Prewriting, Tools, and Techniques

Planning and prewriting differ greatly. While both activities have the potential to address structure, prewriting is specifically done before a draft (whereas planning/structuring can be done during the action of the draft). Prewriting, as taught in schools, is composed 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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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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Tools: Salvaging Novel Elements

Writers often write compulsively. Ideas come from everywhere, sometimes very fast and sometimes sparingly. The key is to record them. Once they’re recorded, a collection quickly develops, like a salvage yard. When setting out to create a novel, this...

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Tools: Pantsing a Novel

Cranking out a first draft is a devil of a project. The sheer mass of words can seem like a mountain to overcome, and the adventurous spirit of a particular breed of author leads them to take this challenge...

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Tools: Planning a Novel

Creating a novel is an epic feat for most people, and there are a million ways to go about it. At any point, the author can get lost as to where to go with it, forget their point, contradict...

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Point of View: Third Omniscient Perspective

The way a story is told comprises a myriad of choices on the part of the author. One particularly crucial choice is the perspective. This determines what the audience will be allowed to see, and will also determine (in...

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Short Stories as Tools

Tis the season for any aspiring novelist to start panicking. It’s almost NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. November is all about drafting as many words as you can, as consistently as you can in the month. Now this isn’t...

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Senses and Strong Description

"Observe, record, tabulate, communicate. Use your five senses. Learn to see, learn to hear, learn to feel, learn to smell, and know that by practice alone you can become expert." William Osler Via: BrainyQuote   The tools of observation are our senses. We...

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Writer’s Block Tools: Story Forge Cards

Some time ago I heard about this fun little start-up project. Some guy, I'd heard, made these cards that could help you write a story from scratch. At the time I thought, “Good for him. I don't need it.”...

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