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Story Tropes: Lazy or Helpful?

Note on top of rose petals with text: Can Story Tropes Be Good?

Every genre and medium of storytelling uses tropes, and they often have a bad reputation—for good reason. All too frequently, they can indicate lazy storytelling or worldbuilding. But they don’t have to be a bad thing.

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July 27, 2017

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The Ultimate Guide to Pitch Writing

Picture of library shelves with text: Pitching Our Story from the Crowd

No matter how we publish, we need to introduce our story to potential readers and interest them enough to want to look closer. Whether we’re pitching and querying agents or enticing readers with back-cover blurbs, we need to grab their attention.

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January 19, 2017

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Writing Goals: Discovering What Works for Us

Dirt path through trees and ferns with text: Discovering Our Path

Several debates have come and gone on the publishing landscape. Plotters vs. pantsers, self-published vs. traditionally published, etc. I’ve always said that people should find whatever works for them, but what if we don’t know what that might be?

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January 10, 2017

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Self or Traditional: Choosing Our Publishing Path

Pile of screws with text: Publishing: Thinking of Doing It Yourself?

Over the years, a sharp division has split the writing community into two camps: traditional publishing and self-publishing. However, the current us-vs.-them attitude doesn’t seem nearly as bad as it used to be. When writers research their options for which path they should take, what advice do they encounter now?

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August 16, 2016

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RWA16: Industry Insights from Data Guy and More

Strings of 0s and 1s with a heart overlay and text: Data Insights from RWA

This year at RWA, I was eligible to attend special published-authors-only workshops geared toward those with more experience, and I want to share some of the highlights from those workshops, as I think we can all benefit from many of the insights.

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July 26, 2016

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Decisions, Decisions: What Should We Write Next?

Kitten in tall grass with text: Are Shiny Ideas Stalking You?

If we have multiple story ideas, how do we decide which one we should write next? We want to pick one that we feel strongly enough about that when the going gets hard—and it will—we won’t be tempted by a different shiny idea. So how can we avoid second guessing ourselves?

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July 21, 2016

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What’s Your Validation?

Darts on a dartboard bullseye with text: What Makes Us Feel Validated?

Writers are often a neurotic, self-doubting lot, and many of us hope for validation as a means of overcoming that doubt. We never want to think about how that validation is only temporary, but the best we can do is try to create a healthy relationship with our validation desires.

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May 19, 2016

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What Goes into Building a Movie in Our Mind?

Movie screen in front of seats with text: The Difficulty of Creating Movies in Our Mind

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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April 28, 2016

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