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Bettina Huntenburg
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Road Trip!
Sometime to move the plot along, you also need to move the characters.  They can go to new locations to look for clues, have a meal, or run for their lives... whatever the plotline calls for. In the prompt below, describe where the character is going, what'...

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Don't Exaggerate
If used well, hyperbole can make a dramatic point in your writing.  If overused though, the reader will be wary and dismissive.  The shark was how big, and the boat was leaking form how many holes, exactly? Yeah, right. In the prompt below, look at each ele...

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Best of Intentions
Some of the most interesting writing can center around a character's intentions.  Did she mean to sideswipe the car?  Was he being helpful because he likes her, or just to be polite?  In every case, you can write several paragraphs or pages of dialogue, deb...

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Beware: Clichés Ahead
It's okay to use clichés in your writing, but not as a substitute for coming up with good dialogue.  "The building is surrounded," and "beauty is only skin-deep" both have their appropriate uses, but there is probably a more interesting way to convey those ...

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Nice Try
Sometimes it helps the pacing, plot, or tension to write a scene where your main character fails.  This can be entertaining to the reader if that failure is an unexpected one.  No, don't write that an expert runner trips over his own feet, or that a chef fo...

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Well... that was weird.
Setting the scene for your main character to find a clue can be dramatic or subtle.  The most important part is to draw the reader's attention to what is unusual about the setting, circumstances, or other characters. For example, if your main character walk...

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Steeped In Tradition
One good way to set a scene is to describe a tradition that the main characters are familiar with.  The tradition can be one that most people know about, or something completely new.  Either way, it presents an opportunity to show backstory and character de...

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Movie Wrongs
Why is it that great (or even mediocre) books rarely make equivalently good movies?  Arguably, if the pacing is done right, then a book should feel like it's moving along as well as a good movie.  And yet... movies often seem to fall short.  (I'm thinking o...

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Unexpected Phrases
It's easy to fall back on shorter, simpler phrases to express an action.  Sometimes, this is good.  If sentences carry on for too long, you can lose the readers' interest.  But you can lengthen a sentence without making it boring. In the prompt below, chang...

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Excuse me?
One way to liven a scene is to add conflict.  This could mean an open insult or a subtle-but-inconsiderate act.  While a shouted insult or rude hand gesture is more blatant, a perceived slight gives more room for interpretation, consideration, and misunders...
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