Set the Scene: How to Use Setting to Enhance Your Writing

Set the Scene: How to Use Setting to Enhance Your Writing

Setting isn't just a backdrop. Find out how to deepen and enrich your characters, plot, and theme by creating settings that stand out.

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The Star Wars Prequels: How Writers Can Avoid Their Storytelling Mistakes

The Star Wars Prequels: How Writers Can Avoid Their Storytelling Mistakes

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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How Planning a Novel Saves Writing Time for New Novelists

How Planning a Novel Saves Writing Time 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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Is Show, Don't Tell Good Advice?

Is Show, Don't Tell Good Advice?

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

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How to Build an Outline

How to Build an 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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How Weather Affects Fiction

How Weather Affects Fiction

Is weather one of the most under-utilized facets of fiction? In this article, speculative fiction author Kyle A. Massa explores several ways to use it in your work.

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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 Hayley Milliman shows us how.

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How to Improve Your Story Arc and Give Your Character Depth

How to Improve Your Story Arc and Give Your Character Depth

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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How to Create Mood like Edgar Allan Poe

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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How Writing a Series Boosts Your Author Career

How Writing a Series Boosts Your Author Career

Creating a series can boost your author career and simplify your novel writing. You’ll create benefits as a writer and increase your marketing power. Author Zara Altair offers tips on writing a series.

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Writing Advice from Kurt Vonnegut

Writing Advice from Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut, author of such classics as *Slaughterhouse Five* and *Breakfast of Champions*, stands today as one of the 20th century’s most important American writers. I can’t think of anyone better placed to give literary advice, and, thankfully, he agreed with me. These eight tips were originally written by Vonnegut to apply exclusively to writers of short stories, but I reckon they’re just as useful for writers of longer fiction.

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How to Test Drive Your Story Idea for a Novel

How to Test Drive Your Story Idea for a Novel

Try these six story exercises to test your idea for a novel. Avoid wasting time on an idea that doesn’t work before making a commitment to an entire novel.

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Popular Fiction Archetypes

Popular Fiction Archetypes

Fiction writers don't start from scratch. They can utilize existing character and story archetypes, personality and emotional types, and the goals and the fears of each type. Combining them in a strong storyline is almost a guarantee for creating best-selling works.

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How to Write Historical Fiction (without a history degree)

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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Don’t Go Alone! Take a Cowriter

Don’t Go Alone! Take a Cowriter

I have known my cowriter for six years. It’s a long story full of coincidences and serendipity, but it completely changed my writing process. I rely on her in so many ways. We both wrote on an anonymous writing website where we worked on stories under pseudonyms. My cowriter and I met in the typical way: she reviewed my chapter, and out of common courtesy, I reviewed hers in return. We liked each other’s work, so we continued to follow and review, and we eventually started private messaging. Even then, we mostly talked about our writing, but over time, we started getting to know each other beyond our pseudonyms.

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