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Writing Multicultural Stories: The Pros and Cons — Guest: Devika Fernando

July 14, 2016 Writing Stuff
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In the quest to come up with unique stories, we’ve probably all explored different situations, characters, and premises. Another way to add more layers of uniqueness to our stories is by exploring different cultures.

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Character Development Is a Two-Edged Sword

May 26, 2016 Writing Stuff
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As writers, we do everything we can to make readers invested in our characters in some way. An invested reader is a happy reader, right?
Well, maybe not. Let’s take a look at the other side of character development.

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What Does Your Genre’s Theme Promise to Readers?

March 24, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Theme is one of those concepts that can be hard to understand, but by understanding themes, we’ll better satisfy our readers. In the recent debate about the romance genre’s requirement for a happy ending, the controversy comes down to themes, believe it or not. *smile*

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Happy New Year! Let’s Talk (Story) Beginnings

December 31, 2015 Writing Stuff
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We’re almost to the new year, so let’s take those thoughts of new beginnings over to our stories. Most writers have probably struggled with a story’s opening, but if we start from the big picture and move to the specific, we might have an easier time finding the right beginning for our story.

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Merry Christmas! A Gift for You…

December 24, 2015 Writing Stuff
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I interrupted my Christmas to-do list to put together a worksheet based on the Essential Elements list I covered in my last post. If you’ve ever wondered if a completed story had good “bones,” hopefully this worksheet will help.

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Does Our Story Have Everything It Needs?

December 22, 2015 Writing Stuff
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After completing a story, we might face the question of whether to put in the effort to revise it. If we decide our story has enough promise, what should we do next? Does our story contain all the essential elements? Does it have the bones of a good story?

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Story Research: Law, Lawyers, and the Justice System — Guest: Karen A. Wyle

November 12, 2015 Writing Stuff
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As writers, we get to research anything we want. The problem comes when we think we know something, so we make assumptions without doing the research. Many of us assume we know the justice system because of the endless TV shows and movies depicting lawyers and courtrooms, but those sources don’t always get it right.

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Digging into Research: Consider the Source

October 27, 2015 Writing Stuff
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Last week, we talked about how we can add diversity to our stories in a respectful way, and no matter what kind of story we write, we’re probably going to need to research something. Whether we’re referring to an aspect of diversity, a setting, or a character’s job, we can’t know everything about everything.

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Writing Diversity: How Can We Avoid Issues?

October 22, 2015 Writing Stuff
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The real world is filled with diversity, and our stories should be the same way. There’s no “one right way” to portray diverse characters, but there are wrong ways to portray diversity. However, there are steps we can take to minimize—as much as possible—the potential of “getting it wrong.”

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What Makes Your Story Unique?

August 18, 2015 Writing Stuff
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Ever heard “write the same but different”? Usually agents want something similar enough to other stories that they know they can sell the book but different enough to not feel like a retread. Whether we’re writing queries for traditional publishing or back-cover blurbs for self-publishing, if we can identify how our story is unique, we can better sell our story.

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