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Lori Z. Scott

Story Embers Article Writer

Elementary school teacher Lori Z. Scott usually writes fiction because, like an atom, she makes up everything. Her down time is filled with two quirky habits: chronic doodling and inventing lame jokes. Neither one impresses her principal (or friends/parents/casual strangers), but they do help inspire her writing. Somehow her odd musings led her to accidentally write the 10-book best-selling Meghan Rose series and purposely write more than 150 short stories, articles, essays, poems, and devotions. In addition, Lori contributed to over a dozen books, mostly so she would have an excuse to give people for not folding her laundry. (Hey! Busy writer here!) As a speaker, she’s visited several conferences and elementary schools to share her writing journey. Some of Lori’s favorite things include ice cream, fuzzy socks, Batman, Star Trek, Star Wars, books, and hugs from students. Guess which one is her favorite?

3 Tips for Writing Your First Historical Fiction Novel

3 Tips for Writing Your First Historical Fiction Novel

Historical fiction offers writers a huge advantage in the area of plot development: real situations dictate the parameters for the setting, the conflict and resolution, and the characters. You don’t face the pressure of inventing everything from scratch. The disadvantage, however, is equally far-reaching. You must ensure the accuracy of even the smallest details, including clothing, dialects, and customs. The task can seem overwhelming, but it’s manageable if you address one category at a time.

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3 Speculative Fiction Worldbuilding Techniques That Contemporary Writers Can Adopt

3 Speculative Fiction Worldbuilding Techniques That Contemporary Writers Can Adopt

Worldbuilding is a term that’s usually associated with sci-fi and fantasy. However, as an author of contemporary fiction, I’ve discovered that I can borrow principles from those genres to provide vivid backdrops for my scenes. Consistent, well-structured settings enable readers to viscerally experience the same sensations as the characters, so any strategies that add more layers of realism are a win.

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4 Tips for Writing with a Chronic Illness

4 Tips for Writing with a Chronic Illness

As Joseph Campbell once said, “We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.” The seeds of this article came from my own experience with chronic illness. Type 1 diabetes sometimes affects whether I can write, think, and speak coherently. But I’m fortunate. Insulin pumps and glucose monitoring machines allow me to function at the same physical and cognitive level as most healthy adults. My less productive days made me wonder, though: How do people who have far more debilitating conditions manage to write consistently?

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3 Methods Writers of Any Genre Can Use to Craft a Captivating Love Story

3 Methods Writers of Any Genre Can Use to Craft a Captivating Love Story

Everyone has experienced love in one form or another, so including romance lends more believability and relatability to the characters. It can offer readers a reprieve from intense and dark scenes, as well as reinforce the theme through how two flawed human beings interact. Even if romance isn’t central to the plot, a past of unrequited love, heartache, or loss can deepen your protagonist by either positively or negatively impacting how she handles situations in the present.

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A 12-Month Sample Plan for Preparing Your First Book Launch

A 12-Month Sample Plan for Preparing Your First Book Launch

I recently signed a contract for a young adult novel, and my publisher set up a meeting with a literary agency to strategize the promotion of my book. The savvy ladies I spoke with offered a smorgasbord of suggestions, many of which I was familiar with. After all, if you hang around the writing community snack bar long enough, you’re bound to pick up a morsel or two about marketing.

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3 Time-Tested Techniques for Crafting Unforgettable Endings

3 Time-Tested Techniques for Crafting Unforgettable Endings

A powerful ending doesn’t stay sealed inside a book once you close the cover. The surprise, challenge, curiosity, or inspiration in the final words becomes part of you. You’ve lived an experience through the characters, watched them resolve an issue, explore an idea, or pursue a goal. And now their feelings have melded with your own. How a story ends is as important as how it hooks readers in the beginning. One captures readers’ interest for a few hundred pages while the other captures their hearts forever. You can approach an ending from any number of directions, but I’m going to outline three of my favorites that can help you brainstorm a memorable one.

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Suffering Writers Don’t Need More Optimism, They Need More Opportunities to Strengthen Others

Suffering Writers Don’t Need More Optimism, They Need More Opportunities to Strengthen Others

As writers, words are our swords and pain is the process that tempers those instruments. Death, divorce, disease, job loss—with the crises we face mounting on a daily basis, we may sink into an egocentric realm of despair where we can’t write, can’t ideate. But through these stressful circumstances, God challenges and molds us. And when we endure, we can mine our experiences to commiserate with hurting readers.

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5 Stylistic Choices You Need to Stop Making

5 Stylistic Choices You Need to Stop Making

Every story consists of tiny, pixel-like decisions that either make the big picture clear and vivid or fuzzy and muted. Whether you’re placing punctuation or determining which character’s voice should narrate a scene, each judgment call will affect readers’ enjoyment. Oftentimes, the difference between clunky and compelling text is a pair of scissors, and the acronym P.R.O.S.E. can help you recognize what to trim.

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