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Writer's Top Ten Tips For Success

It's time to finish out the wonder of Unlabor Day Week with a bang!


The Top Ten Writing Tips For The Most Amazing. Novel. Ever.

Since I'm obviously going to be published, I thought it would be a good idea to share my super secret tips on stellar writing. *

10: To really captivate a reader, start with a weird, cryptic dream that may or may not have anything to do with your novel.

It was night, and I was alone in the park. The emerald glass blades tickled at my bare feet. The snow sparkled in the gloomy streetlights and I reached my hand out to catch the flakes. But. . . they weren't flakes, they were tears. Cold, lonely tears falling from above. But from where? There was like, a total sense of foreboding in that moment. I mean, it felt all misty and eerie in that park. But. . . why?

9:Describe your Characters in depth for your reader (preferably by having them look into a mirror) And no one wants to read about people that aren't gorgeous, so make sure all your characters are perfect.

I stared into the antique beveled mirror that rested above my dresser. My long hair, as black and shining as a raven arching gracefully across a setting sun, flowed like a placid stream of water down my shoulders; shoulders that were slender, yet defined (Hey. Someone had to chisel all those icicles back home. It's not like they were manly shoulders, just defined you know, with toned muscles). My perky, but not cute, as in button-like, nose was covered with a dusting of sprinkles that only enhanced the creamy pallor of my skin. My eyes, like brilliant sapphires, were framed with thick, dark lashes. I smiled, and my thick, pouting lips parted to display a set of dazzling white teeth.

8: Use Dialog Tags. Everywhere. (Otherwise, the poor reader wouldn't be able to follow the conversation!)

"Well," I said."If that's how you feel, maybe I should just go back home."

"Maybe you should," Jeffrey said.

"Fine," I said.

"Fine," Jeffrey said.

7: Even Better: Add action to as many dialogue tags as you can!

"I'm sorry I ever left the igloo to come here!" I sobbed as I started gathering my things from the desk.

"That makes two of us," Jefferey said, leaning over my desk with that supersexy 'I'm all tough on the outside, but deep down I'm really sensitive and misunderstood' look.

"I guess that's it then," I said, my lips trembling as I remembered the really intense kiss we had shared at the office party, even if Jefferey didn't due to his over consumption of the punch.

"Have a nice life," Jeffery said as he turned on his heel.

6: To really bring on the excitement, make sure you use proper punctuation.

I barreled out of the office and stood in the park in my Old Navy Sweatshirt and size five abercrombies and sketchers. I stared up at the sasquatch that stood in front of me. "Oh my God!!" I screamed. "Who are you?!" I hollered to the sasquatch. "Why are you here in Central Park!"

5: Adverbs: use them as often as you can!

"I'm here to kill Jeffrey," the sasquach said menacingly.

"Oh, you are so not," I said defiantly. (I mean sure, Jeffrey was being a royal a-hole, but I wasn't about to let this big, hairy thing go and kill my almost/kinda/sorta boyfriend. Nuh uh.

The sasquatch grinned evilly, "Think you can stop me?"

I put my hands on my hips sassily. "You bet your hairy butt I can."

4: The Thesaurus? So your best friend (It doesn't matter if the words don't have exactly the same meaning).

"Ohhh, I'm all shakey" the sasquatch said sarcastically.

"Yeah, cause I'm so afraid of a sasquatch," I replied acerbically.

The sasquatch rolled his eyes and muttered sardonically, "Please."

3: Draw out action scenes to really increase the intensity.

And then the sasquatch stared at me. I stared back. The autumn wind battered against my cheeks and it kind of reminded me of home. Well, except back home at the igloo, the wind would have been a little more harsh and damp. You know, like sleet? Don't even get me started on what sleet will do to a girl's hair! I had to deep condition like every other day! My hairstylist (Pierre, the one I talked about in Chapter 45?) he would be totally pissed if he knew I was out here about to battle a sasquatch and I hadn't remembered to pull my hair back in a hairband. Not the elastic kind. Those will rip your hair right out. He says a scrunchie is so the way to go.

2: Purple, Shmurple. Make sure you really lay it on thick in the prose. How else will a reader be able to understand the true depths of your insightful writing?

But I knew deep down-- down to the very core of my being--I could never hurt the sasquatch. My heart, unlike my home back at the igloo, wasn't made of ice. It was filled with warmth like a fresh batch of cookies and so much love that sometimes I wondered how it didn' t burst like a balloon that had drifted too close to the sun. And what is the point in this thing called life if we can't share that love, I ask you? What is the purpose for our very existence?

My heart fluttered with sympathy for this large, hairy creature. He was so utterly lost and alone. His solitude only born from a fear of not being accepted by others. A fear, much like a young child whose trust in humanity had withered like a flower in the heat of a boiling sun. But I, I could heal that pain. I could take that step and reach out my hand like a bridge over the raging waters of his past.

And the Number 1 Writing Tip For Success?

*Take every single word you've read this past week during our quirky (and hopefully slightly entertaining) celebration of Unlabor Day Week and laugh. Hope it was a nice break from all the seriousness!
Amanda Hannah

Amanda grew up on a big farm in a small town with one stoplight, one school, and a handful of imaginary friends.She would’ve gone to college forever, but eight years and five majors tested her advisor’s patience. So she moved to Germany to explore creepy castles before landing in Spain where she’s perfecting her Flamenco.

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  1. This is an awesome way to end Unlabor Week.

    The thesaurus one was my favorite. (sorry, I mean its my most venerated...the apple of my eye...)

  2. Lol. Great post! I'll be sure to un-use every one of those suggestions.

  3. *applauds*

    I like "remember, back in Chapter 45?" Hehehe....

    And you nailed her self-description in the mirror. That was one of those cliches that bugged me before I knew it was a cliche. Even if they weren't flattering, it made the character seemed self-absorbed to me.

  4. I am blown away by your skill in overpurpling your prose. This is just awesome.

  5. Your adverbial skills are amazing! Not only did you use them in the adverbs section, but then you put the adverbs rule into action in the thesaurus section, too! Way to practice what you preach, girl!

  6. This post is pure genius! (I especially love #3, heh.)

  7. Lolz @ #2.

    Regarding #8 - dialogue tags. Oh man, in 6th grade my teacher made me go through a short story I wrote and add a dialogue tag to every single line that didn't have one! I was so angry because not every line had one in Harry Potter.


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Item Reviewed: Writer's Top Ten Tips For Success Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Amanda Hannah