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7 Ways to Form Healthy Writing Habits1. Write Every Day
Christy Hall nailed it when she said, “A writer writes. There are no exceptions to this reality. No excuses.” There’s nothing sexy about this. It’s tough work and requires dedication and persistence, but it’s the only way to make consistent progress. Almost everyone who writes for a living or is a productive amateur will tell you this. It’s no secret, but it’s often ignored because it’s hard. Unfortunately, there’s no magical way to make it easier, but you can form a habit through discipline. Once habit sets in, you don’t have think about it—you just do it.
These are the five most effective methods I've used to build a daily writing habit:
- Have something to say. This should be obvious, but what’s the point of writing every day if you don’t have something to write about? Develop your idea first, and then start holding yourself accountable to the “write every d
8 Quick Tips for Writing Dialogue1) Dialogue in fiction is nothing like how people talk in real life. It’s fine to use “as heard in real-life” phrasing, but real-life dialogue is often meaningless. Ideally, every word of dialogue in fiction should serve a purpose and progress the plot or character development. If it has more than one meaning (subtext), all the better.
2) Start the conversation late and exit early. No one wants to read small talk, hellos, or goodbyes unless they add meaning to the story … which is almost never.
3) No info dumping in dialogue, please. Only put quotation marks around what you can actually envision the character saying in that particular scene. What you want your readers to know has nothing to do with what a character actually says. After all, that’s why stories have narration.
4) Be unexpected and don’t fill dialogue with cliches. If readers can predict what the next charac
20 Ways to Boost Your Creativity1. Create something every day. If there’s one secret to productivity, this is it. It’s not sexy or exciting, but the bottom line is that creative masterpieces aren’t built overnight. They take time and dedication, and you will only make real progress if you work every day. If you haven’t formed a daily habit of creativity yet, start today. It takes about a month if you’re serious about it, and then it becomes second nature and you’ll never look back.
2. Value progress over perfection. Productive and perfect are not synonyms. Which would you rather be?
3. Accept that what you create won’t be perfect and create it anyway. Perfect is the enemy of good. If you give yourself permission to just create, chances are you’ll create something pretty darn good—at least some of the time. But you have to give yourself a chance.
4. Make a mess. Perfectionism is neat, but progress is messy. You can get organized later, b
The Originality IllusionIt's come to my attention that, in the online amateur writing scene, no one seems to understand the proper role of characters in conjunction with plot.
From what I have been able to observe, literally everyone tries to create characters outside of plot by outlining what they look like, what they eat for dinner, and what bands they absolutely abhor. That's the law on how it's done. The amount of "character survey sheets" containing a never-ending list of questions for prospective characters is ridiculous--and sad, because determining these things will in no way help you create a good character or, more importantly, a good story (which I define as an account of a character's actions within a given plot).
In reality, your character is not going to comb his hair, sit down to the dinner table, or workout in the gym with his iPod during the erupting mayhem of your story. If he does, it's because you've invested way too much time in randomly select
Are you writing a novel?I finally finished the 49 page sci-fi script (obligatory link) I've been working on for the past few months, and now I've moved on to some serious novel development. (Anyone remember Dreamcaster?) And by "serious novel development," I mean writing an ten page document to develop the concept, main character arc, conflict, and theme. Also a document outlining character arcs for the three main characters, an action plan, and now I'm several pages into a 30 step plot outline.
I created these documents myself because I needed tools to help me develop and outline but couldn't find anything already created that worked for me. So far, they've worked super well have helped me really grasp the complete picture of what I want to accomplish with this story. Let me know if you're interested in