Benefits of a Writer’s Support Network

Writing can be a lonely profession. But a writer does not need to be completely alone in his or her efforts. By building connections with people, writers find affirmation, encouragement, challenge, accountability, and grounding. Although a writer can write alone, I believe that a support system greatly increases a writer’s staying power – the ability […]

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A Writer’s Perfectionistic Streak

I guess there is a bit of a perfectionist in every writer. After all, our words seldom (or never) come out right on the first try. The brilliant idea looks a bit lack-luster on the page. Perfectionism can be crippling. Some writers stare at a blank page, afraid they will let down their idea, their […]

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Writer’s Block or Burn-Out?

You stare at a blank screen. It happens to us all. But when should you power through and when should you take a break? Use the excuse of writer’s block and you risk slowing or halting your progress. Force yourself to write through burn-out and you prolong the pain. When you can’t write, how can […]

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Raise Reader Tension: The Unknown

Introduce the Unknown and you will have the reader on edge — an immediate increase in reader tension. You can do this at any point. I think Middles are particularly well-suited for doing this since Beginings are for set-up, Endings are for wrap-ups, but Middles are for complications. And what is more intriguing and unsettling  […]

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Raise Reader Tension: Main Characters

How can you increase reader tension? I mentioned that it isn’t the character that has to feel the tension but the reader. One way to achieve this is through tweaks to your main characters. Remember that surprise is key to reader tension. One reason readers become complacent is that over time, they learn to predict […]

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Raise Reader Tension: Surprise

Does your story drag when you reread it, despite a well-conceived plot? You may be having trouble with dramatic tension. A feeling of tension in the reader is vital to building suspense because it keeps the reader from feeling complacent. Reader complacency is the enemy to tension. A reader can still feel complacent — and […]

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When Willpower Becomes a Vice

For writers, willpower is a strength. Taking your writing seriously may mean forcing yourself to start writing even when you don’t feel like it. And eventually the words start to flow. But any advice can be taken too far. One of my goals as a writer is to shorten the time it takes me to […]

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