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Category Archives: tips

The Creative Person’s Guide to Time Management

By Judy Christie As a writer, I am drawn to creative people-smart, funny, interesting, innovative, imaginative. I am blessed to interact with fiction writers who explore and imagine and adapt to a dizzying rate of change, a combination that clogs … Continue reading

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To Quote the Queen, “That Doesn’t Match!”

by Dr. Patrick Johnston I have a problem. No sooner do I step out of the bathroom on Sunday morning does my wife take one look at me and pronounce with the authority of the Queen of England, “That doesn’t … Continue reading

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Three Magic Phrases for a Writer

by Richard Mabry Early in my road to writing, author and teacher Alton Gansky taught me to ask a magic question: “What if?” One of his books began when he noted the presence of a military installation in a deserted … Continue reading

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Making Research Fun

By Donna Schlachter I’ve seen the way some authors’ eyes nearly roll up into their heads at the word, “research”. After all, that’s just dry, boring stuff. We’re always told to ‘write what we know’. If we have to research … Continue reading

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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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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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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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