Monday, April 18, 2022

How to Write a Good Story

Regardless of what you may have heard, there is no one formula for writing a good story. Some writers are able to churn out best-selling novels using nothing more than their own intuition, while others plan and plot every step of their journey before ever putting pen to paper. The key is finding the process that works best for you and following it faithfully. With a few simple tips, however, you can give yourself the best chance of success. So sit down, get comfortable, and let’s get started!

What are parts of a story?

There are several key components of a story: the setting, the characters and the conflict. Setting is pretty self-explanatory and can be just about anything you want it to be. The sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing where your tale will take place! You must also decide on who all of your main characters will be and how they relate to one another. Are they related by blood, marriage or friendship? Are they co-workers? Once you have these basics figured out, all that remains is building your conflict. This will form the basis for your story so it needs to be something intriguing enough to keep readers engaged from beginning to end.

Tell me the importance of story elements?

Each of these story elements are important in their own way. The setting can help to set the mood and tone for your story, while the characters provide a window into the action. The conflict is what propels the plot forward and keeps readers on their toes. So make sure that you take care in developing each of these elements to their fullest potential!

Tell me the essence of a story?

At its heart, a story is about change. It follows the characters as they go on a journey and experience different things that cause them to grow and evolve. No matter what the genre or style, this is always at the core of a good tale. You don’t need a specific length to tell a good tale. There are a number of short stories that contain all of the key elements. These common elements can help bring your own story to life.

10 essential parts of a storyYou may be asking what are the elements of a story that make a compelling story. Here are ten essential parts to nearly every story:

  1. Characters: Not just a protagonist and an antagonist. Every character is in some way connected to the central conflict, either by being involved or by their reactions to it. Each person believes they are the main character in their story’s plot. This is one of the key elements to understanding a character’s perspective.
  2. A Problem: The story begins when something changes for the characters, which leads them to combat this change in some way. It could be something about their physical location or other characters that create the problem. There could be breaking a set of cultural norms. The problem could even be a flaw in one of their character traits.
  3. Immediate Consequences: Something happens as a direct result of the protagonist’s attempt (or lack thereof) to solve his problem. This brings your reader deeper into the action of the story while also bringing your hero one step closer to resolving his issue or watch him get even more entangled instead!
  4. Repercussions: How did things go after the immediate consequences? Anticipation builds for both your readers and your characters as they wait to see what will happen as a result of the last turn of events. This is one of the essential elements to a story character. You get a sneak peak into their point of view and an eventual turning point.
  5. Increasing Tension: The stakes must be continually raised as the story progresses in order to keep readers hooked. This can be done through adding new conflicts, complications, and obstacles for your characters to overcome. However you add in this tension, there needs to be some sort of rising action moment.
  6. A Climax: All the tension that has been building up reaches a breaking point and is resolved in some way.
  7. Resolution: Everything is wrapped up nicely with a bow–or not, as the case may be. Your characters may have changed as a result of their journey, or they may be right back where they started (but hopefully wiser for the experience). A writer knows that a satisfying resolution requires an element of falling action now that the inciting incident is finally resolved.
  8. Theme: What is your story about? This may not be clear until the end, but every great story has a message or moral that it imparts to its readers.
  9. Setting: The place and time in which your story takes place can greatly affect the tone and flavor of your tale.
  10. Style: How is your story written? This is another factor that contributes to the overall feel of your work. Is it light-hearted and humorous, or dark and gritty? All good stories have themes.

Bonus Element-Tropes: These are familiar story devices, such as the reluctant hero or the love triangle, that help to quickly orient readers and set the stage for your particular tale. These are not negative components for your story writing. Instead, tropes allow readers of other authors to quickly understand some commonality among the stories they like. The hero will win, the villain will lose, and everyone will grow in some way.

What is the most important story element?

Characterization is the most important element in a fiction story, as you cannot have a compelling story without characters to tell it. They are the people that readers will bond with and cheer for, or develop a special hatred for as they work their way through the various conflicts of your narrative.

What is a good story?

While characterization is very important, if you want to compose great stories that grip your audience, then you need to make sure that you master three key areas: locations, characters, and conflicts. A solid setting can provide an excellent backdrop for many adventures (and misadventures), while a scene of endearing heroes help guide readers on this journey of discovery. Then there is climaxes, which resolve these tales by tying up any loose ends and providing us with conclusions to the various arcs that have been created. If done correctly, a good story can leave readers feeling as if they have just completed an epic journey of their own.

You don’t need to have a giant list of all the tools a writer uses, nor know the difference between third person, first person, second person, or even all knowing narrator. You can use the other story elements listed above, to nail down your theme and characters. When you have elements work together to make a main character pop out to readers, it’s time to start writing! Start with a compelling list of different characters and basic elements will fall in place together.

For more on building a good fiction story, including further insight into story elements, and word choices, take a look at this video:

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

How to Write Short Stories

In order to be a successful writer, it’s important to be versatile and hone your skills in different genres. Short stories are a great way to improve your writing skills and practice the techniques that you’ve learned without spending lots of time.

Perfectionism can be a nasty demon that leads writers into blind alleys and dead ends. While it’s important to strive for excellence, it’s also important not to get caught up in nit-picky details when trying to write quickly. Do your best to achieve clarity, but if you find yourself fixating on grammar rules or archaic words, put the manuscript down and come back when you’re ready. Or, since it’s a short story, you can simply walk down a different path.

Tell me the meaning of short stories?

In a short story, the writer has fewer words to convey his or her message. In a novel you can have an entire world created from nothing, but you don’t have that option in a short story so it’s important for the author to focus on characters and plot development as well as a single central meaning or purpose.

The best way to learn what makes a good short story is by studying literary examples. The more short stories you read, the better your grasp of the form will become and eventually you’ll start identifying problems in existing pieces and recognize ways they could be improved. You’ll also come up with your own unique short story idea.

It’s also helpful to ask yourself questions like: What is this story really about? What does the main character want? Is there enough conflict? How do the events in the story unfold? Is there a single character I relate to? Does either the protagonist or antagonist fall flat? What do I like about this short fiction? Will this become one of my new favorite writers?

While there isn’t always a set formula you can use to write a short story, it’s important for writers to practice their craft and learn how to identify different elements. Once you know what makes writing compelling or weak, your stories will improve dramatically and so will your ability to spot and fix issues in other works.Tell me the length of short stories?

Short stories typically range from 1,500 to 7,500 words, but there are no set rules. Some short stories can be as long as 10,000 words or as short as 500 words. It really depends on what the author is trying to say and how they’re trying to say it.

One of the benefits of writing a short story is that you don’t have to write as much. The word count allows for more of a challenge, but if you find yourself getting stuck or bored, it’s often best to start writing on something else entirely instead of trying to force your way through the story.

Why should I write short stories?

Aside from the obvious answer of “to improve your writing skills,” there are several reasons why you might want to start writing short stories.

