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How to Use a Little Hurt for Deeper Characterization

How to Use a Little Hurt for Deeper Characterization

Characters show us who they are when they are under stress. One way to create stress for a character and deepen their characterization is to inflict a minor injury. How will they respond? Will their reaction affirm who they present themselves to be? Or will it reveal perhaps another dimension of their personality?

Top 10 Book Ideas

Top 10 Book Ideas

You want to write, but when you sit down to get started, you realize you don’t have a book idea. Or perhaps you have so many ideas, you’re having a hard time choosing the best one. Or maybe, you already have an idea, but you just aren’t sure if it’s any good.

That’s what we’re here for. In this article are ten questions to help you get started finding your book idea. Use them as writing prompts or as a way to make your current idea better.

Don’t let the blank page win. Get started writing your book today with these book ideas!

How to Create a Character Based on Internet Comments Sections

How to Create a Character Based on Internet Comments Sections

Do you argue with strangers on the internet? (I plead the fifth). Even if you have enough self-control not to engage most arguments and comment sections, chances are high that you think through how you would argue with them if you weren’t fairly certain they are a troll in an alternate universe. Also if your mother wasn’t your friend on Facebook.

Are you leveraging those thoughts? Or just rehearsing them, allowing yourself to feel irritated and angry? Put that energy to good use for your writing. Your next character is hiding in the comments section of nearly any forum. Here’s how to find him or her.

5 Inspiring Writing Quotes From African American Authors

5 Inspiring Writing Quotes From African American Authors

This week, we lost an incredible writer. Toni Morrison was a novelist, essayist, editor, professor, and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Her perhaps most well-known book, Beloved, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was made into a movie starring Oprah Winfrey.
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.

How to Write a Hook by Baiting Your Reader With Questions

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.

Ten Secrets To Write Better Stories

Ten Secrets To Write Better Stories

Writing isn’t easy, and writing a good story is even harder.

I used to wonder how Pixar came out with such great movies, year after year. Then, I found out a normal Pixar film takes six years to develop, most of it on the story.

How do you write a story, and more importantly, how do you write one that’s good?

What Makes Great Characters: Shawn Coyne

What Makes Great Characters: Shawn Coyne

What’s the point of storytelling? Why do we need good stories, and what do they have to teach us about the choices we make? In this episode of Character Test, I talk with one of my favorite editors about his own journey through book publishing and what it takes to write—and live—a great story.

Leslie Malin on Nonfiction Writing and Why Your Ideas Are Worth Sharing

Leslie Malin on Nonfiction Writing and Why Your Ideas Are Worth Sharing

Nonfiction writing seems like a completely different bear than writing fiction. How do you gather your ideas and present them in a coherent, interesting way? And if someone else has written on the same topic before, should you even bother?

In today’s article, Leslie Malin gives us some great insight into how she came around to writing her first nonfiction book and the lessons she had to learn along the way. And she reminds us that writing nonfiction requires some of the same skills as writing fiction: storytelling.

How Joining a Writing Community Helped These 11 Authors Get Published

How Joining a Writing Community Helped These 11 Authors Get Published

Getting published is an amazing, exciting process. It can also feel a little mysterious, especially if you’ve never done it before. What does it take to publish? More than that, what does it take to publish successfully—to publish a beautiful piece of writing and share it with crowds of readers?

I recently reached out to several writers in our Write to Publish community to ask whether joining a writing community has helped them get published, grow their audience, and make progress on their journey to becoming bestselling authors.

The Secret Cartel Behind Every Great Writer

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.

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