The Writing Process

Flash Sale! Get one of 99 ProWritingAid Premium Lifetime Licenses for just $99

by ProWritingAid Apr 17, 2018

Flash Sale! Get one of 99 ProWritingAid Premium Lifetime Licenses for just $99

To celebrate the arrival of spring, we are offering a limited number of ProWritingAid Premium licenses for this special price.

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Avoid Story Stagnation

by Dawn Field Apr 06, 2018

Avoid Story Stagnation

Have you ever read a story where you wished the author would just hurry up and get on with it? That phenomenon is called story stagnation. Here we examine how to avoid it.

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How to Make Life's Hard Decisions

by Kathy Edens Apr 02, 2018

How to Make Life's Hard Decisions

How do you make life's hardest decisions? These five questions will help you make tough choices.

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The Essential Reading List: Horror

by Kathy Edens Apr 02, 2018

The Essential Reading List: Horror

This April, we're sharing 30 horror stories everyone should devour. See which tales set readers' spines tingling, followed by our own top picks.

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Writing Characters & Making Decisions: "What Kind of Story Are You Telling?"

by Kathy Edens Mar 28, 2018

Writing Characters & Making Decisions: "What Kind of Story Are You Telling?"

Let’s take a look at the four types of stories that Orson Scott Card says comprises every novel. He uses the acronym "MICE", which stands for milieu, idea, character, event.

Within this framework, Card argues something deeply contoversial: not all novels require in-depth characterization.

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Why an Editing Tool is Like a Hovering Librarian

by Kathy Edens Mar 28, 2018

Why an Editing Tool is Like a Hovering Librarian

Imagine a kindly, bespectacled woman with fresh, minty breath hovering over your shoulder as you pour words out on the screen. Her critical task is to help you make every word choice the best and to guide you to clearer, more concise sentences. She has your literary best interests at heart.

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7 Things We Can Learn From Jerry Seinfeld About Writing

by Justin Cox Mar 26, 2018

7 Things We Can Learn From Jerry Seinfeld About Writing

Legendary writing advice from a legendary comedian. Jerry Seinfeld has a lot to teach writers of all genres.

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Nonfiction Rules! 8 Reasons Why You Should Write Nonfiction Books

by Stephanie Chandler Mar 14, 2018

Nonfiction Rules! 8 Reasons Why You Should Write Nonfiction Books

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I wrote my first short story in the second grade, so naturally, I assumed I would someday write The Great American Novel. But when I sat down to tackle the task, it turned out that fiction wasn’t my strength, and that’s putting it mildly. I had to face reality—I completely lacked the imagination needed to write compelling stories.

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How to Create Your Best Writer’s Life

by Kathy Edens Mar 12, 2018

How to Create Your Best Writer’s Life

Writing is a business like any other. You’re creating a product you hope customers will buy and fall in love with. That way, you can continue creating new products people want. Regardless if you’re a fiction writer or a copywriter, you run your own business. And you must approach it like a business if you want to be successful.

Fiction writers who understand the publishing industry and what readers want will thrive. Copywriters who can engage and compel readers to act will succeed. Both must become master marketers to promote their business and make money.

Here are the building blocks of a solid business that will help you create your best writer’s life.

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How to Write a Mind-Blowing Plot Twist Like Gone Girl

by Kathy Edens Mar 12, 2018

How to Write a Mind-Blowing Plot Twist Like Gone Girl

As an author, don’t you want to create the mind-blowing plot twist that leaves readers begging you to write more books? Maybe the kind that result in big movie deals…

Wait. If your writing is a means to an end, it’s doubtful your plot twist will make the big bang needed to get on the big screen. Because you can’t force a plot twist; readers will smell it a mile away.

Do it authentically and you’ll create a feverish tension that keeps readers turning the pages to see how this new twist will play out next. Or you’ll end on a final piece of information that changes everything, resonating with readers long after the last page. Here’s how it works.

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It's not too late to register for the Women in Publishing Summit

by Alexa Bigwarfe Mar 06, 2018

It's not too late to register for the Women in Publishing Summit

Write, Publish, Sell is excited to bring you the Women in Publishing Online Summit, featuring women who are making their mark in every aspect of the self-publishing industry. Besides featured speakers, we’re hosting panels on hybrid publishing, editing, designing book covers and more.

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Writing Characters: Digging Beyond Life

by Kathy Edens Mar 05, 2018

Writing Characters: Digging Beyond Life

Start with a real-life person—yourself. Plumb all your deep, dark places and put yourself in the shoes of your main character. You are a well of inspiration. Make this your jumping-off point to create truly believable characters.

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Spice Up Your Writing

by Dr. Marlene Caroselli Mar 02, 2018

Spice Up Your Writing

Variety, as we all know, is the spice of life. It’s also the spice of good writing. There’s an easy way to find out if your sentences have variety. Take a paragraph you’ve written—one of eight or so sentences. Then, write down the first word in each sentence. Next, identify the part of speech for each word. If most of your sentences begin with the same part of speech, you don’t have variety. It’s as simple as that.

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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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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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Oops! Did You Forget to Launch Your Book? 4 Marketing Steps to Take Right Now

by Jordan Ring Jan 17, 2018

Oops! Did You Forget to Launch Your Book? 4 Marketing Steps to Take Right Now

“Why isn’t anyone buying my book? Is it not good enough? Am I a terrible writer? "Should I give up forever?"

Of course not. It's just that you didn't launch your book. You didn't ceremoniously rocket it out into the world so that everyone noticed it.

It's not too late! Here's what you need to know:

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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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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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