  1. They’re a great way to experiment with different genres, techniques, and really explore creative writing.
  2. They can be used to explore a character or idea in more depth.
  3. They can be used to communicate a message or central theme.
  4. They’re a great way to practice your writing skills.
  5. They can be published and read by others.
  6. They can be used as a stepping stone to writing novels.
  7. They’re fun!

How do I structure my short story?

When you start short story writing, you need to tie your story structure to a character arc. Even flash fiction, which needs quickly grab reader’s attention, must relay a compelling story. That short fiction story starts with a character’s life. Since short stories tend to avoid lots of exposition, you must have an easy satisfying ending. So how do you nail all of these on a first draft?

Take your estimated word count and break it into chapters. To tell a good short story, you need at least two chapters per setting. So if your main characters need a love story, it’s best to get into that immediately with a rising action scene. Ultimately, even a short story needs to be a complete story that keeps the readers engaged.

How do you come up with great short story ideas?

Ideas for short stories can come from almost anywhere: the news, your thoughts and experiences, dreams, etc. The beginning of a project often contains an exciting burst of inspiration, but after you put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) it’s important not to get stuck. It’s very easy for such initial exuberance to deplete itself quickly and leave you wondering where your interest went. To avoid this, make friends with your writing process and do it every day even if you’re uninspired or uninterested at that particular moment. This is much better than putting up a barrier between yourself and your work by waiting around for the lightning bolt. Repetition will help create patterns in your mind that will eventually lead to the burst of creativity you’re waiting for.

Don’t just write your own short stories, also pay attention to other short story writers

If you want to write good fiction it’s also important that you become a critical reader. You can do this by following these three easy steps:

  1. Read widely in your genre.
  2. Keep up with the current top-notch writing through magazines and newspapers.
  3. Try to “story tell” what you read or watch yourself. This is especially helpful for short stories because there are many ways they can unfold. When reading, ask yourself how each story would be different if it was told from another character’s perspective. Or how the setting would play out differently (or not at all). Or what might happen next instead of after that? Remember that anything can happen in any order; there are no rules.

How do you end a short story?

The last sentence of your short story is as important as the first, if not more so. It’s also the most difficult to write because it needs to encapsulate everything that has happened before and wrap up any loose ends in a way that leaves readers satisfied. Even though a good ending shouldn’t be forced or predictable, don’t feel like you need to create an entirely new conflict simply for the sake of having one – your job is already done! If there’s no conflict, then why not let things play out as they would naturally? This can often lead to some emotionally stirring conclusions that leave readers with more than just an idea or lesson. A good story doesn’t necessarily need to end with a new beginning, but it can.

Short story writing is all about showing rather than telling. Avoid lengthy setup paragraphs and try to get straight into the action quickly. If you’re not sure where to start your story, make a list of five things that happen in your setting. Start from the most interesting one and work backwards from there. Write an outline before you begin drafting by making a list of events as they would naturally fall in order within your plot – don’t think too much about how they will unfold! Also take note of what happens between each scene – repetition will help bring out patterns that suggest how your story might end or tie certain parts together without becoming too obvious. And finally, endings are important so make sure to spend enough time on that last sentence!

Most writers know this technique is a great way to flex your creative muscles and learn more about the art of storytelling. By following these simple guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to writing your own engaging tales. Happy writing!

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

How to write an introduction paragraph

There are many ways to write a good introduction paragraph, but they all have one thing in common. They’re engaging. Readers need to be captured and interested in what you’re writing about from the beginning of your post or they will most likely never read it. There’s no secret formula for what is an engaging intro paragraph, but there is some tried and true methods that can help get the job done right. This blog post will go over some helpful tips on how to craft a great introduction paragraph for any writing project you may be up against!

Introductions can be a lot of work, but if you do the research and plan ahead, they can be as pain-free as possible. When I started my blog last year, it took me hours to write a decent intro paragraph—but now that I’ve mastered this skill over time all I have to do is follow these steps and I’m good to go! I’ve compiled a list of easy-to-follow steps that will help you craft an introduction that will grab your readers from the start.

What is the purpose of the introduction?

The introduction paragraph is the first thing your readers will see, so it’s important to make a good first impression. The main purpose of an intro paragraph is to introduce your topic and grab your reader’s attention. It’s also a good opportunity to set the tone for your writing and give your readers a hint about what they can expect from the rest of your post.

There are several ways to hook your readers and grab their attention. You can start off with a rhetorical question, interesting statistic, or even a quote. If you can find a way to relate your topic to something your readers are already interested in, that’s even better! You can also try using a personal story or anecdote to introduce your topic. Whatever you do, make sure your intro paragraph is engaging and makes your reader want to read more.

An ineffective introduction

One common mistake that writers make is to try and include too much information in their introduction. This can quickly overwhelm and bore your readers. It’s important to remember that the intro paragraph is just a teaser, it should not include all the details of your topic.

Another common mistake is to use vague or recycled opening sentences. For example, “In this blog post, I will discuss…” or “This post is about…. ” These kinds of openings do nothing to engage your readers and are a waste of valuable space.

The thing about introductions is that they’re like first dates: You’ve got to be interesting or people will lose interest and move on quickly. That’s why boring introductions can sour the entire piece. If someone is bored or sees a lot of grammar/spelling mistakes in that introduction, they will likely skip over the remainder of the work.

Write an introduction that interests the reader and effectively outlines your arguments.

There is no one formula for how to write an engaging introduction, but there are some techniques that can help get you started. One way to engage your readers is to start with a question or provocative statement. You can also provide a brief overview of the topic you’re writing about, or share a personal anecdote that relates to the topic. Whatever you do, make sure your introduction paragraph is well-written and engaging.

A hook is a great way to capture your reader’s attention and get them interested in what you’re writing about. A hook can be anything from a statistic to a quote, or even a short anecdote. It’s important to make sure the hook is relevant to the topic you’re writing about, and it’s also helpful to give your readers a hint about what they can expect from the rest of your post.

Key elements of an introduction

An effective introduction needs to grab the reader’s attention and clearly outline what they can expect from the rest of your writing. A good way to do this is by starting with either a hook or an overview. Another important element of an introduction is flow, so make sure everything comes together smoothly and is easy for the reader to follow. Your conclusion paragraph should tie back in to your intro paragraph so it feels like one cohesive unit rather than two separate parts.

Some elements include:

Hook-provides a brief overview of topic

A hook is a technique that writers use to capture their reader’s attention and engage them in what they’re writing about. A hook can be anything from a statistic to a quote, or even a short anecdote. It’s important to make sure the hook is relevant to the topic you’re writing about, and it’s also helpful to give your readers a hint about what they can expect from the rest of your post.

The main purpose of a hook is to provide a brief overview of the topic you’re writing about. This way, your readers will know what to expect and won’t be overwhelmed by too much information at once. A good hook will also make your readers want to read more, which is why it’s important to choose something that will pique their interest.

Flow-everything flows well together

When you’re writing, it’s important to make sure that everything flows smoothly from sentence to sentence and paragraph to paragraph. This means ensuring that your sentences are properly constructed and your paragraphs are well-organized. If things are all over the place, it will be difficult for your readers to follow what you’re saying.

