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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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Story Tropes: Lazy or Helpful?

Note on top of rose petals with text: Can Story Tropes Be Good?

Every genre and medium of storytelling uses tropes, and they often have a bad reputation—for good reason. All too frequently, they can indicate lazy storytelling or worldbuilding. But they don’t have to be a bad thing.

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July 27, 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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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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Genre Reading: Is “Escapism” a Bad Thing?

Barrel-of-monkey toys linked inside jar to the top edge with text: Can Readers Escape with a Story?

Certain types of reading are sometimes valued more than others. One descriptive term that’s often used as a put-down for genre stories is escapism, but is romance or any other genre story really “escapism”? What does that mean? Is escapism a “bad” thing, and if so, why?

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April 18, 2017

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Protagonist Boot Camp: Characters Who Drive a Story

A theater's stage door with text: Is Our Protagonist Worthy of the Role?

We might sometimes wonder if our main character is worthy of the label protagonist or if our story would be better told through another character’s eyes. So let’s talk about how can ensure our main character deserves the role of protagonist.

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April 13, 2017

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