Unfortunately, This Piece Is Not for Us: Handling Rejection

writeworld:

Rejection is a thing that happens to writers who seek publication. Getting a story rejected is a sad thing. It hurts. Rejection is universal, but that fact does not make the feeling suck any less. Because you have already been rejected or will be rejected at some point in the future, here are a few things to keep in mind regarding the word “no.”

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Sordid Fairy Tale: 25 Things To Know About Writing The First Chapter Of Your Novel

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May 06

What To Do When You Have No Plot

writingbox:

Sometimes you want to write, but you have no plot ideas. Perhaps your fingers are itchy to write, you want to meet a submissions deadline, a character is bugging you to tell their story, or a single image, phrase, or scene is sitting heavy in your head. But you still can’t find the whole story.

So what can you do?

  • Start with characters: find their names, their backstories, their relationships. Create detailed descriptions, draw them, build their family trees. Get them interracting, put them into a room together, or bump them into each other in the street. Read their diaries, their love letters, their bank statements. Get to know them inside out. This is one place where you may find your story.
  • Start with a world: create your map, name the towns, lakes, forests, and mountains. Work out the trade routes, position the markets, the ports, and the industry. Find the history, predict the future. Draw out the borders, bring war, re-draw the borders. Get down to street level and see who lives there. Walk the streets yourself. This is one place where you may find your story.
  • Start with a room: stand in the middle of a room and open your eyes. What does the room look like? What’s in it? How many doors and windows are there? What is the room used for? Who uses it? What has happened here, and what is going to happen here? This is one place where you may find your story.
  • Start with an object: pick something up into your hand. What is it? What is it used for? Who owns it, and who owned it before them? What is it worth, either monetarily or sentimentally? Has it been lost, found, stolen, given away? Why is this object important? This is one place where you may find your story.

Sordid Fairy Tale: Avoiding publishing scams

In the Beginning

writeworld:

How do you write a great first line?

People agonize over their first sentence, and we’re about to beg you not to. At least, not until you’ve finished the entire piece. After all, how can you be sure what the story is about until you’ve written it in its entirety?

Anyway, a great first line is completely subjective, and the standards for a great first line will vary from genre to genre, and for fiction and nonfiction. A few rules of thumb (that are constantly and effectively broken):

  1. Don’t start with dialogue.
  2. Don’t start with the weather.
  3. Introduce your main character within the first few sentences.
  4. Don’t start with a complicated metaphor.
  5. Don’t start by insulting the reader (e.g., their intelligence, their choice of reading, their personal hygiene).
  6. Give the main character a goal/something he or she wants straight away.
  7. Don’t start with onomatopoeia.
  8. Don’t start with an enormous first sentence.
  9. Begin with some kind of action.
  10. If you’re writing fiction, don’t start with a question.

Yes, if you’re an established writer, you can definitely get away with ignoring these rules, but if you’re just starting out, it may be best to steer clear of these sorts of beginnings.

Instead, try thinking of your first sentence like this:

The object of your first sentence is not to entice your audience into reading the entire book. The object is to make them want to read the next sentence, just as it’s the job of the second sentence to make them want to read the third, and so on.

Think of the sentences that make up your story as train cars, connected to each other, racing forward on the track of your plot. The audience watching this train pass will see each sentence as part of a whole, moving in one direction, with every sentence pulling the sentences after it and clamped tightly to the ones before.

The first sentence is the steam engine and it’s pretty important, but in reality, it’s only special because its the first. There’s no point in it moving at all unless the cars after it have cargo worth carrying, and there’s no point to the entire train if the track leads nowhere. Each component of a train is important, just like each sentence of your story, each character, each plot, each setting is important.

We think the easiest way to experiment with first lines is to do some research. Pull a few books off of your bookshelf and read the first few lines. Make a note of what you like and don’t like. We’ve begun a new segment called First Lines to help you out.

