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How to Make Every Story Idea the Best It Can Be — Guest: Jeff Lyons

March 21, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Some stories tell an engaging tale that’s entertaining but doesn’t necessarily feel deep. Other stories make us feel like we’re changed by reading them. Today, Jeff Lyons shares his insights into how to make each type of story the best they can be.

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Writing Craft: Balancing Rules and Voice

March 16, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Many aspects of writing are subjective, so we often need to discuss how to find the right balance. One element we need to balance is the rules of writing versus our writing voice. How can we know when we should break the rules for the sake of our voice?

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3 Steps to Raise Our Story’s Stakes

March 14, 2017 Writing Stuff
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It’s time for another post as a Resident Writing Coach over at Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s Writers Helping Writers site, and this time we’re exploring 3 steps we can take to raise our story’s stakes, the consequences for the characters if they fail to reach their goals.

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Story Structure: What’s the Purpose…for Readers?

March 9, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Ever wonder how many writing “rules” have a reason beyond “because I said so”? Story structure exists not just because it makes our story stronger, but also because the story beats help communicate with readers–and understanding how can help us write and revise our story.

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Brain Science: Right Brain vs. Left Brain vs. Creativity

March 7, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Ever heard of the left-brain versus right-brain dichotomy—our logical, language-focused left brain versus our creative and artistic right brain? What does that mean for authors, with our need for creativity and language? Let’s dig deeper into this brain science…

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5 Steps to Avoid Overwriting — Guest: Christina Delay

February 9, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Many newbie writers try to perfectly replicate their ideas in their readers’ brains, even though overwriting slows down our pacing, repeats ideas, and prevents subtext. Luckily, Christina Delay is here with five steps to break the overwriting habit.

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Editing Tips: Top 3 Writing Craft Issues — Guest: Naomi Hughes

February 7, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Editor Naomi Hughes is here with the third post in a series to share her writing craft and editing advice. Today, she’s highlighting the most common issues she sees at the line-edit level—and giving tips on how to avoid them!

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The Most Important Question in Storytelling: “Why?”

January 26, 2017 Writing Stuff
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A common problem—even in traditionally published books—is Missing Motivations. A character’s goal can feel irrelevant if readers don’t understand why they have that goal. Or a character might seem stupid or unlikable if readers don’t know why they’re acting a certain way.

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How to Make Our Story Feel Meaningful

January 12, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Story is different from plot, but sometimes we can have lots of plot ideas, and we might not be sure if—or how—we can pull those together into something that feels like a story. Let’s get some tips…

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Make Settings Come to Life with Sensory Details — Guest: Christina Delay

December 15, 2016 Writing Stuff
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We’ve talked before about adding depth to our settings, but there’s another way to bring our settings to life and immersing readers in our story: layering unique details and sensory information. Today, Christina Delay to shows us how.

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