One way to achieve flow is to use transitional words and phrases. These are words and phrases that help connect your thoughts and ideas together. Transitional words and phrases can also help clarify the relationships between different paragraphs.

Another way to create flow is by using parallel construction. This means constructing your sentences in a similar pattern so that they all have the same structure. When you parallel construction, it makes your writing easier to follow and gives the impression that you know what you’re doing.

Compare/contrast-attempts to compare and contrast the post with other sources

When you’re writing a compare and contrast, the introduction is where you outline the points that will be discussed in further detail throughout your work. It’s a good idea to start with an overview of what you’ll be talking about before getting into the specifics. This way, you’re giving readers a chance to prepare themselves before receiving too much information at once.

Personal anecdote-shows how this topic relates to you or whoever is reading the material

A personal anecdote can be a great way to connect with your reader and engage them on a more intimate level. Anecdotes tend to be short stories that provide context for the topic you’re writing about, so they’re often used as hooks. However, it’s important to keep these anecdotes relevant and avoid any unnecessary tangents.Your personal anecdote should also introduce the main point you want to make. This way, readers know what to expect from your writing and they can see how the topic relates to them on a personal level.

Map your structure

A great way to help you structure your introduction paragraph is by mapping it out. Start with an outline of what you want your intro paragraph to include, and then write draft versions of your introduction until it feels just right. The more time you devote to drafting and perfecting your introductory paragraph, the better off you’ll be in the long run.

You can have this map go as far or as short as you like. Short maps may be simply one or two interesting facts. Longer maps can give a brief overview of the entire essay. Whichever route you choose, make sure that everything in your intro paragraph is relevant to your topic.

We all know that the best way to achieve our goals is by setting them in advance. Setting your goal before you start can help ensure success because it forces you to think about what you want and how to get there. But, for some reason, people don’t do this very often.

A recent study found that only 29% of people set their goals before they start working on a task or project. This means that 71% of people are just guessing at what they should be doing without any real direction! As a result, most people never reach their potential and end up wasting time with unproductive tasks while waiting for inspiration to strike.

A thesis statement is a sentence or two that introduces your main argument or point of view. It’s important to include a thesis statement in Longer maps may include specifics in how your book will progress or can help setup the scene for a larger event. The trick is to find out the minimum needed to help build that introduction paragraph. Once you have the verbiage you need, make sure to get feedback, and build introduction paragraphs that connect well with the rest of your work.

Building exactly you are going to say can help form a compelling story that captures the reader’s interest. Building these outlines can make the difference between be a successful introduction and just background information/noise.

Great short story introductions

What makes an introduction great in a short story? Generally, it’s about being interesting and engaging. Stories have plots that are supposed to be exciting, so the introduction is also the first thing your readers will read. It should contain some sort of hook or question that makes them want to keep reading. The introductory paragraph may also include what you believe are important aspects of the plot-whether they’re themes or events-to get your reader hooked on wanting more information about those topics as well!

Articles in paragraph form

Do not include personal anecdotes unless it is in context to help better understand the topic at hand. It should be relevant and add value to the discussion/thesis statement, but it does not need to be directly tied into any of the following paragraphs.

There are a few different structures that you can use for your introduction paragraph and it can depend on what you’re writing and how you want to format your paper. For example, if you were writing an essay for an English class about a story that has certain themes and symbols then the first part of the introductory paragraph would focus on those symbols and themes instead of thesis statement. This is because an introduction does not need to have a thesis statement, but if you choose to include one it should be in the first paragraph.

An introduction paragraph is an important part of any writing project, and it’s essential to make a good first impression. The main purpose of an intro paragraph is to introduce your topic and grab your reader’s attention. There are many ways to write an engaging introduction, but these are some general tips that can help you get started. Make sure everything in your introduction paragraph flows together smoothly, and be sure to tie back in to your intro paragraph in your conclusion. Good luck!

Here is a video that further discusses creating an introduction paragraph:

Thursday, January 27, 2022

How to write dialogue

Writing dialogue can be a daunting task for most writers. Dialogue is an art form that requires careful attention to detail, and many authors struggle with getting their characters’ voices right. But don’t worry! This blog post will show you how to write dialogue like the pros do.

We’ll start by looking at some common rules on how to write dialogue. Next we will step back and look at what makes realistic dialogue, how that moves the story forward, how to make readers pay attention when dialogue shows, and exactly what ratio of dialogue writing to you should use in your story.

19 fast dialogue rules to building great dialogue

  1. Use dialogue to reveal traits of a person
  2. Dialogue should be natural and believable. This is their real life, so they should have their own voice.
  3. Write dialogue in the style of your genre
  4. Avoid clichés when writing conversation, such as “I’m so mad!” or “How could you?”
  5. Be careful about how much dialogue is on the page – too much can make it seem like a screenplay rather than a novel
  6. Watch out for adverbs that modify verbs in dialogue (e.g., he said angrily) – they’re usually not necessary and can often create clunky sentences
  7. Dialogue should sound like people actually speak – it can be hard to avoid clichés
  8. Use contractions when writing dialogue
  9. If there’s too much dialogue, try splitting the book into two or more parts or adding descriptive narration
  10. Dialogue tags are necessary in some cases; they show who is speaking (he said) but shouldn’t be overused (he said breathlessly, he asked loudly). Adverbs like these can make dialogue feel overly formal and unnatural
  11. Set up your dialogue in advance by making an outline if possible
  12. Dialogue punctuation doesn’t need to always match the rest of the sentence (e.g., question marks for questions, suspension points for unfinished thoughts) but it should be correct
  13. Avoid writing dialogue that consists of only one person speaking for an extended period of time
  14. If you use em dashes to indicate fragmented speech, put the sentence in parentheses first so it doesn’t interrupt the flow of dialogue – e.g., “I can’t help feeling (can we talk about this later?)”
  15. Keep dialogue short so readers won’t lose interest – no need to include details like gestures, eye rolling, etc.; save those for the descriptive passages between dialogue exchanges
  16. Don’t forget that body language can often be more effective than words; gestures and facial expressions are natural ways of showing people’s feelings without actually saying anything at all!
  17. Be careful with dialects/accents in dialogue; make sure they’re correct and sound natural
  18. Dialogue is one of the best ways to demonstrate conflict in a book, but don’t weigh down with people bickering back and forth for too long
  19. Don’t forget that dialogue isn’t just used for getting information across – it’s also a great way to build suspense!

How to write natural dialogue?

Dialogue is one of the best ways to show personality and voice in a story, so it’s important to get to know the people you’re writing about. The way a person speaks can say more about them than what they’re saying, so pay attention to how they talk. How do they sound? What kind of words do they use? How formal or informal is their speech pattern? Do they have an accent? These things should all be considered when constructing dialogue for your characters.

