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3 Bad Writing Habits Preventing You From Writing (And How to Break Them)

3 Bad Writing Habits Preventing You From Writing (And How to Break Them)

Let’s be honest: it’s hard breaking habits, especially when it comes to bad writing habits. Writing is a career that requires a lot of self-motivation. In other words, it’s the perfect breeding ground for procrastination, distractions, and a world of other bad writing habits stalling your time to write.

But there’s hope! The best way to break bad writing habits is to first recognize that 1) you have them and 2) put forth the conscience effort needed to protect your time for writing. Here’s what I consider the three worst writing habits—and how to break them.

How Long Does it Take to Write a Book?

How Long Does it Take to Write a Book?

How long does it take to write a book? Writing the first draft of a book is a grueling, intimidating process. But it doesn’t have to be a slow process.

Ask one hundred writers how long it takes them to write their first drafts and you’ll get one hundred different answers. There is no perfect length of time to spend on a first draft.

You will find, though, that the writers whose answer is closer to a couple of months than to a couple of years are most likely more successful.

9 Key Strategies for How to Research a Novel

9 Key Strategies for How to Research a Novel

Have you ever started a story, gotten halfway through, and realized you don’t know key facts about your story’s world? Have you ever wondered how to find out the size of spoons in Medieval England for your fantasy adventure story? Is that even relevant to your plot, or could you skip that fact? Here’s how to do research for your story.

How to Write a Book Title in MLA Formatting

How to Write a Book Title in MLA Formatting

You’re writing a paper for school and suddenly you stop in the middle of the sentence. You have to write a book title but you don’t how to format it? How do you format a book title in MLA? Good news: you’re in the write place (sorry, I had to).

In this post, we’ll talk about MLA style and formatting, whether it’s appropriate for your project, and most importantly, how to write a book title in MLA.

How to Track Your Writing Progress (And Why You Should)

How to Track Your Writing Progress (And Why You Should)

I’m going to be honest. When I first started writing, I thought keeping track of my writing progress was ridiculous. How many words I wrote in a day or how frequently I wrote depended on my mood and whether that elusive muse showed up. Besides, wasting time tracking and analyzing how much I’d written during a week seemed like just another way to procrastinate and not get any writing done at all.

I don’t say this often, so listen up:

I was wrong.

Writers need to track their writing progress, period. It’s that simple. Read on for why and how to get tracking today.

What Are You Struggling With In Your Writing?

What Are You Struggling With In Your Writing?

Hey writers. Well, it’s been a weird, hard, interesting year, right? The good news is 2020 is almost over (thank goodness), and as we start looking ahead to 2021, I want to hear from you. What are you struggling with as far as your writing goes? How can The Write Practice help you?

3 Powerful Ways to Hook Your Reader With Emotion

3 Powerful Ways to Hook Your Reader With Emotion

In college, I majored in communication, and the first thing I learned is that communication is a two-way street—it needs a sender and a receiver. As writers, we are senders, and our readers are receivers. But what are we communicating?

Stories, at their core, are a medium for communicating many things, but chief among them is emotion. That means one of the best ways to hook your reader is through emotion.

In this post, you will learn how to hook your reader with emotion, how people experience emotion through reading and three tips to cultivate that emotion through your writing. Then, we’ll end with a creative writing exercise you can use to apply these lessons right away.

Why Quitting NaNoWriMo Hurts More Than Just Your Writing

Why Quitting NaNoWriMo Hurts More Than Just Your Writing

Writing a novel in a month is a wonderful idea. But it’s hard for a multitude of reasons, and the temptation to give up and just “do it over time” can be really appealing, especially as we approach Day 8 of the journey.

I know it’s hard. But quitting, or choosing to simply abstain, is the worst thing you can do right now if you have a passion for writing.

How to “Show, Don’t Tell” in Writing With Active or Passive Scenes

How to “Show, Don’t Tell” in Writing With Active or Passive Scenes

We’ve all heard of passive vs. active sentences. Active sentences such as “three men stood by the gate” are more attractive and interesting than passive sentences such as “there were three men standing by the gate.”

But the concept of active vs. passive can also be applied to scenes within a story. Appropriate use of active and passive scenes can give your story an extra kick of life and can help with pacing as well.

Falling Action: Definition and Why Falling Action Doesn’t Exist In Most Stories

Falling Action: Definition and Why Falling Action Doesn’t Exist In Most Stories

The falling action is a literary term you hear thrown around in middle school writing classes and on creative writing blogs, but what is it? And will it actually help you understand, and maybe write, a good story?

In this post, I’m going to define falling action, talking briefly about its origin as a literary term and its place in dramatic structure, and then talk about whether you should incorporate it into your story structuring process.

Spoiler alert: you shouldn’t.

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

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.

Freytag’s Pyramid: Definition, Examples, and How to Use this Dramatic Structure in Your Writing

Freytag’s Pyramid: Definition, Examples, and How to Use this Dramatic Structure in Your Writing

Most great stories, whether they are a Pixar film or a novel by your favorite author, follow a certain dramatic structure.

When you’re getting started with writing, understanding how the structure works is difficult. Even if you go back and analyze your favorite books and films, it can still be hard to structure your own stories. That’s where Freytag’s Pyramid can help.

How I Ghostwrite Other Authors’ Books

How I Ghostwrite Other Authors’ Books

Now, when I go to bookstores I see them automatically, the little with’s and and’s next to celebrity authors’ names. However, when I first found out a friend had ghostwritten a bestselling book by a major author, I didn’t know what the word “ghostwrite” meant, not to mention the fact that nearly every celebrity author who has ever “written” a book has used a ghostwriter.

How to Write an Underdog Story Readers Will Cheer For

How to Write an Underdog Story Readers Will Cheer For

Everyone loves a good underdog story. In some ways, we can all relate to the downtrodden character who rises against insurmountable odds. And the requisite feel-good ending is as sweet and satisfying as a warm cup of cocoa at the end of a cold and bitter day.

The underdog plot is a sure-fire recipe for a story readers can care about, invest in, and cheer on towards a rewarding conclusion. Plus, it can be a lot of fun to write. Read on to learn more about how to craft an underdog story that will ring your reader’s happy bell.

4 Lies That Are Keeping You From Writing a Book

4 Lies That Are Keeping You From Writing a Book

There is a book inside you. There has to be. Why else are you reading a post about writing a book?

Getting that book out, of course, is the extremely difficult part. The words don’t come out as we imagine. The time to write shrinks as life gets busier. And so many questions vex us — so many lies that we tell ourselves to avoid the challenge ahead.

But you have to write your book. It’s one of the greatest driving forces in your life. Here are the lies that might be holding you back, and the truths you need to overcome them.

3 Ways to Create Romantic Tension in Your Love Stories

3 Ways to Create Romantic Tension in Your Love Stories

In life and in writing, romance is a difficult and yet extremely enticing subject. Even in books outside the highly popular romance genre, romantic subplots are immensely popular. But romance is not an easy thing to write, because readers want more than just a straight-up kiss-and-get-married.

A romance on a curved, nuanced road, where your characters have to fight to get to their happily ever after, makes for a much better story. The best way to achieve this is through romantic tension.

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