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How to Write Dialogue
Basic Structure There are a few ways to structure dialogue. These are the most common ways to structure a line, although I haven’t seen 7 in a very long time. “The dog’s outside. He’s finally stopped barking,” Anne said. “The dog’s outside. He’s finally stopped barking,” said Anne. “The dog’s outsid...
Fair Use in Novels
I often get questions from Anons asking me what is appropriate to use in a novel, from song quotes to character names of wildly popular characters from other books (names that are obviously more unique than just Sarah or Alice or Amelia). So I’m going to lay the groundwork of what writers can ...
Writing Character Voice
It’s not always what you say… But also how you say it that defines how a character sounds. Like all things in writing, understanding and executing character voice involves a lot of mistakes and a lot practice. Out of all of the skills you can have as an author, it’s one of the most difficult to do ...
I Got 99 Problems (and Cliches in Epic Fantasy are all of them)
PROPHECY AND DESTINY Women as setting pieces or rewards Blind mimicry of J. R. R. Tolkien without the work Tolkien put in “The Chosen One” Soul mates Infodumps Blatant moral lessons Good vs. Evil The father is always the mysterious and/or missing parent Good = modeling agency hot. Evil = ugly, missh...
Actions Vs. Words: the Loud and the Quiet
  You might have an idea of what this post will be about based on the title. “Actions speak louder than words,” right? Some people are “all talk and no action,” blah blah blah—most of us have heard all those sayings before. True, all of those cliches are techniques yo...
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My Characters Got Knocked Out - The Annoyingly Convenient Plot Device
Have your characters been knocked out, chloroformed, or gone into some state of unconsciousness in your novel?  Well, isn’t that convenient, interesting, exciting?! Eh… I don’t know. I never say don’t do something because there’s always a case where it actually works,...
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Writing Characters That Make Your Story Come Alive
Writing characters is tough. Writing the right character for your story is even tougher. Here’s a few quick tips to kick your characters into high gear: Don’t plan too much. Sure, it’s great if you know your character’s favorite color, but over-planning in my case has always lead to failing characte...
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How to Get Back to Writing-
Now this is straight from experience. If you haven’t written anything in a little while it is hard to get back in the swing of things. Everything you write feels a bit contrived, a bit desperate, but you know what, that’s okay. I had to take a few weeks off while traveling and when you go from writi...
Sounds of Nature (Elements and Seasons)
Water Dripping water Trickling water River water Brook Rapids Waterfall Ocean waves Storm waves Tsunami Drizzle Mild rain Deluge Thunderstorm Being underwater Being underwater in rapids Being underwater in the ocean Air Breeze through the trees Gale Tornado Gust Dust Storm Earth Walking through leav...
Fighting Words
Attack Advance, assail, assault, beset, charge, drive, foray, hurtle, launch, lunge, maul, press forward, push, rush, storm, surge Break Blast, breach, carve, cleave, cleft, crack, cripple, crunch, demolish, destroy, disable, disfigure, disintegrate, divide, fragment, impair, mangle, mar, perfora...
Some Things I'd Like to See (Part II)
(character version to go along with plot version I did earlier) More POCs. Yes, very obvious, you say, but I don’t mean just POC protagonists or POC supporting characters, but also environments, cultures, or even worlds that are predominantly POC. More LGBT*QIA. With an emphasis on B, T*, I, a...
Description: The Basics
Sensory Details Descriptions are a way to suck your reader into your world. You tell them what’s going on in the world and you do it so well you make it real. In order to make it real, you need to make it feel real. You need to make your reader feel exactly what it is like in that scene. To do that,...
Let's Talk About: Minor Character Development
“Creating one interesting character is hard enough — but when it comes to writing a whole novel or series of books, you have to create dozens of them. How can you keep your supporting cast from seeming like cookie-cutter people? There’s no easy answer, but a few tricks might help you cre...
Information on Panic Attacks
How to write panic attacks if you have never experienced one? I understand the symptoms, but trying to get into the mind set is a lot harder than just understanding what is meant to be felt. - Anonymous  I understand what you mean, specially since you can’t always trust the information you ...
Building a Religion
Religion is as old as the human ability to communicate, so if you’re creating your own world, then this is something you should definitely include. However, building your own religion isn’t easy - especially building several if you want to have a fully fleshed out, diverse world. This po...
What You Need to Know Most About Character Voice
I’m kind of embarrassed to admit I didn’t have much of an understanding of character voice two years ago. I’m an English graduate, and none of my professors in college really talked about it. I think I remember learning the definition in high school and reading it briefly in a f...
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Dialogue and the "said" rule
By  Martyn V. Halm The main reason for the ‘said’ rule, is that 'said’ is invisible.  If you write a whole page of dialogue, readers need to be able to distinguish between the speakers. There are several ways of doing that: Action tag: Peter threw the mug across the kitchen. &ldqu...
What Writers Should and Shouldn't Do
I wanted to write posts on writing about asexual characters and tying in subplots, but those are going to take more brain power than I have right now. However, what I can give you are simple tips of what you as a writer should and shouldn’t do, just to protect your own sanity. Being a writer i...
11 Plot Pitfalls – And How to Rescue Your Story From Them
Source: [X]By: Laura WhitcombWe’ve all been there: basking in the glow of a finished manuscript, only to read it over and realize something is wrong with the plot. Finding ourselves unable to identify the problem only makes matters worse. But take heart! Here are some common plot gaffes and sensible...