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Add Emotion to Fictional Characters

Expression of emotions in speculative fiction writing is crucial to engage readers and create a vivid, immersive experience. As a novel writer who struggles with adding emotion to my characters, I did Internet searches on the topic to help me. Lots of writers and educators have suggestions. I asked chatGPT …

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Add Emotional Depth to Characters

Character Symptoms: emotionless, bland, and uninteresting Imagine a critique partner reads your first chapter and says: DIAGNOSIS: Your character is not relatable It’s time for a transplant of personality, humanity, emotion, and agency. Character’s Emotional Reaction to the Plot Characters should show emotion in how they react to situations confronting …

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Non-Humans as Round Characters

Speculative fiction writers often cast non-human characters in their stories. Those aliens, elves, fairies, and pointy-eared Vulcans are among a large number of possible strange creatures. As they write, spec-fic authors must live with their creations for many months and readers must read about them for many hours. Neither group …

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Dots and Dashes for Fiction Writers

In a recent critique session, the subject of punctuation arose. Should a fiction writer use exclamation points, colons, and parenthesis? What is the right way to use the hyphen (-), dash (—), and ellipsis(…)? Experienced fiction writers rarely use exclamation points. It has the same problematic effect as typing in …

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Writing and Critiquing Fantasy

During the pandemic of 2020, fantasy writing experienced an astounding increase in popularity, perhaps a form of escape, with a massive increase in stories written for adults. The statistics compiled by WordsRated.com show fantasy book sales in 2021 increased 45%, compared to 2020. This was the largest increase among all …

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Your Character’s Thoughts

At a glance, it used to be easy to identify what a character was thinking, hearing, seeing, or saying BECAUSE the author would write: he thought, she heard, he saw or she said… The current trend is to remove such markers or filters to reduce the “narrative distance” between the …

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Pixlr E Review – Free Online Image Editor

Image editing is helpful for authors who need images for blogs, newsletters, social media and other marketing activities. Those who self-publish often prefer an inexpensive image editor that is not too complicated. Photoshop is the standard for marketing professionals, but it has a very steep learning curve, not to mention …

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The Improving World of Self-Publishing

Over the past decade, it has become obvious to everyone that creating and reading fiction will be done through the e-book. Although Amazon (Kindle Digital Publishing) is the gorilla in the e-book world, it is still basically an e-book publisher. Amazon keeps that position because it provides end-to-end services from …

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3rd Person Omniscient POV

The third person omniscient point of view is the most open and flexible POV available to writers. As the name implies, an omniscient narrator is all-seeing and all-knowing. — David Mamet Once a writer decides to use a third person point of view (POV) the next question is: what is …

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Short Story Elements

Short stories are fun to read because they pack an unexpected emotional punch. However, “short” does not mean easy to write, or a formless type of expression. Quite the contrary, they are written and rewritten numerous times with herculean effort to be efficient, banish loose ends, conclude with a plot …

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