Writer Struggles: 6 Steps to Get Unstuck

Last June, I started a ghost story for Camp NaNoWriMo. I really liked this idea. I’d set it in a historical period (the Gilded Age) which I know well. I’d selected a location I loved working with (Newport, RI) but for some reason the story wouldn’t gel. I had a beatsheet and an expanded outline …
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Writer Struggles: Killing Nice Characters

Killing off a nice character, even a secondary one, is a big deal. Every single time I consider doing this as a writer, I struggle with my decision. Did I handle the death correctly? Will killing off this character just piss off the reader? Is this death achieving what I intended it to achieve within …
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Using the Forbidden Love Masterplot

Last year we ran a whole series of posts called Masterplots Theater from A to Z. Because we had some plots that started with the same letters, we had to cut several fantastic masterplots. ‘Forbidden Love’ was one of our unhappy victims as Heather wrote about the Fool Triumphant Masterplot instead. We did cover several …
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4 Core Components of an Awesome Sidekick Character

I’ve always loved sidekicks, Chewbacca, Samwise Gamgee, Ron and Hermione. Sidekick characters can enhance the story tension, help flesh out the protagonist, and move the plot forward in a number of significant ways. Several of the masterplots that Heather and I wrote about last year include a sidekick character as a possible component. Sidekicks are …
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4 Visual Tricks for Writers Who Want To Rock NaNoWriMo

Are you entering National Novel Writing Month in November? If you answered yes, the odds are 50/50 you’re doing some planning this month. If not hardcore plotting, at least making notes and brainstorming your story. I’ve done NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNo many times and I’ve won my fair share. For me, planning is the best …
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How to Write Respectful Reviews

Writing book reviews is always a hot topic with writers. We realize reviews can make or break book sales, but as reviewers there are times we just can’t offer a glowing recommendation. What then? Do we stay mum? Or write honestly and hope for minimal fallout? Heather and I have always embraced the write-an-honest review …
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The Princess Bride: A Frame Narrative Worth Studying

Grab your black mask, strap on a sword and beware of Iocane powder. Westley, Buttercup and the rest of the Brute Squad are romancing the blogosphere with THE PRINCESS BRIDE Linkup Party. This weekend blogs everywhere will be sharing their favorite bits and bobs about the movie and the book. You’re invited to take part …
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