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Tips For Story Writers Who Want To Improve

Updated on December 20, 2013

Did You Notice the Qualifying Statement in the Title

Who want to improve….that is what this article is all about. As a former teacher I can tell you with full certainty that there are writers who could care less if they ever improve. Just stating the facts, folks, so don’t shoot the messenger. I’ll bet you know one of them, or follow one of them on a writing site. You know the writer I’m talking about. Their work last year sounds the same as their work this year; there have been no improvements, the same blah, blah and blah again, cleverly disguised with new titles.

But since you already read that phrase…..who want to improve….you know this article is for serious-minded writers…so I’m happy you are here. I hope you find something in this 1,100 word missive that will help you to move up to the next rung on the writing ladder.

These tips will help you whether you are a short-story writer, a novelist, or even if you crank out travel articles on a monthly basis. Good writing is good writing. Take that one to the bank and deposit it as a truth that will never fade away.

Shall we begin?

"Colder than a well-diggers butt" is a cliche that is old and tired.
"Colder than a well-diggers butt" is a cliche that is old and tired. | Source

THE BACK STORY

Stories do not exist in a vacuum. They may have their present existence in the now, but there was a past that is very relevant. Readers need to know what shaped the characters. Readers need to know events that occurred to bring us to this point.

In short stories this is difficult, and the back story may be a sentence or two that hints at the past. In novels the job is easier; we are allowed pages to fill in the gaping holes. Great novel writers give us back story throughout the novel rather than all at once, thus allowing the novel to flow while at the same time inform about the past.

CLICHES

Cliches are clichés for a reason: they are often said. Good writers strive to avoid the obvious in their stories and their language.

In an article I recently wrote, I wanted to portray someone as being small in stature. Instead of writing “knee-high to a grasshopper,” an obvious cliché, I wrote “knee-high to a tall elf.” The end result was the same but I managed to create my own cliché rather than regurgitate that which many have already written.

Worn out phrases like “pretty as a picture” will bore your readers at best; at worst it might give birth to resentment. Travel a few more kilometers (go the extra mile) and give your readers something fresh to feast upon (sink their teeth into). Get the point?

FLAT, BORING DIALOGUE

Does your dialogue sound like real people talking? If you have two characters discussing something, do they both sound the same? How realistic is that?

Just as all writers have a unique writing voice, all people have a unique talking voice. Writers need to capture that uniqueness. Dialogue is more than relaying information; dialogue is part of setting a scene and making that scene lifelike.

Did any of you ever see the old movie “The Stepford Wives?” In that movie the perfect housewives are created….they are, in fact, robots, and they all act and sound the same. If you are a writer writing dialogue, the last thing you want is for your characters to all sound like Stepford wives. Give all of your characters a unique personality and way of speaking. Your readers will thank you for it.

Boring speaker but accurate in the information

Leave some clues about what is going to happen so your reader won't be left hanging...get it?
Leave some clues about what is going to happen so your reader won't be left hanging...get it? | Source

FORESHADOWING

Readers want to feel like they could have guessed what was going to happen in a story or novel. Good writers recognize that fact and provide clues throughout the story or novel to allow the readers to guess along the way. Foreshadowing is best seen in mysteries. In a well-written mystery, clues are dropped throughout the story, allowing the reader to partake in the action and guess what the outcome will be.

Even if you are not writing a mystery, dropping a little clue is suggested. If you begin with tragedy and end with happily ever after, there should be some foreshadowing that suggests there might be a spark of joy at the end. Otherwise, all we are left with is Crime and Punishment, a thousand pages of gut-wrenching pain.

NARRATIVE ARK

This is often referred to as “seeing the big picture.” In chess it would be called “seeing the whole board.” From beginning to end, your story or novel has gone where exactly? What have we, the readers, learned? What was the point? What changes occurred and were those changes consistent with the story over all?

Perhaps it would be easier to think in terms of your theme. You cannot lose sight of your theme, the central point of your story. In novel writing, it is quite easy to become sidetracked or even derailed from the original purpose. Does your story or novel remain true to the theme? Does it stay focused?

You might think this sounds silly but I assure you it is not. I read a book once where a character was introduced in the fifth chapter. That character had nothing whatsoever to do with the story. He did not contribute to the telling of it at all. It was as though the author just wanted to squeeze in his next-door neighbor for our amusement. I was not amused.

