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Using Contractions in Fiction

By Chris Saylor When you were in school and writing research papers, essays, etc., you were probably taught, like I was, that you shouldn’t use contractions in your writing. We were supposed to avoid them at all costs, as they make our writing too intimate to the reader. Our teachers instead wanted us to create(…)

Commonly Confused Words of the Month: “I Could Care Less”

By Chris Saylor Remember back in my first post, when I told you that I believe you need to know the rules so that you can know when and how to break them? In my Commonly Confused Words of the Month feature, I’m going to be going over words and phrases that you might want(…)

Understanding Goal, Motivation, and Conflict: CONFLICT (PART 1)

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) Over the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about goal, motivation, and conflict and how they work together to fuel your story. Today we’re moving on to the final of the three. Conflict comes down to who is standing in your character’s way and what your character will have to endure(…)

Using Whom in Fiction

By Chris Saylor Deciding whether to use who or whom is one of those tricky areas of writing. How do you keep track of which word goes where? The answer is actually pretty simple: who is used as a subject, while whom is used as an object. One way to remember when to use these(…)

Creating Single-Author Box Sets: Part One

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) One of the important elements of a successful indie author career is putting out as many products as possible (without sacrificing quality). The more items we have for sale, the better our chances that someone will stumble upon one of them or find one that interests them. Box sets are a(…)

Homophone of the Month: Complement vs. Compliment

By Chris Saylor Most of us learn to speak the language before we learn to read it. As such, it’s no surprise that, when two words sound the same, we sometimes have a difficult time telling them apart. Usually these words are spelled differently but pronounced the same way. We call these homophones. For one(…)

Understanding Goal, Motivation, and Conflict: MOTIVATION

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) Last time we talked about goal in the triad of goal, motivation, and conflict. This week, we’re going to take the next step by talking about motivation. Motivation is one of the most powerful forces in fiction. Our readers will follow our characters through anything as long as they believe the(…)

How to Punctuate Dialogue

By Chris Saylor It’s easy for fiction writers to get tripped up on when to use a period, where that comma should go, and how to even use all the other forms of punctuation correctly. The truth is, you don’t need to know what every piece of punctuation does when you’re writing fiction. But you(…)

Understanding Goal, Motivation, and Conflict: GOAL

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) The foundation of every functional novel is goal, motivation, and conflict. What your character wants, why they want it, and what they’re willing to endure to get it. Sounds simple in principle, right? But I’ve seen a lot of people struggle with this, so over the next few weeks, I’m going(…)

Should Fiction Writers Care About Grammar?

By Chris Saylor Some people believe that, when you’re writing fiction, you can throw all the rules of grammar out the window. We’ll call this the It’s Not Important camp. They say that grammar is too fickle—the rules of grammar are seemingly in constant flux, and they’re too nitpicky to begin with, especially for fiction(…)