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writing craft

Making Us Care

I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately about book openings, specifically what you need to accomplish in the first ten pages of your manuscript.  To prologue or not to prologue?  Do you need to set up the scale of the world, or give details on the science?  Should you start with an action scene? These are […]

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DAWG

Publishing professionals often say they are looking for stories with high stakes – but story stakes can be a difficult concept to understand, especially if you are writing a story where a person’s journey or a relationship forms the crux of the story. Are the characters’ personal stakes enough? Even if you’re writing in a […]

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A 15 Day Journey

I decided to do a writing challenge on Instagram, where you were supposed to explore different aspects of your writing practice/writing life.  I though the results were interesting, especially the way the prompts built on each other.  I know not everyone is on Instagram, so I compiled the Insta segments into one long diary-style post.  […]

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The Power of Lists

I’ve talked before about the power of What If questions when it comes to creativity.  What I want to talk about today is related: the power of making lists. Lists force you to move past the first idea that pops into your head in answer to a What If question.  When I get stuck, I […]

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Antagonists Who Aren’t Villains

Does every story need a villain? There is a big difference between a villain and an antagonist.  A villain wants to impart physical or emotional pain to your story’s protagonist.  An antagonist is simply at odds with your protag.  Which means a villain is by definition an antagonist – but only some antagonists are villains. […]

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Language Learning in Literature and Life

As a language learner, things can get a little overwhelming at times.  Having a conversation one-on-one in a second language can be hard enough, but being dropped into an on-going conversation takes everything to the next level.  I still remember the first time I got into a car with a group of people who wanted […]

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Sticking The Landing

When you watch a gymnast doing a parallel bars routine, it is easy to get caught up in the grace and the power – coupled with an I-could-never-do-that kind of awe.  Nothing ruins that experience – or the gymnast’s score – faster than failing to stick the landing.  A double hop – or worse, falling […]

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