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Writer's Library
The Craft of Writing


Conflict Test

1. Does one of the characters have to change in order for the conflict to be resolved? _____ Yes, Score 1_____ No, Score 0_____ Both characters change, Score 2 2. Can conflict be resolved with a good, honest heart-to-heart between your characters? _____ Yes, Score 0_____ No, Score 1 3. Is it believable the one

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Courting The Muse

There's nothing quite so satisfying for a writer as when the creative well overflows, when your characters pull you out of bed every day, begging you to tell their story and give them life. For most writers, these creative bursts are rare, fine moments. Treasure them while you can! In between these deeply imaginative times,

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Creating A Character Wall

Article posted by Nina Davies with the permission of Cheryl Kaye Tardif. For any great novelist, defining your cast of intriguing characters is the key to the success of your story. So how do you maintain the image of your characters -- both their physical attributes and their personality? It's easy! Build a Character Wall,

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Critique Groups or Freak Groups

I'm not a fan of critique groups. I've been in two. One was controlling and the other damaging. Members showed up without material to share. Members showed up not prepared. Members showed up having rewritten each other's chapters. It was weird. It was ugly. It was like being thirteen and in junior high again. The

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Crowd Control

There are occasions when a crowd is desirable. Rock concerts, parades, football games. But not even the Astrodome has an infinite seating capacity, and a novel or story is a lot more limited than the Astrodome. How many characters can you have in a story? A novel? A single scene? How many can, or should,

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Designing Your Novel's Premise

Where do you get your ideas? If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked this wrong-headed question. . . . Ah, well. When a non-writer asks me this question, basically, I just smile and lie, because the truth is more complicated, less magical, indeed, a good deal grubbier than most people who

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Drawing a Blank

I've heard successful writers proclaim they don't get writer's block because they won't allow themselves to get writer's block. Others have said that writer's block is related to motivation, or lack of. All I know are my own painful experiences of starting a new book and eventually drawing a blank. I've learned some techniques to

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Edit Your Novel In Three Steps

Today's publishing industry is cut-throat and difficult to break into. A good editing plan can make the difference between 'sold' and 'shelved'. The best way to edit your novel is to think of it as a pyramid. The foundation consists of your basic storyline. The next layer consists of the scenes you've used to tell

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