond language itself, images are the meat and bones of poetry. So goes most of prose as well. The prose writer has the added duty of creating situations and characters that seem real and believable.
Showing invites the reader into the world of out poem and story. If the reader can see, smell, taste, and feel the world through our writing, the reader is more
A word about haiku - MS JamesA word about haiku - by Michael JamesA word about haiku - MS James7 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
I believe there are a few basic precepts about haiku that are largely overlooked, or just flat out just not taught in most basic literary (poetic) courses. Everyone seems to know that a haiku is supposed to be written in the structure of 5-7-5 syllables per line respectively, but there is much more going on than just a simple syllable constraint. I shall attempt to give a brief overview of the main points about haiku.
First off, the 5-7-5 syllable structure most often cited as being the sole 'structural rule' of haiku is based on the original Japanese constraint. However, the Japanese language and more specifically their word structure differ from English in a critical way when it comes to the definition of this structure. In the Japanese language, each sound unit is called an onji as opposed to our syllable. This unit of measure for a word is considerable more concise than what we use to define a syllable (typically only
Haiku Theory Part 1 -2009-A Lot of Words About A Little PoemHaiku Theory Part 1 -2009-5 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
An Introduction to Haiku Structures
A haiku poem cannot be defined according to the number of syllables and lines it contains (nor by the number of syllables in each line). Although I do not wish to go into the reasons why at this point (I will save that for a later discussion) the form of modern English haiku, as Haruo Shirane writes, is a short poem, usually written in one to three lines. (in Gilbert, 2009) At this point our definition sounds very vague. If the number of syllables and lines do not define a haiku poem, then what does? And if a haiku poem is simply a short one, two or three-line poem then what separates it from other forms of Western short-verse or, in the case of one-line haiku, a sentence?
Patricia Donegan writes, in agreement with the Western haiku community at large, that syllable counting... is not the important thing for haiku in English. Haiku is an experience, not an act of co
Punctuating Dialogue: A GuideStandard Punctuation: DialoguePunctuating Dialogue: A Guide7 years ago in Editorial More Like This
Sometimes we read dialogue so often, punctuated in so many different ways, that we either forget what we've learned (if that was anything memorable to begin with) or we rely on instinct to guide us. A common example of this can be seen in the opening dialogue of darksouldream's piece, Bobby:
No, replied Cindy `I think his sister Becky is staying with her, but she keeps muttering about parents out living children. The doctors been keeping her pretty sedated.
Most Americans will cringe at this. Why? Well, double quotation marks are the more acceptable usage (the "traditional convention") in American Standard English. However, in British Standard English, both the double quotation mark and single quotation mark are used. What's the rule? Stylis
Style vs. Voice - A GuideStyle vs. Voice - A Guide5 years ago in Writing More Like This
A Writer's Guide to Style vs. Voice
Here on dA, there seems to be a lot of confusion and general mass hysteria when it comes to the subjects of writing style and voice. What are they? What's the difference? Can you write one without the other? How important are they, anyhow? Do you really need either of them? Wait, what are they again?
Style is the form and structure with which you write.
Voice is the attitude and perspective with which you write.
In other words, voice is the emotion and feeling of a piece of literature, and style is the technical way of communicating that emotion.
Clearly, there is a tangible difference between the two. Style is a delivery system for voice. While voice can and should affect the form with which you write, you can most certainly write one without the other. However, the best writing is a masterful fusion of both.
I'm here to illustrate for you the difference between style and voice and to define exactly what they are and how you can us
How to write a novel - OldHow to write a novelHow to write a novel - Old8 years ago in General Non-Fiction More Like This
A crash-course by someone who's done it before and will do it again
Step one will be getting rid of all the "I can't write a novel because *something, something, blah, blah*"isms. Here's a short list of the most used ones and why they're lame:
I can't write a novel because I'm too busy.
Wrong - All human beings need rest - and I don't mean just sleep. Come on, admit it, you spend some time each day reading, watching TV, surfing the internet, et cetera. I'm not going to ask you to stop doing these things, I'm going to ask you to consider doing more than one thing at a time, and maybe cut down some of the time you spend on those activities. "but you just said that I need y rest!" you say? Well, learn how to use writing as rest. More about that later.
I can't write a novel because I have no talent.
