be proud of what you’ve written in the past, even if it wasn’t ur best work. u literally made a world, lives, people, out of nothing but a bunch of squiggles and ur imagination.
be happy with it <3
Starting Strong Scenes in Your Writing
Scenes are the fundamental building blocks of novels and short stories, and each one should propel a story toward the climax.
Generally speaking, your scene structure should mirror the story structure. In other words, take a novel-writing approach to a scene, crafting a beginning, middle, and end. Like a story, the beginning of a scene should have a strong entry hook that pulls the reader in.
Start with the setting. Often a new scene signifies a change in time and location. Establishing the setting at the top of a scene helps your readers get oriented. It also sets the tone and mood of what will unfold in the coming pages. A setting can serve as much more than a backdrop in literature. Have your scene take place somewhere that builds tension and hinders your protagonist. If you’re writing a thriller, describe a dark and foreboding place where the worst might happen. Be descriptive and use sensory details to make your setting come alive before you jump into the action.
Use visual imagery. In screenwriting, writers have to think in pictures. What images will excite an audience at the top of a scene? Your approach should be the same when writing any kind of fiction. As you write the opening of a scene, use descriptive language to engage a reader through detailed imagery. Think like a screenwriter as you’re writing scenes.
Drop the reader into the middle of the action. Hit the ground running by starting a great scene in media res. It doesn’t have to be a fight scene or a car chase, but physical movement creates momentum and builds tension in a story. It’s also a way to instantly engage a reader. Be sure you begin the scene before the high points of the action so you build up to the scene’s climax.
Write a character-driven scene opener. A good scene starts by giving characters a goal. Start by putting your protagonist in a situation that creates an obstacle or opportunity for both the scene and the overarching storyline. Try starting with dialogue, like an intense conversation between your POV character and a mystery character whose identity is revealed later in the scene. If you’re writing from an omniscient third-person point of view, consider starting a scene with a secondary character, even the antagonist, and use it as a chance for deeper character development.
Summarize past events. You might choose to use the beginning of the scene to do a quick recap of what’s brought your main character to this place and moment in time. A summary is especially helpful if you’re writing in third-person and a new scene switches to a different character. Take the opportunity to remind the reader where we left off. Instead of a straight-forward update, get creative. Go into deep POV and let a character’s thoughts provide the summary instead of the narrator. Be sure to keep this summary brief—just a line or two—so you can get back into the action.
Introduce a plot twist. The start of a new scene is a chance to pivot and take your story in a new direction. Start a new scene at a turning point in your story. Dive into a flashback or character’s backstory, revealing critical information that changes the course of the story going forward.
Keep the purpose of the scene in mind. Effective scenes are clear about what they set out to accomplish and how they contribute to the overall plot. They might include plot points or reveal important information needed to move a story forward. Establish your scene’s intention from the very first word and keep the rest of the scene on point.
Rewrite until you’ve found the perfect scene opening. When you’ve finished the first draft of a scene, go back and read it through. If your scene needs something, but you can’t figure out what, it might be how the scene starts. The best way to know if your opening works is by reading how it plays with the rest of the scene. Review the last paragraph and see if it ties back to your beginning. If the intro feels weak, rewrite it. Maybe your real opener is hidden in plain sight somewhere else in the body of the scene.
Make sure your opening scene is your strongest. While your entire book should be filled with compelling scenes that start strong, the very first scene of your book needs to lead the pack. This is the reader’s introduction to your story and where you’re revealing the characters, the setting, and kicking off the plotline with the inciting incident. This first scene has to hook the reader from the first line so they keep turning the pages.
Read a lot of books. If this is your first novel and you need some inspiration and ideas to help you start off your scenes, start by reading other books. Choose a book by a bestselling writer like Dan Brown or Margaret Atwood. Study the different ways they approach every scene. Reading other authors is a great way to hone your scene-writing skills.
Follow like and reblog if you find these helpful!
being a writer is 98% thinking, 2% doing and the day that turns around for me, it's over for every bitch
Not every WIP has to be a novel. You can absolutely make it into a short story if the concept is starting to spread thin.
I believe in you!
Ever wonder what it's like to edit a novel from beginning to end? Well, wonder no more! In my latest blog post I explain the five stages of revision 🖐📝
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Why are all of the words for touching so goddam awful?
I always end up using things like squeeze, stroke (😕), grab, or literally describing the action ie "she put her hand on his arm". But I often feel like I'm repeating the same words.
Any other tips for describing touch?
