INTRODUCTION: Writing is a beautiful craft, with much to explore whether you're a beginner or advanced Writer. Every piece created is another story ready to be told. It can take a lifetime to make something out of your work, but with the time you have, try to make it worth every moment - good or bad. If you're wanting to make a change, change the way you see the world. If you're wanting to make a mark, change the way you feel the world at its entirety. There's a chance out there that you just might find the opportunity of your lifetime; hidden away, luring your wondering mind into a pit full of failed attempts, but a rope and word to support you until the end.
"TWENTY-THREE WRITING TIPS" CHAPTER 1: ORGANIZATION In this chapter we're going over the fundamentals of: - Creating a Freelance Writer's spreadsheet. - Outlining your story. - Carrying out research for useful information. - Setting aside your manuscript. - Getting a professional edit. 1. Create a Freelance Writer's spreadsheet - I have many interests, such as writing, art, history, film, music, and several more. We all have various skill sets we can draw from to create "how to" articles. Maybe you're a writer who's found unusual but effective ways to hold book signings. Or maybe you're a parent who designs fun activities to entertain kids without the Xbox, computer, phone, or TV. The more you know a topic, the better you can write about it. 2. Outlining your story. - What your story is about. Keep it simple, but interesting. Don't add unnecessary words, and/or sentences that will throw your writing off balance. 3. Carrying out research for useful information. - It's your friend. We can't always be in the places we write about. Even if you live in the city that's prominent in your book, you still want to research all the little things that make your city special: food, festivals, how people talk, their history, and culture. After buying your book, readers will definitely call you out for misstating a historical fact that anyone can check. For example, you'd probably feel foolish if a reader pointed to a riot scene in Los Angeles that you set in 1995 instead of 1992 when the riots took place. 4. Setting aside your manuscript. - If you stare at your work for long periods, your mind can play tricks . You might miss grammar and punctuation errors. Put it away for a while (some writers say a week; others say put the project on hold for at least a month). A fresh pair of eyes will help you see your words in a new light. 5. Get a professional edit. - This is arguably, the most important step in the book production process- and the one that inexperienced writers often skip. Some think self-editing is enough while others go a little further and have friends "edit" their work. I've been guilty of it. Hire an editor. Editors are not only trained to spot obvious errors, such as misspelled words and weak verbs and nouns, but also character flaws, weak plots, and boring dialogue. No way around it, editing can be expensive, but without a doubt, it is crucial. Editors who write need the services of other sharp editors to see what they have not.
"TWENTY-THREE WRITING TIPS" CHAPTER 2: MINIMISE In this chapter we'll discuss the importance of: - Minimising your words. - Reducing words per sentence. - Limiting auxiliary verbs. - Cutting out the obvious. - Preposition ending rules. 6. Minimising your words. - In the film Ocean's Eleven, Brad Pitt summed it up: "Don't use seven words when four will do." That goes for writing. The fewer words, the better: In order to obtain a driver's license issued by the state of California, you must be able to locate the nearest DMV. Becomes: To get a California driver's license, find the nearest DMV. This should sum' it up! 7. Reducing words per sentence. - Auxiliary verbs are forms of the verb "to be" such as: is, are, was, and were. "To be" words have their place. I've used a few but try not to use too many. Be careful when starting a sentence with "there were" or "there was." Nine times out of ten, you can delete them by figuring out where the action in the sentence is and replacing "there is" with a strong action word. Strong nouns and strong verbs are the building blocks of strong sentences. There was thick smoke in the room. There was a hit man standing by the door holding a gun. Becomes: Thick smoke darkened the room. The hit man stood by the door holding a gun. 8. Limiting auxiliary verbs. - Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. That doesn't mean adverbs make the words they modify better or more intense. Find a better word to replace the adverbs or just take them out. Action and dialog can often kill the need for an adverb: She walked quickly out of the bedroom to escape the boiling rage her husband provoked. Becomes: "You bastard ! I hate you!" She slapped her husband and stomped out of the bedroom. Instead of "walked quickly," the strong verb "stomped" gives the reader a sharper picture. Through her actions and the dialog, you feel her rage. 9. Cutting out the obvious. - Shrugging and nodding are movements exclusive to specific body parts. When you nod or shrug, we all know which body parts are doing the action. No need to say "he nodded his head" or "she shrugged her shoulders." To simplify, just say "he nodded" or "she shrugged." In the same way, "he thought to himself" has too many words. Who else would do the thinking? "He thought" will do. 10. Preposition ending rules. - You can break this rule with dialogue because some people talk this way, but not so much in the narrative. Ending a sentence with "at,""to," or, "of" may indicate poor writing, according to prescriptive grammarians, but not everyone agrees and they do have a point. Winston Churchill despised this advice and quipped, "This is the sort of English up with which I will not put."
"TWENTY-THREE WRITING TIPS" CHAPTER 3: STYLE AND CLARITY Following this chapter we'll go through the benefits of: - Reading more stories. - Using dialogue within the action. - Showing, but not telling. - Writing what's on your mind. - Reading aloud. - Making sense of the material. - Active/passive voice. - Beats. - Contraction rules. 11. Reading more stories. - Until the characters in each story run from you in terror, a true writer is a true reader. Reading a variety of writing styles (fiction and nonfiction) helps you understand structure, tone, and story flow, painting a picture of how each aspect affects the others. 12. Using dialogue within in the action. - Nothing is more boring than reading a long narrative with no verbal reactions or thoughts in between. Real people utter or mumble something in just about any situation, even if it's one word. If they can't talk (for example, the character is gagged or mute), you can at least have the character "say"a few words in their thoughts. 13. Showing, but not telling. - To "show" rather than "tell," incorporate the five senses (touch, taste, smell, hearing , and sight) into your prose. 14. Writing what's on your mind. - Worry about editing and polishing later. The important thing is to extract whatever's clogging your head into a written format . Plus, you want to write down your great ideas before you forget them. You'll have plenty of time to edit. 15. Reading aloud. - When you hear your words, you are alerted to what sounds clunky or awkward. This is a good time to practice in front of the mirror . Public readings just might be in your future. Consider this your dry run.
"TWENTY-THREE WRITING TIPS" CHAPTER 4: BRING YOUR WORLD AND CHARACTERS TO LIFE! Here you'll be able to learn the elements of: - A character profile sheet. - Understanding the character's sympathetic traits. - Learning to premise. - Seeing the big idea. 20. A character profile sheet. - You know the main characters, antagonists and supporting cast but who are they really? What do they look like? What drives them? Is the main character sympathetic with relatable flaws or a major jerk? The more that is known about the characters, the more readers will care about their story. 21. Understanding the character's sympathetic traits. - Why do we root for Peter Parker as much as his alter ego, Spiderman? Because we feel for Peter and want him to succeed. He's a geeky college student behind one of the most powerful superheroes in the world- but he can't afford to buy a simple sandwich, is always losing his job, and is awkward around certain people. Some of us can relate. Your main character can't be all hardcore gangster, like Joe Pesci in Good Fellas. The character needs a redeeming quality to get the reader on his team, even if your protagonist is the bad guy. 22. Learning to premise. - The Nature of Conflict. Character. The Underside of Your Characters. Strengths and Weaknesses. Narration. POV. Voice. Tense. Chapters. Transitions. First and Last Chapters. Creating scenes. Processes. Setting. Language. Narrative. voice. Speech (dialogue). The Senses. 23. Seeing the big idea. - Plot. Character. Narration. Irony. The Fictional World. The Intellectual World. Chapters. Research. Psychology of Creativity. The Ethics of Writing. Writing, Rewriting, Editing. Publishing. Final Thoughts.