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6 Books That Make You Feel Thankful

books-thankfulnessSo much of our culture stokes our desire and our greed, because that’s what fuels the economy, not thankfulness and gratefulness. 

The books below are defiantly counter-cultural, because they will help you to feel satisfied and whole. Sure, there’s longing and striving inside these books, but I think overall the reader will walk away from these books feeling a strong satisfaction and wellness about the world.

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25 Terrible Ways to Start a Novel

How to start a novelWondering how to start a novel?

Well, avoid these 25 mistakes and you’ll be well on your way.

This list was made in honor of NaNoWriMo, which started yesterday, and I post it as a tribute to all those souls trying to knock out 50,000 words in a mere 30 days. Good luck to all of you.

But if you want more than luck, read these tips for how to start a novel and avoid some frequent pitfalls!

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5 Ways a Developmental Editor Can Help Writers

developmental editorIn the golden days of publishing, every writer got a developmental editor.

Not anymore.

Editors today are inundated with manuscripts and are looking for manuscripts that require little polishing.

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The Best Tips for Collaborative Writing

collaborative-writing-saved-for-webThe first step to successful collaborative writing? Abandon the false idea that writers write better when they work alone.

People usually think of writers as quiet and brooding loners who separate themselves from society in order to write. The solitary writer is imagined as an introvert, alone at the desk. But this fantasy of what Linda Brodkey calls “the solitary scribbler” is a false stereotype.

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How to Write Second Person POV

2nd-person-saved-for-webSo you want to learn how to write in second person point of view?

You’ve come to the right place.

What is 2nd person point of view?

Second person point of view is when the writer uses “you” as the main character in a narrative.

Example using the first line of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man:

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9 Tips to Become a Better Self-Editor

9-editing-tipsWriters are often bad editors of their own work.

Even when they are fantastic draft writers, they need help from an outside eye to get it to the next level. Still, there are some easy tips that will improve your skills as an editor of your own work.

The editing tips below are not, for the most part, tricks for how to edit your story word by word.

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What is the Perfect Length for Short Stories?

short-story-length-saved-for-webThe perfect length of a short story can be tricky to figure out. Make it too long and you exceed the reader’s attention span and nobody wants to publish it; make it too short and you have flash fiction on your hands.

Edgar Allen Poe described the proper length of a short story by saying it had to be something readable in a single sitting. I like that. It measures a short story by reading time, rather than page length or word count. But I think word count is the easiest way to measure story length.

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Self-Editing Checklist: 15 Innovative Ideas

selfeditingchecklist-save-for-webIf you’re like me, you go through the same editing motions with every single piece of writing.

Why not change it up?

Consult these 15 innovative editing strategies and you’ll find a way to edit your book into greatness. 

By following these, you’ll strike the perfect balance between copy editing (grammar and spelling mistakes) and content editing (character and plot development). Though this article starts more copy-heavy and ends more content-heavy, I believe it’s important to integrate the two as much as possible even while focusing on one or the other. Not only does keeping an open mind foster creativity that will enhance your writing — it allows you to catch more of those pesky typos!

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The Magic and Mystery of Character Motivation

character motivationby Christian Sexton

There are three parts to a character: a personality, a backstory, and a motivation. These three things are what create your story. 

Most important of the three is the character’s desire, or motivation. A motivation has the potential to be the backbone of the entire story, create a character arc, or add a more complex dimension to your story. 

To create amazing character motivations, here are four rules. 

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Suicidal Writers and the Promise of Immortality

my-booksare-moreimportant-saved-for-webWhat would you do if a writer emailed you saying they were going to commit suicide?

It happened to Cynthia McCabe, a journalist at the Washington Post.

She was in bed one night, checking her email, and read an email from a complete stranger named Dennis Williams who said that he’d published one novel that no one had read, written 8 other unpublished books, and that he was committing suicide that very night.

Why? Because Williams had said all that he had to say. Because he considered his life work to be bound up in those 8 unpublished books and one published novel, and if no one was going to listen, he would commit suicide.

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