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What’s a subplot in literature and how do I write one?

A novel is never really just one story. It’s a combination of characters, souls, wants, desires all rolled into one. A subplot is a story within your story — it’s what your characters are doing when they aren’t focused on the big picture.

Today we’ll define exactly what makes up a good subplot and how you can write one yourself.

Continue reading “What’s a subplot in literature and how do I write one?”

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Your Book’s Not Flawed, You Are

There are a lot of things that we as writers could do differently. I think, deep down, we don’t need any editor or beta reader or critique partner to tell us that. We’re lazy. We’re overinvested. We’re defensive. We’re insecure.

All of us are struggling to make the ideas in our minds sound as good on paper as they feel in our hearts.

But in order to truly become a better writer, we have to accept the fact that we’re not perfect and this image of success we hold in our heads — some undefined end point where we suddenly evolve like Pokemon from an aspiring writer to a full-fledged, real deal author — isn’t going to happen.

Continue reading “Your Book’s Not Flawed, You Are”

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Best YouTube Music Channels for Writers

I’ve been gone a while. For that, I apologize. But I come bearing gifts! If you’re like me, music is an essential when you write. Every project I have — even ones I haven’t even thought to start writing yet — has a playlist on Spotify and I’m constantly seeing scenes flash like movie clips in my head when I listen to my favorite songs.

Writing requires us to go beyond our own likes, though. We need to understand the place we’re writing from, the minds our characters experience their worlds with, and I don’t think there’s an easier key into another world than music.

Below is a list of some of the best music channels I’ve found on YouTube for building up solid writing soundtracks. There’s everything from high-energy dubstep to fantasy music scores. Whatever you’re dreaming up, there’s a soundtrack for it.  Continue reading “Best YouTube Music Channels for Writers”

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Are E-books Better?

I recently got a Kindle Fire and happened to win a $50 Amazon gift card from work. This means I’ve spent more time reading in the past couple of days than I have managed to in months using traditional books or Calibre on my laptop.

It’s a pretty widespread debate among the reading community and a topic that I didn’t really feel inclined to respond to until recently. Are e-books better than regular books?  Continue reading “Are E-books Better?”

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5 Things Real Writers Do

So ya wanna write, do ya? Well, join the club!

I imagined that in a nasally 1950s voice, spoken by a man in a gray three-piece suit seated in a smoke-filled den, dimly lit with a tumbler of whiskey in front of him. Sorry. I don’t know where that came from.

But seriously. You want to be a writer. You already are a writer, but you constantly feel like you’re not really a writer, not like the people who have published a book or built up an audience or even finished a manuscript (this last one is way harder than any of us ever imagine it will be, so don’t beat yourself up.)

Well, I’m here to help. I’m not a published author yet and I’ve been working on the same book for the past 2 years, along with several others, but I have been involved in writing communities since I was 16 (7 years now. God, I’m really getting old) and been an avid reader ever since I got my own copy of Because of Winn-Dixie from Target in the fifth grade.

So I’ve put together a list of 5 things real writers do. These are habits and traits that we, as cultivators and practitioners of creativity, should always strive to exhibit. Feel free to add your own words of wisdom in the comments below! Continue reading “5 Things Real Writers Do”