|The Red Rook, sequel to Dispensing Justice and the second novel of Nova Genesis World is now available for Kindle or as a paperback at Amazon.
In The Red Rook, Penny confronts her doubts about becoming a superhero as events around the disappearance of one her school mates unfolds.
Counteracting bad writing advice
Counteracting bad writing advice
- 5 Creative Flaws That Will Expose Your Lack of Storytelling Experience (link)
- 5 situations where it's better to tell than show in your fiction (link)
- 8 Bogus "Rules" New Writers Tell Each Other (link)
- 8 Urban Myths to Squelch During Story Critiques (link)
- An open letter to anyone who wants to be a writer
- Counteracting bad writing advice
- How to Escape the Show, Don’t Tell Trap (link)
- On Terrible Writing Advice from Famous Authors (link)
- The One Writing Rule
- The problem with writing advice is how high level it is
- Some notes on writing advice
- Some Writing Advice That’s Mostly Useless (And Why) (link)
- Teaching originality, a rant on bad writing advice
- That's right, every story must start with action
- The 4 Hidden Dangers of Writing Groups (link)
- The ten worst writing tips I’ve received (link)
- When you start with 'The best fiction is about a character who changes in some significant way'
- Writing advice gallery
- Writing advice gone bad
As of 2013/02/10
- badwritingadvice.counteracting at Delicious.com/fritz (Del.icio.us, Fritz)
- 11 Types of Bad Writing Advice -- Psychology Today (Writing, Advice, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, Psychology)
- 25 Things I Want To Say To So-Called “Aspiring” Writers (Pick, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, Advice.Bad, Rules, Advice, Writing)
- 25 Ways To Make Exposition Your Bitch (Writiing, Exposition, Infodump, Advice, ShowVsTell, ShowDontTell, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting)
- 5 situations where it's better to tell than show in your fiction (Writing, ShowVsTell, ShowDontTell, Advice, io9, BadWritingAdvice, Advice.Good, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting)
One piece of writing advice gets held up as more sacred than any other: Show, don't tell. But this maxim can ruin your story-telling, if you treat it like a law. Here are five situations where telling is actually better. / Like most rules of thumb, "Show don't tell" is excellent advice most of the time — but people often apply it too broadly, or in situations where it hurts more than it helps. You have to be aware of the spirit, as well as the letter, of this particular law. Writers have a tendency to lecture readers — and this goes double for science fiction and fantasy writers, who have a lot of worldbuildy stuff to get out of the way. It's definitely never a good idea to bludgeon your readers with information. / (And then as soon as you say something like that, people can bring up any one of a number of classics that do in fact bludgeon the reader with information, from Moby Dick to Infinite Jest. Again with the fact that no rule is ever absolute.)
- 8 Urban Myths to Squelch During Story Critiques | How to Write a Novel | Writing Tips | Story Critiques | WritingNovelsThatSell.com (WritingGroup, Advice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, BadWritingAdvice, Counteracting, Critique)
- 8 Urban Myths to Squelch During Story Critiques | The Passive Voice (WritingGroup, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, Advice, BadWritingAdvice, Counteracting, Critique)
- Anne R. Allen's Blog: The Secret Writing Rule Book…and Why to Ignore It (BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, Writing.Rules, Rules, Counteraction, Advice, Writing)
- Anything Can Work: Writing Advice from Brian Evenson -- Booklife (Writing, Advice, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting)
- Bad Creative Writing Advice (David Louis Edelman) (Writing, Advice, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting)
- Bad Writing Advice: On Darling-Killing -- Robin D. Laws (KillYourDarlings, Writing, Advice, Advice.Bad, Rules, BadWritingAdvice, LiveJournal, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting)
There are no rules in storytelling, just techniques that tend to work better than others. Much of the best work stretches or breaks the rules. Certain rules are really fashions: techniques that still work, but are no longer deemed a part of current style. / When a technique gets codified into a rule, and the rule becomes a maxim, the point behind the maxim can be forgotten. / Today’s example: the oft-repeated idea that you have to kill your darlings. According to this theory, the element you like best about a scene is the one most likely to betray it. If you’re really in love with an image, situation or line of dialogue, you should cut it, because it stands out too much. It’s too obviously your darling.
- Breaking the Rules (part 2) by Lin Robinson | Indies Unlimited (BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, BadWritingAdvice, Rules.Perceived, Rules.Writing, Rules.Breaking, Rule.Breaking, Writing.Rule, Writing)
As foreshadowed in the opening column in this series, we’re going to examine the whole idea of “rules” for writing the English language, and examine how non-real rules get passed on and even amplified.
