5 Steps to Organize Your NovelWhat You'll Need:5 Steps to Organize Your Novel5 years ago in Writing More Like This
A basic story idea
Printer (preferably laser) with plenty of paper
Three Ring Binders (2) with separating tabs
Build Your World and Characters
For most writers, this comes naturally. If you're having some issues, there are plenty of tutorials, guides, aids and groups available for assistance. For the purpose of this guide, you should have your world built and at the very least your main characters devised. Having secondary characters planned will get you bonus points!
Print Character and Plot Sheets
Each character should have their own sheet (keep the backs blank, they're a grand place to keep extra notes and page references). It's not necessary that you fill out every single line of the character sheet. Fill out only what is necessary for the character/plot. Feel free to add to the sheet as your write, too. The
Worldbuilding and Your WritingIt's probably one of the most basic tasks of writing. Some of us take our time and carefully plan and plot every aspect of the world we're writing in. Others figure out the basics and jump right into the story. Like most aspects of writing, it comes down to what's comfortable for you, as a writer. But, if you're writing prose, you have to do a little bit of worldbuilding.Worldbuilding and Your Writing11 months ago in Literature Features More Like This
What is Worldbuilding?
Seems like the question of the hour. Everyone's talking about it. Some writers are making a big deal about it, while others say they don't do any at all. Worldbuilding is as simple as creating the world in which you're writing. How much worldbuilding you do is up to you.
How much should I build?
Remember, that no matter what, you'll always know more about your world than you'll ever write. It's not a bad thing; in fact, it should make your story stronger. The amount of building you do depends on the typ
A Guide to Character SheetsAlmost as soon as they were invented, people have been feuding over the effectiveness of character sheets. Some say they are godsends and they couldn't possibly create characters without them. Others say they only create flat characters and there's absolutely no reason why any writer should need to know the smallest and most minute details that character sheets call for. And then there are the writers that don't know which side of the debate they should listen to.A Guide to Character Sheets4 years ago in Writing More Like This
The easiest answer to that question is it's a personal decision that every writer needs to make for themselves. But before you make that decision, maybe you should know how they work and the benefits you can gain from them.
You see, when used correctly, sheets can really assist an author in keeping the facts about their world and characters straight. Otherwise, on page ten little Anne has green eyes, but on page thirty-two they change to blue, and miraculously enough on page fifty-five they're brown or back to green.
PE: How to Make the Most of Your Lit on dALit Basics WeekPE: How to Make the Most of Your Lit on dA2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
It goes without saying that being noticed on dA as an artist isn't easy. Add in the fact that you're submitting literature to a predominantly visual arts site and you have an even lower chance of being noticed. Your friendly Literature Community Volunteers do their best to feature an array of poetry and prose, but even that is only a single day feature of ONE of your deviations. Getting a following or even just getting deviants to read your lit and give feedback is hard work. But you'll see a common denominator amongst those deviants that have made it.
It's community involvement. You shouldn't expect to receive if you're not willing to give. But how exactly can accomplish that? Is going to random Lit Groups and leaving critique on a dozen or so deviations a week enough? Probably not. Will participating in group challenges, prompts and contests get you noticed? Not by itself. What if you run a weekly or bi-weekly feature article of Literature on dA? Still, no.
Writing Effective DialogueWe've all struggled through figuring out how to write dialogue that not only gets the information out there, but also helps build characters or advance the plot. There are tons of books and blogs out there on the topic, too. But just reading about it doesn't do much good if we're not ready to try it out. Give it a go and see what other people think. But let's start with the basics.Writing Effective Dialogue1 year ago in Deviant Events More Like This
What is Effective Dialogue?
Dialogue that's written well will reveal character traits, add to the tension and suspense, helps cut down on text walls of description and of course, advances your plot. One of the most important things to keep in mind when you're writing dialogue is that in fiction, your reader doesn't want to read all the mundane things we say on a regular basis. So if it's not moving the plot or adding to your character's personality, you should think about cutting it completely.
What do I mean by reveals character traits?
Preparing for NaNoWriMo Part 1We may only be one week into October, but November and NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. If you've never heard of it, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. That means in the span of thirty days, participants will write 50,000 words.Preparing for NaNoWriMo Part 13 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
1,667 words per day if they're writing every day.
