Tag Archives: Writing Advice

Nuts and Bolts: “Thought” Verbs Essay by Chuck Palahniuk

Heart Book on DeskOriginal Chuck Palahniuk’s “Thought” Verb Article Here

I fell in love with this article. I found it very challenging and wanted to share the thoughts with you.

Chuck Palahniuk has writers looking at the thought verbs and instead of telling your readers what they think or feel, you lay it out in detail and have the readers see what the character sees. I found this a unique way of getting into the characters head and pulling the readers into the story.

In the article he challenges writers to get rid of the “thought” verbs and change the writing to sensory details. Get rid of the knows, thinks, hates, and loves and start giving the detail of what the characters hear, see, smell, taste, and touch.

There are great examples in the article so please check them out.

I think this goes deeper than looking at just the show don’t tell but he actually has writers looking at why characters know, think, feel, believe…you get the idea. Not only does this help in developing your writing skills but also helps get your readers into the depths of why they feel the way they feel.

There are many writers who don’t agree with the theory, after all no writer has the same voice but this is definitely an article to take to heart. Even if you don’t agree it is still a tool to add to the writing belt.

Remember how important it is to improve ourselves and keep writing!

 

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Writing Inspiration

Inspiration to write can come at anytime, usually when there isn’t a pen & paper or computer to type on. How many times have I been standing in line at the post office or waiting in the doctors office when suddenly a really great story idea hits? I also find myself repeating the idea over and over in my head so I don’t forget it while I find something to write on. Thankfully my phone has a “notes” app on it now so I can easily jot down story ideas as they creep up at the most inopportune times.

I know I like to watch music videos for story inspiration. Music videos can hold some of the greatest visuals while the music musters up feelings of inspiration that may stir ideas for a story. Some of the best story ideas come from a variety of places ranging from artwork to music.

Another great spot for story ideas is dreams. The worst time is always dreams for me, the story idea is usually wonderful but why does it have to be at four in the morning? I can hardly focus to get the idea down and then I’m ridiculously tired the next day for work. But it was worth it…right? Dreams are a tough because you have to get the idea down right away or the story will start to fade. Keep something to write on by the bed and write it down right away so you don’t forget the story.

The best way to fight writers block or get ready to write the next big story is to get away from the blank page and visit websites or blogs that inspire ideas. This does not mean start wasting your time on Facebook. It drives me insane when I hear people complain they don’t have enough time in the day to get what they want done, like finish their story. Especially when I see them posting something on Facebook or Twitter every five minutes. Trust me you have time, you’re just wasting it.

Watching a TV show (one or two episodes not a whole season in one day) or a movie can help inspire ideas. I find that reading a book when I get frustrated with my story is another way to keep me writing. Remember when you read anything that the author also started with a blank page as well.

Don’t plagiarize, these inspirations are here to help you get the story moving not to copy.

So get inspired and keep writing!

 


So over the D.I.D.!

Heart BookTodays writing Wednesday is on the hopeful death of distress. The D.I.D. is your typical “Damsel in Distress” or in m/m romances the “Dude in Distress.” I hate these stories. Yes, this post will be a pet-peeve rant that I hope writers will take to heart if not into their stories.

I’m tired of reading about the weak character falling into some ridiculous trap and the stronger character having to save her or him. The worst in the genre is usually heterosexual (HET) romance. I cannot tell you how many times I have read a story that started with a strong and powerful female until she found her love partner. Once she starts falling the girl turns into this needy, pathetic thing who can’t even tie her shoes without her man’s help or approval.

I’m not going to lie, the gay romance genre is just as guilty in creating this pitiful creature. I’ve read plenty of m/m stories where the “weaker” or bottom man is strong and powerful until he meets Mr. Right and then becomes a fumbling idiot.

I get if your character is clumsy and out-of-place. I get that she or he is the smaller and therefore a weaker character to begin with. I even get if your character is human struggling through a world of vampires. But what I don’t get is the dependence of your man (or in really rare cases of your woman) to get the you out of the mess you just got yourself into. Haven’t we grown past these stories?

Reading these stories I mostly just get confused. Why does love make us weak and dumb? Aren’t partners supposed to be equals? If a character got him or herself into the situation then she or he needs to get out of it on their own. Or if anything the two main characters need to get out of the problem together. See…partnership.

So create those strong characters, preserve that strength, and keep writing!


Alice Evergreen

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