Posts tagged fiction
Summarizing Your Story: How to Write a Captivating Synopsis

A synopsis is a key part of your submission packet if you intend to traditionally publish. Agents and publishers use this summary to determine if you can write a compelling story all the way to the end, and it has some specific nuances. To give yourself the best chance at landing a publishing deal, learn how to write a compelling synopsis.

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How to Submit Your Creative Writing to Literary Magazines

Authors write to be read. One way of getting your words in front of readers in through literary journals. These publications are looking for specific kinds of polished short pieces. To give your writing the chance to impact and linger with readers, learn how to tell when your piece is ready, find literary magazines, and submit.

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The Sleeper and the Spindle: How to Read Like a Writer

The Sleeper and the Spindle is a young adult short story transformed into a graphic novel. Written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell, it is an excellent example of how the written word and visual art can come together to create an engaging story. If you’re thinking about combining text and image, or another kind of creative partnership, read this book.

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How to Survive Your M.F.A. in Creative Writing

If you’ve decided to earn a MFA in Creative Writing or are on the fence, you need to know what it’s like inside the program. You will study writing and have time to write, but you’ll also have to deal with genre favoritism, lack of professors, and other aspects out of your control. I survived my MFA. Here’s how you can too.

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When Demons Walk by Patricia Briggs: How to Read Like a Writer

Do you have a book you read over and over because you can’t stop thinking about the characters, world, and story? When Demons Walk by Patricia Briggs is that book for me. The novel lingers with its readers because Briggs breaks a few rules, conventions, and tropes, which you can learn to do too.

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Why Nonfiction Needs to Tell a Story

Humans are psychologically wired to remember and understand stories. Using basic story structure and elements from fiction will help your nonfiction book stand out and deliver the information driving your need to write in a way that will linger in your reader's memory.

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Emily St. John Mandel: How to Read Like a Writer

Dystopian fiction is a popular current trend. If you want your story to stand out from the crowd, read Station Eleven. Emily St. John Mendel transforms dystopias. Through a twisted timeline, multiple points of view, and the importance of art, she speculates on how society might carry on after a pandemic deadlier than the Spanish Flu.

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Versailles by Kathryn Davis: How to Read Like a Writer

If you find historical events and people inspiring, read Versailles by Kathryn Davis. Davis transforms the famous palace to tell a story larger than the main character, while giving Marie Antoinette the voice and freedom to tell her own story. Discover how you can use these same techniques to enliven your writing.

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Transference by Kate Jonuska: How to Read Like a Writer

Often literary and genre fiction are at odds, but in Transference Kate Jonuska brings the two together through an extremely close third person point of view, snarky humor, and inner character conflict. You can learn how to blend styles by reading books like Transference.

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Self-Help by Lorrie Moore: How to Read Like a Writer

If you want to try out a new writing technique or put your reader in an uncomfortable situation, the short story might be the format for you. Self-Help by Lorrie Moore is a collection of short stories that gives Moore the chance to have her readers walk in another’s shoes through second person point of view and create a variety of character voices.

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Second Person Point of View: Benefits and Pitfalls

Second person is one of the most difficult points of view to use, but in specific situations, it is vital. If you want your reader to not only live vicariously through your characters, but literally participate in your story, second person might be the best perspective for you.

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: How to Read Like a Writer

If you’re writing an unreliable narrator or plot twists, check out The Girl on the Train. Paula Hawkins uses plot twists to build suspense and change perceptions of her characters. She also uses a variety of characteristics to make her narrators untrustworthy. Learn how to control the information in your story for similar effects.

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3 Types of First Person Narrators: Benefits and Pitfalls

Who is narrating your story? Is it the snarky protagonist? A child? A murderer? While every person and character are unique, most first person narrators fit into three major categories. Understanding the pros and cons of each narrator type can be the difference between a successful story and one that falls flat.

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Hounded by Kevin Hearne: How to Read Like a Writer

If you’ve ever wondered how to write a page turner, read Hounded by Kevin Hearne. Using a narrator with an outstanding sense of humor, strategic chapter breaks, and a unique cast, this debut novel is a page turner worthy of a close read.

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