Are You a Gamer? The Best of Plotting and Pantsing

Are You a Gamer? The Best of Plotting and Pantsing

You can outline a story in great detail... but should you? What happens when you have a new idea in the middle of writing? Instead of having to retool your whole outline, learn to craft your story to allow for surprise—both for you and for your reader.

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Villain vs Antagonist: How to Use Each in Your Book

Villain vs Antagonist: How to Use Each in Your Book

Know the difference between antagonist and villain. Read this article for tips on how to use them in your story to create obstacles for your protagonist and build tension for your reader.

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Time Saving Tips for New Novelists

Time Saving Tips for New Novelists

Are you a new writer? Discover why planning speeds up your writing time, and check out these steps for planning your novel.

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How to Use Caricature in Writing: Definition, Use, Examples

How to Use Caricature in Writing: Definition, Use, Examples

Learn everything you need to know about caricature. This comprehensive explanation comes complete with examples and definition. Perfect for writers, students, and educators alike.

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Want to Step Up Reader Engagement with Your Characters? You Need to Read This First.

Want to Step Up Reader Engagement with Your Characters? You Need to Read This First.

Multi-dimensional human personalities are key to readers relating to your characters. This article offers six tips to create characters that build engagement with readers.

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

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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Why Every Heroine Does Not Need a Love Interest

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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Mining the Mind of Your Character

Mining the Mind of Your Character

What's more important when driving your story: plot or character? In this article, Gina Edwards describes how you can develop your characters to give readers a memorable and satisfying experience.

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Stop Worrying about Character: Start Focusing on Relationships

Stop Worrying about Character: Start Focusing on Relationships

Readers want to understand who characters are... and one of the best ways to discover that is through relationships.

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5 Questions to Create a Compelling Protagonist

5 Questions to Create a Compelling Protagonist

Want to craft a compelling protagonist? Of course you do! In this article, speculative fiction author Kyle A. Massa poses five key questions that can help.

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4 Important Ways to Get Ready for NaNoWriMo

4 Important Ways to Get Ready for NaNoWriMo

***Are you ready for NaNoWriMo?*** It’s the question most asked this time of year, right before National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that takes over the month of November every year. If this is your first time doing NaNoWriMo, don’t stress out too much about it. It’s a huge learning process where you’ll discover what’s most important for you to be able to produce content on a continual basis to move forward towards your end goal of 50,000 words in 30 days. The biggest lesson I’ve learned over the years is that it’s not so much about the end result. What you have at the end of 30 days will in no shape or form be a novel ready to print. Depending on your genre, novels can be 80,000 words and up. Just understand: you won’t be finished with it on November 30th.

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Punch Up Your Narrative Arc and Character Development

Punch Up Your Narrative Arc and Character Development

You’ve survived yet another NaNoWriMo. Congratulations! You’ve just written a book in 30 days. Now what? Kathy Edens tackles this question.

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What's After NaNoWriMo?

What's After NaNoWriMo?

It’s time to burst your bubble. Sorry! The typical paperback novel is between 80,000 and 100,000 words long. Yes, you completed 50,000 words, and that’s an amazing achievement in 30 days. But 50,000 words does not a novel make. The beauty of NaNoWriMo is that it releases you from worrying about what you’re writing, trying to make it perfect, and instead you just focus on getting words down on the page. And that is a serious accomplishment: 50,000 words in 30 days. NaNoWriMo hopefully taught you that when you’re not seeking perfection, you can get an amazing amount of words out instead of staring at a blank page. So, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you’ve likely got more work ahead on that novel of yours. Here's what you need to know...

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Using Music to Mine Your Emotions

Using Music to Mine Your Emotions

If you consider yourself an unemotional person, you might wonder how you can become an emotional master in your writing. The secret? Music.

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A Complete Guide to Writing Incredible Novel Openings

A Complete Guide to Writing Incredible Novel Openings

What are the most important things to include in your opening chapter? Establish your setting. Introduce elements of your protagonists conflict. Raise important story questions. Make your reader care about your character. Read on to find out more!

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