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Using Connectives to Make Your Prose Flow

Do you ever wonder how to use connective words? I do. I am constantly second-guessing myself on the proper use of such words as “than,” “as,” “nevertheless,” “neither,” “either,” etc.

Like transitions, connectives serve as a bridge, connecting anything from a word, a clause, a sentence, or a paragraph with

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Mastering the Vital Art of Transitions

I grew up in the Washington, DC/Maryland area. In navigating your way through the city and its many suburbs, you often need to cross over rivers, the Anacostia, the Potomac, to name just a few. Bridges provide the means for you to cross the rivers.

Bridges also provide the means

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Start with One Sentence

Practically speaking, there’s nothing more difficult than staring at an empty computer screen, willing yourself to be creative. You may be stuck trying to find the perfect place to start your story. Or you’re contemplating the entire story arc—an intimidating process at best. From start to finish, your book must

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Perfect Your Writing Style

Fashionistas talk a lot about style. So do writers. Interestingly, both groups use the word in much the same manner. Style, in fashion and in writing, is unique to the individual and revealed in the details.

I will never be a fashionista, so I won’t be instructing you in that.

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Get Targeted Feedback Through Response Sheets

Writers need feedback. Unfortunately, feedback can be hard to come by. What to do?

Your first reader should, of course, be yourself. After you’ve read through the manuscript and revised to the best of your ability, find several other readers to offer critiques. These first readers are often referred to

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Make Friends with Your Setting

You’ve done your character sketches. Maybe you’ve even interviewed your characters, had them write letters to you, and pinned pictures of them on your Pinterest page. You’ve written a detailed synopsis, done a chapter-by-chapter outline. You’ve identified your story’s theme. You’re all set to start writing. Right? Wrong.

What about

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Opening Lines: Make Yours Count

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, if the was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of

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VIDEO – How to Write Compelling Dialogue, Part 2

In Part Two of her dialogue tutorial, writing coach Teresa Funke covers the most common dialogue challenges, including using slang and cussing, dialect and accents, inserting humor into the conversation, and linking the dialogue with the character’s movements.

 

 

 

To download a pdf transcript of this video, or to learn

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How to Use Fiction Techniques in Nonfiction

by Sue Bradford Edwards

 

To sell your nonfiction, you have to hook your reader, including your first reader – an editor or agent.  When I write narrative nonfiction, I grab my reader using the same techniques used by fiction writers.  I create a story full of interesting characters who

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Understanding Cause & Effect

When we write fiction, we see the story in our mind long before it’s down on paper. We know why our characters are acting the way they do because we are familiar with their past and in control of their future. We understand the significance of every event in the

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Using Slang in Children’s Books

If someone told you to “fade”, would you ignore them or guard your wallet? The answer depends not just on who is doing the talking, but when. Joe College in the early 1930’s use the term to mean “to leave”; a 1940’s zoot-suiter “faded” by covering a bet; it meant

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Write What You Know — Research What You Don’t!

From the first time I began reading about being a writer and attending a writer’s group, I heard that I should `write what you know.’ It made sense, and for a long time, I limited myself to personal experience writing, interviews, or easy fiction where I `knew’ all about the

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FAQ: Creating a Memorable Title for Your Book

What makes for a great title? How do we come up with evocative titles? What role do publishers and editors play in title selection? Should you hold out for your original title, even in the face of editorial requests that you change it? What if you are doing a trilogy or series of books, how will that influence your titles? Can titles be copyrighted?

Find Your Strengths as a Writer

Does your critique group laugh in all the right places when you read your humorous picture book out loud? Do they ask for more at the end of a pivotal chapter in your middle grade mystery? As you continue to work on your manuscript and get feedback, you’ll learn where

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Working with Point of View

 

Choosing a point of view is one of the decisions you’ll need to make before you can tell your story. Most children’s books are written in one of three common viewpoints, defined in the sidebar to the right. The viewpoint is often dictated by your story and your skills as

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How to “Show, Don’t Tell”

“Show, Don’t Tell” is shorthand for writing in a way that draws the reader into the story and keeps the author in the background. Here are some pointers for learning this important writing technique.

 

Let’s being with a definition. “Telling” uses abstract, general terms (The dog was big and scary.

Free eBook: Robert Louis Stevenson on the Art of Writing

This delightful eBook opens a window into the writing process of a true master.

 

Essays in the Art of Writing includes Robert Louis Stevenson's insights into the creation of Treasure Island, details the books that most influenced him and discusses the moral obligation of putting pen to paper.