10 Steps to Becoming a Better Fiction Writer

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longknife
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10 Steps to Becoming a Better Fiction Writer

Post by longknife » June 23rd, 2015, 4:41 pm

June 23, 2015 by Mark Shea @ http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2 ... riter.html

For those of you pursuing a writing life.

Here are my tips:

1. Make stuff up

2. Use puns

3. Work the word “tergiversation” into your dialogue somewhere, preferably several times, as in “Her tergiversation whispered to him like the breath of a dying mastodon.”

4. Create as much conflict as possible as quickly as possible by placing your characters in fierce competition for a bathroom in the opening paragraph.

5. Everybody loves time travel.

6. Always have a character who says, “And that is how we do that!”

7. Readers love the adjectives “geckoesque” and “teeming”. They are also partial to to the adverb “suddenly”, the verb “careered”, and the nouns “Cary Grant” and “kookaburra”. For instance, “Suddenly, a geckoesque Cary Grant careered into a teeming nest of kookaburras”. If you don’t know why you would writes such a sentence, see Guideline 1.

8. Accurate spelling is for the weak.

9. Appeal to all the senses in your descriptions, including neglected ones like balance, rhythm, nausea, confusion, and ennui.

… 10 Avoid writing in Sumerian or similar dead languages unless your story involves ancient curses. If you do wind up using Sumerian, be sure the pages of the text are, in fact, clay bricks. This may cost extra.

[I absolutely love this piece! As an exercise, I'm going to write a short story using every single one of these tips. Will share and am challenging others to do the same.]
Drop by Father Serra's Legacy http://msgdaleday.blogspot.com. Comments always eagerly awaited - but only if you find the item interesting enough to respond to.

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polymath
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Re: 10 Steps to Becoming a Better Fiction Writer

Post by polymath » June 30th, 2015, 12:52 pm

The ironic if sarcastic or satirical point of these types of composition exercises is reverse psychology. Conquer your writing vices through giving them a full run of imagination. This is a kind of free-association, stream-of-consciousness activity. Let temptation flow wild and unfettered, so to speak. Consider also, reverse-reverse psychology, reverse-reverse-reverse psychology, and so on. Reverse any and all features, like compose a villain of a piece as a focal agonist's viewpoint, construe both or more sides of a contentious argument. Ever mindful, of course, individuals don't say what they mean, don't mean what they say, even if they know what they mean and rarely do and more often don't know what they really mean.

Exorcise those demons: Release their persuasive and impish mischievous powers -- on the page.
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longknife
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Re: 10 Steps to Becoming a Better Fiction Writer

Post by longknife » June 30th, 2015, 2:31 pm

polymath wrote:The ironic if sarcastic or satirical point of these types of composition exercises is reverse psychology. Conquer your writing vices through giving them a full run of imagination. This is a kind of free-association, stream-of-consciousness activity. Let temptation flow wild and unfettered, so to speak. Consider also, reverse-reverse psychology, reverse-reverse-reverse psychology, and so on. Reverse any and all features, like compose a villain of a piece as a focal agonist's viewpoint, construe both or more sides of a contentious argument. Ever mindful, of course, individuals don't say what they mean, don't mean what they say, even if they know what they mean and rarely do and more often don't know what they really mean.

Exorcise those demons: Release their persuasive and impish mischievous powers -- on the page.
Golly, Professor - I thought you'd get a chuckle out of this! Thatz wi eye postd it.
Drop by Father Serra's Legacy http://msgdaleday.blogspot.com. Comments always eagerly awaited - but only if you find the item interesting enough to respond to.

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hesperus_lux
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Re: 10 Steps to Becoming a Better Fiction Writer

Post by hesperus_lux » August 23rd, 2015, 3:37 pm

Hilarious!
“Nothing is exactly as it seems, nor is it otherwise.”
- Alan Watts

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curtis
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Re: 10 Steps to Becoming a Better Fiction Writer

Post by curtis » February 15th, 2016, 6:27 pm

I'm reading a book called Three Rules for Writing a Novel. The title is hilarious because it references a quote by Somerset Maugham. The quote is "There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are." I think that to write fiction, the author needs to describe what's happening; where am I; who am I. Plot, location, and characterization are key.

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