Learn about Writing

Tip-heavy posts about writing skills and concepts. Sample topics: how to create a strong character, storytelling skills, information dumps, using point of view, subtext, using themes, building scenes, etc.

How to Make Our Story Feel Meaningful

January 12, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Story is different from plot, but sometimes we can have lots of plot ideas, and we might not be sure if—or how—we can pull those together into something that feels like a story. Let’s get some tips…

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Make Settings Come to Life with Sensory Details — Guest: Christina Delay

December 15, 2016 Writing Stuff
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We’ve talked before about adding depth to our settings, but there’s another way to bring our settings to life and immersing readers in our story: layering unique details and sensory information. Today, Christina Delay to shows us how.

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5 Ways to Discover & Develop Our Voice

December 8, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Many people have tried to identify what goes into creating our voice, but it’s a hard thing to define. We often just know it when we see it. Voice is personal—not just for writers, but also for readers. Yet we can identify—and strengthen—the 5 elements that go into our voice.

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NaNoWriMo: Good or Bad, Let’s Move Forward — Guest: A.E. Siraki

November 29, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Just because we don’t have a brag-worthy NaNo doesn’t mean that we failed. Or if we do come up with 50K words, that doesn’t mean we’re happy with our work. Either way, A.E. (Anita) Siraki is here to share her insights on what comes next.

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3 Acting Tips to Strengthen Our Voice — Guest: Libby Heily

November 10, 2016 Writing Stuff
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When writing, do you ever make the facial expressions of your characters? In that way, most writers are like actors, but other acting skills can help our writing too. Today, Libby Heily shares how we can deepen our characters, strengthen our voice, and sharpen our dialogue with acting skills.

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Are You Ready for NaNoWriMo?

October 25, 2016 Writing Stuff
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It’s almost time for NaNoWriMo, and if you’re anything like me, you might be freaking out a little as November nears. So here are several quick links to posts helping us plan, start, and get unstuck with our story.

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Writing a Series: How Much Do We Need to Plan Ahead?

October 18, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Authors who writes series often see more sales and success, but for writers who struggle to plan stories in advance, planning out a big series might be impossible. Let’s take a look at our options for planning series in advance.

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4 Tips for Preventing Flat Descriptions — Guest: Janice Hardy

October 4, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Story description has a bad reputation for being “skippable,” but a story without description happens in a vacuum. Today, Janice Hardy is here to share advice and examples on how to make our descriptions less flat, less “told,” and therefore, less skippable.

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Strengthening Stakes: It’s Not about Going Big

September 27, 2016 Writing Stuff
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A story’s stakes are one element that keeps readers turning pages because they want to see if our characters succeed. At first glance, we might think bigger stakes are better for sucking in readers, but not every story lends themselves to huge stakes. Are “quieter” stories doomed to fail the “page-turner” test?

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Balancing Elements: How Can We Know the Right Amount?

September 15, 2016 Writing Stuff
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I’ve offered several posts here about balancing various elements of our story, but there’s still room for debate because we have to find the right balance for our voice, genre, tone, and style—for our story. That means there is no perfect amount of backstory or description or emotion.

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