- Having a Beginning
- Having an Ending
- But WHERE’S THE MIDDLE?!?
- HOW DO I GET TO THE ENDING
- WHAT IS A PLOT
- WHAT ARE PLOT DETAILS
- WHAT IS WRITING
And most importantly:
- HOW DO I TITLE
Hello, writerly friends~ ♥︎
You asked for a Writing Advice Masterpost, so here it is! Below you will find a collection of the best questions and answers from the last two years. Not only that, but they are also organized so you can find the answers to your questions quickly and get on with writing.
But wait, there is more!
This post is more than just a collection of advice, it’s a nexus for writing advice, resources, and information! That’s right, this post is going to grow over time. I will be updating this masterpost WEEKLY with new answers, writing advice videos, playlists, and more! So, make sure to bookmark this page and follow my blog (maxkirin.tumblr.com) so you don’t miss a thing~ ♥︎
- Daily Story Seed
- Daily Weird Prompt
- Daily Character Question
- Your Writing Horoscope (Discontinued)
- "Can I publish a story based on one of your prompts?"
Virtual Writing Academy
- Episode #01: Writing An Intense Scene
- Episode #02: Fleshing Out Characters
- Episode #03: Writing An Engaging Story
- Episode #04: Writing Different POVs
- Episode #05: Writing A Compelling Antagonist
- Episode #06: Writing Things You Have Never Experienced
- Episode #07: Writing About Someone Who is Different Than You
- Episode #08: The Harsh Reality of Being a ‘Hero’
Motivation & Inspiration
- Daily Writer Positivity
- How to Finish Your First Novel (M. Kirin’s Origin Story)
- What Confidence Is and Is NOT
- How to Regain the Motivation to Finish That Book
- "I’m afraid writing is a waste of time"
- "I’m half-way through this book and I’m stuck"
- Stop Trying to Impress People
- Stop Trying to Make Your Parents Proud of your Writing
- Your Parents Disapprove of Your Writing?
- You’re Not The Worst Writer In The World
- English Not Your First Language? Neither is Mine
- A Tip for All Young Writers Worrying That Nobody Will Take Them Seriously
- Dealing with Hate and Harsh Criticism
- You Need to Develop a Thick Skin
- Neil Gaiman’s “Make Good Art” Speech
- Feeling Down About Your Writing? :c
- Elizabeth Gilbert’s Inspirational Speech on the ‘Genius’
- Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules of Writing
Planning, Outlining, and Getting Started
- M. Kirin’s (Strange) Guide to Planning Your Novel
- M. Kirin’s Click-n-Drag Story Generator
- Which outlining method is the best? (Video)
- "I want to write a book but I have no idea where to start"
- The Story-Idea Test
- M. Kirin’s Secret for Starting books, and Finishing Them
- M. Kirin’s Top 3 Tips to Start Writing and Never Stopping
- The 10-Minute Writing Trick
- Tips for writing Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Paranormal
- How Much Worldbuilding is Enough?
- M. Kirin’s #1 Tip For Improving Your Writing
- Let’s Talk About: Show VS Tell
- The Difference Between Character & Plot (The Marcy Rule)
- M. Kirin talks about authentic dialogue
- The grammatical side of dialogue
- How do I write numbers in dialogue?
Editing & Revision
- M. Kirin’s Top 5 Revision Tips
- How to Love and Care for Your Beta Readers
- M. Kirin’s (subjective) secret recipe for the second draft
- When is the best time to edit a story?
- M. Kirin Talks About Editing, and Speeding Up Your Story
- M. Kirin Uses Evernote to Revise Books
- "Kill Your Darlings" VS "Cut What You Love"
- Writing Killer Plot-Twists and Mystery Novels
Hot Button Issues
- Realism is a dirty word
- Racist & homophobic language in fiction
- Inaccuracy in Fiction (Video)
- M. Kirin drops a few bombs on ‘creative vocabulary’
- "I want to write but I don’t have the time"
- Is it bad to have too many LGBTQIA or POC characters?
- "My antagonist is POC/LGBTQIA, is this bad?"
- "All my characters are LGBTQIA, is this bad?"
- When to let go of a story
- Is it rational to be afraid of what people will think of you?
- Overcoming the First Sentence
- Overcoming the First Sentence, Again
- Overcoming the First Sentence, Redux
- The 10-Minute Rule
- Making Boring Scenes FUN to Write!
- Stories are like children
- Let’s Talk About Titles (And Then Talk Some More)
- M. Kirin Reveals the ‘Secret’ Behind Style
- How much description/scenery is too much?
- How can I write faster?
- I want my readers to love my characters
- I think my book may be too short for my genre
- My story doesn’t have an Antagonists, should I add one?
- I killed one of my main characters by mistake, what do I do?
- M. Kirin’s Writing Advice for Fleshing out Romantic Relationships
- A warning about character names and meanings
- Help! My characters are not doing what I expected them to!
- A warning about character sheets
- A talk about the beauty of first drafts, and pacing
- Is getting attached to your characters… bad?
- A note on Antagonism, and whether you need a villain or not
- Past or present tense?
- Is swearing okay? And other muthafuckin’ truths
- "What emotion do you find hardest to write?"