2,273 words per day if they're only writing on weekdays.
6,250 words per day if they're only writing on weekends.
Either way it's a pretty hefty feat, and not something to walk into unprepared. Even if you're a "by the seat of your pants" type of writer.
So this year, instead of doing a basic what is NaNo and who's going to participate in it journal, we're gonna switch it up and give you some pointers on what you should be doing and what you definitely shouldn't be doing before and during NaNo.
The best place to get advice is from the people that have tried NaNo. Notice how I didn't say "and succeeded?" T
Writers' Block: The MythLit Basics WeekWriters' Block: The Myth2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
We've all suffered from sitting down at our desk, booting up our computer, ready to start writing a story and BAM nothing comes out. We sit there and sit there and still nothing comes out. We put everything away and try again the next day but have the same results. Then we go to our favourite blog site and write a journal about how the world is horrible and we're suffering from writers' block.
But are we really suffering from a block?
If, on the third day, someone came to us and said, "Have two pages, double spaced in 12pt text written by tomorrow at noon on a topic of your choosing and I'll give you $1,000," would we still be unable to produce something? I'm sure if given a deadline and incentive like this, the majority of us would be able to write two pages, double spaced in 12pt text by tomorrow at noon. Proving that writers' block is a myth. Well, in most cases.
I'm not saying there is absolutely no such thi
How to Plot Like a GrimIn ten simple steps, you too can plot like a Grim.How to Plot Like a Grim3 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
1. Get an idea
This can be a brief snippet of dialogue. Or an ending that just seems perfect. Sometimes it's just the concept of what I'd like to see a character go through. I write that down. Usually it doesn't see the cold light of day for at least a couple months, but when I've thought about it long enough and can't seem to get the idea out of my head, that's when I sit down and start plotting things out a bit.
2. Work out the basic plot
Now that I've got the idea, I need to work out the basic details. But how do I do that? Well, I write it down. Then I think about the different angles to get to that idea. I write those down. If it's dialogue, who's talking? What do they feel? Who are they talking to? If it's a snippet of a scene, who's in the scene? Why are they there? What are they doing? What's going on outside of that scene?
Lit: Characters and SettingsGallery Descriptions MonthLit: Characters and Settings1 year ago in Literature Features More Like This
Have you ever wandered through the Literature Gallery here on dA and wondered what the Characters & Settings sub category was for? Then ask no more. It should almost be obvious what goes in here, but let's play dumb for a minute.
The Characters & Settings gallery is NOT for your prose, poetry or scripts. Finished stories or poems don't belong here. They belong in their own categories. Here, we should find character information. Well what is character information:
Characters Sheets. Any character sheet that you've completed for your character(s) and would like to share. Blank sheets should be submitted to the Resources & Stocks > Tutorials > Writing gallery.Character Profiles or Biographies. You wrote a short description or history for your character but it won't be included in the final cut of your story.
Sub Plot: You Should Use ThemI'm certain you've heard it before but did you understand it when you were told that you needed to add more to your plot; that you should have a subplot or two in addition to what you already have plotted? Giving your main character a single goal and only having them achieve that one goal throughout the length of the story means you may not be writing the best story for that character. And it certainly won't be a long one.Sub Plot: You Should Use Them4 months ago in Literature Features More Like This
Adding in subplot allows you to explore the world and characters more. It allows you to add a dimension that wouldn't otherwise be seen and subplot(s) will enhance your story and make it better. Of course, that is, if it's done right.
What is Subplot?
I guess if we're going to talk about them, we should define them first. You know, just in case you're a little confused.
In fiction, a subplot is a secondary strand of the plot that is a supporting side story for any story or the main plot. Subplots may connec
When and How to EditLit Basics WeekWhen and How to Edit2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
Earlier in the week I got into what editing is and how to love it. Now, let's talk about the entrée following this apéritif: when to edit, and how to do it. And, perhaps even more importantly, how to stop.
Stop, you say?!
Yeah, it's really not that hard to get caught up in this perfectionist funk where all you do is wind around in circles on the same piece. Curb it from the beginning by having an idea of where you want to end. What should the reader walk away thinking about? What should the reader walk away feeling? Do things move fast enough to be interesting?
