Critique groups, beta readers, or editors–Which is best?

From Rick: Someone in a large online group that I belong to recently asked, “How many beta readers should one use?” The answers varied: 2-3, 5-7, a dozen or more, but the consensus was that too few may not give

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Is there a universal story formula?

One of the topics often discussed in general writing workshops is basic story structure and the elements of a story. Let’s go over those first. A story–and we’re talking a piece of fiction or mostly fiction–in order to be considered

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Rules, rules, rules–I’m so sick of rules!

From Rick: On blog after blog about writing, writers are inundated with rules. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how much the so-called rules of good writing really matter. Thinking about that triggered another random thought. In the Broadway show, and

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Writing great dialog–Part 4: proper dialog formatting

From Rick: In this post, I’m going to cover formatting dialog, which some new writers get wrong. For purposes of this blog, I’ll assume the American English style of formatting, that is, double quote marks, where British English may use

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Writing great dialog–Part 2

From Rick: In this part, I’m going discuss defining character with dialog. Many new authors don’t grasp this starting out, and they end up having all their characters talk alike. We’ve all read novels where it was difficult to keep

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Writing great dialog–Part 1

From Rick: As I mentioned in last week’s brief post, Scott and I lately have been quite busy. So, for a while, we’re going to reduce the length of our blog posts, dividing them into multiple posts when necessary, to

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