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. Self-Indulgence Can Harm Your Writing
There is a well-known writing tip that advises beginning writers to pick out their favorite passage, dialog, scene, or plotline in their novel – and to delete it. Your favorite material is not necessarily your best material, and it could be your worst.
3. 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.
4. Word Count and Fiction Lengths
Why worry about word count? After you finish writing your fiction project to whatever length it needs to be, you must know its approximate length category to market it.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Memory Versus Flashback
In fiction, what is the difference between a memory and a flashback? A memory summarizes the past, but a flashback shows an actual scene from the past which is integrated into the present-day story.
8. 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.
9. Show Characterization Without Slowing The Pacing
The last thing a writer wants is to slow the pacing of the story with a lot of descriptive freight.So how do you show characterization and keep the story moving? You do it in strategic glimpses, woven into the action. You can do it with dialog, thoughts, decisions, and actions.
10. 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.
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