richard harland's writing tips

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Section I.  GOOD WRITING HABITS
 

 

1. Preparation
(i) HOW TO HAVE IDEAS
(ii) RECORD EVERYTHING!
(iii) READING FOR INSPIRATION
(iv) WHERE TO START
(v) REAL FEELINGS
(vi) REAL FEELINGS IN FANTASY
(vii) TO PLAN OR NOT TO PLAN
(viii) WRITING TO A RECIPE

 

2. Writing Through
(i) WRITING ROUTINE
(ii) OVERNIGHTING
(iii) PRE-FILMING
(iv) FROM STATIC TO DYNAMIC
(v) CREATING INTO A SPACE
(vi) GETTING STUCK
(vii) FACE UP TO IT NOW!

 

3. Feedback & Revision
(i) YOUR READERS ARE YOUR NOVEL
(ii) FEEDBACK FROM ORDINARY READERS
(iii) FEEDBACK FROM OTHER WRITERS
(iv) FEEDBACK FROM EDITORS
(v) RE-PRIORITISING
(vi) TAKE CHANGES ON BOARD
(vii) REVISION THAT ESCALATES
(viii) KILLING YOUR DARLINGS
(ix) AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT

 

 
 

 

 
Section II.  THE ELEMENTS:
ACTION, SETTING, DIALOGUE, INTERIOR THINKING
 

 

1. Action                
(i) ONE ACT AT A TIME
(ii) CHOREOGRAPHY
(iii) SPACE & MEASUREMENT
(iv) FLASH-IMAGES
(v) MEMORABLE ACTION
(vi) CHUNKING
(vii) WHEN TO CUT OR SKIM
(viii) SOUNDTRACK EFFECTS
(ix) IMPACT BEFORE UNDERSTANDING
(x) PREPOSITIONS

 

2. Setting  
(i) FACTS vs IMPRESSIONS         
(ii) MISE-EN-SCENE           
(iii) WHAT WOULD YOU PERCEIVE?                 
(iv) DESCRIPTION INTERLEAVED
(v) WEATHERS & TIMES OF DAY
(vi) ADJECTIVES
(vii) THINKING THROUGH CONSEQUENCES IN FANTASY
(viii) MAKING IT FRESH IN FANTASY
(ix) PERMANENT CONDITIONS IN FANTASY

 

3. Dialogue          
(i) VIRTUES OF DIALOGUE
(ii) INTERACTIVITY
(iii) QUESTIONS
(iv) SWAPPING CONTENT
(v) ADDING SPEAKERS
(vi) NAMING SPEAKERS

 

4. Interior Thinking
(i) DIRECT INTERIOR MONOLOGUE
(ii) FREE INDIRECT DISCOURSE
(iii) SLIDING & GLIDING
(iv) FOCUSED THOUGHTS

 

 
Section III. CHARACTERS
 

 

1. Creating Characters
(i) SOURCES FOR CHARACTERS
(ii) THE INNER FLAME
(iii) PAST BIOGRAPHY
(iv) SELF-JUSTIFICATION
(v) SELF-FORGETTING
(vi) CREATING CHARACTERS IN GROUPS
(vii) CHARACTER-ARCS
(viii) MAKING CHARACTERS LIKEABLE

 

2. Physical Appearance
(i) PASSPORT DETAILS
(ii) EXPRESSIVE DETAILS
(iii) HOW &WHERE?

 

3. Character Point of View
(i) LEVELS OF POINT OF VIEW
(ii) POINT OF VIEW IN POPULAR FICTION
(iii) WITHHOLDING BY POINT OF VIEW
(iv) INTRODUCING NEW POINTS OF VIEW
(v) SWITCHING POINT OF VIEW

 

 
Section IV. STORY
 

 

1. Beginnings
(i) THE FAST GRAB
(ii) STARTING ON THE INSIDE
(iii) WHERE TO OPEN?
(iv) FEEDING THROUGH A BACKSTORY
(v) REDUCING IN RETROSPECT
(vi) CALCULATED MYSTERY
(vii) UNFAMILIAR OTHERWORLDS
(viii) STARTING FROM A CORNER
(ix) FANTASY PROLOGUES

 

2. Middles
(i) MID-NOVEL SAG
(ii) REVERSALS & TURNAROUNDS
(iii) SUCCESSIVE OR SIMULTANEOUS
(iv) OVERLAPPING WAVES
(v) RISING TIDE
(vi) VARIETY

 

3. Climax & after
(i) THE DOWNHILL GLIDE
(ii) CONVERGENCES
(iii) ON NOT RUSHING TO THE END
(iv) WINDING DOWN
(v) CLOSURE vs SEQUELS
(vi) THE FINAL NOTE
(vii) BEGINNING AGAIN

 

4. Momentum
(i) 2 KINDS OF MOMENTUM
(ii) BUILD-UP
(iii) TWISTS
(iv) GUESSING IS NOT KNOWING
(v) MOMENTUM ACROSS CHAPTER BREAKS
(vi) CHAPTER LENGTH

 

5. Pacing
(i) MAKING TIME PASS
(ii) LETTING TIME LAPSE
(iii) TELLING OVER TIME LONG TERM
(iv) TELLING OVER TIME LOCALLY
(v) PACING IN CHAPTERS

 

 
Section V. LANGUAGE
 

 

1. Powers of Language
(i) THE UNSEEABLE
(ii) THE IMPOSSIBLE
(iii) THE LANGUAGE OF EMOTION
(iv) CIRCLING ROUND A MYSTERY

 

2. Person & Tense
(i) THE ‘I’ NARRATOR
(ii) FIRST PERSON COMPRESSION
(iii) THIRD PERSON
(iv) PAST OR PRESENT?

 

3. Style
(i) STYLE AS MEANS OR END
(ii) DO’S & DON’T’S
(iii) STYLE IN FANTASY
(iv) PUNCTUATION & PARAGRAPHS
(v) TITLES

 

4. Naming
(i) THE FEEL OF A NAME
(ii) MY ATLAS TECHNIQUE
(iii) DIFFERENTIATION
(iv) NAMES FOR INVENTED THINGS
(v) NEW LANGUAGES

 

 
Section VI. GETTING PUBLISHED
 

 

1. Understanding Publishers
(i) THE ARITHMETIC OF PUBLISHING
(ii) THE NURTURING INSTINCT
(iii) LUCK & TIMING
(iv) THE SOCIAL DIMENSION
(v) WHO DOES WHAT
(vi)) SHORT STORY OUTLETS
(vii) UNDERSTANDING SHORT STORY EDITORS

 

2. Submitting
(i) SOMEONE TO RECOMMEND YOU
(ii) AGENTS
(iii) WHAT TO SUBMIT?
(iv) FORMAT & PRESENTATION
(v) SUBMITTING SHORT STORIES

 

3. Contracts, Production, Promo
(i) CONTRACTS & ROYALTIES
(ii) EXTRA EARNINGS
(iii) EDITS
(iv) THE COVER
(v) HOW SALES WORK
(vi) ADVERTISING BOOKS
(vii) PUBLICISTS & JOURNALISTS
(viii) SELF-PROMOTION
(ix) SOMETHING TO GIVE AWAY
(x) PROMOTING ON THE WEB

 

4. The Writing Life
(i) THE LONG HAUL
(ii) BUILDING A BRAND
(iii) HOW NOT TO ENJOY THE WRITING LIFE
(iv) THE HAPPY WRITER

 

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Copyright note: all material on this website is (c) Richard Harland, 2009-10
 
 
Copyright note: all written material on this website is copyright
1997 - 2010 Richard Harland.