Category: Story

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Quick Tips to Strengthen the Language of Your Fiction

Three things to note before we jump in: ONE: there is no ONE SIZE FITS ALL, or no hard and fast ALWAYS rules in strengthening the language of your fiction. TWO: if your characterization is INCREDIBLE, strong language will most likely come very naturally. THREE: you have more leeway if you’re writing in first person and within dialogue for voice reasons. Let’s jump in. … Read More Quick Tips to Strengthen the Language of Your Fiction

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Introduction to Writing LGBT+ Characters

2021 has seen more books featuring LGBT characters hit the bestselling lists than any year prior. These books have come in all genres: memoirs, YA novels, erotica, thrillers, you name it. With this explosion in LGBT-centered stories, many authors have a desire to include an LGBT character in their stories, whether as a main character or a side character. However, this can sometimes be … Read More Introduction to Writing LGBT+ Characters

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DIY Workbook: 5 Point Story Mapping

The 5 Point Story Mapping Method isn’t a plotting device. It’s not a new series of beats or a reworking of classic plot tools. The Waypoint Method aims to get deep under the skin of your story so that you understand more than just what happens to your characters. It’s about setting yourself up to succeed, understanding your own motivations as well as your … Read More DIY Workbook: 5 Point Story Mapping

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Writing Disabled Characters – 3 Tropes to Avoid

With the rise of social media and the internet, marginalized groups have been able to create online platforms and share their experiences. With all of this new information cycling the web, and authors wanting to diversify their casts of characters, it can be difficult to make sure that you are representing a character that is a member of a marginalized group in a respectful … Read More Writing Disabled Characters – 3 Tropes to Avoid

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DIY Workbook: Essential Story Elements

Allie and Jo are passionate about helping quality stories find their place the world. We created this series of worksheets to give intermediate authors a series of questions and checklists. This resource is to help authors who: Want nothing but our most popular worksheets. Have written enough to not need detailed explanations. Want to revisit how they approach story. Are starting a new genre. … Read More DIY Workbook: Essential Story Elements

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DIY Workbook: Master Self Editor

Want to get the most out of your edits and get your book noticed? The best way to make your book as strong as it can be is by learning how to edit your own words before your manuscript ever leaves your hands.  No one knows your story the way you do, and no one can edit in a way that helps you stay … Read More DIY Workbook: Master Self Editor

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DIY Workbook: Pre-Writing Genius

An effective story pitch sells your idea to your readers if you’re an indie author, or to an agent/publisher if you’re traditionally published. It’s a way to distill the heart of your story idea into a quick, simple description that hooks your readers and leaves them wanting more.  A pitch is crucial in selling your book. If an author takes the traditional route, a … Read More DIY Workbook: Pre-Writing Genius

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Listen to your inspiration or listen to the market? The Answer: Both

There’s an ages old debate that happens in writing advice circles between whether you should write what you want or write what readers want. Writing to market is bad, says one group. You should follow your inpiration and write what moves your soul. Writing to market is good, says the other. You’re going to die broke and alone if you don’t give the readers … Read More Listen to your inspiration or listen to the market? The Answer: Both

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The 4S Author Career

There are a lot of paths to publishing your novels, and it can become quite overwhelming to decide which one is right for you. But under all the tech and strategies and marketing your success will hinge on only 4 core thing. Over the coming weeks I’ll dive into each one a bit further. Note: This series was adapted from a summer series available … Read More The 4S Author Career

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6 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Story Before You Sit Down to Write

How do you prepare to write a new book? Many authors have a system they follow to plan, plot, and prepare before they sit down to write–myself included. While there are no real rules for how to write a book, I find that I prefer to have a loosely structured system that works for my storytelling style. I’ve written a little over 30 novels–maybe … Read More 6 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Story Before You Sit Down to Write

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Thanks Tips: Kill Your Darlings

Welcome to another installment of “Thanks Tips” where Allie or Jo tackles a piece of vague writing advice and unpacks the meaning behind it. Today’s unpacking? KILL YOUR DARLINGS. I don’t know quite when this became SUCH A THING but I’m pretty sure we have Stephen King to blame – if not for its origins, then for its popularity. But what does it MEAN? … Read More Thanks Tips: Kill Your Darlings

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Pep Talk: Put a Positive Spin on Rejection

Rejection is a normal part of life, but as humans, we tend to avoid it at all costs. If you’ve chosen to be an author, though, rejection is part of the journey. (Might as well rip off the band-aid first, right?) Our instincts tell us that our very existence is threatened if we’re rejected, so we tend to spend a lot of time and … Read More Pep Talk: Put a Positive Spin on Rejection