Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Show, Don't Tell

Try this out for your writing, see what it does!
-Owner's Don't Knock

  • If it's a sermon your reader wants, there are churches to oblige. What does it look like, sound like, feel like, taste like, smell like? When you describe a person or event, your reader is there with you. When you tell, the reader relaxes to the point of mental slumber. Not sure of the difference?Telling: John was sad after Susan broke up with him.Reader: Yawn! Showing: John shut his cell phone and leaned against the wall. He heaved a sigh and dropped his head into his hands.Hear the reader's mind working: "What's with John? Oh, I get it, he feels Susan let him down."In nonfiction, details show, generalities or opinions tell.Telling: Children are out of shape these days.Reader: "I don't think that's true. My neighbor's kid plays Little League."Showing: Forty percent of 5 to 8-year olds are obese.The reader's mind kicks in:"Wow! Children are out of shape these days!"

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cut Cut Cut!

Don't forget to 'prune' your writing in order for it to grow!
-Owner's Don't Knock

  • Writers often fall in love with their own words and phrases. Cutting them can feel like killing a person. It only feels like that. Cutting words from writing is like pruning in the garden. When we get rid of the dead, diseased, and ugly, we are left with a stronger, more beautiful, fruitful plant.Be ruthless with your writing. Chop out every unnecessary word. How do you know what can go? Read what you've written leaving out parts you question. If the piece still makes sense, leave out the excess. Compressed writing packs a punch.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Write What You Know

Try this and see where it gets you!
-Owner's Don't Knock

  • Given the chance, what do you talk about endlessly? What drives you to seek out information? What are your passions? When you write what you know, you write with authority. People listen to you because you are one who knows. You are interesting because you are interested. Your knowledge is a gift to share.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Ex- Tip

Try this out in your next writing prompt.
-Owner's Don't Knock

  • Ex- marks the spot. Go beyond, go out on a limb, go outside your comfort zone. Get some extra excitement by using these vivid verbs starting with the syllable ex-:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Some Creative Writing Tips

Just a quick little something for you guys. Sorry for the lack of posts!
-Owner's Don't Knock

  1. Write a story from the point of view of a non-human. This can mean an alien, an animal, or a chest of drawers. The unconventional source of narration frees your creativity and allows you to have some fun with the story. It gives you an excuse to play with dialogue or try your hand at being funny.
  2. Sometimes you can create fictional magic just by placing two opposing characters in the same room. Consider opposites or "incompatibles" from real life that might make sparks on the page.Personalities that breed conflict create increased readability.
  3. Write a story in which one character is clearly lying. This can be either the narrator or another character. You´ll want to focus on peeling away the layers of truth and untruth--the non-liar(s) will inwardly and outwardly wrestle this out.
  4. A good plot always traces back to character elements. Characters find themselves in situations and must act and react to those situations as best they can. Consider this as you construct the plot of your story.As a pre-writing exercise, make a list of situations your character might find him or herself in. Then, in a separate column, try and predict what might happen based on what you know about the character.