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5 Tips for Getting Unstuck in Our Story

Brick wall with text: Facing a Wall? 5 Tips for Getting Unstuck

A couple of weeks ago, I was stuck in my latest work-in-progress (WIP). One scene wasn’t progressing because I couldn’t figure out why my character was doing what he was doing. I just knew that he was doing it, even though he knew the action was a Bad Idea (TM). Why, […]

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August 27, 2013

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Stuck in Your Book? Try a Brainstorming Warm-up

Car stuck in the mud with text: Stuck in Your Story?

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’ve started drafting a new story. The first week, my word counts were rather lame, but this past week has been going much better. Each day finds me getting into my writing groove more easily. I joked to my family that I’d […]

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June 25, 2013

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Three Tips for Better Storytelling

Little girl reading to little boy with text: 3 Tips for Better Storytelling

Last time, we talked about how good storytelling can salvage even a poorly written book. As I mentioned in that post, storytelling skill is different from writing skill. Many people have a hard time defining what makes good storytelling—and that makes it difficult for us to improve. Yet I’d argue […]

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May 2, 2013

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Why Is Storytelling Ability So Important?

Footbridge heading into woods with text: Tell Me a Story...

What makes some poorly written books fall flat on their face while others succeed despite their flaws? One common answer is “storytelling ability.” But what is storytelling? The concept can seem vague and immeasurable—rather like “voice.” A recent experience with two poorly written books gave me insight into how a […]

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April 30, 2013

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How to Revise for a Stronger Theme

Rope with text: Revising for a Stronger Theme

Last time, we talked about using our story’s and characters’ themes to keep us on track as we draft. But no matter how well we know our themes during drafting, we can probably make them stronger in revision. Maybe we thought a character’s arc would focus on one theme, but […]

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February 21, 2013

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Recipe for a Successful Synopsis

Index card box with text: Recipe for a Successful Synopsis, Synopsis 101

Whether we’re entering contests or submitting manuscripts to agents or publishers, at some point, most of us need to write a synopsis. Many writers hate writing synopses, but I don’t mind them. At least not anymore. Synopses no longer intimidate me now that I understand what’s supposed to go into […]

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February 12, 2013

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Actions and Reactions: The End-All-Be-All of Storytelling

Rippled panel with text: Building a Story One Action & Reaction at a Time

This might be a deep philosophical post. Or it might be random thoughts triggered by my remaining sugar coma (7 Thanksgiving desserts!). You’ll have to let me know. I’d been thinking about doing another post about actions and reactions in writing, but the more I thought about it, the bigger […]

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November 29, 2012

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Does Every Scene Need a Goal?

Page from chemistry book

I love when I make my readers think.  Even better is when they turn around and make me think even deeper about an issue.  *smile* Yesterday, K.J. Pugh blogged about my last post (where I talked about cliffhangers and hooks) and brought up the issue of sequels I briefly mentioned.  No, […]

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May 8, 2012

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