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Do You Share Your Work in Progress?

August 23, 2016 Writing Stuff
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The stereotype of a writer pounding away in isolation ignores how the online writing community gives us more options. We can work in secrecy or involve others by sharing our work in progress. There’s no right or wrong answer, but we should figure out which approach works better for us.

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Story Beginnings: Do You Have Context?

August 11, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Story beginnings are difficult to get right. We have to introduce the characters, the story, the setting, the protagonist’s longing, and show an immediate obstacle that creates a near-term goal. At the same time, we have to avoid confusing readers, and for that, we need context.

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When Is a Shocking Scene Necessary…or Gratuitous?

August 2, 2016 Writing Stuff
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As authors, we need to be careful when dealing with shocking, horrifying, or potentially problematic story elements. Let’s explore the steps we can go through to figure out the right approach for our genre, story, and characters.

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Do You Belong? Or Are You a Fraud?

July 28, 2016 Writing Stuff
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The RWA session I enjoyed the most was with Dr. Valerie Young, an expert on the “impostor syndrome.” Her presentation was so eye-opening that I want to share some of her insights…

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6th Annual Blogiversary Contest — Prize: Me! Wait…er, What?

June 28, 2016 News
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It’s that time of year again. My six-year blogiversary is coming up on July 12th. And I’m once again amazed by the fact that I’ve been writing this blog for six years. How can something feel like yesterday and forever at the same time?

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4 Steps to Break Grammar Rules with Style — Guest: Julie Glover

June 23, 2016 Writing Stuff
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While we need to learn grammar rules for our writing, if we follow the rules too strictly, we can strangle our voice,. Today, Julie Glover shares her tips on four steps to break grammar rules in a good way.

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Why Is “Unlikable” Often a Deal-Breaker for Readers?

June 21, 2016 Random Musings
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A recent article about unlikable heroines pointed out that likability is often more of a problem for female characters than for male characters. While I’ve learned how to minimize those issues with my characters, the problem still rankles me.

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Can We Track Our Improvements in Writing Quality?

May 31, 2016 Writing Stuff
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The learning curve we face when deciding to become a writer is always longer than we think because we don’t know what all we don’t know. So how can we track our progress? How can we tell whether we’re improving? How can we feel good about our writing?

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Character Development Is a Two-Edged Sword

May 26, 2016 Writing Stuff
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As writers, we do everything we can to make readers invested in our characters in some way. An invested reader is a happy reader, right?
Well, maybe not. Let’s take a look at the other side of character development.

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What’s Your Validation?

May 19, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Writers are often a neurotic, self-doubting lot, and many of us hope for validation as a means of overcoming that doubt. We never want to think about how that validation is only temporary, but the best we can do is try to create a healthy relationship with our validation desires.

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