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How to Identify Your Story's Ideal Reader

When you’re absorbed in the task of writing a novel, it can be easy to forget that the whole point of what you’re trying to do is engage a reader and satisfy his or her expectations of your story.

But if you don’t know who your ideal reader is, how can you possibly write a story...

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5 Questions to Help You Write Better Characters

Have you ever read a story where the main character felt flat or boring? I have.

Don’t get me wrong, creating compelling characters for your story is not an easy task—but it is necessary if you want to write a story that works.

 

Just like in real life, your characters should be...

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The 10 Things Every Romance Novel Needs

Romance is one of the best-selling genres in mass-market fiction with a large fan base of readers who just can’t get enough. In today’s post, I’m going to go over the ten conventions that must be present in your romance novel in order to satisfy those readers and to write a...

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The 6 Key Scenes Every Romance Needs

Romance is one of the best-selling genres in mass-market fiction with a large fan base of readers who just can’t get enough. In today’s post, I’m going to go over the six key scenes that you need to have in your romance novel in order to satisfy those readers AND to write a love...

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What are Obligatory Scenes and Conventions?

Let’s say you’re in a bookstore and you pick up a novel from the romance section. What would you expect from the story before you even read the first page?

Perhaps you’d expect to see things like—a scene where the couple meets, a budding romance between the two main...

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How to Test an Idea Before Writing the First Draft

How do you know if the idea you have is strong enough to support a full-length novel?

Is there a way to know the difference between a good idea and one that's better left in your idea folder? 

If so, can you do this before spending all that time writing the first draft?

The...

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Story Structure Part 3: The First Plot Point

In the last post on story structure, we went over the second story milestone – the Inciting Incident. As a reminder, the Inciting Incident is an event that upsets the balance of your protagonist’s life, gives rise to their object/s of desire, and foreshadows the story’s...

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Story Structure Part 2: The Inciting Incident

In the last post on story structure, we went over the first story milestone – the Hook. As a reminder, the Hook is your first opportunity to catch your reader’s attention and draw them into your story. But once you’ve hooked them, how do you keep their interest...

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Story Structure Part 1: The Hook

How do you get readers to keep reading past the first page of your novel?

With all the books available to them in bookstores and online, it’s more important now than ever to immediately capture your reader’s interest and give them a reason to buy or read your book over someone...

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Six Core Questions: A Big Picture Look At Your Novel

Whether I’m editing a client’s manuscript, studying one of my favorite books or movies, or editing my own work-in-progress, the main thing I want to know is – does this story work? And for those of you that are starting new stories or editing your own drafts, I’m sure...

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