Active vs. Passive Voice: The Complete Guide

Active vs. Passive Voice: The Complete Guide

You’ve probably heard people decry the use of the passive voice. “Avoid it at all costs!” they say. That’s a little misleading; the passive voice isn’t always bad.

However, you must understand what it is and learn to recognize it so you can choose how to use it effectively.

Writing Prompt: Total Solar Eclipse

Writing Prompt: Total Solar Eclipse

Will you be chasing it?

Today is the first time in nearly 40 years that a total solar eclipse will be visible from mainland United States.   In other words, the moon will briefly block the sun in the middle of the day and Americans may actually be able to see it (with special glasses).

23 Essential Quotes From Ernest Hemingway About Writing

23 Essential Quotes From Ernest Hemingway About Writing

“The blue-backed notebooks, the two pencils and the pencil sharpener (a pocket knife was too wasteful), the marble topped tables, the smell of early morning, sweeping out and mopping, and luck were all you needed. For luck, you carried a horse chestnut and a rabbit’s foot in your right pocket.” —Ernest Hemingway

How to End a Story

How to End a Story

Endings are hard. Nobody likes to say goodbye, and saying goodbye in a story is especially hard. The pressure is on to get that last part just right. When there are so many possibilities for a conclusion, how do you know which one is right for your story?

5 Ways to Focus on Your Writing

5 Ways to Focus on Your Writing

Over the weekend, I was working on a book project. I’ve been working on it for almost a year and desperately need to finish it. But when I sat down to work on it, suddenly everything became more interesting than the writing on the screen in front of me.

I stared at the wood table for too long, before picking up my phone and texting back everyone I hadn’t in the last six months. I stared out the window, got a refill on my coffee, and then finally wrote maybe thirty words.

The Winners of the Summer Writing Contest

The Winners of the Summer Writing Contest

In June, we hosted the Summer Writing Contest in partnership with JBD Entertainment and Short Fiction Break literary magazine. Entering a writing contest is a huge accomplishment. You took on the challenge of writing a story and sharing it boldly with the judges. Whether your story won or not, that’s worth celebrating!

And now, drumroll, please, as we announce the winners . . .

Is a Funeral the Perfect Setting for Your Story?

Is a Funeral the Perfect Setting for Your Story?

Looking for an opportunity to reveal a character’s true feelings? Need a place where a character can realistically tell the world how they feel in a monologue? Want to give characters an opportunity to discuss what is coming next in your plot?

Funerals provide an excellent setting for all these moments and more.

4 Insufferable Problems With Bland Characters and How to Fix Them

4 Insufferable Problems With Bland Characters and How to Fix Them

I’m working through a revision, and one of my main problems is the protagonist. My editor and a beta reader both suggested amping up her emotional appeal, leaving comments such as, “I’m not invested in this character yet” and “I want to care about her, but I don’t in this scene.” Ouch. I’ve created a bland character.

So amping up emotional appeal. Is there a lipstick for that? How do I amp up emotional appeal?