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Plain Doesn’t Mean Boring

August 11, 2017 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

When plain words work, use them. Don’t feel that you must use fancy words to elevate your fiction. Choose words that make your story feel real rather than pretentious.

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Know Your Character’s Language

February 10, 2017 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

If a character comes from a country different from yours or different from that of your other characters, make sure that he uses words and phrases peculiar to his country and not to yours.

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Restraining Accents

January 23, 2017 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

Rather than try to spell an accent, use other options for letting readers know that a character has an accent.

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Questions About Deep POV

August 23, 2016 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

A blog reader asks specific questions about deep POV.

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Revive A Scene With Verbs

July 6, 2016 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

Rather than use common verbs, use specific verbs that fit your story, your characters, and each scene. Direct events and emotion through the choice of specific rather than general verbs.

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Write Like a Native

September 21, 2015 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

A reader’s question got me thinking about the details of a story’s setting, about choosing details that fit the actual location as well as the story. I also wanted to share a reminder to check details for real locations—make sure your details are correct.

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Change It This Way or That Way?

September 8, 2015 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

There are multiple ways to make changes to your story text. Make sure that you’re not using the same kinds of changes again and again.

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Nothing Words—Somehow

September 29, 2014 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

Somehow is a nothing word that doesn’t reveal anything new about a character or an event. Cut uses of somehow from your stories.

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Nothing Words—People

September 11, 2014 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

Like “thing,” “people” is a nothing word. A filler. But you can easily change the bland and generic “people” to a word that better fits the scene and the character using the word.

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Nothing Words—Thing

September 8, 2014 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

Fiction can be made stronger by simply using strong and precise words in place of do-nothing filler words. Clear your stories of the filler word “thing.”

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