Review: Lisa Cron’s Wired for Story

Story Telling, free indirect discourse, show not tell writing, writing well

I believe we live in a universe governed by laws of causes and effects even though we don’t yet fully understand all the causes and all the effects. When it comes to art, in particular, it is immensely difficult to know what cause will result in which effect. So it is tremendously difficult in the realm of words to know which sentence, which metaphor, which plot device will resonate with a majority of your targeted genre’s readers and turn a bunch of words into a great story. Though we don’t know these things with precision, I do believe that there are quantifiable causes and effects in play.

Wired for Story is Lisa Cron’s assertion that we do in fact have (some) science in the realm of writing that enables us to understand the causes and effects of good storytelling.

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Exceptional Review of Apocalypse Now

Vietnam War

Apocalypse Now is one of the “best” movies ever made, in my opinion (acknowledging that “best” is in the eye of the beholder, though there are a lot of people that think this). More than that, it is a brilliantly told story, albeit the storytelling is via a movie. Of course, it is a retelling of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. In case you have missed it, the story is about the descent of one man into insanity to confront another who has already descended to that place.  Who knew there is an exceptionally thoughtful review of it on YouTube?

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How to write a book? Practice to improve your craft


Writing Practice, Sci Fi, Writing Science Fiction, Writing Sci Fi

I saw a question on a board the other day asking what does it mean to “practice writing”? This could be several things, but my view is that there are three things I practice. And to be clear, I think all writing is practice. Even the things I publish are not perfect. They were just good enough to publish.

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When to “show” and when to “tell” in your fiction

Desert City as an example of Writing craft, showing and telling, how to write, fiction, novel writing, telling and showing, when to show and when to tell in your fiction, the craft of fiction, showing vs. telling, the art of fiction, telling vs. showing, writing rules
Showing vs. Telling in fiction. It is an age-old debate and an easy thing for people new to critiquing to throw out. The trick is not one or the other, but rather both in proper proportion.

 

Don’t you love it when you get feedback on your fiction that you are doing too much “telling” and not enough “showing”?

When we think about how to write a novel and to be a successful writer of fiction, we must understand the balance of showing versus telling in our work. This is one of the critical skills and one that we can learn. There is no formula, and we need to do both. The trick is to keep them in proper proportion.

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How to write a book? Make it easy for your readers to stay with you

How to write a book. Writing. Fiction. Fiction Writing.
. First rule is don’t knock your readers out of the story.

 

How to write a book? Don’t knock your readers out of the fantasy.

I saw a discussion on a board today about writing, and if it is a big deal to not “knock readers out of a story” with inconsistencies, bad grammar, inexplicable changes in tone, etc. If you want to learn how to write a book, and sell your book,  I think it is a big deal…a huge deal.

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The 25 Greatest Science Fiction novels ever? Damn close!

How to write science fiction. Dune, 2001, Enders Game, Herbert, Clarke, Asimov

 

Came across this very cool post on StumbleUpon: 25 greatest Sci Fi novels ever. Check it out and see what you think. Nice summaries and engaging graphics.

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How to Provide Feedback in your Creative Writing Workshop

Provide writing feedback. It is critically important in fiction workshops. This picture shows a chair in a fire. Being critiqued can feel just as uncomfortable.
Getting feedback on your writing can be painful. Worse, it can be counterproductive and demoralizing. Make sure you are providing constructive feedback of the kind you would find helpful.

Learning how to write well is more than just cranking out words in response to creative writing prompts. For instance, I’m sure you have gotten feedback in your fiction writing workshop (or writing studio or writer’s studio, which is the more popular term of the day) on a submission from someone who you thought was a self-serving ass. When it happens, your defenses immediately go up and you stop listening for anything constructive. At that point, it is a wasted exercise for you and the person providing feedback. As a young writer, this is not what you need.

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How to Improve Your Writing with Text To Speech (TTS) software. Are you listening (to yourself)?

Text to speech tools will allow you to hear your words, much like singers use speakers directed at themselves for feedback.
Text to speech tools will allow you to hear your words, much like singers use speakers directed at themselves for feedback. There are many things you can do to learn how to write a story and improve your writing craft. Hearing your words will help you write better.

Text to Speech (TTS) software is a surprisingly powerful tool to help you improve your writing. Whether you are writing a book, poetry or a business letter, hearing your words will allow you to perceive your words and sentences in a different way. Reading what you have written is one mental process. Hearing your words is a different process. There are subtle but important differences between the two. Listening to your words will enable you to detect errors and clunky sentences in your writing that you can’t “see” when you read your work. There are Microsoft text to speech tools, but those are not the only ones. Find — and use — one that works for you.

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