Things we think are important to remember for the first few sentences of your story:

  1. Get the reader to start asking questions. Don’t give all your information at once; rather, make you audience read on to have their questions answered. Just don’t make them wait too long for every answer or they may lose interest.
  2. We agree that characters must have goals. If you introduce a character in your first few lines, they need to want something or the reader won’t care.
  3. Make your reader feel like they are entering a story in-progress. That is to say, they are aware from the first few lines that the story has a definite, believable past, and they’re coming in right as the most interesting part of this ongoing story is beginning.
  4. We agree with beginning with action is likely best. Exposition can weigh down the story’s start. Move the reader by writing movement.
  5. Be mindful of the second sentence. The first sentence should lead into the next, or else fill the reader with so many questions that they have to read on to get their answers (see above).

If you’re doing these things, or at least making an effort to do them, you’ll have a strong first line, guaranteed.

Further reading on beginning a story:


I’ve finished the first Hunger Games book and am ready to move onto the second one.

But…

I-Isn’t Catching Fire the one with the plot-dragging love triangle I often see people complaining about?

I’m scared—


What is “Pace”, and How Does It Affect Your Story?

yeahwriters:

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a-pelvis-named-elvis asked:

I need a couple of tips on writing chase scenes, while keeping it urgent while not sounding too bland (a character is running to find another specifically).

I think that what’s going to help you most in writing this chase scene is understanding how to control your story’s pace. We haven’t talked about pace yet here on Yeah Write, so let’s!

The clearest way that I can describe pace is to use a music metaphor. In music, we call pace “tempo”. If something has a fast tempo, it has more beats per minute, and the notes are likely shorter (staccato). So in a given minute of an up-beat song, there are a lot of notes, there’s a lot going on, and it gives the music the feeling of being “fast”. If a piece of music has fewer notes, fewer beats, and the notes are held for longer in a minute, it gives music the feeling of being “slow”. (Doesn’t it make you think of being at a school dance and the song switching from something upbeat like Jump Around to a slow dance like My Heart Will Go On?) (I hope you enjoyed my 90s references.)

Moving on!

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Which POV Is Right For You? : A How-To on Point of Views

thewritershelpers:

So, I’ve been noticing that our ask box is full of questions about POV problems: What point of view should I use? I want to use first, but there’s a scene where my MC isn’t there. Should I use third and first? What about writing Multi-POVs? And what’s the difference between Third Person Limited and Third Person Omniscient, anyway? How do I write in Multi-POV?

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Don’t get me wrong; I have no problems answering these questions. Actually, I’m happy you asked! POVs are something I can at least help with. I just am surprised at the vast ocean we got.

But fear not! I’m going to attempt to answer these questions by explaining what a Point of View is, the different kinds of POVs that you can use [with examples], and hopefully help you on your way to picking a damn pronoun.

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pali-princess:

How To Use An Apostrophe

By The Oatmeal


New Follower Feature Round Up!

yeahwriters:

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Hello new followers! Welcome to Yeah Write! We’re so appreciative of your follow, and hope you’re psyched as we are that you’ve become a part of our little big family!

Some basic facts:

  • Yeah Write! was created in December of 2010
  • Even though the URL is yeahwriters.tumblr.com, the blog is called “Yeah Write!” (yeahwrite.tumblr.com has always been taken, even though there’s nothing posted there. So annoying!)
  • yeahwriters.tumblr.com and yeahwrite.net go to the same place
  • It’s run by one person
  • When this was published there were 30,649 followers

So, here’s our sternly worded list of things that we really want our new followers to know about, haha:

  • Pleeeease look at the flowchart on our ask page (yeahwriters.tumblr.com/ask2) before sending an ask. There’s a very good chance that your question is answered on our FAQ, Submit, or Advice pages (more on these below).
  • Please don’t send us an ask in the fanmail format.
  • The directions on how to submit everything, from a story to a workshopper app to a prompt to a promo, are directly on our Submit page (yeahwriters.tumblr.com/submit). 
  • We do not publish the text of works that are pasted into our submission box. You must publish the text on your own blog and then send us a link to where it’s hosted there. More on that is detailed on the Submit page.
  • Yeah Write does not critique individuals’ works. With the volume of followers we have, that’d just be impossible. This is why we’ve set up our Workshopper network (more on that below).

