4 Beneficial Reasons To Outline Before Writing:

I used to be (and largely still am) a pantser. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term let me explain: In the writing world, there are two types of writers: “Plotters”, and “Pantsers” (don’t ask who came up with the terms because I honestly don’t know)

  • Plotters create an abbreviated plot outline detailing the way their story will unfold, before they write.
  • Pantsers (as the name implies) tend to write by the seat of their pants, creating and shaping the plot as they write.

In my years as a writer, I have always been a dedicated pantser and turned my nose up at even the prospect of outlining. Outlines are for sissies.” Largely summed up my attitude, I considered them worthless, and counted them as unnecessary time-wasters that were just downright boring! I mean, why write an outline when you can just write the story. Right?

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5 Tips For Better Short-Stories — Part-II

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In my post last week, 5 Tips For Better Short-Stories Part-I, I shared the importance of Starting At The End, and Fast-Pacing within short-fiction—Two tips that I have found to be exceptionally helpful in the process of short-fiction creation.  Today, I will share my final three tips.

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#3 A Small Cast, Limiting The Extras

It takes time, and words to develop characters to the point that people care about them. Simply put, short-stories don’t have the time or space to introduce the same size cast as  a novel. Since they begin after the character development process that take place throughout the course of a novel, you have only a short amount of time to make readers care about an already pre-defined person who isn’t going to change much in 7,300 words. Continue reading

5 Tips For Better Short-Stories — Part-I

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In many ways, short stories can be a scary thought for beginning writers. A non-writer may equate shorter with easier, but for a writer… How in the world do I fit a story into a neatly packaged bundle, with no-less than 2,500 and no more than 7,300 words?!

“It can’t be done!” was my reaction for quite a while. It took me a long time to even try because I believed failure was inevitable. But once I actually forced myself to try, I discovered it’s really a lot less intimidating than it seems! I’ve now been writing short-stories for a number of years, and today I am going to share the first two of five helpful tips that I have discovered along the way.

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3 WAYS TO FREE YOURSELF FROM DISTRACTING WRITING HABITS:

In many ways, this is a follow up on my last post about editing prematurely.

I am writing this on a windows notepad… Why? Because it’s fast, easy, simple, and above all: it doesn’t allow any type of formatting. You see, that’s a big problem for me… I format, rather than write. When I hit a road block I start playing around with font, type-size, spelling, and other formatting tools… almost without even thinking about it.

My brain stops trying to come up with more content, and shifts to making what I’ve already written look good.  That’s fine and dandy of course, as long as it’s done in the proper order. As I touched on in my last post: Plain and simple, editing should not be done before the content is out of your head. While I explained WHAT I do in my last post, now here are a few ways I try to avoid, or at least counteract this troublesome habit.

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PROCRASTINATION: THE FATAL DISEASE

 

Well if there is one quality (be it good or bad) that I can say I EXCEL at it would be procrastination. For instance, I started this blog with the intention to post at least once a week, and now it’s the middle of June and I haven’t posted anything since February.

I’ve started several posts but always ended up putting them off because either A) I didn’t have the time at the moment to finish them, Or B) the post took a direction I didn’t like.

Far too often lately that’s been the theme of my life. I start something with EVERY INTENTION OF FINISHING it, but somehow I never do. Take a look in my “Writing Projects” file on my computer and you will find a folder (which I have named “the morgue”) jam-packed full of half-finished novels, short stories, or story outlines/ideas. Why? Well it’s pretty simple— I suffer for a fatal disease known as “IAADP”

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