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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4 Tips for Reviewing Test Reader Feedback

Writing communities and classes frequently recommend seeking feedback and constructive criticism from test readers. Taking criticism gracefully is another favorite topic in writing circles. It’s a challenge to get over the emotional and psychological hurdles of having fellow humans...

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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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The Ugly Work of Writing

Writing is isolated work, performed within the mind, transferred to paper by simple mechanical means, and then finally shared only after it’s finished. Like any art, the stages of the project are most often hidden, and the artist is...

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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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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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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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Between First Draft and Test Readers

Between a rough draft and the first test reader lies a crucial and oft-neglected expanse. Some first-time writers plow forward and find an alpha reader right off, someone to read the stacks of pages before the ink on the...

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