- Breaking the Rules (Part 3) - by Lin Robinson | Indies Unlimited (Rules, Rule, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, BadWritingAdvice, Advice, Rule.Writing, Writing.Rule, Writing, Tropes, Rules.Perceived, Rules.Breaking)
I mentioned last time that many of the rules are actually fads. And if you are around for awhile you see them come along, build to hot intensity, then lapse as another takes the center stage of absolute conviction. The tropes below have all been hot buttons for a year or so over the past five years, and still linger around in the blogs and discussions and “12 Things That Will Damn Your Writing Career For Eternity” videos that people link to on social media. In addition to the recommended practice of checking with published books, I’m offering some quickie MythSmashers here.
- Breaking the Rules - by Lin Robinson | Indies Unlimited (BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, BadWritingAdvice, Rules.Perceived, Rules.Writing, Rules.Breaking, Rule.Breaking, Writing.Rule, Writing)
- Critique Groups as an Unreliable Narrator -- nancyfulda (Critique, Critique.Group, Writing, Advice, Rules, Rule.Breaking, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, PanningForGold, LiveJournal)
Over time, writers and their critique groups learn to understand each other. Experienced authors have an almost instinctive ability to separate useful critique data out from the noise. I'm not talking to those folks. But if you're new at writing -- and especially if you feel overwhelmed by piles of Thou Shalt Nots emanating from your critique group -- it might be helpful to know that critique groups are unreliable narrators.
- Ex-Pertise | The Passive Voice (Publishing.Self, SelfPublishing, Publishing, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, BadWritingAdvice, Counteracting, Advice.Bad, Advice, Writing)
- How to Avoid Being Fooled by Bad Writing Advice -- Writer Unboxed (Writing, Advice, Advice.Bad, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting)
- Infodumps: why you should embrace them -- Must Use Bigger Elephants (Writing, Infodump, Advice, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, WritingGroup, Writing.Group)
I have, in the past, written numerous posts extolling the virtues of writing groups. I still highly recommend them, especially for beginning writers finding their style and interests, and especially if the group includes writers further along the path than you are. / That said, there are also drawbacks. One of those is that often these groups (and writing courses alike) will develop a strong subculture of ‘writing rules’ which leads the group’s members to believe that only if they eradicate all adverbs, all instances of passive writing and all instances of characters looking at themselves in a mirror from their manuscript, it will be publishable. / Another writing group taboo covers the poor old infodump.
- Kill your darlings -- Writing rules, misapplied -- Wendy Palmer (Writing, Advice, KillYourDarlings, WhenWritingAdviceGoesBad, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, Rules)
- Lee Child Debunks the Biggest Writing Myths | WritersDigest.com (BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, BadWritingAdvice, Advice, Writing)
Show, Don’t Tell / ... "We’re not story showers," Child said. "We’re story tellers." ... / Don’t Start With the Weather / Suspense is Created by X, Y, or Z
- More Writing Myths That Need To Die -- Strangling Mermaids (Writing, Advice, BadWritingAdvice, Misconception, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting)
- Omnivoracious: Long Live Adverbs: An Ode to Rebellious Writers (BadWriting, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, Advice, Writing, BadWritingAdvice)
- Should writers "follow the rules"? -- TalkToYoUniverse (Writing, Rules, Advice, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, ThereAreNoRules)
- Tell Me About it: When Telling is Better Than Showing -- The Other Side of the Story (BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, BadWritingAdvice, ShowDontTell, ShowVsTell, Advice, Writing)
Last week I had a commenter ask me a question about show vs tell, and since this is one of those things that can be hard to really get (because it can be hard to explain) I wanted to go into more detail in a full post. Particularly the angle of when it’s better to tell than show. Because sometimes, telling is better for the story than showing.
- The 18 rules I learned in my 1st year as a full time writer | Myke Cole (BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, Counteracting, Rules.Writing, Rules, Humor, Advice, LessonsLearned, Writing)
- The Danger of “Writing Rules” (Writing, Advice, Rules, Advice.Bad, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting)
One multi-published romance writer said this during an interview on a popular writing site. She was asked about “pet peeves” concerning the industry: / With so many writing rules that new authors have to follow, it’s hard for me to read writers who don’t follow the rules. I can’t hardly read one writer who was one of my favorites for years because that person tells instead of shows, head hops, and has lots of author intrusion. I never noticed those things before I became a writer, but now they jump out at me and can ruin the story. / The “writing rules” this author is referring to is not the Strunk and White type of rules, the standard principles of grammar and composition. There’s “other” rules for contemporary novel writing, formulas for publication which some hold to be just as binding as rules of spelling and punctuation.
