subtext

Strengthen Your Writing with Rhetorical Devices

June 30, 2016 Writing Stuff
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If you’re anything like me, and your English or grammar instruction was less than ideal, you might not be familiar with the term rhetorical devices. But once I did learn about them, I quickly became aware of how using rhetorical devices can strengthen our writing—even if we’re writing genre stories.

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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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Subtext: Creating Layered Characters

April 21, 2016 Writing Stuff
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I’ve written many times about how much I love subtext, the stuff that happens between the lines. Subtext lurks in many aspects of our stories and helps immerse readers and add realism and tension. In addition, subtext can help us build layered characters.

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Writing Building Blocks: Paragraph Breaks & Voice

April 12, 2016 Writing Stuff
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From school, we’re probably all familiar with using topic sentences to break ideas into paragraphs in non-fiction, but the rules are different for fiction. Choosing where to put paragraph breaks is one of the most voice-dependent decisions we can make as writers.

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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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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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Character Likability and Subtext

September 17, 2015 Writing Stuff
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How are villains, character likability, subtext, and point-of-view all related? In many stories, our antagonist is a non-POV character, and for non-POV characters, my previous tips about likability will be limited to subtext. So even though we might not be trying to make our villain likable, we might struggle to make them layered.

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3 1/2 Tips for Fixing an Unlikable Character

September 15, 2015 Writing Stuff
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In writing, it’s difficult to balance “not enough” and “too much.” Not enough flaws can make our characters flat, and too many flaws can make our characters unlikable. Some genres can get away with unlikable characters, but for those stories that can’t, here are 3 1/2 tips to fix the problem.

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Internal Dialogue: The Secret Sauce to Fixing Problems? — Guest: Marcy Kennedy

August 27, 2015 Writing Stuff
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Internal dialogue is rarely discussed but can be the key to a great story. The skillful use of internal dialogue reveals a story’s emotions, characterizations, motivations, and overall arc. Internal dialogue provides context for everything our characters experience, which helps our readers know what the story means to our characters.

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