Hi I write a lot of stories but my issue is they sound flat to me and I'm trying to make them more exciting and have emotion so you feel something while reading them how can I do that or are there any ways to fix this
Please and thank you
Stories Lacking Emotion and Excitement
Before you can add emotion and excitement to your story, you need to have an interesting plot and compelling characters. If the reader doesn't care about who your characters are, what they want, why they want it, and what's at stake if they don't get it, the story will fall flat. What makes your story interesting is the conflict, your characters internal conflicts, the story's world, and the relationships they have with each other. Those relationships, the internal conflicts, and the themes you explore within the story all add emotion.
So, start there. When you start creating interesting plots and compelling characters, you'll find it a lot easier to add excitement and emotion on the page level.
Good luck with your story!
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my favourite flowers & their meanings
in no particular order
freesias: trust & friendship
irises: faith, hope, courage, intellect, royalty, wisdom and admiration.
hydrangeas: gratitude, grace and beauty.
chrysanthemums: sympathy & remembrance// purity, innocence, spirituality, loyalty, & honesty.
spider lilies: death, final goodbyes, abandonment, and bad luck.
snapdragons: purity, grace, innocence, happiness, and overall good luck
belladonnas: silence or falsehood, interpreted as a warning, a symbol of death
black dahlias: death, revenge & mourning
gladiolus: strength of character. faithfulness, sincerity, and infatuation
baby’s breath: everlasting love & innocence
dandelions: rebirth, strength and power.
sunflowers: loyalty, adoration, hope & optimism
hyacinths: jealousy & sorrow
fuchsias: liveliness, self-assurance & confidence
cherry blossoms: time of renewal, and the fleeting nature of life
magnolias: perseverance, beauty, purity, and nobility.
orchids: thoughtfulness, refinement, fertility, beauty, charm, and love
azaleas: abundance & success
crocuses: rebirth, innocence, joy, and new-beginnings
water lilies (lotus): innocence, purity, fertility, pleasure, celebration, hope, rebirth, wellness, and peace.
The following post is about Hawkeye and the way that people write his lip reading in fanfictions that I've read recently
Listen,,, the last thing I wanna do here is be mean, I know for sure that no harm was intended in any of this, I just wanna share my point of view on something real quick, kay? Love that you're acknowledging his deafness, love it. I just thought I'd share some things from my perspective that you may not have thought about. No worries tho if youve done this! No hard feelings! So, I am not fully deaf, I can't justify the cost of a hearing aid just yet. But part of that is because I'm really good at lip reading, I've had to be. Between that and sitting in the front row of class, I do all right. But about 75% of what I can get is from lip reading.
Now, a huge part of lip reading is using context clues as well, which is mainly what I wanted to talk about here. Something I see a lot that irks me a little every time is a sentence like this;
"What were you [ewe?] thinking?"
I see this ALL. THE. TIME. WHY.Assuming that I got all those other words, which the phrasing implies, why on EARTH would I think you're trying to talk to me about a female sheep right now? Yes, those are homonyms. Yes, they do look the same when you're mouthing them. But keep the context in mind. We were not and have not ever talked about sheep. There's no reason for that to cross my mind when I'm reading your lips. I see the word 'you' all the time and I know where it appears in common sentences. Unless we are actively around sheep the word 'ewe' isn't going to cross my mind!
For me, at least, it would go something closer to this;
"Water you thinking?" [Oh, what were]
People run their words together, accents make it tough, if they're chewing gum while talking it's nearly impossible. Letters that are made in the back of your mouth are the ones I miss, I can't see that, so like g and h. S and t are hard to tell apart, and n and l sometimes. Things like that. If it's a word I've never heard before I'll ask for them to spell it, it's generally faster than repeating it a few times and me still not getting it. And I almost never figure out the words in the middle of the sentence they're saying, I'm still focusing on getting the next few words so I can use context to help figure it out, so there's generally a delayed reaction where I put it all together after you speak, so the corrections would be at the end. And, sometimes, I get something absolutely off-the-wall bonkers not even close no idea how I got that from what you're saying. Put something like that in your fic, if you'd like. Often I'll just nod my head and agree and then realize hours later what it was meant to be.
Anywho. That's my personal experience anyway. Do with this information what you will.
characters that irritate me (in a good way)
these are the kinds of characters that make me root twice as much for the protagonist, the characters i absolutely love to hate because they’re so annoying :D
adult characters who refuse to listen to kids because they’re “just children” or they’re so blinded by their own “mature emotions” that they won’t put up with a child’s
adult characters who simply get in the way, putting up obstacle after obstacle for teen/child protagonists to have to leap around (drives me crazy lol)
oblivious characters, you could murder someone in front of them and they wouldn’t realize who did it
Characters who do something wrong but take out their own inner conflict on others
Characters who are forgiven for wrongs and never have to apologize or earn forgiveness in any way
i wanna see yours <33 reblog if you feel like it <3
What Is a Simile?
