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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Advantages to Self-Publishing
I have published fiction through traditional royalties-paying publishers, and I have self-published fiction and nonfiction with the Amazon.com Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program. Both experiences have been good overall while having their pros and cons.

Antihero in The Devil She Knows
The Devil She Knows by Bill Loehfelm is a fast-paced, absorbing crime thriller, and a lot of fun to read. But more than that, it will teach you how to write a good antihero.

Beware the Mary Sue Character
The Mary Sue character reads like a too-perfect version of the author. With no faults, she has no depth or complexity, and therefore no story worth caring about. She drags down the strongest plot, but if you know her characteristics, you can transform her into someone real on the rewrite.

Big Man Little Man
This photo writing prompt might pique your creativity. The somewhat surrealistic photograph could inspire fiction from many different genres, especially horror or science-fiction.

Book Blurbs That Are Too Long
Try to keep your book blurb no longer than 200 to 300 words. Readers tend to scan book blurbs restlessly, sometimes many at once, looking for escapism and entertainment in a world bursting with choices. They will get bored and irritated if they have to read a too-long book blurb.

Check out the Website DoesTheDogDie.com
The website DoesTheDogDie.com lists movies with succinct information on whether the plot of each requires an animal to be harmed or die. This enables the soft-hearted to avoid such movies. I wish there were an equivalent website for fiction books.

Coffee, Cigarettes, and Writer's Block
A fresh cup of coffee is in front of you, your cigarette is burning, the laptop is open, and its blank screen is staring back at you. We've all been there. You are ready to write, but nothing, not even one word, pops into your head.

Communicating With Your Beta Reader
Your working relationship with your beta reader is based on trust. That starts with understanding each other’s expectations and communication style.

Dangling Participle Phrases Annoy the Readers
Dangling participle phrases are the most common grammatical mistake that I see in published fiction nowadays. Because they contain several words, they stick out like blight on the landscape. But now you can learn what a participle phrase is and how to use it correctly.

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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