Posts tagged voice
How to Successfully Plan a Character-Driven Static Book Series

Writing a book series is a wonderful, terrifying, time consuming process. If you’ve decided to commit to a static series — one that’s driven by your characters — you need to develop a character readers want to read more of and make sure you have enough ideas to fill you books. Here’s how to get started planning your static book series.

Read More
Proof A 30th Street Fiction Anthology: How to Read Like a Writer

To understand how a critique group can improve your writing, look at how 30th Street Fiction critique group impacted “The Mortician’s Assistant.” I share before and after lines from my story, so you can see how critique impacted my piece and what it can do for your writing.

Read More
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston: How to Read Like a Writer

Most authors have a favorite writer whom they wish to emulate in some manner. However, if your favorite is a classic writer, you may need to pick the aspects of their style you incorporate into your own writing carefully. Today’s readers are not the same as the readers of the past.

Read More
Ghosts by Sophie Calle: How to Read Like a Writer

Sometimes the story we wish to tell is not our story. In Ghosts, Sophie Calle uses a collection of voices to tell the story of missing museum art pieces. Learn how to combine interviews to create a larger story and build distinct character voices from Ghosts.

Read More
How to Punctuate Dialogue: Spoken, Written, and Telepathic

One of the best techniques to increase the pacing and characterization of your story is dialogue. In order for your dialogue to be clear and effective, you have to know how to format and punctuate it. Discover the standard format for dialogue, when to use it, and when to choose a different option.

Read More
Europeana by Patrik Ourednik: How to Read Like a Writer

When an author wants to create a specific effect or tone, sometimes the traditional layout of text on a page doesn’t work. You need something slightly or vastly different. Patrik Ourednik experiments with form in nonfiction Europeana to generate an objective historical account. Other authors can learn from and borrow his form.

Read More
Syntax: Sentence Organization and Voice Creation

When it comes to sentence organization, many writers nod off or only care enough to be clear, but the kind of syntax you use has a tremendous impact on voice. A child is going to arrange their sentences differently than a psychologist. Your sentences will look different than another author’s. Syntax is a key aspect of your story’s voice.

Read More
Telling Your Story: Memoir vs Autobiography vs Biography

Are you writing a nonfiction story about a specific person? Is it about you or someone else? If you are, then you need to know the differences between a memoir, autobiography, and biography, so you can accurately categorize your book and appeal to readers looking for your story.

Read More
Multiple Points of View: Benefits, Pitfalls, and Uses

Sometimes you need to tell a story from more than one character’s perspective, but you don’t want to have the distance of omniscient. That’s when multiple points of view can be the best choice for your story, but like all points of view, it has its pros and cons.

Read More
Versailles by Kathryn Davis: How to Read Like a Writer

If you find historical events and people inspiring, read Versailles by Kathryn Davis. Davis transforms the famous palace to tell a story larger than the main character, while giving Marie Antoinette the voice and freedom to tell her own story. Discover how you can use these same techniques to enliven your writing.

Read More
Third Person Close Point of View: Definition, Pros, and Cons

If you want to let your authorial voice shine and control the release of information, third person close point of view might be the best choice for your story. Only revealing a single character's inner thoughts and emotions has it pros and cons, though.

Read More
Self-Help by Lorrie Moore: How to Read Like a Writer

If you want to try out a new writing technique or put your reader in an uncomfortable situation, the short story might be the format for you. Self-Help by Lorrie Moore is a collection of short stories that gives Moore the chance to have her readers walk in another’s shoes through second person point of view and create a variety of character voices.

Read More
Second Person Point of View: Benefits and Pitfalls

Second person is one of the most difficult points of view to use, but in specific situations, it is vital. If you want your reader to not only live vicariously through your characters, but literally participate in your story, second person might be the best perspective for you.

Read More
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: How to Read Like a Writer

If you’re writing an unreliable narrator or plot twists, check out The Girl on the Train. Paula Hawkins uses plot twists to build suspense and change perceptions of her characters. She also uses a variety of characteristics to make her narrators untrustworthy. Learn how to control the information in your story for similar effects.

Read More
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: How to Read Like a Writer

An example of a narrator other than the main protagonist, The Book Thief uses word choice, form, and voice to show Death's perspective on humans during World War II. By studying Markus Zusak’s novel, you can learn how to do this in your own writing.

Read More
3 Types of First Person Narrators: Benefits and Pitfalls

Who is narrating your story? Is it the snarky protagonist? A child? A murderer? While every person and character are unique, most first person narrators fit into three major categories. Understanding the pros and cons of each narrator type can be the difference between a successful story and one that falls flat.

Read More
Hounded by Kevin Hearne: How to Read Like a Writer

If you’ve ever wondered how to write a page turner, read Hounded by Kevin Hearne. Using a narrator with an outstanding sense of humor, strategic chapter breaks, and a unique cast, this debut novel is a page turner worthy of a close read.

Read More
First Person Point of View: Benefits and Pitfalls

If you want to immerse your reader in your character’s thoughts and emotions or tell a story through the eyes (and voice) of your character, first person might be the best choice for you. However, like all aspects of writing, first person has its benefits and pitfalls.

Read More
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: How to Read Like a Writer

What do people mean by read like a writer? Find out by exploring the techniques master world builder and wordsmith Neil Gaiman used in his award winning novel The Graveyard Book. Discover how he ignited his ink and created a story that haunts readers of all ages and genres.

Read More