Stir the Plot

Inspiration & Information for Writers

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5 Ways To Send Guilt A Big Fat Rejection Letter

You know about writer’s block. But did you know there’s such a thing as writer’s guilt? The writing life comes with its share of guilt. Guilty feelings can come from needing to block off lots of alone time, from not making a huge income, and from many other sources. But there are healthy, constructive ways to work through the guilty conscience that can come with being a writer.

Five solutions to overcome guilt in the writing life!

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Pow! Boom! Ka-Pow! 5 Tips to Write Fight Scenes


This guest post is by JB Lacaden. JB lives in the Philippines, writes fiction, and blogs at JB Learns to Write. He’s been published at Flash Fiction World, and can be found on Twitter (@jblearnstowrite). Thanks JB!

(via characterandwritinghelp)

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A Quick 5-Point Checklist for Writing a Scene

There’s something to be said about being intentional with the blank page that sits directly in front of us. Maybe we won’t map out our entire book, but when we carefully make decisions about a scene before writing it, we have the potential to make it richer, fuller, and accomplish more.

1. Time & Date
[This helps] keep the timing of events realistic. Usually falling in love, character growth, and other plot events take time.

2. Point of View (POV)
Ask these questions: Whose POV would have the greatest impact for the scene? Whose POV haven’t I used lately? Whose POV can best move the plot along?

3. Setting
[Unlike stage plays, stories are] not bound by financial or artistic constraints when deciding where to have our characters act out the scene. We can put them anywhere. We can add as much variety that we want. Rather than having half our scenes in the dining room or bedroom, we can move them all over the place and make things interesting for our characters (and thus our readers). 

4. Sensory Details
What sights, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds can bring the scene alive? What other details can help set the mood of the scene? Try to make those things unique to the particular setting as well as to the POV character who is acting out the scene.

5. Scene Goals
We should be aiming to incorporate only those things into our stories that have a purpose, whether to move the plot along (related to the external, internal or romance plot), enhance our theme, build our characters, or foreshadow what’s to come.

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+ 100 Exquisite Adjectives.


(SOURCE) Adjectives — descriptive words that modify nouns — often come under fire for their cluttering quality, but often it’s quality, not quantity, that is the issue. Plenty of tired adjectives are available to spoil a good sentence, but when you find just the right word for the job, enrichment ensues. Practice precision when you select words. Here’s a list of adjectives:

  • Adamant: unyielding; a very hard substance
  • Adroit: clever, resourceful
  • Amatory: sexual
  • Animistic: quality of recurrence or reversion to earlier form
  • Antic: clownish, frolicsome
  • Arcadian: serene
  • Baleful: deadly, foreboding
  • Bellicose: quarrelsome (its synonym belligerent can also be a noun)
  • Bilious: unpleasant, peevish
  • Boorish: crude, insensitive
  • Calamitous: disastrous
  • Caustic: corrosive, sarcastic; a corrosive substance
  • Cerulean: sky blue
  • Comely: attractive
  • Concomitant: accompanying
  • Contumacious: rebellious
  • Corpulent: obese
  • Crapulous: immoderate in appetite
  • Defamatory: maliciously misrepresenting
  • Didactic: conveying information or moral instruction
  • Dilatory: causing delay, tardy
  • Dowdy: shabby, old-fashioned; an unkempt woman
  • Efficacious: producing a desired effect
  • Effulgent: brilliantly radiant
  • Egregious: conspicuous, flagrant
  • Endemic: prevalent, native, peculiar to an area
  • Equanimous: even, balanced
  • Execrable: wretched, detestable
  • Fastidious: meticulous, overly delicate
  • Feckless: weak, irresponsible
  • Fecund: prolific, inventive
  • Friable: brittle
  • Fulsome: abundant, overdone, effusive
  • Garrulous: wordy, talkative
  • Guileless: naive
  • Gustatory: having to do with taste or eating
  • Heuristic: learning through trial-and-error or problem solving
  • Histrionic: affected, theatrical
  • Hubristic: proud, excessively self-confident
  • Incendiary: inflammatory, spontaneously combustible, hot
  • Insidious: subtle, seductive, treacherous
  • Insolent: impudent, contemptuous
  • Intransigent: uncompromising
  • Inveterate: habitual, persistent
  • Invidious: resentful, envious, obnoxious
  • Irksome: annoying
  • Jejune: dull, puerile
  • Jocular: jesting, playful
  • Judicious: discreet
  • Lachrymose: tearful
  • Limpid: simple, transparent, serene
  • Loquacious: talkative
  • Luminous: clear, shining
  • Mannered: artificial, stilted
  • Mendacious: deceptive
  • Meretricious: whorish, superficially appealing, pretentious
  • Minatory: menacing
  • Mordant: biting, incisive, pungent
  • Munificent: lavish, generous
  • Nefarious: wicked
  • Noxious: harmful, corrupting
  • Obtuse: blunt, stupid
  • Parsimonious: frugal, restrained
  • Pendulous: suspended, indecisive
  • Pernicious: injurious, deadly
  • Pervasive: widespread
  • Petulant: rude, ill humored
  • Platitudinous: resembling or full of dull or banal comments
  • Precipitate: steep, speedy
  • Propitious: auspicious, advantageous, benevolent
  • Puckish: impish
  • Querulous: cranky, whining
  • Quiescent: inactive, untroublesome
  • Rebarbative: irritating, repellent
  • Recalcitant: resistant, obstinate
  • Redolent: aromatic, evocative
  • Rhadamanthine: harshly strict
  • Risible: laughable
  • Ruminative: contemplative
  • Sagacious: wise, discerning
  • Salubrious: healthful
  • Sartorial: relating to attire, especially tailored fashions
  • Sclerotic: hardening
  • Serpentine: snake-like, winding, tempting or wily
  • Spasmodic: having to do with or resembling a spasm, excitable, intermittent
  • Strident: harsh, discordant; obtrusively loud
  • Taciturn: closemouthed, reticent
  • Tenacious: persistent, cohesive,
  • Tremulous: nervous, trembling, timid, sensitive
  • Trenchant: sharp, penetrating, distinct
  • Turbulent: restless, tempestuous
  • Turgid: swollen, pompous
  • Ubiquitous: pervasive, widespread
  • Uxorious: inordinately affectionate or compliant with a wife
  • Verdant: green, unripe
  • Voluble: glib, given to speaking
  • Voracious: ravenous, insatiable
  • Wheedling: flattering
  • Withering: devastating
  • Zealous: eager, devoted

(Source: deadgazes, via referenceforwriters)

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How can you be sure that your plot is actually compelling, and not just a pile of stuff that happens?

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