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Three Ways The Emotion Thesaurus Helps You Write Better

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) As writers, our job is to create a meaningful emotional experience for readers. One of the best ways to do this is to convey the quality and depth of our characters’ feelings through their thoughts, body language, and visceral reactions. This is the primary focus of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s(…)

The Amazing Spider-Man: Doing Good vs. Doing What’s Right

Sometimes it isn’t easy to know what the right thing to do is. After Peter Parker forgets to pick up his Aunt May in The Amazing Spider-Man and she has to walk home alone at night, putting herself in danger, Uncle Ben is fed up with Peter acting out and shirking responsibility. He tells Peter(…)

How to Use Sound to Make Your Novel Stand Out In A Sea of Noise

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) If you’re limiting yourself to just naming a sound, you’re missing out on the richness that the sense of sound could bring to your fiction. You’re speaking to your reader in a monotone. Next to sight, sound is the most commonly used sense in fiction, but three techniques can help you(…)

Are You Working Too Hard?

Are there limits beyond which we can’t—and shouldn’t—push ourselves even in pursuit of our goals? In Episode 1 of Battlestar Galactica’s first season, the humans are on the run from the Cylons (machines originally created to serve humans). The Cylons’ attempted extermination of humanity left less than 50,000 survivors, and all of them now live(…)

How to Use Touch to Pull Your Reader Into Your Novel

Did you know that leprosy doesn’t actually make your fingers and toes fall off? I didn’t. What happens is the bacteria attack the nerve endings in the body so the sufferer can’t feel pain. When they injure themselves, they don’t feel it, and this can lead to infection and gangrene before the injured person realizes(…)

How to Use Our Weaknesses to Our Advantage

How do you feel about your weaknesses? Are they things you’re ashamed of and try to hide? Or do you brush them off because we’re only human? Have you considered your weaknesses might actually be a secret source of strength? Ehud was an Israelite who lived sometime between 1380 BC and 1050 BC when the(…)

The Ending Debate: Make Mine Hopeful

Bilbo: What about helping me with my book, and making a start on the next? Have you thought of an ending? Frodo: Yes, several, and all are dark and unpleasant. Bilbo: Oh, that won’t do! Books ought to have good endings. How would this do: and they all settled down and lived together happily ever(…)

Would You Change Anything About Your Past?

Sometimes I wish I had the power to turn people to stone. Or into a tree like Daphne, when she was pursued by Apollo. The great warrior Apollo mocked Eros (the Greek god of love) for handling a bow and arrows. “What have you to do with warlike weapons, boy?” Apollo asked. “Leave them for(…)

Five Benefits You’re Missing If You’re Not On Twitter

If you’re not on Twitter already (or have an account you barely use), you probably have good reasons. You’re afraid it’s a black hole time suck. You don’t see the value it adds over Facebook. You’re worried about privacy. You’re not sure how to make the best use of it, it moves too fast, or(…)

The 9 Steps to Switching from WordPress.com to WordPress.org: Part 2

Today we finish up our series by my phenomenal guest poster Melinda VanLone on how to switch from WordPress.com. If you missed her previous posts on Should You Move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org? and the first five steps in switching from WordPress.com to WordPress.org you can find them by clicking the links. Next Wednesday, I’m(…)