You can be the sweetest person possible in real life, but if you want to write great fiction, you need to be the opposite. You must be the cruel overlord of your story.

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You can write a love story outside the romance genre. Romance is a staple of all types of literature. So when is it a "romance" and when is it just a book with a love story? Usually, it’s obvious.

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In almost every story, there is a pill that makes something exciting happen. Whether it brings love, stardom, happiness, or calamity in your book is up to you.

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Sometimes what your book needs is an elephant or two in the room. That's what a mokita is, and while we don’t want these elephants in our real lives, they can be powerful agents in your storytelling.

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Whatever your chosen format as an author – novels, short stories, essays, etc. – trying your hand at others is an excellent writing exercise. Here are six writing formats to consider.

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We know we have to build our muscles to run a marathon, but how do we build our writer's muscles when it comes to writing a book? Maybe you’ve started by keeping a diary, writing short stories, or taking creative writing classes. These are all great ways to build up writing muscles. These are like training runs compared to the marathon that is the book.

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The paradox is that writing comes from self, and yet sometimes self has to be purged from the final product for readers to find it fulfilling and finished. Such a polished feel is a key part of the reader’s perception of a book being professional and high quality. There are no fingerprints on the mirror showing the artist was there working, just a clear reflection of the world the writer is trying to create.

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