Posts tagged Writing tips
Posts tagged Writing tips
Back in ye olden days (okay, about thirty years ago) elementary school students were taught how to diagram sentences. The theory was that it would be easier to learn the parts of a sentence by seeing the underlying structure. However, as educators moved in the direction of free expression and away from basic mechanics, the diagramming system developed by Reed and Kellogg fell out of fashion.
But, like fresh apple pie made from scratch, sometimes sticking to the basics is best. Diagramming a sentence creates a clear visual that helps you analyze what you’re writing. So if you want to brush up on your fundamental sentence skills — or you’re just a grammar nerd — here’s a brief primer on how to diagram sentences.
Most writers have a secret stash of half-finished short stories, manuscripts, or poems—discarded when the author came to a screeching halt somewhere in the middle of things. If you’ve ever gotten stuck in the middle of a story or can’t find the last line of a poem, Writer’s Relief offers a few steps to help you get moving again.
If you don’t plot now…
You’re fishing for a literary agent, casting query after query out into the world, and hoping for a nibble. And then—yes! An agent is interested, curious, inquiring. You want to reel the agent in, but you must move carefully—if you pull the line too slowly or too quickly, your prize catch will instead be the “one that got away.”
So throw away your prodigal sons; They probably spent all of your money, anyway!
When it comes to writing historical fiction, don’t panic at the word research. If you follow popular advice—write what you know—then researching your novel will help you do just that. And if you write what you love, then your research will also be a labor of love. Immerse yourself in the process and bring your novel to life.
First, find a happy medium. Don’t just throw your characters into costumes and alter their speech just a tad, but don’t overwhelm the reader with hundreds of pages of historically accurate detail and end up with more of a nonfiction history text either. Find a good balance. Readers of historical fiction are usually well-informed, and while they don’t want to be bogged down with useless information, they also don’t want to see a Celtic maiden wearing pleather, or a World War I soldier using laser sight.
Secondly, decide how you’re going to approach your project. You can either write your story and then do the research, or you can research your setting and then create the story, depending on how much the story relies on accurate data. For example, if you’re writing about a medieval battle in England, certain details will be crucial to your plot—the landscape, weapons, existing castles and cathedrals—but if your story takes place 200 years ago in a small town you’ve made up, you’ll have a little more leeway (although it will still bother your readers if the small town has an Internet café or a multiplex).
As social media becomes increasingly prominent in our lives, some authors may decide to use Facebook or Twitter as their sole means of marketing. But is this shift in strategy beneficial or detrimental to creating an author brand?
While Facebook and Twitter are excellent complements to your author platform, an author website will provide superior marketing capabilities.
Our featured client Doug Sovern is one of the most multitalented people we know! An award-winning journalist, songwriter, and bassist in two rock groups, Doug has added successful fiction writer to his diverse résumé. He broke new ground with his Twitter novel, TweetHeart, written entirely in tweets. Doug’s writing has been featured in numerous publications including Narrative, Sand Hill Review, and Crack The Spine. Watch Doug’s video here!