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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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Plot Obstacles & Character Agency

May 17, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Ashley asked a question in the comments last week that gets at the heart of strong, proactive characters. Even in literary fiction, characters are usually faced with making choices, and whatever triggers those choices is where we’ll find plot and character agency.

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Plot Obstacles: Too Easy, Too Difficult, or Just Right?

May 12, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Our characters have to overcome many problems throughout our plot, but changing the obstacles doesn’t always fix story problems. Sure, sometimes an obstacle doesn’t fit the story, but too often, the obstacle itself isn’t broken—but the storytelling around the obstacle.

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Writing Feedback: Reaching Our Potential

May 10, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Whenever we send our work out into the world for feedback, we’re taking a risk. Depending on our levels of self-doubt, the feedback might roll off our back, inspire us to work harder and fix issues, or convince us that we should quit writing. How can we avoid destructive feedback and the temptation to quit?

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Copyediting: When Little Changes Matter — Guest: Misti Wolanski

March 31, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Reader complaints about editing quality usually focus on grammar and word choice and usage. That potential of being called out in reviews is just one reason why copyediting is so important. Sometimes the wrong usage of a word or punctuation mark can even change the meaning of our writing, as Misti Wolanski is here to show us today.

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Four Tips for Beta Reading Outside Our Genre

March 17, 2016 Writing Stuff
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During our search for beta readers, we might come across other writers willing to exchange–but they write in a different genre. Should we try a critique partnership anyway? Here are 4 tips for beta reading outside our genre.

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Story Description: Finding the Right Balance

February 23, 2016 Writing Stuff
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For every aspect of our story, we have to find the right balance. One element many writers struggle with is description: too little leaves our readers floating without an anchor, and too much drags our story’s pacing. So how do we find the right amount and know whether we need more or need to cut?

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How to Make Beta Reading Work for Us

February 9, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Ever struggle to make readers’ interpretations of your writing match your intentions? We probably all have. As writers, we’re so close to our stories it’s impossible for us to know how readers will interpret our words. A good beta reader will give feedback about what we can’t see. And that’s just one reason why we all need beta readers.

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Writer Karma: Don’t Be a Taker

January 5, 2016 Random Musings
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Everyone who knows me and follows my blog knows I love to help others. Most people who contact me are appreciative, and I really am happy to help. But there are a few… *sigh*

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