Here are the top ten articles for the Fiction Writing Site! These rankings are live and get reset at the beginning of each month, so check back often to see what your fellow visitors are most interested in!
1. Beware the Mary Sue Character
The Mary Sue character reads like a too-perfect version of the author. With no faults, she has no depth or complexity, and therefore no story worth caring about. She drags down the strongest plot, but if you know her characteristics, you can transform her into someone real on the rewrite.
2. Know the Unwritten Rules of Your Genre
In order to write successfully in a certain genre, you must know the unwritten rules – in short, what the readers in that genre want to see. This is overlooked by countless writers who either jump eagerly into a specific genre without researching it first, or knowingly try to break the rules.
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4. Communicating With Your Beta Reader
Your working relationship with your beta reader is based on trust. That starts with understanding each other’s expectations and communication style.
5. Describe an Awkward First Date
Take the following text writing prompt: Describe AN awkward first date. Notice how it does not say, “Describe YOUR most awkward first date.” The secret to a successful text prompt is to make the wording a bit loose and open-ended so you are not limited to your own experiences
6. Describe a Character Struggling Back from Defeat
Here is a text writing prompt for you. Describe a character struggling back from defeat. You never know who has the right stuff to overcome adversity.
7. Man Lost in Thought Photo Prompt
Here is another photo writing prompt for you, which illustrates the power of an ambiguous expression. What is this young man thinking? What emotion is he feeling? You could interpret his story a million different ways to fit several different genres.
8. Man with Phone Writing Prompt
The man in this photo writing prompt looks a bit like a fish out of water. He should spark some creative ideas as to how he, dressed as he is, got to where he is. Talk about a mismatch between snappy attire and bucolic surroundings!
9. What is a Classic Western
There are three types of story in the western fiction genre – what I call Classic, New, and Modern. "Classic" means a Wild West story with heroism.
10. House of Sleds Writing Prompt
It isn't just people photos that can suggest a story. Often a landscape can suggest a mood or tug at a writer's childhood memories. Look at this house of sleds and see what you think.
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