Hello readers! The time has come! Please insert a long, echoing cry of “has come!” there if you so choose.
Those of you that are long time readers of the site? You know what this is, and you can probably safely skip down to the comments section to get typing. But those of you that are more recent wanderers of the information superhighway that have come to rest at this humble rest stop might be wondering what the deal is with a post titled “Topic Call.” In which case, read on! And prepare!
See, Being a Better Writer has long been a feature of this site. In fact, it predates it, going back to when I was answering writing questions that were being written in to me from across the web by readers of my work that enjoyed it and realized I might have something to say about their own writing questions based on what they were seeing.
Well, they were right. What began as private messages on internet boards quickly ballooned and blossomed (because once word gets around that you not only reply to PMs with writing questions but with solid advice born from years of experience, you will be flooded with messages) to a weekly guide to improving one’s writing that has now run for—let me check a time-stamp—eight years.
Sands and Storms, that’s a lot of articles.
Anyway, in all that time, Being a Better Writer has never stopped responding to reader requests.
Which brings us back to today! Over the years the system has improved and refined … but also in some ways stayed the same. Case in point: The little list of topics written on a sticky notepad page that sits on my desk. A page that right now, is largely blank.
See, as this week’s BaBW post mentioned, its topic was the last one on the current sticky note. Topic List #18. Which means that once the post was completed, I crossed the topic off with my pen, checked the list to see that everything was complete … and then balled it up and tossed it into my garbage bin, unveiling the “in progress” Topic List #19 below it, which I quickly titled.
What does this have to do with you, reader? Why everything! BaBW still holds to its origins with so many of its original articles coming from questioning readers. I myself have put topics on the new topic list—and we’ve got some interesting ones coming—but true to tradition that list is open to being filled out by you, concerning topics that you would like to hear about on writing. I’ll continue to add topics of my own, but if there’s something writing related that you want BaBW to bring up? Now is the time to let it be known!
So hit the comments below and start commentating! Tell us what you want to hear discussed on Being a Better Writer! Is it a topic we’ve not spoken about before? Is it something we have covered but you’d like to see discussed from another angle? Something that’s a third option entirely?
Post below! It’s time to put it on the list!
And if you can’t think of something now, well that’s fine! You’ve got all week! And next week as well. Just bookmark the page and come back before say … next Friday. Give yourself some time to think it over, come up with a good topic or question, and then leave a comment.
Then, visit Unusual Things every Monday, and keep an eye out for the Being a Better Writer post that answers your question.
We’ll see you then.
2 thoughts on “It’s Time for Another Being a Better Writer Topic Call!”
Not sure if I missed the deadline, and apologies if I did. Sorry.
My suggested topic is the Oxford Comma.
And more particularly, commas in general. I tend to write with a lot of pauses in my sentences, And I tend to join action sequences into one sentence with the sequence elements as comma conjoined phrases, usually prepositional phrases.
I’ve been told this leads to difficult to read sentences, which is the exact opposite of what I am trying to do. I try to tie the elements together structurally to show the causative relations. So not working perhaps?
You can see where I might benefit from some serious suggestions, and I’m sure I’m not alone here.
Also, you can see I use commas a very lot in my normal writing too.
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Hoping others are sending topics in too…. that said, one more, please.
Topic suggestion – techniques for writing a sequel that can be read stand-alone.
I’m writing a sequel to my original story. There is a time gap between them that is covered by what will eventually be the second book. The book I just wrote and is currently in editing / pre-reading is actually going to be the third book in the series of what will likely be four books. That said, here’s the rub.
I have characters interacting with other characters, in relationships, working and otherwise, that if the books had been written in order and if I could assume that the reader had read the other books in order would make perfect sense. But without that back story, I fear there could be confusion in some places.
And my point is that *even* if I had written the stories in order, and they were there for the reader to enjoy in the correct order, that seems bad form to force onto a reader or assume. Sometimes people like a story and they have no interest in the prequels/sequels / what have you. Why should they?
So a good writer knows this and has tools and techniques to drop in just enough context and backgrounds organically throughout the story, sections that fill in what is needed for those who do not know but not bore to tears with needless recap a reader that has read the previous works.
This is clearly an advanced topic. Not even sure this is something that could be covered in the brief format of being a better writer. But I have seen it done well, and poorly. The latter clearly includes myself. So if this is something you could address that would be wonderful.