Good writing starts with well-crafted sentences. In the book The Art of Styling Sentences, Ann Longknife, Ph.D. and K.D. Sullivan provide 20 basic sentence structures to help writers improve their prose. The overall construction of your story is paramount, but at some point you have to get into the nuts and bolts of each scene, paragraph, sentence, and word, then sew them together into a cohesive thought.
Here’s a simple yet potent sentence structure to try out:
Continue reading “Try This Sentence Structure for Clean, Inspiring Prose”
Observation is the writer’s greatest weapon. Sometimes, observations need a little fine-tuning before they wander into your story. Dialogue – the way people talk to each other – is a perfect example of this. Yes, character conversations should flow, but they shouldn’t always read like normal speech. Finding this balance is the first step toward convincing dialogue between characters.
Here’s the first rule of writing dialogue:
Continue reading “The Golden Rule of Writing Dialogue”
The term “self-indulgent” is a cringe-worthy appraisal, but here’s the rub: writing is innately self-indulgent; it requires a certain level of excitement and theatrical flair.
An honest writer knows he is equal parts egomania and crippling self-doubt. The lines between engaging and self-indulgent writing are plentiful but difficult to identify. Descriptions – good or bad – are one of these lines.
Here are a few ways to anchor readers to the tangibles of your story without committing the reprehensible crime of oversharing:
Continue reading “Three Paths to Compelling Descriptions”
Every story needs clues, even if they aren’t mysteries. Picture this: You’re at the end of a good book, the plot is thick, and Bam! Out of nowhere, the author ties in a character or object from an earlier scene. Situations like this leave readers asking, “How did I not see that coming?” This is foreshadowing, and it’s an important part of your work in progress, whether you realize it or not. Continue reading “Mastering the Art of Effective Foreshadowing”