4 Army Soldier Tips to Be a More Efficient Writer

I have a guest blogger today: Freelance writer Vicki Clain is sharing her tips on how to be a more efficient writer. Take it away, Vicki!  I’ve been working as a freelance writer for over five years now, and I went through several stages of polishing before I could actually …

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5 Writing Lessons from The Walking Dead

The eighth season of The Walking Dead, one of the most successful television series of all time, starts tonight. I haven’t started watching The Walking Dead when it first began airing. A TV show about zombies stumbling around, craving brains, didn’t seem that original or that entertaining to me. But …

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Point of view in fiction

What is point of view? Point of view is the answer to the question “Who is telling us the story?” (or at least this scene). Are we watching everything from the outside, and a storyteller/author is telling the story? (= omniscient POV)? Or are we experiencing things through the senses …

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6 tips for using dialogue tags

Dialogue is one of the most important parts of writing a novel or a short story, so every writer has to know how to use dialogue tags. What are dialogue tags? Dialogue tags are things like “Tina said” that tell us which character is speaking. How to use dialogue tags …

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How to use action beats in your writing

Have you ever stumbled over too many “he said” and “she said” in your story? One of the followers of my blog apparently encountered that problem, so he’s trying to cut down the number of dialogue tags by replacing it with character actions. But what’s the correct way to do …

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The golden rule of writing: Show, don’t tell

“Show, don’t tell” is probably the advice writers hear most often from editors and writing mentors. But many writers struggle to understand what it really means. “Telling” means you give readers your interpretations and conclusions, while “showing” means you provide readers with enough details and behaviors to let them draw …

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How to use participial phrases in your writing

Before I explain what the problem with participial phrases is, let me start with some definitions so we’re all on the same page. What is a participle? Participles are verbs that function as adjectives, which means that they modify a noun or a pronoun. There are two kinds of participles: …

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Writing in chronological order

If a readers tells me she was up all night, reading, because she couldn’t put down my book, it puts a big grin on my face. Because that’s exactly what I want: for readers to become totally immersed in my fictional worlds. So, how can we achieve that? One things …

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How and why to avoid autonomous body parts in your writing

You have probably all experienced it: you’re reading a book—maybe a romance or a mystery novel—and suddenly, you grind to a halt and wonder where all these zombies are coming from. I’m talking about sentences like these: Her eyes followed Kathryn around the room. Her fist knocked on the door. …

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