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The Café Writers Workshop Writing Contests
Joslyn Chase: Becoming Writer, Editor
Member since July 11, 2016

Any day where she can send readers to the edge of their seats, prickling with suspense and chewing their fingernails to the nub, is a good day for Joslyn. Pick up her latest thriller, Steadman's Blind, an explosive read that will keep you turning pages to the end. What Leads A Man To Murder, her collection of short suspense, is available for free at joslynchase.com.

Website: https://joslynchase.com

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How to Use Scrivener to Write Scenes That Work

The scene is the fundamental unit of story. It’s what drives the story forward, instilling purpose, drama, and emotion. It’s critical to understand the elements that make it effective and know how to employ them. In this article, that’s what we’ll examine—plus, how to use Scrivener to make sure all those elements are present.

Dan Brown MasterClass Review: Will This Teach You to Write a Page-Turning Thriller?

Are you wondering what Dan Brown’s MasterClass is like and if signing up would be a good move for you? Do you want to learn how to craft a thriller that works or add suspense to your writing? I recently had the opportunity to take a MasterClass from the man who wrote one of the world’s best-selling novels, The Da Vinci Code, and I’m here to share my thoughts about the experience and give you a peek into what I learned.

How to Practice Writing Fiction: 5 Core Skills to Improve Your Writing

Have you ever been told by some well-meaning soul that writing can’t be taught? Have you heard that the ability to create beautiful sentences and convey a heart-wrenching story is inborn, and you either have it or you don’t?

The Argentine writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges said, “Art is fire plus algebra.” That flame blazes in all of us, and can be fanned by passion and dedication. What’s more, we can apply the algebra through deliberate study and practice.

I believe writing can absolutely be taught and learned. Here’s how.

How to Write a Thrilling Chase Story
by Joslyn Chase in How to Write a Thrilling Chase Story
10:43 am on October 28, 2019

Why are games of Hide and Seek or Tag so appealing? I think it’s because they play with our emotions and instincts as hunters and hunted. They stir the elemental embers of our flight response. As an adult, you may not indulge in actual games of tag, but I’ll bet you still love to participate by proxy in the pages of a thrilling book or on the screen.

As a writer, learning to use a chase story, also known as the pursuit plot, will strengthen and diversify your toolbox and may help you create an awesome book.

How to Write a Hook by Capturing Your Reader With Emotion

What do readers demand from the stories they read? They expect to be entertained, to learn something, to be intellectually challenged, charmed, or tickled. Readers want to have questions raised and answered and they love action, chases, and puzzles. But above all, readers read to feel something, to be stirred emotionally.

That’s why learning to craft an emotion-baited hook can be one of the most powerful tools in your toolbox. So let’s take a look at how to do that.

How to Write a Hook by Shocking Your Reader With Surprise

Surprise! In real life, some folks love surprises and others hate them. But one thing is certain—in fiction, you need them. If you want your reader to be captivated by your story, unable to put it down, you need to learn how to write a hook that will draw him through. Grab your reader with something totally unexpected, and you harness his attention to the story you’re telling. At least for that moment.

How to Write a Hook by Baiting Your Reader With Questions

If your aim is to write engaging fiction—stories that people will read and clamor for, even shell out their hard-earned cash to acquire—there is something very important you need to understand. You are an entertainer. And that means you need to know how to write a hook that will capture your reader and keep her turning the pages.

James Patterson MasterClass Review: Is This What You Need to Write a Page-Turning Thriller?

James Patterson has held a top position on the list of best-selling thriller writers for the better part of two decades, so I jumped at the chance to take his MasterClass, learn his secrets, and add to my thriller writer toolbox. You may be wondering if taking the class would be a good move for you. Stick around for my James Patterson MasterClass review and see what you think.

How to End a Story . . . and Hook Your Readers for Your Next One

You’ve put a lot of time, effort, research, planning, blood, sweat, and tears into finishing your book—and you’re almost there! And then you’re not. You’ve suddenly lost the thread, wandering off into strange paths, with no idea how to end a story, wrap it up and call it done.

If this has ever happened to you, you’re in good company. It’s a common issue among writers. Try these techniques to solve it.

Rejected Book: 3 Reasons Editors Reject Manuscripts

Has this happened to you? You finish a story and polish it to a shine, compose your cover letter, send the package off to an editor, and wait through an agonizing time period, only to get that form letter saying thanks, but we’ll pass. Your book was rejected.

It’s happened to me. More times than I care to think about. One thing writers who want to publish learn right off is the pain of rejection, and my best piece of advice is to get used to it. There is life after rejection, and you’ve got to be willing to jump up and go at it again. And again.

Character Personality: How to Discover Who Your Character Really Is

Have you ever written a scene that didn’t feel authentic or sit right with you? One very possible reason for such a scene is that your character did not act in accordance with their nature. As writers, we sometimes hit a fallback position where we have our character do what we would do rather than acting … in character. We have to remember to write from the character’s personality rather than our own.

I am not a proponent of detailed character sketches—believing, instead, that the character reveals herself to the writer as the story unfolds. However, as we get to know the character we’re writing, it’s important to understand the essentials of her personality. By doing so, we make it easier to understand and portray the shifts that make up the character arc.

How to Write Action Scenes That Thrill Your Readers

Almost any genre you might write in will include some kind of action scene, so it makes sense to learn how to do action well. Action does not always mean a car chase or a shootout, though these are time-honored examples. An action scene can simply be a place in the story where the pacing increases and the movement is external, rather than internal.

Emotional Writing: One Surprising Method for Creating Emotion in Your Readers

As a writer, you’ve probably learned that story is not about what happens. Rather, it’s about how the events affect the protagonist. The plot points may appeal to the reader’s intellect, but you want to go deeper than that, reaching and stirring the coals of a reader’s emotions. That kind of emotional writing is when you make a real connection, establishing something meaningful between writer and reader.

But how is this done? How do you reach beyond the plot points and offer your reader something more? There are a number of ways to accomplish this, but I’m going to focus on one technique that might surprise you.

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