- "What writing software do you use?"
- Communication, a must for collaborative works
- Researching illegal things, cousin? I got just the thing for you!
- Joss Whedon’s Top 10 Writing Tips
- M. Kirin’s Tarot Cheat-Sheet
- Writing Tips for Storytelling in Video-Games
- Fair Use In Novels (by thedancingwriter)
Writing Music & Playlists
- Writing In The Dark (Relaxing, Unobtrusive)
- Writing About Love (All the Feels)
- Writing & Fighting! (Super Intense!)
- M. Kirin’s Favorite Music to Listen to While Writing
- Music For Writers: Portal 2 Soundtrack (FREE)
- M. Kirin’s Writing Playlists: Ravensgem
Last Updated: 07-26-14. Click HERE to see the latest update. Latest posts are in Italics.
Also, do you have any tips on staying focused when writing?
- Find a workplace. Some people can only work efficiently in certain places. Certain environments will boost your productivity, while others will completely ruin it. Find the places where you’re the most creative and/or when you can find staying focused easier. A place with little distractions will often work better, which brings me to our next point.
- Eliminate all distractions. We live in a world where there’s too much happening, everywhere, at all times. Make sure you turn off the world while you’re writing. Turn off your phone, turn off the TV, put that book you’re eager to finish away from your sight. Stop checking Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, whatever. StayFocusd is a great tool for this. Check it out.
- Make time for writing. If you are in a hurry, you’ll be so worried about when you have to go that you won’t be able to concentrate. If necessary, create a schedule and decide on the times you can dedicate exclusively to writing and don’t have to be in a hurry to anything after that. If this works for you, make sure you get done with all your obligations before you sit down to write again.
- Does music help? It doesn’t help everyone, but it’s useful for some people. There are sounds that help you concentrate and even create a peaceful environment that gets you in the perfect mood to write. Here’s a playlist and here’s a website full of sounds that can work as ambient music.
- Take breaks. Studies show that people who take breaks can be a lot more productive, as concentration sort of wears out after a while if you don’t rest. Don’t try to write everything at once. Find how much time you can write without feeling tired and, when you do, don’t be afraid to take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee or a cup of tea.
For further reading:
Letter to an Unknown Soldier is creating a digital memorial for WWI by asking people to submit letters to the unknown soldier at Paddington Station.
Deadline is August 4.
In a year jammed-full of WW1 commemoration our project invites everyone to step back from the public ceremonies and take a few private moments to think.
If you were able to send a personal message to this soldier, a man who served and was killed during World War One, what would you write?
The response to this project has been extraordinary. Over 10,000 people have sent letters so far – and all sorts of people: schoolchildren, authors (including Stephen Fry, Malorie Blackman, and Andrew Motion), nurses, serving members of the forces and even the Prime Minister. If you write to the soldier, your letter will be published alongside theirs.
The website will remain open until 11 p.m. on the night of 4 August 2014.
Between now and then every letter that the soldier receives will be published and made available for everyone to read. Eventually all of the letters will be archived in the British Library where they will remain permanently accessible online.
Your letter will help us create a new kind of war memorial – one made entirely of words, and by everyone.
reiryugazacki said: Hi, I'm a Publicity Director for a litmag called Writerly. We've currently just opened up submissions for our first issue at our tumblr (writerlymag is the url) but we need help getting the word out. Do you think you could help us? If it makes any difference at all, our editors are offering free critique for every submission we get this issue, so this is a great opportunity for everyone. :)
Ah! I’m sorry I just got back from an exchange program where I didn’t have access to internet!
This sounds like an awesome opportunity for some of my followers.
Anonymous said: I'm not sure how to phrase this, but would a reveal be shocking/interesting to readers if it's common sense in real life? For example, a story where there are only men but then they find out there are women too? I know it would be surprising for the characters but would the readers find that boring? I have an interesting idea for a book that I really think has potential, but I need to develop it. I'm questioning a couple things about my plot now, so I need advice. Thanks!
I’m so sorry that I am just now answering (from mobile, even!). With the right atmosphere and world building anything can be shocking. There are examples of that scattered throughout literature (Brave New World for one). Yet again, sorry for my late answer and short reply. I am currently on the other side of the planet from my computer.
Anonymous said: (Vocabulary Anon) Thank you so much for answering so quickly! I'll definitely try these. ^^
Yeah, no problem!
I hope they help you out!
Anonymous said: Thanks so much for helping with the speech repetition; it may not be much, but it helped a lot.
Not a problem! I’m glad I could help and it gave me a mission to work on.
Anonymous said: Apparently my English vocabulary is pretty limited, and I feel like this is a very big problem for me, both as a writer and as an English-major-in-progress. (Not to mention a bit embarrassing as a native-speaker, honestly.) Do you have any suggestions for expanding/improving one's vocabulary?
My first suggestion is to read and read some more. When you come across a word you don’t know or only kinda know, write it down.
Make an account with quizlet (it’s free, don’t worry) and keep them there and use their tests to help you learn them. If you don’t feel like making your own list I have a list of vocabulary from my Honors American Literature class
Another good resource is vocabulary.com.
There are a ton of games out there too!
freerice is a game that gives rice through the World Food Programme!