setting and description

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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Story Immersion: What Pulls You In?

March 2, 2017 For Readers
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When I first joined Goodreads, their account form asked me: “What Kind of Books Do You Like to Read?” My answer to that question helped me realize that I love becoming immersed in a story, the sense that we’re not just reading words on a page. But what creates story immersion?

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5 Steps to Avoid Overwriting — Guest: Christina Delay

February 9, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Many newbie writers try to perfectly replicate their ideas in their readers’ brains, even though overwriting slows down our pacing, repeats ideas, and prevents subtext. Luckily, Christina Delay is here with five steps to break the overwriting habit.

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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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7 Resources for History Research — Guest: K.B. Owen

November 15, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Many stories require research on settings, characters, careers, or a story premise. The difficulties increase if we need to reference non-contemporary details. Today, historical fiction author Kathy Owen shares her top resources for researching historical details.

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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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Balancing Elements: How Can We Know the Right Amount?

September 15, 2016 Writing Stuff
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I’ve offered several posts here about balancing various elements of our story, but there’s still room for debate because we have to find the right balance for our voice, genre, tone, and style—for our story. That means there is no perfect amount of backstory or description or emotion.

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Story Beginnings: Do You Have Context?

August 11, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Story beginnings are difficult to get right. We have to introduce the characters, the story, the setting, the protagonist’s longing, and show an immediate obstacle that creates a near-term goal. At the same time, we have to avoid confusing readers, and for that, we need context.

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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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