Some posts on here are so good, you need to read them multiple times. For that reason, I need to post the same thing twice. So this post, is exactly the same as this post… make sure you read it twice and understand anything you don’t understand 😉
My several years in the word game have learnt me several rules:
1. Avoid alliteration. Always.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3. Avoid clichés like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
4. Employ the vernacular.
5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
8. Contradictions aren’t always necessary.
9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
10. One should never generalise.
11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
12. Comparisons are as bad as clichés.
13. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
14. Profanity sucks.
15. Be more or less specific
16. Understatement is always best.
17. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
20. The passive voice is to be avoided.
21. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
22. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
23. Who needs rhetorical questions?
I need a visual to get a handle on my characters; this is made much easier with the internet. Flickr is my friend and it should be yours too. Loads of groups and masses of inspiration. Here are the search results for ‘actor portfolio’:
My tip to getting past all the glossy Hollywood shots and finding some quality, is to find a shot (not a face) in a style that you like, then to click through to the photographers page and see if they have more in that style. From there your hunt for a good character should begin.
In 1 click, I found this cool kid, Jasper:
Try it yourself 🙂
These are the books I have read and would fully recommend to anyone that wanted to get right to the crux of powerful writing:
There were 10 on this list, but I’ve recently updated it. If I had to pick 4, it would be Writing Tools, On Writing, Make A Scene, and Breathing Life Into Your Characters. The Artful Edit is OK, but not incredible. No Plot is brilliant if you want a kick up the backside – and btw, NANOWRIMO is coming up in (every) November, and this book comes from it.
Digital publishing is not Publishing…
… with the word ‘digital’ tacked on the front of it.
Or, if you can’t hear it, read about her here: ‘Amanda Hocking, the writer who made millions by self-publishing online‘
The sad thing is, will her approach be known as the Hocking Model?
I want to mention one thing which is pivotal to Amanda’s success: she writes fast and has an arsenal of titles behind her before she started publishing. Why should writers take note? Because word spreads fast on the Internet, audiences are fickle and buyers (your Market) are impatient. Amanda writes very fast. Most of us cannot. Therefore, if your work is as good as you think it is, and people take to it, you should plan to capitalise on that momentum immediately after a reader has finished reading your work.
This means, you need to queue up your next (and new) titles ready for purchase. At the end of one digital book, should be a link to immediately buy the next, or a link to be notified when the next becomes available.
New digital writers need to understand that Momentum is critical to their success; letting it wane, could be your downfall.
Digital publishing is not Publishing with the word ‘digital’ tacked on the front of it.
Well with UK student fees about to hit the 9k per year mark, wouldn’t it be nice to have an alternative for all those creative writing students out there that want to learn but can’t afford it?
Well you’ll be pleased to know that I’ve pretty much recorded every single lecture, seminar, workshop & plenary talk on the subject of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University 2011/12. And unless someone stops me, I’ll be recording every single one of them for the next 2 1/5 years of the Degree I’m taking.
What to do with this content? Share it, of course!
So, I’m looking for creative writing students that would like to learn from one of the most prestigious writing Universities in the country… whether your are a mature student, a prospective undergrad, a foreign national or just an interested individual. If so, let me know. I will be creating a mailing list soon… until then comment below with the email address you want me to contact you on.