It’s not easy to find that sweet spot that provides exactly the right amount of information.
The line between spoon-feeding information and being clear is a troublesome one, especially when you want to maintain some air of mystery about what you’re writing. Nobody wants their story to be predictable, though it should without equivocation be justifiable.
Continue reading The Balancing Act
The one thing that hasn’t changed with the word is that content is still king. It governs almost everything in terms of audience and reach, though it’s true that marketing (or promotion, brand, or whatever other stand-in term it is you cling to) plays a part too. The maxim of Quality over Quantity is still true, but when everyone is a content creator in some way, the saying becomes more of a tendency than a fixed rule.
Continue reading Quantity Still Matters
That’s what we say now, ain’t it.
Here’s my little spiel, entry, a post, write-up, thoughts, a few words, or the like. We don’t write stories or articles or features, but things and bits and just plain about.
Continue reading I Wrote A Thing…
You can read that title over and over, stressing a different word each time, and find the glimmer of another meaning. Even within a single word, the intonation could be subtly altered, and so too would the meaning be altered. I suppose that’s the purpose of punctuation, but they’re never quite right in a title. Besides, I love a bit of ambiguity.
Continue reading Lost in Ways
Ideas time. Kinda.
During the year, one of the things expressed by a few of the people in my wonderful writing group is that they think I should do workshops. How things are at the moment, I tend to spend time with each person that comes along and if they’re running into issues with the writing process, particular when it comes to where things go, ironing out plot-creases or filling plot-holes, I jump in.
Continue reading Some Kind of Workshop
I love writing. I also love that people love writing. The whole reason I started this blog was because I had lots of ideas about writing and from my experiences in talking to others about writing, realised that I also loved helping people with theirs. Sure, it’s not quite as effective as it would be in person, but if Fictioner’s Net hits upon even a single percent of what I do in person, I figure that’s a good thing.
Continue reading Maybe You Should Wait A Day Before Sending Out Your Manuscript
If you want to write a good story (or read a good story), there always has to be tension. Specifically, there needs to be tension between the main characters, not just tension in the plot. This frisson can morph, grow or shrink, but it remains until the end of the story. Without tension, of course, there is no story.
Continue reading Guest Post: Tension Tells The Tale
It was almost fourteen years ago that I went to Europe for the first time (out of three). I was a newly minted twenty-one year old, still at university, only just working (comparatively) and an occasional dabbler in writing (much as I was until more recent times).
Continue reading Writing Talk: A Slow Build
This was originally written as a guest post for the readful things blog, and was published there in July 2013. I tweeted about it during the week and as the response was positive, it seemed worthy of a re-post. As with all my blog posts, it’s especially relevant to me at the moment – so consider it a pep-talk for you and I.
Continue reading The Importance of Self-Confidence in your Writing
Following on from my recent post, I enacted the new approach, at least in terms of writing (though yes, I’m also addressing the game-related stuff in my own way, as described in the post). I started dabbling in a piece of fanfiction where I could switch my brain off and just write, which is perfect for something I’m passionate about but where I’m okay with things being off.
Continue reading The First Shuffle
We keep rewriting.
Continue reading Every sentence must have purpose
I wish I could remember which book introduced me to the term in medias res. We’ve all been exposed to stories that use the technique, but having a name for it made it real. It’s been (at least) fifteen-plus years since I read about it, but it’s still one of those pieces of knowledge that infest my writing. I’d even consider it formative.
Continue reading Writing Musts: Start the Clock, then the Story
Short one today. This seems to be the state of much advice, ie, that you must cover both points below…
Continue reading Writing Talk: The Two Must-Do Things
There’s no point arguing – you’re going to procrastinate. I know it. Your friends know it. Everyone knows it. Except… maybe you.
It’s okay to procrastinate.
Continue reading Writing Musts: Procrastinate Effectively!
The most important thing about your writing, is that it starts with a bang. The more explosions, the better. You need to grab your readers by the throat and shake them until they lose consciousness. Rouse them, and then SHAKE THEM SOME MORE. There is literally NO other way to grab and hold the attention of a reader short of being there beside them when they do and MAKING THEM READ IT.
Continue reading Writing Musts: Realise That All Readers Are The Same
Here’s my approach to giving advice on writing.
If I feel like I’ve done it, if I’ve read it, or otherwise confident I know enough about it, I’ll come to some conclusions on the matter and write about it here. Sometimes I know I want to write about a particular topic, but haven’t yet worked out my angle. Often it’s me swirling ideas around in my head, and seeing what tangible points come out.
Continue reading Writing Talk: What Makes A Great Prologue?
The biggest caveat with writing advice is that you should treat it as a suggestion, rather than an unalterable truth. It’s a point I belabour here whenever the topic of writing advice comes up, in a general, non-specific sense: If it doesn’t work for you, ignore it.
Continue reading Writing Musts: Be Human
You remember the sitcoms where they’d start showing a collage of moments from various episodes in the past, just plugging in old bits of content as filler, and otherwise taking up room? They try and push the jokes and punchlines that out-of-context make little sense. Well, that’s what this post is!
Continue reading The Flashback Episode
On the outside looking in, endings seem so simple. We read a book that ends in an unsatisfactory manner, watch a season finale that seems to go nowhere, or finish a game that somehow drives us to making demands of its creators.
Continue reading Writing Musts: The Premise is a Promise
Over the weekend, yesterday, I was I was going through the process of teaching my son about comedy. He’s almost seven, so EVERYTHING is hilarious, and he’s also very keen to make jokes of his own.
Continue reading It Makes Sense To Me
World building can be fun, sometimes even a distraction that helps us feel like we’re writing when we’ve actually not moved forward on the story, all for the sake of finding the right feel or atmosphere.
Continue reading Writing Musts: The Understory
Writer’s Block. The Wall. That general Ugh feeling. Everybody hits a point where their writing gets bogged down, refusing to move forward.
Maybe you don’t know what should happen next.
Continue reading Stuck in the Mud
When writing in a setting beyond personal experience, research and exploration can steal months or more. Whether it’s a real location or one that’s come from the imagination, there is always more that could be known.
Continue reading A More Precise Place
It’s the final week of NaNoWriMo.
If November has been kind to you, you’re due to hit the fifty-thousand sometime between now and saturday, with an added nod to those of you that have already made your target. The obvious round of congratulations is in order for those that have or will hit their targets by month’s end, but you know what?
Continue reading The Final Stretch