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 Create Mood Like Edgar Allan Poe

by Kathy Edens Jul 14, 2017

How to Create Mood Like Edgar Allan Poe

The master of Gothic horror stories, Edgar Allan Poe could set the tone of anything with a few chosen words. Here's how he did it.

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A Writer's Biggest Fear: And it's Not Spiders

by Kathy Edens Jul 13, 2017

A Writer's Biggest Fear: And it's Not Spiders

What is it you fear most as you sit in front of a blank screen? Perhaps the fear of rejection holds you back from putting words on paper. You know your work is likely to get rejected by publishers and agents because the experience of others told you to expect it.

Maybe you fear humiliation. Putting yourself out there on paper opens you up to all kinds of criticism and ridicule. It's really hard to be vulnerable in your writing because the critics' sting hurts that much more.

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Why You Should Throw Your Main Character Under a Bus

by Kathy Edens Jul 05, 2017

Why You Should Throw Your Main Character Under a Bus

What is it about a great story that keeps you turning the pages? Think of the last book you devoured in one sitting. What kept you so engrossed you had to stay up until 4am to finish it?

For those of us who sit bleary-eyed in front of a computer because we couldn't put a good book down last night, we stumbled across an author who knows how to raise the stakes.

And the higher the stakes, the better—am I right?

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Blogging Analytics: What You Need to Know

by Kathy Edens Jun 28, 2017

Blogging Analytics: What You Need to Know

Whether you write for yourself or you're a hired gun, you need to answer a basic question: is your blog successful? The only way to determine success is to measure your blog's results, and to do that you need Google Analytics.

Since there are dozens or more posts out there on how to use Google Analytics, let's focus on what exactly you need to measure to determine how successful your blog is. Let's face it, you could spend a month analyzing the various metrics from Google, but you really only need a few. We will peel back the many layers and show you the 6 key blogging analytics you need to track.

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How to Take Advantage of the 7 Deadly Sins When You're Copywriting

by Kathy Edens Jun 26, 2017

How to Take Advantage of the 7 Deadly Sins When You're Copywriting

Here's how to use the 7 Deadly Sins like an angel to present your product or service in its best possible light. Master these tips and they'll be eating out of your hand.

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When Symbolism Goes Too Far

by Kathy Edens Jun 19, 2017

When Symbolism Goes Too Far

Are we hard-wired to seek symbolism in everything from our literature to our everyday life? Spirituality is rife with symbolism, advertisers use symbols to sell their products, and we interpret a smile from someone as a symbol of friendship.

Symbolism in literature uses an object or a word to represent something abstract in your work. A person, an action, a place, a single word, or an object can have symbolic meaning. Symbolism, done well, allows you to hint at a certain mood or emotion instead of showing it.

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Me Write Pretty One Day: Why Purple Prose Kills the Clarity of Your Content

by Kathy Edens Jun 19, 2017

Me Write Pretty One Day: Why Purple Prose Kills the Clarity of Your Content

Great content needs to be more than just "pretty". It needs depth and insight. It needs to avoid purple prose not like the plague, but because it is the plague.

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Using an Editing Tool Does Not Make You a Lazy Writer

by Kathy Edens Jun 12, 2017

Using an Editing Tool Does Not Make You a Lazy Writer

Do you always check your work for repeated or overused words or phrases? I know I don't. Sometimes I can be so close to my writing that I don't notice when I've used a certain word too many times in the space of 3 or so paragraphs. In my mind, it sounds natural.

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Why You Need an Editorial Calendar for Content Marketing

by Kathy Edens Jun 07, 2017

Why You Need an Editorial Calendar for Content Marketing

Do you regularly create great content for your target audience? Let's have a show of hands: how many of you use an editorial calendar to organize your content?

Not everyone uses an editorial calendar, and if you're one, you're making life more difficult than need be.

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Wrestling Run-On Sentences Into Shape

by Kathy Edens May 26, 2017

Wrestling Run-On Sentences Into Shape

ProWritingAid's sentence length check is one of the most important reports I use for every piece of writing. I have a tendency to write long, flowing sentences that meander around, trying to connect numerous ideas together that perhaps don't belong. (The latter sentence a case in point.)

But did you know that's not a technical run-on sentence? It's more of a run-off-at-the-mouth sentence.

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Why a Fully Realized Villain is as Important as Your Protagonist

by Kathy Edens May 12, 2017

Your antagonist can make the difference between a ho-hum novel and a break-out one.

