Pacing Your Book So Time Will Fly

Does time really fly when you’re having fun? Well, it sure does when you’re reading a book with perfect pacing. When we feel like time is flying by (or dragging along), the seconds aren’t any longer or shorter than...

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Skipping Time in Your Story

Some stories take a lifetime to tell. Well, they would if we didn’t use narrative pacing to make sure we hit the best parts while not leaving out important details. Consider trying to tell the story of a person. Biographies...

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Sure Growth and the Psychology of Practice

How to Become a Great Writer (no, seriously, this is how) This post is directly inspired by a recent Freakonomics podcast titled How to Become Great at Just About Anything. Tantalizing premise, isn’t it? Most of us have heard of...

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Creative Writing Tools: Maps

Maps support a story. This doesn’t necessarily mean providing readers with a map of your world will make it better, but maps are a powerful tool for consistency and inspiration during the writing and revision process. Fantasy writers often aspire...

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5 Questions for Tackling Big Issues

"Write about something you feel strongly about." "Write about what disturbs you." "Don't shy away from writing something difficult." This common piece of advice appears phrased dozens of ways. The first time I heard it was from a middle school English teacher in...

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Plot Twists: Expanding Your World

Story structures require control of perception and the element of surprise. Plotting is all about retaining and releasing information to create dramatic and purposeful connections between the elements of the story. Plot twists (here simply defined as revelatory moments that...

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Setting and “Show Don’t Tell”

Setting, the most description-heavy part of a story, benefits from the classic advice, “Show Don’t Tell”. We’ll be addressing this advice from a few different angles in other posts, but in this one it feels right to start with...

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Story Generators: From Traits to Action

Generators are great. Stuck for a character? All you have to do is turn a card or click a button and boom! There’s one complete with useful traits, their fate, flaws, weaknesses, and maybe even a little backstory. You...

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Note Card Plotting: Unwrapped

One of the more recognizable plotting methods out there is Note card Plotting. The idea of physically carrying and rearranging ideas appeals especially well to hands-on or visual writers, though the specifics of the method vary. Note Card Plotting General Method:...

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2 Methods for Writing Powerful Themes

There’s much more to a story than what happens. Theme, for example, can simply be described as what a story means. This post isn’t to describe theme, so for that you can visit an excellent post over at Writers...

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