Writing snippets are practical, creative exercises that let you work on specific elements of your writing and explore styles outside your comfort zone.

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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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Browsing book samples refines your knowledge and can give you a way to measure your own writing. How does your book's opening compare to the classics?

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First-person narration lets you pack every moment with personality and explore your writer's voice to the max, but it can be a tricky point-of-view to pull off for the course of an entire book.

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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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Here's a quick case study of former Saturday Night Live writer Patricia Marx using book excerpts to promote her book. Why not use the same tactic in your book publicity?

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