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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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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.

What is a Character Biography?
Your character biography is a collection of traits and information that helps you develop a complex feel for your character. Think of your character biography as a file into which you can uninhibitedly cram anything you think has a bearing on your character.

What is a Classic Western
There are three types of story in the western fiction genre – what I call Classic, New, and Modern. "Classic" means a Wild West story with heroism.

What is a Fiction Blurb?
A fiction book blurb is a short document, maybe only about 200 words, that hints at the book’s contents while making the reader curious to read more. Typically, your blurb should introduce your main character and his biggest problem, but not reveal any important plot points.

What is a Fiction Synopsis?
A synopsis is a plot summary written in plain, unbiased language that reveals everything that happens in the story, even secrets, plot twists, and surprise endings. This is different from a blurb, which only gives a glimpse of the book’s beginning to entice readers to continue reading.

What is a Flashback?
A fictional flashback is an advanced writing technique that transitions from a present-day scene to a scene set in the past. It is as if the reader has gone back in time to experience an event through the eyes of a younger version of the viewpoint character.

What is a Modern Western
To understand what a Modern Western is, you must first realize what it is not. It is not historical. Gone is the setting that forms such a powerful foundation for both the Classic Western and the New Western novels.

What is a New Western
A New Western shares the same setting and themes as a Classic Western, but is likely to be more introspective, downbeat, anti-heroic, and morally ambiguous.

What is a Techno Thriller
The techno thriller genre contains action-oriented books that explore in great detail the use of military technology to solve complex domestic and foreign threats within in a suspenseful plot. If you want to write in this genre, remember that realism and technical accuracy are a must.

What is an Antihero?
What is an antihero and why do fiction readers love him? From Satan in Paradise Lost to Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry, the antihero walks the line between good and evil. He or she is a fascinating, unpredictable character.

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