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3 Steps to Raise Our Story’s Stakes

Writers Helping Writers: Deepen Your Craft with Resident Writing Coach Jami Gold

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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March 14, 2017

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Strengthening Stakes: It’s Not about Going Big

High tension electrical wire with large spark: Are Bigger Stakes Better?

A story’s stakes are one element that keeps readers turning pages because they want to see if our characters succeed. At first glance, we might think bigger stakes are better for sucking in readers, but not every story lends themselves to huge stakes. Are “quieter” stories doomed to fail the “page-turner” test?

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September 27, 2016

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Story Beginnings: Do You Have Context?

Lone footprint in the sand with text: What's the Context?

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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August 11, 2016

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Strengthen Your Writing with Rhetorical Devices

Crop stems in winter snow with text: Rhetorical Devices: Turning Language into Emotions

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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June 30, 2016

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

Setting Thesauri covers with text: Creating a Mood with the Setting Thesauri

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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June 14, 2016

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