Articles by Kathy Edens

Kathy Edens is a blogger, a ghost writer, and content master who loves writing about anything and everything. Check out her book The Novel-Writing Training Plan: 17 Steps to Get Your Ideas in Shape for the Marathon of Writing or contact her at www.kathy-edens.com.

How to Write Historical Fiction (without a history degree)

by Kathy Edens Feb 08, 2018

How to Write Historical Fiction (without a history degree)

If you are an HF writer, hats off to you! I learned haters will find the smallest discrepancy in your writing and crow it from the rooftops. Perhaps HF writers have extra thick skin. Whatever their impetus, they don’t necessarily have a love of history per se—and certainly don’t need a degree. They find either a period, an event, or historical person thoroughly interesting and decide to dig deeper.

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Belief, Emotional Involvement, Clarity: What Every Character Needs

by Kathy Edens Feb 05, 2018

Belief, Emotional Involvement, Clarity: What Every Character Needs

We’re continuing our monthly installment series on creating amazing characters using Orson Scott Card’s seminal book, Elements of Fiction Writing: Characters & Viewpoint. This month, we cover the three elements every characters needs and why you must deliver.

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Style Guide: Why You Need One & How to Create It

by Kathy Edens Feb 05, 2018

Style Guide: Why You Need One & How to Create It

Every brand needs content, lots of it. When you have several cooks in the kitchen, resulting meals can look and taste quite different from each other. For your brand’s reputation and image, you need to make sure all written communications follow your style guide.

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The Best Historical Fiction Books of All Time

by Kathy Edens Feb 05, 2018

The Best Historical Fiction Books of All Time

If you are anything like us, your favorite way to learn about history is by immersing yourself in a fictional world shaped by actual events. For this list, we specifically chose works covering events or time periods over 30 years before the time of writing.

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Why Writers Must Use the Toilet Paper Test on Professional Content Topics

by Kathy Edens Jan 16, 2018

Why Writers Must Use the Toilet Paper Test on Professional Content Topics

Everyone has an opinion on the proper way toilet paper should unspool. But the chances of alienating or damaging the relationship with your readers over this subject is very low.

Choosing a topic with low-level controversy doesn’t mean something ridiculous or banal. It does mean choosing something with differing opinions that you can support with facts and/or experiences. Find a topic that is timely, interesting, and relevant to your audience without being offensive.

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The Best Sci-Fi Books of All Time

by Kathy Edens Jan 08, 2018

The Best Sci-Fi Books of All Time

We culled some of the biggest reader polls from Goodreads and National Public Radio’s Books. The following top 25 best Science Fiction books ever published were voted on by thousands of devoted science fiction readers.

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Why 2018 is the Year for Writers

by Kathy Edens Jan 08, 2018

Why 2018 is the Year for Writers

In 2018, people will consume more content than ever before. Books in any form are the gateway to learning and knowledge. The most successful business men and women set aside time daily for reading both non-fiction and fiction.

To tap into the new wave of opportunities for writers in 2018, here are 4 trends to watch.

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Are You Snobbish About Self-Publishing?

by Kathy Edens Jan 03, 2018

Are You Snobbish About Self-Publishing?

Do you think all self-publishing is merely vanity projects? Are you worried anyone can slap a few words on a page and click on publish to become a published author? Do you also fear any self-publishing company will publish an e-book or spit out print books no matter the quality of writing?

When you meet an author, is your first question, "Who was your publisher?" And when they tell you they self-published, is your knee-jerk reaction their book wasn’t good enough to be picked up by even a mediocre publishing house?

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Inventing Characters: A Character is What He Does, His Motives, and His Past

by Kathy Edens Jan 02, 2018

Inventing Characters: A Character is What He Does, His Motives, and His Past

Characters in books give us insight into the human condition. We learn how people behave and what’s in human nature from our favorite characters in books and on the big screen.

Orson Scott Card says out of the multiple ways to get to know someone, the most powerful and the ones that make the strongest impression are:

  • What your character does
  • What his or her motives are
  • What they’ve done in the past

Let’s look at these and a few other ways of getting to know your characters.

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Use ProWritingAid’s Readability Stats to Improve the Clarity of Your Writing

by Kathy Edens Dec 19, 2017

Use ProWritingAid’s Readability Stats to Improve the Clarity of Your Writing

If you haven’t been using ProWritingAid’s Readability Report and Summary Report to take your work in progress (WIP) to the next level, you’re missing out. Your WIP might be an article you plan to post on Medium or it could be a 75,000 word manuscript of the next, great novel. And the Readability Report can make suggestions on how to make it sparkle and shine so it catches any reader’s eye.

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How to Break the Rules of Fiction

by Kathy Edens Dec 13, 2017

How to Break the Rules of Fiction

Have you noticed how many rules you must follow when writing your novel? Some of them, like having a strong beginning, engaging middle, and exciting conclusion, are good advice. Then other rules, like how to format your novel for submission and checking submission guidelines first, are pretty strict. Finally, there are rules meant to be broken.

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How Non-Chronological Writing Can Create Character Empathy

by Kathy Edens Dec 12, 2017

How Non-Chronological Writing Can Create Character Empathy

Shifting back and forth in time creates suspense. Your readers can unravel the past and understand the ramifications in the present a little at a time. It creates a tension that makes your books hard to put down.

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How Stieg Larsson Kept his Readers Turning Pages

by Kathy Edens Nov 28, 2017

How Stieg Larsson Kept his Readers Turning Pages

You need to crank up your story's tension and conflict in every chapter. Let's look at a few techniques to help sustain the drama you've created and keep pages turning at each chapter ending.

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Counterintuitive Advice for Engaging Your Target Audience

by Kathy Edens Nov 22, 2017

Counterintuitive Advice for Engaging Your Target Audience

Not everything about audience building is as cut and dried as the experts would like you to believe. In fact, here's decidedly counterintuitive advice for engaging your target audience.

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Why You Don't Need an Author Platform to Publish Your Book

by Kathy Edens Nov 20, 2017

Why You Don't Need an Author Platform to Publish Your Book

Having an author platform will get you nowhere if you don't have an actual book to promote.

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8 Truths of Blogging You Didn't Know

by Kathy Edens Nov 18, 2017

8 Truths of Blogging You Didn't Know

What do all bloggers have in common? Here are the truths of blogging that you don't hear about, but you experience in short order.

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Why Every Heroine Does Not Need a Love Interest

by Kathy Edens Nov 06, 2017

Why Every Heroine Does Not Need a Love Interest

There are almost no authors writing female characters that don't depend on a romance subplot to carry a book. That's because the Hero's Journey, Campbell's famous framework for the classic tale of a hero on a quest, doesn't work well for a female protagonist.

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Do I Use Lay or Lie? Let's Get it Straight

by Kathy Edens Nov 03, 2017

Do I Use Lay or Lie? Let's Get it Straight

Lay and lie can trip up the most seasoned writer. Let's do a quick and dirty here so it finally makes sense.

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What Makes Customers Say "Yes": The Psychology of Persuasion

by Kathy Edens Oct 25, 2017

What Makes Customers Say "Yes": The Psychology of Persuasion

Let's look at the 6 founding principles of influencing and persuading someone to click through, sign up, or buy something.

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How to Write an Elizabeth Bennet Better Than the Original

by Kathy Edens Oct 25, 2017

How to Write an Elizabeth Bennet Better Than the Original

What do we love so much about Elizabeth Bennet? She's strong, and she's feisty. Just because she's expected to act a certain way doesn't mean she'll bend her convictions and change her behavior. She's real, right?

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