Tag Archives: writing tips

How to Write Compelling and Balanced Backstory

By Jeni Chappelle, @jenichappellepad-black-and-white

Writers often spend hours creating a realistic and compelling backstory for each major character in their novels. After all that hard work, it’s natural to want to include as much of that as you can. But there’s a fine line between clarifying a character’s past and writing too much backstory. Readers don’t usually need to know much of the characters’ history in order to engage with the story. Here are some ways to help you find the right balance.

The Four I’s

First, let’s revisit what makes an engaging backstory. Only include backstory that fits four criteria—I call it The Four I’s.

  1. Important: It’s directly relevant to the plot.
  2. Individual: It reveals something essential about the character.
  3. Interesting: It pulls the reader in with mystery.
  4. Interval: It’s spread out so it doesn’t overwhelm or bore the reader.

Continue reading How to Write Compelling and Balanced Backstory

Twitterific Writing Tips

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraigBlog

Twitterific links are fed into the Writer’s Knowledge Base search alengine(developed by writer and software engineer Mike Fleming) which has over 23,000 free articles on writing related topics. It’s the search engine for writers.

3 Deadly Traps for a Writer:  http://ow.ly/vqpld @jonathangunson @RogerDColby

Writers: Fire Your Guru:  http://ow.ly/vqkxv @rchazzchute

How to Stop Procrastinating and Just Write: http://ow.ly/vqknz @screencrafting Continue reading Twitterific Writing Tips

Creating an Ironic Tone in Your Fiction

Guest Post by Jack SmithWrite and Revise for Publication

Let’s say you want to create an ironic tone in a story or novel—it’s just needed.

First off, what is tone?  On the one hand, we might say that it’s the apparent attitude of the narrator toward the characters and the world they people.  But it should also be said that everything in a fictional work relates in some way to the tone.  If every character in your story drives crazily and exceeds the speed limit, this will certainly affect the tone.  If all the clocks are off twenty minutes, this will too.

To create the right tone, you need to think about character actions, dialogue, and setting.  All of these will affect the tone of your story or novel.   But you also need to attend to matters of style.  Continue reading Creating an Ironic Tone in Your Fiction