L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

By Josh Sippie A spoonful of humor really is the best medicine for your stories. For many, being a serious writer may mean writing deep, dark explorations of the human consciousness. No laughter need apply.The venerable Martin Amis, in his book Inside Story, blames this on “the intellectual glamour of gloom…the idea that sullen pessimism …

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By Charlotte Ahlin When you think about it, the horror genre makes no sense at all. We sit and stare at pieces of paper with words on them, imagining monsters that we know are entirely made up… and that somehow makes us so scared that we have to sleep with the lights on? Seriously? Writing …

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Want to write horror? Read this first. By Tim Waggoner I started writing seriously, with an aim toward making it my career, almost 40 years ago. I explored several genres – science fiction, fantasy, literary, mystery, and horror – before eventually focusing on the latter. It was inevitable, I suppose. Horror was my first love, …

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by Emily Wenstrom Short stories. Marketing copy. News reporting. Poetry. Business proposals. Literary fiction. Technical writing. Blogs. Advertising. There are a ton of different kinds of writing out there, each strikingly different from others. Worse, each different kind follows different writing rules. And yet, regardless of what kind of writing you do, there are certain foundational writing …

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Written by the MasterClass staff As you progress in your journey as an author, you may find yourself seeking ways to improve your writing style. Start the journey with these 8 key strategies. It’s not what you say but how you say it. We’ve all heard that line before. In writing, how you say something …

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Adapting a true story requires research, honesty, and sometimes, a little bending of the truth. Jeanne Veillette Bowerman shares tips on writing a screenplay based on a true story and the importance of finding the balance between fact and fiction. Jeanne Veillette Bowerman In theory, adapting a true story should be simple. The writer documents …

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Alex Bloom, founder of the Script Reader Pro screenplay consultancy, explains how to bulletproof your story idea and logline using one simple template. Alex Bloom The number one reason why most story ideas, loglines (and consequently scripts) fail is simply because the stakes aren’t high enough. In other words, it’s not clear enough what the …

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The Writer’s Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week’s writing mistake writers make is lacking conflict. Moriah Richard Everyone makes mistakes—even writers—but that’s okay because each mistake is a great learning opportunity. The Writer’s …

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Robert Lee Brewer A narrative arc (or story arc) is the general shape (or structure) of a story as a whole. While you might dig into the details when sketching an outline for your story, the narrative arc looks at everything from a distance. For instance, the narrative arc of George Orwell’s Animal Farm on …

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Powerfully portrayed settings seem to have a life of their own, but how is that effect achieved? Here are five keys to teach you how to make your setting a character in your story or novel that goes beyond invoking the five senses in description. Donald Maass In great fiction, the setting lives from the …

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