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The Writer’s Guide to Beta Readers: How to Deal With Beta Reader Feedback

The Writer’s Guide to Beta Readers: How to Deal With Beta Reader Feedback

You’ve spent a few agonizing weeks waiting on the feedback to roll in from your beta readers. You’ve probably worked your way into an anxiety attack with all the waiting. What if they don’t like it? What if you have to do a major rewrite? It’s scary!

In this post, I’ll walk you through exactly what to do with all that beta reader feedback. Take a deep breath—it’ll be great.

7 Techniques for Using Subtext to Supercharge Your Scenes

7 Techniques for Using Subtext to Supercharge Your Scenes

When you think about the books and stories that you most enjoyed reading and that stick in your memory, inspiring thoughts and emotions, what comes to mind? Why are those particular stories so enduring?

Chances are, the story’s scenes were woven with something deeper than what appeared on the surface. As writers, we are always working, practicing, studying to make our stories the best they can be. That’s our job, and today we’re taking a look at an advanced technique we can use to add interest to a scene by giving it an underlying meaning implied by the surface action and dialogue.

I’m talking about subtext.

Into vs. In To: The Simple Guide to Keeping Them Straight

Into vs. In To: The Simple Guide to Keeping Them Straight

Stuck on the distinction between “in to” and “into”? You’re not alone! Don’t worry, though, I’ve got you covered. Here’s the quick version:

Use “into” to describe where something is: going inside something else.
Use “in to” based on the verb that comes before it. It can have many meanings, but here’s a quick tip that covers some of them: if you can replace it with “in order to,” use “in to.”

Read on for the longer explanation, plus examples of into vs. in to.

The Ultimate Point of View Guide: Third Person Omniscient vs. Third Person Limited vs. First Person

The Ultimate Point of View Guide: Third Person Omniscient vs. Third Person Limited vs. First Person

As an editor, point of view problems are among the top mistakes I see inexperienced writers make, and they instantly erode credibility and reader trust.

However, point of view is simple to master if you use common sense.

This post will define point of view, go over each of the major POVs, explain a few of the POV rules, and then point out the major pitfalls writers make when dealing with that point of view.

This Writing Technique Will Make Your Readers Fall in Love With Your Sentences

This Writing Technique Will Make Your Readers Fall in Love With Your Sentences

Two of the most vital skills you should focus on as a writer are how to tell a story that works and how to develop compelling characters. But once you’ve got that figured out, aren’t there other writing techniques, more subtle perhaps, that draw readers in and make stories shine?

There are. And one of those writing techniques is called euphonics. Rayne Hall, author of the Writer’s Craft series, defines euphonics as “the use of sound devices for prose writing.”

Situational Irony: 3 Steps to Surprise Your Readers With Ironic Twists

Situational Irony: 3 Steps to Surprise Your Readers With Ironic Twists

So, you’ve figured out how to write a story that works. You know you need a character, in a setting, with a problem. You know you need a series of try/fail cycles, followed by a climactic scene and the resolution. The structure is simple, but it’s not always easy.

In particular, it can be challenging to sustain and escalate the story’s momentum through those try/fail cycles. And it would be nice to have something that could give your story a delicious ribbon of flavor, instilling brilliance and meaning.

Here’s the good news—there is such a technique. It’s called situational irony, and in this article, we’re going to take a look at what it’s made of and how to construct it in your own work.

The Magic of Atmosphere: Literary Definition and Genre Examples

The Magic of Atmosphere: Literary Definition and Genre Examples

Atmosphere matters. People will pay a premium to eat at a restaurant with a certain ambience or buy a house in a setting that supports a particular feeling. In like manner, your reader won’t remember every word you wrote, but if you infuse the story with atmosphere, they will remember the way it made them feel. And readers read in order to feel something.

3 Ways to Use the Rule of Three in Writing to Satisfy Readers

3 Ways to Use the Rule of Three in Writing to Satisfy Readers

As writers, we want to capture our readers’ attention, rivet them to the page, and leave them clamoring for more. We want to create something that moves people, deepens their understanding, and keeps them thinking about our story long after they’ve devoured the last word.

