Thursday – Writing Tips Day



Archive for October, 2014

Thursday – Writing Tips Day

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

 

   Last Thursday we looked at speaker attributions and the importance of sticking to he said  and she said. Do we always need speaker attributions? No. Read your story aloud and see where you can drop them. Look at this piece of dialogue.

 

   “Do you know what I want?” Josh said.

   “No.” Caitlyn said. “Do you?”

   “Yes, and it’s not spending the day with you,” Josh said.

   “Fine,” Caitlyn said.

 

   There’s no need for all these attributions. We can ditch the last two. And we can also place a bit of action between dialogue instead of attributions. How about this?

 

    Josh prodded his chest with his thumb. “Do you know what I want?” 

    “No,” Caitlyn said. “Do YOU?”    

    “Yes, and it’s not spending the day with you.”

    “Fine.”

 

   Play around with a passage of dialogue in a book and have fun seeing what enhances it. Many times it’s a question of taking something out.

 

   Happy Thursday! Liane x

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Wednesday – Help Yourself Day

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

   Hello. How are you? Great, I hope! Let’s have some creative fun. Ready?

 

   Say three numbers 1 to 50. Pick up a book you love and find the first word on each of those pages that leap out at you and make a story, song, poem, drawing or painting using those three words.

   Happy Wednesday!

   Liane  x x x

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Tuesday – Creative Flow and Ideas Day

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

   Yo, yo, yo. Freddie’s in the house. How you guys doing? Ready to finish a little story? Let’s get creative.

 

   You open up your laptop and switch it on. Instead of the normal whirring, it crackles and you hear a giggle inside the keyboard. Your eyes widen.

   What happens next? Over to you, guys. Happy Tuesday! Freddie xx

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Thursday -Writing Tips Day

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

   I love writing dialogue. When I sent my editor the first draft of THE CHRONICLES OF JOYA she gave me a great tip about speaker attributions (he said, she muttered, she groaned, he chuckled, she screamed).

 

   Her tip was stick to he said and she said. Why? Because the reader’s mind will skim over he said and she said. When you write he requested or he uttered you risk taking your reader out of the story.

 

   Her other tip is write Paul said and not said Paul. After all, you wouldn’t say said he, would you? If you record both ways, you’ll hear the first sounds more natural.

 

   Write a scene with these new skills and watch your writing shine. Happy Thursday! Liane x

 

Ps. If you want to know more great editing skills, check out Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. And if you have any resistance or block to writing, read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Fantastic books.

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Wednesday -Help Yourself Day

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

   If there’s one thing I’ve learned – and keep forgetting! – is our body is like a car engine. We wouldn’t leave our car engine running 24/7 every day, would we? What a waste of fuel, battery power and noisy too.

 

   So today’s tip is to treat your body like a car for a few days. Check if it’s getting high grade fuel – plenty of water, enough rest. A car engine doesn’t like to continually tick over. Engage the fan, put your feet up and close your eyes for ten minutes. Recharge that engine.

 

   Think of three ways to relax and do at least one of them today. Go on, treat yourself. :)

 

   Happy Wednesday! Liane x

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Tuesday – Creative Flow and Ideas Day

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

   Yo, Freddie’s in the house. How you guys doing? Let’s get those creative juices flowing.

 

   It’s hot. You’re stretched out on the grass in the park with your eyes closed. But then something wet drops on your cheek. You open your eyes, jump up and ….

   What happens next? Over to you, guys. Happy Tuesday! Freddie xx

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Thursday – Writing Tips Day

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

 

      Dorothea Brande said a wonderful thing which really helps me. If you find yourself not in the writing flow set yourself two tasks:

1. Get up earlier every morning and just scribble away before you have time to think about it.

 

2. Set yourself an appointment at different times each day to sit and write for ten minutes.

 

   Have fun with these suggestions and play with them to suit you.

 Happy Thursday! Liane x

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Wednesday – Help Yourself Day

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

 

   Ever tried meditation? It’s a great gift to relax your brain. Close your eyes and breathe in and out through your nose. Either concentrate on your breath or repeat a word like ‘thank you’ over and over in your mind. Have a pad and pen by your side because when you give your mind this recharge it can give you great reminders and insights. Have fun.

   Happy Wednesday! Liane. xxx

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Tuesday – Creative Flow and Ideas Day

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

 

   Hey! Freddie’s in the house. What’s happenin’, guys? Ready to get those creative juices going and write a little story? I’ll start you off.

 

   You wake up and realise you missed your alarm. You’re an hour late! You leap out of bed but the floor’s disappeared.

   Over to you, guys. Happy Tuesday! Freddie xx

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Thursday – Writing Tips Day

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

   How can you make your story come alive? How can you make it jump off the page? One way is to avoid adverbs. What are they? Those words which tell us how we did something.

How did he drive? Fast.

How did she talk? Quickly.

 

   Instead of using these words dig in your mind for strong verbs. Instead of He drove fast, how about He sped? Change She talked quickly to She gabbled. 

 

   Here are a few reasons we use adverbs:

1. We’re being a bit lazy. It’s easier to just write She hit him hard instead of using something more expressive … She pounded her fist into his cheek.

2. We use adverbs because we don’t think people will understand us or what we are trying to convey if we don’t. Believe in your readers. Trust their intelligence.

3. We use adverbs because we doubt our writing. Believe in yourself. All words like slowly, quickly, sarcastically and powerfully can be avoided by jumping into the character’s mind and acting out the scene yourself.

And strong verbs … they rock!

Have fun and happy writing! Liane x

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