Quick Tips for Character Creation

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Realistic and lovable characters are a major part of good fiction. Character creation can be one of the most challenging parts of writing, and a lack of in-depth characterization can completely ruin a great plot. Below are a few simple and basic tips to help you create solid characters, with depth and personality, that add to the story-line and help to make your piece as close to perfect as possible.

Quick Tips for Character Creation

  1. Every character in your story needs to have a story themselves, you don’t need to spend hours getting to know your secondary characters but you should have a basic outline for everyone involved in the tale. Make notes of important information such as name, age, job, social status, gender, relationship status, and any other relevant basic personal information. Rule of thumb; know your secondary characters like you know your acquaintances, and your main characters as you know your best friends.
  2. Along with their story each character needs a goal. This goal may be something simple or a large mission to save the world, either way this goal needs to be clear and have purpose behind it.
  3. To tie together the above factors of a story and a goal, your characters need to have a history. Even the simplest of characters has to have a past that somehow connects them to what is happening in the present moment. The characters of a story are often connected through an intricate spiderweb. John may know Sheila through her cousin Paul, who has been murdered by Ben, and John might be Ben’s Uncle. Whatever the case each of your characters has to have at least a slight past and some form of connection to the story that you are writing. They need a reason for being where they are, with who they are, and for what they are doing. The process of creating history takes time and organization, plan carefully and be sure that you fill any holes.
  4. Once you have the basics of each character you need to personalize them. The best way to bring your character to life is to give them real life issues. Habits, compulsions, and obsessions are a great way of making your characters more human. Perhaps your main character is a compulsive hand-washer, a smoker, an alcoholic or is constantly quoting cheesy comedy films, whatever the case they need to have a human habit that others can relate to, something that makes them vulnerable and realistic and life-like.
  5. Build emotion in your character to create empathy and connect them with your readers. Even the most frightening of villains has to have a soft spot, some one needs to be able to connect with what makes this character tick. The deepest emotion a character can express is crying, but they need not actually cry to express this human trait, just showing that there is something that is capable of causing this sentiment is enough to connect them to the real world. Find the one thing that would hurt your character and share it in some way with your readers, this builds trust and creates a connection.
  6. In line with personalizing your character, be sure you create flaws. Flaws are another way of humanizing a fictional character. People are not perfect, and they will not enjoy reading about someone who is. Create some kind of flaw for your main characters to help your readers relate to them. Perhaps they harbor a deep dislike for another character in your story, maybe they lie a lot, swear a lot, or have trouble focusing on what is important. Give your characters some kind of flaw so they are not perfect, unbelievable icons that your readers can not relate to on a personal level.
  7. The last step in character creation is to ensure that you have covered all the bases. Sort out all the details of your characters, especially your main characters, such as personality, appearance, distinctive traits and personal information. You should know your main characters as well as you know yourself. Even if you are not going to use the information as part of the story line, things like zodiac sign, and favorite foods, will help you connect to the characters and create a consistent flow in your writing. Creating characters is a bit like being an actor, you need to get into the role and be a part of who they are. Let your imagination run wild and remember the more information you have the better.

How you create your characters differs with each writer, some writers prefer to outline all characters before they write a single word, where others will set out the basics of their main characters and create the rest along the way. Experiment and find what works best for you. The great thing about writing is that there are really no rules and you have the freedom to be creative. If you are a beginner than character creation may take a bit of time, but with practice it will become easier. Keep in mind how important a solid character is, and think of the time spent creating them as an investment in your story. The process can be tedious but it is worth the effort to have a well-rounded character without any gray areas or unanswered questions. Take your time and be thorough, and most of all have fun. The sky is the limit and you can go wherever your imagination will allow you.

 

Until Next Time…

Write On!

About the “About Me”

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Being a blogger can be a very rewarding endeavor. Whether your blog is personal, business focused, or aimed toward a certain theme, there is one thing that all will share, (and one thing that many bloggers dread writing) the ‘About Mepage.

