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Writer's Library
The Craft of Writing


Editing, February Style

Ah, February. The shortest month of the year. Yet, its twenty-eight days are chock-full of events. There are groundhogs, cupids, and presidents to celebrate. February is Black History Month, Children’s Dental Health Month, Library Lovers’ Month, and yes, even Grapefruit Month. Within its mere four weeks, you can celebrate Burn Awareness Week, Consumer Protection Week,

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Editing/Revision Tips

* Make notes on your hard copy (I like to use a red pen and highlighter). * Read your work out loud. * Use contractions wherever possible. * Vary sentence structure and length. Stress important points with short or fragmented sentences. * Vary paragraph length. Create/leave white space every so often to increase the pace

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Emotional Depth 1

How many rejection letters have we all had, stating that our writing lacks those two awful words, "emotional punch"? I know I've had more than a few in the past. But it would leave me puzzled for a long, long time. What is emotional punch? People say to write the book of your heart and

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Emotional Depth 2: Bring Your Characters To Life

Today we're dealing with working at knowing your characters, so the emotional depth comes, not just from you, (though that's vital) but also from within them. And if this sounds nuts, it isn't: if you want your book to live, so must your characters! When you learn your characters, they start to "speak" to you,

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Emotional Depth 3: Finding Physical Stimulants

Today, we're finding physical stimulants to finding an emotive response. These are triggers, if you will. Some people feel they need to work in silence, but for me, that's impossible. I need triggers! There are many different ways to trigger emotion, but most of these involve using your senses -- touch, sight, sound, smell --

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Emotional Depth 4: Deep Point of View

A skill that leads straight into strong, emotive writing is Deep Point Of View. And I mean deep. This is often a very hard skill to conquer, but it's so effective I felt it needed a whole day's work. Deep POV is an art, because it's putting yourself so totally into the character you basically

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Emotional Depth 5: Emotional Sex

Yep, I said it: SEX. The hot-and-sweaty, no-holds-barred, tangled-sheets or on-the-floor, down-and-dirty three-letter word that terrifies some of us so bad we write, "put love scene here" on a page and move on in seconds! Yet sex scenes can be so vital to the story (unless you're doing Tender Romance or Inspirational, of course), if

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Emotional Depth 6: Fattening Your Scenes

The title here is pretty self-explanatory! How do we go about adding emotional depth to scenes without doing two pages of looooong flashbacks (or, as someone from my last workshop put it, "whining and pining") about the past, or what the hero, my mother or so-and-so did to me 5 or 25 years ago? Well,

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Everything I Learned About Romance: The Five W's

Who, What, When, Where, Why? Every journalist and journalism student has those five questions burned into their brains. A reporter tries to answer the five Ws within the first paragraph or two. For example, a good lead might be: A young Kansas (WHERE) girl named Dorothy (WHO) is missing (WHAT) after a tornado swept through

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