Category Archives: Writing tools

Humor

Thrill Me mentions repose in contrast with action. Could humor work as well? From the excellent 3 A.M. Epiphany, consider these two exercises. Draft an example of one that might work for your fiction portfolio.

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Beginnings

  This exercise comes from Brian Kiteley’s excellent book The 3 A.M. Epiphany. We’ll talk about and slightly alter the exercise during class. After that exercise, complete this one. Constrast the two.

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Blurring character and plot

Think about your English 412R fiction portfolio by writing out answers to these questions. Your answers are not promises. Page numbers refer to Percy’s Thrill Me. What does your character look like? What do they like to think about? Hate … Continue reading

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On description and setting

These suggestions are from Charlie Jane Anders’s “Description Without Boring the Reader or Yourself” on, I think, I09. (Her book, btw, is very good.) Commit to never being boring Engage all five senses: sights, sounds, smells, tastes, textures; temperature Try … Continue reading

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Dialogue tips

Consider these dialogue tips from Janet Burroway’s always excellent Writing Fiction.

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Setting and character

From 143-145 of Sarah Stone and Ron Nyren’s Deepening Fiction: Let a “narrator’s specific attitudes and desires color” a setting Mention “inanimate objects . . . in relation to” your character’s desire Use “an aspect of the setting to illuminate“ … Continue reading

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Setting: a room

This exercise helps show how setting can characterize and how it might move a plot forward.

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