Posts in Writing Craft
What Is Tone and How to Use It in Creative Writing

Whether you realize it or not, your attitude toward what you write about seeps into your piece. When readers say a piece is whimsical, sentimental, critical, or vindictive, they are referring to the author’s and characters’ attitudes. They are talking about the tone of your piece. Just like tone of voice, your writing’s tone impacts your story’s meaning.

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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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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 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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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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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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How to "Show Don't Tell" in Creative Writing

Any writer who’s taken a writing course or been a part of a critique group has probably heard the phrase “show don’t tell.” You may have even said it yourself. Why should you show? Showing — especially in instances like backstory, setting, and emotion where telling is easy — will advance your plot and deepen your characters.

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