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.

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

April 11, 2017 Writing Stuff
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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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Creating a Strong Moral Premise for Our Story — Guest: Jeff Lyons

April 4, 2017 Writing Stuff
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A character’s arc involves change, but what exactly is changing? Today, Jeff Lyons shares how to ensure we’re not saddling our protagonist with generic character flaws to overcome, but rather we’re creating well-rounded characters with personal motivations for their struggles.

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What’s “High Concept” & How Can I Create It? — Guest: Jeff Lyons

March 28, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Last week, Jeff Lyons shared how to make every story idea the best it could be. Today he’s delving into the tricky description of high concept. Many agents and editors say they prefer high-concept stories, but what does that mean?

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How to Make Every Story Idea the Best It Can Be — Guest: Jeff Lyons

March 21, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Some stories tell an engaging tale that’s entertaining but doesn’t necessarily feel deep. Other stories make us feel like we’re changed by reading them. Today, Jeff Lyons shares his insights into how to make each type of story the best they can be.

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Writing Craft: Balancing Rules and Voice

March 16, 2017 Writing Stuff
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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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3 Steps to Raise Our Story’s Stakes

March 14, 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 3 steps we can take to raise our story’s stakes, the consequences for the characters if they fail to reach their goals.

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

March 9, 2017 Writing Stuff
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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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