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I am a writer. I create innovative creative and business writing courses. I inspire others to tell their stories. My company's name is Writers Write. My email address is amanda@writerswrite.co.za

A Fabulous Resource for Writers - 350 Character Traits →

Even if you adore your protagonist and loathe your antagonist, it is important to remember that nobody is perfectly good, or perfectly evil. Every character will have positive and negative personality traits. Make sure you have created real people rather than caricatures by giving your cast a selection of both.

I have compiled these lists to help you select the traits you need. Have fun, and happy writing.
A bumper list of character traits for writers.
— 1 week ago with 329 notes
#350 Character Traits  #Writing Tips  #Amanda Patterson  #Writers Write 
How to write an irresistible book blurb in five easy steps →

Your blurb will be an important part of your marketing. It is vital to get a reader’s attention. To write a good blurb, you have to make it short. Cut out sub-plots. Add tension to make it dramatic. Try not to mention more than two character’s names, and promise your audience a read they won’t forget.

I’ve come up with this easy acronym to help you create a blurb. I call it SCOPE. Follow these five steps and see if it works for you.

Setting
Conflict
Objective
Possible Solution
Emotional Promise

  1. Setting: All stories involve characters who are in a certain setting at a certain time. 
  2. Conflict: A good story places these characters in a situation where they have to act or react. A good way to start this part of your blurb is with the words: But, However, Until
  3. Objective: What do your characters need to do?
  4. Possible Solution: Offer the reader hope here. Show them how the protagonist can overcome. Give them a reason to pick up the book. Use the word ‘If’ here.
  5. Emotional Promise: Tell them how the book will make them feel. This sets the mood for your reader.

I saw The Edge of Tomorrow today, and I decided to write a blurb using this formula.

Example

  1. London. The near future. Aliens have invaded Earth and colonised Europe. Major William Cage is a PR expert for the US Army, which is working with the British to prevent the invaders from crossing the English Channel. Battle after battle is lost until an unexpected victory gives humanity hope.
  2. But the enemy is invincible. A planned push into Europe fails and Cage finds himself in a war he has no way to fight, and he is killed. However, he wakes up, rebooted back a day every time he dies.
  3. He lives through hellish day after day, until he finds another soldier, Sergeant Rita Vrataski, who understands what he can do to fight the enemy. Cage and Vrataski have to take the fight to the aliens, learning more after each repeated encounter.
  4. If they succeed, they will destroy the enemy, and save Earth.
  5. This thrilling action-packed science fiction war story will show you how heroes are made and wars can be won. Against the odds.

SCOPE will work for any blurb. Why don’t you try it?

by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

© Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this article, you may enjoy How to write a query letter in 12 easy steps and How to write a one-page synopsis

— 1 week ago with 1444 notes
#How to write an irresistible book blurb in five easy steps  #writing tips  #writing advice  #Amanda Patterson  #Writers Write 
Seven Extremely Good Reasons to Write the Ending First →

If you are writing for fun, and if you don’t want any help, please write any way that works for you. I am not trying to convert you to writing with a plan. It truly does not matter to me how you write. However, if you are struggling to finish a book that makes sense, I would love you to carry on reading.

Why should you do it?

When I used to teach Writers Write regularly, one of the first things I asked students was: How does your story end? I did this for two reasons. Firstly, as much as some people love the idea of working with meandering storylines, it has been my experience that those writers seldom finish writing a coherent book. Secondly, most people who go to workshops or sign up for courses are truly looking for help, and I’ve learned that the best way to succeed in anything in life is to have a plan. Successful people will tell you that you need to know where you’re going before you begin.

Smell the roses

This does not mean that you can’t take time to smell the roses, or explore hidden paths along the way. It simply means that you always have a lifeline and when you get lost, it will be easier for you to find your way back again. Remember that readers like destinations. They love beginnings, middles, and endings. Why do you think fans are terrified that George R.R. Martin will die before he finishes A Song of Fire and Ice? They want to know how the story ends. 

Here are seven reasons why I suggest you write your ending first.