In addition to this, there are a few other rules that need to be followed when writing dialogue:

  • Dialogue must sound natural and believable – not too formal or too informal
  • Dialogue must be easily distinguishable – for this, some writers use tags to establish who’s speaking and punctuate accordingly
  • Dialogue should serve a purpose/contribute to the story line
  • Speech patterns and dialects need to be consistent with personalities (e.g., if they’re from Canada vs. New York)
  • Avoid clichés when writing conversation (e.g., “I’m so mad!” or “How could you?”)
  • Use contractions in dialogue whenever possible; mix up your dialogue tags; remember that actions can often convey feelings better than words! (see examples)
  • “he said” and “she said” not necessary if there is no confusion or if they are unnecessary (like in a letter, where there is no one to respond)
  • Avoid writing dialogue that consists of only one person talking for long periods of time without any interruption from the other characters. It’s generally considered bad form and can seem unrealistic. If you have an important conversation that needs to go on for a while, use descriptive narration as well as dialogue.

What is the most important thing to remember when creating dialogue?

The writer must think about what has recently happened in their character’s lives. Dialogue needs to be believable and natural, so it can’t just consist of one person talking for an extended period of time without interruption from the other characters. The way a character speaks tells you more about them than anything else–what kind of words they use, how formal or informal their speech pattern is, etc.–so take note! If someone’s had a bad day at work, don’t expect them to sound like they’re having the best day ever. And if your protagonist is angry at someone who wronged her in some way–say he cheated on her with his ex-girlfriend–it would make sense for this to be a topic of conversation!

Some people might be driven to write about character change because they feel like they’ve experienced a lot of change in their own lives and want to explore this on the page. Others might be interested in exploring the different ways that characters can grow and change over time. And still others might be drawn to writing about character change because it’s a great way to create suspense and tension in a story. Whatever the reason, writers often find themselves drawn to exploring character growth and transformation in their stories.

In what way is it important to establish character and voice in a story first on the page?

Before you can even begin to think about how characters change on the page, you first need to establish who they are. This means understanding their individual personalities, quirks, interests, and voices. You don’t want your protagonist’s best friend to sound exactly like your protagonist! Make sure that each of your characters has a unique style of speaking by paying attention not only to what they say but also how they say it (what kinds of words do they use? Do they have an accent?) Also remember that some people talk more formally than others; some always use contractions; and still others might be more imp than thoughtful with their words.

What is the biggest mistake people make when it comes to writing dialogue?

The biggest mistake is that many writers don’t realize that every character’s voice should be unique; this means that his or her speech patterns shouldn’t sound exactly like those of another character in the story. For example, if your protagonist uses a lot of profanity and frequently exclaims “I’m so mad!” you shouldn’t have all of your other characters swear and shout! This can cause confusion for readers. Take time with each individual character to familiarize yourself with their voices and mannerisms, and then try writing out some conversations between them. See what happens: does their dialogue sound natural and believable? Or does it all start sounding the same after a while?

What is the most effective way to write dialogue?

The best way to write natural-sounding dialogue is to make sure you know who your characters are before writing them on the page. Spend time getting to know their likes and dislikes, their hobbies and interests, what they like and dislike about each other, etc. Also take some time with each individual character’s voice; don’t expect your best friend in real life to talk exactly like your mom! And remember that good dialogue doesn’t only consist of conversation; it also consists of descriptive narration (background information and details). Remember: you can always add more description later if needed!

What is a common mistake regarding point of view when writing fiction? How do you avoid making this mistake?The biggest mistake writers make when it comes to point-of-view is using too many points of view in one scene. This causes confusion for readers and can get confusing fast. If you’re writing something particularly complicated, this could be okay–but only if the situation warrants it! Otherwise, stick to just two or three points of view per scene. Readers don’t need to know what every single person in the scene is thinking at any given moment; they’ll only lose interest quickly if you try to tell them all of this information at once. Instead, allow each character’s own unique voice to guide the narration on the page (remember: no one uses exactly the same words or phrases all of the time!) while allowing their thoughts and emotions to emerge slowly through dialogue.

How do I write a dialogue that engages my reader?

Readers are engaged with your writing when they are curious about your characters and what they will do. When examining why two characters are interacting, it’s important to consider what both parties want from the exchange. Often, one character will want something from the other that he or she can’t or doesn’t want to provide. In these cases, a power struggle often ensues as each character tries to get what he or she wants. This dynamic can be fascinating to explore in fiction, and it can also be a great way to reveal important backstory and development about both characters involved. For example, if your protagonist is trying to get information from a rival, ask yourself what the rival wants in return. What might he or she be willing to do to get what he or she wants? How far is your protagonist willing to go in order to get what he or she wants? What are the stakes of the exchange, and what might happen if one character doesn’t get what he or she wants?

Building great relationships between characters is often about exploring their similarities. But it’s also important to look at how your characters are different from each other. What makes them unique? How do they feel misunderstood by others, and how do they interpret or misunderstand each other in return? These dynamics can be explored through dialogue (two characters trying to understand one another) as well as through actions (two characters who continually misinterpret each other). Consider the dynamic of an ex-husband and his ex-wife–they’ve moved on with new loves, but they still have children together. Perhaps these two characters constantly butt heads when they have to coordinate family events, out of a fear that there might be tension between themselves and their new partners. Or perhaps they’re able to establish a genuine friendship, despite the fact that their own relationship failed. Think about all the possible outcomes!

Another way you can build dynamic relationships between characters is through your authorial voice. Are you writing from one character’s point of view or are you allowing an omniscient narrator to reveal information about all of the main characters in the scene? Are you placing details in the narration that allow readers to see characters’ intentions or motivations? If so, how are these details expressed? Remember: using this type of detail in action–not just via dialogue–can give other characters more personality and establish how they’re perceived by others. And as you’re doing all of this, it’s important to consider whether you’ll be using direct or indirect dialogue, and why each style makes sense for the given scene.

Discovering these nuances can be difficult at first, but much like learning a new language, one of the best ways to learn is practice and experience! If you read and write often, you’ll discover that your instincts become stronger over time; soon enough, your point-of-view procedure will become second nature.

Using dialogue tags that bring your characters to life

A dialogue tag is a word or short phrase that indicates who is saying something. For example:“I’m going with you,” she insisted.

In general, use “said” as your preferred dialogue tag. It’s the easiest and most clear-cut choice. If you’re trying to convey a certain emotion with your dialogue tag (“she said cryptically”), then be sure it doesn’t interfere with the readability of the sentence—for example, don’t write something like “she murmured fervently.” You want to avoid sentences that are too wordy, so try to edit them down as much as possible while still keeping a natural flow. Keep in mind that some people use “said” as a dialogue tag so much that it becomes clear the intention was to avoid using it. People may squint at your sentence and wonder who’s talking instead of just reading along easily!

