Sandra Gerth - author of the Writers' Guide Series
How to write great beginnings interview

Interview on how to write great beginnings (Rebel Author Podcast)

Recently, I’ve been invited to chat with Sacha Black from the Rebel Author Podcast.

We talked about how to write great beginnings for your story, and we covered important points such as the most common mistakes authors make with beginnings; what you need to establish in the first act and the first chapter;
how to handle prologues, flashbacks, and flash-forwards; how to hook readers; and how to know when you have the right beginning.

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writing advice show and tell

Unusual writing advice: Show and tell

You have probably heard the writing advice to “show, don’t tell.”

Most of the time, it’s good advice because showing keeps readers actively involved in the story, but showing isn’t always better than telling.

This blog post explains three situations in which you might want to TELL instead of SHOW.

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How to develop your characters' strengths and weaknesses

How to develop your characters’ strengths and weaknesses

In a previous blog post on how to create interesting characters, I emphasized how important is to give your characters not just strengths, but also weaknesses. Perfect characters are boring!

But you shouldn’t give your characters just any flaws. The flaws your characters have need to be a good fit for the character. 

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POV violations

3 quick tips to avoid POV violations in your book

Since we all have busy lives, I thought I’d give you three quick tips you can apply to your manuscript or add to your self-editing checklist right now. Each of these tips will help you avoid point of view (POV) violations that will jar readers out of your story and …

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telling writing

10 red flags for telling in your writing

We have all heard the advice to show, don’t tell in our writing. But how do you know you’re telling?   10 red flags that indicate telling 1) Conclusions If you give your readers conclusions, you are telling. To show, provide them with enough action, body language, and dialogue so they …

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overused body language writing

How to avoid overused body language in your writing

Human communication is mostly nonverbal, so it makes sense to use plenty of body language, gestures, and facial expressions in our writing. Showing your characters’ emotions through their body language is also a wonderful way to avoid telling (More about showing vs. telling here). Instead of saying she was nervous, …

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how to name your characters

12 tips on how to name your characters

Naming your characters can be difficult since there are so many things to be taken into consideration when choosing character names. Here are 12 tips to help you find the perfect names for your characters: 1. Keep the time period of your story and your character’s age in mind. Names …

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How to avoid head hopping and point of view violations

What’s point of view (POV)? Point of view (POV) is the perspective through which readers are viewing the story. Through whose eyes–and other senses–are readers experiencing the events of the story? What’s a POV violation? When you’re writing in third person limited POV, you are limited to one POV character …

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