Thursday, 27 December 2012

Most Popular Posts Of The Year

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Well, the world didn't end so I guess we'll be doing it all again next year. Thanks to everyone who dropped by over the last twelve months, and especially those who left comments. 

To round off the year, here are Moody Writing's top ten most popular posts of 2012 (based on page views):

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Dialogue Tags Are Annoying

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Most people know how to add dialogue tags at the end of dialogue to identify who’s speaking.

"Look at me,” said Malcolm.

And sometimes instead of using dialogue tags, we use action tags.

“Look at me.” Malcolm waved his hands over his head.

Both indicate who’s speaking, but the difference, although small, is important. The dialogue ends with a comma in one and a full stop (period) in the other.

Not so hard to figure out. But sometimes we don’t want to put the tag at the end of the dialogue, we want to put it somewhere in the middle. And that’s where the fun starts.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Different Characters, Different Beliefs

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In order to make a scene between two characters feel interesting it needs some degree of conflict. That’s fine if one character happens to be a cop and the other a robber, but the story isn’t always going to present you with directly oppositional characters like that.

But even if the characters in a scene don’t have anything to fight over and the scene isn’t highly charged or full of high stakes, you can still give characters something to clash over.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Assume Reader Resistance

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There’s always the feeling when you write something that maybe no one else will want to read it. And that’s exactly how you should think.

Sure, there are going to be one or two people who are into exactly what you’re into, but for the most part people won’t be. Just because you came up with a story won’t automatically make them want to read it.

Realising this is half the battle to avoiding it (although admittedly it is the easy half).

Monday, 10 December 2012

Fiction Is About Facing Problems

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One of the main tenets of writing story is to make the reader as the question: What happens next?

But this question shouldn’t be aimed at the writer, or even the story. The question should be aimed by readers at themselves.

And they shouldn’t be sure of the answer

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Making Scenes Interesting In The Now

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In terms of what’s going on in a scene you can break it down into three main areas:

1. What happened ‘Before’.
2. What’s happening ‘Now’.
3. What’s going to happen ‘Later’.

The most important for a reader is no.2, the ‘Now’. That's where readers experience the story—what's in front of them.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Dramatic Action Is More Than Doing Stuff

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Often the reason a scene doesn’t work, or doesn’t seem to have any life to it, is because what’s happening in the scene isn’t very interesting.

People may be doing things, moving around, attempting to reach their goals, but how they’re going about is too straightforward or too easy.

There are various ways to achieve things in life that are reasonable and sensible. You want to be a doctor, you go to medical school and study hard. If you portray that within a story it may feel realistic and true, but it won’t be very gripping.

There is more to a good story than holding a mirror up to life.

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