When you’re writing, it can be hard to make sure that everything you’re including fits or connects into a coherent story. So how do you check if your story is making sense? How do you know if your plot works as a whole or needs to be reorganized? There are a few ways…
Anonymous said: Hey, do you have any tips for writing comedies? For instance how to make sure it's funny? Thanks!
Experiment and practice! There are lots of different “flavors” of comedy (subtle, gross-out, slapstick, pun…). Test out different comedic styles and see which ones fit best with your story and which ones you’re best at. Look more into your chosen comedy style and see what more you can learn about it.
Take in funny media. Watch comedians and comedy movies, read funny books—look at what makes you laugh and try to figure out why it does that. Comedy may be less easily dissectible than other genres, but if you notice a pattern, see where it takes you.
Gauging your audience will probably also be helpful: kids respond differently and to different things than teens or adults. Figuring out who you want to write for can help you figure out which way to take your comedy style.
Comedy is a hugely subjective art form, so getting a small army of beta readers can never be a bad thing. Capturing humor in writing takes skill and practice, even if you are a naturally funny person—just because you think it’s funny doesn’t mean it will come across as such in your writing. Get some outside perspective on it.
Check for more:
- Our comedy tag
- Comedy tropes
- How to mix humor into your writing
- Comedy writing: How to be funny
- Four Commandments of Writing Funny
- The 8 Humor Styles
- 20 Types and Styles of Humor
Has your character ever needed a bodyguard? Yes? Did you think that the job of a bodyguard was limited to walking next to someone while wearing sunglasses and having sexual tension/banter? Well then, we need to talk.
- Bodyguarding is a regulated profession….
Hiding information from your readers on purpose will help you create tension in your novel. I know this doesn’t work for every novel, but if you’re writing something with elements of suspense and mystery, hiding details and revealing them later will improve your story….
koztastic said: Hello, I am looking to make a physically relate-able alien species that is unique and isn't a cheap copy off of humans. I've been doing some research but I hardly know where to start! I've seen you give out helpful resources before, anything you think would be a good read for someone trying to make aliens?
This is actually a really timely question for me, because I just recently started trying to develop some alien species for a story but had the same problem of them all seeming a bit too humanoid in various ways. I didn’t have much time for research lately but now that I’m on break, let’s see what I can find…
- So You Want to Create Believable Aliens
- How to Create a Scientifically Plausible Alien Life Form
- Creating a New Alien Species
- Creating Believable Aliens
- Creating Fantasy Creatures and Alien Species
- Alien Species Creation Template
- Creating and Writing Aliens and Other Intelligent Beings
- Creating “Believable” Aliens: An Interview with James L. Cambias
And here are some lists/galleries of good and bad alien concepts and designs from existing media, if you want some inspiration:
Anonymous said: hi! i rp as a canon character who's an ME, but the show he was in didn't really show much of what he does other than him finding evidence inside victims during autopsies, and then briefing the detectives on cause of death and other stuff he's found.. i can't really find any decent descriptions of the job role on google, so do you know of any good research on autopsy procedure and stuff?
Got you covered!
- 21 Steps of an Autopsy
- Crime Scene Science: The Modern Methods for Solving Crimes
- The Routine Autopsy
- Hidden Evidence: Latent Prints on Human Skin
- Dead Body Evidence Checklist
- Fingerprinting The Dead
- Medical Examiner’s FAQ
- Bite Mark Analysis
- Trace Evidence: Hair
- Autopsy 101
- AUTOPSY (video)
- Autopsy: Procedure & Report
- Coroner Vs. Medical Examiner
- Performing An Autopsy
- The Five Stages of Decomposition
Hope these help, anon!
In psychology, you may have come across the term “Flow.” I first came around this term when taking a class in personality psychology, when my professor talked about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. If you also recall Maslow’s Hierachy of needs, at the top, you have self-actualization, people who are…
Anonymous said: How do you feel about present tense writing?
I think that present tense really only works when the story has a call for great action, tension, and suspense.
However, I also think there are quite a few problems with this tense (particularly in first person):
- No Time Skips: In present tense, you can’t skip ahead four hours in a scene and still have it be present tense. Saying “…and so four hours later I…” defeats present tense. You have to create a new scene to skip time.
- Pacing: Because characters in present tense are only aware of that exact moment, writers are at great risk of poor pacing. A fast scene might be too slow because the writer needs the character to notice many things or do many things in a short amount of time. It’s like time slows down.
- Commentary: With first person present tense, writer are at risk of writing something that sounds like mundane self-narration.
The thing about stories is that they have already happened. The storyteller is one who takes events (real or fictional), examines them, and turns them into entertainment. That’s the way it has been for thousands of years because it works best that way.
Of course it is possible to write in present tense, but it’s difficult and it works best with short stories.
Here is more on present tense:
All writing advice is subjective, but there are some mistakes in writing that WILL ensure your novel’s failure, not only to your readers but to those who might be your potential agent or publisher. I’ve never really come across these mistakes when I…