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The Bookwriter RSS Blog will keep you up to date on new articles about writing and story structure, answers to common writing questions and other information designed to help you write your book.

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And please, enjoy the latest posts below.

Internal conflict without external conflict

I have developed characters, their personalities, motivations, flaws, wants, needs - I know exactly what their internal conflict should be. The problem

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Which is worse?

Question: Which is the better plot decision: To have a character achieve their goal knowing full well that it will kill them and then having the character

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Writing diversity as a white author

Hi! I'm writing a story that focuses on a mother and her three daughters as the main characters. I've always seen these characters as Caucasian mostly

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Character names

Question: I used a name of a character in my book, that happens to be one of my main characters. I searched on the web and found that someone used the

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child narrator in adult book?

Hi Glen, I would kindly like to ask you if it is possible to have a child narrator and main character in adult fiction? I don't want it to become a children’s

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Writing Courses in the New Year

If you live in the Kingston, Ontario area, you may be interested in one of the creative writing courses being offered by St. Lawrence College in the New Year which I have been asked to teach. In 2019, the college is experimenting with a new lineup of shorter, more affordable courses on a variety of subjects, so you can pick and choose.

The link above will take you to the full catalog.

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Goals

Hi, Is it possible for the main character to have a small goal in the beginning of the book but to shelf that goal until the resolution, for a goal that

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World is changing

Question: I have a novel in which the world is changing in inexplicable ways and the protagonist goal is to protect his family and friends from the dangers

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The Midpoint

Question: I’m currently writing a dramatic romance. Does the event that marks the midpoint have to happen to the main character herself? Can the event

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Diverse Characters

Question: There is an eighteen-year-old boy who lives with his abusive mother. But he has his best friend of seven years who is Asian and his mentor and

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Details

Hello, I've been writing short stories and exerts for a while now but I keep noticing the same problems in my work. I have an almost over active imagination

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Prologue Or No Prologue

Hi, I have just started to write a fantasy novel, but I am in a bit of a jam. I have a rough outline of the novel, as well as the events that occur within

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What character trait cliches should I avoid? And what kind of problem solving styles are there?

Question: Hi! I'm planning a story for NaNoWriMo, and I'm currently working on the character arcs for my protagonist and influence character. To make

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Is the slow process of falling in love enough of a plot?

Question Hello! I’m writing a book about a rape victim and her budding relationship with her neighbor. They had a really rough first impression with him

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Is My Novel Overly-Complex?

Question: I am writing a fantasy story based around war. I'm a fan of the Red Blood series, Harry Potter, and anything concerning dragons. While planning

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Is this concept interesting / cliche and how do I start it?

Question: I've been a fan of novels and shows similar to Game of Thrones, Red Queen, and Throne of Glass. I've also enjoyed writing short stories in the

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Becoming more confident

Hi, I'm a little 15 year old and I love writing. I usually write stand-up poetry and I am also good enough at delivering them. But whenever I read other

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How to write seasons like "Breaking bad" or "Desperate Housewives", or a soap?

Question: Can you help me define the story goal, the impact characters and other things, for a soap story like Breaking Bad? When Rhona loses her husband

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Skipping time

Question: I am writing about a immortal character who lives around 500 years and keeps journals of his life how far can I skip in time through out his

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How to use a confession in a mystery

Question: Can you use the confession of a thief, for example, as a way to answer some questions that the reader might have? Answer: Confessions, like

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NA/YA Genre Rules

Question: I have a hard time understanding the rules of NA and YA genres. For example, I’m writing a fantasy novel with the characters in their 20s, let’s

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Fantasy with no supernatural elements?

Hi! I‘ve been using your site since quite some time now but even with all the great information (thank you so much for this!) I’m still not sure what genre

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Character Revealing

Question: Does the Resolution have to be that the detective finds the killer? Or can the reader find out who the killer is by the 4th driver so that the

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Murder Mysteries

Question: Does the main character(s) in a murder mystery, more specifically the narrator, need to be a detective? Can it be someone who is in a completely

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HOW to start a book

Question: I have this genius idea to write a book about the topic that, in the book, breaks our country and starts the 2nd Civil War: LGBTQ+ Rights. I

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How to Write a Book Now Gets a New Look

After a decade, the site was looking a little old fashioned. So I've been working on a giving it a fresher look.

What do you think?

Fall Writing Course

Glen will be teaching a Creative Writing course Tuesday evenings this fall at St. Lawrence College, Kingston, Ontario. Something to consider if you live in the area.

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Creating a chronological order?

Question So I'm currently in the planning stage of writing my story. I have many components as its base of a bucket list (and so each wish is a different

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Outstanding Opportunity for Aspiring Authors

Jerry Jenkins, author of 21 New York Times bestsellers is taking a limited number of students in his online writing course, Your Novel Blueprint. The comprehensive program can take you from the idea stage to a finished manuscript in a matter of months. Free introductory workshop on July 23!

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Margaret Atwood's Creative Writing Course

Margaret Atwood is one of the most influential literary voices of our generation. Now you can learn her methods in her first-ever online class. Let the author of "The Handmaid’s Tale" show you how to craft compelling stories—from historical to speculative fiction—that remain timeless and relevant. Explore Margaret’s creative process for developing ideas into novels with strong structures and nuanced characters.

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How to Find a Publisher

How to find a publisher in five essential steps

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Tragedy

Hello, Glen, I love your site and resources. My question is, does a tragedy always have to end with the death of the main character and/or protagonist?

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Online Creative Writing Courses

Take online creative writing courses from high profile professional and famous writers in a variety of genres.

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Dual Biography

Hello. Has anyone written a dual biography of Charles Dickens and Guiseppe Verdi? Both were born at roughly the same time, both wrote with a profound

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Where to go after starting in on your first couple of books

Question: I have started roughly fourteen books since I was twelve years old and i have never went to publishers or proofreaders to look at my work because

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Mystery Novel Planning

Hello, Glen, I thank you for answering my previous question about Mystery Novel Resolution. I've purchased your novel planning workbook and written four

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Introducing the Villan Late

Question: A large part of the plot of my novel involves the main character trying to find out who the villain of the story is. Although the villain is

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Mixing Character Archetypes

Hello! I'm reading Dramatica and trying to get the hang of characters. Specifically, I'm wondering whether it's possible for the antagonist to also be

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Guardian or Contagonist?

Question: If I understand correctly, the guardian and contagonist help the protagonist achieve his goal and tempt him away from it respectively. But what

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Too little consistency with the characters?

Hello First of all, thank you very much for all the useful information and help you’re providing, your website has already helped me a lot. My question

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Finish or not to finish, that is the question.

Question: I know its a crazy question but, I've got a summary for a storyline written already. Should I just create it now and add filler later, or add

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Identifying my book as a memoir versus a novel.

Question: Taken directly from my journals detailing true misadventures involving drug-addicted prostitutes over a two year period, though therefore properly

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Just a Comment and not a question

I've written a novel (going by notes as far back as High School, over 40 years ago), and have pieced everything together and fleshed it out to my satisfaction.

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What are the limits of using IPs in a novel?

Question: Ready Player One references tons of intellectual properties, several of which are integral to the plot. Do you know if the publisher had to clear

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Online Creative Writing Courses

How would you like to learn the art of creative writing from some of the highest selling and most famous writers in the business--including such names as James Patterson and R.L. Stine? And get personal attention from the comfort of your own home? Take a look at this link to find out how.

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Mystery Novel Resolution

Hello, Glen, First of all, thank you for reading my question and providing your valuable suggestions. I wrote around fifty thousand words of my mystery

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Betrayal

Question: This site is exactly what I needed to actually pull out those someday ideas off the shelf, but I can't seem to find anything on character betrayals.

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Flashback as hook?

Question: I am wanting to start my novel with the prologue time jumping following the main characters with their experience with the character who dies

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What constitutes as a Chapter?

Question: You mentioned that some scenes will be part of a chapter while other scenes will be a chapter itself. So i want to know what a chapter is. Is

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