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BellaOnline's Fiction Writing Editor

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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Where to Find Beta Readers For Your Fiction
A writer needs beta readers. Where do you find them? First, you want to find beta readers within the genre for which you write. Look among readers, writers, and reviewers in your genre.

Who is the Man With the Intense Eyes?
Does the man in this photograph have intense eyes or what? What kind of character do you think of when you see him? Do you find an entire backstory for him unfolding in your mind based on what he looks like?

What is a Beta Reader?
A beta reader provides feedback from the typical reader's viewpoint on a piece of fiction before it is published. This is part of the revision process but differs from an editor’s job, which is broader in scope.

Worst Three Fiction Blurb Mistakes
Blurb writing is similar to writing poetry in that you must be very succinct and make each word count. As with everything, you get better with practice. Here are three common mistakes to avoid as you attempt to improve your blurbs.

Why Readers Hate the Generic City
The “Generic City” is a much-hated writing mistake that results when writers are too lazy, rushed, or intimidated to fill in an actual setting for their fiction. So they keep the setting vague and unnamed to avoid spending much time on it.

Self-Indulgence Can Harm Your Writing
There is a well-known writing tip that advises beginning writers to pick out their favorite passage, dialog, scene, or plotline in their novel – and to delete it. Your favorite material is not necessarily your best material, and it could be your worst.

Memory Versus Flashback
In fiction, what is the difference between a memory and a flashback? A memory summarizes the past, but a flashback shows an actual scene from the past which is integrated into the present-day story.

The Mind-Blowing Many Worlds Interpretation
The many-worlds interpretation is a physics concept with a specific application to quantum mechanics, but it can also stimulate the fiction writer’s imagination.

What is Fair Use in Writing?
All new writers need to know about copyright law and Fair Use or they may end up in serious legal trouble for copyright infringement.

Describe an Awkward First Date
Take the following text writing prompt: Describe AN awkward first date. Notice how it does not say, “Describe YOUR most awkward first date.” The secret to a successful text prompt is to make the wording a bit loose and open-ended so you are not limited to your own experiences

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