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[Become a Better Writer] 4 Tips for Reading

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” –George RR Martin

Great authors are also great readers and burying yourself in a good book is one of the simplest ways to become a better writer. While I like to refrain from reading competing genres while I’m working on a new title, books provide excellent inspiration for characters, motivations and storylines. Here are four tips for reading that will help you become a better writer.

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Become a Better Writer: 4 Tips for Reading

  1. Pay Attention to the Characters

Begin the novel by paying close attention to the characters’ backstories and try to identify how their lives relate to the happenings in the book. Creating a world for characters to live in is a tough part of writing a novel and it can be helpful to see how other authors tackle this feat.

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4 Habits of Great Writers

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” –Jim Ryun

You don’t have to be a master wordsmith to pen works of art, but you do need to put in lots of practice. Learning from the habits of great writers can help you hone your craft and let your writing soar.  From the ideal wake up time to working on prompts every day, there are many things you can do to improve your work. Here are four habits of great writers you can learn from.

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4 Habits of Great Writers

  1. They Look Inward

Successful writers make a habit out of looking to their inner selves and reflecting upon what is happening in their lives. This may feel uncomfortable or foreign if you aren’t used to doing this, but it can help improve your stories and create better tension between your characters. A great way to get started is to keep a dream journal; some of the best ideas come to us while we sleep.

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4 Ways to Find Writing Inspiration

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” –Roald Dahl

If you’re looking for writing inspiration to inform your next novel, chances are you won’t have to look very far. Many of the best stories come from personal experiences in the author’s life and it can be easy to find the spark of a story almost anywhere around you. Here are four great places to begin the hunt.

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4 Ways to Find Writing Inspiration

  1. Ask Yourself Big Questions

You may be putting off thinking about some of the bigger questions in life, but doing so can actually improve your writing! A great place to start is by asking yourself things you normally wouldn’t; ideally about bigger rhetorical thoughts. This can be helpful to do with a friend or relative if you’re unsure where to begin.

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4 Ways Keeping a Dream Journal Can Improve Your Writing

Keeping a dream journal is an interesting way to get closer in touch with yourself and the process can help improve your writing in many ways. We dream several times each night and if you’re just starting out or having trouble remembering your dreams, writing down a few notes each morning is a simple way to train your brain to remember nighttime occurrences. Here are four ways logging your adventures during sleep can make you a better writer.

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4 Ways Keeping a Dream Journal Can Improve Your Writing

  1. Get to Know Yourself

Recording and paying attention to your dreams can put you closer in touch with your psyche and help you learn more about yourself and your desires; confident writers are much more likely to finish and publish a novel. This can be helpful if you’re struggling with a new book concept or are facing a turning point in your work.

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[Writing Tips] 5 Strategies to Eliminate Distractions

This post shares writing tips for authors looking to increase their focus and eliminate distractions. If you look everywhere for creative inspiration to inform your writing, chances are you’ve also found a few distractions that can slow the process. Here are five ways to fight those unwanted interruptions.

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[Writing Tips] 5 Strategies to Eliminate Distractions

  1. Prioritize

Sometimes having too many items on your to-do list can be intimidating and lead to procrastination; one of the best writing tips is to determine your top projects and begin with those immediately. Everyone pens differently, but it can be helpful to do the hardest item on your agenda first, and save the fun or easy tasks for the end.

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4 Best Apps for Writing

Writing a novel is a lengthy and dedicated process, but luckily there are several apps for writers that can help you track ideas, leave notes and even conglomerate photos for character inspiration. Cloud technology allows writing tools to manifest right at your fingertips on a smartphone, iPad, tablet, Kindle and more. Here are four of the best apps for writing that can help you finish a novel in no time.

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4 Best Apps for Writing

  1. Writing Prompts

If you’ve ever suffered from writer’s block, you’ll know that writing to short prompts can be a great way to break stale routines and gain fresh ideas. Writing Prompts is one of the great apps for writing because it gives you the tools to start writing out-of-the-box stories, jot down notes several times a day, gain new vocabulary and get publishing. Find out more here.

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4 Tips for Finishing First Drafts

Writing a novel can seem like a daunting process, and tackling first drafts are hard to do without getting overwhelmed. Taking small, deliberate steps can help with the writing process, in addition to these 4 tips.

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  1. Get Through the First Page…

“The first step toward getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” –John Pierpont Morgan

Frequently called the “blank page hurdle,” starting a first draft is one of the most difficult parts of the writing process. Write something, anything, to get you through the first page of your manuscript, because you can always come back later and change it. It can also be helpful to check out resources for creative ways to start the novel.

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3 Writing Tips for Making Your Characters Memorable

“Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.” — Ray Bradbury

This post shares writing tips to help you nail your character’s appearance, actions and personality to create a memorable hero. Last time, we shared advice for writing an antagonist, but what about a main character? Creating a lasting presence for your hero can be difficult, so here three tips to help you with the process.

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  1. Fill in Their Reality

“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature.” — Ernest Hemingway

Your character is not just a character, they are a living person. Try to create a full and rich backstory for them and imagine their whole history. Determine their motivations, desires and deeper emotions. Your audience wants a character that feels complex, not flat.

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How to Write a Villain [3 Tips for Writers]

“You don’t really understand an antagonist until you understand why he’s a protagonist in his own version of the world.” –John Rogers

This post shares tips for writers for penning a great antagonist. We love to read stories of villains, from a superhero’s nemeses to the evil stepmother. Great novels have some sort of conflict or struggle for the hero at the hand of a foe, so it’s important your character development is strong.

7883998_lWhat is an Antagonist?

The antagonist is the character that opposes the hero character in your story. He or she serves as the counterpart to the main character who makes trouble, provides conflict and could be considered the “bad guy.” Antagonists can also be main characters or the center of the plot; here are 3 tips to help you write a good one.

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How to Plot Your Novel [3 Tips for Writers]

This post shares tips for writers to help with outlining a book. Plotting your novel can be a difficult step of the writing process since many authors are full of character and theme ideas, but no clear storyline. You can visit the library and read about potential plots for your novel, but here are 3 easy tips for writers to help you find a solid outline.

If you use this photo, please link to www.CGPGrey.com for attribution.How to Plot Your Novel [3 Tips for Writers]

  1. “Begin with the End in Mind”

This is one of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People for a reason! Beginning your novel by knowing where you want to take it in the end is also one of the best tips for writers trying to plot their book. Do you want the characters to live happily ever after? Will you leave a cliffhanger? Even if you’re planning a series of novels, make sure you know where you want your story to leave off and how you want readers to feel at the end.

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