Archives for Fiction Tips

Audience Participation

     These days, a writer who allows it will get plenty of feedback from his readers. I encourage it; it helps me to know what I’m doing badly, what I’m doing well, and what I could try that I haven’t yet thought to do. But there are pitfalls to the practice, some of which are less than obvious.      For one thing, people who merely want to piss you off have as much access to you as those interested in an honest exchange. I’ve received a fair amount of such “input.” I hardly need to tell you that I don’t
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New Year, New Writing Exercises

  My fingers are buzzing with anticipation. Now that the holidays are over, I can get back to uninterrupted writing (relatively speaking). And every year, every week, every day, my goal is to get just a little bit better than I was before. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it’s just finger exercises. So to help keep myself from meaninglessly wearing out my fingers, I’ve come up with a few new self-study exercises that I thought I’d share. Mimic—Take a close look at a story you enjoy and use it as a template. (It’s kind of like fan fiction, but the
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Fantastic Terminology

One of the great challenges in the depiction of worlds and phenomena distant from reality as we know it is mastering the art of the coinage. It’s not easy; take it from a writer who’s struggled with it for thirty years. Some science fiction writers are truly gifted at this art. Larry Niven, in his early “Known Space” stories, displayed a talent for introducing strange words as labels for strange things. For example, when he decided to allow faster-than-light travel in his fictional universe — always a chancy proposition — he gave us the hyperdrive shunt. He called the kidnappers
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On Thrillers

As an indie writer, I take an interest in other indies, their achievements, and the degree of success they experience. Many indies craft thrillers by preference. That might be because that’s the genre they most enjoy; indeed, I’d say that’s the overwhelmingly most common reason. But sadly, most of those writers haven’t bothered to master fundamental writing skills – and that includes many who have plotting and storytelling gifts that their lack of writerly chops underserves. I’m not talking here about stylistic arabesques of the sort identified with “literary” fiction. Anyone who’s been reading my thoughts on fiction for any
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What’s your crutch word?

I don’t know if it’s just me or other authors also have a certain word that they inadvertently repeat while writing. After I wrote my very first draft, I realized that my crutch word was ‘felt‘. My editor had pointed it out to me. I understand that writing is best done spontaneously and not if you are constantly aware of what you might be doing wrong. It disturbs the flow if you write consciously. However, while self-editing, one should be aware of their crutch words (if any). While revising your script you can then easily do a search on those
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5 Creative Writing Prompts

Creative writing prompts are useful when you might experience a dearth of ideas and inspirations, or experience ‘writer’s block’, which can directly affect your productivity. The truth is, just like everything else, there is a solution for this problem. Just like a painter needs his muse, a writer needs his or her ideas and they can be generated with certain prompts. These cues can be in the form of concepts, words, phrases, an image, or anything that makes you suddenly blaze up with ideas. Below are five ways you can generate creative writing prompts. 1. The what if’s in our
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Five senses improve your scene

As writers, we spend a lot of time on plotting, character building and building conflicts. But when it comes time to start writing the scenes, the aspect that is most important in my opinion is that the readers should be able to visualize the scene perfectly in their mind. It is only then they will be engrossed in the story and would be curious to read more. For example, I was told that I described London very well in my debut story, LOST IN LONDON. Some readers who had visited London could completely associate with it. However, it is a
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Author’s inspiration

I was just reflecting back on past few months to understand where my inspiration for fictional stories are coming from. Needless to say, one should read enough in one’s genre of interest to not only improve the writing craft but also for creative inspiration. I haven’t read enough this year but have been watching plenty of drama shows on Netflix since I want to write in drama genre going forward. These shows are of high quality and inspire a lot of creative thoughts. However, inspiration is everywhere. I have realized that ever since I started to write fictional stories, it
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Are Genre categories stifling your sales?

  WARNING: Do not read unless you have already eaten!   Forget what you ever thought you knew about books. Why? Because YOU don’t decide what you read… Empirical Science does! A sweeping statement, perhaps… or is it? Let’s examine one of the most frustrating problems an author can face in today’s writing paradigm. And before I continue, I should make clear I’m not talking just about Traditional Publishing. Now IMAGINE for a moment you find yourself in a supermarket; we’ve all been there, right. You entered without any clear idea of what you were going to buy; no shopping
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