Everybody Arcs! How to Use Emotional Growth to Propel the Story and Capture the Reader

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Because the Scarletts of the world get THINGS DONE.... Because the Scarletts of the world get THINGS DONE….

I’ve heard people say some books (or genres) are plot-driven and others are character-driven. My POV? This is a fallacy. All good books are character-driven and plot is what makes that possible. Characters have to make us give a hoot about the plot. If we don’t like or empathize with the characters, we don’t care about their problems.

Conversely, plot is the delivery mechanism and crucible for character (even in literary fiction). Characters can only be as strong as the opposition they face. Weak problems=weak characters. In a nutshell, character and plot can’t be easily separated.

For instance, in the Pulitzer-Winning The Road, the plot is simple. Man and Boy must make it to the ocean. Yet, since this piece is literary, the plot goal is subordinate to character goal.

It is less important that Man and Boy make it…

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Beyond Grammar & Punctuation: Why You Need a Copyeditor

Editrix

Why hire a copyeditor_

I recently edited a novel. The author was clearly educated and had a good grasp of standard English grammar. She wrote in complete sentences, didn’t seem to have many misspellings, and generally used punctuation correctly. At first glance, it may have seemed like a copyeditor wouldn’t have much work to do.

But grammar and punctuation are not all that copyeditors pay attention to: we also look for consistency, awkward or convoluted phrasing, redundancies and repetition, factual errors, legal issues, and formatting.

Consistency:

Consistency is a big part of whether people perceive your writing as professional or high-quality; they may not realize that it impacts their perception, but it does.

  • Does the author favor toward or towards? Both are correct, but you should pick one and stick to it.
  • Serial comma or no?
  • High-tech is always hyphenated
  • Journal entries are always block-quoted and italicized.

Awkward or convoluted phrasing:

You…

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A Synopsis Checklist

Writers In The Storm Blog

by Shannon Donnelly

Years ago I was struggling to try and figure out how to write a synopsis. It took a lot of input from other writers, and some workshops, but I finally became comfortable with syopsis writing—and now it’s one of my favorite tools. I’m now doing my “Sexy Synopsis workshop again for Outreach International Romance Writers, but I wanted to offer up my synopsis checklist.

A synopsis is one of the most useful tools you can have. It keeps you from getting stuck. It starts you thinking about blurb and marketing copy. It can even show up flaws you might have in your plot, as in maybe the conflict really isn’t strong enough.

The checklist I developed came from looking at a bunch of synopses and from taking a lot of classes on synopsis writings. Feel free to take this list and customize for your own use…

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