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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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The Silver Lining of Bad Reviews

Clouds with a glint of sunlight and text: Are Bad Reviews *Always* Bad News?

Whether we pursue traditional publishing or self-publishing, rejection is a given for writers. Our choice simply comes down to how we’ll handle it. Will we let rejection hold us back, or can we see it as a sign that we’re doing something right?

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May 2, 2017

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Writing Habits: We Can’t Fix What We Don’t See

Coffee mug on saucer with text: What Are Your Writing Habits?

Virtually every program to change our habits starts with the same step: recognizing our habits. We can’t fix what we don’t see, know, or understand. Let’s take a look at some of the things we can do to identify our writing craft habits…so we can then work to improve them.

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April 11, 2017

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Writing Craft: Balancing Rules and Voice

Fist with "OBEY" printed on knuckles with text: When Can We Break the Rules?

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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March 16, 2017

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

Metal cans connected with string with text: What Does Our Story Structure Say to Readers?

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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March 9, 2017

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