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 Can We Make Our Writing More Authentic? — Guest: Lizzie Shane

June 15, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Most of us have probably heard the advice about how we should make our writing more authentic or genuine. But what does that mean, and how can we make it happen? Today, Lizzie Shane joins us to share her insights into mining our experiences for our stories.

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How Can We Make Time Pass in Our Stories?

June 13, 2017 Writing Stuff
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It’s time for another post as a Resident Writing Coach over at Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s Writers Helping Writers site, and this time we’re exploring 7 techniques we can use to keep our story moving while time passes for our characters.

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Wonder Woman: The Essence of a Strong Female Character

June 8, 2017 For Readers
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What makes a “strong female character”? We can struggle to define them because we see so few successful portrayals of such characters—especially in movies. Luckily, Diana Prince in Wonder Woman is a wonderful (ha!) example, so let’s break down her strengths so we can push for more characters like her in our stories.

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How to Strengthen Our Characters with Strong Writing

May 30, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Readers can interpret our characters as weak for many reasons, such as being passive, foolish, or lacking an arc. Another way a character might seem weak is using weak sentences in our writing, making them seem more wishy-washy than we intend.

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How Should We Deal with Character Stereotypes?

May 25, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Clichés, tropes, and stereotypes all seem like signs of lazy writing. And they are—or at least, they can be. But it can be impossible to avoid all instances of stereotypical elements. So what should we do instead?

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When Readers Don’t Believe Our Writing

May 16, 2017 Writing Stuff
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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?

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What Advice Do You Ignore?

May 9, 2017 Writing Stuff
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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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4 Common Copy Editing Issues to Watch For — Guest: Julie Glover

April 25, 2017 Writing Stuff
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I’ve mentioned before that I write very “clean,” which saves me money on editing. If we learn what we tend to get wrong and then watch out for those issues when writing, we can strengthen the skills that can help us write cleaner.

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Re-Envisioning: How to Fix Big Problems with Small Changes

April 20, 2017 Writing Stuff
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When faced with a scene with issues, many writers have the tendency to get rid of the scene and start over, but more often than not, the new scene has issues too. Re-writing won’t fix every problem, so let’s see if we can find a different approach: re-envisioning.

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Protagonist Boot Camp: Characters Who Drive a Story

April 13, 2017 Writing Stuff
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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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