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How to Make Our Story Feel Meaningful

Three Sister mountain formation with text: Strengthening Our Story's Echoes

Story is different from plot, but sometimes we can have lots of plot ideas, and we might not be sure if—or how—we can pull those together into something that feels like a story. Let’s get some tips…

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January 12, 2017

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5 Ways to Discover & Develop Our Voice

Microphone against a blank wall with text: Strengthening Your Voice

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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December 8, 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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Subtext: Creating Layered Characters

Reflections on a water surface with text: Getting Under the Surface of Our Characters

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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April 21, 2016

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Writing Building Blocks: Paragraph Breaks & Voice

Close up of a keyboard's Enter key with text: Paragraphs Are about Voice?

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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April 12, 2016

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What Does Your Genre’s Theme Promise to Readers?

Field of green grass with text: What's Your Genre's Promise?

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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March 24, 2016

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