mbarker: (Smile)
Writing Excuses 5.3: First-Person Viewpoint


Key points: first-person let's you really get into the character's head. With first-person, the reader doesn't know how reliable they are. First person is very immediate. Beware of dropping out of that immediacy, especially to describe appearances or other things that the character would not stop to think about. Think about how the character would tell the story. Be careful of getting so wrapped up in the voice that you lose the story.
Out of the character's head? )
[Bree] Your character has a secret. We don't know what it is, but how would they get around hinting at that secret without giving it away?
[Brandon] All right. That's your story prompt. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
mbarker: (ISeeYou2)
Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 32: First Paragraphs


Key Points: conflict and tension are good. Be careful of personification. Voice is OK, but get to scene and setting soon. Action! Sensory experience! Clarity. Put backstory in dialogue, action, and setting. Make sure we know who the viewpoint character is soon.
actual 1st paragraphs... )
[Brandon] We're going to go ahead and end with a writing prompt, which is what Dan said. You're writing in a journal, and you haven't written it in 10 years. Then you say, "Oh, man, OK. What happened? Earth got invaded. Well, let's start from there." Do this story, but do it silly. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write. OK, and we're out.
[Dan] Yeah.
[Howard] Don't stop recording, there's applause.
[Brandon] Louder, louder.
mbarker: (BrainUnderRepair)
Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 31: Line Editing Dialogue


Key Points: Look at various ways to rewrite, and consider which works best for your purposes. Dialogue is an imitation of speech that feels realistic, not a transcript. Consider the voice of the character. Watch out for said-bookisms, adverbs (aka Tom Swifties), and "seem to"s. Make sure snappy retorts snap.
Lots and lots of line editing... )
[Brandon] All right. Writing prompt this week was given to us by Producer Jordo who really, really, really wants you to write some stories called, "The Importance of Being Earnest Goes to Jail." Or, no, "Earnest goes to Camp?"
[Dan] Or to jail. I'm sure you could take any Earnest movie and mash it up with Oscar Wilde and come up with an abomination that we would all love to hear.
[Brandon] We want a mashup of an earnest movie with Oscar Wilde. So there's your writing prompt. You might have an excuse this time to not write.
[Howard] You've got a couple of good excuses, but please write anyway. Because you're writers. Right?
[Brandon, Dan] Right.
[Brandon] Bye-bye.
[Howard] That was awful.
mbarker: (ISeeYou2)
Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 16: The Anti-Mary Sue Episode


Key points: Mary Sue means wish fulfillment. To write different voices, steep yourself in that voice and culture. Keep someone in mind when you write a character, a dominant impression. Get inside your character's head. Fix it in revision. Find someone fascinating and write about them, to avoid always telling your story.
the voices in your head... )
[Jordo] Writing prompt?
[Brandon] Producer Jordo says I have to do a writing prompt, so I'm going to make John Brown do it.
[John] Okay. Here's your writing prompt. Go out and do some research. Find a fascinating character that is nothing like you. Go pick some topic that you don't know about. Then write a story.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
mbarker: (BrainUnderRepair)
Writing Excuses Episode 35: Voice, Tone, and Style


Key points: how do you write so that it is distinctive to you? This is NOT something that a starting writer should worry about too much -- they need to focus on characters, plot, and setting. One stylistic thing for starting writers is to pay attention to using said and asked instead of said-bookisms. Another point (lost in the transcription) was to watch for overuse of very, adjectives, and favorite words. And the main suggestion for developing a style - practice, practice, practice. Find what you're good at and emphasize that, avoid what you're not good at.
hiding details to save friend's pages )
[Brandon] Writing prompt: take a scene -- just a quick scene -- then write it as Dan would write it, then write it as Brandon would write it, and then write it as Howard would write it.
[Dan] should we give them a scene? Maybe the "Luke, I'm your father" scene from Star Wars?
[Howard] no, make it the romantic confession scene from Star Wars Episode Two

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