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How to Keep Writing When You Want to Burn Your Story

How to Keep Writing When You Want to Burn Your Story

I’m stubborn. I finish the projects I start. And I’m one of those rare souls who welcomes constructive criticism. Yet, as I stared at the latest beta reader feedback for the book my heart had been crying out to write, I couldn’t identify any consistencies or trends. All my beta readers disagreed on my book’s strengths and weaknesses. Worse, unlike my earlier books, no one gushed that they were excited for this sequel to be published.

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The Real Reason People Read Fiction (and Why This Matters to Writers)

At a conference I attended last summer, a New York Times best-selling Christian author taught a session on why people read fiction. During it, the speaker made an interesting claim: while most Christian authors are passionate about their stories’ messages, readers typically aren’t. Rather, they tend to “read fiction to escape.” The speaker argued that “authors are entertainers,” and whether we like it or not, we need to give people what they want.

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Five Lies that Cripple New Writers

“Ye shall not surely die.” Ever since the snake whispered in Eve’s ear in the Garden of Eden, mankind has been susceptible to lies. Our volatile emotions open up vulnerabilities for falsehood to sink its teeth into. As writers, a distorted mindset can hinder our growth, damage our creative potential, separate us from reality, prevent us from accomplishing goals, and trap us in despair.

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How to Organize Ideas into a Coherent Story

A blank page unleashes an infinite amount of plots, scenes, and characters that beg us to outline their existence in ink. But, if we can’t channel our influx of ideas, the excitement of starting a new project will quickly dissipate. Instead, we’ll be overwhelmed and unable to tell any story at all. A surplus of inspiration can cripple a writer’s sanity as much as a shortage.

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How to Explain Technology and Magic in Speculative Fiction without Dragging the Story

One of the biggest challenges with writing speculative fiction is clarifying how your story’s magic and/or technology works. Once you’ve accomplished the monumental task of developing those systems, how do you educate readers without making them yawn? They don’t want you to pause the story to give a lesson on all the phenomena, yet they don’t like being confused (and prone to disbelief) either. (Aren’t readers exasperating?)

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