A CV is a tool to capture all of your thoughts about your main character and keep track of the many idiosyncrasies and character traits. Just as important, it helps you capture and record the intertwined relationships of all the characters in your novel. Especially if you use several points of view or have multiple main characters, you need to capture them each distinctly.
Homer Simpson has only one focus in this world: himself. He has some pretty unlikable characteristics, I'm sure everyone can agree. Why do we love to hate Homer and hate to love him so much? Because he's a well-done anti-hero, that's why.
Character Voice is as difficult to pin down as it is critical. Plenty of writing advice resources talk about the importance of your main characters each having a unique voice, but how do you achieve that? The main problem is that all of those characters are essentially coming from the same mind – yours – so you need to find ways to ensure your personal characteristics, speech patterns and nuances don’t all bleed into your characters.
The master of Gothic horror stories, Edgar Allan Poe could set the tone of anything with a few chosen words. Here's how he did it.
What is it about a great story that keeps you turning the pages? Think of the last book you devoured in one sitting. What kept you so engrossed you had to stay up until 4am to finish it? For those of us who sit bleary-eyed in front of a computer because we couldn't put a good book down last night, we stumbled across an author who knows how to raise the stakes. And the higher the stakes, the better—am I right?
Are we hard-wired to seek symbolism in everything from our literature to our everyday life? Spirituality is rife with symbolism, advertisers use symbols to sell their products, and we interpret a smile from someone as a symbol of friendship. Symbolism in literature uses an object or a word to represent something abstract in your work. A person, an action, a place, a single word, or an object can have symbolic meaning. Symbolism, done well, allows you to hint at a certain mood or emotion instead of showing it.
Great content needs to be more than just "pretty". It needs depth and insight. It needs to avoid purple prose not like the plague, but because it is the plague.
Do you always check your work for repeated or overused words or phrases? I know I don't. Sometimes I can be so close to my writing that I don't notice when I've used a certain word too many times in the space of 3 or so paragraphs. In my mind, it sounds natural.
Use ProWritingAid's Word Explorer to look at any word 14 different ways. Yes, it's true. Here's the list of ways you can check out any given word: - Dictionary - Reverse Dictionary (this shows you words with your given word in their definition) - Thesaurus - Lists (lists of dated terms, ironic terms, often used terms) - Alliteration (adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and verbs with the same letter or sound at the beginning or adjacent to your given word) - Clichés (to help you avoid them) - Spelling (good to know if you write frequently in American, British, and Australian English) - Rhymes - Pronunciation - Collocations (adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and verbs that come before or after your given word) - Common Phrases (2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-word phrases using your given word) - Commonly Possessed By (words that can own your given word) - Anagrams (in case you need help) - Examples (From books and quotes using your given word)
Bored by your own writing? You could be suffering from the toll of ignoring your best ideas. ‘But why on earth would I ignore an idea if it’s good?’, you’re wondering. The answer is that you probably don’t even know you’re doing it.