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Can We Learn from Reading “Bad” Writing?

August 4, 2015 Writing Stuff
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When we end up with a “dud” of bad writing from a book we’ve purchased, what should we do? Should we treat it as a learning experience or just close the book? My answer has changed over the years, so let’s take a closer look at when we might want to slog through bad writing to try to learn what not to do—and when we wouldn’t.

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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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Blogiversary Winners & Writing Flexibility

July 14, 2015 News
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Some writers can find themselves paralyzed by the thought of needing to get their first draft “right.” That’s crazy-making, however. A draft—a first draft especially—is a tool to help us discover the story we want to tell, the characters we want to meet, and the themes we want to explore. That’s it.

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7 Tips for Adding Humor — Guest: Rhoda Baxter

July 7, 2015 Writing Stuff
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Most genres benefit from including touches of humor here or there—even the dark and angsty stories. But I’m not naturally a funny person, so I jumped at the chance to host an expert on comedy writing. Rhoda Baxter is here to share her tips that will help us add humor to any genre.

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Revising without Tears — Guest: Rachel Funk Heller

June 30, 2015 Writing Stuff
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If you’re anything like me, you might have a love/hate relationship with revisions. I love seeing my story strengthen and improve, but I hate the struggle. Today my guest poster is sharing a worksheet to help us find the important aspects of each scene so we can revise without tears.

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5th Annual Blogiversary Contest — Prize: Me! Wait…er, What?

June 23, 2015 News
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It’s that time of year again. My five-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 five years. How can something feel like yesterday and forever at the same time?

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Character Psychology: 9 Common Errors — Guest: Kassandra Lamb

June 16, 2015 Writing Stuff
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If we don’t want to write characters who are too perfect, we have to layer in a few flaws. That means we might be writing characters who are “broken” in some way, and we don’t want to get the details wrong. Luckily, I know just who can help us get this right.

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Point of View: What Does Your Character Know?

June 4, 2015 Writing Stuff
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When it comes to learning about point of view and how to avoid issues like head-hopping, it doesn’t help that half the information out there is confusing and contradictory. Let’s take a closer look at how we can find and fix these issues.

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What Should We Do If We’re Sick of Our Story?

May 5, 2015 Writing Stuff
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When we first start writing our story, we’re filled with passion for the idea. But at some point, we might dread working on our story. Is that a warning sign? Or should we plow forward anyway?

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Revision Technique: Why Did You Do That?

April 28, 2015 Writing Stuff
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Everything we write should be intentional—the words we use, the events we emphasize, the emotions we evoke, the themes we build, etc. But when our writing doesn’t match our intentions, we might need trusted feedback that forces us to justify our choices.

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