Unlike metaphors, similes create a comparison using like and as. Perhaps you’ll recognize this famous example of simile from Forrest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates.”
In this case, the reader is more explicitly aware of the direct comparison that’s being made versus a metaphor or analogy. (Remember, a simile is a type of metaphor.) When it comes to simile use in writing, a good rule of thumb is to approach with caution and use similes sparingly.
Similes use the words like or as to compare things—“Life is like a box of chocolates.”
In contrast, metaphors directly state a comparison—“Love is a battlefield.”
They're all important when writing though. Making unconventional comparisons at times using similes and metaphors can add to your writing and make it much more layered and sophesticated. Eg:
His words wrapped themselves around me like Thorny vines of a spiteful plant, no more like the warm embrace of the sun on your skin.
Hope that was somewhat useful and In easy terms! Like, share and follow!
You don't have to answer this if you don't want to but I was wondering where you learned to write conflict the way you do? Because the miscommunication and the emotions behind it is so realistic. There's moments with both Mike and Will where I'm like Oh yeah, I've done that. Not that I've undergone anything specific that happens in the fic in my real life, but the vibes of the thing, if that makes sense. Like Will just taking it when Mike yells at him even though he can technically make it easier on himself if he just explained.
Do you just notice how arguments in your life play out and then translate them to your writing or have you read some really great works that do this too?
I just feel like you know something I don't, especially with chapters 36 and 39 being what they are and the healing that you're now working towards in the story.
oh wow thank you so much! That’s so nice. I’ve definitely been through a lot in life where you’re desperately trying to get your words to work in your favor and to get the other person to understand only to be shut down over and over again. Something I tried to do is take canon traits from Will or Mike and deep dive into those. So Will’s tendency to self-sabotage and his selflessness. Mike’s need for appreciation and attention. I kind of asked myself questions on how I think that would look and translate into these characters day to day personalities in this completely different universe. So when it comes to conflict I really like to make the conflict come out of character choices. So like, this is happening because this character made this choice and here’s the domino effect of those actions.
Will frustrates people because from an outside POV he’s being ridiculous and has the perfect opportunity to explain and fix it. But from his brain he has this in-depth machine that pushes him to have the same patterns over and over again. Everyone has negative thought patterns that you learn or gain from childhood and those are traits that you have to fight against to change. It’s a cycle of responses you get stuck in. Will takes it because in his head that’s always the right choice, he doesn’t trust people when they say ‘come on, just explain’ because he’s been tricked before and reverts into this shell of himself when he notices that someone is reacting to him the way he was reacted to in his childhood. He’s smart in the way that he learned how to take abuse and minimize the pain he got from it. So when he does this same ‘routine’ with Mike and it doesn’t work, we see him shutting down because he doesn’t really understand what Mike wants even though he’s being told exactly what Mike wants. Will doesn’t trust that it’s like ‘oh I see what you’re doing, you’re going to make me talk and admit that I love you and I’m sorry and then you’re going to hurt me. You can’t trick me.’ Will is frustrating, but you can’t really be too angry because it’s just all he knows.
So when it comes to writing arguments, what I try and do is take the characters negative traits and push those to the forefront of peoples attention. A lot of times when you’re arguing with someone, especially a person you care about, you just say shit and both of you are kind of aware you don’t mean it. So when it comes to arguments I like to just throw in shitty things they’re saying even if it doesn’t progress the conversation because those snappy comebacks make the more meaningful parts feel more realistic.
Having patience during arguments is something I think is important. Very rarely does anything get resolved during them, it’s the moments that follow that kind of start mending the issues together. So if you’re writing an argument, try and stay away from your characters actually telling eachother why they’re angry and what’s wrong and why it’s upsetting, because then as readers we question why they’re fighting in the first place. They are both getting what they want, so the argument just feels forced. As a reader, you should feel frustrated too because both parties aren’t actually communicating the right way. In real life, screaming fights are usually two people just saying…nothing. They say nothing that really helps them communicate and their main goal is to piss the other person off. Then you have those tiny moments of them actually letting their raw emotions spill out, but the way you cut up an argument can help it seem more natural. We would never see Will voluntarily tell Mike such painful memories, but he’s really angry and it all slips out because, as we know as readers, that’s what’s stuck on his mind as Mike’s fighting with him. I personally think conflict and arguments all have to be very character driven for them to work in a realistic way. Again, this is my opinion, not saying it’s perfect or correct, just what I’ve noticed.
chapter 39 was fun in the way that Mike and Will weren’t supposed to resolve anything. I got some questions on that, but they didn’t fix their problems. What that argument led to was them both being able to get out that very raging anger and then kind of be exhausted and say “okay, I don’t want to lose you and you don’t want to lose me. This still leaves us in a weird space but I’m going to tell you very broad things about this situation and how I feel about you.” Neither of them went into detail about their pain or hurt towards eachother because it would have been exhausting to read. The argument they had wasn’t about every single thing that’s ever been wrong, it’s just about one moment in time. So they only really talked about that small moment. Going into a long conversation about every conflict they had wouldn’t make sense for their characters and would feel very rushed. Chapter 39 was a very small starting point because we crossed out an emotion.
