Techniques of the Selling Writer – Fiction Strategy

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain This series of articles assumes you want to write stories and find an audience of loyal readers, who then influence new readers, who then themselves become loyal readers.  You can do that in your sleep, right? In order for us to tackle this, we have …

Techniques of the Selling Writer – Scene and Sequel

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” – Thomas Paine Conflict — the stuff good fiction is made of. A story without it is like a sugar-free donut. You only end up with a bland, fried bagel still sitting in the pink cardboard box at the end of the day. Not too many people care about someone who’s …

Techniques of the Selling Writer – Feelings and Manipulation – Part 1

“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” – Oscar Wilde In the previous article, we discussed choosing the right words to achieve an important goal in fiction – manipulating reader feelings. Now we’re going to zoom out a little and focus on how we do …

Techniques of the Selling Writer – Feelings and Manipulation – Part 2

With the idea of cause and effect firmly in our grasp, we can safely dive into Motivation-Reaction Units (MRU). Shape Emotion through MRUs At its most basic level, an MRU is a pure cause-effect pattern. “It is cause and effect applied to people. Cause becomes motivating stimulus … effect, character reaction.“ Swain defines a motivating stimulus as “anything outside your focal character to which …

Techniques of the Selling Writer – The Words You Write

“Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing.” – Robert Benchley The world is filled with critics. Critics of appearance, critics of beliefs, critics of taste…but there’s one especially devious creature that stalks the Internet, lurking in forums and constantly scaring would-be contributors from sharing ideas. This beast is a hunter that can smell a wounded …

Techniques of the Selling Writer – Fiction and You

“Too many would-be writers are really would-be authors. They want to have written” – Larry Niven You come home from work. The kids are so happy to see you, they don’t let go of your leg until one of you passes out from exhaustion. Don’t have kids? Your significant other needs a minimum of one hour to tell you just …

Techniques of the Selling Writer – Introduction

“The best way to learn is to teach.” – Frank Oppenheimer This post serves as an introduction to a new series I’ll be writing this year, focusing specifically on Dwight V. Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer. I’ve spent the past six months reading, rereading, and marking up this “Fiction Writer’s Bible” and I felt a desire to share the ideas it …

Day Twenty-Three – Techniques of a Struggling Writer

If you couldn’t tell by my last few posts, the gap in “days” should clue you in that the actual writing has slowed down a little bit. I’ve outlined a couple chapters from Cryptum and wrote 318 words towards a scene today. I also started reading Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain. I don’t know if anyone here …