For me, it’s way too intimidating to just start crafting a book with the first word of the first sentence, so I've learned how to release the valve to set my ideas and words free. Here are five ways I start writing a book to warm up, ease into it, and do some crucial background work so my story will truly come to life.

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Sometimes, what makes for great stories – or viral videos – is a simple thread of "and then" questions being raised, answered, and raised again. Here's a lesson in storytelling from a hungry dog.

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This storyteller finds six cracks in the new Jungle Book that mar the narrative in this visually enchanting movie, providing a lesson in how to construct a story by ensuring your characters' motivations and choices are consistent and believable.

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When you create characters, how far should you go to individualize their physical descriptions? What is absolutely necessary for the depiction?

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Maybe that's part of the nagging sensation I'm fighting, that I'm not really an author. And until I finish my first book, I guess that's true. What makes an author? Having a great story to tell? Having the ability to craft the words and descriptions to make it come alive? Sure, that and a finished manuscript.

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Understanding your hero’s goals will help you plan your plot line and develop the engaging, motivated characters your readers will love to follow. Here are three easy steps to get you on your way to developing your characters' goals.

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To get to the heart of what drives your characters, you need to find out what’s most important to them. Here are three exercises to find out what values drive your characters.

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