Every blog, no matter the focus, requires a small spot for the readers to get to know the writers, product, or business behind the blog. The ‘about me’ page does just that. Whether you are writing to promote your business, your writing, or yourself, your “about me” page is a valuable tool for connecting with your readers. Writing this page can be the most difficult part of being a blogger and should share important information, without sharing too much.

There are a few things to keep in mind when writing your “About” page.

Your ‘about’ page should answer the following basic questions:

  • Who you are,
  • What you do,
  • What you write about,
  • How to contact you.

If you are writing a personal blog it would be a good idea to add a bit of your history to this section. Include things such as, who you are, if you have children, if your married, where you work (or what you do) and what prompted you to start writing about your life. Fill in the blanks regarding anything that you may write about. Readers may be shocked to discover you have two children and 14 dogs, if this information is not on your ‘about’ page and they suddenly appear in a post.

Your ‘about’ page should set the tone of your entire blog. Do not write a humorous ‘about’ page for a serious blog, and vice-versa. Stick to the same tone you intend to use throughout your writing so readers know what to expect from your site.

Bold headlines, and bullets are a great way to share a large amount of information without overwhelming your readers. This is especially useful for company blogs that may have a ton of important information to share. By chopping big chunks of information in to smaller, easier to read lists you encourage your readers to learn about you, your site or your company. Internet readers often don’t have the time to read entire novels online, so ensure you are sharing the most important information at the beginning of your post, and finding ways to make it easy to read.

Adding your contact information to your ‘about’ page makes it easy for readers to get in contact with you. Set up a new email specifically for your site if you are not comfortable positing your personal email online. Company blogs should provide contact information for various departments, and another for general inquiries. If a reader has a question they do not want to have to search your site to find your contact information. It should be accessible and easy to locate.

Most of all, be yourself. This is especially important if you are writing a personal blog. Readers will go to your ‘about’ page as a way to get to know ‘you‘ and learn more about why you write. Being yourself is important if you hope to truly connect with your readers.

Though it is personal preference what level of information you choose to share, any expertise you have on the topic you are writing about should be shared with your readers to help build trust in your content. Play around with your ‘about’ page, and have fun. Remember it is a look at you, your site or your business, so let your true colors shine.

Why is an ‘About’ page important:

There are a number of reasons to place an ‘about’ page on your site if you haven’t already.

An ‘about’ page helps you to build your name in the writing world, it gives readers a look behind the scenes and helps them form a personal relationship with the writer of the content they love to read.

An ‘about’ page also has the ability to take readers deeper into your site or any others you may write for. Links in your ‘about’ section can take readers to posts that they may not have discovered on their own, or to another site that may be of interest to them. A good ‘about’ page will encourage readers to explore your site, your writing, and you, on a deeper level.

About pages are one of the most view pages on any blog, this shows that readers want to know a bit more about ‘who‘ is writing the content they are reading and should be motivation enough to get you started on yours.

Do you have any tips on writing an “About Me” page?
Did you find it difficult to write your own?
Feel free to share your thoughts and advice in the comments section below.

Until Next Time…

Write On!

Finding Inspiration to Write… What to do when you can’t get started.

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Writing

Image via Wikipedia

Writing is a lot easier if you have something to say
– Sholem Asch

Sometimes the hardest part of writing is finding a subject to write about. Those that have suffered from Writer’s Block, know the helpless feeling lack of inspiration can cause, and even the most creative soul can lack ideas from time to time.

So how do you get started when it seems there is nothing there to write? 

If you hope to succeed as a writer you must seek out inspiration at every turn. When times get tough you must fight through the wall and find a source for your words. Like an artist, words are your paint, you need to learn to use every color if you hope to create a masterpiece. Inspiration is available all around you, you simply need to open your eyes, and your mind, to let it in. If you are faced with a creative block and can’t seem to find a suitable subject, try out these tips to get your mind working and spark your creativity:

