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Fantasy Faction Writers => Writers' Corner => Topic started by: CameronJohnston on June 04, 2015, 10:43:55 AM

Title: How to Write a Sentence & Paragraph
Post by: CameronJohnston on June 04, 2015, 10:43:55 AM
A lot of writing blogs and advice are around character, story, plot or pace but very rarely do I find advice on how to produce actual functional prose, the nuts & bolts of taking a sentence or paragraph apart so that it says exactly what you want, and in a better way.

So I thought I would link you to Hal Duncan's blog posts on writing *warning, contains swearing and that sort of thing*:

How to Write a Sentence - http://notesfromthegeekshow.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/how-to-write-sentence.html
How to Write a Paragraph - http://notesfromthegeekshow.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/how-to-write-paragraph.html

There is a lot of other good advice in the Learn>Writing 101 menu section.

Also, Chuck Wendig posts a lot of good writing advice on his blog if you want to check it out, and he is hellova funny - http://terribleminds.com/ramble/blog/
Title: Re: How to Write a Sentence & Paragraph
Post by: JMack on June 04, 2015, 12:28:47 PM
Loved the Duncan posts. Have to try to apply his approach to what I write for this month's writing contest here.  Thanks for posting this!
Title: Re: How to Write a Sentence & Paragraph
Post by: Raptori on June 04, 2015, 12:44:14 PM
Reading them now, really good so far. The first one describes exactly what we try to do with our writing at sentence level, in a lot more detail than we could've managed. Looks like it'll be a good resource to use to make sure we're not skipping any steps or anythign like that.

Thanks for sharing them!  :)
Title: Re: How to Write a Sentence & Paragraph
Post by: CameronJohnston on June 04, 2015, 01:02:47 PM
Hal's advice has really helped me to improve my own writing, and this stuff is exactly what a lot of newer (and not so new) writers could do with reading. I love that he takes a segment of not-so-good text and deconstructs it, then reconstructs it piece by piece into better text - and you can actually see why and how he does it!
Title: Re: How to Write a Sentence & Paragraph
Post by: Lady Ty on June 04, 2015, 01:50:32 PM
Only read the link on sentences so far but , like you
Hal's advice has really helped me to improve my own writing, and this stuff is exactly what a lot of newer (and not so new) writers could do with reading. I love that he takes a segment of not-so-good text and deconstructs it, then reconstructs it piece by piece into better text - and you can actually see why and how he does it!

I have only read the sentence link so far but agree with you on both counts. His style of explanation would appeal to high school students also as it makes style and structure understandable in a clear and interesting way.
Title: Re: How to Write a Sentence & Paragraph
Post by: JMack on June 04, 2015, 02:45:12 PM
Only read the link on sentences so far but , like you
Hal's advice has really helped me to improve my own writing, and this stuff is exactly what a lot of newer (and not so new) writers could do with reading. I love that he takes a segment of not-so-good text and deconstructs it, then reconstructs it piece by piece into better text - and you can actually see why and how he does it!

I have only read the sentence link so far but agree with you on both counts. His style of explanation would appeal to high school students also as it makes style and structure understandable in a clear and interesting way.
Plus the f*bombs. High schoolers would love the f*bombs.  8)
Title: Re: How to Write a Sentence & Paragraph
Post by: Ryan Mueller on June 05, 2015, 09:46:33 PM
I love how he actually made something from The Eye of Argon readable.
Title: Re: How to Write a Sentence & Paragraph
Post by: D_Bates on June 06, 2015, 04:29:07 PM
I would also give praise to Hal's advice as he's helped me immeasurably over the years with my own writing. His reconstruction of that sentence from 'The Eye of Argon' was something I found really eye opening.
Title: Re: How to Write a Sentence & Paragraph
Post by: ClintACK on June 07, 2015, 10:23:21 PM
Wow, that was excellent.

Examples make things so much clearer than just stating principles.

It makes me think we need to have a weekly contest to edit/improve sentences or paragraphs taken at random from the Eye of Argon.
Title: Re: How to Write a Sentence & Paragraph
Post by: Raptori on June 07, 2015, 11:19:18 PM
Wow, that was excellent.

Examples make things so much clearer than just stating principles.

It makes me think we need to have a weekly contest to edit/improve sentences or paragraphs taken at random from the Eye of Argon.
I like that idea! An editing competition does sound really useful actually, not to mention unusual. Maybe if we did it for long enough, we could come up with a readable of that book.  :P
Title: Re: How to Write a Sentence & Paragraph
Post by: JMack on June 07, 2015, 11:36:53 PM
Wow, that was excellent.

Examples make things so much clearer than just stating principles.

It makes me think we need to have a weekly contest to edit/improve sentences or paragraphs taken at random from the Eye of Argon.
I like that idea! An editing competition does sound really useful actually, not to mention unusual. Maybe if we did it for long enough, we could come up with a readable of that book.  :P
or a thread in Critique where we post one of our own paragraphs, with backstory, and others have at it.
Title: Re: How to Write a Sentence & Paragraph
Post by: Raptori on June 07, 2015, 11:46:34 PM
Wow, that was excellent.

Examples make things so much clearer than just stating principles.

It makes me think we need to have a weekly contest to edit/improve sentences or paragraphs taken at random from the Eye of Argon.
I like that idea! An editing competition does sound really useful actually, not to mention unusual. Maybe if we did it for long enough, we could come up with a readable of that book.  :P
or a thread in Critique where we post one of our own paragraphs, with backstory, and others have at it.
Yeah that's possible, though I do think it'd work better using someone else's work to hone editing skills, since otherwise it's hard (impossible really) to make sure everyone gets as much out of it.  :-\
Title: Re: How to Write a Sentence & Paragraph
Post by: CameronJohnston on June 09, 2015, 12:07:44 PM
So useful to work with actual examples to make you go "Ahhhh!"

I don't see why you couldn't take a paragraph from Eye of Argon every so often and then have various people tinker with it, that way you would get to see a variety of different ways and methods of improving that bit of text - hopefully it might make people able to apply those methods to their own work.
Title: Re: How to Write a Sentence & Paragraph
Post by: ClintACK on June 10, 2015, 01:50:13 AM
And it's up: http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/writers-corner/editing-'the-eye-of-argon'-for-fun-and-mutual-edification-part-1/ (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/writers-corner/editing-'the-eye-of-argon'-for-fun-and-mutual-edification-part-1/)

Have at it.
Title: Re: How to Write a Sentence & Paragraph
Post by: jed001 on June 11, 2015, 07:30:09 PM
good shit  8)