Writing for PROFITWriting for PROFIT5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Writing for Profit
It's Not just an Adventure - It's a JOB.
Whoever told you that writing fiction for publication - for money - is supposed to be Artistic, Fun, or Easy -- LIED.
Writing may look artistic, and creative writing certainly is artistic (that's why they call it Creative Writing,) but writing for a living; writing for publication with the intent to get paid on a regular basis is NOT artistic, it's NOT always fun, and it certainly is NOT easy.
Writing for publication is WORK. Sure, some of it is fun, but the bulk of it is mind-bending, eye-straining work. Don't get me wrong, creativity is part of the job of writing for a living, but if you think us professional writers turn on "the Creative Muse" at 8 AM and shut her back off again at 5:30 PM then you are missing the point entirely.
The Road to publication is paved with glamorous Half-Truths.
Half-Truth: "If you write it
Propaganda - Enemy of FictionPropaganda - Enemy of Fiction5 years ago in Writing More Like This
The Enemy of Good Fiction
~ PROPAGANDA! ~
Many people have asked me, "Why don't you watch TV anymore?"
I do, sort of. I play movies that I buy and rent on my TV regularly. However, I Don't watch cable TV or local TV, and I NEVER watch sitcoms or Reality TV of any kind. If I want the news, I go to the internet.
Why Not? Because there's too much Programming going on in those programs, and not one drop of Reality in Reality TV -- especially the Law & Order ones.
TV = The Tool of Propaganda
By Phil Cunningham
Posted WITH Permission.)
Propaganda and Advertising, affects us all. The two operate using the exact same techniques, so it can be very difficult to recognize one from the other. The only major difference between the two is that advertising sells Products, while propaganda sells IDEALS.
Increasingly, the corporate advertising of goods and services is being coupled with political, "moral", and religious value messages - Propaganda.
The Subtle STATIC TRAITThe Subtle STATIC TRAIT5 years ago in Writing More Like This
The Subtle STATIC TRAIT
Secret Weapon of the Clever Writer
The Static Trait is the small personal HABIT an individual character displays which reveals their personal Neurosis, their driving NEED, especially in stressful situations. This habitual or even ritual behavior acts as both their greatest source of trouble and the linchpin to their success. It's the individual character's "Accident Waiting to Happen".
The most obvious place to find visible Static Traits is in both Comedies and Tragedies. These stories (and movies) RELY on their characters' Static Traits to linchpin the plot.
What made Laurel and Hardy so funny, were the little neurotic habits -- the static traits -- that would appear under stressful situations. Abbot and Costello built whole routines on Bud Abbot's little twitchy responses. The climactic scene in every one of their movies involved Abbot in a panic attack. You spent half the movie going "Oh no! Don't! Don't! Don't!...AH! He did
Crossing GenresCrossing Genres5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Every genre has core elements that make that genre that genre. In order to Cross Genres properly, you need to know each of your genre's distinctive elements and make them Equally Important in the story.
Simple, no? However...
One of the most common mistakes I've seen in every genre of fiction: IGNORANCE.
"Most of the common mistakes come with any writing that isn't so goodbad characters, bad plots, bad writing. The ones which are peculiar to alternate histories (fantasy and sci-fi) are bad research and bad extrapolation."
-- An Interview with Harry Turtledove --
How do you expect to cross genres properly if you don't even know the genres you're working with? Contrary to popular belief, even if you're writing pure Heroic Fantasy, just making it up as you go is NOT good enough!
On writing Heroic Fantasy
"The consequence of making that assumption is, inevita
10 Second Tip - Foreshadowing10 Second Tip - Foreshadowing5 years ago in Writing More Like This
I hear the term 'foreshadowing' a lot. That's when you hint at stuff to come, right? So yeah, but how do I DO it?
Foreshadowing is when the opening scene of a story is a kind of nutshell prophecy for the whole story.
* In a Horror, this is when the originating Bad Thing happens.
* In a Mystery or Crime story, it's when the first victim is slain, and/or object (McGuffin) goes missing.
* In a Romance this is where the main character meets their soon-to-be lover for a fleeting but memorable moment.
