Tag: JK Allen

Breaking Down the Synopsis
August 3, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

Congratulations, you’ve finished your novel. That’s quite a feat in itself. Now you’ve revised and edited it and are ready to query. But that means you need to have a synopsis ready to go, and these can be harder to write than your novel was. This is where you boil down your story plot to
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How to Research Agents before Querying
August 1, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

So you’ve written a book. Now what? If the answer is you would like to get traditionally published, the next step is querying. But who do you query? Small publishers and presses accept unsolicited submissions, meaning you can send them a query on your own without an agent, but bigger ones often only work with
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When to Research and When to Stop
July 25, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

When writing fiction, some people assume research is not needed. After all, aren’t we supposed to make everything up? But being accurate adds realism to your story. Not many readers will want to keep reading a book with marked inaccuracies, especially when they easily could have been looked up. You can’t ask your readers to
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What to Research when Writing Your Novel
July 18, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

This month we are talking about research. As fiction writers it can be really tempting to just make up what we don’t know. But having realistic information and details in your story will help the reader suspend disbelief and get immersed in your story. One incorrect, made-up detail could cause your reader to put down
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7 Research Tips for Writing Your Novel
July 11, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

This month we are talking research. Now, many writers cringe when they hear the word. And they might say, “But we are fiction writers, can’t we just make stuff up?” The answer is, we may make a lot of things up, but we have to have a realism to our stories. It’s what allows them
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13 Villain Cliches to Avoid
June 27, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

Villains can be a powerful force in our stories. After all, there is no story without conflict and villains provide that conflict. But too often, villains turn into clichés. Let’s look at 13 villain clichés to avoid. He wears all black, with maybe flashes of blood red. He has black eyes that bore into you.
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Writing a Strong Antagonist
June 20, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

This month we are talking about character development. There is one character that is often underdeveloped or cliché in our stories. The antagonist. Too often he is an all black wearing, mustache twirling, cackling villain who monologues too much for his own good. He’s a cardboard cutout and greatly weakens your story. So how do
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Two Steps to Developing Characters through Research
June 13, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

This month we are talking all about characterization. Characterization is important because characters bring our stories to life and create an emotional connection with our readers. Even with the most exciting plot, we need strong, well-developed characters to populate our world. And how do we develop our characters? With the right amount of research. There
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7 Steps to Well Rounded Character Development
June 6, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

Characters are the life of our stories and so it’s important to get them right. We don’t want flat characters, stereotypes, or clichés. You can have the best, most exciting plot, but it will fall flat if peopled by weak characters. So how do we develop our characters? Start with personality. Is she an extrovert
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Five Don’ts for World Building
May 30, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

Now, all month we have talked about world building here at OWS. We talked about the basics, diversity and world building, adding depth, and which questions to ask while world building. Today, let’s talk about some don’ts to avoid because good world building is not just what to do, but what not to do. Don’t
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