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4 Ways to Keep Complicated Worldbuilding Relevant to Your Story

4 Ways to Keep Complicated Worldbuilding Relevant to Your Story

Have you ever started reading a book you expected to enjoy only for the setting to stymie any connection you might have had with the characters? You keep losing your bearings because of weird place names. The info dumps about the magic system make you zone out. And you can’t even pronounce the religion that’s dividing two people groups. Fifty pages in, you’re still not invested. Disappointed, you toss the story onto your did-not-finish pile, where the memory of it fades into oblivion.

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4 Christian Practices That Can Kill Your Novel’s Theme

4 Christian Practices That Can Kill Your Novel’s Theme

If you’ve been reading Christian fiction for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve noticed that some books are powerful and inspiring while others fall flat. What’s the difference? Any number of variables can be the cause, but one culprit is relying on certain Christian scenarios to communicate a theme instead of building it into the entire story.

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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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How Writing Nonfiction Sharpened My Fiction

How Writing Nonfiction Sharpened My Fiction

When I was nine years old, I became the dictator of a sprawling, shape-shifting land called Fiction, and my political party consisted of myself, a few other students in our homeschool co-op writing class, and a table where we gathered during lunch breaks to scribble in our notebooks. We even passed a law banning nonfiction, and whenever our teacher gave us an assignment that didn’t involve mythical beings like unicorns and flying hippos, we’d threaten to revolt (and then, of course, we’d obey, because she was the adult).

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How to Turn Your Message Upside Down to Give Your Story a Unique Perspective

How to Turn Your Message Upside Down to Give Your Story a Unique Perspective

Love triumphs over all. Dreams come true. Believe in yourself. These messages and more color the plots of books like a stained glass window, helping us see the world in various shades of the spectrum. When we reach the last page, we’re inspired to persevere and discover the beauty in life. I would never encourage authors to stop writing these kind of stories—I’ve included similar morals in many of my own.

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3 Common Problems Writers Must Avoid to Craft Realistic Parents

3 Common Problems Writers Must Avoid to Craft Realistic Parents

Distracted, diabolical, or dead is the standard for most fictional parents. If they don’t perish in a horrific accident (thus giving the protagonist an excuse to dress in black for eternity), they masquerade as the physical embodiment of evil, dismissing and restricting their children for baseless reasons until rebellion almost seems justified.

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4 Tried and True Methods to Stop Over-Editing

4 Tried and True Methods to Stop Over-Editing

I have a confession: trying to find the right words takes me ages. I obsess over sentence structure, vocabulary, and descriptions, pouring my time and energy into the black hole of unnecessary edits. It’s a harmful compulsion, and I know it. The more changes I make, the more I hate my work-in-progress, and the less productive I become. I forget the big picture and throttle my motivation. Worst of all, my creativity ebbs. But restraining myself seems impossible. Can chronic over-editors dare to hope for a cure?

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