There are, however, other options for dialogue tags if you’re looking for something more specific. These include:

  • asked
  • answered
  • “whispered” or “hissed” (if writing about werewolves)
  • chuckled
  • “breathed”, “gasped”, or “panted” (for those who are being physically hurt) -“shouted”, “squeaked”, or “huffed” (for angry individuals)
  • “argued”, “lamented”, or “pleaded” (for emotional, strong points of view)
  • “spat”, “gasped”, or “gritted” (for angry, violent people)
  • “gestured” (if it’s important to use your hands when talking)

These words and phrases work well in dialogue because they add something extra than just saying what someone says. You can use them in any tense or voice that you want. When adding a tag to your sentence, be sure not to put the tags at the end of the sentence–that makes it awkward! In general, it’s best to keep one tag per speech bubble/section of the panel if you’re writing for comics since too many tags will make it confusing to the eye. For prose, you can stick with one tag per paragraph. And if you want to be really bold and creative (and use a lot of tags), you can even go for two tags per sentence!

What should be the ratio of dialogue in a story?

The ratio of dialogue to description should be like 2:1 or 1:1. That is, two times as much dialogue as description. The dialogue should be strong and the description should not take away from it.If a line of dialogue is particularly compelling or interesting, try repeating it as a first or last line in a scene. Readers will anticipate these lines and pay closer attention to them!

Dialogue is important because it moves the story quickly. Description, on the other hand, can slow down the story by taking away from the dialogue. This is why it’s important to switch between dialogue and description to help with pacing. You can use simple language to describe what’s happening in a scene. For example, you could say “A field of flowers stretched out before her” instead of writing “The soft breeze blew pollen across the meadow.” The same goes for using adverbs in dialogue tags—they aren’t necessary!

If you want your story to be exciting or funny, then load it with dialogue. If you’re trying to create a mood, then focus on description. Dialogue is great because it gives characters something to do besides stand around and wait for something bad to happen. It shows that they are proactive figures who are making things happen in their world. This way, when the bad guy comes along, your characters will have more energy since they’ve been doing something instead of just sitting around.

How long should each section of dialogue be?

Your average line of dialogue shouldn’t go for more than three to five words. Dialogue that goes on for too long is hard to read quickly and can confuse readers as they try to figure out what’s going on in the scene. Of course, if you’re writing a certain type of story or genre where it’s normal to have people talk for longer stretches, then you don’t have to worry about keeping your dialogue this short—but if you’re writing a novel with a lot of characters talking at once, make sure not to swamp the reader with too much!

If a character is angry, their lines should be shorter. This way, there isn’t too much dialogue that goes on at once. The reader can focus on one person speaking and not be swamped by all the other words in the scene.What if I want characters to talk for a really long time?

If you’re writing a chatty character or someone who talks a lot, then you don’t have to worry about shortening their lines of dialogue. However, if you want them to say something particularly important and poignant, try repeating it as a tag instead: “She paused,” said Sally. “And then she continued,” added Sally. This way, the reader will pay more attention to that line when they read it back because it’s been repeated twice! It won’t slow down your story because there isn’t too much dialogue on the page.

The best thing about writing things down is that you can always cross stuff out if it doesn’t work. So the next time you write your story, don’t be afraid to start with a very long line of dialogue and then keep rewriting it until it’s just right! It’ll take some experimenting, but in the end, you’ll have lines of natural-sounding dialogue that will help progress your story in wonderful ways.

It’s absolutely okay to write one really long line of dialogue! Our fictional people can say very interesting things in order to convey their personality or hide their motives. If you notice that readers tend to skip over these longer blocks of text (because they’re reading too quickly), try breaking them up into two lines. This will make the dialogue easier to read, and it’ll keep our people from seeming like they’re taking forever to say something!

What if my character says the same thing over and over again?

If your character is prone to saying specific things (I love you or You idiot), then it’s best not to write their lines over and over again in different ways. Instead, try putting them into conversation with another person. The character can talk about how much they hate someone else or think bad things about them—anything that adds conflict to the scene! Readers will notice this kind of dialogue because there are so many people speaking at once. If you find yourself repeating a line too often, try rewording it slightly so it doesn’t seem like you’re stuck in a pattern.

Dialogue is a powerful tool that can reveal your traits and make for an interesting story. In fact, the way you write dialogue will determine how readers feel about your character or what they think of them. Make sure that you’re not repeating lines over and over, rely on tags to indicate important or powerful dialogue, and remember to keep it short! Remember, too, that longer blocks of text are okay—all it takes is a few revisions before your story is perfect.

Want to learn more about building dialog? Take a look at this video:

Thursday, December 9, 2021

How to be a Writer

Many people dream of being a writer, but the reality is that most writers need to have a day job in order to provide for themselves and their family. In this article you will learn how to be a writer without quitting your day job. At the end of this article you will find a link to an interview with a full-time writer who explains exactly how she manages to write and publish novellas while holding down a day job.

What does a writer do?

Writers tell stories. If you can write, you can be a writer. Once you have learned how to create the worlds and characters that populate your story, you need to learn how to put them on paper or electronic text so someone else can read it.

Before jumping into writing full time, consider what kind of stories you enjoy most and whether they would appeal to others as well. This article will teach you how to write faster with minimum editing, so start small by telling the story of something that happened in history or fiction (no fair writing about yourself or your friends, sorry). When you feel comfortable with the process of writing and publishing a short story, consider how many stories you can write and publish per week. This will help decide how much time it would take to make a living as a writer based on your writing speed.

After some practice, you will find that you don’t need to work on each story for very long. You may even be able to write as fast as one story per day if you spread things out over the course of the day (don’t expect this for at least two weeks after starting to write regularly, however).

Is writing a viable career?

If you love writing and can write faster than one story per week, and it doesn’t bother you to not get paid for the first twelve months or so while you build up your audience, then YES. You should definitely consider making a living as a writer if that is something you would enjoy doing.

If there were no such thing as money, and all writers wrote solely for their own enjoyment (and the enjoyment of anyone kind enough to read what they had written), we wouldn’t have any stories at all — because nobody would be driven to create them.

Contrary to popular belief, even aspiring novelists need money in order to live and make time in their lives for writing. If you think you might like being a full-time writer, then start making time for it now and consider ways that you can make money (or continue to make enough money) while writing.

Recognize Why you want to be a writer.

If you want to write because writing is your passion and it is what you would naturally do even if you couldn’t get paid, then WRITE. Do it for the sake of doing it and tell people: “I’m a writer.”

If you are thinking about making this your career, though, take some time to think about why. What will motivate you to keep going when times are tough? Money? Recognition? The sheer joy of storytelling? Knowing that someone out there in the world is being entertained by something that came from inside your head? How can you use this motivation when writing becomes difficult or boring (it will)?

Can I be a full-time writer while holding down a day job?

You can. You just need to keep your day job until you can make enough money from writing that your writing becomes a full-time gig.Many people decide to work part time, instead of quitting their jobs entirely, because they are not yet confident in how fast they can write or what kind of stories will sell. If you have the time, it is always better to wait until you are sure before quitting your day job completely. Compare this option with being able to take off for two months at a time, though, and the other option becomes much more attractive.

