Reviving An Old Project

  A book can get shelved before it’s finished, but not in the good way. Creative work can get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list when priorities shift or you lose interest for the latest shiny new idea. This doesn’t...

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What is Detail, What is Plot: Deciphering Writer’s Block

Planning a story should produce a strong outline. That outline, made up of interesting and interconnected scenes, ties your ideas together into a cohesive and engaging plot. Faced with a pile of potential scenes to organize into a story,...

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“Can I write about this?” – Yes, on one condition.

People love classifying other people. Our minds are happily oriented around patterns, but when it comes to making sense of others, especially those who are different than us, we get into trouble. Writers who want to tell a story...

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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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Word-Hacking Emotion

Forget brain surgery, its poetry and psychology that hack our minds. Yes, we generally discuss narrative here, but the principles of poetry are what turn description and detail into mind control engines. Remember your lessons on imagery? Unless your English...

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Worldbuilding for Realistic Fiction

I am proud to admit I write in many genres. I've been known to write light-hearted fantasy, speculative/science fiction, lite horror, a little supernatural, period realistic fiction, and contemporary fiction. People seem surprised when I say I use worldbuilding...

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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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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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Know Your Enemy – Procrastination

Procrastination blocks productivity. Still, procrastination is better tackled when it’s understood. By definition, procrastination means “the act of delaying or postponing something”, more specifically “putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention”. You are technically only procrastinating in...

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