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Great Writing

This series began because of a post on Twitter asking what writers thought were the most important aspects of a book. Our series looks at our picks for the three most important things in a story: compelling characters, original concepts, and great writing. The three components we’ve chosen to look at were presented in order...

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Original Concepts

Last week launched a short series of articles looking at the most important ingredients in a story. The series began with an exploration of compelling characters. This week, it continues with a look at another key component; original concepts. Hardcover books typically cost $26.99 U.S., while trade paperback editions are as much as $16.99. When...

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Compelling Characters

There are three core ingredients that take a work from average to exceptional: compelling characters, original concepts, excellent writing. A recent twitter poll with 725 votes ranked what mattered most in a book: new and unique ideas; quality of writing; timing of sub/pub; other. The poll is interesting and informative, although it lacks specific focus....

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Envisioned Writing

Envisioned writing refers to writing based on mentally playing out scenes. Before setting pen to paper, or pressing the keys, the writer thinks through the entire scene and imagines it. Perhaps you fantasized as a child about delivering a smart comeback to a bully, thought about what it would be like to kiss the boy...

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Increasing Your Odds of #PitMad Success

Until March 7, 2019, I had only participated in #PitMad as a writer. Before participating as an editor I planned out my #PitMad day in advance, and some of my thinking was based on my experiences as a writer participant. I had no idea what was in store for me. At 8:05 am I went...

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To Prologue or Not To Prologue

Publishing trends have not favored prologues for some time. Writers who feel that a prologue is essential may opt to write one anyway and name it ‘Chapter 1’ while others still use the controversial ‘P’ word. Consideration #1: Is It Essential? Before including a prologue — no matter how it’s titled — ask whether or...

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Cultural Appropriation: Tomorrow’s Introduction & Today’s Confession

A Headdress Where It Doesn’t Belong, is a direct, unflinching look at the harm caused by cultural appropriation. It confronts with truths some may find hard to hear, but cultural appropriation is a crucial topic of discussion in the art world. Any person considering crossing cultural lines in their writing needs to read that article....

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Do #OwnVoices, ‘Write Your Truth’ and Concerns About Cultural Appropriation Mean Writers are Limited to Writing What They Know?

Write what you know. Write your truth. Avoid cultural appropriation. With editors and agents seeking #OwnVoices manuscripts, do these common exhortations combine as part of a publishing doctrine that limits everyone to sticking in their own lane and writing based solely on their identity and experience? In order to effectively evaluate these tips they must...