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Category: Novel Structure

5 Newbie Mistakes that Will KILL a Perfectly Good Story

We all make mistakes, especially when learning anything new. Writing is not immune to process. Contrary to popular belief, writing great stories is HARD. It takes time, devotion, training, mentorship, blood, sacrifice and the willingness to make a ton of mistakes. This means countless hours and probably years of practice (which also means writing a …

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Fatal Flaws: Why Your Story is Falling Apart & How to Fix It

Recently I blogged about the log-line, how it’s an incredible diagnostic tool for spotting flaws in a story idea. The brilliance of the log-line is the simplicity. As an editor/writing coach, I can zero in on a story’s every strength and spot every flaw with a single glance at the log-line. How? Because the log-line …

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Time as a Literary Device: Flashbacks vs. Non-Linear Structure

Time is one of many tools we authors can use when crafting a story. This said, bending time takes training and skill because it’s one of the toughest techniques to pull off well. Even those who bend time masterfully will have their fair share of critics because most audiences are accustomed to linear structure. This …

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The Log-Line: Can You Pitch Your ENTIRE Story in ONE Sentence?

Today we’re going to chat about log-lines. Some of you might be wondering if I was trying to give you a heart attack with my title. Maybe you think this feat is impossible. AN ENTIRE NOVEL IN ONLY ONE SENTENCE? Maybe something simple, plebeian and commercially formulaic *flips hair* but ART cannot be forced into a …

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DysFUNctional: World-Building from Orwell to Apocalypse

world-building

Say it with me: world-building is fun. Seriously! It’s the only way—aside from global domination—we will ever get to arrange the world exactly as we want. Don’t like green peppers on your supreme pizza? Banish them! Hate people who squeeze the toothpaste tube from the middle? Declare them subversive enemies of the regime! Yet, some …

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