Finding Inspiration to get you Started

  • Read – Often times the best way to get inspired is by reading what someone else has written. I have said this many times before, and I will say it many times in the future. Some of my most inspiring writing is brought on by reading another writer’s blog. Not everything needs to be a ‘great new idea’ it is perfectly acceptable to take someone else’s idea and make it your own. Next time you stumble across a blog, article, or story you enjoy consider how you can expand upon it and make it your own. The only rule here is to provide credit where credit is due and link back to the inspiration.
  • Get out and about – Sometimes all it takes is a little socialization to get your gears going. Meet up with a friend for a chat, or head to a busy café and strike up conversation with a stranger. Conversation produces ideas, and ideas can be turned into art, so get up, get dressed, and get talking… Even a short chat on your favorite social media site can stir up creativity so log on to Facebook and enjoy a chat.
  • Savor the Silence – When social situations are not the inspiring, often time solitude is what we seek. The silence and beauty that peace and quite brings is often very inspiring for a writer. Head to a quiet place in nature, like a hidden beach or quiet forest and simply savor the silence, listening only to the sounds around you and your thoughts. If you can’t get outdoor create solitude inside, retreat to a quiet room, or head to the local library for some down time. Bookstores, art galleries and museums are also inspiring and relatively free of crowds. Bring along a notebook and jot down any ideas that come to mind. Enjoy the peace and allow your creativity to connect.
  • Tune in – Music can be very inspiring for a writer. Next time you are lacking a subject to start your writing step away and crank up the tunes. Listen to the lyrics (if there are any) and really consider how the song makes you feel. Ask yourself what the artist is trying to say through the piece, and allow their inspiration to fuel your own.
  • He said, She said – Quotes are another excellent source of inspiration. A few simple lines can spark endless possibilities. Head over to your favorite quote site, (I like q.uote.it) and immerse yourself in the words of others. There are quotes available on literally ‘thousands’ of topics, and they are a great way to start off your writing (see above) or inspire you to expand. When reading quotes consider not only the words and the source, but the underlying symbolism that these simple pieces often hold. Allow your mind to fully process each written word, and evaluate how they truly make you feel.
  • Just Breathe – Not every moment is meant to be spent writing. If you find that you just cannot find inspiration to get started simply step away. Often times a short break is all that a writer needs to regain perspective and get their creativity back in gear. Take a short walk, step outside, have a bath or do the housework. Focus on something else for a while until you are ready to tackle the task again. By taking time out to relax you are clearing the clutter of your mind and allowing new thoughts and ideas to enter.

If all else fails don’t forget to visit the Prompt section of this site. Writing prompts can be a great way to get started and often lead to other ideas. You can view the prompts this site has available HERE or follow the link at the top of the page.

 

Until Next Time…

Write On!

How do you cope when you are lacking inspiration?
Where do you find sources for your writing?

Short Story Writing Tips to Get You Started

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Most of my posts for the most part up to now have been related to blogging so I wanted to widen the horizons here on Perfectly Prompted. Many people who write tend to do so in a variety of forms. Perhaps your dabble in poetry, maybe you write lyrics, or short stories might be your outlet of choice. Today we are going to focus on the latter, Short Story writing.

Short story writing is an excellent outlet for creativity that is adaptable to a modern world. Many writers want to write the next best-seller, they dream of writing novels with intricate plots, well-rounded characters, and detailed description, but often they just don’t have the time. Short stories can be a great alternative to a longer piece, and still give you the satisfaction of a finished, well-developed work of art with less strain on your day-to-day life. They are also an excellent stepping stone to develop your skills for the moment when you do find the time to write that award-winning novel.

This post will give you a quick look at the benefits of short story writing, and provide tips to help you get started.  (Also, check out the prompts at the end of this post for fun story ideas)

In the world of short story writing there are no real rules. Writers are constantly creating and evolving in the genre, and any rules that do exist often get tested, pushed to the limit, or broken. There are a few basics to short story writing that can often be a helpful guide, especially for a beginner, but remember a story needs to astonish and thrill a reader or it is not worth reading, no matter how short it is.

