In his book, On Writing, Sol Stein provides a very helpful guide on something writers so often hear about: showing the story instead of telling it. Do you remember asking someone, a family member perhaps, to tell you a story? It's almost as if we've been conditioned to tell rather than show.
It’s Thursday. How about a little blast from the recent past? #tbt
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For some writers editing is the most loathsome part of the process. For others it’s their favourite. Yet undoubtedly it’s the most important, and given the rise in popularity of self-publishing, it’s more crucial than ever to know how to edit your work.
Entire books have been written on editing—I’ve listed a few you could stick your nose into at the end—but this week we’ll look at just a few of the best tips to help you with the editing process.
“To write is human, to edit is divine.”
1. Put it away
You’ve just finished your first draft…
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It’s Thursday and I’m feeling nostalgic.
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On social media, forums and Reddit of late I’ve seen quite a few people asking about writing fight scenes. So this week, with axes in hand, I thought we’d battle our way through it.
There seems to be a few general rules of thumb for writing fight scenes. They are:
- Blow by blow is boring;
- Clarity is king;
- Show v tell.
Let’s look at each in detail.
Blow by blow is boring
“He swung left, then right, dodged a lunging blow from behind, rolled to the right, raised his sword to parry another attack.”
A fight scene should not be a stream of blow after blow until everyone’s dead or retreated. Rather, it ought to be a portrayal of a character’s physical and mental state as they experience danger.
In movies seeing every punch and kick, decapitation or shooting is sadistically entertaining. On the page it’s a different…
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This week I’m taking us on a tour of something which gets taken for granted: viewpoint. Viewpoint, in a nutshell, is the perspective through which your story is told, the eyes observing what happens. Most would say there are three types of viewpoint, but to make things easier I’m going to say there’s four. Bear… Continue reading Viewpoint, tense, and narrative distance
For more writing tips and discussions on the fantasy genre, why not sign up to my mailing list? When you do, you’ll receive a free eBook on the craft of creative writing, featuring guides to world-building, writing fight scenes, plotting, viewpoint, editing, prose, and much, much more. Two styles of prose tend to dominate: clear,… Continue reading Prose: The Orwellian Approach