  1. If you know who the characters are at the end of the story, you will know how much you should reveal about them at the beginning. 
  2. You will be forced out of the ‘backstory hell’ that beginner writers inhabit and into the story the reader wants to read.
  3. Hindsight is an amazing thing. We all know how different life seems when we’re looking back. We can often tell where a problem began. We think about the ‘what ifs’ with the gift of hindsight. You can use this to your advantage in fiction writing.
  4. You will have something to work towards. Instead of aimlessly writing and hoping for the muse to show you the way, you will be able to pull the characters’ strings and write the words they need to get them from the beginning through the middle to the end.
  5. Plotting from the ending backwards saves you so much time because you will leave out stuff that isn’t meant to be there. You will not have to muddle through an overwritten first draft.
  6. Writing the end forces most of us out of our comfort zones. We have to confront the reality of what we are doing. It might not be as romantic as flailing around like a helpless maiden, but if you want writing to be your profession, it’s good to make the outcome visible. This is a way to show yourself that you are serious. The end gives you a goal to work towards.
  7. The ending is as important as the beginning. Good beginnings get people to read your first book. Great endings get readers to buy your second book.

There are a handful of famous authors, like Stephen King and George R.R. Martin, who say they don’t plot. I think they just don’t realise they are those rare authors – natural born storytellers, and that plotting is instinctive for them. I have interviewed many successfully published authors and I can revel that the majority of them do believe in plotting. They outline, in varying degrees, before they begin. And yes, most of them know what their ending will be. Why don’t you try it? What have you got to lose?

I truly hope this helps you write, and finish, your book.

by Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy 10 (Amazingly Simple) Tips to Get You Back on The Writing Track and The Author’s Promise- two things every writer should do. You could also read The Top 10 Tips for Plotting and Finishing a Book.

— 1 month ago with 2946 notes
#Seven Extremely Good Reasons to Write the Ending First  #Amanda Patterson  #Writing Advice  #Plotting  #Writing Tips 
Writing Quote – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
You can’t break the rules if you don’t know what they are.

Writing Quote – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

You can’t break the rules if you don’t know what they are.

— 2 months ago with 41 notes
#Writing Quotes  #Writing Tips  #sri nisargadatta maharaj 
Writing in Plain Language - How to remove meaningless phrases
No business or individual should waste resources writing documents that are difficult to read. One of the easiest ways to communicate with other people is to write short sentences. Use understandable words. Leave out meaningless phrases. Here are some examples.

Writing in Plain Language - How to remove meaningless phrases

No business or individual should waste resources writing documents that are difficult to read. One of the easiest ways to communicate with other people is to write short sentences. Use understandable words. Leave out meaningless phrases. Here are some examples.

— 2 months ago with 931 notes
#How to remove meaningless phrases  #Writing Tips  #Writing Advice  #Writers Write 
The Top 10 Writing Posts for April 2014 →

These were the Writers Write posts you enjoyed most in April 2014.

  1. Cheat Sheets for Writing Body Language - Translate emotions into written body language 
  2. The Locked Room – A simple way to test your plot
  3. The Day Jobs of 12 Famous Poets - A comic
  4. The Author’s Promise - two things every writer should do
  5. The Top 21 Literary Quotes about Fools - April Fool’s Day
  6. Eight Personality Disorders - Illustrated
  7. What your writing equipment says about you - Pen or Pencil?
  8. Shades of Emotion - Creating Characters
  9. It’s all in the timing - What watching Disney (and Pixar) taught me about writing suspense
  10. Writing Sex Scenes - Part Three - Six Female Archetypes
— 2 months ago with 405 notes
#The Top 10 Writing Posts for April 2014  #Writing Tips  #Writers Write 
We are always told to use body language in our writing. Sometimes, it’s easier said than written. Mia Botha describes how to Say it, without saying it, and Amanda Patterson decided to create these body language cheat sheets to show you how to do it. It is almost always better to show and not tell, although there are times when you shouldn’t (five instances when you need to tell).

Happy Writing!
We are always told to use body language in our writing. Sometimes, it’s easier said than written. Mia Botha describes how to Say it, without saying it, and Amanda Patterson decided to create these body language cheat sheets to show you how to do it. It is almost always better to show and not tell, although there are times when you shouldn’t (five instances when you need to tell).
Happy Writing!
— 3 months ago with 222 notes
#Writing Tips  #show don't tell  #writers write  #writing tips