The first thing to remember when writing a short story is the amount of information you are presenting in such a small space, because the length of short stories is substantially shorter than that of a full-scale novel, or even a novella, it is important you pay close attention what goes in to it. (You do not want to overwhelm the reader with useless information and leave them wondering where the story went and so, nothing should be written that does not relate to the protagonist, or the issue they are facing in the story.) Unlike a novel where the main character may face many different issues through out the storyline, a short story presents only one issue for your character to deal with. This single issue should cause the main character to be torn emotionally and should generally cause them to fight or contend with someone else in the story, this person would be the antagonist.

Generally speaking both characters will face the same issue but have opposing positions, or views, about it. What happens in the story is kept simple and is the result of the battle between the two contending sides. The problems that these characters faces usually does not end well, this part of the story would be the crisis, these characters usually know each other, (they are not usually strangers as a short story does not give ample time to develop a relationship) and often times they are closely related such as family members/best friends. The battle between these characters generally has a few rounds before the conclusion or resolution.

The general rule of short story writing is that the crisis and resolution change the protagonists life forever, and they never truly win the fight, as they are never quite the same no matter the result. The end of the short story, which is called the dénouement, should give the reader some idea of how the character goes on in life. In other words; the story must always tie up the loose ends and not leave the reader wondering what happened. Unlike novels or movies, short stories will have no follow-ups, so all issues must be resolved within the frame of the writing.

Symbolism plays a huge part in short stories. Many of the more popular short stories have deep symbolic meanings embedded in the text for the reader to consider at a later time or as they read. If you are unfamiliar with symbolism it is something you should study, at least briefly, as it can play a key role in a good short story.

Lastly, short stories always begin at the beginning of the end, there is no time to start earlier. A good writer will fill the reader in on the past quickly and efficiently through well-written description and strong character development.

Those are the basics of short story writing, but as I said before; when it comes to short stories these ‘rules’ are often evolved, expanded on and regularly broken. The only real rule to a short story is that the writers imagination has created it. Even the length of a short story is in perpetual debate, generally it is a story that is no more than 20,000 words and no less than 1,000, but this criteria is pushed and changed as often as the other listed rules. Basically, a short story is whatever you make it out to be and it fits ‘generally’ into the basic criteria for the genre.

There are many benefits to short story writing. It is less time-consuming, the plot, characters, and story itself are easier to compose and keep track of, and the market for such work is vast. Probably one of the greatest benefits to short story writing (besides creative freedom) is the market available for such pieces. Unlike with novel-writing, most short story publishers do not require that submissions be solicited by an agent, and so new writers can easily get their foot in the door and start a career. The pay scale for such work varies drastically, but an author can quickly make a name for themselves and earn a good income if they are a good writer.

If you have never tried writing a short story (besides the ones you had to write in school) I highly suggest you make an attempt to do so now. This form allows you creative freedom and helps to develop your craft without much effort, or substantial time. Below I have listed some short story prompts to help get you started, give them a try, and feel free to post your finished product (or a link to it) in the comments section. (Please don’t be shy, this is a ‘writer friendly’ environment for everyone beginner to advanced.)

Short Story Prompts to Get You Started:

  • A girl is snooping around her best friends apartment and finds a disturbing photograph in her drawer…
  • Your main character suspects that her/his partner is having an affair and decides to spy on them, what does she/he find?
  • At a local flea market your character buys an antique lamp and finds a note hidden inside.
  • At the airport a stranger talks your character into carrying a mysterious package on to the plane. The character gets stopped by security, it is not drugs, so what is inside the package?
  • Your character picks up a hitch-hiker on the way home who presents them with a strange opportunity…
  • Your character is being blackmailed. Why? and by who?
  • Your character arrives home and can immediately sense that something is not right, how? what?why?
  • Your character is confronted by a person from the past who tries to apologize for…
  • Your character is reading a book when they hear a strange noise. Looking up they see it outside the window…
  • Pick someone from a ‘personal ad’ online (or in the paper) and write a story based only on how they look, or what is written about them.
  • Use the following line to begin your story: “I couldn’t help but stare…”
  • Write a story with a dark hallway, a broken vase, and one lost slipper…
  • Create a story about Greg McDougall, a lonely investment banker on the rooftop ledge…

Feel free to create (and even submit) your own prompts as well. As always comments are welcome, as are links to your site, or finished pieces relating to the content. You can submit these in the comments area or email them to perfectlyprompted@live.ca if you wish to remain anonymous.

