From the blog

Are You Ready to Draft Your Story Arc?

by Kathy Edens Feb 15, 2016

Are You Ready to Draft Your Story Arc?

Last month, we focused our articles on how to begin writing your novel in 2016, and we mentioned story arc in the article Start With Your Idea. In this month’s article, we’re going to delve a little deeper into creating your story arc.

The story arc (or sometimes called the narrative arc) is a more poetic way of saying that each story must have a beginning, a middle, and an end—or Act One, Act Two, and Act Three. This has been the guiding template of stories since the ancient Greeks started writing them, and holds true whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction.

Where authors fall apart in their story arc is that nothing much happens to the main character by the end of the book. He hasn’t been tested in some profound way.

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How to Create Your Story’s World

by Kathy Edens Feb 15, 2016

How to Create Your Story’s World

Your characters need a place for the story to unfold. It can’t happen in limbo. A movie or a play without a set and background would be hard to follow. It gives you the context in which the characters are placed in time and space and helps to connect your characters to your story.

Even if the world looks like your own, it’s still essential to build it for your reader. In many ways, the world functions similar to a character, especially for science fiction and fantasy. Think about a novel you’re currently reading. Can you picture his neighborhood or what his home looks like—majestic and imposing or squashed and run-down? Metropolitan, suburban or countryside? Do you have an image in your mind of her office, her car or her local bar? If you can visualise these things, the author has done a good job of setting up their world.

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What are the Different Verb Tenses?

by ProWritingAid Feb 12, 2016

What are the Different Verb Tenses?

Much like the three Christmas spirits from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, verbs come in three tenses: past, present, and future. These are called the simple tenses, and they’re fairly straight forward.

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What is a Clause Anyway?

by ProWritingAid Feb 08, 2016

What is a Clause Anyway?

A clause is a group of words containing both a subject and a verb. Examples of clauses are:

  • The bells are ringing

  • She ran away

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What are Phonemes, Graphemes, and Digraphs?

by ProWritingAid Feb 08, 2016

What are Phonemes, Graphemes, and Digraphs?

Each sound that you hear in a word is a Phoneme. It’s the smallest unit of sound that makes up a complete word. This is not to be confused with the letter itself; Phonemes are only the sounds made.

There are 44 Phonemes in the English language, consisting of 24 consonant sounds and 20 vowel sounds. Think of the different combinations of consonants and vowels (like “ch” or “ea”) that make unique sounds.

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7 Powerful Tools to Break Through Writer's Block

by Antonio Tooley Jan 29, 2016

7 Powerful Tools to Break Through Writer's Block

There are two common causes of writer’s block: no ideas, and too many ideas.

When you have no idea of what to write about, your mind is literally a blank page. It is like a car with no gas; it can’t get started. On the other hand, when you have too many ideas, your mind locks like a flooded carburetor, and you have to clear it to get going.

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What Are the Different Types of Verbs?

by ProWritingAid Jan 25, 2016

What Are the Different Types of Verbs? Your sentences would lie dead in the water without a verb. Verbs are the most important part of your sentence. But how do you select the right verb to get across your meaning? By understanding the different types of verbs and how they’re used.What is a verb?

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Ten Top Tools for Bloggers – Save Time, Stay Organized, and Create Content that Rocks

by Julie Ellis Jan 25, 2016

Ten Top Tools for Bloggers – Save Time, Stay Organized, and Create Content that Rocks Bloggers have deadlines. And within those deadlines, they have to come up with great topic ideas, click-worthy titles, engaging content, and eye-catching media. And they often have to conduct research before they ever sit down to write a post. Add to that the absolute expectation for perfect grammar and composition, and you understand that a blogger’s life is hard. To ease that life as much as possible, here are 10 tools for greater productivity at a faster rate.Topic Idea Generators

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Starting With Your Plot Idea

by Kathy Edens Jan 19, 2016

Starting With Your Plot Idea If writing a novel is one of your 2016 New Year’s resolutions, you’ll need to tune into ProWritingAid for the next several months. We’ll be discussing how to get started and what to focus on to keep you moving forward.

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6 Ways Ed Tech Tools Can Facilitate the Education Process

by Kenneth Waldman Jan 19, 2016

6 Ways Ed Tech Tools Can Facilitate the Education Process Technology is changing the way educators organize and teach in their classrooms. Whether they like it or not, to fully engage their students, teachers must now integrate technology into their lessons.

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What are Overused Words Anyway?

by ProWritingAid Jan 13, 2016

What are Overused Words Anyway? Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very'; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. - Mark Twain

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What is the Repeats Check? And How Did I Not Notice the Repetitions?

by ProWritingAid Jan 13, 2016

Repeating a word or phrase happens to the best of us at times, especially if you’re writing an article and using a specific vocabulary for your topic. You won’t even notice you’ve used the same word several times in the span of one paragraph because it’s foremost in your mind. But those repeats can set off an echo in the reader’s mind - that subconscious feeling of “Didn’t he just say that?” It can be irritating to read and, worse, it can detract from what you are trying to say. The more uncommon a word or phrase, the more likely it is to echo, even pages apart.

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What is a Cliché? And Why Should You Avoid Them?

by ProWritingAid Jan 10, 2016

What is a Cliché?  And Why Should You Avoid Them?

A cliché is a tired, stale phrase or idiom that, because of overuse, has lost its impact. What was once a fresh way of looking at something has become a weak prop for writing that feels unimaginative and dull. Clichés are what you write when you don’t have the energy or inspiration to think of a new way to express an idea.

George Orwell in his Rules of Writing said: “Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.” Be creative and come up with something fresh. A new analogy or metaphor will make much more of an impression on your readers than a dusty old cliché.

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Readability Report

by ProWritingAid Dec 29, 2015

Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease

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3 Common Pitfalls that can Ruin Your Writing Momentum

by Robby Macdonell Dec 28, 2015

3 Common Pitfalls that can Ruin Your Writing Momentum Like most creative work, a big factor in the success of your writing projects is the amount of time you’re able to put into them. But simply finding the time is only half the equation. It’s also important that you use the time well. At RescueTime, we’ve spent years helping people figure out how to get the most out of their time, and along the way we’ve seen a few things trip people up over and over again. I wanted to share some of the more common pitfalls, along with a few solutions.Pitfall #1 - The myth of productive multitasking

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Why You Need Great Transitions in Your Writing

by ProWritingAid Dec 23, 2015

Why You Need Great Transitions in Your Writing Imagine a road with no street signs to point the way. How would you follow the right route if you didn’t have a sign showing you which way to go?

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What is POV? And How Do You Choose the Best POV for Your Story

by ProWritingAid Dec 11, 2015

What is POV? And How Do You Choose the Best POV for Your Story What is POV? It stands for Point of View, and it’s one of the most important aspects of your story that must be decided before putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

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Planning Your Writing for 2016

by Kathy Edens Dec 08, 2015

Planning Your Writing for 2016 December is here already. That means it’s time to start planning for 2016. Whether you write novels, non-fiction books, articles, blog posts, or other content, the more you produce, the more money you’ll make. This makes planning a necessity if you want to maximize your time and your bottom line.

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Why You Should Start Writing Morally Grey Characters

by Coby Stephens Dec 08, 2015

Why You Should Start Writing Morally Grey Characters Spoiler Alert: If you haven't yet watched/read Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, or Breaking Bad, please proceed with caution as key plot points are discussed.

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The Debate: How Prolific Should You Be in 2016?

by Kathy Edens Dec 08, 2015

The Debate: How Prolific Should You Be in 2016? Back in the good old days of publishing, a prolific writer was expected to put out a new title each year. This gave fans something to anticipate, and publishers could plan accordingly.

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