Tag Archive - writing instruction

4 Ways to Use Humor in Your Fiction

Humor is one of the most diverse tools in the writer’s toolbox, making it unfortunate that so few people make proper use of it. Humor is often thought of as simply a cheap laugh, a way to add a lighthearted note to a story, and nothing more. In reality, the concept of humor is much more complex.

Humor, when written correctly, redirects attention and causes an unexpected twist for the reader that not only sharpens their attention but can also deliver the “sucker punch” when they least expect it.

Here are just a few ways humor can be used effectively in fiction writing: Continue Reading…

Tried and True Tips for First-Time Authors

Today’s guest post comes from writing instructor Amanda Guest, who is the Community Manager for FastPencil, a site that helps teach writers the fastest and easiest way to write and publish a book. She often shares tips on writing and marketing self-publishing books on the FastPencil blog.

Very often we hear from authors who say they know they have a great book inside them, but don’t know how to get it out. Here are our most tried and true writing tips to help get you on the path to creating your best first book: Continue Reading…

A Peek inside the Envelope

Sol Stein, the famous editor, author, and writing instructor, has a very short chapter in his classic book Stein on Writing that he calls “Creating the Envelope.” As I looked through my numerous books on writing craft, I drifted toward his book (which happens a lot), and was reminded again of the best advice to give writers regarding setting details.

I spoke last time of exploring your character’s feelings and responses to setting, to make setting personal and dynamic in your novel, as well as to give it heart. There’s nothing more boring in a novel than a paragraph of dry narrative to describe each new place your character finds himself in (well, it’s up there with trite dialog). But this week I want to talk about boiling down the essence of a locale or setting in a scene, and Stein’s “envelope” really is the best way to do it. Continue Reading…

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