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Including Native Americans in Writing

As writers we always hear, “Write what you know.” In light of that truth, it is important that any person writing about Native Americans know the people and the culture they are writing about. It is important to know the current situation of the Native American people one is choosing to write about. It is also important to recognize that some things cannot, or should not, be written about given…

The Scar’s the Thing: Tropes in Advanced Craft

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Tropes, characters, and story What do you think of when you hear the word trope? Do you think of a story building block? Or an overused concept? These days, we hear about tropes often, but the meaning is less specific. Some writers love them, while others loathe them. One constant is that tropes are a storytelling staple stemming from fairy and folk tales. Tropes are valuable storytelling build…

The Power of Image-Making for Fiction Writing

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Poet. Journal writer. Image-maker. These are just a few of the creative guises I slipped into as I embarked on an inward journey in search of my newest set of fictional characters. What I hungered to discover was what is truthful and powerful in my own world view. Once I unearthed that profound truth, I wanted to know how best I could weave it into a story through memorable characters. With thi…

Interview: Assuring the Authentic Voice in Modern Literature

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In January 2020, the novel American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins hit bookstores after months of positive reviews and being selected to Oprah’s Book Club. Then Latinx critics called out the book detailing a Mexican bookseller crossing the U.S. border to escape a drug cartel as perpetuating harmful stereotypes. Cummins is not Mexican, although claims Puerto Rican heritage, and critics repeated what th…

Starting Can be the Hardest Part: Writing the Opening of Your Novel

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I recently finished writing my 18th book. To some that makes me a baby writer, but to others it’s seasoned writer territory. Wherever you fall on that scale, I think we can all agree that by book 18 you’ve probably figured out the basic structure of a book and reader expectations for your genre. That doesn’t mean you won’t run into issues while writing. My issue with book 18 was that I could no…

Game On!

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Many novelists are discovering the rewards of writing for games, whether game-ifying their own concepts or as staff or freelance writers for established gaming properties. In 2022, an estimated 3.2 billion people worldwide played games, and the average age of a gamer is 31. Led by video games and mobile gaming, the gaming industry aims for total earnings around $300 billion for this fiscal year…