January 31st, 2011

MantisYes
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Episode 21: Humor

Writing Excuses Episode 21: Humor

from http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/06/30/writing-excuses-episode-21-humor/

This episode is about humor, how to make people laugh, with a particular focus on writers. How do you write humor, why do we write humor, more suggestions about how to write humor, and a writing prompt to get you started. Now if we can include cute, naughty, bizarre, clever, recognizable, and cruel elements in our jokes, we'll get the laughs. Like a brick doesn't.
Collapse )
And the writing prompt: write something funny in which strong profanity is appropriate but doesn't happen.

See you next week.
BrainUnderRepair
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Episode 22: Doing the Unpopular

Writing Excuses #22: Doing the Unpopular (Aka When DoYou Do Unpopular Things?)

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/07/07/writing-excuses-episode-22-when-do-things-that-are-unpopular/

The ABCs of unpopular writing. Tell the reader ahead of time (foreshadow!) the unpleasantness. Consider compromising to make good salable art, not just art. Good writing first, do what you need to make the best story, and fulfill your promises. And stick to your guns. Popularity polls doth not good writing make.
Collapse )
Writing Prompt: Write a scene from the POV of a frontline grunt in an army of the undead. A grunt who gets thrown onto the spears, dies, gets reanimated, and gets ready to die again.

Howard's amendment: You are not allowed to use the word "brains."
And that's it for another week.
ISeeYou2
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Episode 23: Viewpoints

Writing Excuses Episode 23: Viewpoints

http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/07/14/writing-excuses-episode-23-viewpoint/

The episode was introduced as viewpoints and tense, but they grew too intense and didn't have enough time to talk about tense.

The key points: 1st person and 3rd person limited are the current standards. 1st person means the story is told by ME, and I do everything. 3rd person limited means he (or she) is doing things, with the POV following one character. First person has easy identification (up close and personal). Third limited allows better handling of large casts and multiple viewpoints, plus making it easier to keep secrets from the readers.
Collapse )
Writing Prompt: we've talked about keeping secrets. Write a scene in third person limited where the viewpoint character has a secret that they do not want any other characters to know about.
Burp
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Episode 24: Research

Writing Excuses Episode 24: Research

http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/07/20/writing-excuses-episode-24-research/

Key points: Do just enough research to get by. Be curious, but don't overdo it, stick with a couple of key details, not everything you found. Think it through -- after you do the research, what does your specific situation do to that? Don't be afraid of Dr. Google and Wikipedia.
Collapse )
Writing prompt: write a scene in which a character is performing an activity about which you know nothing. Pick an activity about which you know nothing, go to Wikipedia and read up on it, and then write the scene. [I know exactly what you're thinking. I'm not going to say it. I'm not going to go there.]
ISeeYou2
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Episode 25: Tense and Viewpoint Part 2

Writing Excuses Episode 25: Tense and Viewpoint Part 2

from http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/07/28/writing-excuses-episode-25-viewpoint-and-tense-part-2/

Key Points? Find the most interesting person, the one who is the pivot of the scene, and tell it from their POV in Third Person Limited, Past Tense. New writers should stick with one viewpoint. Do Third Person Limited well, and you are (almost) guaranteed to sell.
Collapse )
Writing prompt: write a scene using third person limited, past tense, of riding through a medieval village. Write the same scene four times, with different characters as the POV character each time (e.g a nobleman, a scholar, a blacksmith, and a merchant). Show the backstory and conflicts of the different characters by what they notice.