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Genre Reading: Is “Escapism” a Bad Thing?

April 18, 2017 For Readers
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Certain types of reading are sometimes valued more than others. One descriptive term that’s often used as a put-down for genre stories is escapism, but is romance or any other genre story really “escapism”? What does that mean? Is escapism a “bad” thing, and if so, why?

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Self Publishing? Match Your Plans to Your Goals — Part Three

April 6, 2017 Writing Stuff
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My series about Indie Publishing Paths at Fiction University has highlighted some of the choices we have to make as self-published authors, including what our newsletter strategy should be. Can our goals help us decide?

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Author Struggles: Gaining Reviews

March 30, 2017 Over-Achieving Perfectionist
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There’s no end to the struggles we face as a writer, including gathering reviews for our books. With Amazon’s algorithms, the quality, quantity, and recency of reviews can affect whether potential readers ever see our work, so it’s important to encourage reviews of our story.

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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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Are There Story Elements You Avoid Writing?

February 23, 2017 Writing Stuff
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The stories we write are affected by our worldview, but that’s not the only thing that might make us avoid writing about certain elements. By looking at the other reasons we might have, we can decide whether our avoidance makes sense or points out an opportunity to improve.

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Story Beginnings: Creating the Right First Impression — Guest: Shaila Patel

February 16, 2017 Writing Stuff
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No matter how much we try different approaches, we often struggle with our story’s first pages. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for new ways of thinking about that critical opening page. Today Shaila Patel shares her insights on the right mix of elements for creating a great first impression.

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Story Structure: What Should We Do for Trilogies?

February 14, 2017 Writing Stuff
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If we’ve thought of writing a trilogy, we might have struggled with questions about how we should structure our stories over three books. Or how we should break up the plot and character arcs. Today, let’s try to answer those questions!

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Self Publishing? Match Your Plans to Your Goals — Part Two

February 2, 2017 Writing Stuff
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My series about Indie Publishing Paths at Fiction University has highlighted some of the choices we have to make as self-published authors, including how to keep readers. Can our goals help us decide?

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Help! What If I Can’t Find Beta Readers?

January 17, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Every writer struggles to get their thoughts on the page and make their ideas make sense to others. The typical advice for how to resolve that issue is to use beta readers, but what if we can’t find beta readers? What can we do?

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