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How to Use Post-It Notes to Visually Organize Your Story

How to Use Post-It Notes to Visually Organize Your Story

You settle into your desk for a writing session, but instead you end up hopping from chapter to chapter, trying to remind yourself what happens and when. You notice that a character’s earlier actions don’t align with his future, and you begin to get overwhelmed. How can you make the constantly moving parts fit together without leaving gaps?

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How to Keep Side Characters from Stealing the Show

How to Keep Side Characters from Stealing the Show

From Dr. Watson to Samwise Gamgee to Jane Bennet, no beloved classic would be as engaging without side characters. They’re the protagonists of untold stories that thrive between the lines. But have beta readers ever confessed that they kept reading your manuscript only to see what happened to a side character? Although the protagonist was present, she fell flat beside her quirkier companion.

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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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The Lessons 6 Years of Blogging Taught Me about Writing Fiction

The Lessons 6 Years of Blogging Taught Me about Writing Fiction

When I joined the writing community as a teenager, my peers insisted that I launch a blog to build a following (or else I’d doom myself to obscurity). Running with this misguided notion, I opened a WordPress account and fired off the world’s most random introduction post. To be clear, I’m not here to ram a sales pitch for blogging. Blogs aren’t as necessary to marketing as I originally believed, especially since social media and email newsletters offer more versatility. But in the six years I’ve spent maintaining a personal blog, I’ve developed a broader view of why I write fiction and who I’m trying to reach, as well as habits and skills that aid me in my pursuit of authorship.

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3 Truths to Remember When Crafting Child Characters

3 Truths to Remember When Crafting Child Characters

Imagine that, for twenty-four hours, you’re limited to the use of half your vocabulary, your awareness of interpersonal subtext dims, and all your skills and strengths revert back to level one. On top of that, you shrink to the height of a hobbit. Carrying out your normal routine would be frustrating, wouldn’t it? But you would still have nearly the same internal experience. Your needs and desires wouldn’t disappear, only your ability to express and achieve those goals.

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A Simple Technique to Create Realistic Fictional Cultures

A Simple Technique to Create Realistic Fictional Cultures

God designed humans as intricate beings, and a single culture encompasses thousands (if not millions) of individuals interacting with each other in hundreds of different combinations and relationships. Reflect on your own life and the roles you rotate through each day: sibling, caretaker, student, mentor, friend. As a writer, how can you presume to play God and pack all of that complexity into your own worldbuilding?

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