Setting the Scene, Part 1

Part 1: Seven Tips by Emilee Newman Bowles Your plot and characters are vital parts of your story, but they need a place to inhabit: the setting. Even fast-paced action novels need setting details so readers can imagine where the characters are. Here a few tips to keep in mind about setting the scene in your […]

Outlining versus “Pantsing”

by Lindsay Flanagan To outline or not to outline…that is the (much-debated) question. As a writer you may feel like you’re on team outliner (or plotter) or on team “pantser.” Maybe you haven’t decided which side to join. Or maybe you’ve joined one or the other but haven’t really had total success with either in your […]

Internal Dialogue—Getting It Right

by Heidi Brockbank As editors, we’ve noticed that one of the tools new and even intermediate writers most often mishandle is internal dialogue. While internal dialogue (also called internal monologue) is a powerful tool the writer can use to help a reader make an emotional connection with a character, writers frequently use it in a […]

Top Three Short Story Mistakes

by Kristin Ammerman Bestselling authors such as Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jeff Wheeler, Cassandra Clare, Neil Gaiman, and others write novels as well as short stories. There are several reasons why novelists also write short stories. Sense of accomplishment: Writing something shorter that can be accomplished in a month rather than a year (or […]

How Logic Can Make or Break Your Story

by Sabine Berlin “I can’t believe you did that!” We’ve all been there. You’re reading a book (or watching a movie) and you’re completely immersed in a story, when suddenly your hero does something that makes no sense whatsoever. While there are some cases where you may just play along—we all know James Bond can pretty […]

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