- The famous writing advice that could seriously mess up your game (Writing, Rules, RobertHeinlein, io9, Heinlein, Advice, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting)
You can learn an amazing amount about how to write science fiction from reading Robert A. Heinlein. But his most often quoted bit of writing advice won't help you at all. If anything, it'll mess you up. / I've lost count of how many times I've seen people quoting Heinlein's rules for writing: / 1.) You must write. / 2.) You must finish what you write. / 3.) You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order. / 4.) You must put the work on the market. / 5.) You must keep the work on the market until it is sold. / I don't actually think anybody could disagree with any of these rules, except for #3, (and maybe #5, but that's another topic.) In particular, I think that rule #3 was designed for an earlier era, but people also tend to misinterpret it pretty often.
- The Secret Fiction Rule Book (BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, Counteracting, Advice, Rules.Writing, Rules, Writing)
- Watch Adverbs -- Stupid Writing Rules -- Chiseled in Rock (Writing, Rule, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, Adverb)
It happened a few weeks ago, causing me to retrieve my previously disregarded idea of writing a post about adverbs and their usage. I sat in on a critique group. One of the members commented on an adverb used by another writer, saying “watch those.” It was the only adverb on the page. Just one in a throng of about 300 words! A concise modifier obviously chosen to project an image. This critique member had no business cautioning the writer. What tipped me off to the lack of expertise was the person’s failure to detect adverbs on later pages that did not end in ly. For example the italicized words in the following sentences are adverbs. Jack laughed so hard he choked. Don’t be late.
- Where Bad Writing Advice Comes From -- Robin D. Laws (Writing, Advice, Advice.Bad, Rules, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, Creativity, LiveJournal)
The biggest obstacle confronting writers who already possess the talent, sensibility, and discipline required to do good work is the eternal battle against self-doubt. Quality writing depends on the ability to oscillate between creative and critical thinking. Creative to get the material on the page in the first place, critical to shape and improve it during rewrites. Yet all too often the critical overwhelms the creative, leading to the rabbit hole of obsessive, non-improving revision. Or worse, the dread paralysis we know as writer’s block. One way to allow self-appraisal to curdle into self-laceration is to privilege outside pronouncements over your own judgment. / A goodly chunk of writing advice unwittingly falls into that category. What is often couched as sharply etched tough love can screw with your judgment, especially when your brain is currently casting about for ways to undermine you. / Writing advice can adopt a harshly declarative or unnecessarily categorical tone for...
- Why "Start Your Novel With Action" is Bad Advice | WritersDigest.com (Writing, Story, Start, Advice, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting)
The cliché “start your novel with action” has a flaw—and it’s a major one: What good is the action if it isn’t grounded in context that’s important to the story or draws you to the main character? It’s much, much better to start your story with tension, like a character conflict or a character who’s not getting what he wants. This gives the reader a reason to feel connected.
- Why “Show, Don’t Tell” Is the Great Lie of Writing Workshops | WritersDigest.com (Counteracting, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, ShowVsTell, Writing)
- Write and Wrong -- Del Rey and Spectra (Writing, Advice, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting)
- Writers on Writing: Bad Advice -- BOOK VIEW CAFE BLOG (BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, BadWritingAdvice, KillYourDarlings, Grammar, BetaReader, ShortStory, Advice.Bad, Advice, Writing)
I think the best summation of bad advice is any version of You have to do it my way or you are doing it wrong. / There’s a lot of writing advice floating around out there—some people like to help others, some people like to be authorities. And dispensing advice is a whole lot easier than, say, building someone a new computer. But sometimes you see advice being given (and gratefully received) that makes you shudder and tiptoe away.
- Writing Rules are Just Tools -- Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent (Writing, Rule, Rules, Advice, ThereAreNoRules, BadWritingAdvice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting)
- Writing Rules: 10 Experts Take on the Writer s Rulebook -- WritersDigest.com (Advice, BadWritingAdvice.Counteracting, BadWritingAdvice, WritingRules, Rules.Writing, Rules, Writing)
As wordsmiths, many of us rejoice in a single fact every day: Writing is not math. But still, in creative writing classes and workshops, at conferences and indeed here and there in how-to books and magazines including this one , it may sometimes seem like there’s a formula for good writing, even for approaching the writing life the “right” way. You’re given absolutes and adages that come to be accepted as truth and add up, almost without anyone noticing, to a set of—gasp—rules. You’ve heard them over and over, the basic writing equivalents of 1+1 2: “Show, don’t tell.” “Write what you know.” “Silence your inner critic.” But in writing, 1+1 isn’t always 2—sometimes, 1+1 10. Sometimes, it’s best to tell, and not show. Sometimes, you have to break the rules.
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