A fully realized villain is someone who shows us parts of ourselves in his or her makeup. If you can connect in some human way with the antagonist, it's going to bring up all kinds of tension for readers.

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How to Write a Killer Transition

by Kathy Edens May 03, 2017

How to Write a Killer Transition

How do you move your reader smoothly between ideas in your content or from scene to scene in your novel? With killer transitions that connect and unify your writing as a whole.

What is a Transition? There are two types of transitions to cover: transitions in content connecting paragraphs and highlighting relevant, important points and transitions between scenes or POV switches in manuscripts.

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Maintaining Focus While Writing: A Review of the Freedom App

by Kathy Edens Apr 21, 2017

Maintaining Focus While Writing: A Review of the Freedom App Do you get distracted easily when writing? Do you check Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram when your writing slows down or you reach a difficult section?

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What is the Most Important Copywriting Skill to Master?

by Kathy Edens Apr 21, 2017

What is the Most Important Copywriting Skill to Master? There are a lot of essential skills to master if you are going to write effective copy. I don't want to downplay the importance of good writing, proper grammar, thorough research, and SEO optimization, but there is another skill that stands above the rest.

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Have You Written Your Story's 'Mirror Moment' Yet?

by Kathy Edens Apr 18, 2017

Have You Written Your Story's 'Mirror Moment' Yet?

I recently came across a book by James Scott Bell that lays out an interesting premise about something he calls the 'mirror moment'.

Bell's theory is that there is a single moment in the middle of the story where the main character takes a "long, hard look at himself (as in a mirror). He asks, Who am I? What have I become? Who am I supposed to be?"

Bell says if you can nail that moment, everything that comes before and after it will have more depth and resonance.

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The 10 Best Facebook Groups for Writers

by Kathy Edens Apr 10, 2017

The 10 Best Facebook Groups for Writers NOTE: After getting a ton of amazing feedback from users, we updated this page for 2018.Check it out here: Our Favorite Facebook Groups for Writers - updated for 2018

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What Margaret Atwood Taught Me About Writing Outside Your Genre

by Kathy Edens Apr 09, 2017

What Margaret Atwood Taught Me About Writing Outside Your Genre

Margaret Atwood recently wrote an essay titled "Margaret Atwood on What The Handmaid's Tale Means in the Age of Trump" that caught my eye. There has been a swarm of interest around the book thanks to the upcoming series on Hulu, but I have to admit that I was curious to see if her political views matched mine.

What I found most compelling in the article, however, is how she talked about stretching herself outside her genre when she wrote The Handmaid's Tale:

  • "It seemed to me a risky venture. I’d read extensively in science fiction, speculative fiction, utopias and dystopias ever since my high school years in the 1950s, but I’d never written such a book. Was I up to it? The form was strewn with pitfalls, among them a tendency to sermonize, a veering into allegory and a lack of plausibility. If I was to create an imaginary garden I wanted the toads in it to be real."

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How to Write Multiple Points of View

by Kathy Edens Apr 03, 2017

How to Write Multiple Points of View

When you’re starting a new story, determining POV is a very important choice. Writing from multiple POVs can be frustrating and confusing for readers if it’s not handled well, so you need to have a very good reason for using multiple POVs in your story.

That said, here are a few tips on how to craft a story using multiple POVs:

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Why Your Ending is as Important as Your Book's Hook

by Kathy Edens Mar 14, 2017

Why Your Ending is as Important as Your Book's Hook

Have you ever been so engrossed in a book that if the ending isn't strong and doesn't resolve all the plot threads, you're disappointed in the whole book? I once read a novel with a deeply engaging main character I really connected with. She struggled and overcame and struggled and overcame. And at the very end of the book, the author killed her. WHAT? It's the only time I've ever thrown a book. And I refused to read anything more by that author.

You know how important it is to hook your reader from the very beginning. It's why you start in the middle of the action, plunging your reader right in so they get caught up in the excitement.

Your ending is as important…if not more.

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Why You Should Be Able to State Your Story's Theme in One Sentence

by Kathy Edens Mar 13, 2017

Why You Should Be Able to State Your Story's Theme in One Sentence

Theme is not your character arc, nor is it the plot or what happens to your character. It's actually the essence that ties those two together. If someone asks you "what is your book about?" you don't respond with scene-by-scene detail, or the changes your character goes through.

You think of your character and what essential thing she or he comes to understand through the course of the book.

If you can't do that, you don't have a firm grasp on your story's theme.

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