So arguments have to have a why. Why is this happening and what is it leading us to?
So at the end of chapter 39 we see Mike and Will still on very different pages, Mike is confused, Will is trying his best to be more honest, and they both are tense around eachother for a million different reasons. So, when thinking about creating conflict or arguments, always keep in mind what the argument is for and what it is leading to. Does it resolve something or make something worse? Really just asking yourself questions is great.
a story usually shouldn’t be: this happens and then this happens. It should be: this happens and because of that this happens. If that makes any sense. A story is a domino effect of choices characters make (again, this is just how I write, everyone is different and my way doesn’t mean correct)
thank you so so much for the ask!! It was really sweet and I hope this helped at all. Thank you!!
EPISODE 9 - POINT OF VIEW (OR, WHO IN THE WORLD EVER IS RELIABLE?)
In this episode, Lani (@copper-dust) and Jo (@pebblysand)discuss point of view, a topic which was requested by one of our listeners, @turanga4. They explore the different types of point of view that exist in narration, the choices writers make in deciding to tell stories from a particular perspective, and debate the dreaded concept of head-hopping. They also touch on the sensitive subject of second-person narration, and question whether reliable narrators really even exist. You can listen to the episode here:
This week, we mention:
Then we came to the end by Joshua Ferris - a novel told in first-person plural
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Merry Men by @copper-dust - stories where the point-of-view character is not the focal character
Lolita by Vladimir Nobokov - example of a story told from the point of view of a very unreliable and unlikable narrator (please, check trigger-warnings/the topic of this book prior to reading it)
the fault in faulty manufacturing & ce ne sont que des cailloux by @pebblysand - examples of an unreliable narrators, and of works where language and narration is affected by the identity and vocabulary of the narrator
Life of Pi by Yann Martel & Room by Emma Donoghue - examples of how a different point of view can change a story
Your recommendations for this week are:
Troy by Stephen Fry
The Alexander Trilogy by Mary Renault
He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly (tw: sexual assault) or anything else by Erin Kelly
Ghostwritten by David Mitchell
You can find us online at:
The Fanfic Writer’s Craft: tumblr ; spotify
Lani (@copper-dust): tumblr ; AO3
Jo (@pebblysand): tumblr ; AO3
Live, laugh, let your characters run ✨️ amok ✨️
➸ “This is a sentence.”
➸ “This is a sentence with a dialogue tag at the end,” she said.
➸ “This,” he said, “is a sentence split by a dialogue tag.”
➸ “This is a sentence,” she said. “This is a new sentence. New sentences are capitalized.”
➸ “This is a sentence followed by an action.” He stood. “They are separate sentences because he did not speak by standing.”
➸ She said, “Use a comma to introduce dialogue. The quote is capitalized when the dialogue tag is at the beginning.”
➸ “Use a comma when a dialogue tag follows a quote,” he said.
“Unless there is a question mark?” she asked.
“Or an exclamation point!” he answered. “The dialogue tag still remains uncapitalized because it’s not truly the end of the sentence.”
➸ “Periods and commas should be inside closing quotations.”
➸ “Hey!” she shouted, “Sometimes exclamation points are inside quotations.”
However, if it’s not dialogue exclamation points can also be “outside”!
➸ “Does this apply to question marks too?” he asked.
If it’s not dialogue, can question marks be “outside”? (Yes, they can.)
➸ “This applies to dashes too. Inside quotations dashes typically express—“
“Interruption” — but there are situations dashes may be outside.
➸ “You’ll notice that exclamation marks, question marks, and dashes do not have a comma after them. Ellipses don’t have a comma after them either…” she said.
➸ “My teacher said, ‘Use single quotation marks when quoting within dialogue.’”
➸ “Use paragraph breaks to indicate a new speaker,” he said.
“The readers will know it’s someone else speaking.”
➸ “If it’s the same speaker but different paragraph, keep the closing quotation off.
“This shows it’s the same character continuing to speak.”
50 WORDS TO USE INSTEAD OF “SAID”
Do you ever find yourself over-using the word “said” in your writing? Try using these words/phrases instead:
(NOTE: Keep in mind that all of these words have slightly different meanings and are associated with different emotions/scenarios.)