5 Writing Lessons Learned from Margaret Atwood

Today’s guest post is by Dave Chesson. Thanks to the golden age of television, Margaret Atwood is finally gaining the recognition she deserves. Don’t get me wrong. Atwood has always been known for publishing politically provocative, emotionally engaging fiction. However, due to the runaway success of the Handmaid’s Tale, not to mention the topical relevance […]

How to Write Emotion: An Experimental Study

Not too many years ago, I thought an accurately portrayed scene naturally caused readers to experience the emotions that the characters would logically feel in such situations. Not true! As Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi explain in The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, we must take our innate skills of observation and […]

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7 Things to Try When Writing Is Hard

Some writers might look at that title and respond incredulously: “When isn’t writing hard?” But as I’m sure all writers everywhere can attest, there are times when writing is hard in the normal sense and times when it’s hard hard. Often, the difficulty lies simply in the unwieldy story—and the need for an ever-evolving understanding and ability […]

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7 Things Your Character Is Hiding

Being able to write realistic, consistent, multi-dimensional characters is vital to gaining reader interest. Doing so first requires we know a lot about who our characters are—you know, the obvious stuff: positive and negative traits, behavioral habits, desires, goals, and the like. But it’s not always the obvious parts of characterization that create the most […]

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Critique: How to Use Paragraph Breaks to Guide the Reader’s Experience

Paragraph breaks are something akin to a writer’s turn signals. They silently—sometimes almost subliminally—tell readers what’s about to happen and how they should react. As you may remember (or not) from school, a paragraph break in technical writing is meant to indicate a new thought. (I have clear memories of being required to find and […]

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10 Advantages of Writing a Single-POV Story (What I Learned Writing Wayfarer)

Multiple-POV story versus single-POV story? Which is the right choice for you? The answer depends on many factors, since every story is different. Knowing which approach to POV to choose isn’t difficult once you know how to choose. My just-released historical-superhero/gaslamp-fantasy novel Wayfarer was the first ever single-POV story I’ve written. For years now, I’ve consistently been minimizing the […]

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