(^I hate having to write this type of stuff, but it’s just necessary so that everything can run smoothly! I promise we’re mostly a friendly blog!)

Now for the fun stuff!

Yeah Write can be as interactive as you want it to be. Below is a list of all our features, in the order in which they’re linked on the left side of our home page.

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Writing Prompts & Prompts by Category

yeahwriters.tumblr.com/tagged/prompt (All of the prompts)

yeahwriters.tumblr.com/prompts (Prompts listed by category)

The central tenant of Yeah Write is the daily writing prompts. Every other day the prompt is made up by the moderator (Livia), and every other day the prompt is user-submitted.

We love when followers submit their own ideas for prompts! Plus, I think it’s really cool to see how different people interpret your idea for a story. So please, share your writing prompt ideas with us! You just have to make sure you format your prompt idea submission correctly (it saves Yeah Write oodles of time). Directions on how to submit a prompt idea are directly on the Submit page under “Prompt Idea Submissions”.

If you write a story based on a prompt, you can post it to your own Tumblr and then submit a link to YW, to be added directly to the original prompt post (please note that this is the only way in which we accept creative writing submissions… learn more on our FAQ page). That way, other followers can look at a prompt and see all of the different interpretations in one place (for an example of a prompt with a few submissions, click here).

Directions on how to submit a work that is based on a prompt are also right on the Submit under “Story Submissions” (we also take poetry, nonfiction, scripts, etc).

Following the submission guidelines is important because it allows you to have your work shared and makes things faster for Livia so that she can stay up to date with running the blog and sharing your ideas.

Writing Advice

yeahwriters.tumblr.com/advice

WE HAVE A TON OF TOPICS THERE! There’s stuff about writing, of course, but there’s also tips on everything from getting an internship to sharing your work to not feeling weird if you’re a writer. There are also categories for poets and those who write nonfiction. There are lists of genres, instructions on how to write sex scenes, resources for building race… don’t just go there looking for something specific; go there if you just want to learn something new about writing, or see your own writing in a new light!

But it’s also important to check the advice page before sending us an ask. Not only does it not make a bunch of sense to ask a question that’s already been answered, but topics on the Advice page have been opened up to all 30,000+ of Yeah Write’s followers, so you’ll get a lot more input than from just the moderator.

Peer Workshoppers

yeahwriters.tumblr.com/workshoppers

Workshoppers are other Tumblr users who are willing to give feedback on your work. There are descriptions next to their URL relating to what they’re interested in reading and what they’re good at editing.

If you want to become a workshopper, hooray and thank you! There are directions on how to do so directly on the Submit page.

Lit Mags List

yeahwriters.tumblr.com/litmags

These are literary magazines that are currently accepting submissions. Some are print, others are web-only, some are both.

If you run or know of a lit mag that you think should be added to this list, please Submit it to us!

Friends of Yeah Write

yeahwriters.tumblr.com/friends

These are other community blogs and websites that are complimentary and supplemental to Yeah Write.

We actually just wiped our Friends list clean to start fresh, so if you run or know of a blog that you think should be added to this list, please Submit it to us!

(No personal writing blogs, please!)

The Yeah Write Review

ywreview.tumblr.com

The Yeah Write Review is YW’s own literary magazine that start in the fall of 2012. The magazine comes out every 3 months and is available both in print and as a PDF. The dedicated Tumblr will tell you what submissions are currently open, outline the submission guidelines, and so on. We’re currently in production on our third issue.

About, FAQ, & Submission Guidelines

All of the information in this post is published on the About page, if you ever want to review it.

The FAQ page is pretty self-explanatory.

“Submission Guidelines” is also the Submit page.

PHEW. Okay, that’s it! Yay thank you to all followers, old and new!!



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