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Ballroom Dance and Your Characters

Ballroom Dance and Your Characters

Ballroom Dance and Your CharactersI’ve been watching copious amounts of figure skating on the Olympics (this is why I missed church two weeks in a row shhh) and it’s reminded me just now much I love dance. There is so much you can tell about a person from watching how they move. Look no further than two Russian figure skating superstars: Julia Lipnitskaia and Evgeny Plushenko.

Dance is a great way to discover something about a person: How they like to move, how comfortable they are with the opposite sex (yes I am from a Jane…Continue Reading

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Describing Fashion

Describing Fashion

Writing Tips: Describing FashionClothes can be fun to describe, particularly if your setting is the 1700’s Venice, Medieval France, or Regency England. But when handled poorly, fashion descriptions can feel awkward, slow down a scene, or come across as an infodump. Though I am a bit indifferent to fashion in real life, I love researching costumes and making style guides for my characters. Sometimes I go to museums and pick out which suits suit (haha see what I did there???) my male character, as if I’m at a mall and am going to walk out with it for him.

But…Continue Reading

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5 Ways to Use Sound When Writing

5 Ways to Use Sound When Writing

Sound is one of the most powerful ways to get into a scene, and when utilized can help your writing flow easier. Below are my favorite tips for using sound to kick you into writing mode (from least to most obvious).

White Noise

5. Make the sounds of your scene on your computer.

Credit for this idea goes to friend/classmate Annie (who is awesome).

With an app like White Noise, you can actually create the sound of your scene. Characters are walking near a harbor? No problem. Character’s are sitting by a fire? You got it. Place yourself in the center of…Continue Reading

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Easy Tricks for Editing

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I’ve just finished reading through my WIP, Blessings, in under 24 hours, and I noticed a few things:

  1. My revision techniques really saved me from any terrible transgressions in passive voice (FINALLY. HUZZAH!!!).
  2. I still could be more thorough in pinpointing my weaknesses and attacking them head-on.

I thought I’d share the tricks I’m learning, which just might help expedite your future revision goals!

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The Madwoman’s Outlining Technique

The Madwoman’s Outlining Technique

Since my WIP, Illuminate, is also the thesis project for my graduate program, I don’t have as much time as I’m used to for fiddling around and rewriting stuff.

The logical response? Go absolutely crazy.

Step 1: Make Character Arcs for Everyone.

The Interwebs contain lots of great information about character arcs, so in brief: In the course of a story, characters will respond to conflict on an external and internal level, and by the conclusion characters will undergo some sort of change. This creates story arcs.

Every book has at least one major arc. I personally like Doug Tennapel’s advice to split stories into three acts, each with their own arc.

Here’s how I did it.

Write one sentence summaries…Continue Reading

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3 Writing Tips from a Terrible Cartoon

3 Writing Tips from a Terrible Cartoon

For those who don’t know, Ultimate Spider-Man is an (admittedly pretty terrible) cartoon on Disney XD. The first season was on Netflix, so during my superhero cartoon phase last spring I watched it all, and I’ve occasionally dipped back in throughout the second season.

Even though this is the show everyone loves to hate, there are some writing tips you can glean from what it does well and what it does… not so well.

1. Peter Parker is what makes Spiderman interesting.

Peter Parker is a geeky, every-day guy who also happens to have spidery superpowers. That’s the heart of his conflict—how to balance or maintain his two very different lives.

But when the whole story becomes about his crime-fighting, smart-mouthing hero…Continue Reading

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Creative Writing Tips: 3 Reasons to Listen

Creative Writing Tips: 3 Reasons to Listen

REASONS TO LISTEN WHILE REVISINGWhen I was preparing my manuscript for my magical beta readers, I decided to give it a complete read-through in the most merciless way possible. If I expected them to read a 90,000 word novel for me, I wanted to at least make sure they weren’t tripping over typos!

There are three ways you can listen to your text: By reading it out loud to yourself (or, even better, with an audience), by asking someone else to read it to you, or by employing a robot.

I’ve done the first two before and they work well. However,…Continue Reading

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