On editing, handling criticism, and creating memorable characters

Tips

1. Harrison Demchick on the inconsistencies to watch out for in your novel: Four Logic Problems that Will Ruin Your Day (and Your Manuscript)

2. Eventually someone will criticize your writing. Here’s how to handle it: Surviving Criticism without Losing Confidence in Your Writing

3. What you should cut from your novel: Pruning Your Novel

4. Why not all characters need to be likable: Writing the Unlikable Character (and Why You Should)

5. Memorable characters are key to a great story. Jody Hedlund offers 6 tips to make characters stand out in a crowd

6. If you love worldbuilding like I do, you’ll love this post: Worldbuilding Lessons from History: Part Two

7. Now for something lighthearted: The Oatmeal’s reminder to be careful of homophones.

Motivation

worldburnthroughyou

Background image from Flickr user M Yashna, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

Inspiration

fire_spirit_by_thiago_almeida-d5yalta

This week’s flash fiction writing prompt is “Fire Spirit” by Deviant Art user thiago-almeida. See the full-size image and more of thiago-almeida‘s awesome characters at the link!

Did you use the prompt? Send us the link (quillandspire@gmail.com). Our favourites will be featured in the next issue.

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Compliment, compliant, tip? Get in touch: quillandspire@gmail.com

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On telling instead of showing, the question you should be asking, and the true purpose of dialogue

Tips

1. Create a compelling character by focusing on how they answer questions: How Does Your Character Answer Questions?

2. Why you’re probably asking the wrong questions when figuring out your novel…and what question you should be asking instead: Overcome Your Book Doubts By Asking WHY

3. The true purpose of dialogue and the elements of good dialogue: Let’s Talk about Dialogue 

4. You always hear that it’s better to show than to tell. But sometimes that’s not true: 5 situations where it’s better to tell than show in your fiction

5. Are there guns in your story? Chuck Dixon debunks common gun mistakes writers make: Stupid Gun Mistakes EVERY Writer Makes

6. Looking to start a blog? Anne R. Allen has tips for creating a sustainable author blog: How to Create a Blog that Can Grow With Your Career

Motivation

persistence

Image from Flickr user Mark Dixon, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

Inspiration

by_the_banyan_tree_by_altalamatox-d89jdxb

When the volcano erupted, the tree spirits emerged…

This week’s flash fiction writing prompt is “By the Banyan Tree” by Deviant Art user Altalamatox. See the full-size image and more of Altalamatox’s awesome work at the link!

Did you use the prompt? Send us the link (quillandspire@gmail.com). Our favourites will be featured in the next issue.

Subscribe to receive the best weekly writing tips and inspiration. It’s free!

On themes, motifs, and being willing to learn

Tips

1. If you have a story idea and a character, but nothing else, Art Holcomb has an easy and fun system to help you flesh out your idea:  An Easy Approach to Story Building : The Bedtime Story Model

2. Why writing a compelling theme means asking a question and exploring more than one answer: Want a Powerful Theme for Your Novel? Play Devil’s Advocate!

3. Have you ever been told to “write what you know”? Tamara Girardi and Jodi Picoult on why you should   write what you want to learn instead: Write What You’re Willing To Learn

4. Why success never comes easy; you have to fight for it every step of the way: The Wake-Up Call: What it Means to Be A Self-Published Writer

5. What are motifs and how to use them to strength your novel: Motifs for Cohesion and Depth

6. For fantasy writers who are tired of swords: Medieval Blunt Weaponry – A Primer for Writers

Motivation

aimfortop

Image from Flickr user Zach Dischner, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

Inspiration

The old man weaves the night to cover their escape…

This week our prompt is by DeviantArt user Vimark. View the beautiful image here.

Did you use the prompt? Send us the link (quillandspire@gmail.com). Our favourites will be linked to in the next issue.

Subscribe to receive the best weekly writing tips and inspiration. It’s free!