Why would you not want to become a writer

Authors that write as a full-time job (especially those with large families) may have to sacrifice the quality of their work. If you spend all day writing, especially if you do not have an existing audience already eager for your next release, then there is a good chance that most of what you write will never be read by anyone else. Even if it is published and available online or in stores, the chances that someone stumbling upon it would give it a second look just because they saw your name on it are slim. It might even get lost among all the other new titles available each week at most bookstores.

Determine the kind of writer you want to be.

Someone who is paid by the word (for example, for short articles)? Someone who is paid per piece (such as a writer for hire), someone who only writes fiction, or someone who focuses on non-fiction? Did you want to be a freelance writer, technical writer, or just do your own thing with self publishing? Which type(s) might earn you more money and why?

Consider if writing may be a hobby rather than a way to make money. If so, what will your motivation be when it comes time to write something you aren’t particularly in the mood for? Take this time to determine your goals and motivations — but remember that these things will change over time. Write down somewhere special where you can go back and read them when you need to remind yourself of why you are doing this.

How do I prepare for a writing career?

Create a plan for yourself and stick to it. It may help you to write down your goals, just as it may help an aspiring actor or musician to create a resume.

It is important that you take the time at the outset of this career to prepare yourself just as if it were any other job — because that is exactly what writing professionally will be: work. You will spend most of your day doing it (not necessarily all of your time), and there will be tasks, strategies and steps involved in becoming successful at it (even if those steps seem like fun — they are still work.) Otherwise, we’d all have jobs as professional gamers or rock-star musicians instead!

Don’t forget why you want to do this. If you create a plan to start this career, determine what you will do in order to accomplish it and remember your motivation when moments get tough, then you are already well on the way to making writing your full-time job.

Do not forget that someone needs to pay for all of this. You need to make sure that they are getting a return on their investment or else they will stop investing in you — and there is a good chance that they WILL stop if you let them down. Remember: even successful writers have editors who did not buy what was originally submitted.

How to make a living as a full-time writer

To make a living as a full-time writer, you must do two things:

1. (Write) You must write something that people are willing to pay money for.

2. (Market) You need to find enough people who want to buy your story or article, and you need to convince them that they should give you money in return for the privilege of reading it (or watching it or listening or whatever form your writing might take).

Writing offers all kinds of “jobs” that will allow you to follow your passion, be it short stories or poetry, working with non-profit organizations or public relations, sports writing or screenplays. You can write for others or create your own blog about any topic that interests you. Even freelance writing is a viable option if you are particularly proficient at English and enjoy researching topics online!

Compare these options by thinking about what type of writer might make the most money. Someone who writes for websites? Someone who creates graphic novels? The kind of pay rates vary wildly by medium and genre, but if something else besides money drives you to become a writer then this should not matter so much.

What if I don’t like writing enough to make it my career (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)? You can still write as a hobby. Maybe not poetry or novels — but most other forms of writing are still available to you after all! If this is your goal, then check out some books on the subject at your local bookstore to find out what you need to know. If you have a story or idea that just won’t leave you alone, then it is time to write!

Free ways to promote your book

There are many ways to promote your book (even before getting it published) in order to get the best possible chance at success.Readers will want to know about you and your background, so take some time to craft a biography that might entice them into reading your work. If you grew up in New York City, were born with six fingers on each hand or spent several years abroad teaching English — all of this is important information! People like knowing who they are dealing with even when they are just browsing for something new to read. It helps personalize the experience and makes them feel more connected to you, which means they will be more likely to buy your writing if it suits their tastes.

Why writers need mailing lists

A mailing list can help you form a community of people who want to buy your work and support your career as a writer. You can share new items, hold contests or send out newsletters — whatever is right for the situation will be entirely up to you and the needs of your fans.

You can also use social media like Facebook and Twitter for this purpose, but email tends to have more staying power with users since it requires them to actively sign up instead of just “liking” something from their newsfeeds. It’s also easier to track responses that way!How much does it cost? In most cases, nothing at all! Mailchimp offers free plans that allow you to make this happen without any investment besides time.

Create realistic goals and expectations

Many authors have different ways of approaching their writing career. For some, it is a way to express what they see in their minds; others want to be able to share their personal experiences with other people. Some write because they are good at it and enjoy doing so; others may write simply because that’s what they know how to do or for whatever reason inspires them.

One of the best ways of setting realistic goals is to see what other authors have done. They can give you examples into what you need to do and what you can expect when you get there. Everyone’s path is different, but this will help you start to formulate some first steps.Know what it will take to get you where you want to go, and do not be afraid of the hard work involved! Take ACTION every day, even if it is only a little bit. Once you have done this for a while, then revisit your plan and make adjustments as needed in order to continue moving forward in a positive direction.

Steps on How to Build a Writing Career

Become a regular reader to help prefect fiction writing

This does not mean reading fewer books or magazines, but rather reading more in general. Try to read everything you can get your hands on, including the advertisements and fine print. If it is interesting, then write it down. When I was younger, my friends used to laugh at me when I would suddenly take out a notebook during our conversations and start writing what they were saying. Believe me, I was not doing this because I wanted to make fun of them (much). Rather, I wanted to remember the things they said so that when we were finished talking I could go home and try writing some stories about them!

If you spend five nights per week watching TV shows with paranormal elements in them (ghosts or time travel for example) then you will want to write stories that include paranormal elements.

Know what you enjoy reading and why, and try to figure out how to do it better than everyone else! This is an ongoing process that does not stop when you begin your first draft. Even if the story idea has already been done many times before (as is often the case with fantasy novels for example), remember that each version is still different than all the ones before it! The more knowledge and understanding of techniques that you have, the better chance you will succeed; but even if someone publishes a book similar to yours down the road, remember that your story can still be better because it is YOUR version!

Enroll in an online creative writing course

There are many websites that can help you get started. You do not have to pay a lot of money either! Sites like YouTube will offer videos on how to improve your writing. You can also join a professional course site like Masterclass.

If these options are prohibitively expensive, try asking at the bookstore (or library) if they know of any classes or clubs that meet in your area. If you don’t like taking classes in person then try enrolling with an online writing course such as Writers Online Classes.Another source is Brandon Sanderson’s YouTube videos. Brandon offers advice on how to write characters well, how to set up your story so it can be told in a way that makes sense (hint: “show don’t tell!”), tips for getting over writer’s block, understanding genre conventions without being too much of a slave to them, etc.

Every writer’s journey is unique. However, while there are many paths to becoming an author, the one thing every successful author has in common is dedication over time. Whether it takes ten years or ten minutes, you will never accomplish your goals if you don’t make the choice to get started today.

“Write drunk, edit sober” (Write every day)

The two most important things for a writer are persistence and dedication. I’m not talking about becoming an alcoholic or doing drugs to get yourself in the mood, but rather using whatever tools you may have on hand (such as listening to music while writing your book) to help get into the proper mindset.

