Building a World Within a World: Worldbuilding and Historical Fiction

Building a World Within a World: Worldbuilding and Historical Fiction

Good stories require an immersive world to plunge readers into. If you're writing historical fiction, you'll need to pay attention to historical accuracy to ground your characters' relationships, motivations, and conflicts. In this article, author Caroline Jackson shows us how.

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The Eagle Problem: Why Authors Must Be Careful with Magic

The Eagle Problem: Why Authors Must Be Careful with Magic

Powerful magic is fun in theory, but it can ruin the logic of your plot. Kyle A. Massa covers one of the most infamous examples of this issue and the lessons authors can learn from it.

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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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The Best Romance Novels Ever Written

The Best Romance Novels Ever Written

Continuing our Essential Reading series, this month we’re focusing on romance novels, from the classics to the breathless reads of today’s masters.

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Literary Agent Mark Gottlieb on the Etiquette of the Editorial Process

Literary Agent Mark Gottlieb on the Etiquette of the Editorial Process

The relationship between writer and editor, or writer and literary agent, is complex. In order to work well together, both parties must work collaboratively. In this post, literary agent Mark Gottlieb shares his experience about how to make that relationship work best for everyone.

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How to Foreshadow like Alfred Hitchcock

How to Foreshadow like Alfred Hitchcock

Foreshadowing allows you to plant clues, hint at what’s to come, build the tension, or even place a red herring in your reader’s path. You can use foreshadowing in a variety of ways. The resulting action can be immediate or delayed. You can use dialogue or narrative to set the scene, and you can foreshadow a symbolic event or an ethical dilemma. You can use direct or indirect foreshadowing, and it can even be true or false. Foreshadowing can feed the tension of a scene. Who doesn’t know the famous shower scene in the movie Psycho? Right before the character Marion Crane pulls up to the Bates Motel, her windshield wipers are slashing through the rain, foreshadowing what awaits her in the shower scene.

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The Internet's Best List of Clichés

The Internet's Best List of Clichés

To cliché or not to cliché, that is the question. This comprehensive list of clichés will help you decide what to use or leave behind in your writing.

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Why Narrative Satisfaction Matters: Lessons from Game of Thrones

Why Narrative Satisfaction Matters: Lessons from Game of Thrones

Millions of fans are not thrilled with the ending of 'Game of Thrones'. Hayley Milliman examines what lessons aspiring fiction writers can learn from the show's missteps.

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ProWritingAid and Fictionary, the editing bundle you do not want to miss.

ProWritingAid and Fictionary, the editing bundle you do not want to miss.

Fictionary works seamlessly with the ProWritingAid Chrome extension. Not only can you use both to improve your work at the same time, but there's a special offer on the Fictionary and ProWritingAid bundle: get both for just $99 until May 27th.

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Omnipotent Characters: Why Marvel Sidelined Thor, Vision, and Captain Marvel

Omnipotent Characters: Why Marvel Sidelined Thor, Vision, and Captain Marvel

When Proxima Midnight stabbed Vision, it wasn't a random development. It was good writing. Authors often sideline omnipotent characters to give the rest of their cast a chance. In this article, we examine what omnipotent characters are and how to use them.

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Crafting a Fictional Universe: Learning from Marvel Studios

Crafting a Fictional Universe: Learning from Marvel Studios

Want to create a fictional universe like Marvel's? You've come to the right place.

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How to Create Fantastic Metaphors

How to Create Fantastic Metaphors

Aristotle said a metaphor was “the act of giving a thing a name that belongs to something else.” It allows you to pack a powerful punch in a few words. Your reader can take their full understanding of one thing, and apply it to another thing. By writing, “my cubicle is a prison,” your reader understands how you feel about your job. With just that one word they know you feel trapped, unhappy, desolate.

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Series Arc: The Art of Telling Stories Over Multiple Volumes

Series Arc: The Art of Telling Stories Over Multiple Volumes

What are some ways to develop a story arc throughout a series? We'll show you!

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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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Are You Ready to Draft Your Story Arc?

Are You Ready to Draft Your Story Arc?

Last month, we focused our articles on how to begin writing your novel in 2016, and we mentioned story arc in the article Start With Your Idea. In this month’s article, we’re going to delve a little deeper into creating your story arc. The story arc (or sometimes called the narrative arc) is a more poetic way of saying that each story must have a beginning, a middle, and an end—or Act One, Act Two, and Act Three. This has been the guiding template of stories since the ancient Greeks started writing them, and holds true whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction. Where authors fall apart in their story arc is that nothing much happens to the main character by the end of the book. He hasn’t been tested in some profound way.

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