Here are a few last-minute short story tips to get you writing:

– Who is your protagonist and what does he/she want?
– When the story begins what actions has your character already taken that have brought him/her to this point?
– What unexpected consequences will your protagonist face due to their actions? Will this change their mind yet again? How many times?
– What details are important to ensure your story is complete? Which are not? (eg: avoid travel scenes, filler conversation, and things that have already been observed or stated previously)
– What final choice will your character make at the climax of the story? (It should be unexpected, and your reader should feel connected to this choice)

 

Until Next Time…

Write On!

10 Straight Forward Tips to Enhance Your Blogging Experience…

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I have not been posting on here as much as I would like to lately, with the warmer weather finally here I have found myself caught up in the excitement of outdoor life. I was sitting in the sun today thinking about this blog and how much I have enjoyed creating it. One of my favorite things about Perfectly Prompted is that through my posts I not only get to help others learn, but I get to learn myself. I used to dream of being a teacher, but the thought of 20 – 30 poorly behaved children in my care and under my supervision quickly caused that dream to dwindle away… Still this site brings me that same ‘teaching’ pleasure, without the screaming kids… Plus I am learning so much as well, so that is a total bonus to me. 

For me blogging is like a never-ending education. Each and every day I get to learn and grow in my writing, and I get to share those lessons with so many people. I constantly say that the greatest thing about blogging is the ability to perpetually change and grow as required. Unlike writing a book, an article, or any other written form, your blog can cover a wide array of topics and does not have to conform to one single topic (unless you so choose) I have never been good at sticking to one thing and so this works out wonderfully for me. I love the lessons that blogging has taught me and the variety that it provides. I also love that every post, (my own and those that I regularly read from other bloggers) gives me insight into how I can improve my site.

