Seven Mistakes to Avoid when Writing Dialogue

  Your reader will know whether or not you are competent in fiction writing within a few seconds of reading your dialogue. Convincing dialogue will keep your reader hooked; bad dialogue will, at best, make your reader laugh with pity as the book is thrown to the floor. Don’t turn off your reader by committing…

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Four Ways to Use Dialogue Tags

  Dialogue tags fulfill two functions. They inform the reader about: 1-who is speaking; 2-the manner in which this person has spoken.   There are four principle tags in dialogue: 1. Speech tags: the most basic form of dialogue attribution, these consist of: said, replied, asked, asserted, demanded, questioned, begged, retorted, uttered, maintained, insisted. etc. Example:…

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Writing Prompts Don’t Work for Writer’s Block

  Imagine that a famous artist were suffering through, as artists often are, a period of stagnation; this artist would start on canvases with great energy, only to destroy them shortly thereafter in a fit of hopelessness. Stuck in a cycle of unproductivity, this artist would be desperate to retrieve his former creative fire, to…

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Creative Writing Series: Writer’s Block

Why is writer’s block so pervasive? What causes it, and how can writers overcome it? This special series on “Creative Writing: Writer’s Block” identifies some of the root causes of writer’s block and concentrates on techniques to master your writing fears. To view series click here. Creative Writing Series: Writer’s Block – part 1. Introduction

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Creative Writing Series: Plot Development

What makes a good plot? How do you develop a simple idea into an intricate storyline? This special series on “Creative Writing: Plot Development” answers all of your questions on writing the perfect plot! To view series click here. Creative Writing Series on Plot Development – part 1. Introduction.

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Creative Writing Series: Style

  How do writers develop their own style? What techniques help writers “show” and not “tell”? What makes some writers’ style so special, while others seem phoney? This special series on “Creative Writing: Style” focuses on helping writers develop their own unique writing style. To Start Series click here. Creative Writing Series on Style –…

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7. Creative Writing Exercises on Style

  Mastering the metaphor will be your greatest challenge as a writer. Once you have internalized the process of transforming insipid sentences into exciting metaphors, you will notice an increase in both the speed and the quality of your writing. There are two enjoyable films that put the metaphor at the forefront: The Postman [Il…

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6. What the Writers are Saying: Quotes about Style

  Let’s see what some writers are saying about style: “The garden is one of the two great metaphors for humanity. The other, of course, is the river. Metaphors are a great language tool, because they explain the unknown in terms of the known. But they only work if they resonate in the heart of…

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5. Adjectives

  Adjectives are parts of speech that modify nouns and pronouns. They are extremely common and important in both everyday speech and formal writing, from the simple “I am happy” to the sublime “And my poor fool is hang’d!” of Shakespeare’s King Lear. The adjectives under fire The adjective has come under fire more than…

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4. Foreign Words, ‘Big Words,’ and Neologisms in Writing

  Nothing is more horrible in a writer than pretention. The use of foreign words and highbrow vocabulary for the sole purpose of showcasing one’s great learning is the mark of a true literary fraud. Should a writer ever use the thesaurus? The thesaurus can be a scary thing when used for the wrong purposes.…

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