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Writer's Library
The Craft of Writing


The Coffee Shop Writer, Or Brewing Up Inspiration

What is it about coffee shops that kick start a writer’s muse? I first tried hauling my laptop to my local java hut after reading Natalie Goldberg’s books. Natalie, author of Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind, suggests writing in coffee shops and I was at the point where if someone had advised painting

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The Four Basic Elements Of Any Novel

It's critical to understand these elements and how they are related. 1.  Plot There are many definitions of plot, but plot is essentially the story, or the events that make up what the book is about. Plot, of course, is defined by conflict, either internal (coming to terms with the loss of a spouse, for

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The Not-Yet Happy Ending

The book has to end happy. The last chapter has to end happy. The others? They don't. In fact, they shouldn't. Because a chapter that ends with everything happy is a great reason to put down the book with a sigh of contentment, turn out the light and go to sleep. So how should a

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Twelve Easy Steps To Make A Novel

So, you’ve always wanted to write a novel. Or maybe you’ve got to write a novel fast to meet a deadline. Novice or beginner, you are faced with where, how? The following steps are a guideline. 1) Set aside a time and place to write. If possible, the same number of hours and the same

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Twisting an Old Plot into a Fresh Idea

Sherry-Anne Jacobs, author of 18 published novels so far, wrote something in her handbook called Plotting and Editing that made a great deal of sense to me. On page 19, under the heading, What Makes Your Book special?, she writes: "All the time you're writing, whichever method you use, you should bear in mind that

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Unraveling The Complexities of Romantic Suspense

Romantic suspense is one of the hottest subgenres in the market today and shows no sign of slowing. The subgenre is broad and encompasses a lot of different styles of writing, and one of the first questions that new writers ask is what exactly qualifies as ‘romantic suspense?’ In my opinion, a romantic suspense is

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Why Good Dialogue Is Like Champagne

I was thinking about how often we refer to good dialogue as ‘sparkling’. For some reason, thirst perhaps, the word sparkling immediately made me think about my favorite beverage’champagne. Then, probably to keep my mind off drinking in the afternoon, I began to think about how much in common champagne has with good dialogue, and

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Writing Dialogue That Speaks Volumes

Fiction is made up of two main structural elements: narrative and dialogue. Narrative is the description of what’s happening--the describing of characters, settings, moods and actions. Dialogue is either spoken or thought. * Spoken dialogue, often referred to as external dialogue (or verbal, active or impassive dialogue), is always easy to spot. Just look for

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Writing The First Draft or "The Ugly Duckling"

Writing the first draft has always been the most grueling part of writing a novel for me. Always one to attack my challenges head on, however, I used to set an ambitious daily minimal quota for myself, counting out how many clean, carefully thought-out pages I would need to write each day in order to

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Writing With Color

So the same old reds and greens are giving you the blues. You want to make your settings more vibrant, but you just don't know where to start. Wake up, and open your eyes. Color is everywhere, and it's the easiest way to add a little pizzazz to an otherwise bland description. Choose the right

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