Garbage Sorting for Writers: From Yucky First Draft to a Manuscript Worth Keeping

Garbage Sorting for Writers: From Yucky First Draft to a Manuscript Worth Keeping

Just finished writing your novel? It's time to take out the trash, but not before seeing what you can salvage. Sorting and re-sorting (i.e. assessing and revising) are what will turn your yucky first draft into a manuscript worth keeping. Transform your first draft with tips from professional copy editor Katie Pavel.

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Avoiding Deus Ex Machina: How to Create a Satisfying Payoff in Your Novel

Avoiding Deus Ex Machina: How to Create a Satisfying Payoff in Your Novel

Storytelling doesn't have to be ultra efficient, but it does need to make sense. If you've ever watched the ending of a movie and thought "that was convenient," it probably used deus ex machina. Avoid sudden twists of fate and learn how to set up the payoffs in your novel with these tips and examples.

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Why Everyone Should Tell Better Stories

Why Everyone Should Tell Better Stories

Stories have been with us since the beginning of time. Before the written word, if you wanted to pass information to the next generation, you told a story. The same is true today. We’re all storytellers. Storytelling is a skill anyone can learn and it’s one you need for both speaking and writing. Here’s how to hone your skills and captivate others’ attention.

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Mastering Conflict in Fiction: 7 Types of Conflict and How to Use Them

Mastering Conflict in Fiction: 7 Types of Conflict and How to Use Them

Conflict is THE driving force in fiction, but authors often avoid writing conflict into their stories. Learn the 7 conflict types and why to use them in your novel.

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Beat Writers Block and Write Your Novel With This Novel Writing Roadmap

Beat Writers Block and Write Your Novel With This Novel Writing Roadmap

Writing a novel is a long, hard slog, but following this roadmap will help you to avoid wasted time staring at blank screens, going down blind alleys and writing dozens of scenes that have no place in the final novel. Get started today!

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Webinar Replay: The Anatomy of Prose: How to Breathe Life into Your Story with Sacha Black

Webinar Replay: The Anatomy of Prose: How to Breathe Life into Your Story with Sacha Black

Do your characters feel... lifeless? Learn how to breathe life into your story and characters in this upcoming webinar with author Sacha Black.

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Transform Story Endings Overnight with These Simple Teaching Techniques

Transform Story Endings Overnight with These Simple Teaching Techniques

Struggling with story endings? Use these examples, activities, and planning suggestions to help you teach your students how to make them effective.

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Stop Killing Younglings: How to Avoid the Storytelling Mistakes of the "Star Wars" Prequels

Stop Killing Younglings: How to Avoid the Storytelling Mistakes of the "Star Wars" Prequels

There were many missteps in the "Star Wars" prequel films, not least of all the invention of Jar-Jar Binks. Here's how to avoid those same mistakes in your work. How wude!

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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 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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The Middle Is the Biggest Part of Your Novel: Keep it Lively

The Middle Is the Biggest Part of Your Novel: Keep it Lively

In this article, we cover how to create a lively middle in your novel that keeps readers engaged.

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How to Master "Show, Don't Tell"

How to Master "Show, Don't Tell"

Is "show, don't tell" useful writing advice? Author Kyle A. Massa goes deep on the subject in this article.

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Build a Better Outline

Build a Better Outline

If you plot a novel beforehand, it leaves your creative mind free to focus on constructing scenes and sentences. In this article, New York Times best-selling author David Farland teaches his methods for plotting engaging books.

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Writing App Reviews… Scrivener

Writing App Reviews… Scrivener

As a writer, I’d heard about Scrivener from many of my peers, but for whatever reason (pure obstinance, probably), I stuck with my old word processing program. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I finally acquiesced and purchased Scrivener. I haven’t looked back! If you’ve ever set up a binder to try to organize the various plans and ideas for your novel—or even just articles—you probably had sections to hold your character sketches, setting ideas, plot outline, and research. You may have had separate sections to contain each of your scenes and chapters. You might even have had a section that contained nothing but pictures clipped from magazines that sparked your imagination.

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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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