Many, indeed, envied her; but of that Mirali knew nothing. She had no time for envy herself, nor for young men, either. As authors, we must give readers insight into what makes our protagonists tick.
What are their aspirations? Inthis passage, we learn that Mirali, while not conventionally beautiful, is a kind soul who works hard for her parents and is appreciated by her community. We quickly start to become invested in what happens to her.
The creature shifted its head to take it delicately from her hand, gulping it down before taking her second offering. She stroked it as she fed it, caressing its cheekbone, its neck, its gills. The chunks of flesh she fed it were torn from something far larger than a pigeon, and as the kelpie nickered, peeling back its upper lip to sniff for more treats, I saw tiny threads of woven fabric caught on its canine teeth. By revealing a previously undetected detail that helps readers understand the implications, the author causes them to wince and recoil — and wonder what happens next.
Of course, we have many emotion-evoking arrows in our writing quivers — humor, love, determination, anger, and so on.
The voice chosen by the author has a profound impact in how readers interpret the story and view the characters. That would be instructive, but rather dull; and so we will tell you, Gentle Reader, that the intrepid Miss Merriemouse-Jones was born in , a wee pup to parents who had no idea that she was destined for greatness.
Protective and loving, they encouraged her to find her happiness in the environs of home — running the squeaky wheel in the nursery cage, gnawing upon whatever might sharpen her pearlescent teeth, and wrinkling her tiny pink nose most adorably when vexed.
During her girlhood, Lightning was seldom vexed. Just as the narrator has a distinct voice, characters should have their own unique voices to help readers distinguish one from another and to convey aspects of their personalities. V oice is a terrific tool to help readers get to know and appreciate your characters. Of course, interesting characters and engaging dialog are important, but writing gripping action scenes is a skill all its own.
They seemed to have been put together on the chassis of a gorilla. Their heads were squashed, ugly-looking things, with wide-gaping mouths full of shark-like teeth. The sounds they made were deep, with a frenzied edge of madness, and they piled into the corridor in a wave of massive muscle. The creatures lurched as they moved, like cheap toys that had not been assembled properly, but they were fast, for all of that. More and more of them flooded into the hallway, and their charge was gaining mass and momentum.
There were no words in it, but he meant, I know. The wave of fomorian beings got close enough that I could see the patches of mold clumping their fur, and tendrils of mildew growing upon their exposed skin. The new military AA automatic shotguns are not the hunting weapons I first handled in my patriotically delusional youth. They are fully automatic weapons with large circular drums that rather resembled the old Tommy guns made iconic by my business predecessors in Chicago.
One pulls the trigger and shell after shell slams through the weapon. A steel target hit by bursts from an AA very rapidly comes to resemble a screen door. The slaughter was indescribable. It swept like a great broom down that hallway, tearing and shredding flesh, splattering blood on the walls and painting them most of the way to the ceiling. Behind me, Gard stood ready with a heavy-caliber big-game rifle, calmly gunning down any creature that seemed to be reluctant to die before it could reach our defensive point.
We piled the bodies so deep that the corpses formed a barrier to our weapons. A well-written action scene thrusts the reader smack into the middle of the story.
Readers want to be taken on a journey to another place and time, with characters they care about and whose company they enjoy. If you enjoyed these excerpts, find the full stories in the new dark fantasy anthology Beyond the Pale. As a writer, which books or authors do you read specifically to learn from their techniques and writing skills? Henry writes sci-fi and fantasy books for kids. I always read first as a reader for enjoyment, then sometimes a second time as student. Studying their craft — Stephen King, J.
Thanks for your spot-on insights, and so well-presented! I have always enjoyed writing. As a kid, I won several writing contests. I would love to resume my writing habit, and your blog is being very helpful so far. Thank you for such a wonderful write up. I love it so much. This will help me in my research as I plan to share it with others. Thank you for sharing your insight with us!
Enjoyed the post, Henry. No matter how many decades I write, I never tire of studying craft. I especially like it when writers include excerpts as you did. The one you chose from Peter S. Thanks a ton Henry PS: Invoke multiple senses When you experience a situation, you pick up more than just its sights. Cinnamon scent and the sound of an oasis wind come to me.
Create intriguing, complex characters Readers want characters with whom they can sympathize Harry Potter or revile Tywin Lannister — or both. Descriptive writing occurs when the writer uses very detailed information to explain the story. This can involve detailed descriptions of the characters, the setting and even objects. This style of writing is used to immerse the readers in the story, allowing them to create a vivid mental picture of the setting in their minds.
For example, a line from a descriptive story might read, "He was 6'4, with deep blue eyes, chestnut brown hair and a bright white smile. When using a first-person writing technique, the writer is able to incorporate his own ideas into the story. Instead of just presenting the facts, the writer can let his own opinions come out in the writing. For example, a story written in a first-person technique would have the word "I" worked in throughout the text. A narrative writing style tells a story. The writer introduces different characters and a setting to the readers, while keeping his or her own voice silent.
Narrative stories present a problem that is played out and eventually solved. One of the most common examples of a narrative is a movie script, but narratives are also frequently used in short stories as well. In a persuasive writing style, the author tries to change the reader's mind on a certain topic or issue. Writers present facts supporting their opinions and try to convince the reader to join in their beliefs.
An example of this is often seen in newspaper and magazine columns, or in political speeches. A story written in a subjective writing technique displays facts from both sides of an issue or subject. The writer is able to use first-person terms such as the word "I", but does not choose one side to support.
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In this lesson, we will examine various types of narrative techniques in writing, as well as examples of the literary techniques relevant to style.
Writing is easy: All you have to do is start writing, finish writing, and make sure it's good. But here's some vastly more useful wisdom and advice from people who seriously know what the hell. In a persuasive writing style, the author tries to change the reader's mind on a certain topic or issue. Writers present facts supporting their opinions and try to convince the reader to join in their beliefs.