Category Archives: Writing Tips

Advice fit to help another writer get inspired to write.

Know what these literary terms mean?

Disclaimer: Each of these words might mean something slightly different to each person, but in general these are the easiest ways to describe them!

Premise

“An assumption that something is true” is a broad definition, but in literature, one can describe a premise as a teaser. Ask a friend about a book, and they will tease you with exciting elements of the characters, plot, and/or the setting. Same with a movie trailer. If you see fast cars and explosions throughout the clip, you’ll assume that the movie will be an action/thriller. The premise of this movie is that it is an action movie with lots of cars and explosions.

Trope

My definition of trope, or the most interesting definition of a trope, comes from an essay by Rigoberto Gonzalez. A trope is “an anchor that can keep the narration coherent and even helps the writer find a way into and out of the narrative.” Although “trope” covers a range of figurative language, such as irony, metaphor, and allegory, this one is most interesting because it defines a technique that most people use, but don’t know what to call. Until now.

Say you want to write about an event, maybe a very important museum trip, but you don’t know how to start or finish your narrative. At this event, however, you remember that there was a dog always present. Start here. Go from the dog to the museum trip and then back to the dog. The dog becomes a trope for your story – something to refer to at the beginning, maybe middle, and the end of your story so that you stay organized and focused. It prevents you from going on tangents. The dog could even have parallel meaning with a theme or message that you’re trying to create.

Motif

A motif is something that keeps reappearing in your story, like a color, shape, weather, phrase, etc. The motif symbolizes progression in the story and has metaphoric value. If the dog in my pervious explanation for a trope just so happens to represent the eternal life struggle, then it’s also considered a motif. Not only does the dog have symbolism, but it also reappears throughout the story.

Here’s another motif: every time you see the color red in the movie The Sixth Sense, you know a ghost is about to appear. Red symbolized a ghost, but it also appears throughout the movie, giving hints to what’s about to happen next.

Idiom

Idioms are those neat phrases that you only understand a handful of. You know, like:

  • raining cats and dogs
  • keep the ball rolling
  • busy as a bee

Idioms are used in our language every day, but unless you know the background context from which these phrases originated from, you’re going to have trouble understanding what the other person is trying to tell you.

Idioms have to originate from somewhere. For example: “don’t jump the shark” derived from the show Happy Days when the character Fonzie jumps over a literal shark to increase television ratings. However, that episode marked the first of many where the script took an unexpected, unwelcomed turn. Saying “jumping the shark” means don’t draw attention to something in an unwarranted way.

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

 

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Signal Boost: Remedy for Memory by Brista Drake

Ay! This is about my book!

mousaibookscom

Hey all, Dani here.

Welcome to a new recurring segment here on my blog: Signal Boost. My hope is that each Friday I’ll share with you a book/author, TV show, movie, board game, video game, etc that I think people should check out. If you’d like to join me in boosting the signal on some awesome or geeky things you love, then please do. And share your book and geeky love with everyone else.

And if you don’t know, I’ll just say it now…yes, I got the idea for this segment from Geek & Sundry. They have a show on their channel called Signal Boost, where you get a new host every four episodes and in each episode the host shares 3 awesome geeky things they think you should know about. Nine episodes have aired and if you want to check it out, you can do so here.

For…

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Pretending to Be A Writer Makes You A Better Writer

You can tell what good writing is. I can tell what good writing is. We get drawn into good writing, which is how we know. But how does the writer know it’s good writing?

So a while back, I was writing a story. It had a decent outline and a reasonably clique plot behind it. I thought I could put some of my own twists on this plot so that it’s unique. I figured the way I told the story would be different than how anyone else could tell the story.

When I started writing this story, there were parts that my heart beat escalated and my words moved across the page in rapid motions. Then there were other times I was simply writing to fill the gaps. These fillers I thought long and hard about, but the only thing I could come up with were basic ideas I’ve seen a million times in other stories like this one. I figured it wouldn’t matter if this one scene was similar since a lot of the book was unique. I wasn’t able to judge the work. I heard so many people say “just write the story, don’t care was others think.” So I didn’t. But after reading a few other books, I had an epiphany.

Those moments I kept it basic were my book’s weakest points. After reading a story that at some moments I was like, “wow, this is a really good writer. They really know how to write a ____ and ____,” and others I was like, “wait, are they good? This seems too clique,” I realized that the clique parts were fillers, like what I did when I was writing. It wasn’t that the parts I liked weren’t reused ideas – in fact, they kind of were, but the parts were told passionately and with the author’s own flare. The parts I didn’t like were clique, rushed, not passionate, simple connect-the-dots parts.

My advice would be to always feel passionate about what you’re writing. If you do this from start to finish, you will tell a unique story, using interesting chapters, words, and sentence structures.

Another tip would be to pretend to be a writer, always. Even if you write, you might not be the ideal “writer.” How does a horror writer talk and act while explaining their story to the press? How do they write their stories? What is the voice that resonates with the readers in the genre you’re writing? I always copycat a writer in my genre, thinking hard about how they would write a sentence in my book. It’s one of my greatest inspirations!

I hope that helped spark some writing in all of you!

Thanks for reading,

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

The Difference Between Thriller and Horror

To write a good horror or thriller, I want to point out the similarities that they both have that make them good stories.

A thriller and a horror both have a lot of action in them. Both use unusual circumstances to entertain the audience. The reader is enthralled by the story because they’re picturing themselves in these unlikely situations. It’s a second-hand experience of something entirely new at a safe distance.

Getting to the point of this post, what are the differences.

Thrillers thrill us, sending us through a roller-coaster of nonstop emotion. One moment, the characters are in a bad scenario, the next moment they’re in an even worse one. It takes a heck of a lot of quick thinking to get them out of trouble. Basically, there are so many unexpected twists and turns that your brain has no time to keep up, so it just sits back and enjoys the ride for what it is. That’s why most thrillers can come off as written and plotted brilliantly, because no one could’ve expected the outcome. It’s actually just hiding facts until they absolutely must be revealed.

Horrors horrify us. There is one emotion that this genre usually focuses on, and that’s fright. There’s a mix of disgust and suspense in there, but mainly it wants us to either instinctively shield our eyes or scream out-loud to ourselves. Horror has to be creative with it’s plot, too, presenting a situation that no person would wish on another. Gruesome images, whether it be gore or the next variation of scary eyes and teeth, are there to haunt your thoughts at night.

Those are the essential differences. A good thriller will have you thinking about those plot twists long after the story ends, and a good horror will have its images and/or scenarios.

Thanks for reading,
WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime