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Craft

We Are Not All Superheroes Here

We Are Not All Superheroes Here

A Session with KJ Steele We’ve all had the experience. That awkward moment when the novel we’re completely engrossed in takes an abrupt, startling stumble and heaves us unceremoniously out of its world. Sitting dumb-dazed and glossy-eyed we are left wondering what in the heck just happened. More often than not the ejection experience will […]

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SYNOPSIS VS. OUTLINE

SYNOPSIS VS. OUTLINE

A Session with Leora Skolkin-Smith A large question when one is starting a new novel is whether or not to outline the plot, the characters, and all the characters’ actions. That is, to have a clear idea of its “arc”– its beginning, middle, and end which will tell the reader whether the protagonist gets what […]

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Figuring Out Your Strengths as a Writer

Figuring Out Your Strengths as a Writer

A Session with Steven Manchester   The first step in figuring out your strengths as a writer is to understand what inspires you as a writer. For me, it’s my children, my wife, my family, and the thoughts and feelings I want to share with them—the things in my life that evoke the most emotion […]

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Memoir vs. Novel: A Writer’s Perspective

Memoir vs. Novel: A Writer’s Perspective

A Session with Marcia Gloster My first book, 31 Days: A Memoir of Seduction, is the story of a specific time and place in my life. As a memoir, its perspective is mine, encompassing my perceptions and emotions. It was both revelatory and cathartic, and in writing it I rediscovered myself. As Tobias Wolff wrote […]

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What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath

A Session with Suzan Still When the soul wants to experience something she throws out an image in front of her and then steps into it.—Meister Eckhart All good literature has at least one thing in common: there is more to it than meets the eye. Coiling beneath the plot line, running like a subterranean river […]

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Nits Worth Picking

Nits Worth Picking

A Session with Earl Javorsky Long before I had the good fortune to land a publishing deal, I realized that I was one of those self-appointed guardians of the English language—you’ve got it, the grammar police—and that I could put it to use professionally. Now, I’m pretty loose in my everyday use of language, but […]

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Turn it Around

Turn it Around

A Session with Lynn Voedisch Writers often eagerly turn in their first draft manuscripts, or even just single chapters to test readers to find out if they are going in the right direction. Full of anxiety and a bit of hopeful expectation, new writers wait to hear if their characters and plot seem true to […]

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A Novel Idea

A Novel Idea

A Session with Lynn Voedisch Writers often are besieged with that unanswerable question, “where do you get the ideas for your novels?” Most of the time, scriveners bury their heads and cry, “I don’t know. It just comes from my imagination.” However, the truth is that the germ of a novel almost always comes from […]

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The Power & Precision of Writing Believable, Readable Dialogue

The Power & Precision of Writing Believable, Readable Dialogue

A Session with Laurel Dewey “What’s this?” you said, upon reading the title of this article. “I write dialogue just fine, thank you. I don’t need another writer telling me how to write conversation.” “What if I was able to help make your dialogue just a little bit more real?” I asked you. “Would that […]

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A Matter of Point of View

A Matter of Point of View

A Session with Olivia Rupprecht and Lou Aronica If you’re ever at a party with other writers and have a lull in the conversation, there is one topic you can count on to get things going and spike more than the punch: Point-of-view, or POV, for short. POV is an incredibly powerful tool in the […]

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