mbarker: (Me typing?)
Writing Excuses 5.20: More Dialogue Exercises


Key Points: Make sure characters have different personalities. A little banter goes a long way. Practice and good writing group comments can help. Think about how to evoke character and make it interesting. Beware narrative and description forced into dialogue. Keep the dialogue natural. Short, the way most people talk. Trust your readers to make connections, to put things together and figure out what is going on and why.
exercises by the listeners )
[Brandon] I'm going to read those. We'll just skip the writing prompt. I'm just going to end this by reading some Saberhagen. All right?
[Dan] OK. Nice.
[Brandon] Hear me, for I am Ardneh. Ardneh who rides the elephant, who wields the lightning, who rends fortifications as the rushing passage of time consumes cheap cloth. You slay me in this avatar, but I live on in other human beings. I am Ardneh, and in the end, I will slay thee, and thou wilt not live on.
Hear me, Ekuman. Neither by day nor by night will I slay thee. Neither with the blade nor with the bow... neither by the edge of the hand nor with the fist... neither with the wet nor with the dry.

The next line is him dying.
[Dan] Sweet. Talk about promises to the reader.
[Brandon] Yeah. There we are. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
mbarker: (BrainUnderRepair)
a.k.a. what's your focus?

Masashi, the husband from the rental bookstore, looked at Uraki. "Humph. If you love what you're doing, that's enough. So do what you love."
writing groups and other distractions )
Fumie wondered, "How can I get my own name?"

<to be continued>
mbarker: (Me typing?)
Writing Excuses Season Three Episode Five: How to Take Criticism


Key points: Insults are not criticism. Don't defend your work. You don't have to believe or accept reactions, and you don't have to change your work. But other people do have the right to their reactions. Watch out for the turd in the bowl of oatmeal. Rejection letters are trophies for submitting your work. Sometimes, you just have to give it a try and see.
All the lonely words... )
[Brandon] Writing prompt. I'm going to go ahead and do this one. Let's have you write a story about a critic who is the hero, instead of the villain. We always want to make the critic the villain. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.
mbarker: (BrainUnderRepair)
Writing Excuses Season Two Episode Five: Writing Groups


Key points: when your thing is being workshopped, shut up. Heisenberg's Law of Writing Groups: whenever you interact with your readers, you are changing their reactions. When you are workshopping someone else's piece: Be descriptive, not prescriptive. Start with good things. Then talk about large issues that would make you put the book down and stop reading. Next talk about big problems. Last, if there's time, touch on the paragraph and sentence level issues. But make sure you let the writer know what they did good and how you reacted. Be willing to discard three out of four suggestions to find the real problems.
many words )

May 2017

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