I stop editing when I get to a point where all my edits are just minor wording tweaks. At that point I'll go back and forth, and I'm not even changing the overall impression the story creates. If it's not productive, it's not worthwhile.
Now that we've gotten dessert out of the way:
Week #1 - PlotPrewriting should be done in stages. Sometimes these stages happen at the same time; sometimes not. Most deviants create their characters as they're working out their plot, which is good for names and basics. But more in depth character development should be done away from plotting. Questioning your characters and your setting after you've developed the plot may fill in plot holes or make you see them better.Week #1 - Plot5 months ago in Literature Features More Like This
Which brings us to the topic at hand: Prewriting in Stages. Also known as plotting like a Grim.
This week we're going to start with plot, because any story should be based on its plot; characters, setting and motivation should all work to advance the plot.
Obviously, you'll need a premise. This could be a theme you'd like to express in the story, or simply the outcome of a story. Either way, it's the most important part of the story. It's what your characters will be movin
Literary Terminology GuideLit Basics WeekLiterary Terminology Guide2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
This will be a straightforward article that lists some basic literary terms (in alphabetical order) that can be found in, well, literary works. You could use some of these terms to write a spectacular poem or prose piece about cake.
Before we get started, head on over to this other PE article that lists a BUNCH of Poetry Terms and Techniques.
An item of soft, sweet food made from a mixture of flour, shortening, eggs, sugar, and other ingredients, baked and often decorated. Also known as the first half of my otp.
A narrative that has multiple layers of meanings. Allegories are written in the form of fables, parables, poems, stories, and almost any other style or genre. The main purpose of an allegory is to tell a story that has characters, a setting, as well as other types of symbols, that have both literal and figurative meanings.
A reference to someth
Preparing for NaNoWriMo Part 2In my last journal, we discussed the best ways to prepare for NaNo and included a couple tips on how to make that writing go a little faster and smoother. Well, now it's time to discuss how to NOT fail at NaNoWriMo. Because just as there are some really grand ideas on how to prepare yourself and keep yourself on task during the month, there are also going to be those times of self doubt and using excuses to not write. For NaNo, any of those excuses are completely unacceptable [well, except for life threatening excuses - those are allowed].Preparing for NaNoWriMo Part 23 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
So once again, I reached out to the Lit Community to find out exactly why other deviants failed at NaNo, or what they found to NOT work for them and compiled it all together in a pretty little list like last time.
What Not to Do
Don't get sucked in Wikipedia, TVtropes or any other sites like that. In fact turn off your WiFi so the internet isn't a distraction. All your research
How to Stay Inspired and Focused on Your WritingLiterature Basics WeekHow to Stay Inspired and Focused on Your Writing2 years ago in Deviant Events More Like This
Our world is so full of noise and distraction. It’s no wonder “Walden” is a classic—Thoreau had time and quiet in which to write it! And plenty of inspiration from nature.
So how do we focus, as writers, on our craft? Even if it’s our passion, sometimes it takes a lot of effort to sit down and just write—especially if we struggle with attention or hyperactivity, whether diagnosed or not.
As someone who has studied both academic writing and reading in college and graduate school, and a veteran of National Poetry Writing Month for 7 years and National Novel Writing Month for one, I can attest that intentional writing, for fun or for a grade, is not easy to focus on, especially without a good writing environment.
So what to do? Many professional writers will tell you just one simple thing: write. James Patterson said, “The trick is making writing into a daily habit. Same time. Same place. Same hot beverage of choice.
Ready, Set, NaNo!So it's that time of the year again and we're all racing around trying to get our bits together for NaNoWriMo. OR, we're laughing at the people running around trying to get all their bits together for NaNo. In the past, I've written articles on what NaNo is and how to prepare for it. This isn't one of those articles. Well, not entirely. Let's start with the glaringly obvious.Ready, Set, NaNo!1 year ago in Literature Features More Like This
What's the point of NaNo?