You may have noticed how I used sets of three in my opening paragraph, and if you didn’t consciously register it, your subconscious mind certainly did. Using the Rule of Three in your writing is one way to meet reader expectations and engage reader interest.

First Draft, Second Draft, or Editing: How to Know What Draft You’re On

First Draft, Second Draft, or Editing: How to Know What Draft You’re On

Have you ever wondered which draft you are working on? Many people wonder if they are writing their first draft or editing their story. You may be halfway through your book and decide to start all over from the beginning. Or you may have written the entire manuscript, but now be starting all over again.

Does that mean it is a first draft or a second draft, or editing, or what? What does “first draft” mean—or “second draft,” for that matter?

Grammarly vs Ginger: Which Grammar Checker Is Best for You?

Grammarly vs Ginger: Which Grammar Checker Is Best for You?

As a writer, I’m sure you know the importance of a good grammar checker. Sure, the old Word spellcheck feature is great for a tenth-grade English paper, but for professional writers, you’ll want something with more power—especially if you’re publishing a book.

Two popular options are Grammarly and Ginger. Each of these grammar checking tools has some unique and useful features that can help you write with confidence and catch and correct errors along the way.

Is Grammarly or Ginger right for you? Read on to find out.

Grammarly Vs. Hemingway: A Professional Writer’s Opinion

Grammarly Vs. Hemingway: A Professional Writer’s Opinion

Can book writing software replace an editor? Nope. But it can help you improve your grammar and readability.

You were born to tell stories and share your message with the world. But you sit down to type and something terrible happens. Your fingers misspell things. Verbs switch tenses as you type. Nothing works quite like it did when it was still just a compelling idea in your head.

You reread and catch a few errors, but what if you’ve reached the end of your grammar prowess? Need some book writing software to help improve your writing?

Maybe vs. May Be: The Simple Trick to Always Keep Them Straight

Maybe vs. May Be: The Simple Trick to Always Keep Them Straight

Happy back-from-Labor-Day Day! I had the good fortune to spend the long weekend in Houston with my best friend from college. We ate, we drank, we had a slight Netflix binge, and we were very merry. She’s finishing up her PhD in neuroscience at UT-Houston, and she accepted a postdoc at Vanderbilt, so she’ll be moving to Nashville in a couple of months. She may be one of the smartest people I know.

I know this because she knows the difference between may be and maybe.

Semicolon: The 2 Ways to Use a ;

Semicolon: The 2 Ways to Use a ;

If the semicolon was just a little less top-heavy, then it would be a comma, and rightfully used and appreciated. Sadly, many writers have a confused relationship with the semicolon, not really sure how or when to use semicolons in their lovely sentences.

Don’t worry, little semicolon. Your virtues will not be lost on this audience as long as I have a say in it.

5 Ways to Ruin Your Creative Writing

5 Ways to Ruin Your Creative Writing

Consider this: as writers, we employ words. We harness their power and send them out to do a job. So, just like any productive employer, we must choose our operatives effectively and manage them well. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the ways words can fail and how to avoid that.

The Secret to Show, Don’t Tell

The Secret to Show, Don’t Tell

You’ve heard the classic writing rule, “Show. Don’t Tell.” Every writing blog ever has talked about it, and for good reason. Showing, for some reason, is really difficult.

Telling is one of the hardest habits to eradicate from your style. I still struggle with it regularly. However, writing that shows is so much more interesting than writing that tells that it’s worth doing the work.

And the good news is that it’s pretty easy to show if you just learn this one trick.

What Is Plot? The 5 Elements of Plot and How to Use Them

What Is Plot? The 5 Elements of Plot and How to Use Them

Plot has a specific structure. It follows a format that sucks readers in; introduces characters and character development at a pace guaranteed to create fans; and compels readers to keep reading in order to satisfy conflict and answer questions.

Do you want readers to love your story? (Who doesn’t, am I right?) Then you need to understand plot.

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