Your Character’s Crucial Inner Conflict
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by Susanne Lakin
2w ago
In our fictional stories, where emotions, ambitions, and fears collide, inner conflict takes center stage as one of the most important elements to inspire empathy for our characters. Characters who grapple with their own internal demons resonate deeply with readers, making conflict an indispensable element of storytelling. We often send our characters on epic quests and high-octane adventures, exposing them to external challenges and adversities. However, it’s the internal battles that truly illuminate the depth and complexity of a character’s personality. If you haven’t taken time to consider ..read more
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Four Wonderful Ways to Courageously Develop and Grow as a Writer
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by Susanne Lakin
3w ago
Post by Ali Luke. When it comes to your writing, do you sometimes feel like you have the brakes on? You might want to move forward … but something’s holding you back. I’ve seen so many writers blame themselves for procrastinating. They feel guilty that they can’t seem to “just get on with it.” Sometimes, they worry that they’re simply lazy or not cut out for the writing life. But I don’t believe that procrastination is usually about laziness or about not being suited to writing. Instead, procrastination is often a symptom of a lack of confidence. If you feel that you’re not writing as much as ..read more
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A Writer’s Guide to the Romantasy Genre
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by Susanne Lakin
1M ago
Today’s guest post is by Alexa Nazzaro and Lucien Schraeder. By now, you’ve likely heard of Romantasy – a currently trending topic in online reader communities. This genre has captivated the readers and authors alike in online book communities such as Booktok (Book Tiktok), Bookstagram (Book Instagram), and Booktube (Book YouTube). Romantasy is an emerging subgenre in new adult fiction, combining elements of high-fantasy with romance. Since the term was first coined, Romantasy has quickly gained popularity, even appearing as a new genre in the 2023 Goodreads Choice Awards. What differentiates ..read more
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Writing Your Memoir: Where to Start
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by Susanne Lakin
1M ago
Thinking of writing a memoir and you don’t know where to start? You’re not alone. Most people have stories to tell—some inspiring, others tragic, and others entertaining. Each person’s story is unique, and while it might not have the potential for a best-selling book, if you feel moved to tell your story, for whatever reason, you should. Starting your memoir can be daunting, but with clear tips and strategies, you can lay a strong foundation for your narrative journey. It’s important to pick a starting point that launches your story in a strong way. Your memoir isn’t just a chronological accou ..read more
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Identifying Genre – Why It Matters
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by Susanne Lakin
1M ago
Crafting a compelling story within a specific genre is akin to deciphering a secret code. Every genre has its unique DNA—a set of markers that define its essence. To truly master your chosen genre, you need to become a genre detective, adept at uncovering and employing these markers to create stories that resonate deeply with your target audience. Identifying genre matters! Whether you are in the early stages of planning your novel, armed with a promising concept and a basic plot outline, or you’ve already completed a rough draft, reasonably confident that your story fits within a specific gen ..read more
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10 Great Writing Tips for Fiction Writers
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by Susanne Lakin
2M ago
Fiction writers, when in the throes of creativity and busily working away on their story, don’t want to interrupt “the flow” by stopping and searching for grammar help online or thumbing through a stack of books. If they need an answer to a puzzling problem, they’d like the answer quickly—so they can get back to writing. And they’d like the answer to be simple to understand. There are few things more intimidating to a fiction writer than a litany of the names of the parts of speech and the usages thereof. Who has the time (or interest) to memorize all those terms—such as “nominal clause” and ..read more
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4 Ways Writers Can Make Tenacity Their Greatest Asset
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by Susanne Lakin
2M ago
By Nicholas Bouchard Ask 100 writers what their greatest asset is and you’ll probably get 100 answers—from 25-hour days to a trust fund. But look at the careers of some of the greatest writers and authors and you’ll find one common link. Stephen King famously pinned every rejection letter he received to the wall with a nail—until the nail fell off when he was 14 and he replaced it with a spike. Carrie, his debut novel, would be published when he was 27. While George R. R. Martin already saw some success as a short story and TV writer throughout the 70s and 80s, it wasn’t until 1996 that the fi ..read more
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5 Simple Ways to Create High Stakes in Your Story
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by Susanne Lakin
2M ago
Fiction writers are told they must create high stakes. What are stakes and why are they so important in fiction? Simply put, stakes are about anything that can be gained or lost. Stakes can be tangible or abstract. Your job may be at stake if you keep showing up late to work. Your sense of self-respect may be at stake if you fail to speak up against a wrong being committed in front of you. Just like real people, our characters have desires, fears, and aspirations. And when you put those things at risk—in situations where they might be forfeited—you are creating stakes. Think how boring a story ..read more
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The Challenges of Character Self-Description in Fiction
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by Susanne Lakin
2M ago
Characters in fiction are the heart of any story. We all love characters that pop off the page, that resonate with us, that we empathize with and root for. Surely, to get readers to care about characters, writers of fiction have to describe them. But there are pitfalls to describing characters. Today’s fiction is all about “show, don’t tell,” so dropping in a laundry list of character attributes into a scene is a no-no. There are masterful ways to describe characters, and it’s a skill that requires a lot of effort and practice. I wrote a number of posts on masterful character description, so b ..read more
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Crafting Believable Characters – 3 Easy Steps
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by Susanne Lakin
2M ago
Creating believable characters is the key to engaging storytelling. Readers invest in characters who feel real and express emotions, motivation, and responses that resonate with readers. One effective technique for achieving this authenticity is mastering the action-reaction cycle. This is a cycle I came up with because in all my decades of writing fiction, I never found anything simple and obvious like this. You may have heard the phrase “scene and sequel.” I honestly don’t understand that. Here’s one definition: “A scene is a passage of writing in which the character attempts to achieve a go ..read more
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