Should fiction editors consider conscious language? – by Louise Harnby…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Find out why the concept of conscious language is foundational to professional fiction-editing practice.

What’s in this post …

  • What is ‘conscious language’?
  • ‘But I’m not part of the “woke” brigade’
  • The foundations of editing
  • Are you part of the professional editing brigade?
  • Why conscious language is also about successful authoring
  • Why conscious language is about consideration rather than prescription
  • A case study
  • Helping our clients
  • Tools that help with conscious language

Continue reading HERE

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Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair 2022 – #FREEBooks – #Fantasy Lunar Boogie (The Hat Book 4) by C.S. Boyack, #Christmas #Romance Love, Me by Jacquie Biggar

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair with a selection of books from personally recommended authors on my bookshelf I believe will make wonderful gifts for friends, family and for you.

Today two books from authors who are offering them FREE for a limited period

The first book which is free to download is part of the very popular Hat Series that I have enjoyed very much by C.S. Boyack – Lunar Boogie (The Hat Book 4)

About the book

Lizzie and the hat are back in action, only this time they’re up against the most tragic monster of all, a werewolf.

This adventure is more like hunting an animal, and the werewolf is unlikely to come to any of their musical performances. This puts Lizzie out in the dark corners and wooded areas of the city. It may be more beneficial to get the monster to hunt Lizzie than…

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Pinning Down the Themes when your Characters Have Agency #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

My writing mind has temporarily lost momentum in my current work. At this point, I’m unsure how to proceed with a pivotal chapter. This has me momentarily stalled on that book.

how the universe works themeFortunately, Irene is editing the final draft of a book I finished during lockdown. She sends me one or two chapters with notes for final revisions each evening. That makes me happy—it’s been a while since I published a book.

When I am stalled on a first draft, it helps to stop and consider the central themes. Theme is one of the elements that drive a plot. This novel’s central theme is redemption, which hasn’t changed.

But this novel is in the first draft stage, and things have already shifted from what was initially plotted. And now I find that some of my characters aren’t as well-planned as I thought they were.

This happens at some point in every…

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Story Development and Execution Part 13: Planning a Series

Story Empire

Ciao, SEers. Today is my final post of the year, and it’s the final post of this series. We’re going to talk about planning a series, either from the beginning or by turning a standalone into one. I discussed types of series before. You can read that post here. This post is about how to do it.

Before you consider subsequent books in a series (either before or after the first book is written), you need to be certain there’s more story to tell. Just because your fans want more or you’re not ready to say goodbye to those characters does not mean you should write a series. Subsequent books should only be written if there’s more to say.

If you decide to write a series, go all in. There’s no concept that’s too big, even for a beginner. That said, it will be harder for a beginner…

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Turning Relationship Arcs into Plots, Part 3 – by September Fawkes…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Writing a relationship between characters into a strong plot, requires understanding the principles of plot . . . and how to apply them to a relationship journey.

So far, we have covered the four basic types of relationship arcs.

How the primary principles of plot apply to relationships (goals, antagonists, conflict, and consequences).

And how the secondary principles of plot apply to them (progress, setbacks, costs, and turning points).

Today we will finish up with that by going over the tertiary principles: plans, gaps, and crises.

I’ve already covered these topics in depth for plot in general. In this series, I’m specifically applying them to relationships. So, if you need more explanation on any of them, please see . . .

The Primary Principles of Plot: Goal, Antagonist, Conflict, Consequences

The Secondary Principles of Plot: Progress, Setbacks, Costs, Turning Points

The Tertiary Principles of Plot: Plans, Gaps, Crises


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The Four Horsemen of Writing: Procrastination

Legends of Windemere

Google Image Search

It’s tough being an author.  You don’t always find the time you would like to write your stories and most people see it as a hobby.  Ideas will turn on you too.  The amount of pitfalls can be daunting and your average person doesn’t notice them.  So, I decided to use the next couple of Tuesdays to open the floor to the ‘Four Horsemen of Writing’.  They don’t have horses though.

Keep in mind that this is the list I came up with for myself, so the lineup could be different for every author.  That works as a disclaimer, so let’s see the first one.


We do it to ourselves.  Whether it be out of fear or being horribly unfocused, we do other things instead of writing.  We may even do writing-like things without actually touching on the books or outlines.  Research can lead to this…

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Productivity Hacks Aren’t What They’re Made Out To Be

Brandon’s Portfolio

You know what sounds cool at first glance? Productivity habits. You know how long they’re cool for? Probably two days or so. For the past few years, …

Productivity Hacks Aren’t What They’re Made Out To Be

Productivity is not something you can generally hack it takes time, practice and effort whether you like it or not. The old saying you won’t get something for nothing usually applies here. There are tools that are used to get you thinking about how you can address your problems, but these only work when you’re committed and in the mindset to make the effort to succeed. Waking up early, bullet journaling and the cold shower on their own are not hacks as shown in the post above, they are ways people can utilise to address problems with their own lives, especially if they are in a situation where you don’t know which way…

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BROKEN SHUTTERS | FREE December 6, 2022

Author P.S. Bartlett

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!

Broken Shutters will be free on Kindle from December 6th through the 10th, 2022!

As usual, I have this lofty goal of being the number one FREE book on Kindle. Why shoot for the moon when you can aim for the stars?

I’m so excited to share this story that I’m giving it away for #FREE for FIVE WHOLE DAYS! Click either image to get your free copy!

The curious and vivacious Lady Melanie Ludwig is the beating heart of her castle, but when her husband of twenty-two years and his cherished horse die suddenly in a hunting accident, her life begins to fall apart. At the height of her grief, her beloved unwed handmaiden, Janine, leaves her service due to an unplanned pregnancy, leaving Melanie full of rage, lonely, and without purpose.

When her husband’s best friend, Lord Alexander Elswick, suddenly shows up with…

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Revenge of the Clueless: 13 Ways Guaranteed to Drive a Writer Crazy – by Ruth Harris…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Anne R. Allen:

Anne and Ruth are proud to host the first public release of the groundbreaking study devised and conducted by the eminent neuroscientist, Einstein Fitzhemingway, MD, PhD, PfffT, and DuH.

Peer reviewed under the auspices of the prestigious research institute, VonShtupp, Dummkopf, Putz und Hassenpfeffer, the results of Dr. Fitzhemingway’s work are being shared here to advise friends, family and beleaguered therapists overwhelmed by swarms of dejected, depressed and despairing writers who just can’t take it any more.

They are begging for help, hope and healing.

Because —

Continue reading HERE

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Retiring to somewhere quiet in the country

Tallis Steelyard

There comes a time in life when some people discover that they can no longer continue in the career that has supported them so far. The rooftop burglar finds that his knees have taken too much damage from ridge tiles and tilting fillets. The man-at-arms discovers that he can no longer vault onto the back of his destrier when in full armour and has to be lifted with a crane, like a sack of meal. The politically inclined sinecurist discovers that he has finally exhausted the patience of his partisan cronies and steps down from the limelight, his credibility finally run out. They all move to the next phase of their lives, genteel retirement, funded by the wise investments they have made in the course of their long and occasionally lucrative careers.

Obviously this is unlikely to happen to a poet. For one thing, my depth of wisdom, my body…

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