Tag Archives: story plot

Story Plot Problems: 7 Writing Taboos that Guarantee “No Sale”

Story Plot Problems: 7 Writing Taboos that Guarantee “No Sale”  Seeking ideas for a story plot that will end your book with a bang?  Trying to beef up a weak story resolution so your novel catches the eye of a book editor?  You’re not alone.  At writing conferences around the country, I’ve heard book editors say […]

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Character Sources: Ideas for Writing Sidekicks

Character Sources: Ideas for Writing Sidekicks Personally, I never have trouble coming up with outrageous sidekicks for my heroes and heroines.  (Yes, it’s a gift.) Seriously, though, I love writing secondary characters, because they don’t have to walk such a tightrope of “heroism.”  Secondary characters can be whiners or smart-alecks.  They can refuse to tip […]

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Write the Way a Stripper Dances: Tips for Starting a Novel

Write Your Novel the Way a Stripper Dances:  Tips for Opening Chapter One  Tattling time . . . I’ve been judging submissions for a fiction-writing contest.  I absolutely love finding new talent and encouraging writers to forge ahead with their publishing dream. What I DON’T love is wading through reams of background in Chapter One […]

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Writing a Novel: The 7 Stages of Fiction Frenzy

Writing a Novel: The 7 Stages of Fiction Frenzy   1. Eureka! An Idea! Nothing is better than that first spark of inspiration.  You feel alive.  In tune with the Universe.  Your Muse is finally cooperating.  You’re buoyed with Hope. Dreams of Success. Visions of gargantuan paychecks. You balk against eating, sleeping, and walking the […]

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Self-Editing: 6 Tips for the Harried Fiction Writer

  Self-editing can be a grueling task.  Most writers are awful at recognizing plot inconsistencies, syntax problems, and typos in their own work.  In fact, many writers would prefer to cut off a thumb rather than cut out a paragraph.  Some writers – especially the ones whose manuscripts have not yet had the pleasure of […]

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8 Urban Myths to Squelch During Story Critiques

  8 Urban Myths to Squelch During Story Critiques Part 6 in the 6-part series:  How to Get the Most from Story Critiques One of the toughest lessons you will ever learn as an aspiring author is how to recognize personal prejudice  or worse, “Urban Myths,” during a story critique. Not all story critics are […]

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Story Critiques: 9 Point Checklist for Book Manuscripts

  Story Critiques:  9 Point Checklist for Book Manuscripts Part 5 in the 6-part series:  How to Get the Most from Story Critiques Reading the full-length manuscript of a writing peer is a labor of love. Like any labor, a 400+ page story critique can become tedious work. In a time crunch, you may be […]

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Base Story Critiques on Foundations of Fiction, Not Bias

  Base Story Critiques on Foundations of Fiction, Not Bias Part 4 in the 6-Part Series:  How to Get the Most From Story Critiques Other fiction writers won’t find your story critiques helpful if you base the lion’s share of your evaluations on personal bias or worse, on Urban Myths related to publishing.   What […]

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Story Critiques: Slashing Pages Not Always the Answer

  Story Critiques: Slashing Pages Not Always the Answer Part 3 in the 6-Part Series:  How to Get the Most From Story Critiques   Anyone can critique fiction. Licenses aren’t required. College degrees aren’t necessary. However, if a fiction writer trusts your opinion and hands you her prose, please exercise compassion when writing a critique. […]

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Story Critiques: When to Ask for Evaluations of Your Novel

Story Critiques:  When to Ask for Evaluations of Your Novel Part 1 in the 6-part series:  How to Get the Most from Story Critiques If you’re ready to solicit a story critique from other fiction writers, congratulations. You’ve arrived at an important milestone on your writer’s journey. However, before you begin your search for the […]

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