No Excuses. A year long writing course for free.

This will sound like a commercial. It sort of is, but it’s a recommendation made out of respect, gratitude, and a deep love for the Writing Excuses podcast. For the last three years, this crew of well-esteemed and staggeringly talented...

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Keep Readers by Using Variable Rewards

The big thing in entertainment today is addiction. The products we use – especially computer programs, games, and apps – are designed to hook users into habitual use, then encourage repeated purchases to fuel our investment of time. Before we...

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Writing Exercises: Why do we use them, and do we need them?

There are some great stories of writing exercises out there that have changed writers’ lives, styles, even dreams. Some are simply interesting, and a few make you wonder why we do these at all. In my final writing course, our...

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Marketing Using Facebook and Twitter Ads

by Brandon Varnell You’re a self-published author who now has a couple of books out. All of them are lovely, with gorgeous cover designs, quality formatting, are excellently edited, and—most importantly—best seller material. Unfortunately, you’re a self-published author, so nobody...

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How Digested is Your Reading Material?

How many people have touched your reading material? I’m not talking about germs on used books or the grimy bits hiding on the surface of your tablet. I mean how close to the source are you when you’re reading...

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Life is Like a Box Of Chocolates (so are anthologies)

While continuing our read of Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story, I just wanted to share a bit of commentary on the subject of writers reading short stories. It’s been several weeks since I...

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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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Object Lessons: Learning from Literary Short Fiction

I’ve recently picked up Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story and the first few stories got me thinking. This isn’t just any anthology. It’s geared toward writing instruction, marketed to aspiring writers looking...

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Feed Inspiration with Sources for Random Knowledge

Reading is wonderful. Writing wouldn’t be an industry without people for whom reading is a large part of their mental input. Fabulous as reading is, a well-rounded diet of information is critical for creativity and developing healthy intelligence. Stories, facts, history,...

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The Five Pillars of Healthful Writing

Writing has incredible benefits, but like any activity your individual involvement depends on your interest. Some writers are happy with the hobby, writing for their own fulfillment with a pleasant dream of being published someday. Others have a goal...

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