When I was a freshman in high school, the school drama club performed Christopher Sergel’s play Up the Down Staircase. In it, a young high-school teacher receives a love letter from one of his students. Not one to let a girl down gently, he asks her to stay after class, at which point he reads it back to her with his corrections:
Writing flashbacks can be problematic for writers. Often they fail at forwarding the plot and succeed at pulling the reader out of the story. This isn’t to say they aren’t sometimes necessary. For example, if knowing a character is recalling a certain moment in time changes how readers will interpret his or her actions in the present, a flashback is often the way to go. Here are some things to keep in mind before you hop into your plutonium-fueled DeLorian:
At one point or another, we’ve all succumbed to the cliché. Sometimes, they’re necessary. A well-placed cliché—one which acknowledges its cliché-ness—can do wonders for the right scene. More often than not, though, fandom clichés are like said bookisms—they detract from, not enhance one’s writing.
So, without further ado and in no particular order, I present to you the first installment of my list of clichés to avoid at all cost while writing Twific.
Since my own writing is so dialogue-heavy, it tends to be the first thing I notice when I read. It also tends to be the area in which I receive the most questions when I beta. Getting the punctuation right is easy. Ultimately, it comes down to voice.
Here are the basic rules:
We want to thank Raum at My Reading Lounge for asking us to write this article and for her very appreciated support since we started our service. She has a series of Writing Labs posted, and we urge you to check out her site.
Yes, betas can love, too. A good beta should comment on all the little details that seem off, while giving you some much needed love and care for the baby that took you hours to birth. Your chapters should be filled with red marks, not only commenting on grammar, but also on the fabulously constructed sentences, the intriguing details, and that awesome character flaw you gave your heroine. The biggest reason for betas not to show this love is simply obvious grammar errors every writer should be able to avoid.