setting and description

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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5 Tips for Empowering Description with Contrast — Guest: Marcy Kennedy

June 16, 2016 Writing Stuff
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We’ve probably all heard (or thought!) that description is boring or the part readers skip. Yet our stories need description or else be confusing. Marcy Kennedy joins us today to share 5 tips to empower and add interest to our description by using contrast.

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4 Tips for “Setting” a Mood — Guest: Becca Puglisi

June 14, 2016 Writing Stuff
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The Thesaurus books by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi are a must-have for every fiction author, and they now have two new Thesauri books: Urban Setting and Rural Setting. Becca’s here today to talk about how setting is important for more than just describing the time and place of our scene.

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What Goes into Building a Movie in Our Mind?

April 28, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Sometimes as authors, we struggle to create a well-rounded world or characters that feel so real to readers that they experience a movie in their mind. Stories that feel like we can crawl in and inhabit them are often lauded as special, but why is it so hard to succeed in that goal?

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Brain Science: How Do You Imagine?

April 26, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Aphantasia is the term for when someone can’t imagine something in their mind–“mind blindness” or not having a “mind’s eye.” As writers, this perspective not only gives us all sorts of story and character ideas, but it can also raise many questions about the concept of imagination itself.

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Copyediting: When Little Changes Matter — Guest: Misti Wolanski

March 31, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Reader complaints about editing quality usually focus on grammar and word choice and usage. That potential of being called out in reviews is just one reason why copyediting is so important. Sometimes the wrong usage of a word or punctuation mark can even change the meaning of our writing, as Misti Wolanski is here to show us today.

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How to Weave Story Elements and Avoid Info Dumps

March 10, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Our stories consist of many elements—from backstory to dialogue—that each contribute to our story. Yet we can overdo those elements with an information dump. How can we include the different elements while making sure we don’t cross over into Info Dump Land? Let’s talk options…

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Story Description: Finding the Right Balance

February 23, 2016 Writing Stuff
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For every aspect of our story, we have to find the right balance. One element many writers struggle with is description: too little leaves our readers floating without an anchor, and too much drags our story’s pacing. So how do we find the right amount and know whether we need more or need to cut?

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Strengthening Our Observation Skills — Guest: Laurel Garver

November 17, 2015 Writing Stuff
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It’s usually best to avoid “naming” emotions in our writing and to show those emotions instead. But to put the Emotion Thesaurus’s emotional cues into our voice, we might need to add our own spin, like from our observations of the real world. Today’s guest post has tips for how to develop our observing skills.

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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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