AVOID PREDICTABILITY

I have read books, and I’m sure you have as well, where I knew what was going to happen before it happened. I knew where the story was going and I was bored during the entire journey. Is that what you want in your short story or novel?

Look for ways to turn the mundane into extraordinary. Look for ways to take the predictable and make it unpredictable. You have an imagination; use it.

Think about how complicated human beings truly are; now take that complicated nature and allow your characters to do the same. Yes, your heroine is a perfectly beautiful and wonderful person, but perhaps, just perhaps, she has some dark thoughts from time to time. Yes, your main protagonist is an ass of the highest order, but perhaps you can allow him to show compassion when that dog is hit by a car.

Think about how unpredictable life is. Use that fact. Toss in some curveballs instead of a constant diet of fastballs. I promise you it will make a positive difference in your stories. Remember always that the Arts represent real life, and writing needs to seem real to your readers.

Avoid being predictable
Avoid being predictable | Source

That’s Enough to Get You Started

I don’t want you suffering from overload, so let’s stop there for today. Kick back and have a tall, cold one on me for a job well-done.

Do you want to improve? That is a question only you can answer. If your answer is yes then give these exercises a try from time to time. I do not expect them to be easy, but great writing is not supposed to be easy. Great writing takes hard work and dedication to improvement. I guarantee that these suggestions will make you a better writer; whether they make you a great writer is entirely up to you.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nadine, thank you so much. I have never tried screenwriting and I want to...but it will have to wait until a few more projects are completed.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Its always again and again a eye opener for me to read your hubs on creative writing. I learn from you all the time. My next challenge will be screen writing, but for now just to write hubs will have to do. There is always so much more to do, and what fun to do it all.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, your weather reminds me of my year in Alaska. We had a barbecue for the school kids in May and it was 30 degrees and snowing. :)

      Have a wonderful day my friend.

      bill

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Hi Bill, good morning to you too. Wishing you'll enjoy your sunny beautiful weather in spite of my blatant attribute to " improving " my English Language calling 'voice' - lice. Honestly in all two dozens of your profession as a teacher, you didn't have stupidest pupil of this one. ( No surprise a one way ticket would clear a way of the smooth "flying" to the rest. ( Ground frozen, still covered by snow , todays high 26 F, it's officially SPRING time.)

      Blessed day my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hello Michael and good morning!

      It is a sunny, beautiful day here in Olympia. I hope you are finally experiencing spring weather. Listen to that inner lice...it is speaking to you.

      Thank you my friend

      bill

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Hi Bill

      As rich informatively at the same time strongly urging me to accept, my "good" isn't good enough next time around. " Want" is is paralleling with 'need' to improve since daily growth and changed position as when viewing at horizon from different angle. Even as ever solid gospel message revealed new- improved revelation when reaching to hidden potential to present fuller understanding… ( A small inner lice is reminding us when is time to step up .)

      Voted beautiful and interesting.

      Blessings , my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, others might as well learn from my mistakes....that way I'm the only one wasting my time. LOL Thanks for the visit.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Valuable advice, as always. Thanks for taking the time to help. I feel cherished that I am getting a red education through your trials and errors. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Monis, when your time comes you will. Heck, I didn't really start writing until I was sixty. :)

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 3 years ago

      I do want to improve, of course. I just don't write enough, and we all know that :-(

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Graham, I just appreciate you taking time from Christmas to read this. Thank you my friend and Merry Christmas.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. Well, it's all been said above. There's nothing I can add. Your tips and help are so much appreciated by so many. I know you will see through flattery so I'll leave it at that.

      Best wishes.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, thank you for returning despite the videos....if I ever find the time I'll work on that book my friend.

      Merry Christmas to you and yours and blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...John, I think you've got a real knack for this. :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      How about, "He was as myopic as one of the three blind mice" rather than "he was as blind as a bat"? Instead of "Have a white Christmas", here at least we can say " Have a sunburnt Christmas".