And so… Without further ado I would like to share with you…

10 Straight Forward Tips to Enhance Your Blogging Experience:

  • Links – Links are like a well-known critic writing a good review. Not only is it an amazing feeling when you discover that someone has linked to your site from theirs, but it is a great form of flattery to return the favor from your own site. In the blogging world there is nothing wrong with sharing another person’s content or expanding on someone’s else’s idea with your own, but you must remember to give credit where it is due. If you gain an idea from another writers site, even simply to expand on it or share a thought, be respectful and link back to where the idea came from. The writer will thank-you, and usually the flattery is in some way returned.
  • Comments – If you want to be an active blogger you must ensure that you are creating a site that is reader friendly. Word of mouth is the greatest advertising tool a blogger (or business) can use. Comments allow your readers to get involved with your writing, and open the door for discussions that may generate future ideas. To ensure commenting write about your subjects with an open-ended feel, and be sure to reply personally to every comment you receive. Encourage your readers to get involved by constantly providing and outlet for their opinions.
  • Edit – Before you hit the ‘publish’ button be sure to edit your material. Even if you have created a personal blog, your readers expect some level of professionalism in your writing. Re-read what you have written (aloud if you must), spell-check and correct any written errors, re-word where necessary, and have another person read it over if you can to ensure quality material. If all else fails the best way to edit a piece is to simply ‘wait’ before posting, a few hours, or even a few minutes later your mind may notice things that it could not see before.
  • Routine – One of the most common pieces of advice that bloggers receive is to post daily, while you may not be able to keep up with such constraints it is important that you are frequent with your writing. Blogs are known for their consistent information, keeping your blog up-to-date is an important part of gaining success and followers. Readers will check back often when they know there will be new material, ensure that they have something to read by posting as often as you can. Work your blog into your schedule just as you would appointments or work.
  • Attention – The look of your blog can make or break readership. Although it is sad to say, the quality of your writing will mean nothing if the image it presents in the first 10 seconds is poor. Grab attention with an easy to use layout and bold graphics. Writing that is clear and easily read will help draw attention to the actual content of your writing, rather than the distracting look of a site that is poorly prepared. Take your time and create your blog as if it is a work of art. Most blog sites have excellent templates available that are simple to use, even for the beginners.
  • Headlines – Having a good title is an asset to any site. Be sure that your headlines are creating curiosity and inviting readers to know more. You want to be bold and attentive, your headline should grab attention and hint on the topic without giving all of the information away. Check out local and big city newspapers for ideas, the headlines they write are created to generate sales and spark interest in certain ideas.
  • Keywords – Using keywords in your posts allows search engines to pick-up and promote your content more easily. Do a simple search for the most popular keywords on Google and incorporate them into your post, or look up keyword writing and generate ideas of your own (I will be posting about using keywords in your blog in the near future so check back soon for simple tricks and advice) Be sure that you don’t go overboard on the keywords though, simply choose a few that work for you and utilize them as best you can.
  • Pay Attention – Just as the most popular keywords are an important part of your writing, so are the most talked about topics at the moment. Be sure you are paying attention to the hot topics in the world around you and trying to find ways to incorporate them into your site. If the world is talking about war and you have a blog about marketing try coming up with a creative post about the effects of war on the marketing industry, or how the army recruits… etc.. the possibilities are as endless as your mind allows them to be. Twitter, Facebook, and Google are great ways to discover what it is that people are talking about, you just need to pay attention.
  • Readability – Keep in mind that your readers will probably come from many different walks of life. Just because your blogging about health does not mean that only doctors are going to visit your site (if it is an open site, which is my assumption for this post) ensure that you are creating posts that are easy for everyone to read. Use clear concise language that is easy to follow and simple to understand. This is especially important if you are blogging about a wide variety of topics, or a topic that may appeal to a great deal of people in the general public. If you hope to succeed and gain a following you need to ensure that all your readers can understand your words. Also, keep in mind that the internet is accessible throughout the world, never assume that you know your readers, ensure that your posts are understandable to those who may be reading from overseas. Keep the thought in mind that you are “writing for the world” if you hope to become successful.
  • Evolve – In order to keep things fresh and exciting always be willing to grow and change. Constantly seek out new ideas, try new techniques, and learn new things. Change the pace and create new avenues for your writing. The best thing a blogger can do is endlessly learn and grow. The sky is the limit when it comes to blogs and only your creativity will take you as high as you can go.

If you wish to be successful, or even if you just want to write, these simple tips will help you attract and keep more readers on your site. Be sure to have fun with your writing, and don’t be afraid to break the rules. There is no right or wrong in the blogging world, only different outlooks and interesting ideas.

 

Until Next Time…

Write On!

 

Argue and Add Depth to your Writing

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The argumentative essay is a favorite among college professors as it shows a writers knowledge and adds drama to the topic. Perhaps you remember these assignments from your school days, the controversial topics that grabbed the reader’s attention and demanded that you back up your opinion with factual information. These exercises in school may have prepared you for a life of successful writing without you even knowing it….

Adding the element of argument to your blog can be a great way to create drama and get people talking about your writing. By no means do you need to be overly argumentative, or angry to gain attention, you simply need to be able to share your opinion on an otherwise touchy subject openly, while providing evidence to back up your point of view.

Take for instance the widely talked about topic of the death penalty, for decades people have gained attention from both stand points of this hot topic. Writing and Producing persuasive arguments that support their personal point-of-view. Blogs that have written about such topics tend to get a fair amount of attention, especially when they are well written and provide persuasive reasoning to support their claim. The same goes for other controversial topics, such as; abortion, rape, justice, and child abuse. Choosing a topic that gets a readers blood boiling is a sure-fire way to a) get your writing read by many, and b) generate discussion on your site.

Now not everyone can handle this type of writing, and it is not for the faint at heart. If you are not naturally argumentative in the first place, I would suggest you aim to keep your writing more to the persuasive side, than the argumentative one, as a good argumentative essay or blog post will generate feedback. Much of this feedback will come from readers who strongly disagree with the point you are making, and many times this feedback ends up rather harsh in nature. Keep this in mind as you write, and don’t take any comments personally… Remember ‘everyone’ is entitled to their opinion.

