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Smiling or Laughing Dialogue—A Reader’s Question

March 30, 2015 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

Explore novel ways to look at the use of dialogue tags, especially at “said” and other verbs, such as laugh and smile, used as dialogue tags.

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Writing Advice—Listen or Ignore?

March 18, 2015 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

Rather than listen to advice that says it’s unnecessary to learn the rules of writing and fiction, learn your craft.

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Why Doesn’t My Story Read Like a Published Novel–A Reader’s Question

January 11, 2015 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

Explanations for why a work in progress doesn’t read like a published novel. Includes areas to work on to improve a WIP.

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Is Writing “The End” a Bad Idea?—A Reader’s Question

September 17, 2014 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

Including the words “The End” on the final page of a manuscript is a good idea. The visual keeps readers, including agents and editors, from guessing what the story’s final words are.

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Commas with Subordinate Clauses—A Reader’s Question

July 30, 2014 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

A writer asks about comma use with dependent clauses. Includes details about comma use for subordinate clauses before, after, and in the middle of independent clauses.

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How Much Back Story Should I Include

July 27, 2014 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

A writer asks how much back story is too much.

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(Stop) Comparing Yourself to Successful Authors

May 25, 2014 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

Encouragement for when you feel you’ll never be as good as other writers.

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Treating Dependents and Subordinates Properly

July 12, 2013 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

Help for setting up and using dependent (subordinate) clauses. Tips include when to use commas.

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Plot, Goal, Inciting Incident—A Reader’s Question

June 18, 2013 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

A readers asks about links between plot, character goal, and the inciting incident.

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Compare My Manuscript to a Famous Book—A Writer’s Question

May 16, 2013 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

A reader’s asks whether or not to compare a manuscript with other books in query letters and elevator pitches.

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