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, is that Bev trying to escape from Butter Bi*%&? Now see what happens when your chicks do not maintain the pecking order. :)

      Seriously, I read this very useful article a couple of days ago, but I wanted to come back to watch the video before commenting, unfortunately, I still haven't seen the videos, but this is another great informative hub, and yes; you really ought to get these articles published in book form, I need to find all your stuff in one place, especially in the future.

      Take care now, and a very Happy Christmas to you, Bev and the family.

      Love Jo.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome vkwok; thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, I am so glad to hear that. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for the tips, bill!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for adding more hints to your huge and generous collection of advice for writers, Bill. You are providing a great education!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary! What's up with that no share button on HP? They do have their problems at times, don't they? well thanks for the thought at least and have a great Sunday.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, I look forward to those new cliches. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of the old ones. Save us my friend. :) Thanks and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      I hope the great retail giant hasn't swallowed you up my friend and that you are about finished with the shopping.

      Like a running waterfall filling the pond below you fill us with knowledge! How right you are about poor old Tom. He's not exactly an exciting, engaging speaker but his message is well done as is this hub, which was to be expected. Looking forward to part 2 :)

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting. Would have shared but again, I have no buttons (on HP that is).

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. You are a never ending supply of tips for writers. Thank you again for continuing to try and make us all better writers. Have a great Sunday.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Easy to read hub Bill, but packed wit invaluable information. I'm busy trying to come up with my own brand new cliches as we speak.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzanne, an interesting observation. Thank you and my goodness yes, there are certainly a lot of writers on the internet....almost to the point of overload. :)

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      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      I can agree with the dropping of clues and trying to express yourself in more interesting ways. There's so many writers on the internet now, you can't stand out without perfecting the part about your writing which shouts YOU! Voted useful and up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann! This has been a weekend of shopping and wrapping presents. I hope yours is going well my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lisa, I'm glad you like it. Good luck with your story. I'm sure it will turn out fantastic.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Connie, it's fun to do. It allows my weird imagination to have a field day. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

      Thank you my dear and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, Bravo! I love that you do that, and I have seen many a published novel where the author did not do that...makes me wonder how the hell they ever found a publisher. :) Thanks for that.

    • Lisawilliamsj profile image

      Lisa Williams 3 years ago

      This is awesome advice! I am definitely going to look over my story and implement your suggestions. Thank you for sharing!

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, I love the idea of making up my own cliches! I'm going to practice doing just that. Thanks for another entertaining lesson my friend ;) Pearl

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Sound advice as always, mixed with humour and served with a soupçon of gentle warning! I see so many clichés so many times and it certainly does make for a big yawn. It's not easy but fun to make up our own.

      We all need that writing voice of yours in our ears each time we try to improve. I guess it all comes down to massive effort and massive imagination. Enjoy your weekend, bill! Ann

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 3 years ago from south Florida

      Do you know what turns me off the most when I read something for the first time, Bill? Flat boring dialogue. Cardboard characters that all sound alike.

      One of the reasons I take special pains when writing a hub about interviewing a weird animal is to make its response sound different than my own even though I am creating all the dialogue.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      agapsikap, that is a very nice thing for you to say. Thank you so much and best wishes to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jordan, I'm glad you got a laugh out of it. At the time of the reading I was insulted. LOL Now I can laugh.

      Thanks buddy; have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Faith and I agree with you. I don't know why but all of a sudden I have come across some very good mystery writers and it is a joy watching them unravel a mystery. Good writing is very difficult and should be greatly appreciated.

      blessings always my friend

      bill

    • agapsikap profile image

      agapsikap 3 years ago from Philippines

      I have only one question for you, dear Bill.

      How come you never failed to give your readers great tips and wonderful ideas?

      As a non-native English speaker, I always found your tips not just helpful but very healthy in opinion.

      More!

      Thank you for those tips.

    • Jordanwalker39 profile image

      Jordanwalker39 3 years ago from GA

      When I got to the part in the narrative ark section where the author just wanted to squeeze in his neighbor. I was highly amused! That made me laugh. Thanks Bill.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Dear Bill,

      There is always room for improvement for sure! I do love guessing in the mysteries, but hate it when it is too predictable ... what's the point of continuing to read then?

      Great tips as always.

      Enjoy your weekend.

