• Do You Use Swear Words in Your Fiction?

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    Do you use swear words, cuss words, or bad words when you write fiction? If you're writing picture books, no. But as your audience gets older and older, they start to creep into fiction. Guidelines for Using Swear Words in Fiction There are a couple schools of thought about using swear words in your fiction. Faithful to ...

  • Main Character: Who is Your Protagonist?

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    A basic question for every story is this: Who is the main character? Today, many novels alternate POV characters, especially in first person. Or, the novel has an assemblage of characters. This rarely works because the reader needs to have some home base from which to view the story. The choice of a main character affects ...

  • Dialogue: 4 Ways it Goes Wrong

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    Dialogue is an essential part of fiction, the way an author shows a character through what s/he says. And it's so easy to get it wrong. Here are some ways dialogue goes wrong and what to do about it. Trivial. When character talk to each other, the reader doesn't need to listen to the trivial, or ...

  • Character Thoughts: Direct and Indirect Interior Monologues

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    The infamous Show-Don't-Tell mantra fails to take into account the importance of character thoughts. If you purely do action, dialogue and description, you have few tools to let the reader know the character's inner life. Instead, you need to include thoughts at some point. Direct Interior Monologue When a character is thinking about something you can give ...