When you start something new, do it every day. Take time after work or school; try playing with your kids or practicing your hobby of choice outside , etc.. Soon enough, this will become part of your daily routine (or at least it should be if you wish to make writing a career). Write only when you feel like it; write even when you don’t feel like it! If there is nothing else that can motivate you more than the publication of your first book, then I do not know what it can be!

Practice becoming more conversational

This doesn’t mean to mimic the way you speak (although it would be interesting if everyone did this to some degree). What I mean is that you should try not to get too caught up in using big words or complicated sentence structure when you don’t need to. Even if your story takes place on another planet, do not write like the people there think and communicate like it is their first language! This does not mean to talk down at your readers; instead, write for them as if they were sitting right beside you listening closely.

Making things easier to read means that readers won’t be stopped by large words or awkward phrases. This will make it easier for you to convey the important information; and even if they go back later to reread something, they won’t get bogged down in over-complex language.

Everyday apply what you have been learning from your writing course about grammar and punctuation

In our conversations we often use contractions (“I’m going home” instead of ” I am going home” ), but when we start writing or typing out a story, most of us forget to change the phrase into its full form. This occurs because most of us were taught by others that one is supposed to always write things in their expanded forms! The same happens with grammar rules: whether it be a comma usage question or a tense debate, just do what sounds and feels right to you and if it works then don’t worry about what anyone else says.

While that part of writing is mostly up to you, here are a few helpful things to remember : 1) It’s always better to use short words than long ones whenever possible; 2) Always try using the simplest grammatical form of a word (e.g., not “will have been” but rather “have”). When you feel like doing so, go on an internet research binge and find as many variations as possible on how different grammar rules can be put into practice; this way, even when people tell you that your story was written improperly or incorrectly, you will know how and why they may be wrong. (Remember: If all else fails, know when to give up!)

Work with the tools a professional writer would use

All writers have a different routine when it comes to making notes about their story. Some keep a regular notebook handy at all times, while others will write down key points in a program like Microsoft Word. I personally use Evernote for this purpose, which is free and available on all platforms (you could also use the popular OneNote from Windows).

In addition to your day-to-day notes you should also be sure to make details about specific characters and settings. WorldAnvil and CampFire both offer tools to build worlds. These will often change as you write, so these tools help you find continuity mistakes.It is very important for every writer to keep track of how much time they spend writing and on which days. This can be done by using word counters or timers. Word count programs are also available, but these are more expensive than timers. The most popular timer is the Pomodoro Timer, which divides an hour into 25-minute intervals with short breaks in between. If you don’t want to use a timer, you can just set your phone’s alarm clock for an hour and then take a break when it goes off . It may seem like common sense to some people who have been doing this since childhood , but if you need help coming up with ideas for what to write about, there are many different websites that offer prompts.

When you’re done writing use your word counter to keep track of how many words you’ve written that day. Some writers who are not sure how long their story will be write down the number of words they think they’ll finish by the end of each day, so if at any point they fall behind it is easy to know what else needs to get done.

After finishing a chapter, go back and read through it. If anything sounds awkward or confusing, take the time to edit it. You can also print off this chapter and read it on paper or in an e-reader like Kindle (which I recommend for anyone who does much reading). This will allow you to see everything clearly while making sure no key details fell between the cracks!

Finally, it is extremely important to find a beta reader, someone who reads your work before you publish or show anyone else. They are the first step in making sure that your story flows throughout the entire thing. Also, be sure to save what you’ve written every few days either on an external drive or cloud-based storage, since computers can fail at any time!

Becoming a writer while balancing work and family

While it is great to be passionate about your work, remember that you must make time for your family. This is the most important part of life, so try not to get too caught up chasing after some big dream! I am not saying this to discourage you, but rather because of what I see happening more and more these days.

If you are an adult with children , then you have a family that needs time from you just as much as they need food on the table every night. Be honest with yourself about how much writing time can fit into each day without neglecting them in any way. Do not forget that if everything works out well, the enjoyment your family gets will help motivate you even more.

Find a place to get real critiques

While constructive criticism can be difficult to take at times, it is usually worth putting up with if you have found a group of people whose opinions are well-informed.

Remember that these are people who actually take the time out of their lives to read whatever piece of fiction you send them just so they can give their opinion. If they care about making your work the best it can be then I suggest you do everything in your power to ensure that they are happy! This means being open to changing whatever needs changing about your story.

No matter how awkward or painful this process may seem initially, try not to let it get you down. This is the only way to see your story become as good as it can be; if that is not enough incentive, then I do not know what else there could be!

As far as setting up a group like this, you can either set one up yourself or join an existing group. But whatever you do, make sure these people are honest and wise about what they say. There should never be any reason to fear anything someone might have said to you too harshly – unless of course their advice was just plain wrong , in which case ignore them completely.

So, what’s the secret to becoming a writer? Well first you need to ask yourself why. Once you know your “why” it is easier for you to find out which type of writing and genre suits your style best. Knowing your why also helps in determining how much time and effort should be put into publishing content that will make people want to buy it. When we say publish worthy material-we don’t just mean write about topics that are popular or trendy–although those can help too! We also mean writing with an engaging voice and tone, using varied sentence structures and word choice, capturing attention by creating suspenseful scenarios, developing characters who feel like real people instead of one dimensional caricatures or simply talking at someone without actually saying anything, and finding a way to build off of what has been said before while still being unique in it’s own right. When you have compelling writing, you’ll find it’s much easier to sell and call yourself a writer.

Do you learn better watching a video? Here is one that can help you become a writer:

Friday, November 5, 2021

Build a Fiction Writing Platform using Content Marketing

Let’s start off this writing platform process by clarifying what content marketing is and isn’t about. Content marketing is where you build content that people want. They go to you to get that content. With any luck, you show them more content that is relevant and they enjoy that information. Before long, you are set in their mind as an authority on the topic. As an authority, you can help steer people to products and services that you believe in, but that also have a referral program. Or, as an authority, you can steer people to your own products and services. For non-fiction authors, this works fairly well. You build a website full of workout advice, then offer a book that shows a number of other workout options. People want the advice, trust you as an authority, and then buy your book for new workout options. However, that frame of reference doesn’t work for fiction writers. I can’t give you advice about avoiding alien politics, then give you a book about a space captain. So, how can a fiction author build a platform via content marketing?

Step 1a: Short stories to build mailing list

So, non-fiction authors can post articles online, push those on social media, and build an audience. Fiction authors can use the same method, but just in a different pond. Fiction authors can release short (complete) stories and ask people for their email addresses to gain access to those short stories. They can then take these email addresses, build a relationship, and then offer the final product. So, this means entering contents and giveaways with that short story, instead of releasing articles on the web.

Step 1b: Serial writing and rubbing elbows with fans.

This is a great method for generating an audience. In this method, you release a chapter at a time of a book, asking people for feedback. As people become more invested in the story, they naturally become fans. The only trick with this method is that you almost have to start at the end first. The worst part of being a serial fan is having a story you love never be finished. However, if the author can let people know that the story is complete, there is an end, the end is written, etc… it is a lot easier to become invested. In other words, this method works well if you want to build book 2 or book 3… but not so much book 1.

