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Blog Posts Categorized: The Craft of Writing


writing advice from famous authors

Fiction Writing Advice from Famous Authors: 20 Pieces of Brilliant Insight

The world is full of people who want to give writing advice, but not everyone’s qualified. The only people who truly understand writers and the writing life are writers themselves. We’ve compiled twenty quotes from famous authors with some of the very best advice on living the writing life, the craft itself, and the only way […]

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How to Narrative Conflict

How to Be Mean to Your Characters: Understanding Narrative Conflict

It ain’t easy being mean. You’ve spent a lot of time developing a character your readers will care about, and you’ve grown fond of that character, too. But, in the name of good fiction, you’re going to have to make her suffer. That’s narrative conflict. Storytelling is about conflict. If your character isn’t struggling, you’re […]

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How to handle criticism as a writer

When Feedback Hurts: How to Handle Criticism as a Writer

For some of us, hearing criticism or seeing those red marks on our drafts indicating places where we may need to make changes is like hearing our newborn baby is ugly. How can you make receiving feedback easier and more productive? Here’s how to handle criticism without getting disheartened. Why Does Criticism Hurt? You pour […]

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show, don't tell

What Does “Show, Don’t Tell” Mean?

“Show, don’t tell.” Every fiction writer has heard the phrase ad nauseam. It’s handed down from seasoned scribes to newbies with seriousness and reverence. We’re told it’s the key to writing stories that come alive rather than fall flat. Most fiction writers have at least a basic understanding of what “show, don’t tell” means, but […]

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power verbs
self-editing fiction

4 Writing Books That Will Make You Better at Self-Editing

Take a quick browse through a bookstore or Amazon’s virtual shelves and you’ll discover that there are hundreds of books about how to write fiction. But when you need to get serious about self-editing your manuscript, pickings are slim. Still, a few fantastic books stand out as tremendous guides to help fiction writers self-edit. Here’s […]

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Laptop with sticky notes all over the screen

Why (And How) Should You Organize Your Writing?

To the collective AutoCrit mind, organization is important. Essential, even. The public might imagine writers as messy creative types, perched behind desks that overflow with coffee-stained pages, tattered sticky notes, and half-empty Starbucks containers. While there may, admittedly, be some truth in there, the fact remains that some organization is a must for a happy […]

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Intriguing girl surrounded by light

How to Add Depth to a Character

Indiana jones. Sherlock Holmes. Juliet Capulet. The dream of every writer is to create a character that is so real – so believable – they take on a life of their own. From a commercial perspective, a great character will drive demand for more stories with that character in them. From a personal perspective, imagine […]

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Sad ending - person standing with abandoned rose on the ground
Man mesmerized by beginning of a novel

How to Write a Memorable Beginning

When you lift the curtains on your story and welcome readers into your exciting new world, there are multiple challenges you must overcome in those initial moments. First, there’s the challenge of creating a strong first page – an instantly gripping opener that convinces the reader that yes, this seems like a journey well worth […]

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