At the end of this post is a short list of controversial topics that you may consider writing about. Choose one that arouses your passion and write a short 250 – 500 word post supporting your view. You can make this longer if you like, but the key here is to share your opinion, and provide reasoning for that opinion. It also helps if you write with the intent to persuade others to feel as you do.

This type of writing may be difficult for you, and it definitely requires that you think “outside the box”, but give it a try even just for the change of pace, and see where it leads you. Remember there is no right or wrong when it comes to your opinion.

Here are a few tips to get you started, followed by a list of hot topics to choose from. 

Tips for Argumentative Writing:

  • Pre-plan – Because this type of writing requires factual information and a certain level of organization of ideas it is important that you spend a bit of time outlining exactly what you want to say. Highlight the most important points and build on them.
  • Choose a good topic – When deciding on a topic you need to consider a number of things; you want a topic that has two points of view, you want a topic that makes your blood boil and arouses your passion, you want a topic that has enough information available to be supportive to your argument, and you want a topic that others will care to read about. Having knowledge on the topic is helpful, but with today’s technology research is a fairly easy part of writing.
  • Take your stand – After considering both sides you need to take a stand and choose which side you support. At that point your must begin to explain and decide “why” you have chosen the position you have on this issue and gather evidence that will support you as well. The more facts you have to back up your view the more likely that others will agree with you. Imagine that you are selling a product and that each sale is going to produce huge commission… You need to ‘prove’ your point to get the sale!
  • Start Writing – Once you are ready to write aim to do the following: Introduce your topic and your position. (Remember those thesis statements that you spent hours perfecting in school…) Present both sides of the subject. Though you may only support one, it is important that your readers understand there are two very different points-of-view on this topic, at this point you will start to defend yours by selecting the strongest evidence one point at a time. Once you have completed your points sum them up with a powerful closing statement. Simple. Your Done. By this time your reader should be convinced that you are correct and your point-of-view is the positive one.
  • Remember these tips – Avoid emotional language. Unless you are aiming for a personal opinion point-of-view, stick to the ‘facts’ as much as possible. Don’t make things up. All evidence you present should be factual and you should be able to back it up with proof. Take note of where you gathered your research so that you can support your facts should you need to. Be prepared to defend your point. If you are not ready to defend yourself and your view, refrain from writing your piece. This is another reason you should choose a topic you are passionate about, people are going to argue with you, you will need to be able to back-up your opinion.

Despite the serious nature of this type of writing, have fun with it and enjoy what you write. Allow yourself to relish in the passion that your topic arouses in you. It is a rare occasion that a writer gets to share such a deep part of themselves with others. Allow it to teach you, and help you grow.

Here is a list of some great argumentative topics you may wish to write about. As I said before, even if this type of writing is not in your nature give it a try, even just for the ‘change of pace’. Have sun with it and make it your own in any way you like. Be honest, and creative. Take a stand and share your ideas… There is no right or wrong!

Hot Topics to Write About:

  • Is the death penalty effective?
  • Is our election process a fair one?
  • Is torture or murder ever acceptable?
  • Should parents be open about sex and drugs with their teens?
  • Is cheating in a relationship ever understandable? Can it be forgiven?
  • Are we too dependent on technology?
  • Should smoking be banned from all public places? Should it be banned from homes where there are children?
  • Should children be micro-chipped at birth if the parents choose to do so?
  • Is child behavior better or worse than it was years ago?
  • Should schools provide teens with free access to condoms?
  • Are actors and professional athletes paid too much?
  • Do violent video games cause violence in children?
  • Should child pageants be banned?
  • Does age matter in relationships?
  • Should gay couples be allowed to marry?
  • Is war ever the answer?

I hope that many of you will choose one of the above topics (or choose one of your own) and give this prompt a try. I will be posting my response to this post in the next few days as well so stay tuned. This type of writing has always been a passion of mine as it allows me to share parts of myself and my mind that would otherwise not be seen, or read.