Step 2: Small content chunks on social media.

I think the best phrase that I’ve heard that describes social media is “doom scrolling”. There is so much junk that we put up with. Sometimes, you just need something positive and happy. That’s where a fiction author can come in and help (that sounds really dark, but hold on). An author can present their true selves and interact with other people. They can talk about their works in progress and what is inspiring them. This real life feel can draw people in to them. However, it’s a balance, because you want to make sure you are writing more than you are playing on social media. Remember: you don’t own the social media platform, so make sure you have audiences elsewhere (like the mailing list mentioned in step 1).

Step 3: Fish in the same pond, but don’t expect to catch anything.

This piece of advice is given freely, but don’t expect to gain much traction from it. You can build articles on your blog and gain an audience. That is possible. However, you need to make sure you are following all the search engine optimization guides and building the best content you can. Here are some basic steps to get there:

  • Buzzsumo – Find someone else who did it well

    Figure out the general topic you want to write about. Plug that into Buzzsumo and see who has gained a lot of traction lately on that topic and how they’ve spun in. Take that website and go ahead and plug it into the next step.

  • Google Keyword Planner – Find the missing content

    So after you find the website that made the content, plug that into keyword planner. You’ll get a fairly decent list of topics. I remove any high competition phrases, sort by average monthly searches, then see what ‘long tail’ keywords float to the top. Quick refresher, phrases with more words tend to be longer tail words. They are easier to write for because they require additional specificity. Ideally, you’ll be able to pair several long tail phrases together. For example, online writing platform and platform for authors could be smooshed together to become: online writing platform for authors. That keyword is the secret sauce to what you are about to write.

  • Grab an outline from online

    Take that keyword you just found, and plug it into the search engine. See what comes up. These articles are going to be your competition. So you want to see what pieces of advice they offer and write those down. Then think about what additional advice you would give. Once you have all of this, you have an outline for your article.

  • Follow the SEO major markers and publish

    I am not going to say that SEO is easy; there is a lot to it. However, the single biggest factor is simply luck. No one knows when their article or website is going to go viral or big. However, if you follow a certain set of given standards, you increase your luck. This is the difference between throwing seeds at the dirt and planting them in the dirt. Both have the potential to grow into something, but seeds inside the dirt are more likely to grow. If you meet the SEO major markers, then you’ll have a much better likelihood of gaining search engine traction.

Here are some search engine standards (major markers) I know of:
  • Use the keyword in your title and initial paragraph
  • Make sure to have a relevant image
  • Make sure the content is over 1000 words
  • Have lists and other components in the content
  • Remove any poor spelling and grammar problems
  • Make sure your website loads fast on desktop and mobile
  • Finish it out with a closing paragraph and video

Hopefully all these tips have led you to build a platform. To summarize, you can use short stories or a work in progress to build your local fandom. You then can interact on social media to help gain those on the sidelines. Finally, you can reach for the stars by building traditional search engine content. Now, if you are the type of person who prefers to watch/listen, instead of read, here a video that explains the process better.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

The Two Types of Writing Tips You'll Encounter

There are two types of writing tips you will often find while searching for truth. The first are writing tips that mean well, but are empty. The second are writing tips that seem simple, but reflect a greater pool of wisdom. While it’s arrogant of me to assume the following will fall into that second bucket, I will do my best. I am going to call these two types of writing tips the humblebrag and the peer. So how do you identify which is which?

The Humblebrag Writing Tip:

In this format, the author “just wants you to succeed” by telling you how wonderful they are doing. This can a number of forms, but one of the most popular are sharing financial figures. They then pretend to break them down, so you can “learn from their success”. This is an easy to spot humblebrag, and often times the key to their success is… wait for this shocking revelation: hard work and luck! (Sarcasm filter being added here) Aren’t you glad you dug into their financials to learn that? But wait, there is more good information to be had if you sign up for their program or join their mailing list. After all, they just want you to succeed. I am sure your belief in their authority is totally not needed for their platform. That platform is completely separate and has nothing to do with the quality education… (Exiting sarcasm filter) So, as you can hopefully see, their success comes from presenting as an authority. There is nothing truly behind that authority beyond some minor social proof that they might have cooked up. They need you to believe their authority so that they can eventually sell you things, use that sales information to prove how awesome they are, and find more people to sell to. This is crux of the humblebrag advice: they need you to believe they are a humble authority who just wants to help.

The Peer Writing Tip:

I am going to put up two examples of advice to help show the difference: “Never stop trying and learning things” versus “20% of businesses fail in the first year”. Now image the article that follows each of those pieces of advice.

  • Never stop learning things: How I figured out XYZ to make $10,000.
  • 20% of businesses fail in the first year: What they have in common.

The first is a Humblebrag and is probably about someone who worked hard in an area, got lucky, and made some money. That’s great for them, but it probably won’t be an article that reveals the secret sauce. The article will talk close enough to truth to present authenticity, but it won’t actually be ‘hard to hear’. The second article is about cold humility. Imagine looking at five of your writing friends and saying one of them will stop writing in the first year. It’s not flashy to fail, but they can present better advice to strengthen what you are doing. That’s peer writing advice that isn’t trying to sucker you into signing up to their “courses”.

What’s the harm in a bit of success bragging?

The answer to that is that the end result leads you back to the “wise” guru. You don’t see how lucky they really got. You don’t see that they had much of their lives subsidized so that they could spend a bunch of time working on a particular platform. The humblebragger may not tell you that their spouse or parents helped them with their living arrangement and bills. Instead, you just see that hard work solved it all. You may not also see the “right place at the right time”. Perhaps the platform that the humblebragger was successful on just needed exactly what they were offering. They no longer need it, but they did at one time. The horrible part in all this is that the person bragging about their success may not even know how lucky they are. They may simple see that their wise decisions and hard work led to success. After all, no one wants to brag about how often they failed, right? My thought is to look for failure advice, not success (or look at modest/minor success).

Is failure advice always brutal?

The answer to this, in my opinion, is no. There is a format I like to think of as elegant. To me, the definition of elegance is hidden pre-work that is done, so that the end result looks easy/flawless. Adding this to the concept of failure advice can be done in this way. When someone keeps trying different things, keeps failing, and a trend emerges. One example might be someone who built a writing audience on a social media platform. That platform changes the rules and they lose their audience. They then switch to the next social media platform and it happens again. After a number of tries, they may realize: The only stable platform is one where you completely control it. To anyone reading that advice, it’s obvious. But you may not have seen all the failed attempts that lead to that.

So, why do so many people humblebrag? The answer can really be found in this YouTube video about fake gurus. The answer is to establish themselves as an authority, get you to believe they “just want you to succeed”, and then turn over control to them. They then use that control to sell it to the next round of people. All the while, honestly believing how amazing and great they are, because that’s how our human minds work. No one wants to be a failure, everyone wants to be a huge success. My advice is to hunt out those with modest success and a long history of explained failures.


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