Perspectives of Tropes

Legends of Windemere


We all know this topic since I touch on it from time to time.  For those who don’t know, tropes are things that are used very often in a genre.  They are similar to clichés, but not always seen as a negative.  Yet, the two words tend to be used interchangeably these days, which is part of the reason for the post.  Best examples are the ‘Chosen One’ and the ‘Tower Princess’.  Both are getting their own post this week.

So, where does perspective come into play?  At first, you may think I’m talking about the readers.  If a person has limited experience with a trope then it won’t appear to be stale or overdone.  Not until they run into more often.  Younger readers will find these common characters and plot twists as amazing while older ones will be annoyed.  This is one reason why many authors seek to…

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13 Rules to Be a Better Beta Reader – by K.M. Weiland…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Helping Writers become Authors:

Among the greatest gifts one writer can give another is that being a beta reader.

A beta reader is a volunteer who reads over a rough manuscript and offers feedback on what’s working and what’s not.

This feedback can span the gamut from simply a general reaction to a full-on critique.

But not all beta readers are created equal.

Just as you can learn to be a better writer, you can also learn to be a better beta reader.

Continue reading HERE

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A Roadmap for the Author’s Revision Process – by Becca Puglisi…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Anne R Allen:

Is there a better feeling in the world than finishing a manuscript? Typing The End, gazing lovingly at the overall word count, and recognizing you’ve accomplished something that not many people can do…you’re floating on cloud nine, and all is right with the world.

And then come the revisions.

Hear that sound?

That’s you, crashing to the ground.

Continue reading HERE

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3 Medical Mistakes to Avoid in Your Story – by Natalie Dale, MD…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Writers Helping Writers:

As a former physician, I get a lot of questions from other writers about medical aspects of their stories. And while every story is unique, there are a few mistakes writers seem to make over and over.

Below are three of the most common mistakes, along with suggestions on how to avoid them.

Continue reading HERE

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7 Tips to Using Flashbacks and Not Lose the Audience

Legends of Windemere


Flashbacks are popular.  They’re also misused all the time because people think they can be dropped in whenever they want.  It’s like having a smooth ride and then throwing a cardboard box in the way.  Sure, you might run it over, drag it for a while, and get back on track.  You could also get it stuck in the undercarriage and never recover because damage has been done.  Fine, I stretched for that analogy.  Let’s get to the tips.

  1. Use flashbacks sparingly!  If every third scene is a flashback then you have to rethink the overall story.  This means that you’re spending nearly as much time in the past as you are in the present.  Flashbacks are supposed to be informative and to help reveal things without info dumping.  They shouldn’t be repeatedly sucking the air out of the main story.  Think of using only one flashback unless you…

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Narrative Time vs. Calendar Time #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

Today we’re discussing narrative time, or what we call tense. Narrative tense subtly affects a reader’s perception of characters, an undercurrent that goes unnoticed after the first few paragraphs. Narrative time shapes the reader’s view of events on a subliminal level.

Time_Management_Quayle_QuoteIn grammar, the word tense indicates information about time. Tenses are usually shown by how we use the forms of verbs. The main tenses found in most languages include the pastpresent, and future.

Consider the following sentences: “I eat,” “I am eating,” “I have eaten,” and “I have been eating.”

All are in the present tense, indicated by the present-tense verb of each sentence (eatam, and have been).

Tense relates the time of an event (when) to another time (now or then). The tense you choose indicates the event’s location in time. Imagine a scene…

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Characters and Diversity. Part 3 – PHYSICAL ABILITY

Story Empire

Hello SE friends, Gwen with you today, and together we will venture further into the theme of diversity. In June, I wrote about including racial diversity in your stories. Here’s alink to that post. In July, I focused on financial diversity and offered suggestions which you can read here. Today’s topic is PHYSICAL ABILITY. Just as in the prior two posts, I will write from personal experience and invite you to share your experiences as well.

The most common disability, affecting 1 in 7 adults, is mobility. We often associate physical limitations with the aged, but in the United States, military veterans make up 33% of those who have mobility limitations.

My story is about a disability resulting from a tragic accident. I was six years old at the time.

It was an ordinary Sunday. We kids piled into the car, and as always, mom handed the baby…

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Narrative point of view: who can best tell the story? #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

Sometimes, one of the most difficult things for me when writing the first draft is getting the right narrative point of view. Usually, it unfolds naturally from the proper POV, but sometimes, it does not.

WritingCraftSeries_narrative modeSome stories work best with a first-person point of view, while others are too large and require an omniscient narrator.

I usually begin writing the story the way I see it in my mind’s eye, recording the events and conversations as if I were a witness.

But sometimes, I hit a wall – I can’t figure out how to show what I envision. It helps if I look at it from another perspective, a different narrative point of view. It’s surprising how the mood and direction of a story are altered when you view it through a different lens.

Every story is comprised of several narrative modes. Each is fundamental to the story.


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Is Decision Fatigue Standing Between You and Writing Success? Is Decision Fatigue Standing Between You and Writing Success? – by Ruth Harris…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Anne R Allen:

Decisions, decisions.

Steak or salmon?

Red or white?

Wash the car or mow the lawn?

Weights or barre class?

Do the laundry or empty the dishwasher?

Mustard or mayo?

Petunias or pansies?

Cheddar or Swiss?

So what?

What’s the big deal?

Why are you wasting my time with stupid questions?

I’ve got more important things to think about, you say, and then tell me to take a hike.

My polite response: Perhaps you might want to reconsider.

Continue reading HERE

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Story Development and Execution Part 9: Writing Action

Story Empire

Ciao, SEers. Today is part nine of the series: writing action. While this is important for the thriller genre, I mean the more general term, which all stories need. Action is what drives the story. It can mean shoot-outs, it can mean physical brawls, it can mean nasty arguments. On the other hand, it can mean proposals, love scenes, births. If you’ve got an emotionally charged activity, you have action. If you’re looking for tips on the “traditional” action scene, Mae has written a great post on the topic. I’m going to address “action” in the broader sense of the word.

When we think “action” scenes, we often think short and fast. That works. It’s excellent for pacing and creating a sense of urgency. But there’s an alternative that can be quite effective. Consider slowing the pace. Let the reader experience every infinitesimal thought, feeling, action, and response to…

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