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Posts Tagged ‘narrative’

The excellent Elizabeth Bear has a good post on how to get past “rave rejections.” You know the ones, where they tell you how great the story is but sorry, can’t use it.

Her advice? Focus on Voice and Narrative. While these suggestions are hardly new she does frame them in concise, useful language that cuts through the extensive “how to” checklists so often found in writing advice. Here she is on how to grow a voice:

Write a lot. Work at identifying and expunging cliches and lazy word choice from your prose. Find sharp verbs and strong, observed details. Read things out loud and if you don’t like how they sound, change them. Embrace whimsy and quirkiness, but only inasmuch as it is natural to you: otherwise you run the risk of becoming twee. Play with pastiche. If you have a natural wit, let it shine through. Be playful.

On narrative drive and creating characters readers care about:

A character who loves something, or who holds fast to an ideal, is humanized and becomes approachable. A character who takes action lures us unto caring about what she cares about.

We love people who fight.

It’s a great post, short, approachable, with a “manageable bite-sized helpful chunk” of useful information. Also, bonus points for using a funny video of David Bowie to make her case.

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