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Third act problems … and Solutions

Third act problems … and Solutions

FIXING A HOLE WHERE THE RAIN GETS IN:   Third act problems … and solutions A Session with Peter Seth   When I finished the first draft of the book that became my novel WHAT IT WAS LIKE, I didn’t think I had any Third Act problems. (For the sake of this article, when I […]

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Storyboarding for Depth and Clarity

Storyboarding for Depth and Clarity

A Session with Earl Javorsky There are lots of ways to create a novel. You can start with an idea—What if the Germans won World War Two?—then imagine an opening and just run with it, creating as you go. Or, you can start with a character, flesh the character out, put her in harmony with […]

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Getting the Details Right

Getting the Details Right

A Session with Susan Israel Like every aspiring writer, you’ve probably heard the adage “Write what you know” more than once…more like a thousand times. But few if any successful authors know everything about their subject matter, their characters, their settings, without doing at least some research and usually a great deal of it. If […]

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A Copyediting Tutorial

A Copyediting Tutorial

A Session with Nora Tamada I’ve always been a lover of the written word; my childhood was spent reading voraciously and filling my days with dreams of far off places full of magic and adventure. When I reached my early teens, I began noticing little mistakes or awkward phrasing in books that would break the […]

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Getting Reviews

Getting Reviews

A Session with Steven Manchester   The process of getting reviews begins long before your book is ever released. For years, I’ve been coaching aspiring writers to “place the cart before the horse” and go after pre-publication book reviews (or endorsements)—once their completed manuscript has been professionally edited. By recruiting online magazine editors, authors, and […]

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Timing is Everything, or Nothing

Timing is Everything, or Nothing

A Session with Mark Gilleo There are few things as important to a novel as timing, and few things as difficult to put one’s finger on. Timing is often ethereal, intangible, unremarkable, unconsidered. From a writer’s perspective, few things can be as elusive. And not only is proper timing difficult to embrace, poor timing can […]

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Getting Inside Your Character’s Skin

Getting Inside Your Character’s Skin

A Session with Thérèse I write a lot about California. My love affair with the place began during a summer vacation as I walked along the coastline in Malibu. I had an overwhelming sense that this was where I belonged. I’m still not entirely sure how it happened, but within a few months I had […]

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120 Second Writing Tips

120 Second Writing Tips

Profound tips and exercises to take your writing to the next level — All in 120 seconds!

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Why Characters Matter

Why Characters Matter

A Session with Lou Aronica I have a thesis about fiction readers that drives all of my thinking about the book business: fiction readers take fiction very seriously. There might have been a time when people read novels casually as part of their entertainment mix, but I think that happens very rarely now. Yes, your […]

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Nine Pet Peeves of a Terrorism and Law Enforcement Expert

Nine Pet Peeves of a Terrorism and Law Enforcement Expert

A Session with Simon Gervais Simon has been: in the Canadian military, a drug investigator, a member of a federal anti-terrorism unit, and a close-protection specialist tasked with guarding foreign heads of state visiting Canada… A few days ago, my wife came back all smiles from a major shopping spree. From her blue eyes, radiant […]

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