Recently when I looked over the first draft of my latest novel in order to buckle down and start editing, I noticed that there were a lot of sections that bored me. My mind started to wander and I couldn’t figure out why. Looking more closely, I found the answer: I was playing it too safe. In order to ramp up the tension in excitement, I had to master this one technique; I had to get uncomfortable.Ramp Up the Conflict in Your Story With This One Technique »
The Magic Violinist is a young author who writes mostly fantasy stories. She loves to play with her dog and spend time with her family. Oh, and she's homeschooled. You can visit her blog at themagicviolinist.blogspot.com. You can also follow The Magic Violinist on Twitter (@Magic_Violinist).
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Spring is almost here, which means it’s almost time to spring clean. Spring cleaning isn’t only good for cluttered houses, but for cluttered minds, as well. As writers, it’s important to learn new skills so long as it’s not at the expense of polishing old ones. Spring is the perfect time to do take a look at your writing and do some review. Here are five things you can do to avoid falling into bad habits.5 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Writing Habits »
Foreshadowing is a task writers have to approach with the same careful precision they use when threading a needle. It’s not always easy, but when done right, you’re in business. Hinting at a future revelation is necessary for authors of mystery novels, for example, but it’s useful for all writers looking to include a killer twist—no pun intended.How to Use Foreshadowing Like a Master Storyteller »
Conflict is necessary for all stories. It doesn’t matter what kind of story it is — novel, short story, mystery, romance, thriller, children’s, adult — it will always need conflict. In order to keep the plot interesting and exciting, conflict must be there. It gives your characters obstacles they have to overcome before they can reach their goals.
But how do you create conflict for your characters? There are three key ways.3 Types of Conflict and Why You Need to Use Them »
The end of the year/beginning of the next one is always exciting. It’s a time to reflect on your accomplishments and prepare for the next ones. Often times, the newness and anticipation of New Year’s resolutions lasts for a few months before fading away, checklists long forgotten in a dusty drawer. If you want to stay strong throughout the entirety of 2018, here are five tips to help you achieve just that.How to Achieve Goals: 5 Ways to Stay Motivated and Actually Accomplish Your Goals »
An argument can be made that the beginning of any story is the most important. It is the first part your readers will encounter and it is what potential agents and publishers will read in order to determine if your project is right for them. But do you know how to start a story? What’s the perfect opening?5 Inspiring Tips for How to Start a Story »
It’s that time of year again! Time for endless cups of coffee, ink-stained fingers, and scattered pages of manic notes. While NaNoWriMo is a fun, exhilarating time for thousands of writers, it’s also daunting. Some of us still have school or full-time jobs. Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. How in the world are you supposed to find the time to squeeze in your writing?7 Sneaky Ways to Steal Time for Writing During NaNoWriMo »
One of the key signs of a well-written character is when the reader is able to identify them with a single line of dialogue. It’s that feeling of I’d know that character anywhere. How are authors able to perfect this art? By finding their voice.Character Voice: 5 Insightful Questions to Discover Your Character’s Unique Voice »
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?4 Ways to End Your Story »
As writers, no matter what our goals are, there is something we should all strive to do: make our readers feel. Whether that feeling be hope, happiness, fear, or any number of other emotions, it can be achieved through masterful writing.
That is easier said than done, though, right? How can we turn our words into something so real, it gives the reader a punch to the gut or brings a smile to their face?How to Write With Emotion and Make Your Readers Feel »
Writers are thieves. Intentionally or unintentionally, we steal from other artists all the time. We can’t help but be inspired and influenced by the stories we consume. However, we can steal productively by borrowing from other works in a conscious manner.5 Ways to Steal (Politely) From Other Writers »
I’ve learned a lot about theater over the past year through my interest in musicals, my college theater class, and participating in a couple of theater groups. Throughout all of these experiences, I’ve noticed a bunch of similarities between performing or writing a play and writing a story. Here are six of them.6 Writing Tips to Learn From Theater »
Inspirational quotes from writers are plastered all over my Pinterest boards. I have quotes that sit on my desk right where I can see it if I glance away from my computer. If I’m in a slump or a rut, scrolling through the “Advice To Writers” Twitter account can pick me right back up.
In honor of Black History Month, I want to share five quotes from black authors that are sure to give you the push you need to write something fantastic.5 Inspiring Writing Quotes From African American Authors »
The dreaded middle. We’ve all encountered it, all suffered through painful prose so we can just get to the end. There are those rare few times when we’re able to get through an entire story without much stumbling, but inevitably, every stumble comes from the middle. But why is it so hard? And how can we get past it?4 Strategies to Make it Through the Dreaded Middle of Your Story »
It’s only been ten days since NaNoWriMo finished and I ought to be celebrating. And I am, but in a different way, and not for the reasons you’d think. For the first time in eight years, I did not complete my word count goal. I failed NaNoWriMo.
Being the perfectionist and goal-oriented person that I am, I found myself to be surprisingly okay with November’s outcome. So I’d only written 20,000 words. So what? It’s okay. Do you want to know why? I’ll let you in on a little secret.Why It’s Okay to Fail »
With the divisiveness we’ve experienced this election season, I thought we could all use an article about understanding one another. Studies have shown that reading stories allows us to be more empathetic. We learn all sorts of new things from reading and “meet” different characters we then come to understand through their thoughts and actions.
This happens naturally, but there are a few extra steps you can take to create more empathy in your writing that will not only help you understand your characters better, but will also help you to better understand the people around you.4 Ways to Create Empathy in Your Writing »
Happy October! Fall is here, and that means one thing for me: NaNoWriMo season.
What is NaNoWriMo? It stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a yearly event in November where writers all around the world set out to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Insane, right?
It sounds crazy, and it is, but it’s very doable! You just need to have the right tools at your fingertips. But not all writers are the same. We have very different approaches to writing from each other. Luckily, there are lots of tools at your fingertips to help you reach your goal. Here are five different types of NaNo-ers and the tools they might use.5 Types of NaNoWriMo Participants and the Tools You Need »
In a nutshell, NaNoWriMo—or National Novel Writing Month—is an event held in November where one attempts to write a fifty-thousand word novel in thirty days. It may seem daunting (and it is), but it’s also a great opportunity for us writers.
We can’t give you a fully-formed plot and well-developed characters—that’s on you. But we CAN give you some NaNoWriMo survival essentials to get you through the month.
Enter the giveaway to win our NaNoWriMo Survival Kit!4 Reasons NaNoWriMo Rocks + Win Our NaNoWriMo Survivial Kit »
Goals can help you do a lot of things. They keep you focused, they help you strive to be better, and they challenge you.
There are several different kinds of goals you should set for yourself. I’m thinking of three specifically. And trust me when I say they’ll help you immensely.3 Writing Goals You Should Set »
If you haven’t at least heard about Hamilton, you’ve been living under a rock. But if for some reason you still don’t know what it is, I’ll give you a brief introduction.
Hamilton is the rap/hip-hop musical that long-time Broadway fans and Broadway newbies alike are talking about. Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a crazy good dramatic portrayal of our first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton.
Alexander Hamilton also wrote. Like a lot. And there’s a ton we can learn from him and the musical Hamilton. Here are twelve of those things.12 Writing Lessons From Hamilton »