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Structure Isn’t the Holy Grail You’re Looking For

Your memoir’s structure can reveal itself later, once the primary elements are in place. In the meantime, concentrate on scaffolding.
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Does the Idea of Promoting Your Book Make You Feel Queasy?

As an author, marketing your work will always be your job, but it doesn't have to be a chore. To do it well, think beyond self-promotion.
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NaNoWriMo: How to Fly by the Seat of Your Pants—and Win

For writers who prefer to work without a roadmap, here are some tips for reaching your NaNoWriMo goals.
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Use Your Analyzer Switch to Increase Productivity

Envision your inner critic as an adjustable dial: turn it lower to let ideas flow freely, and higher when it’s time to analyze and revise.
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Adversaries in Fiction: Who Is Standing in Your Character’s Way?

Your story’s adversary might come in many shapes or sizes. Most important, ensure that the conflict they present has a reason for existing.
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Your Writing Matters. A Coach Can Help.

Just as coaches help athletes, writing coaches can help authors be more productive, proficient, and proud of what they accomplish.
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Why You Should Write a Novella for NaNoWriMo 2021

Only a fraction of participants reach the finish line. Setting your sights on the more compact novella form might help you go the distance.
Can Fiction Make a Difference in the World?

Can Fiction Make a Difference in the World?

When sociopolitical discourse seems entrenched, good fiction can dig deeper with honest curiosity about all facets of the human experience.
Want to Win NaNoWriMo? The Secret Is Preparation

Want to Win NaNoWriMo? The Secret Is Preparation

Whatever your writing goals are in November, a bit of planning can help set you up for success.
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Why Write This Book?

Identifying your story’s “why”—why it haunts you, why you care—will give your book power that readers can feel.
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That Second Book: To Write, or Not to Write?

An author who only set out to write one book wrestles with the question—do I really have a second book in me?
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The Art of Endlessly Revising a Memoir

Time reshapes how we view and frame the chapters of our lives. Since a memoir inevitably can’t tell the whole story, we keep writing.
Start Here: How to Self-Publish Your Book

Start Here: How to Self-Publish Your Book

This is an introductory guide to the major self-publishing options available to authors today, and how to choose the right service for you.
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Starting Your Novel With Theme: 3 Strengths and 3 Challenges

In the last of a three-part series we examine the advantages and disadvantages of starting with theme, as opposed to character or plot.
The Secret to a Tight, Propulsive Plot: The Want, The Action, The Shift

The Secret to a Tight, Propulsive Plot: The Want, The Action, The Shift

Framing the overall story, as well as each scene within it, through these key elements will help create a consistently propulsive plot.
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Dual Point of View: What to Know While You Write

Writing in dual perspectives can easily tie you in knots, but it also opens the door to new opportunities between characters and story lines.
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Should I Hire a Coach Or a Therapist?

Both writing coaches and therapists dig deep, listen attentively, and meet regularly. But hiring one versus the other depends on your goals.
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The Secret Ingredient of a Commercially Successful Novel

Masterful writers keep their readers in a constant state of tension. How to get tension on every page? By focusing on microtension.
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The Importance of Curiosity and Tension to Storytelling

What makes readers open a book and keep turning the pages? In part, curiosity and tension.
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Starting Your Novel With Plot: 3 Strengths and 3 Challenges

Writers focused on plot are often strong when it comes to world-building and “big ideas,” but there are inherent challenges as well.
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Find Your Topic, Not Your Voice

Developing voice is important, but finding a topic that excites you—and others—could be a better first step for a new writer.
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The Art of the Moment Memoir

There are many kinds of memoir, with one thing in common: their authors must ultimately possess the ability to artfully render the moment.
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The Peer Review Process: What Sets University Presses Apart

During peer review, expert scholars evaluate your proposal. Their suggestions can improve your book if you synthesize them thoughtfully.
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Post Book Launch Depression Is a Thing

Publishing a book can be an exciting prospect which often ends in anticlimax. One indie author examines the emotional roller-coaster.
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Starting Your Novel With Character: 3 Strengths and 3 Challenges

Fiction writers who start with character, as opposed to plot or theme, have certain advantages—and certain challenges.
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You Can’t Sell an Idea

