Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

39

I felt this was best answered by examples. A lot of examples :P "Sudden" does not guarantee surprising This is fundamental "show, don't tell" - describing something as being "sudden" doesn't mean the reader gets a sense of surprise while reading it, any more than you'd laugh at reading the line "Bob is a really funny guy." So one key skill is, look out for ...


37

I think this is one of those areas where the 'show don't tell' rule really shines. Instead of: Bart sat back in his chair and let himself relax. All of a sudden, there was a huge explosion down the street. Try: Bart sat back in his chair and let himself relax. He was almost asleep when something made him open his eyes. There was just enough ...


13

If you're writing in your own original world, try to think of the kinds of things that are present in that world. I actually spent quite a while thinking about what possible phrases could exist in various areas of my current fantasy world. Try to imagine how the idiom you are trying to create could have come about in the setting. Include imagery that would ...


9

Myths and religions are "stories we already know." Adding references to known mythology in a contemporary story both grounds it to reality and connects it to our larger culture. Think about modern myths. If you have an ensemble action piece in a movie or a TV episode, for example, there's often a moment just before the climactic battle where five or six ...


8

Archetypes may be a good place to start. They won't really help with details about dialect but as archetypes they (supposedly) transcend culture and are a foundation on which all personalities are based. They could certainly be useful in understanding the psychology of your characters if not their mannerisms.


6

The random word approach is not as bad as you think: Divide a piece of paper into three columns Write nouns randomly in the first column and cover it Write verbs into the second and cover it (same amount as nouns) Write adjectives into the third column (same amount as nouns) Phrase a sentence which each row Write ten sentences each day of one week and ...


5

I noticed you said "movie critics" enjoy mythological references in a film, but do audiences? So you've asked, kind of a two-part question. For clarity, there are films that are based on mythology, like "Star Wars" and there are films that reference mythology like "Prometheus." It can be a fine line, but I believe the difference lies with whether the ...


4

The highlights are in bold around my examples and suggestions, but a full reading is a bit more desirable. It's very descriptive, but at the same time, there are places where it's so wordy that the description is weakened, making it perform poorly as a descriptive piece of writing. When a description or sentence becomes too wordy, even with descriptive ...


4

I don't know of a resource that breaks things down like that, but I'm sure I and other Americans here would be happy to answer questions about particular character concepts or areas. I imagine that it would be supremely difficult to write such a guide...there are too many exceptions and communities-within-communities to cover it all. For example, Texas is ...


3

Because mythology is the oldest form of storytelling, it resonates with our deepest selves, allowing us to explore the inner archetypal landscape of being human and our connection to divinity. It is our common language.


3

Maybe you are seeing it from the wrong point of view. More than mythology, movies like Matrix and Prometheus deal with our current social values and believes. Neo, the technological messiah, is ready to die to save humanity but under a very actual agnostic - almost atheistic - point of view since he is more than human but not divine. He is machine made ...


3

One thing you seem to be forgetting regarding myths, is they are extremely prevalent stories. I prefer to avoid the word "good" because, honestly, some of them are rather crap as stories, but they are definitely memorable. Proof? They survived. Think about Shakespeare. He certainly wasn't the only writer of 16th century. More likely there were thousands of ...


3

TvTropes is a good place to find them, if you don't mind some investment of time. Alternatively, a site specific search may give you additional insight: TvTropes loves to abuse cliches and puns, and if a quick google for 'site:tvtropes.org phrase here' showed a whole bunch of results, the chances are fairly good that this is a cliche. Wikipedia has a very ...


2

...angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night I listen to readings of Allen Ginsberg poetry. Howl Supermarket in California


2

I don't know of any resource that deals with regional or national qualities, but Writer's Guide to Character Traits is a great resource for defining typical qualities of people across many different strata (like profession, sexual preference, mental/social disorders, birth order, etc).


2

There are a few different effects related to the phrase "suddenly" 1) When describing how someone else perceived something or reacted I believe that towards morning he attempted to commit suicide but did not succeed. He remained locked up till midday—and then suddenly he ran to the authorities. He is said to have crawled on his knees, to have sobbed and ...


2

It is very descriptive. Probably too many adjectives per noun. For example, "sweet, succulent, fleshy mango", I personally feel that succulent and fleshy overlap enough to remove fleshy. Without paragraphs, it is a formidable block of text to read. It doesn't seem that cliche to me. It seems to be derived from your personal experience. Not sure what ...


2

Check out my program ClichéCleaner. It highlights passages in your text that are either clichés, other overly-used common expressions, or phrases of your own that you have repeatedly used within the same document. ClichéCleaner includes a list of nearly 7000 unique clichés and common expressions that are compared against your text. However the actual ...


1

Almost any writing has to be written with some attention paid to who the audience will be. If you were writing a nice little travel piece for the newspaper, you'd write this piece very differently, for example. If I were editing this piece, I'd move all that weather and food stuff out of the way at the beginning and start with the taxi dumping you in the ...


1

The other answers are good, but there's a whole dimension that hasn't been addressed (except by @FBRogers who got his darn post in before I had a chance to write this ;) ). Myths were (and, to a large extent, still are) mankind's way of coming to terms with the nature of reality - especially the parts that deal with emotions, our inner nature, and things ...


1

a good story/novel/book shouldn't have to have a "suddenly" to get surprise from the reader. a lot of times all it takes is timing. they're going along, doing their regular thing and then something happens. it usually helps to make your first sentence (the one you want to surprise people, remember?) a short one. somehow this adds to the dramatic effect. ...


1

ProWritingAid has a free cliche finder as well as other interesting features


1

While it sounds like a good idea, I'm not sure the result will be what you expect. Some examples. If you write about something that really exists, there will be people who know a lot, even more about it than you. To avoid alienating these people (or being ridiculed by them in a blog), your description must be really accurate. That means a lot of time must ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible