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Articles by Zara Altair

Zara Altair writes traditional mysteries set in ancient Italy under Ostrogoths rule in [The Argolicus Mysteries.] She teaches mystery screenwriters and novelists at [Write A Killer Mystery]. She creates semantic web content for a select clientele.

How to Find the Right Proofreader for Your Novel

How to Find the Right Proofreader for Your Novel

Proofreading is the reading of a galley proof or an electronic copy of a publication to find and correct production errors in the text. Copy-editing is the final stage of editing before you publish your manuscript. Learn which one you really need, and how to find the right editor for your book.

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How to Fictionalize Your Home Town for Your Story Setting

How to Fictionalize Your Home Town for Your Story Setting

It’s easy to use your real town in your novel because you know all the setting details—weather, culture, town history, local politics. But even if set in a real place, you’ll be surprised at how much you don’t know and the research you still have to do to write a convincing novel. In this article, find out how to fictionalize your town to use its details in your novel.

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Connect with Readers When You Start "In Medias Res"

Connect with Readers When You Start "In Medias Res"

When writers begin things in the middle, they plunge the reader into things that are already happening. No intro. No backstory. No weather description. Action is happening, and the reader is right there. Find out how to use _in medias res_ to capture your readers' attention.

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Outline Your Book Series to Sell More Books and Keep Readers Buying

Outline Your Book Series to Sell More Books and Keep Readers Buying

Learn how to plan your book series from overall theme to individual books. Follow these top tips for success.

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Get the Most Out of Your Editor by Preparing Your Manuscript First

Get the Most Out of Your Editor by Preparing Your Manuscript First

Are you a new author? Find out the professional steps you should take to prepare a book manuscript for an editor.

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How to Break Grammar Rules and Connect with Readers

How to Break Grammar Rules and Connect with Readers

Connect with readers using natural language that ignores old-fashioned grammar rules. Here are 10 ways to break the rules and engage your readers.

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Get Gatekeepers’ Attention with Your Script’s First Ten Pages

Get Gatekeepers’ Attention with Your Script’s First Ten Pages

How to introduce your unique and universal story in the first ten pages of your script to make readers – and film producers – care.

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How to Use Clear Writing to Express Big Concepts and Connect with Readers

How to Use Clear Writing to Express Big Concepts and Connect with Readers

How to implement clarity to express big ideas to engage your reader. Help them understand your meaning through readability, the right verbs, and sentence structure.

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How to Integrate Character Traits to Create Believable Characters

How to Integrate Character Traits to Create Believable Characters

Do your characters feel flat? Here's how to develop traits to create three-dimensional characters that come to life in your novel.

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10 Tips to Build a Writing Practice Discipline to Finish Your Novel

10 Tips to Build a Writing Practice Discipline to Finish Your Novel

Writers write. Writing a novel is not a one and done for the day game. It requires the discipline of consistency to complete the manuscript. The challenge of finding time confronts every writer who is not a full-time author. In this article, find out why building a personal writing discipline will help you complete your novel.

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Whodunnit? Keep Your Reader Guessing With Red Herrings, Clues and Evidence

Whodunnit? Keep Your Reader Guessing With Red Herrings, Clues and Evidence

Discover the difference between clues, evidence and red herrings. Then, scatter them throughout your mystery novel to lead the detective and your reader down the discovery path to solving the puzzle. There's nothing like a good "who-dun-it!"

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How to Build Your Story Idea and Start Writing Your Novel

How to Build Your Story Idea and Start Writing Your Novel

How to go from story idea to a well-formed novel concept. Begin writing your novel today with the right planning process.

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7 Self-Publishing Traps That Keep New Authors From Success

7 Self-Publishing Traps That Keep New Authors From Success

7 traps that keep new authors from book publishing success. From pre-publishing errors, to book listing oversights, to author online presence, here's how to avoid common mistakes.

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How to Keep Readers Reading with Story Tension

How to Keep Readers Reading with Story Tension

Dramatic questions create external and internal story tension. Create a protagonist who confronts both to keep readers turning pages.

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Eliminate the Non-Words: Clean Up Your Content

Eliminate the Non-Words: Clean Up Your Content

The words you use in your content can strengthen or weaken your prose. In this article, we teach you how to boost the power of your content by eliminating non-words and weak phrases that take up space but dilute your statements.

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