Moral Arc in Literature

By Genevieve Fosa A transcendentalist named Theodore Parker once said that the “… arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice.” Many people feel that it wobbles considerably on its way towards this justice. This is where the term moral arc of a story comes from. Though some stories do not
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Fiction is Fiction, Right?

by Gina Burgess Well apparently it isn’t. In a newspaper story, echoed by a Vanity Fair story, a few years ago, Katheryn Stockett was under fire for her character Aibilene in her blockbuster book The Help. It is a story about the relationships between the white families and their black maids back in the 1960s. It
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Naked Dialogue

by Randy Ingermanson   “What’s naked dialogue?” “It’s dialogue without any action, description, interior monologue, or interior emotion.” “Can you do that?” “In short stretches.” “Why would you do that? It sounds stupid.” “If the main conflict is in the dialogue, then adding anything else takes the edge off the conflict.” “I don’t believe that
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Systematic Editing

by Jann W. Martin I was at the Word Weavers Fall Retreat recently. I was in an invaluable workshop. My friend, and one of my editors, Kristen Stieffel, led the workshop. I have attended several of her workshops over the years. This one was her best so far. Kristen is in the process of writing
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Critiques are best when served warm

Hello from Jann, When you consider something from numerous perspectives you can easily see the whole picture rather than a tiny corner of your universe. This is why critique groups are an excellent way to get a broad perspective of your writing, which is a great way to prepare your manuscript before you have to
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Chew on This Writers: Organization

by Randy Ingermanson [Editor’s note: Fodder for thoughtful planning now, gearing up for January 2019] Organization: Evolution, Not Revolution January is the big-money month of the year, I suspect, for people who run gyms. And people who sell diet plans. And anyone promising to make you over fast. We all want a revolution in our
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Write in the Middle of the Holidays

By Gina Burgess I didn’t make up that title, Ann Kroeker did, but it is great advice. But how to squeeze it in? Oh my goodness, there is so much going on! Christmas cheer, lots of people-crush in stores, and each day brings us closer to, what I believe, is the best holiday of the
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The Famous First Line

by Gina Burgess Google tells me that I have to have what the post is about in the first line. It is about first lines and how crucial are they? Kinda boring first line isn’t it? I had the misfortune of getting sick over Thanksgiving. It was the first Thanksgiving that I’ve ever spent alone,
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Writing Advice not Eye-Stabbing

Here’s Randy Ingermanson’s writing advice to himself before he became rich and famous. At least it’s the advice he would have given himself when he was young and inexperienced. It is from Jerry Jenkin’s blog. You get good at writing by following these three simple steps: 1) Write a lot. The more you write, the
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