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Category Archives: tips

Writing Effective Book Club Discussion Questions

By Sarah Sundin Book clubs. As readers, we delight in socializing with book-lovers. As writers, we delight in connecting with avid readers. Since I belonged to a book club long before I was published, I knew the importance of a … Continue reading

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Breaking the Rules

by Laura McClellan Any novelist who studies craft reads a lot about the rules: Show, don’t tell. Avoid adverbs. No head-hopping. These rules have developed to help us create fiction that welcomes the reader in, with no barriers to the … Continue reading

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Playing it Safe

Playing it Safe By Katherine Reay Working on my third manuscript seems to be an exercise in conquering fear. Someone told me that my second would be the most difficult, but now that it’s behind me – and it will … Continue reading

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Posted in Advice, Authors and writing, Books, Characters, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, Plots, tips, writing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Tripping Over Legos

By Cynthia Ruchti Novelists hope their proposals, contest submissions, and manuscripts elicit the response “This is no amateur!” and we want much more, of course, like how the piece moved the reader or editor or judge emotionally which is different … Continue reading

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Getting in Touch with Your Inner-Psychopath

by C. Kevin Thompson At the Academy of Achievement,1 Sue Grafton spoke to a group of college-age attendees, encouraging right-brainers in the crowd to consider a life in the Arts. As I listened to this presentation, I was struck by … Continue reading

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Please With a Tease! Using Social Media to Tease Your Readers

by Janice Thompson So, you’ve written the book of your heart. Now you need to get the word out. How do you do so without appearing pushy? Easy! One thing I’ve learned over the course of seventeen years in the … Continue reading

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Posted in Advice, Authors and writing, Friends of ACFW, marketing, Social Media, tips | 2 Comments

Trusting Your Gut

by Suzanne Woods Fisher A few years ago, I was staying in a nice hotel-very safe, oriented to business clientele. As I went into an elevator, a hotel employee came in behind me. He waited until I pressed a button … Continue reading

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Story Chasers: A Twelve-Step Program for Not Becoming a Successful Writer

by DiAnn Mills We fiction writers chase our stories like toddlers on a sugar-high. I’m one of them. I can dream and plan and plot all day long. Yet sometimes I get sidetracked. For writers who live and breathe their … Continue reading

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Stick with the Story

by Jill Elizabeth Nelson Any novelist who has spent much time in the fiction-writing world has probably heard the term “sagging middle.” Sags develop when a story loses momentum and begins to meander or bog down. I’m of the opinion … Continue reading

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Color Me Purple: Help Others Take an Interest in Your Work

by Debra Koontz Roberson Remember this children’s nursery rhyme? I never saw a purple cow I never hope to see one But I can tell you this right now I’d rather see than be one. Being different may be a … Continue reading

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Dissecting The Old To Make It New

by Gail Gaymer Martin By the time novelists sell to a traditional publisher, they’ve donated a large amount of time honing their craft. Rejection points out a weak writing technique: pacing, dialogue, point of view or other flaws. Learning to … Continue reading

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Writing a Short Synopsis

by Roxanne Rustand Learning to write a concise, appealing synopsis is extremely important. After you start selling, you’ll eventually be able to sell on proposal (a synopsis and three chapters) or perhaps on just a synopsis. There are many formats … Continue reading

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Suspension of Disbelief: A Writer’s Goal

By Ane Mulligan Jim Rubart wrote a good piece for Novel Rocket about how authors write. He said: “I continue to read traditionally published books where I think the novelist is wasting words and keeping the reader from going deeper … Continue reading

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Posted in Advice, Authors and writing, Characters, Friends of ACFW, POV, tips | 1 Comment

Relying on the Reliable Narrator

by Christine Sunderland World War I (“the war to end all wars”), begun a century ago, seeded an era of cynicism, doubt that “civilization” was possible, that the savage beast could be tamed. England lost one third of their best … Continue reading

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Writing Fiction, Sorting Out the Facts

by Rebecca DeMarino A challenge to writing fiction based on the lives of real people and events can be daunting, but not impossible. When it is set in a historical time period, sorting out the facts from lore, stereotypes and … Continue reading

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Posted in Advice, Authors and writing, Friends of ACFW, tips, writing | 3 Comments