Once again have fun, and don’t take this too seriously. Feel free to post a link to your results (on the actual writing) in the comments for others to see.

***If you wish to remain anonymous you can also email your responses to:
perfectlyprompted@live.ca ***

Until Next Time…

Write On!

Social Media for Success – How Facebook Can Help Your Writing.

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This is a Social Media Society, Facebook and Twitter head up the News front and help to connect millions of people across the world who would otherwise have never met.

To be a successful writer you need an audience for your writing. Traditional marketing platforms are giving way to a world of online tools that, utilized properly, can increase your readership considerably in a very short period time with little to no effort on your part.

Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Delicious are some of the many site that have been created to bring people together, share ideas, and promote products or websites. Learning to use these tools to help promote your writing is one of the greatest lesson you can learn, and it can make your strive for success a whole lot simpler.

Social Media for Success:

Facebook Pages vs Profiles:

More people log on to Facebook each morning than check their emails. If you want to be seen as an expert in your field, than you need to create a Facebook Page for your blog, or business. There is not much difference between the two, they share the same options, layout and audience, but a ‘Page‘ is a more professional option to the usual Facebook profile, and should be geared specifically for your business, blog, or writing.

Using Your Facebook ‘Page’ – It is a good idea to post something to your Facebook Page every single day, just as you would your blog. You can easily arrange for your blog posts to be delivered to your Facebook site to allow fans easy access to your writing. Most blog sites now allow this option automatically through their sites with nothing more than a simple click and conformation. There are also many sites online that will do this for you hassle-free, such as dlvr.it

A Facebook Page allows your fans to connect, get updated on your latest endeavors, and easily access information about your business. Keep the content up-to-date and professional. It is also a good idea to have links to this page available around the web to help gather more readers. Posting questions, ideas, or polls on you Facebook page is another great way to get your fans talking, your page will come with a discussion area where readers can share their thoughts and comments on your business or blog. Photo’s, links and other information should be shared here regularly to keep interests up and readers notified.

Twitter for Instant Attention:

Twitter is a great tool for getting your posts or writing instant attention. This easy to use Social Media Outlet is the number one source for news, often broadcasting headlines before they even break out in print or television. Twitter is simple to use and can easily get you attention with little effort on your part. If you have a blog, or business that you want to get noticed sign-up for a Twitter account and get Tweeting. You will send your message out in 140 characters or less and link back to your site, by gathering followers, and following others your content can easily reach millions within moments of being typed. It is important to remember that because Twitter is such a popular site for news, your posts will not stay in the top rankings for long, so you must use this site consistently if you hope to gain the attention you deserve. Once again it is a good idea to set up your posts so they are sent to Twitter automatically each time you update your site.

Utilizing Social Media for Success and Inspiration:

Twitter and Facebook are the number one sites for social media, but there are thousands more, we will focus on these two for the duration if this post, just to make things easier as these tips apply to any social media site out there and can be utilized globally.

Twitter and Facebook are not only great sites for staying connected with family and friends, or growing your blog or business, they are also a wonderful source of inspiration for the creativity seeking writer. These sites are built around discussion, communication and hot topics. The simple act of staying up-to-date on what is being talked about online is a great way to decide what you should be writing. Twitter makes this easy with their list of top trends, Facebook requires a little deeper research but is still a great source for desired inspiration. Pay attention to what your friends, family, and fans are talking about, what questions they are asking, and what information they are searching for… If you can put the pieces of their puzzles together in a post you will gather fans quickly and find yourself with a large following.

Social Bookmarking websites such as Delicious and StumbleUpon are a great way to see what is popular at the moment and provide you with inspiration on what to write as well.

The key is to utilize every possible tool you can as a writer, get connected and gather readers from every possible avenue. With a little time, and effort you will find yourself on top of the trends and drowning in fans. Use these site frequently to share your updates with followers and gather more along the way…. Whoever told you Facebook was a waste of time never saw the power in Social Media and success.

Until Next Time…

Write On!

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