Nancy's Books

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ways to Improve Writing

Today, I’m continuing the series “Ways to Improve Writing” and focusing on character emotions.
A character’s actions can tell even more than dialog. A response that contradicts her words adds another layer of emotions. “Yes, of course you’re invited,” she answered, balling her hand into a fist so hard she cracked her favorite pencil. This works to elevate tension in a plot, as well. The reader feels the emotion.
When emotions run high, tension is increased and perceptions can be stronger. In a dark alley late at night, a character relies on all senses to guard against danger. Fear is shown different ways by different characters. One might not look directly into the eyes of someone s/he fears; another might stare wide-eyed. Some may sweat or shake due to the increased adrenaline. Does the character have a nervous tic? Make it noticeable in tension-filled situations.
Body language helps to develop a character, reveal emotions, and strengthen the story. Don’t just tell the reader the character is afraid, make the reader feel the fear. Describe the physical effects.
Think about a time when you were anxious, frightened, or panicked. Draw on those memories to write authentic emotions.
Call for submissions for Young Writers:
ONE TEEN STORY. Contest submissions will be accepted from May 1st to June 30th, 2015!
If you love to write, we’re looking for one great story. One Teen Story will consider original, unpublished fiction written by teens ages 14-19. We are interested in great fiction of any genre—literary, fantasy, sci-fi, love stories, and horror. What’s in a great short story? Interesting characters, a unique voice, and of course, a beginning, middle and end.
Call for submissions for Adult Writers:
Reader’s Digest Writing Contest. Contest is open to residents of the U.S., its territories and possessions, including Puerto Rico who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Tell us your original poem, in 15 lines or fewer. The entry must not be lewd, obscene, sexually explicit, pornographic, disparaging, defamatory, libelous or otherwise inappropriate or objectionable, as determined by the Judges and/or Sponsor in their sole and absolute discretion.

Prize(s): One grand-prize winner will receive $500 and his/her story will be published in Reader’s Digest Magazine. Reader’s Digest will also select three (3) runner-up winners to receive $100.
Deadline: January 31, 2015

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