Setting as Obstacles: How to Make Your Environment Impact Your Plot

Strong settings impact your plot because you are using them as more than a backdrop. If you can pick up your story and move it to a different place and/or time, you are not using your setting effectively. Transform your setting into obstacles your characters must overcome, so your plot advances and your characters have to make decisions.

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Scythe: How to Read Like a Writer

Not all stories have built in conflict. Neal Shusterman managed to find conflict in utopia. From his novel Scythe, writers can learn to find the conflict in seemingly perfect situations, consistently make things worse to hold reader interest, and effectively use journals.

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Perspective in Creative Writing: Who Is Telling Your Story

Perspective is the lens through which you tell your story. Which lens you choose affects your reader’s experience and opinion of your characters. Make sure you’re making the best choice in protagonist, point of view, and your personal preferences for your story’s perspective.

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How to Format Transitions: Scenes, Point of View, and Time

When it comes to subtly improving your reader’s experience, nothing is more effective than strong formatting. To avoid confusion and jarring your reader and control your story’s pace, you need to transition between jumps in scene, time, and point of view. You also need to format these breaks consistently.

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How to Control Distance in Creative Writing

When a reader feels too distant from your piece, they are unable to connect with your characters, plot, and story. Without a connection, they might not finish your piece or recommend it to someone else. Luckily, distance is something you control through scenes, point of view, and tension.

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Elizabeth’s Midnight: How to Read Like a Writer

It’s easy to get lost in complex plots and world building, but not every story needs a web of ideas. Sometimes a story is about one person and their journey. Aaron Michael Ritchey focuses on a single character and plot arc in Elizabeth’s Midnight. His unique, fully developed characters and “what could be worse” plot make his novel linger with readers.

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Why Creative Writers Shouldn’t Use Adverbs – Most of the Time

“Never use adverbs” is a common writing advice cliche. It’s also wrong. Many beginning writers rely on adverbs when they should be using a fuller description or more specific words, so they are told to stop using adverbs altogether. In some situations, adverbs are the best choice. Learn when to use adverbs and when to avoid them.

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How to Format Written Documents: Letters, Emails, Texts, and More

The words of your story aren’t the only pieces of writing you might have. You might also want to include letters, notes, emails, text messages, IMs, or some other form of written communication. Learn the various formatting options you have to make it clear when your story’s written documents begin and end.

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Cinder: How to Read Like a Writer

Beginnings are challenging. If you’re searching for the best place to start your story, read the first chapter of Cinder by Marissa Meyer. You’ll learn how you can start with action without using violence and how to introduce your characters and world in a way that keeps your story moving and uses description, exposition, and dialogue.

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Exposition, Description, and Dialogue: How to Find the Balance

The balance between exposition, description, and dialogue is essential to the success of your story. They significantly impact your pace, show interactions between your characters, immerse your reader in your scenes, and reveal time has passed. Learn when to use each of these techniques, so you can find the best balance for your story.

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The Purpose of Quality Description in Creative Writing

Description immerses your reader in your story. Quality description focuses on showing the details that impact your story and is key to your readers’ ability to experience and picture your setting, characters, and events. If you want your readers to feel something when they read your writing, you need to use quality description.

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Yes, You Need a Professional Book Editor

Every writer becomes too close to their story to see what is actually on the page instead of what they think is there. Even though you might use beta readers and critique groups, you still need a professional editor because they will read your piece in a timely manner like a reader and have the industry knowledge and skills to elevate your book so it will linger with your readers.

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Proof A 30th Street Fiction Anthology: How to Read Like a Writer

To understand how a critique group can improve your writing, look at how 30th Street Fiction critique group impacted “The Mortician’s Assistant.” I share before and after lines from my story, so you can see how critique impacted my piece and what it can do for your writing.

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