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Story Tropes: What’s the Subtext?

Book open to a blurry page with text: The Subtext of Tropes: What's the Hidden Message?

A story’s meaning and hidden messages often lurk in the subtext. Subtext flows throughout our plots, characters, themes, genres…and story tropes. Depending on how we use and twist story tropes, we might create very different messages for readers.

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August 1, 2017

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Do You Meet the Prerequisites to Be a Writer?

Second story door missing stairs down with text: Writing Prerequisites: Are We Missing a Step?

Are there prerequisites to call ourselves a writer? No. If you write, you’re a writer. Period. But when we pay attention to other writers, every writer—no matter how successful—could find something to feel inadequate about if we let our self-doubt get a hold of us.

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July 13, 2017

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One Simple Trick to Avoid an Opening Page Infodump

No dumping sign with text: Warning: No Dumping on Page One

It’s hard to get our opening pages just right because we have to grab readers’ attention, introduce our characters and the story world, hint at a problem, etc. With everything we want to get across to the reader, we might dump too much information. How can we avoid info dumping or confusing readers at the beginning of our story?

July 4, 2017

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Should We Follow the Advice to Write Every Day?

Apple on a white background with text: Writing Every Day Keeps Failure Away?

If we know other writers at all, chances are good that we’ve heard a lot of advice. One of the most common pieces of advice? According to dozens of multi-published, bestselling authors, it’s “write every day.” Do they know better than us what it takes to be a writer? Is that a must-listen rule?

June 6, 2017

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When Readers Don’t Believe Our Writing

Monopoly money with text: When Readers Don't Believe in Our Story...

One of the many reasons we need feedback is to help us fill in the blanks for things we can’t see or for understanding how others might interpret our words. But what happens when readers see our words and understand our intention, but they don’t believe what we’re telling them?

May 16, 2017

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What Advice Do You Ignore?

Ear plugs with text: What Advice Do You Ignore?

There’s no shortage of writing advice out there for us to learn. Some of that advice is questionable, a few tidbits are outright harmful, but most of it is decent-to-good. Yet even if advice is good, we still might want to ignore it. Yes, really.

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May 9, 2017

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Writing Habits: We Can’t Fix What We Don’t See

Coffee mug on saucer with text: What Are Your Writing Habits?

Virtually every program to change our habits starts with the same step: recognizing our habits. We can’t fix what we don’t see, know, or understand. Let’s take a look at some of the things we can do to identify our writing craft habits…so we can then work to improve them.

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April 11, 2017

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