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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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Is Your Protagonist Succeeding Too Easily?

Is Your Protagonist Succeeding Too Easily?

When you’re crafting a story, believability is paramount. The quality of your prose, the relatability of your characters, and the intensity of your conflicts won’t hold readers’ attention if they can’t accept the sequence of events as representing their own reality. Can you identify the supervillain who’s notorious for thwarting that goal? Her name is Mary Sue.

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5 Cringeworthy Mistakes to Avoid in Christian Fiction

5 Cringeworthy Mistakes to Avoid in Christian Fiction

Although Christian readers enjoy consuming material from authors who share their faith, some of it can be difficult to digest. Maybe a turning point in the protagonist’s arc fails to evoke any emotion, or the attraction between two characters involves awkward prolonged glances and tingles. How can people who understand God’s design for life and the sin that tainted it botch those portrayals so badly?

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The Secret to Writing Depressed (but Not Hopeless) Characters

The Secret to Writing Depressed (but Not Hopeless) Characters

In the past, Christian publishers shied away from the topic of mental illness. And when a book did broach it, sometimes the advice dismissed the condition as unreal, perpetrated myths, or failed to provide the needed support and encouragement. Thankfully, Christian publishers have become more open to addressing gritty issues, and several releases over the last couple decades have touched on mental illness—including Sara Ella’s Coral, the center of our 2022 summer book study.

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3 Ways to Craft Magical Retellings That Are More Than Fairy Tales

3 Ways to Craft Magical Retellings That Are More Than Fairy Tales

Writing is hard. Life is harder. It’s full of tragedies, grueling work, annoyances, setbacks, frustrations, and disappointments. Nothing at all like a fairy tale. Yet fairy tale retellings have become increasingly popular over the last several years—from Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted to Marissa Meyer’s Cinder to Kara Swanson’s Dust. But what is the value of this subgenre besides marketability, and how does it relate to real-world issues?

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How Boredom Can Make You a Better Writer

How Boredom Can Make You a Better Writer

When was the last time you were bored? During my childhood, those who dared utter the forbidden phrase “I’m bored” were saddled with a chore or two (or three). Boredom is often viewed as idleness, and the solution is to fill that void with productivity. What if I told you that, as a writer, boredom holds an advantage?

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