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Joe Bunting: Administrator
Member since August 13, 2013

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. You can follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Website: http://joebunting.com

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Into vs. In To: The Simple Guide to Keeping Them Straight

Stuck on the distinction between “in to” and “into”? You’re not alone! Don’t worry, though, I’ve got you covered. Here’s the quick version:

Use “into” to describe where something is: going inside something else.
Use “in to” based on the verb that comes before it. It can have many meanings, but here’s a quick tip that covers some of them: if you can replace it with “in order to,” use “in to.”

Read on for the longer explanation, plus examples of into vs. in to.

Can Constrained Writing Make You a Better Writer?

Before we talk about the concept of constrained writing and tell you how it works, let me ask you this: Have you ever opened a new blank document to write, stared at it for far too long, and then realized you have no ideas, that your mind is as blank as the page you’re trying to write on? What if you could double or triple the number of ideas you have, not by doing something extra but by taking something away?

That’s what constrained writing is about: taking away options so that you can actually be more creative.

The Ultimate Point of View Guide: Third Person Omniscient vs. Third Person Limited vs. First Person

As an editor, point of view problems are among the top mistakes I see inexperienced writers make, and they instantly erode credibility and reader trust.

However, point of view is simple to master if you use common sense.

This post will define point of view, go over each of the major POVs, explain a few of the POV rules, and then point out the major pitfalls writers make when dealing with that point of view.

From Amateur Blog to Pro Blog: How to Level Up Your Writing

When I first started blogging, I set up a free account with Blogger. It was great. I didn’t have to understand any crazy computer code. I just had to worry about writing. Then, I read somewhere that I should install Google Analytics to see how many people were reading my blog. It took me an hour, but I figured out how to insert the hieroglyphic-looking code into my theme and opened up my analytics page.

I found out there were about seven people reading my blog. That’s it? I thought. That started me on a quest to figure out how to get more people to read my blog.

The Secret Cartel Behind Every Great Writer

The stereotypical writer used to be a silent, brooding genius who kept to himself and rarely ventured into the outside world, except to do “research” on how the subjects of his stories lived. People imagined an entire profession of Emily Dickinsons, pale and contemplative.

However, for nearly every famous writer—from Ernest Hemingway to Virginia Woolf, J.R.R. Tolkien to Mary Shelley—this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth.

And the truth is that nearly every great writer had a Cartel.

How the Rising Action Works in a Story: Definition and Examples of This Dramatic Structure Element

If you’ve ever told a good story—one that has your friends or family on the floor laughing, or else on the edge of their seat asking, “What happened next?!”—then you know that you can’t get to the point of the story too quickly.

Instead, you draw out interest. You talk about all the things that went wrong. You make jokes and accentuate the best details. When you’re done, it’s not the punchline people remember; it’s everything leading up to it.

The same is true when you’re writing a story, particularly in novels, memoirs, and screenplays. It’s called the Rising Action, and it’s essential to get it right IF you want to write entertaining, informative, and deeply connecting stories.

In this article, I’m going to talk about the rising action: what it is, how it works in a story, how it’s been treated by scholars who study story structure throughout history, and finally how you can use it to write a great story.

Story Arcs: Definitions and Examples of the 6 Shapes of Stories

In stories, we get to see the cause-and-effect connections between otherwise random events. We get to experience the deeper meaning in life. We get to see through the chaos of real life and see the underlying pattern.

The literary term for this pattern is story arc, and humans love story arcs.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the definition of story arcs, look at the six most commonly found story arcs in literature, talk about how to use them in your writing, and, finally, study which story arcs are the most successful.

How to Write a Good First Chapter: A Checklist

For the writer, there’s nothing harder than writing the first chapter and final chapter of a book. It is here that all of your perfectionism rears its ugly head calling for a full halt to your progress.

I’ve written and rewritten my first chapter dozens of times, and I’m not alone. Most writers struggle figuring out how to start their novel, and it makes sense. Your first chapter can make or break your book: with readers, agents, and publishers.

So then how do you do it? How do you write a good first chapter? In this post, I’m going to walk you through the ten things you need to accomplish in your first chapter, and give you a checklist that you can use in your novel.

Subplot: Literary Definition, Examples, and Writing Tips

Stories are complicated, twisty, multi-faceted things. At some point, in many of the best stories, it feels like everything is in complete chaos, and then, seemingly all at once, it’s as if the chaos has come to a head in a way that makes everything line up perfectly.

And one of the best tools in a writer’s tool belt is the subplot.

But what is a subplot? How can you spot it in the books and stories you love most? And if you’re a writer, how do you use it to tell better stories?

In this article, I’m sharing everything you need to know about subplots. I’ll start with the definition of the literary term, then show you how it fits into a story structure, examples of some of my favorite subplots, and even tips from my own experience on writing novels with subplots.

Climax of a Story: Definition, Examples, and Writing Tips

How do you tell a great story? Perhaps the best way to judge a story is by how good the climax is.

If your story isn’t good, the climax will be muddled or boring. A good story, though, will bring together all the tension that has been building since the exposition into one perfect scene that overwhelms the audience and leaves them in awe.

What is the climax, though? And how do you write a good one?

Exposition: Definition and Examples of the Literary Term

How do good stories start? In the middle of the action? With a slow buildup to the action?

Exposition is a literary term that deals with how to start a story.

In this article, I’ll define exposition, talk about how it fits into the dramatic structure, give examples of expositions from popular novels, plays, and films, and then give a few tips on how to use the exposition best in your writing.

The 12 Types of Stories and How to Master Them

How do you write a bestselling novel or an award winning screenplay? You might say: great writing or unique characters or well done conflict. But so much of writing a great story is knowing and mastering the type of story you’re trying to tell.

What are the types of stories? And how do you use them to tell a great story?

In this article, we’re going to cover the 10 types of stories, share which tend to become bestsellers, and share the hidden values that help you master each type.

Inciting Incident: Definition, Examples, Types, and How to Start a Story Right

If you are planning on writing a story, there is something you need to consider besides basic plot structure. You need to determine your Inciting Incident.

What incident will compel your protagonist to act, prompting them to move through a meaningful story?

Let’s take a look at what an inciting incident is and how to write one.

Denouement: Definition and Examples of the Literary Term

How do good stories end? In tragedy or triumph? With a wedding or a funeral?

That is the question of the denouement, a literary term that means more than just “the end.”

This article is all about denouement. In it, we will talk about the origin and definition of the literary term, give examples, and talk about where it fits in your writing.

Maybe vs. May Be: The Simple Trick to Always Keep Them Straight

Happy back-from-Labor-Day Day! I had the good fortune to spend the long weekend in Houston with my best friend from college. We ate, we drank, we had a slight Netflix binge, and we were very merry. She’s finishing up her PhD in neuroscience at UT-Houston, and she accepted a postdoc at Vanderbilt, so she’ll be moving to Nashville in a couple of months. She may be one of the smartest people I know.

I know this because she knows the difference between may be and maybe.


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