Category Archives: Writing Articles

To Prologue or Not To Prologue

 

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Should you include a prologue in your novel? I have known writer friends who have debated this for years. Some love them, some hate them, but in this post I’ll detail what I think of them.

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What the Show “Friends” Did Right

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The television show Friends was immensely popular. It won 62 Primetime Emmy Awards. According to the Nielsen ratings, it was within the top 5 shows for 9 solid years. Personally, I loved it. Its message said that with the right friends, we can weather anything that life throws at us.

But why was this show so popular? It wasn’t by chance that it became a television giant. Today we’re going to comb through the reasons why I feel the show was successful and how you can use these methods to improve your writing.

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Skill vs. Talent – Which do you have?

 

by Ryan Lanz

  • tal·ent [tal-uhnt] noun: a special natural ability or aptitude.
  • skill [skil] noun: the ability, coming from one’s knowledge, practice, aptitude, etc., to do something well.

What if you don’t have natural talent? Does that mean you may as well give up?

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The Dos and Don’ts of Dialogue Tags

 

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by Ryan Lanz

Writers use dialogue tags constantly. In fact, we use them so often that readers all but gloss over them. They should be invisible. However, there are ways to misuse them and make them stand out.

In an effort to avoid that, let’s take a closer look at dialogue tags. Toward the end of “Tag travesties” is something I sorely wish someone had told me before I started writing.

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Avoiding First Chapter Blunders

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You’ve got your idea. Your characters are fleshed out. The setting is crystallized in your mind.

You power up the laptop, and you place your fingers on the keys. Chapter one.

There’s a magic in that. You can practically feel the readers forming an orderly line to purchase your book, even before you finish the first paragraph. But what do you want to accomplish? What are the things to avoid in your first chapter? In this post, we’ll look at the nitty-gritty of a novel’s first chapter.
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Altering the Reader’s Perspective

 

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Who doesn’t like the thought of being able to direct someone’s thoughts or emotions? Sure, it’s typically in fantasy only, but I’m sure most have skirted around the thought. When we imagine someone doing so, it’s usually an evil villain’s doing, involving elbow-length gloves and an over-sized, veiny head.

But actually, we writers do this all the time. We use words at the tip of our brushes to paint the reader’s emotions. We essentially angle wording in a way to guide the reader how to feel.

Now, you may be thinking, “Ryan, that’s ridiculous. The readers come to their own conclusions.” And yes, they do. However, let’s visit an example.
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