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Win the character name game in style: 11 ways to dream up an original, effective name. Pt. 2

Think of super names for your characters and win the race on characterization at the starter’s gate. Your hero’s essential traits will strike readers before a single word is uttered. Let’s get right to the next three tactics to sharpen up your characters through smart naming: …

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Win the name game in style: eleven smart ways to dream up original, effective character names.

Have great names for your characters, and you get a head start on characterization from the firing of the starter’s gun. Your protagonists’ core characteristics will hit people before the first word or action of your stories, before …

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8 ways to make your story stand out

Editors and agents see enough manuscripts in a day to make their heads spin, most of them with the same mistakes. If you want to forestall the “Not again!” reaction, follow these 8 steps to a more competitive story. 1. Make sure you base your story on some kind of action that propels it forward. …

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Win the name game in style: 11 ways to dream up an original, effective character name.

Think of dynamite names for your characters and win the battle for characterization at the reader’s first glimpse of you character. Your hero’s essential traits will hit readers in the face before she even opens her mouth.

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5 tips to land a nationally syndicated column through a national syndicate

Want your own column? Then choose: (1) work with a single publication, (2) self-syndicate, or (3) submit to a national syndicate. If you choose number 3, you set a very ambitious goal. If you do, follow these points: …

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Avoid the info-dump debacle

Sometimes a writer needs to convey something that happened before the starting point of the story, and can find no other way than to have the narrator throw it on us in one lump that gets stuck in our throats. Readers may skim through it, or lay the story aside, as the main action of the work stops until the dump ends…

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The rules of writing

What are the rules of writing? Are there rules? Are rules made to be broken? Every writer lists the rules differently. William Faulkner said to get the character in your mind. Once he is in your mind…

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Can I start a sentence with a conjunction?

People ask me all the time about the no-nos of grammar, and do they fall under black, white, or some shade of gray?
The issue of placing a conjunction at the beginning of a sentence causes much confusion. Can we do it?

All style guidebooks agree…

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