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Sarah Gribble: Super Moderator, Administrator, Story Cartel Course, Becoming Writer, 100 Day Book
Member since May 4, 2016

Sarah Gribble is the best-selling author of dozens of short stories that explore uncomfortable situations, basic fears, and the general awe and fascination of the unknown. She’s currently cooking up more ways to freak you out and working on a novel. Follow her @sarahstypos or join her email list for free scares at https://sarah-gribble.com.

Website: https://sarah-gribble.com

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Writing Prompt: Use Junk Drawers to Discover Your Characters

Characterization is a huge part of writing, no matter how long the story. You need to know the ins and outs of your character’s personality. What makes them tick? What do they want? Where to do they come from?

Sometimes it’s a little difficult to come up with new character traits and idiosyncrasies that aren’t cliché or contrived.

Today, we’re going to have a little fun with character development. We’re going to think outside the box of character questionnaires and try a writing prompt to help us discover our characters through a different route: What’s in their junk drawer?

Christina Weaver on How to Revise a Story and Publish With Confidence

Having to revise your story doesn’t mean you’re an awful writer. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed in any way. Every successful author out there revises their work. They revise before they send it to their publisher and then they go through more revisions after their publisher sends it to an editor.

The bottom line is, as painful as it is, writers need to learn to love the revision process. Or at least tolerate it relatively well.

In today’s interview, we’re talking with Christina Weaver about how to revise a story. Christina may not be in love with revision, but she knows how vital it is to your story.

How Characters Change in Stories (And How to Write Believable Change)

You’ve probably heard this one before: Your character must change throughout the course of your story.

I see a lot of confusion over this concept. Writers can normally nail the change (weak to strong; bad to good; cynical to optimistic) but it often comes from a weird place that doesn’t sit quite right with what we know about the protagonist. Or it’s too big of a change (or too much of a “fairy tale ending”) to be believable.

Let’s take a look at how writers should deal with character change.

Mike Van Horn on World Building: How to Create a Believable Science Fiction World

There’s an old, worn-out adage about writing: Write what you know. Which is fine if you’re writing about the day-to-day life of Earth, but what if you want to write about a world you don’t know? Today, we’re talking with science fiction author Mike Van Horn about world building and immersing your readers in that world.

M MacKinnon on How to Write Paranormal Fiction

Writing fiction with paranormal elements can be tricky, especially in a modern setting. You want your readers to suspend their disbelief and just go with the story. You don’t want them to roll their eyes because the concept of your paranormal world is too far-fetched. Today we’re talking with paranormal romance writer M MacKinnon to get her take on writing paranormal fiction.

Setting of a Story: 3 Ways Going Outside Can Improve Your Writing

Our job as writers is to transport our readers into our stories. A high-octane plot and three-dimensional characters are obviously necessary to accomplish this goal, but so is an immersive setting.

Setting is often overlooked when describing a scene. We all want to move on to the next plot twist and wasting important space on what trees look like will just bore the readers, right?

Wrong.

To draw readers fully into a scene, we need setting. We want them to forget they’re reading and make them experience everything our characters are experiencing.

Sometimes, you can get away with building your setting straight from your imagination. Sometimes, you can’t.

Callie Sutcliffe on How to Develop Characters Readers Will Love

How many times have you heard someone say a character in a movie or book felt “flat” or cliché? As writers, we want to create strong characters our readers will fall in love with. We don’t want readers to be bored or roll their eyes at the people we’ve created. Today we’re talking with romance author Callie Sutcliffe on how to develop characters readers care about.

R. L. Stine MasterClass Review: Will This Help You Write Stories Readers Love?

R.L. Stine is the author of over 300 books for readers ages 7 to 15. Generations of kids have been introduced to the wonderful world of horror through Stine’s Goosebumps and Fear Street series. Stine is a true master of reaching young readers, and who better to host his course than MasterClass?

In this post, I’m going to share my personal R.L. Stine MasterClass review. I’ll outline what’s in the course, what I learned and what I didn’t, and why you should (or shouldn’t!) take the class.

Michelle Dalton on How to Write From the Heart

Writing is hard enough when you’re writing action scenes and plot twists. It’s even harder when you have to write an emotional scene, especially if it’s one that comes from your own experiences. We’re talking with romance writer Michelle Dalton to find out how she deals with choosing to write from the heart.

Whether you love the genre or loathe it, romance novels can teach you how to connect emotionally with your reader.

Edmund Stone on How to Use Horror to Improve Your Writing

Fear is the base element of horror. Fear is also the base element of all other stories. Fear of failure, fear of being abandoned, fear of change, fear of giant spiders invading your basement . . . it’s all horror in the end.

Learning to be one with that fear and to use all five senses to describe it will help you uncover the deepest feelings of your characters, whether you’re writing a horror novel or a YA romance.

How to Turn a Writing Prompt You Hate Into a Story You Love

There’s no shortage of writing prompts out there. We even do them with every post here on the Write Practice blog.

Prompts have a place in writing, whether it’s overcoming writer’s block or simply as a warmup to get your brain moving. Writing prompts are awesome.

Until they’re not.

What do you do if you hate the writing prompt you’re given?

How to Conduct Research for a Book
by Sarah Gribble in How to Conduct Research for a Book
10:39 am on November 13, 2018

You might think you don’t need to do much research because you’re writing fiction. (Isn’t fiction just making stuff up?!) You’d be wrong.

Your readers expect to be transported to your setting and to understand your characters so fully, they seem like real people. Little things like using the wrong jargon or having your main character wear the wrong type of bodice can jar your reader out of the story and cause them to lose respect for you as a writer. If they can’t trust you to get the facts right, why should they trust you to guide them through a story?

Like it or not, research is a writer’s best friend. (Next to caffeine, anyway.) So let’s talk about how to conduct research for a book.

How to Choose a Color for Your Book Cover Design

No matter how much the adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is trotted out, we all do it. It’s in our nature to make quick assumptions about things, especially when we have literally millions of books to choose from. It’s easy to make quick judgements based on book cover design.

Think about walking through your local bookstore or perusing your library’s shelves. You’re looking at spines, and only spines, most of the time. Then one book stands out. You pull it from the shelf and give the cover a read.

Why did you choose that book, in particular? Most likely, the color stood out to you.

8 Bold Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Writing

Writers face fear on a day-to-day basis. The self-doubt. The fear of failure. And, oh, the vulnerability.

Writing is hard enough with all the self-evaluation and doubt about your abilities. But then sharing your work with other people so they can critique or review it? CRINGE.

When you sink into that fear it debilitates you. If you let fear hold you back, you’re ensuring you never achieve your goals. You’ll never write that book and you’ll never get published. All because you were too scared.

It’s time to stop letting fear control you and get writing.

Characterization: How to Write a Eulogy to Get to Know a Character in Your Novel

Every great novel has great characters. Great characterization includes a background, flaws, habits, tics, and redeeming qualities. The characters have a life.

There are plenty of ways to get inside your character’s head. You can journal from their point of view, write a character study, or fill out questionnaires about your character. Those methods are awesome but can seem impersonal or just plain tedious at times.

If you need a quicker, more succinct way of getting inside your character’s head, you might consider writing their eulogy.


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