Ideas are a dime a dozen. What matters is expressing an idea in ways that are unique to the artist and specific to the time and culture.
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The Alchemy of Emotion: 6 Key Strategies for Emotionally Affecting Fiction

To create the alchemical magic of emotion in your fiction, you need to approach the challenge from more than one angle.
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What Writers Can Learn from Runners

The most useful work is that which tests our limits and forces us to write something we didn’t realize we were capable of producing.
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Don’t Tease Your Reader. Get to the Tension and Keep It Rising

If you write knowing how the story will end, you’ll deprive readers of the tension that comes from putting obstacles in your characters’ way.
How to Get Your First Freelance Byline (and Why Even Fiction Writers Should Freelance)

How to Get Your First Freelance Byline (and Why Even Fiction Writers Should Freelance)

Freelance writing—even for little or no pay—offers a low-stakes way to gain publication credit, hone your skills, and raise your visibility.
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Deepen Characterization by Mining Your Own Reactions

Paying attention to your own visceral reactions and thoughts can help you create richly developed characters who leap off the page.
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Why Your Memoir Also Needs the Good and “Normal” Times

Showing the moments of normalcy brings the reader more fully into your life, and heightens the drama when traumatic events occur.
Your Final Responsibility to Your Story: Creative Stewardship

Your Final Responsibility to Your Story: Creative Stewardship

When you’ve finished your story, it’s time to step into a stewardship role to place it in the best position to connect with readers.
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To Write a Better Memoir, Learn This F-Word

True forgiveness can take years to achieve. That’s why memoirs take longer to write than novels. But it’s worth the effort.
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How to Find Compelling Comps for Your Book

Identifying comparable titles helps agents and publishers understand where your book fits in the market and who your most likely readers are.
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4 Voices That Can Help (or Hinder) Your Memoir

In writing memoir, internal voices—with competing interests—can emerge to inform the narrative. A rounded story is careful to balance them all.
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When I Decided to Write My Own Story—And Not Someone Else’s

One author struggles to prioritize between major writing projects when time and energy are limited.
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What If It Takes 12 Years to Get an Agent?

What keeps many writers from a book deal isn’t a polished manuscript or proposal. It’s a sense of the publishing landscape as it really is.
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3 Key Tactics for Crafting Powerful Scenes

When placed intentionally, crafted well, and set up via emotional context and backstory, scene might be the writer’s most powerful tool.
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Which Comes First: Character or Plot?

Without insight into how your characters will react in even the most mundane of circumstances, you aren’t ready to plan or pants your plot.
turn Microsoft Word document into ebook EPUB

How to Turn a Microsoft Word Document Into an Ebook (EPUB)

Word doesn't export to EPUB, but you can still produce an editable file quickly, without buying software or using a "meatgrinder" conversion.
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Hybrid Publishing: Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know

Hybrid publishing is like hiring a contractor: You pay them to oversee the design and construction and, when it’s done, you own the result.
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How to Get Accepted by a Writing Mentorship Program

Mentorship programs are a popular way to gain knowledge and exposure, but as their popularity has risen the competition has gotten tougher.
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Finding Your Way to the End

Given that many of us sidestep endings in real life, it should not be surprising that writers have trouble concluding book projects.
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3 Common Pitfalls When Writing From Your Own Life

Factual details can be great fuel for your writing, but it’s crucial to recognize when adherence to them is getting in the way of the story.
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Beware of Chapter-by-Chapter Book Critiques

Misguided feedback, which can damage your manuscript, often arises from a common mistake: asking the right question of the wrong person.
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Are You a Mom Writer Thinking of Quitting? Read This First.

Mom writers are wired to succeed at writing (and querying) because they can multitask like no other.
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6 Tips for Writing Deep Third-Person Point of View

Deep third pulls readers into a character’s world view, but pronoun ambiguities and apparent point-of-view shifts push readers away. These 6 tips keep prose sharp.
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3 Traps That Subvert Our Ability to Accept Feedback

Finding the right editor or critique partner is important, but so is being mentally prepared for the feedback you’ll receive.
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Find the Ending Before You Return to the Beginning

Just as we might be conflict averse, it can be tempting to keep revising a story’s beginning instead of proceeding into the messy middle.