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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The balance of literal and figurative language in a book can dramatically influence a reader’s experience. What does the literal/figurative language map look like in yours?

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If you’re writing a romance novel, don’t look for ideas in other romance novels. Look to thrillers, chaos theory, or the building of the Flavian amphitheater. If you’re struggling for inspiration, try looking in the unlikeliest places.

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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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Whether you are working on draft material or devising a story in your mind, one element of great writing is cranking up the extraordinary to pack in information, meaning, and creativity.

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Words take on their full meaning in the context of sentences, paragraphs, and your entire story. It starts with the first line of your book, as each bit of information sets the stage for what follows.

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