All human beings have what it takes to write a novel - imagination. Hey, I didn't say you were writing a bestseller, writing a novel for the sheer joy of wr
Giving Prose Visual AppealAnyone who's spent any time reading text on a computer screen can tell you that things such as font, spacing, formatting, and size all play a role in how well a text is received. Often times people make comments that disregard the importance of formatting a text. What these people fail to realize is that many people find it difficult to read certain things, not because they're lazy, old, or uncool, but because they have vision problems that prevent them from digesting entire blocks of text with no clear paragraph breaks or focusing on more than a line or two of bold/italic writing. In fact, even people with 20/20 vision have a difficult time maintaining focus if text is improperly formatted. That's why we have proper formatting guidelines to begin with! With that in mind, WordCount is offering this quick guide to making your prose more appealing to the general public.Giving Prose Visual Appeal7 years ago in Editorial More Like This
Quick Reference List
1. Do not use subs
How to Write Villanelles Villanelles can be quite discouraging; they look simple but are actually quite difficult. However, when mastered, it becomes technically easy according to Conrad Geller. Just like riding a bike, right? The name Villanelle is derived from the Italian villa, or country house, which is where aristocrats went to refresh themselves. Strangely enough, the form is originally French and only appeared in the English language in the lat 1800s (19th century). Out of the 19 lines in a Villanelle, only two rhymes are used. Furthermore, two lines repeat throughout the poem; usually the first and last lines of the first stanza are repeated interchangeably throughout the second, third, fourth, and fifth stanzas (starting with the first line of the first stanza) until the last stanza where both are repeated in the same stanza.How to Write Villanelles6 years ago in Other More Like This
Research: How to do ItResearch: How to do It5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Weve already discussed where to do your research, so now were going to learn how to go about using those tools. Like everything else we do in life, theres a process to it, and once youve learned the steps, finding the information becomes a bit easier (admittedly, some of the harder queries will never get easier).
What do you Need to Know?
Knowing what it is that youre trying to research seems sort of obvious, but there are times when you wont have the first clue about what youre looking for. These are mostly situations when you already have your story plotted out, and now you need fact to work around your outline.
The situation: A group of police characters is out in the sprawling farmlands of the West Country in the middle of the night. After a brief struggle, one of them is shot. The character that has done the shooting and his accomplice flee. The remaining uninjured character dials
Lesson 1 - Basics of MeterQUOTE OF THE DAYLesson 1 - Basics of Meter8 years ago in General Non-Fiction More Like This
"Life is tons of discipline. Your first discipline is your vocabulary; then your grammar and your punctuation. Then, in your exuberance and bounding energy you say you're going to add to that. Then you add rhyme and meter. And your delight is in that power."
- Robert Frost
As Robert Frost is saying, meter and rhyme are not the most important parts of writing. They are the most intricate when creating poetry, but poems can be written without them. I began my poetry with free verse, and gradually became more and more fixed as I went on to learn more about how meter affects the poem, and how rhyme, alliteration, assonance, and the like also affect the reader's experience with a piece of poetry. And my free verse is all the better for it. Even if you never write another fixed poem after finishing this course, an intricate understanding of the rules of conventional poe
How to Start and Stay WritingHow to Start and Stay Writing5 years ago in Writing More Like This
I recently solicited my watchers to ask me writing questions that I would then attempt to answer in a writing guide such as this. This article is my first response, and there will be many more to come.
I've been asked to give advice on ways a writer can begin to put words on a page. The bottom line is as simple as this: sit your butt down and write.
Duh, right? It's the only way I know to actually write.
Sure, sitting your butt in a chair is easy, but getting your fingers to move and stay moving is a challenge. Here are three things that have helped me.
1) Have a goal.
Your goal can be as simple as "describe the person in this picture" or as ambitious as "write 1,000 words of my novel." Having a goal will drive you forward and motivate you to keep writing. Whatever you do, don't move your butt from your chair until you accomplish your goal.
Other practical goals include setting a timer, writing to the end of a chapter or scene, and completing a particular section of an outline or numbe
Tips For the NoviceTips For the Novice11 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
Tips For The Novice
It's an all-too common occurrence on my periodic forays into the world of internet poetry - writing weakened by a lack of fundamental knowledge concerning the essence of poetry writing. There are no rules set in stone about creative writing. The writer that strikes new trails can make a lasting impact on the world of poetry, but the chances of a writer stumbling upon golden words without a solid knowledge base are slim to none. The following tips for novice writers are intended to help shore up those fundamentals, to help the young writer breathe the essence of life into their poems, and to better share that essence with the reader.
The most important element you can inject into your poetry is imagery. Imagery is made up of sense data: color, sound, smell, temperature, the feeling of physical contact. When we remember anything with any vividness, we remember in images. When we fantasize or hallucinate, it is i
Writing Resources for EveryoneThis news article is brought to you by the literature news, resources and feature groups: LitResources and its primary affiliate LitandNews. We invite you to explore the Literature community further, informing us of anything that should be included in future articles. Below, deviants will discover various information about the Literature community, have the opportunity to check out some of our favorite deviations, and read our growing collection of wonderful writing tutorials and resource journals packed full of useful tools to assist everyone in their journey on DeviantART as writers and far beyond.Writing Resources for Everyone3 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
Alittle Bit About Us
Meet our staff:
LadyLincoln, and LitandNews – Founder, Co-Founder
angelStained, Mahi-Fish, LiliWrites and FailedStar – Contributors
Check out our LitResources
Submitting to Lit JournalsRough Guide to Submitting Poetry to Literary Journals (by Email)Submitting to Lit Journals7 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
First thing you need is your poems, naturally; these must be fully redrafted to your satisfaction to have much of a chance of getting anywhere in the world of self-respecting mags. Try out some workshops (there are a tonne on the internet, and plenty in the real world too), ask your friends, but most of all just mull them over for yourself until you're happy.
