Pin It

Writers Tips 

Our Fall Fiction judges explain the dos and dont's of good prose

Emily Carr, Director of Oregon State University-Cascade's Low Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

• Keep it simple

• End on a cliffhanger

• Make the most of the title

• Use details that show

• Whenever possible, present tense

• Speed it up with short sentences

Mary Heather Noble, Programs Director, The Nature of Words

• Use unexpected details when describing scene and character. And remember that setting and gesture can say a lot about characters and the dynamic between them.

• Tension is what drives the story. A story without tension is like a car without gas. One of my mentors has said, "Asking a reader to invest their time in your story is like asking them to get in a boat with you and paddle to the other side of the lake. You need to convince the reader that it's going to be exciting & interesting enough to be worth their time, and that you'll be a good guide."

• Scenes are almost always more effective than summary. Then the reader can see for themself, and come to his/her own conclusion about how the characters feel.

• Eliminate all unnecessary adjectives and adverbs. Adverbs are bad.

• Avoid sentimentality.

• Never use dialogue to convey information, or it won't sound natural. And don't use dialect unless you are really skilled at it.

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Join Our Newsletter

Latest in Local News

More by The Source Staff

  • Sidewalk Talk

    Sidewalk Talk

    In honor of the transportation issue, Source staffers muse on walking on sidewalks—or the lack thereof—#inBend
    • Jan 24, 2018
  • Stuff We Learned From Jim in 2017

    Stuff We Learned From Jim in 2017

    The Source staff takes over the column to reflect on Jim's nuggets of wisdom. Thanks, Jim!
    • Dec 27, 2017
  • Do It For Your Mother

    Do It For Your Mother

    Lutefisk, gelatin fish, and other stuff our families make us eat over the holidays
    • Dec 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • ApocEclipse BEND

    ApocEclipse BEND

    Bend Residents will have all the headaches of the Great American Eclipse but without benefit of actually seeing it
    • Jun 14, 2017
  • In Search of a Cooler River

    In Search of a Cooler River

    Deschutes River Alliance files suit against PGE
    • Aug 24, 2016

© 2018 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation