Writer Tools: The Synopsis and Cover Blurb

Writing a book, no matter the genre or subject matter, is a huge task. Getting the manuscript just right can take years of work and dozens of drafts. After all this, some aspiring authors feel a bit cheated when...

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Project Distraction: Shiny Object Syndrome and Plot Bunnies

Writers, like all creative people, hope to never run short of ideas. Unfortunately, focus problems plus an abundance of ideas add up to distraction. There are several terms for this, including but not limited to the more popular two:...

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Dialogue and Subtext: What Isn’t Said

Dialogue, as any other narrative tool, operates best when it advances more than one goal. Single-purpose narrative devices often come off flat, lacking color, or uninteresting. Screenwriters call this “on-the-nose” dialogue, and if any writers know the power of...

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Organic Plot Development

In the spirit of encouraging continued education, today we’re sharing a concept from a current international writing course, offered through the University of Iowa’s online learning program. The course is titled How Writers Write Fiction 2015. This course addresses...

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Description: When Less is More

A certain story circulated among first year students in the creative writing program: The university had had a visit from an up-and-coming author, a young woman who promised to make waves in the literary community. She brought nothing with her...

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Writing First Chapters: Best First Impressions

First lines, first paragraphs, and first chapters shoot fear into the hearts of authors. Editors and agents stress their importance, demanding high quality, brief force, and creative genius to catch their attention and the attention of readers. Not good...

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Tuning Fiction to Your Audience

Every written communication has an audience. Even someone who writes a note in order to recall something later has an audience: themselves. Quality writing links directly with how well it meets the needs of the audience. If that note...

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Experimental Writing: Pushing the Boundaries of Literature

Writing is an art form, and like all other art forms, there are horizons in expansion. Experimental writing forms its own category, if only for the fact that it willfully stands apart from existing forms. Defining a form that purposely...

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Writing Tools: Narrative Summary

Narrative summary is one mode of story-telling and narrative writing. Performers will recognize this tool as the voice of a narrator, different in that it doesn’t belong to any particular character in the story, it allows them to tell...

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Prewriting, Tools, and Techniques

Planning and prewriting differ greatly. While both activities have the potential to address structure, prewriting is specifically done before a draft (whereas planning/structuring can be done during the action of the draft). Prewriting, as taught in schools, is composed of...

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