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My Passion's Pen

Helping to polish what your passion pens.

Archive for the tag “rules”

Character development is mostly unseen

I spend a lot of my editing energy helping my clients refine their characters. And in my own writing I can never know too much about my characters. But readers don’t need (or want) everything about the inner and outer lives of our characters presented like a stenographer’s notes. It’s my belief that character is revealed through action on the page, but the motivation for that behavior is all off-screen. And motivation is the pulse of a story. That’s what keeps us turning the page.

We’ve all seen the iceberg analogy, and it’s one of the most universally true writing axioms: 80-90% of the story is behind the scenes and, in my opinion mostly embedded in characterization. Characters, though, are their own icebergs.

Image from Seopresspr.com

Screenwriting guru Scott Myers explains here: “Screenwriting Tip: Character Work as Iceberg.” https://link.medium.com/9ufJeoRdRS

Happy writing!

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Don’t Fake It—Learn the Craft

If you want to write a novel or other fiction, learn the craft. Don’t fake it. You can learn how to write, learn the rules and the elements of fiction.

via Don’t Fake It—Learn the Craft.

What Killed it For Me #5: Weak Writing

This entire series on Writers Helping Writers about what killed a book for Becca  is a rich education for writers (and critiquers). Writers can’t please every reader, and shouldn’t necessarily try, but we should always aim to provide the best, most memorable work we can. There will be plenty of readers out there who dig your style.

Speaking of style. This goes back to the basics: know the rules in order to break them. This post about weak writing first suggests that it’s subjective… Maybe, maybe not (goes back to learning the rules before breaking them). What I wholeheartedly agree with is that correcting weak writing is NOT an easy fix.

Weak and passive writing goes beyond the green squiggle in your doc that suggests you remove “was, am, being,” etc. In my experience, correcting weak writing requires rewrites. Whole sentences and paragraphs, even scenes need to be remastered to eliminate the offense. Sometimes it’s the author’s excessive use of their “go-to” words or phrases. Other times, overusing adverbs and adjectives, which makes for flowery prose that really does nothing to move the story forward are to blame. Or, the author is simply too verbose, using 17 words to convey something that could be said in six.

The linked article shares a handful of easy to remember tips that will help you to eventually banish these weak writing habits that weigh your stories down. When you get some time, check out Becca’s entire series.

What Killed it For Me #5: Weak Writing.

What Killed it For Me #5: Weak Writing

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