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Cool writing advice

Switch Blayde
Updated:

These are cherry-picked from a Pixar storyboard artist, Emma Coats:

1. Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

2. Trying for theme is important, but you won't see what the story is actually about til you're at the end of it.

3. You gotta keep in mind what's interesting to you as an audience, not what's fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

4. Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle.

5. What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

6. What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don't succeed? Stack the odds against.

7. Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it's poison to the audience.

anim8ed

Very good points Switch. I found numbers 5 and 6 to be especially notable after some of the stories that I have read at SOL. Too many characters seem to excel at overcoming challenges that match there strengths while never experiencing any set-backs or showing any weakness.

Invid Fan

@Switch Blayde

"3. You gotta keep in mind what's interesting to you as an audience, not what's fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different."

This is why I have no real desire to put my books into real stores. I don't want to have to worry about my audience. I'm entertaining myself here. If others like it, bonus!

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

3. You gotta keep in mind what's interesting to you as an audience, not what's fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

4. Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle.

#3 is why I'll NEVER be a successful writer, because I write for readers who are sick of popular writing and miss the writing popular before the 70s. While that won't get me on the Times Bestsellers, it does find me a niche market.

#4 I find my Ending before I ever write a word, because that's what determines my entire story. I write for endings. I may not know the particulars, like how Alex died in my "Catalyst" series, but I damn well knew why he had to die! That's part of writing to a theme.

PervOtaku

The full list has 22 items, easily found with google. Some of them I think don't apply as universally, but would be good tools at least part of the time.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@PervOtaku

The full list has 22 items


That's why I said I cherry picked them. I listed the ones I liked.

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