If you answered "To write a 50k Word Count Novel in a month's time," you're wrong. NaNo is about conditioning writers to write regularly, keep those creative juices flowing and to work under pressure. November is a busy month. Students are back in school. Parents are dealing with said students. In the United States, we have Thanksgiving and of course everyone is getting ready for Christmas. Add in clearing 1,667 words a day and we're talking about some major pressure. But that's the poi
How to Write a Query LetterPublishing WeekHow to Write a Query Letter11 months ago in Literature Features More Like This
A query is kind of what it sounds like -- you're ASKING an agent or publisher if they're interested in seeing your book. But a query is more than hey what's up I'm awesome my book is awesome look at it plz! You have to write a professional letter that will entice the person who will read it into writing back with a HECK YES SHOW ME YOUR BOOK! (Okay, they probably won't say it like that. But you get the gist.)
The first line in your query should be:
Dear Ms./Mr. AgentLastName OR Dear Ms/Mr. EditorLastName
This might sound obvious, but you never EVER want to address a query with Dear Sirs/Madams or To Whom it May Concern. You also don't want to address it to the publisher or the agency. You are writing a specific agent or a specific editor, whom you've taken the time to research. You know what this person likes and you think he or she will like your book. So address them personally.
The next lines should should look something like:
Tips: How to get started with the lit community!Hello everyone! My name is Ricky Alaniz otherwise known as chromeantennae and today, I wanna give you guys a little guide on how I really got started here. How I got my name out there a little bit more and really got the courage to do more around these parts.Tips: How to get started with the lit community!2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
First off, understand that 99% of the literature community here on deviantART will give you just as much in return as you give back to it. It's a natural, human thing. But if you don't give back, you won't receive. That's always the number one thing to remember, but also that we're all here to support each other. Even the most popular of deviants started right where you are. Yes, even the Senior Members and lit CVs were newbies here on this site at one point too. And I know some people are intimidated by Senior Members and literature CVs but these folks are the LAST people to be intimidated by! They're in these positions for the exact opposite reasons-- they're not evil-doers or big bad monsters ready to reject whatever you sugge
What Is A Story?Lit Basics WeekWhat Is A Story?2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Well, the internet has a lot of entries when you search for the words "definition of story" (a lot possibly meaning millions). It's where many of us get our wisdom from, isn't it? One of the pages I selected said a "story" is defined as
"a narrative, either true or fictitious, prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the hearer or reader; tale."
I like the definition, and although that's not the only thing that a story is, I believe it's a nice groundwork to build up from. The most interesting parts are the words "prose or verse", "narrative", and "designed to interest, amuse or instruct": narrative, to me, implies the presence of a plot and so of a beginning-middle-end kind of structure. The second part tells me that a story needs to be told in a certain way. And "prose or verse" is a useful reminder that a story isn't only prose - it doesn't matter if your story is written in poetry or prose form
Fighting the Bloat!Literature Basics WeekFighting the Bloat!2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
Fighting the Bloat: Tips for Writing Strong, Lean Poetry and Prose
Hello, everyone! Ross here, for the Writing Basics week hosted by CRLiterature at projecteducate, and I'm talking about writing less. If you write from time to time in your life, it's certain that you either 1) are about to write too much, 2) are currently writing too much, or 3) have just recently written too much. We're going to help fix that.
Obviously I am not saying you should write less often, or write fewer words overall. I am saying that you need to make those words count if you want to be an effective writer: bloat is bad. Those of you who know me know that the preceding sentence is the most hypocritical thing you have ever read, because I sometimes elevate unnecessary verbosity to a sickening, scatological art form. So, to keep me on task, this article will periodically reference a TV show where the characters spend about
PE: Dos and Don'ts of Literature DDsDaily Deviations WeekPE: Dos and Don'ts of Literature DDs1 year ago in Literature Features More Like This
Literature is just a small portion of DeviantArt compared to the Visual Arts, but it is just as mighty. The libraries in our literature galleries are filled with epic poems, tales of fantasy adventures, space operas, curl up on the couch romance, six word stories and spectacular sonnets that will leave you mesmerized. But it's not like they have neon signs attached to them that blink and say "Read me!" Which means we have to wade through the other literature that isn't quite up to snuff. And then the idea hit us.
Why not make a list of things that put up the red danger flag when we're reading lit?
Don't pretend like you don't know what we're talking about. Imagine clicking on a link and finding one giant wall of text with no paragraph breaks or indentations. Or maybe it's a poem full of high school hormones and teenage love cliches. No wait, it's the story that af