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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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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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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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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Self-Education for Writers

The lifeblood of any skill or talent is continued growth. Sometimes practice alone is sufficient to improve the quality of creative work. This develops skills through trial, error, and repetition. The start of these skills, though, is instruction in...

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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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Strengthen Your Story Concept: Interest, Story Generators, and Playing What-If

Translating an interesting idea into a good story starts with finding the story in the idea. It’s very easy to be excited by something and want to write about it. Inspiration is excellent! It also fills up files like...

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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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