Tags: details

ISeeYou2
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 7.5: Sensory Writing

Writing Excuses 7.5: Sensory Writing

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2012/01/29/writing-excuses-7-5-sensory-writing/

Key points: sensory writing, evocative writing pulls the reader into the scene and engages them. Sensory information and description is interesting. Challenge their senses! Keep the reader engaged. But don't overstimulate. Avoid literary diabetes. Err on the side of excess, you can always trim later (Luxury!). Look for details that are important to your character's emotional state or the plot. Details that get the reader into the character's skin. Try "not looking directly at it." Don't show the monster, let the reader fill it in. Hammer it home with a glancing blow to reality?
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[Dan] All right. Well, that's all the time that we have, so we're going to wrap up. I actually have a writing prompt...
[Mary] I am so proud of you.
[Dan] So I am not going to throw this at you, again, Mary. What I would like you to do for your writing prompt is, you have a character whose vision is obscured... They're blindfolded, they're in a closet or a trunk or whatever, and they're trying to figure out where they are using all their other senses. So. There you go. All right. This has been Writing Excuses. You are out of excuses. Now go write.
Burp

Writing Excuses 6.9: Microcasting 2 Electric Boogaloo

Writing Excuses 6.9: Microcasting 2 Electric Boogaloo

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2011/07/31/writing-excuses-6-9-microcasting-2-electric-boogaloo/

Key points:
(Q) How do you keep the whole story in your head when it's a 1000 pages long? (A) Outlines. You only keep a piece in your head. You fill in the rest as you go. "Practicing and gaining skill as a writer through practice..."
(Q) What steps do you use when creating a character? Are they part of the story and created by the story? (A) Yes! Starting with an idea, ask who can be hurt most? Then work backwards -- why, how does that affect things? Jot down ideas and discard the first three. Practice!
(Q) When do you put in the details? How many passes are spent on details? (A) Outliners often do really fast first drafts, with roughly half the details. Then about the third draft is a strong polishing draft with lots of details. Details affect pacing, and it's easier to see when you have a complete draft.
(Q) How do you patch plot holes? (A) Back up and lay the groundwork.
(Q) How do you come up with names? (A) look at the period. Avoid the same first letter and similar syllables. Think about the language and culture, where do their names come from? Use The Ever-Changing Book of Names.
(Q) Do you have one writing skill that you want to be much better at? (A) Subtlety. Multiple viewpoints, subplots, more complicated stories. Prose. Experimental narrative structures. Sitting down and writing every day.
(Q) What's your take on writing groups? (A) I love them. Not all groups are created equal. Be careful and don't be afraid to quit.
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[Brandon] Okay. Let's go ahead and take us out there. We had two writing prompts. One was ridiculously silly...
[Howard] Intercontinental Ballistic Hairball.
[Brandon] I was going to say Dan has to save the world... Or someone has to save the world using a keyboard that is in the wrong format. Somehow the letters got completely arranged randomly, and go from there with rearranged random letters.
[Dan] Someone has to save the world from an Intercontinental Ballistic Hairball using the wrong computer layout.
[Brandon] Oh, boy.
[Dan] Either the wrong operating system.
[Mary] Oh, yeah.
[Brandon] I'm sorry. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
Burp

Writing Excuses 5.34: Story Bibles

Writing Excuses 5.34: Story Bibles

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2011/04/24/writing-excuses-5-34-story-bibles/

Key points: Use the tool that works for you and your project. Consider the scale, who needs to use it, what works for you. Story bibles can help you get the ending correct. They can help you avoid continuity errors. They can help you remember and keep track of all the details. Worldbuilding, and your story bible, need to match the story you are writing. Story bibles are where you infodump for yourself, to inform your writing. And keep the infodumps out of your books.
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[Brandon] Dan. Writing prompt?
[Dan] Yes. Writing prompt.
[Brandon] Save us from long boring paragraphs.
[Dan] Okay.
[Brandon] Come on. Do it fast.
[Dan] Well, I had one until you threw me off. Okay. What I want you to do is write a story in which there is a...
[Brandon] A character doing something?
[Dan] A character that's doing something. No. Someone is a were-animal that is the kind of animal you would never be a were-anything.
[Brandon] Oh? Good.
[Dan] We have werewolves and werebears and all that stuff. I want to see like a were-banana-slug, some ridiculous thing.
[Brandon] Okay. Well. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, kind of. Now go write.
BrainUnderRepair
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 19: Emotion in Fiction with John Brown

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 19: Emotion in Fiction with John Brown

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/10/04/writing-excuses-season-3-episode-19-emotion-in-fiction-with-john-brown/

Key points: fiction is all about guiding an emotional response in a reader. Writing takes time to think about writing plus time to write. Make time for both. Emotions come from reaction and thoughts, but when we think distorted thoughts, we cause our own emotional reactions. Cognitive therapy tool: stop, write down the feeling and the thought that went with it. Then examine the thought to see if it is realistic. Don't just compare what someone else does well with what you are weak at -- pay attention to the things you do well, too.  Good writing guides the reader into experiencing emotions, so think about what evokes a response in you, then put that in your story. Character identification, believability, clarity, focusing on triggering details are all part of evoking emotions. The question you have to ask yourself is, what would evoke that response. Then put that in the story.
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[Brandon] OK. Let's go ahead and do a writing prompt. I think that might be a good one right there. A story about villainous heroes that has a romantic element that inspires terror in your reader. That's going to be your goal. All right. This has been Writing Excuses, you're out of excuses, now go write.
Fireworks Delight
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 5.21: Alternate History

Writing Excuses 5.21: Alternate History

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2011/01/23/writing-excuses-5-21-alternate-history/

Key Points: Alternate history: take real history and change something, then write a story based on that history. Pure alternate history just changes a historic event. "Duck, Mr. President" alternate history usually triggers a change through time travel. Fantasy alternate history adds magic. Write what you know, and write what you're passionate about. IF you want to write alternate history, be ready to do a lot of research. Use the little fact, big lie technique -- distract the reader with facts and details you know, so that he doesn't notice the blank background over there. Find the scholar who knows what you need and make friends with them. Only put details in that move the plot forward, build character, or set the stage. Beware the historical detail that can't be explained easily to a modern audience. Work hard to make your alternate history accessible to a modern audience, with characters who readers identify with that do not have modern attitudes. Be true to the period, show your reader how and why people thought then, and avoid caricatures.
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[Dan] I do indeed. We're going to just do the classic branching point alternate history. Pick a major event in history that you happen to love, decide that it comes out differently, and then write a little story.
[Howard] So a Duck, Mister President?
[Dan] Not a time travel, but like a branching point. A... where somebody won the wrong war or lost the war...
[Howard] Horseshoe fell off.
[Dan] Or the wrong thing happened. Then write a story that takes place 100 years later.
[Howard] Excellent. Well, this has been Writing Excuses, you're out of excuses, now go write.