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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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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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Diversity Issues: The Importance of “Own Voices”

Person passionately expressing themselves with text: Finding the Truth in Every Voice

While all diverse stories are important, the stories that should be most encouraged are those from authors who can provide an authentic perspective. Today, Wendy Sparrow shares her insights on what “own voices” means and how others can improve their non-own-voices stories.

May 18, 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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