Good Writing Is ...  Advice for New Writers


Articles on Writing by Lynda M. Martin



Good Writing is #1  The two biggest mistakes made by new writers.

Can you guess?

An excellent start to improving your writing -- and avoiding these common pitfalls. Learn to tell a story actively, avoiding the passive voice and bring your reader into the scene, not leave him standing as an observer.


Good Writing is # 2 The author's voice has no place in his work.

Except in very rare circumstances, the author's voice and opinions need to stay out of his work. What do I mean by this. Read and find out.

Learn how to tell your tale through your characters and stay invisible to your readers.


Good Writing is #3 -- What is the most important element of successful fiction? -- Characters!

Number 3 in the series on good writing asks the question: what is the most important element in successful fiction.

The answer is good characters. Here we explore what makes good characters, how do we develop them and how to present them.


Good Writing is #4 -- Why new writers get lost and give up.

 Many of you wrote to me with comments like, "I'll drag out the old novel" or "I was working on a novel but grew frustrated and put it away."

Why does this happen? Why do we so often abandon our work? Come in, and we'll explore those questions.



Good Writing Is #5 -- The plot thickens -- Plotting for beginners

#5 in the series deals with plots and how to develop the plot in fiction, whether short story or novel. Called plotting for beginners, we discuss the form of plot, how to map a plot and how to prepare the plot for writing.




Good Writing is #6 -- Plotting -- the scene approach

 Welcome to this, the second in our lessons on plot structure. We are ready to take our proposed plot and divide it into scenes -- and then build those scenes. Let's construct a novel.




Good Writing is #7 -- Ten common mistakes new writers make with dialogue

No skill is more important to the fiction writer than a mastery of the mechanics of good dialogue. Here are the ten most common mistakes new writers make and how to avoid them.



Good Writing is #8 -- Point of View -- the five big questions writers need to answer

The first thing to do is set aside the common use of the phrase as synonymous with opinion. When we use this term relative to writing, we are speaking of the most complex element of fiction. In basic form, we refer to the relationship among writer, characters and reader.


Good Writing is #9 -- The importance of voice #1 -- Writing from the child's perspective

 The ninth in the Good Writing Is... series begins an exploration of 'voice' in writing. Today's discussion: writing from the child's perspective. The challenge of writing in the child's voice, and my experience gained in writing This Bird Flew Away, which is narrated in part by a girl from age 9 to 29.

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