How to write badly – when fiction turns into friction

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. You don’t need to be a true faithful to have heard this proverb. Of course, it’s a generalization, and like all generalizations it has its limits. But I think it’s particularly appropriate when applied to the world of creative writing, where ideas and good intentions seem to be everywhere, but then actual writing ferries into existence only a small sliver of them all. So, here is this list of one-liners about how to write badly. At the very least they’re all wrong, and in many cases they’re also incredibly counterproductive.

Use writing hooks to create terrific opening lines for your novel

The opening lines of your novel are of critical importance. In fact, it’s by reading them that readers decide whether to give your novel a shot or go instead looking for something else. Of course, a book shouldn’t be judged solely by its first few lines—and the same can be said about the cover, the title, and so on. But these days considering the amount of books that readers can choose from, and the hectic times in which we live, it’s normal for people to come up with shortcuts to try and find the brightest diamonds among the deluge–even if this means that sometimes they’re going to miss out on some of such diamonds, especially the most unconventional ones. Writing hooks: definition Simply put, a hook is a sentence or a group of sentences that appears at the beginning of your story and, ideally, it should entice perspective readers to keep …

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Unique gifts for writers – no matter the season

Let’s be clear from the get go. The unique gifts for writers I’m speaking here are those that can really make a difference for a writer, not those ‘unique gifts’ that end up collecting dust on a shelf. Yet, such notable gifts are quite common… When it comes to creative writing, what writers everywhere need is not a new telepathic laptop, a new magic keyboard, or a speech-to-text app able to understand them even when they cough and sneeze in the clutches of a cold. Not even a new secretary, a new house, or a brand new life are required. Sure, a brand new life—maybe one in which the bank account is in black and with a pleasantly long number of zeroes after the initial non-zero figure—can be of help, but only marginally. Let’s face it. Omero, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Austen, Nabokov, the Brontës sisters, Stephen King, and Neil Gaiman—just to …

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How to find time to read more books – 10 easy tips

No matter how hectic your days can be. With these tips on how to read more books you can go from zero to infinite. Well… almost. I don’t know how many books I read in a year. I don’t keep count. But I do know I love reading. I love reading both fiction and non fiction books. When I was younger and I had at my disposal tons of spare time, reading a book came natural to me. Whenever I felt like, I would just sit down in a quiet corner of the house and start reading. Then, growing up my spare time seemed to dissolve, like morning fog under a fierce summer sun. But my love for books never faltered, and I found that even if you have a hectic life you can manage to put under your reader’s belt a significant number of books every year. In fact, if …

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How to create a character who is memorable

You can write a romance. You can write a thriller or a fantasy. You can write whatever kind of story you want. In any case you’re at least going to have to create a character. More likely, you’re going to have to fill your stories up with characters. A lot of them. And chances are that in most cases you’re going to have to create them from scratch—especially if you want to avoid being sued. As a result, it’s important to know how to create a character as interesting and compelling as possible. After all, a story can be extremely promising from a purely plot-wise point of view, nevertheless it can fall flat on its face if the characters populating it are nothing more than banal stereotypes. After all, when we pick up a book we want to be moved, thrilled, scared. We want to get a glimpse of interesting and …

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