Using Body Language in Your Novel, Part Two—Eyes, Pupils, & Eyebrows

The eyes have it! 😉

Writers After Dark

Body language part two the eyesThey say that our eyes are the “windows to the soul.” Isn’t that sweet? Yes, yes it is. Which is why this would be a fantastic place to practice some poetry, but instead, how about we exploit this little tidbit to benefit our writerly lives? Let’s explore the eyes—in the art of using body language in fiction.

It’s undeniable that our eyes are very special, but what exactly do we see when we stare into someone’s eyes? Information about their emotional state, that’s what. Can you imagine what damage this type of knowledge can do in the wrong hands? Oh boy!

For the villains, they can manipulate, hurt, and deceive. For the heroes, they can help, console, or protect. OR vice versa! Hey, it’s not mutually exclusive, and that’s the beauty. As the reader, you can get an insight on the emotional turmoil they’re all going through. And as the…

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The First Rule for Writing a Modern Novel

A Writer's Path

by Lynne Stringer

You may not know it but there are rules for writing a modern novel. Now, every good rule needs to be broken at some point but is it a good idea to say that all rules should be ignored because writing is a creative exercise?

I don’t think so but I think there are times and places for them and so I’m going to tackle each one in turn. Here’s the first:

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5 tips for New Writers

A Writer's Path

by S. T. Sanchez

  1. Don’t be afraid to re-write

Writing isn’t always the simplest to do.  Inspiration doesn’t always strike at the right time.  Whether you are a few chapters in or almost finished, if you need to rewrite go back and do it!  You want your novel to be perfect.  If you need to fix something, no matter how much work it is going to take, DO IT!  Your book will be better because of it.

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Writing (Un)Awkward Romantic Scenes

Love this post! 😉

A Writer's Path

by Sara Butler Zalesky

**Warning – adult situations and language and potential spoilers for the novel Wheeler, now available on Amazon Kindle.**

I’ve been hesitant to give Wheeler to friends and family or even tell my coworkers I wrote a novel. Why? Like the protagonist, Loren Mackenzie, I only let people see what I want them to see. I keep my cards close to the vest. I’m a Scorpio, it’s who I am.

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Power Your Book Revisions by Using Macros

Powerful time saver! 👍

Writers After Dark

Revisions are a critical step in the writing process, but let’s face it, they can also just suck all the joy out of writing. Anything that can help speed up the process and increase focus is a good thing.

One of my favorite tools is Macros.

Unfortunately, like many writers, I was a master of words but never really mastered Word. I’ve wasted a lot of time doing things the long way.

A few years ago, however, I discovered Macros and they changed the speed, focus, and effectiveness of my revision process.

In short, I’m a better writer because of them.

Now before you start to think I’m gonna unload some complicated programming How-To on you and zone out, be assured I’m not.

A Macro is a simple program script that tells your Word Document to do “something.” In our case, it’s going to highlight words that we should consider…

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How to “Show, Don’t Tell”

A Writer's Path

by Chrys Cymri

I’m still getting used to the life of a self-published author, particularly in this age of Amazon and customer reviews. Authors are advised that books need to have reviews, the more reviews the better, even those which are not entirely positive.

In order to obtain those reviews, I’ve been involved in various ‘review exchanges.’ I read one writer’s book and post a review, and s/he does the same with one of mine. Better yet are the non-reciprocal reviews set up by groups on Goodreads, in which people sign up for a review round and the moderator ensures that you are not reviewing the work of someone who is reading your book. This is to ensure complete honesty.

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Why Realism is Essential

Jed Herne: Writer

If your story lacks realism, readers will be disappointed.

Why? Well, good novels encourage readers to suspend their disbelief; to believe that the story is real, even though it’s obviously fiction. Without realism, readers will find it hard to think your story is, well, real.

Now, coming from a guy whose most recent story was about spaceships, you’re probably a little confused. Does the need for realism impede you from writing about anything you can’t see or experience?

The answer, of course, is no. Stories about aliens, superheros, or medieval vampires can all be 100% realistic, because realism isn’t about stories being true to our world. It’s about stories being true to themselves.

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Creative Writing vs Writing as Therapy

A Writer's Path

by Sara Kopeczky

I had a rough childhood and adolescence (but hey, who hadn’t?), and often times found consolation in making up stories. I would write short, gothic stories with monsters and witches that helped me cope with my everyday issues. Later on, when I became more serious about my writing, I realized that creative writing is so different from writing to soothe your soul, because you have a responsibility towards your readers (and towards yourself) to deliver something a bit more concise than fumbling notes about how your dad doesn’t love you and all the other kids are stupid. Here are some of the main differences between creative writing and therapeutic writing:

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Throwback Thursday: How to Write a Novel That Will Actually Be Worthy of Publishing

A Writer's Path

Throwback Thursday is a series where we take a look back at some of AWP’s most popular posts. Enjoy!

by Michael Cristiano

So, you say you have a dream, Mr. Martin Luther King Jr. of prospective fiction (or nonfiction) writer. Well, so do I, and so do millions of others around the world. That is to write a book, but not just any damn book: a book that will be good enough to publish.

Seems like a pretty simple goal, right? In today’s day and age, there are a billion ways to see your work published: paperback, hardcover, ebook, literary magazine, traditional publishing, self-publishing, hybrid publishing, serialization, writing your novel on your arm and reciting it in the subway (okay, maybe not that one…)

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5 Tips for Writing Effective Settings

Good info – add to bookmarks!

Jed Herne: Writer

After character, plot and theme, setting is arguably one of the most important elements of a novel. ‘Setting’ refers to the location for which events occur, and can be used to:

  • Establish mood, tone or theme
  • Reflect character
  • Enhance suspense
  • Foreshadow/provide clues
  1. Use the 5 senses to Immerse Readers

The most effective settings are those that plunge readers into a story’s world. By vividly portraying a setting’s sensory experience, readers’ imaginations will flourish, allowing them to feel like they’re inhabiting your story.

When using the 5 senses (sight, sound, taste, touch and smell), focus on touch, taste and smell. Too often, writers over-focus on sight and sound. This can come from trying to write as if your book was a movie, which has a strong reliance on these two senses.

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