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You Need to Define Your Writing Voice Before You Can Refine It

You Need to Define Your Writing Voice Before You Can Refine It

If you’ve ever gone hunting for advice on finding your writing voice, your brain is undoubtedly tuckered out. Many tips are vague at best and confusing or contradictory at worst. Some claim that voice develops over time. But that leaves you wondering when it will appear to you in a poof of smoke. Others treat it like a supernatural gift that some writers have and others don’t. So helpful, right?

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How to Fine-Tune Your Pacing to Craft Heart-Pounding Action Scenes

How to Fine-Tune Your Pacing to Craft Heart-Pounding Action Scenes

Action scenes strap readers in for a thrilling ride—or at least that’s what they’re supposed to do. Every millisecond must be engaging and accurately portray what’s happening. If the action crawls, it loses its impact or, worse, readers’ interest. And if the action hits light speed, readers crave more details, similar to the dissatisfaction of eating a fun-size piece of chocolate instead of a whole candy bar.

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3 Self-Editing Techniques to Elevate Your Writing Style

3 Self-Editing Techniques to Elevate Your Writing Style

Have you ever stopped reading, not because the story itself was bad, but because the author’s phrasing was awkward? Few annoyances push me back into the real world faster than unwieldy prose. In the right combinations, words are beautiful and engaging. But in the wrong combinations, they grate on the ear and hinder an otherwise enjoyable experience.

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How to Prevent Clichés from Ruining Your Story’s Prose

How to Prevent Clichés from Ruining Your Story’s Prose

The sky’s the limit to the number of clichés that can infiltrate writing. In fact, I intend to dump a truckload into this article to illustrate why writers should avoid them like the plague. However, I also believe we ought to tip our hats to clichés. Because the phrases were crafted well, people repeated them until overuse rubbed off the gilding. Now they’re commonplace. But I still appreciate their origins, and I’m going to show you how to dig out the creative potential buried beneath them.

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3 Lies about Stylistic Editing (and Why They Hurt Your Writing)

3 Lies about Stylistic Editing (and Why They Hurt Your Writing)

Editing is easy to overdo. You open your latest draft to restructure a scene, but as you reread your work to get your bearings, you can’t resist tinkering with a clunky paragraph in the previous chapter. Then you remember a worldbuilding element you need to research so you can use it to set the mood when your protagonist meets her love interest. And soon you’ve spent an hour brainstorming the perfect analogy for his blue eyes.

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3 Practical Tips to Tighten Long-Winded Prose

3 Practical Tips to Tighten Long-Winded Prose

One of the biggest challenges we face as writers is the process of translating our ideas into chunks of text that seem much more bland than the characters, settings, and themes did in our imaginations. Once we’ve filled the page, our next hurdle is to make our words both understandable and inviting to readers.

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5 Practical Exercises to Improve Your Writing Style

5 Practical Exercises to Improve Your Writing Style

After you’ve written a paragraph, have you ever stopped to squint at the words, wondering if you’ve chosen the right ones to convey the mood you intended? Did you manage to craft a distinct voice for your viewpoint character, or does the narrative sound too much like you? Are your commas placed correctly?

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