8x NATJA prize winner; #TBINchat host; pericarditis patient. Found on: Newsweek, Cruise Critic, MSN Travel. Writer’s Toolkit https://melindacrow.substack.com/

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Writer’s Toolkit

And 3 you need to ditch if you plan to move forward

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Photo by William Warby on Unsplash

You want your writing to be expressive, soulful, and well, art. Nobody is telling you those things are wrong. But what your readers want you to know is that they’ll trust you more if you write by the rules — at least until they know you better.

Fiction writers live and die by templates. They even have fancy names to describe their templates, from “genres” to “beat sheets.” Templates increase your productivity, make the reader comfortable, keep you coherent, and on track, all while helping you tell the story your soul longs to express.

Use the templates below by weaving your story into them. Think of them as nothing more than a framework. It’s up to you to build the castle. …

Writer’s Toolkit

‘I’ is a powerful pronoun but you’ve got to know how to use it

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Photo by iMattSmart on Unsplash

You’ve heard it before, “Be careful using I too frequently in your writing.” We can all agree it’s the proper pronoun when you write first-person fiction or essays, but even in those writing formats, overuse can push readers away. It’s tempting to avoid using it altogether in other formats, but that might be a mistake because I has advantages no other pronoun can claim.

Characterization through dialogue

I happen to be in the thick mess of polishing my novella. It’s written in the third person from the main character’s point of view with only a few exceptions. …

Your brain, your fingers, and your eyes are your enemies

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Photo by Jonas Zürcher on Unsplash

Your brain is proud of the words it spewed onto the page for you. How dare you have the audacity to question its authority? And what makes you think it will let you see its minor mistakes? It can blind you to anything it deems important. If “just” happens to be your brain’s favorite justification, a simple proofread will not help you catch them all. Grammarly is your friend; it should not, however, be your only friend.

As much as I love the idea of letting my work rest, we don’t always have that luxury. Deadlines beckon, self-imposed writing goals loom, and well, sometimes we are too excited to wait for our brains to remove the blinders preventing us from spotting its mistakes. Luckily, there are shortcuts that may help you speed up the process. …

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