Monday, December 28, 2015

The Top Five: Best Writing-Related Articles from December 21-25

5. "Coincidences in Fiction: What You're Doing Wrong" on Helping Writers Become Authors (K.M. Weiland)

Link: http://bit.ly/1U075uG

Coincidence in life is one thing, and even we know that those don't happen very often. On the other hand, coincidences in fiction are an entirely different thing, and you'll want to avoid those as often as possible in your writing. Otherwise, you're letting your readers down. Avoid that error by starting with the tips in this post.

Read ruthlessly through your current work-in-progress (WIP) for coincidences. If you find one, apply (at least) one of Weiland's principles to correct it.

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4. "8 Tips to Writing Unreliable Narrators" on The Writer's Dig blog at WritersDigest.com (Deb Caletti, guest columnist)

Link: http://bit.ly/1Pri92E

Anybody remember reading The Catcher in the Rye in high school or college, with Holden Caulfield walking you through his world? Then you're familiar with the unreliable narrator, which can be a unique approach to perspective in a work of fiction. Check out this how-to article with points to keep in mind as you craft your own unreliable narrator.

Could you make your narrator unreliable in just one way? Catch your reader, and yourself, off-guard at least once.

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3. "7 Keys to Irresistible Plots" on Fiction University (Laurence MacNaughton, guest columnist)

Link: http://bit.ly/1mdvzGe

Think about a work of fiction that made a tremendous impact on you, one that you remember clearly even now. With that in mind, what about it had such an effect on you? If it was the plot, it's entirely plausible that these seven plot elements, or components, are present in that memorable book. MacNaughton even has a great acronym so you can remember the components for future reference.

Which of the seven plot elements will you try to incorporate into your WIP first?

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2. "Does Our Story Have Everything It Needs?" on Jami Gold

Link: http://bit.ly/1NJSXUD

You've got a draft of a story or novel completed, and now you're wondering what to do with it next. There are dozens of excellent writing craft books out there on the revision process, but if you'd like a really user-friendly overview, look no further than this article. Gold has compiled a list of thought-provoking questions under different categories to keep you and your story focused.

What's your favorite "first step" resource to revision?

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1. "15 Inspiring Writing Podcasts to Subscribe to Right Now" on The Write Life (Brianna Bell)

Link: http://bit.ly/1OgnSJJ

With New Year's approaching, you've probably got goals and resolutions on your mind for 2016. What better place to start than with a subscription (or two) to a podcast on an expert writing site for advice and wisdom? You can learn about blogging, grammar and revision, fiction, and much more, all just by listening for a few minutes per session.

How will you ring in the new year for your writing work?

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And that's the lineup for last week, on time this week, with my computer back up and functional again. Chime in with comments!

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