J.A. Stinger

Words Can Inspire The World

Filtering by Tag: Writing Resources

Don’t Make This Mistake With Your Story Structure

Part 7 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel

I talk a lot about how important story structure is. But let’s be honest. Story structure is a complicated beast. Few stories ace every single beat to perfection every single time. I’ve read (and watched) incredible stories that were incredible in spite of the fact they were working off a sometimes wobbly narrative structure.

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Heinlein's Rules #amwriting #writingimprovement #wrtr2wrtr

There are countless rules for writing success, but the most famous ones, at least in the science-fiction field, are the five coined by the late, great Robert A. Heinlein.

Heinlein used to say he had no qualms about giving away these rules, even though they explained how you could become his direct competitor, because he knew that almost no one would follow their advice.

In my experience, that's true: if you start off with a hundred people who say they want to be writers, you lose half of the remaining total after each rule — fully half the people who hear each rule will fail to follow it.

I'm going to share Heinlein's five rules with you, plus add a sixth of my own.

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The time has come and you’ve decided to write that science fiction story you’ve had in your head for decades. You feverishly spend 3 months getting everything down. Lasers, phasers, giant space battleships, robots, aliens, scoundrel heroes and adventurous princesses – you’ve got it all. Then you submit, submit, submit. Your responses are either  ‘No’ or silence. You have just learned the first and most important lesson of writing Science Fiction or any genre for that matter.

There’s a lot more to writing science fiction than robots, spaceships and phasers-on-stun. For anyone thinking of writing science fiction here are 18 tips to turning any science fiction work into a great one that people will want to read.

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The 18 Responses You Need For Content To Go Viral

Content that elicits extreme positive or negative emotions gets your audience's attention. Once you have their attention, it is easier to get them to share.

According to an article in Inc. there is a way to create content that goes viral. Devra Prywes, from Unruly, an ad tech company that gets videos watched, tracked and shared, says that these are the 18 emotional responses you should aim for, remembering that the positive responses encourage people to share more on social media than the negative emotions. 

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7 Other Characters To Consider When You Write A Book

During the past few weeks we have discussed the four characters that strengthen your plot. We have discussed mirrors and foils, as well as static and dynamic characters. We have discussed the awesome foursome in detail, and this week I want to talk about The Others. 

When you read the first post and read that I suggested only having four characters you probably shook your head in disbelief and then raised your pen in defiance and clicked away, right? That’s ok. Because you immediately thought of characters like mentors and heralds and you wanted to use them all. 

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12 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Right Now, For Free)

We all want to be better writers and find ways to improve our writing craft. Some of us have been fortunate enough to study creative writing in university or hire writing coaches and editors to help us become better writers. Then again, some of us have not had these opportunities, or simply are not sure if we want to invest so much of our money and time in our writing at this point.

Often, we get caught up in these “professional” ways to improve our writing. We forget that, at its core, writing is a creative task. Yes, writing skills absolutely can be taught, but they don’t have to be. There are dozens of ways to become a better writer on your own or with informal help without spending a dime.

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#Writers: Get Into the Writing Mood With This Free Online Tool

Has this happened to you?

I was all set to jump into my NaNoWriMo story scene. Sure, I was nervous as usual. But I had my outline. I knew where the story was going. No problem, right? Ugh.

Except when I fired up Evernote and put my fingers to keyboard, everything slipped away. My blank screen became the empty reflection of my mind staring back at itself.

Okay, fine. I can handle this, I thought. (All while trying to remember how to breathe.) This has happened before. It’s just nerves, right? So I try again.

I type out a sentence. But I just don’t feel it. In fact, everything I write falls flat.

My characters were raring to go, old flames locked in a stale mate of conflicting goals that even their shared history can’t conquer. But everything I wrote reflected the mood Iwas in. Stressed about WriMo. Trying to write two thousand words between paying the bills and scrubbing the soap scum out of the tub. Not exactly a great mood for writing.

So every character movement. Every twist in the plot. I just couldn’t get into it. And I know my readers will feel the same because if I don’t feel it, how can I write it into the story? (If I get far enough in this story that it ever has a reader, that is.)

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Should Authors Interact with Readers? #AuthorTips

This morning I received three emails.

One was from a lady in Scotland who read one of my books and joined my fan page. She wanted me to know how much she appreciated waking up and finding that I had responded to her messages.

The second was from a man in Australia who sent me a list of things he liked about Silent Witness. He highlighted sentences that he particularly liked, but at the end of his note he said “thank you for making Hannah so intelligent.”

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Fifty (50!) tools which can help with your writing

Roy Peter Clark from Poynter Institute has posted up 50 tools that can help you when you do any kinds of writing. This is a extensive list of writing tools, but by no mean you need to apply all of them when you do any writing. There are the Writing Tool links:


… You will become handy with these tools over time. You will begin to recognize their use in the stories you read. You will see chances to apply them when you revise your own work. Eventually, they will become part of your flow, natural and automatic …

Links of 50 Writing Tool

  1. Writing Tool #1: Branch to the Right
  2. Writing Tool #2: Use Strong Verbs
  3. Writing Tool #3: Beware of Adverbs
  4. Writing Tool #4: Period As a Stop Sign
  5. Writing Tool #5: Observe Word Territory
  6. Writing Tool #6: Play with Words
  7. Writing Tool #7: Dig for the Concrete and Specific
  8. Writing Tool #8: Seek Original Images
  9. Writing Tool #9: Prefer Simple to Technical
  10. Writing Tool #10: Recognize Your Story’s Roots
  11. Writing Tool #11 Back Off or Show Off
  12. Writing Tool #12: Control the Pace
  13. Writing Tool #13: Show and Tell
  14. Writing Tool #14: Interesting Names
  15. Writing Tool #15: Reveal Character Traits
  16. Writing Tool #16: Odd and Interesting Things
  17. Writing Tool #17: The Number of Elements
  18. Writing Tool #18: Internal Cliffhangers
  19. Writing Tool #19: Tune Your Voice
  20. Writing Tool #20: Narrative Opportunities
  21. Writing Tool #21: Quotes and Dialogue
  22. Writing Tool #22: Get Ready
  23. Writing Tool #23: Place Gold Coins Along the Path
  24. Writing Tool #24: Name the Big Parts
  25. Writing Tool #25: Repeat
  26. Writing Tool #26: Fear Not the Long Sentence
  27. Writing Tool #27: Riffing for Originality
  28. Writing Tool #28: Writing Cinematically
  29. Writing Tool #29: Report for Scenes
  30. Writing Tool #30: Write Endings to Lock the Box
  31. Writing Tool #31: Parallel Lines
  32. Writing Tool #32: Let It Flow
  33. Writing Tool #33: Rehearsal
  34. Writing Tool #34: Cut Big, Then Small
  35. Writing Tool #35: Use Punctuation
  36. Writing Tool #36: Write A Mission Statement for Your Story
  37. Writing Tool #37: Long Projects
  38. Writing Tool #38: Polish Your Jewels
  39. Writing Tool #39: The Voice of Verbs
  40. Writing Tool #40: The Broken Line
  41. Writing Tool #41: X-Ray Reading
  42. Writing Tool #42: Paragraphs
  43. Writing Tool #43: Self-criticism
  44. Writing Tool #44: Save String
  45. Writing Tool #45: Foreshadow
  46. Writing Tool #46: Storytellers, Start Your Engines
  47. Writing Tool #47: Collaboration
  48. Writing Tool #48: Create An Editing Support Group
  49. Writing Tool #49: Learn from Criticism
  50. Writing Tool #50: The Writing Process