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What Goes into Building a Movie in Our Mind?

April 28, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Sometimes as authors, we struggle to create a well-rounded world or characters that feel so real to readers that they experience a movie in their mind. Stories that feel like we can crawl in and inhabit them are often lauded as special, but why is it so hard to succeed in that goal?

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What Helps You BE a Writer?

April 19, 2016 Writing Stuff
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The journey to writing is filled with many obstacles, yet something keeps us going. Maybe if we understand what’s been most helpful for us becoming and/or remaining a writer—not including writing skill—we’ll be better prepared to face our obstacles now and into the future.

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Does Missing a Deadline Make Us Unprofessional?

April 5, 2016 Writing Stuff
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As writers, we face deadlines and commitments every time we turn around. So we’re likely to be familiar with the pressure of deadlines and the expectation of meeting our commitments. But what happens when we can’t meet them? How bad is it for us and our reputation?

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Egos in Publishing: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

March 22, 2016 Random Musings
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Everyone has an ego, a sense of how they fit into the world. In the publishing world, that “everyone” includes the newbie writer and the multi-published NYT bestseller, the professionals of traditional publishing and self-publishing. Sometimes egos are healthy and helpful for getting things done. Other times…not so much.

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Four Tips for Beta Reading Outside Our Genre

March 17, 2016 Writing Stuff
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During our search for beta readers, we might come across other writers willing to exchange–but they write in a different genre. Should we try a critique partnership anyway? Here are 4 tips for beta reading outside our genre.

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Story Description: Finding the Right Balance

February 23, 2016 Writing Stuff
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For every aspect of our story, we have to find the right balance. One element many writers struggle with is description: too little leaves our readers floating without an anchor, and too much drags our story’s pacing. So how do we find the right amount and know whether we need more or need to cut?

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How to Make Beta Reading Work for Us

February 9, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Ever struggle to make readers’ interpretations of your writing match your intentions? We probably all have. As writers, we’re so close to our stories it’s impossible for us to know how readers will interpret our words. A good beta reader will give feedback about what we can’t see. And that’s just one reason why we all need beta readers.

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Criticism & Reviews: How Do You Handle Feedback?

September 24, 2015 Writing Stuff
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For many writers, the point of writing is to connect with others through our words. Because of that desire, it’s hard to ignore feedback, and during editing, we don’t want to ignore suggestions. But what about after we publish? Should we read reviews of our published work?

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3 1/2 Tips for Fixing an Unlikable Character

September 15, 2015 Writing Stuff
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In writing, it’s difficult to balance “not enough” and “too much.” Not enough flaws can make our characters flat, and too many flaws can make our characters unlikable. Some genres can get away with unlikable characters, but for those stories that can’t, here are 3 1/2 tips to fix the problem.

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When Does It Make Sense to Make Big Revisions?

July 30, 2015 Writing Stuff
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Revisions are never easy. Unlike just plain edits, which might have us questioning a word, revisions might have us questioning everything. Sometimes the feedback we receive might cause us to wonder if the suggestions are a good idea for our story. How can we tell? Which battles should we pick when debating our publisher’s editor?

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