      Up and more and sharing

      Hugs and blessings,

      Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DrBill, if you remember these each day you are a better writer than I am. I write these articles to remind myself. LOL Thanks for the visit and enjoy your weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Joelle...the good mystery writers do that very, very well. Hopefully some day I'll be able to write fiction like that.

      Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ziyena, I agree with you completely. Foreshadowing is crucial to a good story and you can tell immediately if an author has a grasp of that concept.

      Thanks for the visit my friend; enjoy your weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I feel the same way about a book I am currently reading, Nadine, and yes, I believe all authors have self doubts. We walk a tightrope every single time we publish something. Our egos are a bit fragile and well they should be. Never let that stop you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      lifegate, you are a good writer and will only improve. You have a universal message that resonates with many. Keep up the good work and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jamie, it's my pleasure. Glad you liked it. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, you should try it; I find it quite fun. :) I look forward to reading one of yours in the near future.

      Thank you my loyal friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kim, you bring up an interesting point and an excellent one. Pics and videos are crutches in a way; we are all guilty of using them as such.....thank you for the observation....have a great weekend and blessings to you always.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Drive By, thank you very much. Have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, I think Washington State is the only northern state that isn't white right now. Sigh! I sure wish just one year we would have a white Christmas. Well, Merry Christmas to you and thank you as always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, all I can say is it's about time. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, that is a sure sign of growth. I do the same thing with old hubs; I read them and can't believe I wrote that poorly. LOL Thank you dear lady.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Thank you for those new tips! Always useful!

      When you write about clues I am thinking Agatha Christie.... and I must say I often miss her clues :-( It's nice when you can guess some of the clues because I find it brings you more into the story :-)

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I would like to think I remember each of these each day as I write, but the reminder is always useful. I thought about several important issues, to me, as I read you hub... so, it was valuable. Thanks for sharing! ;-)

    • ziyena profile image

      ziyena 3 years ago from ... Somewhere Out There ...

      Hey Bill ... very nice article with useful tips. I truly feel foreshadowing is one of the biggest tools you can use when writing a fictional story. You can draw the reader in, tease them, set them up for failure or success through the character's eyes. Wonderful stuff you've got here and wholeheartedly approve :) UP

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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      I always love reading your writing tips. At the moment I'm reading a book that has really gripped me. I can't wait to read further. It's waiting for me. This book is like a dessert at the end of a day. That is the feeling I would love to engender for my readers, but often my own criticism towards my own novels or stories make me feel inadequate. I so admire authors who have captivate me with their story. Can I achieve the same with my novels? Do other authors have self doubts as well?

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Practical, Practical, Practical. I know every time I read you, I'll come away with something to add to my tool box. Although much of my writing on HP is factual, I love writing fiction. So thank you for the helps. Hopefully I not only want to improve, but thanks to your tips, I can improve if I put them into action.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Thank you for the excellent advice. Jamie

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      another helpful article. Thank you Bill. I never thought about making your own cliches. humm...

    • profile image

      ocfireflies 3 years ago

      Preaching to the choir my friend. Sorry. Couldn't help myself. :-)

      Excellent hub. I am terribly guilty of lots of writing taboos, but the one that drives me crazy are the ones that I failed to see that I had not provided enough context. Having pics, videos, etc... also have spoiled me. A definite share. Information important for all to hear.

      Blessings,

      Kim

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      Drive By Quipper 3 years ago from Wrong Side of Town

      Good stuff.

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      Melissa Propp 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Great tips Bill! I'm still struggling through a first draft (no, I didn't make the 50k in Nov) and this is very helpful. Merry Christmas! It's a White Christmas here in MN).

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm cracking pecans for cookies I need to bake tomorrow. I'll be baking all weekend!

