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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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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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Editing Tips: Top 3 Writing Craft Issues — Guest: Naomi Hughes

February 7, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Editor Naomi Hughes is here with the third post in a series to share her writing craft and editing advice. Today, she’s highlighting the most common issues she sees at the line-edit level—and giving tips on how to avoid them!

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The Most Important Question in Storytelling: “Why?”

January 26, 2017 Writing Stuff
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A common problem—even in traditionally published books—is Missing Motivations. A character’s goal can feel irrelevant if readers don’t understand why they have that goal. Or a character might seem stupid or unlikable if readers don’t know why they’re acting a certain way.

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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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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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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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When Is a Shocking Scene Necessary…or Gratuitous?

August 2, 2016 Writing Stuff
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As authors, we need to be careful when dealing with shocking, horrifying, or potentially problematic story elements. Let’s explore the steps we can go through to figure out the right approach for our genre, story, and characters.

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Strengthen Your Writing with Rhetorical Devices

June 30, 2016 Writing Stuff
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If you’re anything like me, and your English or grammar instruction was less than ideal, you might not be familiar with the term rhetorical devices. But once I did learn about them, I quickly became aware of how using rhetorical devices can strengthen our writing—even if we’re writing genre stories.

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