L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

Les Edgerton How to recirculate short stories into novels—that’s what I did with Hard Times—combined two of my short stories, “Hard Times” with “The Mockingbird Café”, and took that combination in another direction to come up with a novel. A lot of writers have short fiction that has seemingly died, but in reality, is still …

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Moriah Richard Everyone makes mistakes—even writers—but that’s okay because each mistake is a great learning opportunity. The Writer’s Digest team has witnessed many mistakes over the years, so we’re starting this series to help identify them early in the process. Note: The mistakes in this series aren’t focused on grammar rules, though we offer help …

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Author D.M. Pulley shares her five tips for building a house or setting that comes alive for readers based off her experience working as a structural engineer. D.M. Pulley Author D.M. Pulley shares her five tips for building a house or setting that comes alive for readers based off her experience working as a structural …

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In this article, author Jonelle Patrick shares her expertise on how to create settings that will bring your reader in and make your characters shine. Jonelle Patrick Creating a sense of place can be so much more than a painterly description of the sea, or the comforting smell of coffee in the kitchen. Places aren’t …

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Robert Lee Brewer A narrative arc (or story arc) is the general shape (or structure) of a story as a whole. While you might dig into the details when sketching an outline for your story, the narrative arc looks at everything from a distance. For instance, the narrative arc of George Orwell’s Animal Farm on …

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Amanda Patterson f you’ve ever wondered what author intrusion is, read this post. We define author intrusion and tell you how to avoid it in your stories. When we learn how to write a book, or when we are rewriting, we are told to avoid author intrusion – unless we mean to include it. What …

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Powerfully portrayed settings seem to have a life of their own, but how is that effect achieved? Here are five keys to teach you how to make your setting a character in your story or novel that goes beyond invoking the five senses in description. Donald Maass In great fiction, the setting lives from the …

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Don’t discount the power of a schedule. James Clear Franz Kafka is considered one of the most creative and influential writers of the 20th century, but he actually spent most of his time working as a lawyer for the Workers Accident Insurance Institute. How did Kafka produce such fantastic creative works while holding down his …

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You’ve probably heard steps one and two before, but the others might surprise you. Scott Young Writing matters. It matters for your career. Even if you’re not a journalist or J.K. Rowling, being able to communicate clearly will determine how people see you. Writing matters for your life. Futuristic visions from the early days of …

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