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The Craft of Writing › Writing The First Draft


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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It's All About The Process

Not someone else’s process, but yours. This is not another article on how to plot your book or get into your character’s heads. Those are both important and necessary goals, but how YOU get there may have nothing to do with GMC, extensive character interviews, or breaking down your ideas into scenes and sequels. During

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Prep That Book

Before you start writing your novel, it is my firm opinion that you need to have at least a general idea of what the story is (plot), who’s in it (characters), and the world in which it takes place (world-building). In the previous article, we discussed designing your novel’s premise. Once that step is completed,

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So You Want To Write A Romance Novel

Go for it! Nobody is born published. Not even the Nobel prize winners! I usually start with my characters. They need physical descriptions, mannerisms, quirks, and back story. You need to know about their childhood, their family, their sexual history, their career history, their beliefs and values. They need traits, goals, and a flaw. Goals,

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Ten Tricks To Get Your Book Back On Track

...co-authored with Annette Broadrick. Too many workshops give the impression that writing should be a formulaic, paint-by-the number activity. If we were to guess, we would say that most novelists have had at least one book fall apart, or they realize the story they intended to write is taking an entirely new direction. Just when

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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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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 Your Books In Multiple Drafts

There are about as many ways to write a novel as there are writers. Some plot extensively, some write with no idea where the story is going at all. Some use story boards or index cards or even dartboards. I write multiple drafts. The first draft of any book I write generally takes about twenty

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