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      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I think I do improve with writing simply because I come across old things I wrote and feel ashamed I wrote that! lol Another great point you are making billy boy! Up+

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I'm proud of you. It really does not take much work to come up with our own original cliches...all it takes is a desire to grow as a writer. :) You have that desire. Thanks dear friend; enjoy the rest of your Friday while I'm shopping my butt off.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I thought of you when I was writing chapter 5 of The Gifts of Faith. At one point her eyes became as big as - I didn't dare say saucers - dual full moons. I'm sure I could have come up with something a little more creative, but I wanted to avoid the common cliche.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MG, that is high praise and I thank you for it. Have a wonderful weekend my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, that's why I toss this stuff out there. We all have things to learn in order to improve. I'm glad you found this helpful and thank you as always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish. It is so easy to come up with a new cliche; we just need to put on our thinking caps. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE..I hope they all do read it. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, I have called in an Amber Alert to help you find your husband. The poor man; by now those clothes have to be getting a bit rank, don't you think? LMAO

      Oh you are too funny. Here's my Christmas gift to you....delete this hub. Don't even look at this bad boy. I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote it. :)

      Have a great day funny lady.

      bill

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 3 years ago from Singapore

      Billy you have made some excellent suggestions. It is up to story writers to imbibe the wisdom in the hub. I have published about 50 short stories and found reading your post a pleasure

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      I'm passionate about improvement, Bill. I have never heard The Narrative Ark concept so called. I have to concern myself with that and the cliches. Thank you very much.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I especially like your point about cliches. Great information for authors.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Tips For Story Writers Who Want To Improve is a useful and informative hub and every writer should read this hub.

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      Really Bill...., Really?

      My little mind is only so big, and I can learn just sooo much.

      I am on information overload, and it ain't pretty. The expectations are

      more than this pretty face can handle. The pressure is immense and I'm drinking more than ever. This ice tea is running through me like an

      open sieve. I am either drinking or writing or running to the potty!

      We have company coming for Christmas dinner and the floor needs to be vacuumed, the dust is as thick as a rug, the dog has not been feed in a week and I don't know where my husband is. There has been a moaning sounds coming from the pile of dirty cloths. It could be him, but I'm afraid to look.

      I've been in my night gown for a week and my eyeballs look like blistered

      festering boils, ready to burst. I find myself chanting, "Helping writers

      spread their wings...."

      Stop it, I say. STOP IT!!!!

      Just to make you smile........ ;-)

      Just trying to be unpredictable!!

      DJ.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, time is my enemy. I have an ebook sitting here waiting for me to publish....on this very subject. Sheez, buddy, I keep running out of hours. That's what I want for Christmas, about four extra hours each day.

      Thank you for the suggestion and the kind words....I'll make it a point to get that book published in the next couple of weeks.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you leni...it's always good to hear from fellow teachers. Have a great weekend.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 3 years ago

      Bill, have you ever considered putting all these writing tips into book form and selling the books? I have filed everyone of your hubs and do go back and reread them on occasion.

      I think you would have a best seller at least where writers are concerned.

      Have a great Christmas my friend, and take care of the chickens.

    • leni sands profile image

      Leni Sands 3 years ago from UK

      Great tips billybuc - as an -teacher aswell I agree wholeheartedly. Voted up Interesting, Awesome, Beautiful and Useful.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria my dear, I am excited that you are thinking of starting that novel...that's an important first step. Best wishes to you this holiday season and a sleigh full of love.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No doubt about it, Donna. I pay no attention to any rules in the first draft.

      Thanks for your thoughts, which I agree with totally.

      Have a great weekend.

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      Maria Jordan 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Bill,

      This was a push for me. I am dreaming about my first novel and this may be the year I put pen to paper...

      I loved the first video but found the second to leave me hanging...so you know I am coming back, dear friend, as often as possible. You teach me so much and you are a honey as well.

      Love ya and have a happy Friday, Maria

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      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      Although I agree that these tips are important in revising, for a first draft however, it is best for me not to worry about ANY of these tips. If I were to try to apply these rules during the first draft, I would certainly have writer's block. Therefore, during the first draft I include cliches etc. I am primarily working on the narrative arc and working on getting to know my characters in the setting. Most of what you suggest here I begin working with in the second and subsequent drafts. Therefore I don't worry about the "rules" when I am getting first words on paper. After the first draft is done though, I have to be my biggest writing critic.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, if every writer was like you we wouldn't have the drivel we see on the internet. Keep at it buddy and thank you.

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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill you help me be better. I am hoisting a tall hot one and thanking the stars for you. I am only progress and not perfection but I promise to try harder.

      e

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine. If you don't hear from me then I've been swallowed up by the great retail giant.

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      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      Thanks Bill so much for your wonderful tips as always. Wishing you a great Friday now and have fun shopping, too!