Tropes — cultural references or recurrent themes imbued with shared meaning — can be a staple of storytelling (and a potential path to cliché).

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Jewel words are those beautiful words glistening inside a piece of larger text. Along with crux and flavor words, they serve your story and distinguish your writing voice.

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Do a slow read of your writing. Have you chosen your words well? Is your mind jumping ahead because the text is perfected or because you could cut it and lose nothing? If you don't want to read those words, will anyone else?

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Open a book you love to a random page and read one sentence. Can you hear the author's voice? Does it evoke an emotion? Does it draw you in? Now open your own work. How does it fare?

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Writing enough prose to fill a book is one thing, but weaving it all together into a story with a strong arc, purpose, and impact is another entirely. Here are some lessons that might help you in your writing process — whether your own book is an “accident” or not.

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Humans are highly visual creatures, and this holds true when we are reading. We don’t see the images in the book, we form them in our minds. Pack in brilliant imagery and your readers will enjoy and remember your book.

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Visualizing how your words will present on the page as you write your book can make you aware of what you need to create the piece you're envisioning and devise strategies to get there.

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