Writing Tips

Submission 101 for Writers: Dodging the Slush Pile

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After pouring hours, months, and even years of hard work into a manuscript, few things are as crushing as the rejection a writer receives when they are striving to become published. Yet, the truth is, some manuscripts don’t even get read before they’re tossed into the slush pile. Sometimes the reasons are obvious, and other times, not so much. But writers may be surprised how often the reasons could have been prevented.

Here are some simple steps every writer can take to decrease the slush-pile odds. (more…)

Character Development

Tools for Developing Characters

Many tools exist to help you craft believable and engaging characters. Below you’ll find some of the best I’ve encountered and a very helpful technique called the secret snapshot approach which can help you discover and reveal your character’s inner most self in a way which readers will love. (more…)

Shrouded In Poetry

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So, you want to write a poem, but don’t know where to begin. Should it rhyme? Does it even have to rhyme? What about the different rules and poetry forms? Shrouded in more mystery than a school cafeteria lunch, it’s no wonder that writers can be somewhat hesitant to explore poetry.

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Battling the Block

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Writer’s block.  Every writer has dealt with it at some point (Stephen King claims he hasn’t but I’m calling bull), and it can be a huge deterrent when it comes to expressing yourself and getting your stories out. I will touch on some of the main issues that cause writer’s block, but the focus of this article is to explain how to push past the block and to go over the strategies I’ve personally found to be beneficial to me. (more…)

The Art of Modern Free Verse

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As a writer, poet, and English student I have had many positive conversations that the popularity of poetry is on the rise. I find this to be true with discovering poets on best seller lists, such as Lang Leav with her moving love series, Ted Kooser (a poet laureate) whose nature poetry captures mid-western life, and Tyler Knott Gregson who provides daily poems for readers. (more…)

Pouring Believable Qualities into Characters

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Giving Your Characters Believable Qualities

One of the most known rules for creating fictional characters is making them realistic. Besides their appearance and actions, how can you achieve this? You need them to have personalities that are consistent, a story that’s interesting and easy to follow along, and one or two qualities that add to their character and make them stand apart from the others. (more…)

Writing with Style

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All writers have experienced the first draft blues. The idea for the story came to us in a flurry of inspiration; the characters sauntered through our door, greeting us with their riveting personalities. Yet, as we sat down to write the story, the sentences stumbled and clanked together in an oafish web of prose. Too many writers have sat and stared at these first drafts thinking themselves too unskilled to give justice to their stories and characters. Yet, with only six simple steps writers everywhere can begin writing with style today. (more…)