* In a Sci-fi, this is where the ruling Theory is presented.
* In a Gothic, this is where the main character transforms into a monster for the first time.
This also reveals the Premise, or ruling argument that the story is trying to illustrate; what the story is trying to Prove.
The results of Revenge
The path of Ambition
The reality of Love
The sacrifices one mak
The DUAL-NATURED CharacterThe DUAL-NATURED Character5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Building the DUAL-NATURED Character
Let's start this lecture with a HUGE secret:
-- There are Three Essential Characters in every story:
> Adversary The one causing all the trouble.
> Proponent The one trying to keep things the way they are.
> Ally The close companion of one or the other caught in the middle.
In other words, you can tell any story with ONLY these Three Characters; perhaps not with any real detail, but you could still do the entire basic plotline.
And each essential character is governed by one of three SPECIFIC aspects, or Drives:
> MOTIVE - Driven by a REASON to Make something happen, such as Revenge.
> ACTION - Driven by the need to ACT, normally because if they don't they die, but an incentive such as a Reward or Prize works too.
When the Hero is NOT a HeroWhen the Hero is NOT a Hero4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Protagonist & Antagonist ~ A Different Definition
There are Three Essential Characters in Every Story. There may be any number of side characters, but in traditional Adventures, and Romances of every stripe the main conflict is usually, if not always, a triangle of complimentary opposites.
Translation: You could tell the WHOLE story with ONLY these Three Characters; perhaps not with any real detail, but you could still do the entire basic plotline. (Yes I know, I've said some of this before. Bear with me.)
Yep. I'm sure you're familiar with: Hero Villain Heroine (or Sidekick) already. Those are pretty darn standard. So, let's define them in a more Literary, (and complicated,) fashion shall we?
Antagonist - Protagonist - Ally
ALLY? Who the heck is That?
Always there, though seldom named
Sentence Structure for FICTIONSentence Structure for FICTION6 years ago in Writing More Like This
On Basic Sentence Structure for Fiction
(Grammar Nazis BEWARE!)
Everything I ever learned about writing Fiction DIDN'T come from school; not even college. In fact, the way one writes fiction is almost the complete opposite of everything I learned in school about writing.
In order to make my stories crystal clear in my readers' imaginations, I write in precise Chronological Order, in the order events actually happen, PLUS in the order that the eye sees it.
Case in point, when describing a character, I describe them from top to bottom, in the order that the eye notices them. Face, hair, upper body, arms, hands, then lower body, legs, feet, then over all impression.
Types of Mary-Sue'sAngsty Sue: This type of Sue is created for people to feel bad for because of some dark past. Every other character in the story (unless they're mean or spiteful) will always make the Sue’s angst the biggest issue in the story and the fact that she constantly dwells in her own self pity will be considered a “natural reaction”. If two characters both have traumatic experiences, the Sue will receive more attention no matter what. The main goal of these is often to have the OC cuddle with a canon character.Types of Mary-Sue's2 years ago in Writing More Like This
Example one: Fred has just had his leg chopped off and will die if he does not receive medical attention immediately, but Mary-Sue is crying because of her daddy issues so everyone is busy comforting her. When Fred tries to call attention to the fact that he’s dying, the others will call him selfish for not caring about Mary-Sue.
Example two: Best friends, Lucy and Mary-Sue were both kidnapped. Lucy was raped, and Mary-Sue witnessed it. W
Writing ANGSTWriting ANGST5 years ago in Writing More Like This
One way to add excitement to your story is by adding lots of bad-guys, also known as EXTERNAL Conflict. Another way is by adding INTERNAL Conflict, more commonly known as Angst.
I'm sure most of you have noticed by now that most movie characters, and far too many book characters, are One-Dimensional. They do stuff, but they don't face any personality issues: a hang-up, a fear, paranoia, a moral code, a love interest, a strong dislike Or worse, they do have all these things, but they never really affect the story.
There's a Plot Arc, things happen, but no Character Arc. The things that happen don't affect the characters emotionally.
Where's the ANGST?
Answer these two questions:
1. What is your character's biggest character flaw?
(Think: 7 Deadly Sins.)