Articles from Swain

Dwight Swain's classic book Techniques of the Selling Writer was one of the best writing craft books I read when I first started learning how to write. It was written in 1982, so the language is a bit dated, but the techniques he gives are still excellent and applicable today.

Several of my friends mentioned how hard it is to read his prose (which is rather rambling, I'll be the first to admit) so I wrote a series of articles based on his book. These articles were originally published in RubyZine, a Christian e-zine for teen girls.

I hope these techniques from Swain will help other beginning writers form a solid foundation for their skills to build on.

1-Emotions and the Writer

2-Choosing Understandable Words

3-Choose Vibrant Words

4-The Larger Picture: Character, Setting, Story

5-The Smallest Picture: MRUs

6-Scene and Sequel: Scene

7-Scene and Sequel: Sequel

8-General Story Structure and Strategy For Your Novel

9-Your 50-Word Elevator Pitch

10-Beginning Your Novel, part 1

11-Beginning Your Novel, part 2

12-How to Write Backstory Without Putting Your Reader To Sleep

13-The Sagging Middle

14-The Sagging Middle, part 2: How To Make Things Worse

15-Bring It To an End

16-A Brief Overview of Characterization

17-The Nuts and Bolts of Actually Writing

18-Get Into the Mindset of Writing