Do not pad your submission with bad poems, thinking the worse ones might get through thanks to your stronger work. This will just result in the whole bunch being rejected, in all probability.
Next we need to scope out a market. There are numerous ways of doing this. Duotrope is probably the most useful resource around. Check that your target accepts electronic submissions and are currently open to submissions at all. Read their guidelines thoroughly and follow every one. It's amazing how many people completely fail to follow the
How To Write A StoryHOW TO WRITEHow To Write A Story5 years ago in General Non-Fiction More Like This
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
The following contains "bad language" for emphasis. I do not endorse the use of such language, yet I use it anyway because that's how I roll and it can add good emphasis to the points I bring up. If you don't like it, I pity you.
Becoming an Author
If you're looking for a step-by-step "How to Write the Next Bestseller", you're barking up an imaginary tree, so if I were you I'd desist from that before people stop and point at the delirious little chihuahua. Thing about writing is...
There's no secret.
(dun dun DUUUUN)
That's right. Those of you worrying about finding the Fountain of Perfect Authoring are chasing mirages in the desert of reality. There isn't really any Rosetta Stone of how to write a great story. Don't walk away in dejection just yet, however. There's no secret temple with the Pen of Shakespeare, but there a
Writing Tips - LanguageWriting Tips - Language5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Accents, Foreign Languages, and Regional Dialects
There are times when your story may have one or more character speaking a different language, or with a different accent than the rest. There are many different ways a writer can go about presenting this to the reader, and before we go any further, I will concede that some of it is a matter of personal taste, and on this particular matter, you wont be able to please everybody. So, consider this bit not so much a lesson, but rather a series of guidelines.
Everyone has one. Even if you think that you dont, theres someone, somewhere in the world who would disagree with you. Some people may have a very faint trace of an accent, whereas with others, you can hardly make out what theyre trying to tell you. But how should you translate these simple speech patterns to text? Well, that depends, really.
Since Ive been listening to the audio books lately, and its the best example I can come up with, let
The Joy of Crit: G-ratedThe Joy of Crit: The G-rated versionThe Joy of Crit: G-rated5 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Please indulge me in a thought experiment. Imagine that you drank some herbal tea that you found in the kitchen cupboard, not realizing that it would make you unable to tell a lie. Now, what if later that evening you were planning to attend your high school prom with someone you would be dating for the first time? You spend hours in the bathroom getting ready. Finally you meet up with your date and he or she asks, "so, how do I look?"
If your date looks wonderful, this question is easy to answer. A few superlatives, and maybe a comment about something you especially like, such as their hair style, just so that your praises don't ring hollow, will more than suffice. However, if the date looks so-so or is having a desperately bad hair day... Well, I'm sure you can see how answering this question the wrong way could end up with you dancing by yourself.
It's not difficult to u
Write Better: Read MoreWe didn't believe it, either, but you really can learn a lot from reading a book! If you've ever wanted some worthwhile advice from someone other than your high school English teacher, this is the place to look. The authors below are experts in their fields, well-respected and admired by accomplished writers from all over the world, and we're bringing you a list of their most prized and collectively-effective books. (Tried-and-tested by our worthy administrators, no less!)Write Better: Read More7 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
So what're you waiting for? Learn how to make every word count!
Reading Resource List for the Aspiring Writer
Writing Reminders: Tools, Tips, and Techniques (Jim Burke)
Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer (Roy Peter Clark)
Writing without Teachers (Peter Elbow)
Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process (Peter Elbow)
Writing Paranormal CharactersAs a writer of prose, you may at some point to want to write about a character or characters which are paranormal. We could perhaps debate over the exact definition of the word paranormal, and some may prefer supernatural - a word more closely associated with magic, whereas paranormal tends to be taken to mean something outside the realms of science (though of course, it is not as clear-cut as that, and you may like to think that I am wrong in saying this).Writing Paranormal Characters6 years ago in Editorial More Like This
For the purposes of this guide, both paranormal and supernatural refer to conscious beings, not found in the animal kingdom, that differ in some way to what I controversially call normal humans (some paranormal beings may be human, in part or in whole). To give some well-known examples: ghosts, vampires, witches, werewolves and mermaids all fall into this category. The details, of course, are up to the writer. If you t