Concept Testing: Could this work for a novel?

Imagine hitting a point when your novel falls flat, or your story ends about 50,000 words before it should. This is a nightmare many writers live, especially during those committed times when they’re actually putting in the time to...

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Show, Don’t Tell (In Moderation)

Far from being a hard and fast rule of writing (or professional writing advice), the common adage “show, don’t tell” is better described on a spectrum of style. Firmly on the “tell” side, many early writers struggle to include the details...

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5 Principles to Enhance Creative Practice

People don't give enough credit to the act of learning, focusing so much on labeling people "ahead" or "behind" when really, we're all progressing. The following experience is generously shared by blogger Amy Hopkins: “When I was a kid, I...

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Planning a Novel: Types and Tools

Planning a story can be a minefield of distraction. Large works, like novels and series, often benefit from setting structures for the story. Even small works, short stories and poems, show improvement when preparation is done for the content,...

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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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Simple Tips for Smarter Self-Promotion

Certain common concerns spring up in writing groups and forums that receive mixed responses. One such general posted question might look like this: “What is the right way to advertise your book? I see people get in trouble in groups...

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Arm Yourself for Self-Editing

Self-editing draws the praise and criticism of authors on both sides of the self-publishing issue. Some roar that no author can produce quality work without enlisting professional editors. On the other end are writers, often facing a lack of...

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How To Stand Out in a Writing Group

Writers benefit from joining groups and communities, but the experience can be rough when the reality fails to live up to expectations. Social interaction improves the writing experience by cutting down the firm association of writing with solitude, but...

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Dialogue Tools or Toys?

Writers play with language. This is definitely a kind of game. However, the same way someone doesn’t use chess pieces to play checkers, certain devices are couched in cultural conventions. While not “rules” exactly, these conventions serve to ensure...

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What to Expect From A First Draft

Creative writing goes through several stages. Whether it’s called a “rough” draft or “first” draft, producing the first fully written out version of the work terrifies some writers into immobility. Some, after completing the draft, are so high on...

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