strong characters

How Should We Deal with Character Stereotypes?

May 25, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Clichés, tropes, and stereotypes all seem like signs of lazy writing. And they are—or at least, they can be. But it can be impossible to avoid all instances of stereotypical elements. So what should we do instead?

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Diversity Issues: The Importance of “Own Voices”

May 18, 2017 Writing Stuff
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While all diverse stories are important, the stories that should be most encouraged are those from authors who can provide an authentic perspective. Today, Wendy Sparrow shares her insights on what “own voices” means and how others can improve their non-own-voices stories.

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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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Writing Habits: We Can’t Fix What We Don’t See

April 11, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Virtually every program to change our habits starts with the same step: recognizing our habits. We can’t fix what we don’t see, know, or understand. Let’s take a look at some of the things we can do to identify our writing craft habits…so we can then work to improve them.

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Creating a Strong Moral Premise for Our Story — Guest: Jeff Lyons

April 4, 2017 Writing Stuff
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A character’s arc involves change, but what exactly is changing? Today, Jeff Lyons shares how to ensure we’re not saddling our protagonist with generic character flaws to overcome, but rather we’re creating well-rounded characters with personal motivations for their struggles.

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How to Make Every Story Idea the Best It Can Be — Guest: Jeff Lyons

March 21, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Some stories tell an engaging tale that’s entertaining but doesn’t necessarily feel deep. Other stories make us feel like we’re changed by reading them. Today, Jeff Lyons shares his insights into how to make each type of story the best they can be.

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Editing Tips: Top 3 Scene Issues — Guest: Naomi Hughes

January 31, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Editor Naomi Hughes is here with the second post in a series to share her writing craft and editing advice. Today, she’s highlighting the most common issues she sees at the scene level of editing—and giving tips on how to fix those issues!

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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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Editing Tips: Top 3 Story Issues — Guest: Naomi Hughes

January 24, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Editor Naomi Hughes is here with the first post in a series to share her writing craft and editing advice. Today, she’s highlighting the most common issues she sees at the story level of developmental editing—and giving tips on how to fix those issues!

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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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