Six impossible things

Posts Tagged basic writing

Writing basics: Show and tell

“Show, don’t tell” has been basic fiction writing advice since Homer. It could be rendered less colloquially as “Dramatize, don’t summarize,” but either way, it doesn’t say “Show everything, tell nothing.” This leaves many beginning authors with two unanswered questions: 1) How, exactly, is showing/dramatizing different from […]

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Writing Basics: Description 2

When someone says “description,” most people think of static passages – a page telling the reader details about the current setting or background, or a paragraph about a character’s appearance. This isn’t the only way to approach that sort of description, though. It is often more memorable […]

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Basics: Description 1

Description is as much about what you choose to describe and when you choose to describe it as it is about how you describe it. Furthermore, there are really significant differences in how much description different readers like or can even tolerate, and no writer is going […]

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Basics: Process

The last two posts have talked about the basic parts of a plot. How you get to it – the process of building or fixing a plot – is pretty basic, too. The specifics tend to vary from writer to writer, and often from book to book, […]

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Basics: Plot, part 2

Quick review: Plot, in its most basic version, goes like this: A character (or characters) have a problem Where something important is at stake That the character(s) care deeply about. They try to solve the problem, and Eventually succeed or fail. I went through the first three […]

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Basics: Plot, part 1

By popular demand, I’m starting the “basics” posts with plot. Plot, in its most basic version, goes like this: A character (or characters) have a problem Where something important is at stake That the character(s) care deeply about. They try to solve the problem, and Eventually succeed […]

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Back to basics

Every skill, including writing, starts with a bunch of things that are really basic. If you want to be a carpenter, you learn to hammer nails and saw wood; if you want to be a writer, you learn how to write clear, coherent sentences. After a while […]

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Experimenting early

Over the past few months I’ve had a number of writing questions that superficially are all very different, but that, if you back off a bit and look at them, boil down to “Ms. Wrede, why do people keep telling me that I can’t/shouldn’t use XYZ non-standard […]

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Making stuff up: Putting it all Together

Looking at the story development process the way I have been in these last few posts makes it seem logical and straightforward, but that’s only because I was looking at one angle at a time. In actual fact, when one is making stuff up for a real […]

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Making it up in general

Writing fiction comes in two parts: making it up, and writing it down. For some writers – the seat-of-the-pants sort who just sit down and wing it – the two things happen simultaneously, or at least so close together that it is practically impossible for anything working […]

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  • Minicon 52
    Pat plans to attend Minicon 52, April 14 – 16, 2017, in Minneapolis, MN....